Sunday, 21 December 2014


Today marks the Winter Solstice and the shortest day of the year!
I'd like to share my Winter Tree with you - not a felt robin in sight -
just some wonderful decorations made by friends... 

 ... with the three wise mice sitting underneath!

It has been another very busy year 
and I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you all for taking such 
an interest in all the felt making going on in the Isle of Wight...   

THANKS for coming along to all the shows we've held throughout the year, 
especially the Christmas Fairs which have been really special!  

THANKS for taking part in the workshops! 
Demand seems to grow from year to year and there are plans for more
 two-day weekend workshops at Shalfleet Village Hall in the spring,
 as well as single days at Quarr Abbey. 
Dates will be posted here in the New Year as soon as they are finalised.

THANKS to all my blog followers, where ever you are! 

I hope you all have a well-deserved peaceful Christmas holiday 
and I hope your 2015 will be happy, busy and very creative. 

Thursday, 2 October 2014


 Just updated my ETSY shop with some new scarf designs...

I've called this one Red Parrot - felted from 100% pure Merino in 
brilliant reds, lime greens and turquoise blues. 
It really is unique, with small slashed holes along the length 
and feather shaped fringes at both ends... 

All these lattice scarves are felted with wonderful
 rich blends of hand-dyed wools.

They have lovely soft fringes which give a real organic feel ...

and they can be twisted & tied in many different ways
making them so easy to wear!

These nuno scarves have been felted using 
hand-dyed 100% pure Merino in subtle autumn shades!

You can find more details about all the scarves at

AND they are all available at very special introductory prices! 

Sunday, 21 September 2014


On Saturday I held my first Scarf Workshop at Quarr Abbey in the Old Bookshop.
What a great day! I was so excited to be invited here - it's such a 
perfect location for a workshop...   

I had a lovely group too, some new and some familiar
 faces, full of enthusiasm for the day ahead.

Joanne (a brilliant fibre artist from Shunklies Fibre Studio in Sheffield) 
hand-dyed these hanks of merino specially for this workshop...

Working with such fantastic fibres makes the 
whole felting process a real pleasure. 

The Old Bookshop at Quarr makes a great workshop space.
Good light and plenty of room...

Lots of smiling faces at the end of a very enjoyable day...

and lots of wonderful scarves to take home!

And I even had time to enjoy the sunshine in the Abbey gardens.

I hope I am invited back for some more workshops.
 In the meantime there are still places available on the 
Scarf Workshop at The Seaview Hotel, I o W
on Saturday 11th October.

This workshop is being organised by the hotel
for more details please contact them direct...

Sunday, 13 July 2014


...start this week on the island! 
I’ll be exhibiting at Shalfleet Village Hall during week one
 then at Quarr Abbey for week two and there’s more details here… 

Lots of new work on show so here’s a quick preview! 

 Recently I’ve been working more texture into my felt with threads, 
stitching & beading and trying out new vessel shapes…


and for the first time I'll have some felt pieces in frames.

 It will be interesting to get reactions to these!

 Scarves and wraps in all colours & styles. 

The large wraps in muted colours are perfect for any summer occasion, 
simply fastened with a matching felt flower. 
Light-weight, elegant, easy to wear
 and extremely practical to take away on holiday….

and in complete contrast these bright funky scarves

all have a real organic feel! 

I'll be bringing lots of familiar favourites along… 
New nuno scarves, embroidered bags & brooches,
 lavender birds & mice, felted pebble weights, notebooks with felt covers,
 hats, fairy slippers and much much more!

Shalfleet & Quarr Abbey are two very special places on the island and
I'm so looking forward to returning there for Open Studios.

It's going to be an exciting & enjoyable couple of weeks...!

PS. You can download a copy of the OS Yearbook here
It's full of information about all the events & artists taking part

(and click on any of the photos to enlarge...)

Saturday, 14 June 2014

WOOL to DYE for...

What a perfect way to spend a sunny June afternoon -  ‘dyeing’ with friends...!!!
 Came home with stained hands & clothes, smelling of bonfires 
BUT with some wonderful coloured fleece ready for felting…

 All the natural plant materials were boiled up first in old pots to create 
the dyes using traditional methods and recipes. 
Some plants came from the garden - red dahlia heads, parsley, onion skins -
as well as some more exotic plants such as madder, cutch, purple heart & logwood. 

The wool was soaked first in water & urine (YES a traditional ingredient!) 
then added to the dye and stirred gently… 

Slowly the colours begin to develop…

And as the day passed the dyed wools were hung up to dry.

I’ve always been fascinated by the alchemy of natural dyeing, 
especially when mordants are added to the mix. 
These are powdered metals such as tin & copper that help fix the colour 
but also dramatically effect the results! 

 Natural dyes are always unpredictable & surprising 
and when worked together their soft muted colours always blend beautifully.

Some of my dye samples go back to the 1980’s 

when I kept note books, photographs and records of all my experiments 
and even grew some dye plants in my garden. 
I've lost count of the number of jumpers I've knitted using as many dyed wools 
as possible as the colours are so complimentary 

I’ve always dyed unbleached spun wool, bought on cones from 
Jamiesons in the Shetlands, so all my dyed wools are the same and
 can be knitted up together.

This was the first time I’d dyed Merino tops and I’m pleased with the results. 
I did sew the lengths of tops into net bags just to prevent too much agitation. 
I didn’t want the wool to start felting in the dye pots with all the stirring!

Now I’ve got some wonderfully muted colours that are 
quite unique and ready for felting.

It was one of those idyllic summer days!   

Lots of tea and cake, cheese scones & elderflower cordial...

Lovely company and really good fun!

PS. Don't forget you can click on all the photos to enlarge them...

Saturday, 22 March 2014


One of the main events in the UK alpaca calendar took place last weekend. The British Alpaca Society's National Show was held at the International Centre in Telford, Shropshire. Spring Farm Alpacas and  West Wight Alpacas were both showing their prize winning alpacas and alongside the competitions in the show ring was one for an alpaca hat. 

The hat could be knitted, crocheted or felted as long as it was made from UK alpaca fibre, so I decided to enter a felted alpaca style 'sorting hat' ...

I used a beautifully soft beige baby alpaca fleece (sourced from the island) 
that I'd been saving for a special project, with a dark brim and 
different coloured highlights.

Both Spring Farm Alpacas & West Wight Alpacas did brilliantly well in the 
show ring with many of their alpacas 
winning in their various classes and there's more photos here 

They came away with new champions and many rosettes…

including this one for my hat!

It came 2nd out of 30+ entries and needless to say 
I was really thrilled...!  

Saturday, 1 March 2014

EMBELLISH Autumn Bag...

Last Autumn the lovely people at Artwear Publications in Australia asked if I would design another project for them. This time a felt bag for EMBELLISH magazine with the emphasis very much on the finished decoration.

It was September and here in the UK the leaves had just started to turn, so I 
decided on an autumnal theme, with a falling leaf design in my favourite colours 
ochres, rusty browns and olive greens, with a touch of turquoise.
The magazine was due to be published in March when it would be 
autumn in Australia, so it all seemed to fit…

The bag is made from a piece of flat felt and this can be either 
wet felted or felted using an embellishing machine.

It is a very simple project!

It looks complicated, but the detail is all in the embellishing
 and you can have great fun trying out 
different coloured threads, stitch styles 
and adding beads & buttons.

Find out how to make the bag in the March issue of EMBELLISH

There's all the step-by-step instructions and lots of photos too
and they have even featured a close-up of the 
bag on the front cover...

Wednesday, 12 February 2014


At one of the Christmas shows last year I met Nikki Brown an artist who creates the most amazing miniature fairy shoes from polymer clay, each exquisitely made with such precision and tiny detail... And of course we fell into conversation about fairy wear, specifically shoes & slippers and the possibilities of making some from felt.  I had made some fairy slippers a while ago which I called my goblin boots (these now belong to Nikki) - I knew these ideas could be developed further.

So I let my imagination run wild and made these...

A pair of fairy slippers (or pixie boots) felted together in one piece from 
fine layers of Merino. Once cut from the resist and separated into two
 the slippers were individually shaped by hand. 

A pointy fringe was cut around each opening and the off-cuts made 
perfect little felt leaves to decorate the sides. 
I wanted to create an fairly free, organic effect with hand stitching 
using thick threads and simple bold stitches. 
The finishing touch was the soft green suede for the leaf shaped soles... 

While I was making these slippers the words of a poem by Keats I'd 
learnt at school kept going through my mind

"Ever let winged Fancy roam, Pleasure never is at home...
Open wide the mind's cage-door
She'll dart forth and cloudward soar..." 

He was writing about letting the imagination run free because in truth
the reality of life is so temporary! 

Beauty will fade away, pleasure is short-lived, 
it's only our dreams and imagination that are ever-lasting.

What better way to enjoy daydreaming and the occasional flights of fancy 
than by musing on a pair of felted fairy slippers!!!!

As we all know fairy feet rarely touch the ground!

These slippers are designed to be purely decorative and definitely 
not recommended for tip-toeing over mossy stepping stones 
and skipping along damp forest foot paths !

A complete fantasy...  

And another pair are waiting for decoration! 

Tuesday, 21 January 2014


Last weekend found me on the mainland, deep in the Sussex countryside at Spring Farm Alpacas, home of Vicki & Chris Agar and their herd of prize-winning alpacas. 

I had been invited there to hold a workshop specifically to show a group of alpaca owners how to felt alpaca fibre. The 110 acre farm is in a wonderful location, close to the Ashdown Forest in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Vicki has over 80 alpacas at the moment including many show champions.


When I arrived on Saturday afternoon the 'girls' were being bought back 
to the farm to spend the night in the barn...
 ...see the wide range of fleece colours - click on the photos for more detail.
Everyone of these amazing animals are treated as individuals, with their own 
identity and character. They even respond to their own names! 
They are handled with such care and kindness by 
Vicki and her dedicated team. 
They are incredibly friendly, inquisitive and very difficult to photograph!

On Sunday morning I met with a lovely group of ten enthusiastic ladies. 
Many were new to wet felting so making lattice scarves was a perfect 
introduction, taking the beginners through the basic felting techniques and 
getting them used to handling the fibres. 
It is also a relatively quick process - laying and wetting out, then rolling, 
throwing and shocking the felted fibres in the final stages. 
Physically quite hard work, but easily achievable in just a few hours! 

Here is everyone at the end of the afternoon with their felted scarves - 
just in need of a final rinse to remove all the soap before drying.

And here are a couple I made earlier so you can see the effect when dry.

Made from alpaca fibre in natural shades of grey with a black/silk blend
and pale fawn with browns.

These lattice scarves are light-weight yet warm, with a very distinctive 
organic look and feel. Their characteristic twisty locks & fringes are 
quite reminiscent of their original owners!
It was a really great weekend at Spring Farm Alpacas and I'd like to thank Vicki & Chris for being such generous hosts. 

Everyone created a wonderful scarf - totally unique, practical & wearable - and hopefully this will inspire them to continue making felt using the fibres from their own alpacas...  

For more information about the alpacas at Spring Farm follow this link

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