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Getting excited about Edinburgh Yarn Festival
March 15, 2016

Getting excited about Edinburgh Yarn Festival

For those of you that have read my last blog post you my remember that I said that I was heading off to Scotlands Trade Fair at the end of January.

After a lot of hard work and stress I got there and it went fantastically well. 

Weft Blown Stand at Scotlands Trade Fair

I am now making new stock for stockists across Scotland and one in England, and there are one or two rather exciting things in the pipeline too. 

So, it's been very crazy busy at Weft Blown HQ as I've been busy getting these orders organised and also getting my new designs set-up too which include these new cushions, scarves and cowl.

Arran CushionArran CushionShowers ScarfSunset ScarfDrifting Cumulus Cowl

They will be in stock from April in my shop and online so do watch out for them.

As well as getting all the things woven over the past couple of months I've also been sorting out a new venture for Weft Blown as I am now a supplier of Louët spinning wheels and looms.

My first spinning wheel was a second hand Louët S10 and it was great to learn on as it was so easy to use. Over the past few years I've also had a Louët Junior Drum Carder and Bobbin winder and then at the end of last year I got my brand new Louët Delta floor loom.

Having used them over time I've been very impressed with the build quality of Louët but also of how they have been designed to make it easier for the user to spin or weave on. It's for this reason that I decided to become a dealer.

To help with adding another string to my business bow, my husband Rob is now helping out with the Louët side of things. He has already done a little bit of weaving and has now learned to spin too, even if his perfectionist ways makes him get frustrated with it at times. It's great to have him help out now as I feel the pressure has lifted off a bit of having to run everything myself and means I can now talk to him about looms and wheels and he's starting to understand it all. 

So, this means that what I'm bringing with me to my stand at Edinburgh Yarn Festival is a bit changed from last year. I will still be bringing a selection of my handwoven products to show, including my clouds and badges. I'll also be more than happy to talk to anyone about the weaving and spinning classes that I run.

Rob is coming to help out this year too as we're bringing our new range of Louët wheels and looms. We've not got the full range of wheels and table looms as we're still waiting on parts of our order to come.

We will have:
a Louët Klik table loom warped up that you can have a play on
the Louët S10 Concept Spinning Wheel which is fab to spin on and we're bringing the double treadle 3 spoke and 5 spoke wheels with Irish and Scotch Tension
a Louët S17 Spinning Wheel
the Louët Victoria S95 beech and S96 oak model which are very cute and dinky
Louët Classic and Louët Junior Standard Drumcarders with their cute spinning animals on the drums

You'll be able to have a shot on any of these wheels and if you order any Louët product at the show but we don't have it in stock we will ship it to you with free delivery afterwards (this applies to all products apart from floor looms due to the nature of their delivery).

Rob and I want to make sure that anyone who wants to have a go on these wheels and loom get a chance so we will have them out on the stall and just ask us if you want to have a try on them. We'll have fibre and yarn ready to go too. Also, if you want to talk to us about any of the other Louët products including floor looms then just ask.

The other reason I'm really excited about EYF is getting the chance to meet everyone and squish lots of yarn. I've already bought yarn in the past from quite a few of the vendors for weaving, including Old Maiden Aunt yarns, Midwinter Yarns, Jamiesons of Shetland, Blacker Yarns, New Lanark, Wollmeise, Whistlebare Yarns and the new Buchaille Yarn by Kate Davies. I'm really looking forward to seeing them all again.

This year I will be making a bee-line for Ripples Craft not just to see the lovely Helen and my weaving friend Dorothy but to eye up some yarn for future projects.

I can't wait to see The Border Tarts lovely indigo dyed yarns which I'd love to see how they weave up.

Easyknits is another one of my favourites and I use their yarn for knitting but I think their gradient packs of yarn will be great for weaving with too.

John Arbons Paint by Numbers range is also another I want to have a closer look at this year as I didn't get the chance to properly last year. 

Buffalo Wool Co will be another stop as how can anyone resist the chance to see what buffalo yarn is like, especially if they've got their mini skeins.

Finally, I can't wait to see my old EYF friend Once A Sheep as she'll have with her the new Ashford Sample-It rigid heddle loom and the new Vari-Dent rigid heddle reeds which do look a lot of fun.

I will also be checking out all the other stalls and it doesn't mean that any of the ones that I haven't mentioned aren't of interest as they create great yarns that are great for weaving with.

If you're at EYF and want any help on what yarns to weave with then do stop by my stand and I'm always happy to have a chat about yarns and weaving.

Our stand is F4 and we're next to the Tour of British Fleece which looks like a great project all about spinning and working with British Fleece.

So do come along and say hi and I promise to be back to blog afterwards how it all went.

 

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Scrunchy Clouds
January 14, 2016

Scrunchy Clouds

Hello again and many apologies for the long gap between blog posts. 

Things have been rather busy at Weft Blown HQ with getting ready for Christmas fairs, being ill, and getting inspired by weather.

As you may have noticed the website has changed again. I've switched over to a whole new web hosting thing called Shopify, which I have to say has made having an online shop far easier as it instantly matches into what's in the studio. The only downside is that moving my blog to the new system hasn't been easy and the older posts do need to have images added back in which I'll do over the next month or so. Also, to those that had subscribed I do hope you can subscribe again. Nothing to do with websites and blog transfers seems easy but I hope that you all like the new look.

The past few months have been great and I've been up to Glasgow for a couple of fairs which were great and it was lovely to meet so many new people that hadn't seen my work before.

The other big change at Weft Blown has been the addition of my first brand new to me floor loom, my Louet Delta called who is now called Storm.

I have to say that I have been nothing apart from impressed by the service from Louet. My Delta came in several boxes, including one of the biggest boxes ever.

Loom in a box

The only downside was it's arrival coincided with me getting shingles. I don't recommend anyone getting shingles as it's rotten and I was floored for a week. The biggest downside to it was that I got it in my left upper arm and shoulder. As a weaver and knitter this really wasn't good as it meant that I lost a lot of power in my left arm which has taken a while to get back.

A week after falling ill though I did get back into the studio and managed to build my loom with my dodgy shoulder and eventually she looked like this.

Storm - My Louet Delta Loom

The build quality is fantastic, even with having to put all the parts together myself. For a loom that is still fully manual there are a few very cunning modern twists to the old design of a countermarch loom that really change how it weaves. It's such an improvement on my old loom that she is already cutting down on my set-up and weaving time to make her a very valuable addition to my studio.

My Delta loom is a 12 shaft 14 treadle loom. For those of you that are not weavers this means I have more uppy downy bits on my loom to make cooler patterns than before. For the weavers, having the extra 4 shafts from my last loom makes a big difference as it means I can do more block patterns and also just weave more complex designs than before in an easier way. The tie-up is also far easier and means I can change patterns while a warp is on the loom, again something I couldn't have done before.

You can see what I've woven in my shop as the yellowrainbow sleeveless cardigans and the cloth for my handwoven pouches were woven on the first warp of my new loom.

Having Storm my new loom has also reignited by weaving juices and I have got my weaving design mojo back. I am now able to explore more weaving techniques that I dipped into at college and the one thing that I've really been wanting to explore for a long time is Collapse Weave.

As I am always looking up at the sky and the changes in the cloud and light, I've been wanting to explore more how to create more texture of the sky into my handwoven cloth.

I've delved back into my archive of photos from the past year and have dug out these as my new inspiration sources for scarves.

Showers BuildingSunsetSunsetStratocumulusFront moving in

The subtle texture in the clouds in these images fascinates me and I want to translate that flow between the cloud and the sky into a scarf.

I've experimented with the basic structure using Shetland yarn with over twisted yarn. The second sample worked and here's the results.

Collapse weave samples

I have dabbled in collapse weave at college and this time I've managed to create the crinkly structure in a more controlled way.

So, I am currently threading up Storm in some lovely Old Maiden Aunt yarn mixed with some Jamiesons of Shetland yarn to create a textured scarf imitating the sunsets above. Fingers crossed it'll work.

Winding the warpWarping up Storm

The new scarves and new cushion designs will be launched at Scotlands Trade Fair which is on from 24-26 January 2016. This is the first time I'm doing a trade fair and it's a tad daunting but hopefully it might lead to my work being sold in more places across the country. If you are going then do pop by my stand on LG8 to say hi.

I'll be back soon to let you know how it's gone and how the new scarves and cushions look.

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Sunsets and Showers – Scarves and Cowls
July 27, 2015

Sunsets and Showers – Scarves and Cowls

Sunsets ScarfThere’s been a lot of weaving going on and thankfully a lot of restful holiday fun too. The good news is that the Sunsets and Showers Collection is now ready and available to drift off to new homes. As you may remember the inspiration of the collection came from my winter walks along the beach and […]

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Sunsets and Showers – Yarn
June 16, 2015

Sunsets and Showers – Yarn

After gathering all my photographic inspiration of the wintry sunsets and showers of West Kilbride, my next task was to find yarn. This is the fun bit in weaving as it means scouring through shade cards and websites, and then squishing lots of yarns. The choice of yarns is really important to me as I […]

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Sunsets and Showers – Inspiration
May 26, 2015

Sunsets and Showers – Inspiration

Even though the warmer Summer weather is trying to reach West Kilbride, my head is firmly stuck in the cold and wet wintry showers and the stunning sunsets from earlier this year as I am designing and weaving my new collection. As you might have gathered if you follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter I […]

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