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The birth of Flax & Loom….

As mentioned a little while ago, shortly I will be producing my handmade products under a new name….. Flax & Loom. I love working with natural wool and linen fabrics and have recently developed a passion for using handwoven Manx wool from the Isle of Man. The fabric is produced at the only woollen mill now existing on the island and they still use the traditional methods of weaving.

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‘The Laxey Woollen Mills were established in 1881 by a Lancashire silk weaver called Egbert Rydings, who wanted to revive the traditional skills of woollen spinning and handloom weaving. With the support of prominent Victorian artist and writer John Ruskin and his Guild of St George the mills were converted from a corn mill to a water-powered woollen mill.’ My ethos is to produce mainly one-off bags, that are high quality. As the mill produces some limited edition fabrics, this fits in perfectly with my ideas on design. They use wool from the native breeds of sheep for their fabrics – Cheviot and Shetland.

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via cheviot sheep society

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via the Hebridean sheep society

They have recently introduced the use of wool from some native rare breeds too – Loaghtan and Hebridean, which produce more natural coloured fabric that is thicker and warmer for winter projects which are ideal for my handmade bags….. ….so, by January 2015 …….. Flax & Loom!


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Twiddling my thumbs……

…..in more ways than one!

It was one of those weekends when I was all up to date with preparation for workshops. I caught up on housework and all those little mending jobs that I had intended doing for quite some time … I then remembered…. I had some lavender drying in the cupboard that had been there since, ooh longer than I care to remember! It was well stored, so as not to lose any of its vital aroma. So I got to work ….. twiddling my thumbs! By that I mean wriggling each stem of lavender between my  fingers and thumbs until all the little dried buds dropped away and congregated below into my basket.  Gathering it up and quickly sealing it away before any of that wonderful aroma was lost. Mmmm… I just love that smell. It’s so calming. No wonder it’s used to induce sleep.IMG_3624

 

 

 

 

 

 

But that wasn’t the only task I had on my mind to do. I had recently made a bag for my Etsy shop from a lovely green tweed, which as I was making, had felt in two minds about selling. (I often feel like that when working with some of the lovely fabric I have the opportunity to use). I had some fabric over, so thought it the ideal opportunity to make a bag for myself! I had an old leather button which I love and had wanted a project to use it on!  All in all, it worked out a very productive weekend…. twiddling my thumbs!

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Winter Tweeds

I have to confess I have a passion for tweed! The moment winter arrives I begin to make new bags for my shop from this versatile fabric which never dates. Hence the Harris tweed ipad bag I currently have in my shop! So this weekend I decided to make another tweed bag, in Scottish tweed wool – the one shown here – for my Etsy shop. Made from a lovely thick brown/khaki/ stone checked tweed with a splash of rich turquoise and a border edge of khaki linen.

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