Summer of craft: portable projects, children’s activities

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Only a few more days of school to go and the UK branch of Sheep Cabana is getting ready for the summer holidays.

I tend to travel with fiber, handcards, a drop spindle, knitting and a crochet hook… you can see where this is going. No wonder my bags are always inspected by the TSA! When we go camping later this summer, my Ashford Joy will come with us.

Last year I considered bringing my 15″ Cricket loom with me on holiday, but decided against it. There are more portable weaving projects like tablet weaving, small tapestry looms and pin looms that are better suited to travel. One of those (or two) will be in my suitcase in the coming weeks.

Pin looms are also a great way to get children interested in weaving. They’re small and easy to handle.

Kids love rigid heddle loom

Kids love rigid heddle looms

That said, I recently set up the Cricket for my six-year old boy and he loved it. Imagine me glowing with pride as his project grew. Amazing!

First project

First project

The May/June 2015 issue of Handwoven featured two fun-looking projects for children. One was a Hula Hoop rug. I found this tutorial on YouTube posted by a young woman who made something similar for a girl scout project. I love the idea of children sharing their craft knowledge online.

The other Handwoven children’s project is sort of a mini-tapestry necklace or decoration by Jennifer Lee. All you need is some cardboard, yarn, a tapestry needle and maybe some beads. There are plenty of similar projects demonstrated online. I’m going to try this out with my little one. Once he gets into something, he tends to go into manufacturing mode. We shall see how many of these we have at the end of the summer.

Mini tapestries

Mini tapestries

There is also a free e-book on the Interweave site with weaving projects for kids. If you are massively ambitious and have tons of Lego, check out this automated loom. Wow. For those of us who prefer something low-tech, don’t forget the ultimate portable and child-friendly fiber project: pompoms!

Pompoms!!!

Pompoms!!!

Here’s another idea from Handwoven that caught my eye: grass cloth. For those of us wondering what it is, grass cloth simply is cloth woven with dried grass in the weft. Apparently grass cloth wallpaper is trendy these days. Who knew.

Weaving grass cloth is not really a portable project, but it does require grass that you might find when you’re strolling along the beach or through the countryside as part of your summertime ramblings. Handwoven’s grass cloth journal instructions for the rigid heddle loom can be found here.

What I love about this project is it can be made from materials gathered either in your neighbourhood or while on holiday. It’s sustainable, eco-friendly and a keepsake.

 

 

 

But is it yarn?

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Art yarn?

Art yarn?

Ah the allure of Art Yarn. Behold its super-chunky sparkle, its beads, its coils and luscious locks. Resistance is futile. Or is it?

When I started to spin I announced to Sal that all I wanted to make was art yarn. I probably told her I wanted to explore colour and texture. I was making it up.

Sal told me something like this: If you’re ever planning to make anything like a sweater or a wearable garment you should think about making less-arty yarn.

She had a point.

These days I think about hand spun yarn completely differently. What I used to consider art yarn, I now classify as novelty yarn.

Most of the time I’m experimenting with new materials and techniques. I’m spinning to weave or to knit. My use of art yarn is sparse. That’s partly thanks to my fairly boring sartorial habits. Sal tells me that’s a trend now! Yay!

So what about art yarn?

Last month Alison Daykin gave my guild a talk on art yarn (see below). Beforehand I was curious what she would have to say and it got me thinking. What is art yarn? Is it yarn for yarn’s sake? Is it a novelty item? Does anyone actually use it?

I still make a lot of art yarn, but I call it handspun. Like most spinners I’m experimenting with colour, texture and gauge. Most of it isn’t sparkly or bejeweled. The excitement is in the color or the materials.

Here’s some sport weight yarn I made for a weaving project.

Blue yarn

Blue yarn

The blue colorway is a combination of natural coloured and dyed fleece.

The red is a blend of acid and natural-dyed fleece as well as natural coloured. To me these are rich in colour and texture. I’ve made little aesthetic decisions throughout the making process.

Red yarn

Red yarn

Is it art or is it yarn?

These are some examples of what are more commonly considered to be art yarn. There are the dyed locks, the thick/thin look and some bouclé-like yarn.

Bouclé, sort of

Bouclé, sort of

P

Thick thin

Yarn or art? Both?

Lexi Boeger sees it this way: “I believe the onus is on the buyer to look at the yarn and be able to determine an appropriate project to use it for. This puts more work on the buyer, but ultimately it will make that person also more creative..” (See Spinartiste)

Boeger goes on to say that art yarn can help the knitter (or weaver for that matter) think beyond the pattern and become a designer. My reading of that is: art yarn can be a starting point. It asks the question: what can you make with me?

It’s worth pointing out that Lexi Boeger isn’t making art yarn anymore.

Locks

Locks

JazzTurtle has a long list of patterns that can use art yarn. But to me art yarn is perfect for weaving–especially saori weaving, which is all about experimentation and personal expression. It’s not really concerned with pattern or convention.

This saori-inspired piece uses some art yarn. For me this piece was a big departure from the norm. Here are colours and textures far from my comfort zone. It marks a step in a creative journey, but I’m not sure the path ends at art yarn.

Weaving with art yarn

Weaving with art yarn

[Sal here. I’m going to horn in on your post for a minute]

I would argue that handspinning is technology, and as such there is an intrinsically practical component to the resulting product. Some yarns take a good deal of skill to make well (bouclé for example), or have aesthetic consideration in their colors or textures (as yours do above), and this intersection of technical skill and aesthetic consideration I would call “craft”. Calling something “art yarn” is almost oxymoronic. Yarn for yarn’s sake, as you say, really makes no sense— like building a chair that you can’t sit on. But I know plenty of people who spin and never do anything with the yarn because they don’t knit or crochet or weave, and are perfectly happy that way. I suppose there is a Venn diagram we could make that shows the people who like to build chairs, but don’t actually sit down. I think one could certainly make yarn that’s an end in and of itself, and it could be considered art instead of artisanal, but I think the intention behind it is key, because it would be subverting the concept of yarn. The rest, as you say, is novelty yarn. I’m curious what your guild speaker had to say on the subject. And if they have any good patterns.

[Now back to our regularly scheduled blog post ;)]

Fancy Yarn and permission to spin

When Alison Daykin came down from Derbyshire to talk to the Mid-Essex Guild about art yarn, like Sal I was curious what she had to say about art yarn. One reason for that curiosity was I suspected [knew] many guild members were dubious of art yarn. Many–not all–take the view that art yarn is what you make when first learning to spin. “Don’t worry,” they tell new spinners. “You’ve just made art yarn!” And then everyone laughs.

Alison Daykin described what she makes as fancy yarn, not art yarn. Fancy yarn, Alison explained was any kind of yarn you made that’s non-standard–core spun, bouclé, crepe, thick/thin–that has some irregularity in the making. That irregularity could be introduced in any or all of the steps for making yarn: prepping fiber, color blending, spinning and finishing.

According to Alison, fancy yarn isn’t anything new,  in fact Mabel Ross, author of The Encyclopedia of Handspinning, was an early advocate of fancy yarn.  However, when Alison started spinning in the late 80s/early 90s she felt spinning non-standard or fancy yarn was discouraged. She was taught that the point of spinning was to churn out yards and yards of yarn that looked like it had been made in a mill.

“I wanted to make different yarn and I felt inferior, because I didn’t want to spin plain yarn,” she said. But after taking a course on spinning and dyeing for tapestry weaving from Bobbie Cox, Alison felt she had, “Permission to spin whatever I wanted. Once you know the rules, you can break them.”

Art yarn, Alison said, is a term that grew out of a trend of making yarn out of recycled materials like plastic bags and cassette tape. She did not see the point in putting yarn in a bowl or hanging it up to admire.

“If I can’t use the yarn, then I’ve wasted my time. Use it to make a garment look different. If you use a little yarn in a piece, it can look lovely. Art yarn has got to be practical as well as beautiful,” she added.

 

 

Many ways with warps on a rigid heddle loom

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Getting creative with warp yarns is a great way to make the most out of your rigid heddle loom. Using different coloured and textured yarns in the warp, ordering those yarns in a certain way or not at all will yield different, beautiful results without having to worry too much about pattern.

plain weave plaid

plain weave plaid

Let’s start with texture and colour. In this sample, I used two smooth yarns and two handspun boucle yarns in the warp. From right to left–  black, magenta, then the lighter

boucle and the darker one. For the weft I used the four yarns in the same order to create this nubbly plaid-like sample. Simple to weave, but lots of potential as a cloth. I could easily weave something similar and turn it into a Chanel-style jacket.

Randomly placed many-coloured warp

Randomly placed many-coloured warp

Next up is a piece I wove

recently entirely out of handspun. The plan was to make the warp yarns the feature. I randomly wound the three colours of yarn—pink, purple, green— onto the warping board. On the weft I used a single colour—a grey mohair and wool handspun with a few dollops of green and yellow as a feature. What I like about how this piece turned out is the strong warp colours slightly muted by the greyish weft. Also the slight unevenness of the handspun give the whole piece a subtle speckled effect.

Choosing handspun or many colours of yarn in the warp is one way to use colour and texture in the warp to great effect. A variation on this theme is the multi-coloured warp. Instead of using a few different coloured yarns in the warp, wind on a neutral coloured warp, carefully remove it and then put it the dye pot and apply colour.

Dyed warp

Dyed warp

In this sample, I used a commercial silk warp thread and dyed it with gold, purple, green and a little pink. Woven with a camel/silk handspun, with some saori-style accents, the warp still comes through, but this time with different colour pools.

Dyed warp, Saori-style accents

Dyed warp, Saori-style accents

You could take this technique further and go for an ikat-style weave by tie dyeing the warp or even painting a design onto it, then threading the warp onto the loom. Another approach is to take some self-striping or variegated sock yarn and wind your warp so that the colours sit together. There’s a great description of that technique here.

log cabin weave

log cabin weave

Log cabin weave is a rigid heddle loom classic. It’s simple, just alternating blocks of light and dark yarns (LDLDLDLD DLDLDLDL etc) in the warp and then weaving the same way. More about log cabin in my November post.

Using multi-coloured handspun or variegated sock yarns that have less contrast also create a nice effect. Check out this blog post on this variation on log cabin weave. I’ve also seen log cabin done with some saori-style embellishments that look fantastic.

One last technique that emphasizes warp is using the variable dent rigid heddle reed. It’s a reed that allows you to mix up the dent sizes in the reed to then use different weights of yarn. I haven’t tried out this tool myself, but apparently one of the effects you can achieve is a ribbed fabric.

All these techniques bring a lot of interest and texture without having to mess around with pick up sticks. Don’t get me wrong, pick up sticks are great, but don’t think you need to use them to get the most out of your rigid heddle loom.

Some resources for rigid heddle weaving:

Ravelry’s rigid heddle weaving group

Schacht spindle blog

Weavezine

Turning handwoven fabric into a garment

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Handwoven awaiting transformation

Handwoven awaiting transformation

Rigid heddle looms may not be fancy or complicated, but do not be deceived. You’re not going to weave acres of jacquard, but don’t think placemats, table runners, scarves and hand towels are your only options on a rigid heddle loom.

Two years ago when I bought my little loom I had no idea that with some experimentation, practice and patience I’d be able to make a garment from fabric I’d created. For one thing, the idea of cutting my handwoven cloth terrified me. Also as relatively inexperienced seamstress, I wasn’t confident I could create a wearable garment.

I took the small amount of fabric I’d woven on a 20″ (50 cm) Ashford Knitter’s Loom up to Clacton-on-Sea for a lesson in sewing with handwoven with Sarah Howard. Sarah, along with Elisabeth Kendrick, is the author of Get Weaving, which I blogged about earlier this year.

Sarah helped me find a pattern that would work with the 175cm of fabric I had. We used a commercial paper pattern to get an idea of size and shape and then made some modifications for fit and the fabric.

The next step was to make a paper pattern to use to then sew up a calico to see how the garment looked. I used some denim for the calico. It allowed me to see where changes were required (in the armpits!). Once that was done, I went a way with instructions to test out the pattern on store-bought fabric. Sarah says it’s important to do a trial run before diving into your handwoven. Lots of issues can be sorted out on the sample piece. For example, I found I needed to change the shape of the side pieces slightly. Making a sample made me think about bias binding and lining too.

sample garment

sample garment

My sample looked pretty good, but I realised I would have to do the pockets a bit differently on the final piece–ie with biased binding and the fabric backed by iron-on woven interfacing. I also decided that gold/black lining would not look good with the handwoven and went for a solid blue silk.

Here’s a couple things to keep in mind when you’re placing your pattern on your handwoven:

– Make sure all the pieces fit. Measure the length of fabric without the fringe.

– Think about the best use of your fabric’s selvedges and hemmed ends to reduce the potential for fraying and binding.

– Make a note of the direction of warp and weft in your fabric. How does that influence how you place your pattern on your fabric? You probably want all your pieces going with the warp.

My layout looked like this:

layout

layout

I was careful to place the pockets to match up with the stripes on the two front pieces.

The next step was to cut out the pieces.Once I did, I carefully applied strips of iron-on woven interfacing to the fabric to prevent fraying. Then I zig-zag stitched over that.

I sewed together the fabric pieces as well as the lining. I didn’t sew in the lining, but bound the piece together all at once with bias-binding tape. I made it myself, which wasn’t difficult, but it was time consuming. However, store-bought bias tape is pretty poor so I do recommend taking the time to make it yourself.

Et voila! Garment!

finished garment!

finished garment!

A few things to keep in mind when sewing with handwoven.

– Remember your woven fabric may be quite thick. How is that going to impact your seams? Will your garment work well with chunky seams?

– Use iron-on woven interface to prevent fraying. It also makes it easier to sew.

– Go slow! Once you machine sew handwoven fabric, it’s really hard if not impossible to pick out without destroying the fabric.

– Handwoven is stretchy. Think about how that might cause difficulties when sewing up or when putting in a lining.

applying iron-on woven interface

applying iron-on woven interface

Guild Challenge: The Electric Kool-aid Fiber Test Results

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The test results are in! At our February Guild meeting, everyone brought their projects from the Kool-aid dye challenge.

Here are the winners, as voted by the Guild members:

Leaf shawl, from different strengths of yellow #6, then overdyed to mitigate the obvious stripes. Lovely.

Leaf shawl, from different strengths of orange, then overdyed to mitigate the obvious stripes. Lovely.

Saori scarf woven on rigid heddle loom, using blue and red dyes for a purple effect.

Saori scarf woven on rigid heddle loom, using blue and red dyes for a purple effect.

Grand prize winner. All colors used. Too adorable!

Grand prize winner. All colors used. Too adorable!

Here are some examples from people who have dyed with Kool-aid before, and know that it takes a lot of dye to get a lot of color:

Child's jacket made from mitered squares. Love the intense colors.

Child’s jacket made from mitered squares. Love the intense colors.

"Sunset Colors" yarn. The turquoise shade is great.

“Sunset Colors” yarn. The turquoise shade is great.

Knit cowl. The charcoal grey tones down the vibrant colors.

Knit cowl. The charcoal grey tones down the vibrant colors.

Sophisticated roving with color blending.

Sophisticated roving with color blending.

A pair of green and blue hats.

A pair of green and blue hats.

Here are some examples of using less dye to nice effect:

Knit cowl with pastel colors and grey alpaca for a tweedy look.

Knit cowl with pastel colors and grey alpaca for a tweedy look.

Nuño felted sky blue cloth with lavender undertones.

Nuño felted sky blue cloth with lavender undertones.

Tea cozy topped with knit flowers, which were hand painted with Kool-aid, just as one would marzipan.

Tea cozy topped with knit flowers, which were hand painted with Kool-aid, just as one would marzipan.

Some excellent examples of blending with neutrals:

The same hat-and-mitt set, two ways.

The same hat-and-mitt set, two ways.

Knit socks, blue and orange. The heathered blue tones down the orange.

Knit socks, blue and orange. The heathered blue tones down the orange.

Felted bag with sheep. Lined and reversible!

Felted bag with sheep. Lined and reversible!

What did I end up doing? My initial attempt at using Kool-aid ended with yarn that I hated. I went off on a tangent and dyed a lot of fiber with candy. I made this project bag. I got Spinner’s Block. I got over it. And in the 11th hour, I spun and dyed this:

Targhee two-ply, dyed with a jawbreaker, tic-tacs and sprinkles, then gradient dyed with red-to-blue Kool-aid.

Targhee two-ply, dyed with a jawbreaker, tic-tacs and sprinkles, then gradient dyed with red-to-blue Kool-aid.

I didn’t win, but I learned a lot, including an appreciation for dying spun yarn, not just wool. Up next: bring on the natural dyes!

Spinning in the grease

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Sally and I talk about fiber preparation a lot. Conversations usually start off with a confession.

Rachel: “Um I just bought more fleeces.”

OMG! Where did these come from???

OMG! Where did these come from???

Sal: [laughs] “What are you going to do with them?”

Rachel: “Well right now, they’re in my closet.”

Then we discuss all the processes we could use to turn the raw fleece into The Ultimate Yarn. There’s scouring, combing, carding, dyeing and blending. Then there are infinite techniques–have you heard of the Fermented Suint Method for scouring fleece? Do you card your fleece or comb it? Do you put your fiber into the drumcarder sideways?

Last fall, after buying a few more Shetland fleeces I was so excited to try them out on the wheel that I pulled off some locks and started spinning. No fiber prep at all.

Spinning in the grease isn’t something I usually do, but a lot of spinners do. These are the people who look at you funny when you start talking about scouring fleece and the other fifteen steps you’re going to take before you spin any yarn.

What I learned was spinners who advocate spinning in the grease have a point. One is, if you have a beautiful fleece with nice crimpy locks, it’s a shame to process that out. It’s fine just to tease the locks out a little with your fingers and start to spin. I would recommend, however, picking through the fleece first and removing the dags (poo) and larger bits of vegetable matter. You don’t want that.

Here’s some Shetland spun in the grease. The yarn plumped up nicely after washing.

Shetland spun in the grease

Shetland spun in the grease

 

Shetland after washing

Shetland after washing

Here’s some Zwartables I spun in the same way.

Zwartables spun in the grease

Zwartables spun in the grease

Zwartables fleece

Zwartables fleece

Yes it is a bit smelly and you should clean your wheel afterwards. Really the final result is the same as if you’d spent days scouring and carding and combing and all the rest.

Safety Note. You do need to be careful handling raw fleece. Pregnant women should not handle raw fleece. Be aware that raw fleece is likely to have sheep excrement on it–so avoid handling that with bare hands. Choose from the sections of the fleece that’s not near the animal’s rear end. Give your hands a thorough scrub when you’re finished. Then wash them again!

Saori-style weaving on the rigid heddle loom

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fork, scissors, tapestry needle

fork, scissors, tapestry needle

While I still have loads of yarn piling up and access to the guild’s Ashford knitter’s loom I’m putting both to good use. On Friday I threaded the loom with almost five meters worth of warp and set forth on another weaving experiment.

I won’t call this Saori weaving–rather Saori-style. It’s hitting a lot of the right themes for me–using up stash yarn, making use of the Ashford loom, thinking about color combinations (in this case pink, orange and brown) and learning new techniques. Saori weaving is also a perfect canvas for art yarn– you know all that fanciful stuff we love to make, but sometimes struggle to use.

art yarn

art yarn

Saori-style weaving is ideal for those of us with rigid heddle looms. It’s a plain weave, experimental, free-style approach to weaving pioneered in Japan. (The Saori website has all the history.) Saori emphasises finger manipulation techniques, color, texture and self-expression. I’ve seen it likened to painting with yarn.

I threaded (warped) the loom with some commercial mohair and boucle yarn from Texere. Loading five meters’ worth took awhile, but I’m hoping the length of fabric will give me something useable for a garment at the end.

warp

warp

For the weft yarns I’m using a mix of handspun and blue-faced Leicester pencil roving which I dyed. The roving is lovely and soft–well-suited for weaving. What attracted me to Saori-style weaving was the clasped warp technique (useful video here) which would allow me to make a zig-zag weave.

clasped weft

clasped weft

And as the “plan” for this project crystallised I realised it would be a perfect time to use this handspun that’s been in my stash for three years or so waiting for a project.

Using a fork as a beater and a tapestry needle to weaving in extra color here and there the fabric is shaping up. I’ve alternated the colors on either side of the fabric–pink and orange first of the left and then on the right, swapping the brown over. Then I’ve used the brown tailspun art yarn for some additional interest.

filling in

filling in

One of the preconceptions I’ve had to jettison is the idea of pattern. There are some themes in terms of color and texture in the piece so far, but no pattern. How is that going to translate into a garment? My guess is that while I would like to make a jacket out of this piece, I might have to challenge that idea and make something else!

Get Weaving in 2015

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It’s worth repeating that there are lots of benefits of joining a weaving, spinning and dyeing guild and that rigid heddle looms are simple yet powerful tools.

During the Guild’s fleece to scarf challenge in November I got to know two of my fellow guild members better–Sarah Howard and Elisabeth Kendrick. Sarah and Elisabeth are accomplished weavers, knitters, spinners and sewers. They have a few books out (Creative Weaving, is one) and Get Weaving is the latest.

Sarah and Elisabeth have inspired many over the years–including me–by showing there’s a lot more you can do with a rigid heddle loom than make scarves or table runners. Their new book demonstrates how to make garments from fabric handwoven on small looms (mostly 20 inch width).

I’ve picked out a few favourites.

I love this poncho. It’s made from several panels of fabric sewn together and as Sal pointed out, it has a pocket!

poncho

poncho

This bodywarmer is made from fabric woven with roving (ie unspun wool). What a great idea. This kind of garment is definitely a project I want to try.

Body warmer

Body warmer

And I love this jacket. It’s made from strips of rags. Just beautiful.

rag jacket

rag jacket

There’s lots more in the book–trousers, shorts, skirts and blouses. All made from fabric woven on the rigid heddle loom!

 

 

How to make a White Christmas wreath

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White Christmas Wreath

White Christmas Wreath

The holidays always sneak up on me despite the ample reminders from shops who start stocking their shelves with Christmas Fayre in September. My guild–The Mid-Essex Guild of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers–gave us two months’ warning (maybe more) about this Christmas ornament competition for the December meeting. Still I put the finishing touches on my entry–the White Christmas wreath–in the car before bringing it in to the hall.

The White Christmas wreath is made from materials that anyone who does sewing, knitting and spinning will probably have around the house–felt, buttons, a couple of beads, yarn, stuffing (wool or acrylic) and maybe a pipe cleaner or two if you’re feeling extravagant.

Like so many of my other projects I’d mapped out the what and how mentally. The first step was making some felt for the leaves and flowers. I used the wet felt method described in Complete Feltmaking by Gillian Harris. I used some white fleece I had to hand and some white iridescent angelica fiber. The felt I made was on the thin side and I did needle felt it in places to reinforce. Making the felt was the most time consuming part of the project.

felt--made from llanwenog fleece and angelina fiber.

felt–made from llanwenog fleece and angelina fiber.

The next step was to make a knitted tube that would act as the base. I used my Addi circular knitting machine and some white handspun yarn. Using the machine knitting the tube took about five minutes.

Making a ring on the Addi machine

Making a ring on the Addi machine

I then stuffed the tube with so neppy bits of wool I have in abundance–meaning the bits of wool left over from the combing/carding process. I sewed the ends together, et voila, a ring.

Flowers and embellishments came next.

adding flowers and leaves

adding flowers and leaves

As you can see from the photo I’ve opted for flowers and leaves which I cut freehand. I’ve sewed and glued on buttons and needle felted leaves and flowers into place. Lastly in a fit of inspiration I needle felted a dove to nestle above the poinsettia-shaped flower.

Oh, and I won the competition!

First trophy I've ever won for anything!

First trophy I’ve ever won for anything!

Sheep Chic

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One reason Sal and I started this website was to show how starting with a bag of fiber it’s possible to create luxurious handmade objects.  This week I went into the Liberty of London on a mission to find wool being used in high-end fashion. I found some great pieces that I’m confident could be handmade and certainly show what’s possible with wool.

Rowan thick thin yarn--wannabee handspun

Rowan thick thin yarn–wannabee handspun

Liberty is known for its art nouveau and arts & crafts-inspired designs in the 1950s as well as its range of print fabrics. Back in the dark ages -the early 00s–when there were no real knit shops in London, Liberty carried Rowan yarns and stocked needles.

These days Liberty has some super-expensive pieces that feature wool. Check out this handbag made by Marni.

Marni bag

Marni bag

It’s made out of leather and a panel of soft felt. It retails for £765. It’s a beautiful piece that’s an alternative to the leather and gold-plated-hardware style bags that dominant the market. I wouldn’t say this would be an easy project, but if you know how to make felt, have access to a sewing machine and a bit of imagination–it’s doable.

Then there was this wrap going for £195. It’s basically a big piece of felt. Made in Italy, it’s silky soft–probably merino–and quite thin.

Felted wrap--probably about £5 worth of wool on sale for £195

Felted wrap–probably about £5 worth of wool on sale for £195

I’d guess it was made using a felting machine, but this is precisely the kind of piece that can be easily made by hand. In fact, I’ve seen many more elaborate nuno and silk pieces for sale that show greater skill than this colorful rectangle. Still it was inspiring to see such a piece showcased at Liberty.

There was also this stole, which looked like a piece of shearling with a fabric backing. I didn’t see how much this piece was going for, but it’s part of the wider trend for all things shearling, soft and silky. Apparently the trend for these big fluffy wraps and collars comes from Game of Thrones’ popularity. I could see making something like this with tailspun yarn.

Shearling stole.

Shearling stole.