Thursday, 30 July 2015

Betty's Bags

I've really enjoyed developing these lovely bags. They're made of blanket and lined with fabric - usually linen or cotton. They're embellished with vintage stitched fabric, text and other items. Use the, to keep your precious memories safe - children's first clothes and shoes, cards, letters, books, photographs, things from a special place or time, things that remind you of a special person. Very individual, very special.

Hand Spinning Instructions

These photos and comments support the instructions that come with Betty's Hand Spinning Kits...

Spread out some fleece so that it mixes with the fleece at the end of the leader (the thread that is tied underneath the whorl (disc). You can start to mesh it together a bit at this stage, before you start twisting the spindle. That's how you start but also how you rejoin if (when!) your thread breaks.
Pinch the end of the spun thread (where it stops being spun thread and starts being fleece) with your left hand, also with some fleece in your left hand. (Most people find that this is comfortable, but you may want to try holding the spun thread and fleece in your right hand and spinning the spindle with your left hand - whatever's most comfortable for you.) Start to spin the spindle clockwise with your right hand.
When the spindle is spinning (clockwise), move your right hand to pinch the thread, changing places with your left hand. While you pinch, pull up some fleece with your left hand. At this stage, experiment with how much to pull up - too much and you'll get a very thick, loose thread (although this can be great for some creative projects), too little and the thread will break because it's too thin to support the weight of the spindle. This can be a very slow movement - no need to panic!
Move your right hand upwards and watch the twist run up the thread. When your right hand meets your left hand, you can take it away from the thread. If the spindle stops spinning  or starts to spin anti-clockwise, stop it by putting it on the ground or against your leg. Keep on repeating from picture 2.
When the thread is longer than is comfortable to be able to continue spinning, remove the thread from the hook and wind it round the spindle beneath the whorl...
 bring it up and over the whorl...
and round the hook as before. Start spinning again from picture 2.

And that's all there is to it…!

Okay, so you're bound to take some time to get it right - you're very lucky if you 'get it' at the first attempt. If the thread breaks, just start again from picture one. Keep practising and you'll get the hang of it. 

Experiment with making the thread thick, thin and lumpy - much more interesting than just smooth and even!
When you've spun your thread, take it off the spindle and wind it loosely round the top of a chair or a friend's hands to make a hank, tied in three or four places to keep it tidy. Soak it in warm (not hot) water with some gentle detergent. Don't agitate the water - unless you want to end up with felt! Dry it naturally - don't tumble dry it.

If you're stuck, don't give up! It may take a bit of time and practise but it'll be worth it. You can always ask a friend to help by doing the twisting of the spindle while you concentrate on the thread at the top until you get more confident. When you've got the hang of it, you can try spinning other things - mix your dog's hair into the wool for a really personal thread, try alpaca fibre and look for different colours of fleece. 

There are several videos on YouTube that will help - just put 'Hand Spinning' into the search box. If you're really struggling, contact me - or via the contact link at

This could start years of enjoyment with spinning and creating; it did for me - thanks to Mum for teaching me in the first place x. 

Monday, 27 July 2015

Cowslip Summer Fair

I've just spent a blissful couple of days at Cowslip Workshops (Launceston) Summer Fair. I've put together some hand spinning kits which I launched at the Fair. They contain a spindle (prepared and ready to go), some washed and carded fleece and instructions. More instructions with photos will be uploaded onto this blog as soon as my husband and I have sorted out who will do the modelling and who will take the photographs! The perfect present for yourself or a crafty friend who would love to learn a new skill. The finished thread can be used for stitching, knitting, crochet…

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Betty By The Sea

Betty at the seaside! New, sea-themed items ready for the Cowslip Workshops Summer Fair in Launceston next weekend. It'll be the first anniversary of Betty's Bubble so there'll be lots of special offers! News on brand new kits coming soon!

Monday, 13 July 2015

Betty's Memory Pocket Books

Three new Memory Pocket Books! These are made from a lovely piece of vintage, hand-stitched tapestry with insects and flowers on it. The purchase of the tapestry supported the Rotary Club in Launceston, raising money for local people and charities. The lining in each is plain linen and the books are finished with ribbon and vintage buttons. The books will be available on the website ( and at Cowslip Summer Fair on 25th and 26th July.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Betty's Medal Brooches

I've finished and uploaded six medal brooches to the website. They'll be available at Cowslip Summer Fair on 25th and 26th July - I'm so looking forward to that!

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Carnglaze Caverns Crystal and Craft Fair

At the Carnglaze Caverns Crystal and Craft Fair today. The first challenge was to rig up a 'drip shelter'! We were in the Rum Store and the weather this week has resulted in a great deal of moisture which was dripping down a great deal (a bit of a worry when all your things are textile and paper based!). So, four bamboo canes and one plastic sheet later, a solution was found! The dampness meant that I didn't display as many things as usual so the stall looked a bit different but on the whole, things stayed reasonably dry. I was also able to join Caroline on a great tour of the Caverns at the end of an enjoyable day. The Fair is on again tomorrow, 10am till 5pm. I was able to spend some time finishing some new pendants using vintage book images under glass cabochons - more news on those soon!

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Betty's New Products!

Six new Figure Brooches have been uploaded to my website. They were stitched in Leipzig when I went to the Bach Festival recently. Sewing happened in the churches that Bach worked in, Mendelssohn's house and the oldest coffee house in Europe, frequented by Wagner and Schumann - so these girls have music in their hearts! The girls have vintage text pinned to their dresses - it can be changed if you like. They're mounted on vintage Ladybird Reading Scheme Flashcards. I've also made and uploaded some Memory Heart Lockets - a silver-plated locket containing a tiny role of vintage text tied with hand spun, naturally dyed wool, on a ribbon and cord necklace. The text may be changed if you wish and other tiny memories may be added - pictures, pieces of fabric, flower petals and other things. Keep your wishes and memories close to your heart. and Betty's Bubble on Facebook