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I love wearing a scarf when the weather turns cold. If my neck is warm, I am good to go. If not, write me off because all I will be doing is obsessing about how cold I am. I’m not just talking about any old scarf either. The scarf needs to cover every square inch of skin not covered by clothing.

I’ve been toying with introducing colour to my range and I have had a beautiful bump of coloured woollen top sitting on my Studio shelf for a while now. It’s not enough for a woollie throw but more than enough for a toasty warm woollie scarf.

Here is the pictorial journey of my first coloured Little Dandelion. What do you think? Would you wear it?

The wool going on to my new jumbo needles.

The scarf worked up quickly on my jumbo needles.

I took a moment mid knit to capture this beautiful scene. I am always seeking to feed my crimp addiction.

The felted scarf drying over the balcony.

This photo was taken before the scarf was felted.

One kilo of wool was used to make this scarf. It is long and it completely delivers on the warmth front. I’m not one to wish away a summer but I will happily wear this green beauty all through our coming winter.

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Sometimes the stars align and my vision gets translated into something I am truly proud to call my own.

I’m always wanting to push the scale of my work to the edge. I LOVE knitting on a massive scale and am only restricted by my own strength and the size of my needles.

My lovely Dad recently made these jumbo sized needles for me with the help of a maintenance engineer. They look more like long range missiles than knitting needles though. They are my new besties.

This is my very tall rock chick channeling 6 year old alongside my besties.

Anyway, with these missiles I’ve just completed a black linen throw using 15cm wide linen strips. The scale is massive and I am deliriously happy with the end result.

To help you out with scale, this is a Queen sized bed.

This pic shows the throw with a regular size dinner plate in the centre.

It’s so hard to convey the actual size of each stitch but suffice to say they are huge.

This particular throw has been made for one of my stockists – Les Interieurs. Pamela Makin is opening a new concept store at 104 Glenmore Road, Paddington  in the fine company of Australian designers Sass & Bide and Scanlan & Theodore in Paddington’s coolest fashion hub. Come February, Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs will finally have Pamela’s unquestionable good taste at their finger tips. I shall post more details of Les Interieur’s latest adventure soon.

 

 

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I’m always dreaming up ways to expand my range in a meaningful way. I love to create for creations sake but if I am to add it to the Little Dandelion range then it needs to be a natural extension of my existing work. But let’s be clear about this – I’m really just winging this part of the process. I quite literally make things up as I go along and often feel completely constrained by my lack of technical knowledge. I have so many ideas but I just don’t know how to make many of them work. I often reach out to my extended creative family for advice and ideas and they are always so generous with their suggestions. But mostly, it just comes down to research and experimentation. Many of my experiments  fall a bit flat in the “Approvals Department” (aka my Husband and neighbours) but sometimes a piece will come together exactly how I imagined.

For example,  I have the most magnificent stash of hemp fibre. I am so determined to find a beautiful use for it. The problem is the fibre is so delicate that no-one in their right mind would even consider knitting with it as is. (Just as a side, one could argue I am not of “right mind” but I prefer to see it more in terms of just being a lover of beautiful highly impractical things. Not everything needs to be functional right?).

Glorious, glorious, glorious! Hemp fibre you make my heart sing.

So, I’ve been dabbling: I’ve washed the fibre; I’ve starched the fibre; I’ve dried the fibre; I’ve twisted the fibre; I’ve knitted and knotted,  and I’m still at a loss.

The fibre looks beautiful knitted and the end piece is, in my eyes, something to behold.

See?

Anyway, I’ll keep persisting but here are my attempts to make this fibre sing in a non-traditional way. Clearly, they don’t quite come off  but I’ll persist. I have new leads to pursue so stay tuned on the hemp fibre front.

It’s okay – you can have a giggle!

A little better.

Oh the beauty! I must get out more……..Jac

 

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Today was the best day ever beacuse I spent it with Pepa and Karen from Shibori.

Shibori packaging

I know that makes me sound like a 12 year old but I really was giddy with excitement about the prospect of meeting these two amazing creatives. For those of you who are yet to discover the delights of Shibori, Pepa and Karen craft a range of boutique fabric dyes for the home user. Think indigo. Think antique gold. Think yum!

This is a dip dyed Shibori hide.

They also produce beautiful cushions, throws and other “must have”  homewares which have all been dyed in line with Karen and Pepa’s contemporary and artistic interpretation of the ancient Shibori method. Karen and Pepa have been at this for years now so their technique is well honed and their fabrics are something to behold. These women also create artworks on a major scale and their list of creative collaborations goes on and on. It is all very special.

This sign hangs over the door of the Shibori Studio. Pepa lost the “b” in transit long ago and has replaced it with a simple chalk letter. Love it.

I am a fool for indigo and, as you know by now, I am a complete fool for linen. For me, there could be no better combination. So I recently approached Pepa and Karen about having some of my linen throws dyed. I purchased some of their dyes some time ago and the tins have remained on a shelf in my office looking beautiful. But, alas, this little duck is too afraid to use them. In any event, I put so much into my throws that I’d rather hand them over to the professionals to do them justice. I also have something very specific in mind for them which is far beyond my non-existent dyeing skills.

And so here is my plan.

I knit the throws. There are currently two colours: white and taupe.

I give the throws to Pepa and Karen. Pepa and Karen dye the throws. I’m going for a graduated dye technique.

The dye is oxidising. Like I know what that means!!!!!

It goes back in for some more.

Karen at work. Almost there. The dyeing I mean, not the baby.

After dyeing the fabric samples, they were hung out to dry. It was a joy watching the most magnificant hues of indigo and gold appear.

I cannot tell you how happy this photo makes me. And this one too -

Could it be anymore beautiful? I don’t think so.

Eventually, my linen throws will look something like this:

Get the idea?

I have left some throws with Pepa and Karen to get them started. I am so excited about this adventure. It is such a treat to meet other people who get as excited about a creative process as I do. I am very grateful to these women for inviting a perfect stranger through their doors and welcoming me so warmly. Pepa and Karen were kind and gracious. Our conversation was easy and like minded.We spoke the same language.

Here’s hoping for a wonderful artistic collaboration. Shibori, thank you , thank you, thank you.

 

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Little Dandelion Floor Rug in product testing phase.

I’m always thinking of ways to expand my range. I love tinkering with my raw materials too. So I came up with an idea of making a woollie chain and stitching it together to make a floor rug. I have made two now. One for the little people’s bedroom and the other for our entrance area. We have deliberately placed them in high traffic areas to see how they will wear: always a concern with my delicate wares. So far so good.

This is how the rug began its journey:

It is so luscious and soft but just too soft to stay in this form. So, I have to felt it.

 

This is the silver chain drying on our balcony after it had been felted. It is hard to do these things in winter as the sun has no warmth. Bring on summer when I tend to be much more prolific in my woollie production.

Once it is felted, I then started stitching the rug together by hand.

The amount of time this takes is incredible. Having never done one before, it was all a bit of an experiment. I figured that it could take me a while but, oh my goodness, by the time I had completed the rug, I felt every one of my 39 years.

Almost there.

Me trying to keep a check on my posture.

Anyway, I think it looks lovely and we are all enjoying having the rug underfoot. Fingers crossed that it will wear and wash well. If it does, you’ll able to have one in your own homes soon.

This is the one I made for the little people and friends.

 

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