Thursday, November 15, 2012

ColourSpun Sale

20 November –  3 December 2012
All yarn 20% discount

Shop Online –

Don't forget to visit my pattern stores on Craftsy, StitchedStuff on and Ravelry

Have fun! :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

TAFA TOUR - Meet Constance Rose

Today a few TAFA members are doing a guided tour of TAFA and we will each be taking our readers to visit a different TAFA member.

I'm very pleased to introduce you to Constance Rose of Constance Rose Designs

Connie lives and works in Fortuna, CA, and has been working in textiles for over 30 years. Starting out as a custom clothing designer, her fiber career has included knitting, crochet, embroidery, papermaking, spinning, dyeing, weaving and now, surface design and studio quilting. 
The Studio Quilts Connie creates are non-traditional small quilts of varying sizes -- utilizing hand dyed, painted, printed and shiboried fabrics, and digital images printed on fabric and she is available by request to present workshops on dyeing and surface design techniques.

Pop over to visit her on TAFA and don't forget to go on to visit her website, blog and Textile shop.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

TAFA Special Offer

I've been a member of TAFA for about a year and a half now. It's a dynamic international group of fiber artists, suppliers and collectors. Run by Rachel  Biele, : The Textile and Fiber Art List is a membership organization of fiber artists and textile businesses on the web. TAFA showcases member portfolios through its website, provides access to larger markets, offers access to business resources and fosters community.

Our mission: Markets for Members

Are you interested in joining TAFA as a member? 

Here is an Election Day discount for you: 

There is a $75 fee to join TAFA (no yearly renewals).

The discount brings it $56.25.

Members are juried in, based on the quality of their work, their professionalism, and how their work contributes to our mix. 

This offer expires November 6th, midnight Central Time in the US.
For more info go to

Ten Travel Destinations For Art Lovers

I would love to be able to visit all Ten Travel Destinations For Art Lovers featured here. Who would like to go too?!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Tunisian Crochet - Basic Stitch

Front of work

Tunisian crochet is just one name for a technique that is also known as Tunisian knitting, Afghan crochet, Afghan Stitch, Tricot crochet, Scottish knitting, Irish crochet, Hook knitting and Shepherds knitting. Many consider it a cross between knitting and crochet although the finished work can look like it has been woven, depending on what stitch pattern is used. It is worked on a Tunisian/Afghan hook which looks like a knitting needle with a hook instead of a point on the one end and a stopper on the other. These hooks come in different sizes for use with different yarn weights. Each row of Tunisian crochet is worked in 2 parts – a cast on row and a cast off row and unlike other forms of crochet, the work is never turned so you will always have the same side facing you.

This block is worked in basic Tunisian stitch.

You will need:
Yarn of your choice  
1  Tunisian hook 

 Start with a crochet foundation chain of 20 + 1 – 21 chain  (or as many chain as you need for the width you require your piece to be)
Row 1:
Cast on row: Insert hook into the second chain from the hook, *wrap the yarn (from back to front) over the hook and pull through leaving the new loop on the hook; insert the hook into the next chain* repeat from *to* to end
Cast off row: wrap the yarn over the hook and pull through the first loop on the hook;* wrap the yarn over the hook and pull through the first 2 loops on the hook* repeat from *to* until there is only one loop left on the hook.
Row 2:
Cast on row: Insert the hook into the second vertical bar of the previous row, *wrap the yarn over the hook and pull the loop through leaving the new loop on the hook; insert the hook into the next vertical bar* repeat from *to* to end
Cast off row: wrap the yarn over the hook and pull through the first loop on the hook;* wrap the yarn over the hook and pull through the first 2 loops on the hook* repeat from *to* until there is only one loop left on the hook.

Work as many rows as you need then work a row of single crochet to end off.

Darn in ends.

 Back of work

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Stitch Saturday

For a while now I've been doing a "Block of the Month" for Stitches magazine and I thought it would be nice to share some of them here.

Slip Stitch / Mosaic Knitting

This method of knitting allows you to have more than one colour in a row but work with each colour separately. This means that one colour at a time is used by working the stitches in that colour and slipping the other stitches purl wise. Each row is only completed once all the colours in that row have been worked. Using contrasting colours works best.

The patterns for this type of knitting are usually charted with the black squares representing your darker yarn and the white squares your lighter yarn. A column of squares, usually on the right hand side of the chart indicates the colour yarn to be used in each row.  The rows are numbered on both sides, odd numbers on the right and even numbers on the left. You will notice that each row is numbered twice, this is because each is worked twice, first from the right, following the stitch pattern on the chart and then from the left working the same stitches again.

You will need
Yarn of your choice – one light colour and one dark colour
Knitting needles to suit your yarn

The pattern worked here repeats over 10 stitches and 24 rows.
Using your light colour; cast on a multiple of 10 stitches and work in stocking stitch. Work 2 rows then continue repeating the charted pattern as many times as is necessary until you have knit a square. Cast off with your light colour.

If you prefer, cast on 2 extra stitches which will be worked as edge stitches on each row in your light colour.


























Monday, October 22, 2012

My "New" Studio

It's been chaos here in my normally peaceful neck of the woods, a few weeks ago we had a hail storm that lasted all night and the weight on my studio roof seperated the the roof sheets from the nails and so the water poured in. I was very lucky though - everywhere it leaked wet only the floor, missing all the important stuff like books, yarn, fabric, furniture ... some one was looking out for me :) anyway, I had to move out while it all got fixed and so I took the opportunity to get the walls painted and some new shelves put up and a new desk.. now I'm all reinstalled in what feels like a brand new space and I love it!

The veiw from my desk - looking in to my top space

Where all the yarn gets dyed
more workspace in my top space

my bottom space

for whatever reason, this photo will not load upright!

Monday, August 27, 2012

What a Lovely Day - Make some Felt Beads!

August is usually my worst time of year, cold and very dry here in our corner of the world and dusty and windy,! I usually have dust induced sniffles and end up feeling very sorry for myself. Well this year hasn't been so bad. We had snow 2 weeks ago and then went straight to summer, the last couple of days have been in the high 20's C  and when I woke up this morning it smelled like rain. The sun is shining and it's warm outside but if I look out to the south there are clouds building so you never know, we may be lucky :)

Today I have taken the dye pots out again and I'm busy dying wool tops for felting. All of a sudden it's what every one wants. I love felting too and am busy with a felted project for the December issue of Stitches. I thought I'd post a tutorial on making felted beads here today.

Felted Beads
©Dana Biddle

 We’ve made a necklace using felted beads before but here is a different way to make them. Most methods of making felt involve a fair amount of work but this way uses your tumble dryer to do the work for you.

 What you’ll need
Wool tops – available from ColourSpun
Good kitchen scale
Old stocking or pantyhose
Elastic bands
A bowl of hot water (not too hot – you’ll be putting your hands in it)
Dish washing liquid
Tumble Dryer
Beading needle
Beading thread (dental floss works well too)
Other beads


1.      To make beads of equal size, divide the dry wool into portions of equal weight. You will need 6 x 3g, 6 x 2g and 6 x 1g.

2.      Take a portion of wool; wrap it around itself to form a bead shape

3.      Carefully place the wool into the stocking; holding the bead in shape, pull the stocking tight around it and twist a couple of times, secure it in place with an elastic band

4.      Repeat step 2 and 3 for all the beads

5.      Fill a bowl with hot water and add a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid.

6.       Wet the beads in hot water; make sure that the wool is wet all the way through.

7.       Squeeze out excess water

8.      Place the stocking full of beads in the tumble drier for about half an hour

9.      Check if the beads have felted enough by feeling how hard they are. If necessary, repeat steps 5 to 8 once more

10.   Remove the beads from the stocking and wet them again

11.   Rub each one between the palms of your hands using a circular motion to smooth the fibres

12.   Leave the beads to dry
 Once you have made all the felt beads you want, leave them to dry and then string them into a one of a kind necklace.