Knitted Hobbits

The Mirror reports that an amateur knitter has created incredible miniature knitted characters from Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

Her middle earth character line-up includes dwarves, dragons, wizards and of course Hobbits.  Nothing is too ambitious for Denise Salway.

Denise, from South Wales, says she does not work from patterns but comes up with the designs herself.

Read full article

Campaign For Wool – Wool House

The UK is set to see the biggest ever celebration of wool as The Campaign for Wool launches WOOL HOUSE from 13th until 24th March 2013

WOOL HOUSE will present a vision for wool as a modern, versatile, lifestyle fibre and will be hosted in the stunning West Wing of Somerset House in central London.

Campaign for Wool - Wool House flyer image

The world’s largest showcase of wool

It will feature a showcase of interiors, fashion and the world of artisan and craft making, along with a hi-tech educational suite. The Campaign for Wool has appointed Arabella McNie as the curator. She has over twenty years’ experience of working as a stylist and designer in the world of interiors.

Arabella McNie said, “I am determined to show wool as a modern fibre and visitors will see a broad spectrum from ultra-modern and hi-tech to highly luxurious and more traditional. There are some amazing fabrics and flooring and Wool House will showcase some stunning room sets which will really show the difference that wool can make and inspire greater use of the fibre”.

The event has invited leading interior designers to offer their vision and seven individual rooms will show how the design community uses the fibre extensively within their work. Exclusive room sets from Donna Wilson, Ashley Hicks, Josephine Ryan, Anne Kyrro Quinn, Mary Fox Linton of Fox Linton Associates and Kit Kemp will feature alongside a huge wool art installation commissioned by the Campaign from the acclaimed Dutch tapestry artist, Claudy Jongstra.

Other features include a unique 100 feet runner designed by Cristian Zuzunaga in association with Brintons that will represent international carpet manufacturers and a runner designed and made by Roger Oates. Additionally, rug weaver Jason Collingwood will take up a working residence as his studio is recreated in Wool House and he will weave on a table loom throughout the period showing the heritage of industry skills to the public.

The entrance of Wool House will be styled like a grand country house, with a carpet inspired by a classic marble floor tile pattern and created by Alternative Flooring Bespoke. Unique pieces will embellish the house including Shauna Richardson’s unusual ‘crochetdermy’ Bear that has previously been exhibited at the V&A which will take pride of place in the entrance of Wool House. While Andy Warhol influenced sheep head images will be displayed on the walls of the hall.

A series of wool-led designer talks, events and a programme of activities with interactive workshops will be held during the course of the event. A special educational and innovation room will feature tablets that cover everything from sheep to manufacturing and all types of products.

There will be three rooms dedicated to fashion, including a space showcasing fine woven fabrics and live tailoring while two others will celebrate the importance of wool in the fashion industry.

Bridgette Kelly, The Campaign for Wool’s project director said, “It is the most expansive venture the Campaign has seen to date as it looks at all the key uses of wool under one roof and shows the amazing versatility of the fibre and its potential to be both stunningly beautiful in use and yet incredibly practical too”.

“We want to make the most of this wonderful opportunity within the fabulous location that Somerset House offers and we will truly shine the spotlight on wool. There really will be a plenty to see and do at many different levels.”

The Campaign for Wool, whose Patron is HRH The Prince of Wales, is funded by the British Wool Marketing Board, the Woolmark Company, Wool Council of New Zealand and other wool organisations across the world including those in South Africa, South America, Norway and the USA.

Wool House, World-Wide-Wool will be open to the public from 13th to 24th March 2013 and entry is free.

For more information visit the Campaign for Wool website 

The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show

The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show runs from 14th to 17th March at Olympia Two and Olympia West Hall, London

This new show offers everything for the knitter and stitcher.

Projects for the home, knitting for babies, sewing, upcycling, patchwork… Find it all at The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show!

The focus of the show is on ‘Making’ and you’ll find inspiration everywhere, as well as experts on hand to get you started.

Over 150 companies will be selling specialist craft supplies, plus some hand-made crafts.

There will be workshops on various subjects so you can learn a new skill and a Dressmaking Factory where you can join the production line to create a simple garment.

If it’s interiors you’re after, the Home Sweet Home Making area provides all the inspiration and help you need to create some pretty and practical things for the home.

A gallery of traditional patchwork quilts will make a wonderful sight and the art of knitting and crochet will be celebrated with top authors doing daily book signings, numerous knitting boutiques and experts to teach you the basics and more complicated knitting and crochet techniques.

They are also running a Knitted Spring Flowers competition and would love your contribution. (See the competitions page for more details).

It’s a new show in a new hall at Olympia; all on one level with lots of light and space!

Open 10.00am to 5.30pm daily, closes 5pm Sunday.

Visit the Twisted Thread website for more information or to book your tickets

Unravel – Festival of Knitting

The Unravel Knitting Festival 2013 takes place on Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th February 2013 at Farnham Maltings, Surrey.

Take part in workshops, hear a range of talks, see demonstrations and be inspired by artist commissions.

Purchase yarn, buttons and other knitting accessories at the marketplace, solve your knitting quandaries and even enter your favourite item into ‘Best In Show.’

Get your knitting needles and crochet hooks out and join them for two days of knitted fun!

For further information and to book your tickets visit the Farnham Maltings website.

Sheep wanted in Cumbria to join the flock

Help is wanted in Cumbria to create a flock of 10,000 sheep for an art installation later in 2012.

The Flock project is the latest mass involvement arts project organised by Eden Arts.

Help make 10,000 sheep for Cumbria

Help make 10,000 sheep for Cumbria

Organisers are looking for children and adults to create thousands of woolly pom-pom sheep!

Stuck for something to do at half-term or during a wet weekend  – then download the information sheet and templates and get making sheep.

Every sheep will have a different face, fleece and texture and thousands of them are needed for the project.

Join the Flock

Schools, groups, organisations and individuals are all invited to take part by making sheep & flocks for the installation, which will be displayed in 2012.

The project’s aim is to encourage creativity and collaboration, while raising awareness and celebrating the sheep farming & wool industry.

Organisers suggest participants use sheep’s wool to make their sheep – as it is 100% natural, sustainable and biodegradable. They advise against using yarns containing 100% synthetic wool.

Originally the project called for 10,000 sheep. However, we notice on the website this has been revised down to 5000, with only about 1500 submitted so far.

Further Flock details

Download the sheep making kit – (.pdf)

Further information sheet – (.pdf)

Guerrilla knitting event in Cumbria

Join in with a ‘Guerrilla knit-in’ as part of the WOW: wonder of wool and the art of knit and stitch event at Rheged, Cumbria.

The Guerrilla Knit event will take place on the first day of the latest event at Rheged near Penrith, on Saturday 14 January 2012.

Take part in a Guerrilla knitting event in Cumbria

Take part in a Guerrilla knitting event in Cumbria

Knitters from across the county and beyond are expected to visit the centre and bring a splash of woolly colour to the walkways, doors and pillars as they clad them in vibrant wool.

Anyone can join in the fun, even if they are new to knitting, it is free and the creations attached to the building will be left on display throughout the course of the WOW exhibition.

Guerrilla Knitting, also known as Yarn Storming or Yarn Bombing is the creative intervention in an environment using wool and knitting.

An international Yarn Bombing day is held every in June, and inventive yarn bombers around the world have covered many different things in wool, from trees to entire school buses, which stand out in bright colours against a normal background.

WOW: wonder of wool and the art of knit and stitch features more than 20 contemporary British artists who work with wool in inspirational ways.

Curated by Trevor Pitt, the exhibition takes place from Saturday, 14 January to Sunday 15 April and will be open daily from 10.30am-4.30pm.

Admission is £2.50, concessions £1.75.

Olympic British wool cushions project- Woolsack

Schools, colleges and community groups thoughout the UK are getting involved in a project to make cushions from British wool to give as a welcome gift from the people of Britain to each of the Olympic and Paralympic athletes at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

More than 10,000 cushions will be required. Each cushion will be a standard size of 16”, 40cm square.

More than 10,000 cushions are to be produced, made from British wool.

More than 10,000 cushions are to be produced, made from British wool.

The cushion covers may be knitted, crocheted, embroidered, woven or felted, from British wool supplied by each maker.

One of the reasons organisers give for the project is to help people gain craft skills using a sustainable material and to learn about the production of British wool.

Each cushion will be accompanied with a personal gift card from the individual or group who made it.

Respected support

It is estimated that each cushion will cost from £7 to £20 to make and the makers are expected to donate or fund-raise the cost of materials.

There are over 60 different recognised British sheep breeds.

Woolsack has been adopted as a project by the Knitting and Crochet Guild of Great Britain and also has support from The Campaign for Wool, the British Wool Marketing Board, the Crafts Council, RBST, NFU, and individual WI Federations.

Woolsack is an Inspire project and part of the Cultural Olympiad.

The name was chosen for the project because it is the historic seat of the Lord Speaker in the House of Lords of the UK Parliament.

The cushions will be made by the end of March 2012.

Any cushions not taken by athletes will be donated to hospices, care homes and other charities working with people facing challenges in their life.

More information

Telephone 01566 777635 and ask for information about Woolsack cushions.

Join the Facebook Woolsack Group.

Get in touch

Have you made a cushion then let us know about it via the comments area below.  Your could even send us in an image of it via our contact us form.

Jo brings knitting into the 21st century

A recent article in the Berwick Advertiser highlights the work of fashion designer Jo Storie and how she is bringing hand knitting into the 21st century.

Knitting has been undergoing something of a star struck revival in the United States and was very popular in the UK until the late 1980’s.

Many of the leading fashion houses have a number of knitwear garments in their latest seasonal collections and one of these designers, Jo Storie, from the Border town of Berwick is using the power of the internet to bring her designs to the domestic knitter.

Gone are the days of standing in a craft shop leafing through patterns to find something inspiring.  Knitters can now easily search the internet for specific designs and fashionable ideas.  The ability to instantly download these patterns opens up a global world of commerce to designers anywhere.

Read full article

Visit the Jo Storie website for some fashionable hand knitting patterns

Countryside Live Showcases Knitting

Knitting is undergoing a great revival and the craft that is taking Hollywood by storm will be showcased at this month’s Countryside Live.

Countryside Live, organised by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, takes place on Saturday, 22 and Sunday 23 October at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate.

Within the event the Country Crafts Experience features members of the Women’s Institute showing visitors how to knit, following in the footsteps of Hollywood actresses Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz.

Read Full article – The York Press

New wool friendly iron supported by IWTO

International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO) supports the new wool friendly iron PerfectCare launched by Philips.

At the beginning of this month, the Dutch electronics company Philips is launching a new innovative home iron which makes ironing of woollen garments easier.  The iron, with the name PerfectCare automatically offers the right combination of one
optimal temperature safe for use on all ironable fabrics, plus high steam pressure.

Philips PerfectCare Iron recommended by IWTO

Given IWTO approval

Research conducted by the DWI‐RWTH Aachen, one of the world’s leading independent research institutes on textiles, has scientifically tested and proven, that all animal fibres can be perfectly ironed by this new product.

Based on these research results, IWTO officially gives its recognition that this new product is approved for wool, cashmere and all products made of exotic luxury fibres.

These different animal fibres are not only naturally sustainable, renewable and biodegradable, they also have great wearing and handle properties. Wool keeps consumers warm in winter and cool in summer by giving superior comfort and a healthy wearer‐sensitive climate, which provides perspiration management and essential odour control. ‘Taking care of a woollen garment could not be easier’,

IWTO President Peter Ackroyd said, ‘when it comes to ironing, Philips PerfectCare helps consumers care for their woollen clothes, showing excellent ironing results with no risk of burns’. IWTO is delighted to endorse this new and innovative

More information

International Wool and Textile Organisation – IWTO is the international body representing the interests of the world’s wool textile trade and industry. Our multi‐national membership includes woolgrowers, traders, primary processors, spinners, weavers, and garment manufacturers, together with retailers and other companies involved in wool related businesses.

Philips PerfectCare Iron – from John Lewis with a 2 year Guarantee