Category: Hints and tips

Long draw spinning – is this a world’s first?

Long draw spinning – is this a world’s first? Not the world’s first long draw spinner of course  – there are probably fewer living today than there were in the medieval times. Question: is this the world’s first ‘Long draw spinner, Spinning on a Wheel made by her Grandfather’? It is certainly the first time […]

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Wheel Bracelets a unique new way to secure spinning wheels

Wheel bracelets a unique new way to secure spinning wheels for transport or when not in use are now available in my shop. These high quality handmade bracelets from Celtic Leathers (Wales) prevent the flyer falling off or thread getting into a tangle on Ashford Traditional and other wheels which are supported from a stock. […]

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first wednesday workshop

Yarn to Dye for

Yarn to dye for is worth the trouble –  even if it is a two-stage process –  when the colours feel as classy and sophisticated as these feel to me. I did a lot of dyeing this winter and will be demonstrating how to do this  at the First Wednesday workshop at Knuston Hall next […]

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Socks with meaning

Socks with meaning make delightful gifts and now is the time to start on knitting unique Christmas gifts. These socks are called Meadow and knitted with my own art yarn. All yarn has basic elements which can be used in the design process; these are fibre, spinning method, colour and yarn structure. The fibre choice […]

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Summer School

Summer school, last day exhibition of work –  great fun – great week, inspiration, fellowship and something to look forward to next year

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Spinning Shearling

Spinning shearling is a sure way to get pilling – those small bobbles that rub up on bought knitted garments nowadays. Shearling wool contains the short fibres from the lamb wool grown in its first year. Lambs are not usually shorn in their first year. When the short (lamb) and long (shearling, 2nd year growth) fibres […]

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ashford traditional

Ashford traditional – great to learn on

The Ashford traditional is great to learn on. I always say No-one wrote the rule book on Spinning and I don’t like being dogmatic, but generally I start new spinners off on Ashford Traditionals. Recently had lady who wanted a double treadle ‘Because my brain’s wired up for two feet’! You have to laugh – and accommodate! Apart […]

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Art yarn spin for joy

Art yarn spin for joy: this picture says it all. This lady started with my Beginner pack only last year and produced this glorious art yarn from left overs – it is absolutely yum- scrummy.  Yarn art draws on texture, yarn structure, colour and fibre – You don’t have to be a gifted, talented artist to produce […]

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Bobbly pullovers

www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/life/fashion/article4364206.ece Bobbly pullovers occur with poor quality yarn when short fibres work their way to the surface during wear due to to friction. Anna Murphy’s recent article didn’t mention this so I emailed her and she sent this reply On 27 Feb 2015, at 09:14, Anna Murphy <anna.murphy@thetimes.co.uk> wrote: Dear Pam Austin,Thank you for your […]

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Art Yarn: what is it?

Art Yarn: What is it? is a question I’m often asked, followed by ‘What do you do with it? Over the next few months I hope to answer these questions in a practical way at my Tuesday Workshops. We know art yarn when we see it, but to define art yarn we need an understanding of what we […]

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Colour wheel with Ashford dye.

A Colour wheel with Ashford dye is a really useful piece of kit to have; if you don’t manage colour it manages you so last Tuesday’s acid dyeing workshop was all about controlled acid dyeing and we each made lovely wheels of colour to keep and use whenever we want to create a particular colour.   […]

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Fabulous sock yarn at Woolly Day

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Idea for weaving

one of my students wants to use this lichen on bark that is growing on her terrance as the inspiration for her weaving next week….the course is fully booked but will be repeated at Knuston Hall later in the year

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Wool cycle

The wool cycle on my new washing machine does a wonderful job….thanks for the tip-off Kate.

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greta Garbo scarf

Greta Garbo scarf by Julie

Some are daunted by lace knitting believing it too complicated to even try. Such a shame because lace, like all knitting is just a series of knit stitches and purl stitches. The most difficult thing is finding a quiet time when you are able to concentrate undisturbed by children, partners chores etc. It does require […]

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Indigo day was such fun yesterday

Ian Howard kept everyone entertained as they watched Jane’s handspun go into the dye bath…. it came out green and changed to blue before our eyes – amazing…we hope to have a workshop next time….

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Batts for art yarn…

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How to make Lemon curd – first get the hens laying well….

M grandchildren always loved making lemon curd  – its so easy. I make it at this time of year when the hens are laying well. Put 4oz butter, 8 oz sugar in a bowl over a pan of simmering water,. When the butter and sugar have melted add in the juice and grated skin of 3 […]

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The colour wheel….

.. picked out the relationship of colours in this boucle Vicki made at the workshop on Tuesday – it was just yummy  

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From a past pupil

Hi Pam Remember the bag of fleece you have me? Attached is a photo of my latest creation: a tissue box cover, using hand-spun (in the grease) Black Shetland fleece and hand knitted! Each panel uses a different stitch. I am now producing fibre suitable for hand knitting, which was my ultimate aim. Thank you […]

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