Wednesday, 19 October 2011

New beret - handspun, handknitted, handfelted

I though I'd write a little bit more about this new hat, as I'm quite pleased with it.

It is made from lovely Shetland wool combed tops which I bought here
They have wonderful wool in all different shades inspired by the Shetland landscape. This colour is called Lupin.

First I handspun it using my drop spindle.

This spindle is a whole story in itself. It was bought for me as a gift from a craftsman on the Isle of Wight
and is made from 3,300 year old oak from a bog in East Anglia, which really appeals to my imagination.

After spinning I plied the yarn to make a lovely 2ply yarn, which I knitted with 5mm needles into a beret. The inconsistencies in the spun wool make a much more interesting texture than the machine spun Shetland wool (lovely though that is).

Then I fulled it in hot soapy water, which evens out the texture and makes the hat draught-proof.

I think the colour of the flower and the hat really compliment each other, which is why I chose the dark purple wool (Fuscia) to make the flower. I've been planning for ages to needle-felt different sorts of British flowers. This is the first one, and it isn't really part of the planned set because it's not made to scale. It is modelled on heather because I like the little tiny bell-shaped flowers. But it is giant: heather from the age of the dinosaurs!

I have more handspun, handknitted, handfelted berets coming, all made in various lovely shades of Shetland combed tops.

Half a hat in haar: bit bluer than sea-mist usually is though 
Fuscia on the spindle


  1. YOu are wonderfully talented! It is a lovely beret.

  2. Oh Alix, you are my new best friend!!! *blushes*. I really like it :-)

  3. it is lovely. it'd be REALLY nice to have an even more detailed description, in fact, invite a camera crew! I'd love to see vid of you doing the spinning and fulling (which mean nothing to me except it's clearly magic)

    praps I'll have to come and stay?

  4. Yes that's a good idea. Pia is my camera crew, though she does prefer artistically blurred photos....

    Spinning is quite magic! Though fulling has also been known as shrinking-my-husband's-favourite-jumper-in-the-wash in this house.

    And do come and stay, direct flights from Heathrow :-D

  5. Amy what a beautiful beret - you are so right to be proud of it. The colour is amazing, and I can only imagine the texture but the Haar sample gives an idea. I love the feel of Shetland - I use a lot in my felting. I also keep eyeing up drop spindles...
    Looking forward to more Haar and Fuscia and fantastic idea for the needlefelted British flowers...the quirky side of me LOVES that giant heather from the land of dinosaurs..(and its description!!)
    Keep up the woolly wonders!
    Ali x