Friday, 22 May 2015

A busy spring here in the Dales, not too warm as yet but we live in hope!!
Moving into the summer months now where I will still be busy at work and in my work from home!
I will be joining up again with the lovely Swaledale museum and gallery in Reeth for the summer, designing, weaving, stitching, spinning and knitting....are there enough hours in the day?
Call in maybe!  :0)

Still out and about walking with my lovely companion catching the local sights and sounds....

To follow here, a few photos of work on the go but I will be posting much more on Facebook...follow me there to see what is happening here in the North of England!

Thanks for looking in, 
don't forget follow me on Facebook!  ;0)

Sunday, 1 March 2015


Hello again....I feel like I've been tucked away this winter, keeping warm,
 re-thinking things and being busy, busy, busy!!

Just like it feels as if Spring is upon us and life is moving out again,
                                       guess that moving out feeling is in me too!                                                    I thought I might make this a 'picture post' to show you what I have been up to          during the 'grey' months..... spinning some, weaving lots with my new loom
and just generally mulling over new creative possibilities!

So here goes, hope you like.

'Apple Blossom' warp No.2......

 .....current weave project based on lichen growth...

 ......a little foray into cross-stitch for a change and discovering
the 'biscornu'....

......more weave sampling....

 .....working out a hand spun yarn and its knitting possibilities!

A little off-shoot into some hand dying of the local wensleydale wool....

....hand spinning on a theme... 'Sea Holly' in this example... the naturals, some of our gorgeous British Breeds, 

....and a soft blending of colours to suggest the cool winter evening skies!

  I'm busy putting bits on my facebook page too 
so click on the link at the top and say Hi !  ;0)


Thursday, 6 November 2014

Morning skies

Up and busy in the early hours this morning and I was rewarded 
with this view over the village rooftops.....

......just wow!
Not much else to say about it is there?  :0)

Ash  x

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Landscape knitting - phase 1.

Hi again...finished my knitted swatch for trialling my landscape yarn.
I'm quite pleased with it though I might have to re-think the stitches I use -
to hold on to the shift that happens because I have spun a singles.

I chose to use a singles so that the colours work and stay bright, 
maybe I will adjust the amount of twist too - but being careful 
to see that the yarn keeps its integrity of course!!

I do like how the colours and the little slant in the knit
 create a shifting motion across the swatch and
how it would still create a 'landscape' effect even if you
extended the number of stitches cast on.

So there it is...Grinton Heather Moor .....knitted!

I have also managed to finish my new phone wallet...better late than never,
I was in the middle of my 'clouds and sky' weaving when I started so
the cross-stitch is a free-style interpretation of a cloud formation.

Maybe I'll stop turning my phone on accidentally while its in my bag now!
I can hope!  :0)


Sunday, 31 August 2014

following the walk in the heather....

Can't get the colours of the heather moor out of my mind so I've
decided to follow through and work some of
the colours into a yarn!

This is my drum carder full with my 'heather landscape' blend.

Once I've taken the fluff off the carder I am quite
hopeful that I might get the spun landscape yarn
I am after.

Here is the fine singles yarn taken off my wheel and wound onto my skein winder 
ready for its quick dunk in some warm water.... far, so good.
Setting to to knit up the yarn now, will let you know how it goes!


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Heather moors in bloom

I went up onto the hillsides yesterday with my ever faithful companion!
Thought you would like to see these images...
it was just simply gorgeous.

The hills are covered with heather in bloom this time of the year here,
grown for the grouse of course, but a beautiful spectacle 
and the scent was, well, sublime!
Warm, rich and honey scented, no wonder the honey itself from
these flowers is just so good! just seems to go on for ever!

Just over the top is Swaledale itself....

.....and here she is, enjoying her bit of the world.

As you can imagine the bees are loving this and the sound of their collective 
droning is so loud you actually think it could be a 
motor bike on its way!

Just the best!  ;0)  x

Thursday, 14 August 2014

A new episode?

Hi again,  well I've made it!
After two years, today I hand in my last pieces of work at college, Bradford.
That means I have finished my course....yay!

Problem now, what to actually do that creates a decent income -
guess we all know that one.  Hmmmm!

Well as a starting point I'm getting back on track with my fibre work.
I've had 6 months away from the hand spinning, I know unbelievable eh?,
and thought I would give a glimpse of what has begun this week.

This is my first hank of yarn, hot off the press so to speak, at my new place 
here in  Swaledale.  Still using the Wensleydale from next door - have you
ever tried to wear Swaledale wool.....eeek!  :0)

This, and a following group of yarns, I am calling
'Silk Meadows'.
I have made my own blend of w'dale and silk here, hand dyed too,
and it echoes the glorious colours you can find in the old flower meadows
and hedgerows here in the Dale. it is again with a couple of my Wensleydale
hanks from the previous place,
'Early Autumn' and 'Stripes'.

.....something else I'm working on is this blend called
'Silk Drift'
It will be spun as a singles again, somewhere between a manufacturers
4-ply and a heavy laceweight.

This is another batch of 'Silk Meadows', just off the drum carder,
And waiting in the spinning queue.

All these will be available with Jenny of the lovely
'Knitting Basket' fame over in Hawes!

Off to get ready for the trip to Bradford now to get this course completed.
Loved doing it, great experience and lots learned but I'm ready
to put into practice now!!!!

Best wishes to you all out there, Ash.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

A new place !

I'm starting to find my feet in this new part of the world, might be just over the hill to the Dale next door but it is soooo a good way!
Starting to like the new place but the moving of the 'stuff' got to be a bit traumatic!
Thumbs up for Swaledale :0)

My new garden friends...lots and lots and lots of house sparrows

 Some gorgeous flowers in the garden...

 The local Post Office and village store dressed up in its finery for the 'Tour de France'...
yes there is still a local PO!

The village green, which you can't see on a week-end for all the cars parked on it!

.....and just one of the local 'watering holes'.

Its got to be worth all the effort.  :0)

Monday, 9 June 2014

Bradford art college - summer show

Hi everyone!
Once again I went quiet for a while....but simply because I became so engrossed in completing my final project for my HNC course time just seemed to fly by!

I'm just back from a week-end at the college setting up for the summer show there,
thought you might like to view my creations.
It became a very personal project, based on the colours of white and sky blue...
the photos I used as a base image were of clouds in a bright spring-time blue sky.

White is a very spiritual colour and the whole project became closely entwined
with thoughts of my older brother who passed away in February and who, outside of his work as a civil engineer, was also a glider pilot and knew well these skies I could only view from the ground! starting point, such gorgeous contrasts.

....a new purchase, this chair is destined to become my spinning chair.
I re-covered the seat base, created a small back cushion from the same warp and using just my heddle loom made a wrap for my shoulders of merino, silk and lightweight mohair.
Hardly any weight to it but oh so warm!

....this is a little close up of the blue banding on the chair pad that I especially liked. of my scatter cushions.

 ....another cushion grouped with my 'Sky' tartan and a little weave insert on the
sewing box in silk on a block draft.

A few swatches that didn't make it to final items....
though I could well be revisiting them!
This one used an elastic yarn to create the ruffles....

....I enjoyed adding the highlight yarns to this one,

....and definitely a technique to re-visit,
hand-painting the warp on the loom! here is the final layout,
quite coastal and New England looking, very calming my colleagues thought 
and cool and fresh.

This last image is of a phrase that came to me whilst working,
I guess the only barrier to our imaginations is ourselves.
On to London new Designers in a fortnights time with just some of these items,
wish me luck!
Ash.  x