Thursday 30 March 2023

Gotland Woodland Patches

I decided to knit a few colour squares with the new Gotland wool from Blacker Yarns, to show how the colours could work together. My first idea was to simply knit some Fair Isle patterns, but the colours seemed to inspire me to follow the theme of English woodland.

I am thinking of ways that I can work these designs into some patterns.

Monday 27 March 2023


We have a new range of Gotland DK wool out at Blacker Yarns, and the subtle colours of this range just led me immediately to think rural woodland, which lucky there is plenty of this around near me. Gotland sheep originated from the Swedish island of Gotland over a thousand years ago and were imported into the UK in the 1970s.

My secret for the robin photos was that behind the wool is a small pile of bird seed. A few blue tits rushed in and out, and below the table at one stage there was a grey squirrel, who I was hoping would jump up. But the robin was the animal who seemed to want to pose, and perhaps knew I had picked the colours with him in mind.

The primroses are in full flower on the bank at the front of my house. I love this time of year, when everything is starting up again in nature.

This slate wall seemed the ideal place to photograph the full range of the wools, but I had to use another trick. Although there were a few catkins behind, they were not really in the right place or very bright, so my husband is holding this branch of more lush catkins for me.

Blacker Yarns have a number of project kits just out using the Gotland DK yarn. You can click on the names to go to each kit: Simple Sweater, Guernsey-style Tunic, and Long Cardy.

I will be doing another post on these wools, with some little samples I have knitted to show how the colours look together, also themed around English woodland.

Tuesday 21 March 2023

Bramble Wine Labels

One the reasons that I did a short course on linoprinting, was with the idea to make my own labels. This is my first effort to make some labels for our Bramble Wine. Trying to reverse carve the lettering was really quite difficult, so I have sort of gone for a rustic homemade look. My blackberry also looks a little bit like a pineapple, but I had fun making these.

Yes, I know there are alot of bottles there, and now I am going to get going on the elderberry wine!

Saturday 11 March 2023

Wire Art (Part One)

Following on from our linoprinting course, my son and I signed up for a short wire art course. Some of my London friends said there would be nothing to do in the country, and I would say they are wrong, as there seems just as much, although perhaps you have to hunt a bit harder.

We started off learning different techniques to shape the wire. We used pliers, and were also taught how to shape the wire around other forms. Then we were taught some different ways to join the wire, and the piece below is really all my learning pieces joined together. I was quite pleased when it was held up to the class, and the word "Picasso-like" was used!

That week we then all went on to work on flowers. Mine on the left is meant to be a poppy seedhead, and my son's is more cowslip. He had the inspired idea for twisting the wire at the base to make a stand, which most of the class then copied.

The following week we moved on to other projects, although still guided by the teacher. My son and I both decided to make a fish, and in this project a 2-dimensional fish was made, and then built outwards to make him 3-D.

Below is my son's fish, who is now hanging in the kitchen under a trailing plant. Mine is not quite as good, but you can see the edge of his fin.

Next we were allowed to move onto our own projects, and although the course is now finished, I still have to add legs to my creature. My son has gone for something very ambitious, which I am really hoping he will finish so I can show you in a few weeks.