Category Archives: textiles

Spring is in the air, getting back into work!

We had some lovely weather for a while then it changed, however everything in the garden is starting to grow and the spring flowers are blooming so it’s time to get back to work. I feel in the mood for making, what a difference a bit of sunshine makes. I even finished my second lockdown waffle blanket, you can find the pattern here. I made the first one a year ago when the first lockdown started.

I managed to take my work into the garden, I sat in the sunshine and put some colour on the snowdrop ceramics.

Now they have been fired for a second time, see how the colour changes. I love rustic ceramics.

As well as hanging hearts with snowdrops there are ring or trinket dishes.

These are glazed on the back.

And decorative ceramic tiles to hang on the wall.

They are now ready to add to my shop, I hope I’ve made enough this year to last until next spring. That’s one of the issues with working with the seasons.

The pulmonaria and brunnera are flowering now.

These are drying, then the firing and decorating process will start all over again. 🙂

My Sock Knitting Progress

There a a few things that stand out for helping me deal with the past year, one of those things has now become a bit of a passion. I’m now a sock knitting addict.

I’ve knitted one pair of socks in the past, on 4 needles but I wanted to try one of the small circular sock needles. It seemed strange at first but well worth persevering with. I love it, you can pick up and put down whenever you want, it’s on of those things you could easily do if you were out somewhere.

I have a beginners tip, If you use self patterning yarn, wind off half the ball( I weigh it ) then lay both ends out and find the same point in both yarns and cut it. Now make your cast on loop both at the same point. Now when you knit the second sock they should match up. I discovered if you knit matching socks it’s easy to know where you are up to on the second sock without counting rows. I check the rows when I think I’m there.

The pattern came from Winwick Mum Blog the site has full clear instructions and videos on all aspects of sock knitting.

This is the first pair that I knit in December, I was pleased with the fit.

Then I knit a pair as a gift. I love the the way the heel is knit, it grips and it’s cushioned too.

I knit myself another pair, this time matching the colours.

Now I’m knitting OH a pair, I really can’t put these down as I love the way the random pattern is working out. I had to measure his foot and follow the instructions to size the sock up. I did decrease the toe on every row on the last few rows as I thought the sock would be too long, it fits perfectly.

Updated to say they are now finished and he loves them.

More sock yarn has arrived but there’s no rush to knit it up yet, I’ve a crochet blanket to finish..

So what to do with all the oddments of wool?

I have just discovered scrappy socks 🙂

Last Minute Gifts From Kiln Fired Art

Looking for a last minute gift ? Here are some gift ideas that I have in my shop.

I can post directly to the recipient and if you want I can include a message for you too.

I can’t guarantee delivery in time for Christmas as this is out of my control but I will do all I can on my part.

Ten pounds and under.

Handmade gifts £10 and under

Ten to twenty pounds.

Over twenty pounds.

I may decide to close my shop on Tuesday but you can always message me if there’s something you would like.

More Tie Dye with instructions.

More tie dye done this week, I needed some gym tops. My last tie dye post was so popular I thought I would give some more details on the process, there’s loads of how to’s on Youtube so I won’t go into too much detail. If you have any questions just ask.

I bought some 100% cotton T shirts from Amazon, I got Fruit Of The Loom XL this time as I want them baggy.

Firstly they were washed then soaked for an hour or so in soda ash solution. Maybe 3 or 4 tablespoons to 3 L of warm water. I rarely measure anything accurately.

They were rung out as much as possible then laid flat. Now to spiral them by pinching a spot and twisting.


Tie dye T shirts

   I kept pleating the fabric where needed and continued twisting.

Tie dye T shirtsNext they were tied up with some yarn.

The dyes are Procion M X , they are really vibrant saturated dyes and work well. I mixed 1 to 2 teaspoons of dye with 1 teaspoon of urea ( you don’t really need the urea but it helps the dye go into solution) then mixed with warm water to dissolve. I probably made about 1/2 to 3/4 of a yoghurt pot of each dye. Tie dye T shirtsYou get different effects depending how you place the dyes. I used a pipette to add the dye to the fabric, working in wedges I did all one side, then turned over and did the other side. I kept the same colour in each wedge on both sides. This one has red, orange and navy blue.Tie dye T shirts

The blue and turquoise ones used leftover dye from last week. One has 2 spirals on it. They were covered in plastic and left overnight . Tie dye T shirts

I undid the bundles and rinsed out as much dye as possible before putting through the washing machine.

Here they are after ironing. Tie dye T shirts
Tie dye T shirts

I don’t usually wear red but I think that one is my favourite. Tie dye T shirts

 

The return of my mojo and channelling my inner hippie.

I’ve not blogged in a while as my mojo left me, I really didn’t have anything  worthy of blogging about. A couple of ‘creative play’ days with my friend has got my creative juices flowing again and now I feel ready to get into making mode. I’ve also had a mega destash in the studio to make some space to work. Clearing the clutter always helps don’t you think?

We decided on easy projects that were fun to do. We got in tune with nature doing some eco printing with all natural dyes, the photo’s didn’t come out very well but you have seen my eco printing before.

It’s been years since I’ve done tie dye, these were dyed using Procion dyes, I really love the first T shirt.

Hippy days

Hippy days

Hippy days

Hippy days

Hippy days

The next day Jean showed me how to do an acrylic pour, I found it difficult to get large cells so more research and playing are needed. I love the effect on this one that Jean did, it reminds me of marbled paper.

Hippy daysThis one is mine, it’s the last one that I did, I was using up the leftover colours, it had more cells than my other attempts. If you would like to see some more of my acrylic pours head over to my Facebook page.

Hippy daysThese 2 days have been a tonic to me, there’s nothing to beat getting creative with friends to rekindle a flagging mojo. Happy days!

My punch needle cushions are finished.

Not sure what week we are on now with the lockdown, I’ve settled into the groove and I’m enjoying the tranquility of this new slow lifestyle although every morning I wake up thinking it’s Sunday and I do miss family and friends.

I thought I had already posted my punch needle adventure but it seems I forgot so I’m sharing the process from start to finish. My Oxford punch needle has been sitting around unused for ages, once I finished the waffle blanket I needed a  new simple project with a repetitive process as it’s kind of meditative.
Punch needle cushionsI wasn’t sure where to start in terms of design, I didn’t want anything too fussy just blocks of colour. I turned to my ‘Lansdcape’ sketchbooks and found some drawings I liked, then I did a few quick sketches before drawing the design onto hessian with a sharpie. I’m using rug wool from my stash as well as some Aran wool. I chose the colours to match the decor in my home, nice calming colours that I like living with.
Punch needle cushions

Punch needle cushions

Punch needle cushions

I have a frame which pulls the hessian taught making punching quite easy so long as there isn’t any tension on the yarn and you don’t pull the needle too far out of the hessian. My hessian square was bigger than the frame so I had to work around the edges out of the frame. This turned out much easier than I expected.

I soon got into a rhythm and found this process so relaxing indeed, I almost fell asleep a couple of times.

There’s a little video of the punching process on my Instagram.

Needle punching

Needle punching

This is the second cushion, I had to order more wool, also some linen for the backing. I had some manmade fabric that I could have used but seeing the cushions are wool and will be very hard wearing as they are rugs really and will probably last for years I thought natural linen was more suitable.

Needle punching

And here they are, I’m so pleased with them I’m going to make another pair of punch needle cushions for the sofa in the lounge, they will be similar in design but different colours, also I have some ideas for wall hangings and maybe a footstool.

I think I am hooked 🙂

Punch needle cushions

Punch needle cushionsHave you learned anything new during lockdown ? I’d love to hear what you have been doing.

Stay well folks.