Merino wool is considered to be one of the finest and softest types of wool available. On top of its unique qualities merino is great for all seasons and is even considered as one of the best bedding materials. Today we are presenting you some additional info about the unique type of wool – merino.
Now that the excitement of Christmas and New Year is over we thought it would be fun to find some winter wool crafts to keep us all busy through the long, dark evenings. There’s something rather wonderful about being quietly ensconced on the sofa, curled up under a cosy wool blanket and being creative rather than just passively watching the TV. Here are some ideas for things to do with wool that will not only keep you entertained whilst you craft, but that will make lovely new things for your home and wardrobe.
Latch-hook rug making
With the recent resurgence in all things 1970s in fashion and interior design how about embracing the trend and having a go at latch-hook rug making? Popular as a hobby since the 1930s rather than merely done out of necessity (as it had been for hundreds of years), latch-hook rug making became super fashionable in the 1970s with the introduction of cheaper acrylic yarns. It’s a brilliant way to use up and recycle old wool, whether oddments left over from other projects or unravelled wool from old sweaters.
Rugs are made by pulling strips of yarn through a base fabric (usually hessian or canvas) using a hinged hook to create a knot. You can follow a painted canvas if you want more guidance, or work on a blank background from a pattern. There are instructions on how to do latch-hook rug making here, along with lots of interesting historical information. It looks like the perfect craft to do on a rainy winter’s day.
Another great way to recycle old woollen garments or blankets that have seen better days, wool felting will remind you of school science lessons when you magically turned something into another substance. Wool is composed of scaly fibres which, when heated and rubbed together or washed in hot soapy water, will shrink and bond together irreversibly. Think of your favourite cashmere sweater, turned to a doll-sized accessory by an accidental hot wash, or the angora socks that found their way into the tumble dryer by accident. The stiffness and matted feel comes from this binding of the fibres into wool felt.
To create felt deliberately you simply apply this same principle. You can knit something in wool and then machine wash on purpose to turn it into felt. You can ‘wet felt’ by hand, teasing and then rubbing the fibres together vigorously in soap and water. Larger scale operations produce felt by using a barbed felting needle. Once you’ve got the felt you can make endless lovely things, from purses to teddies, brooches to Christmas decorations. You’ll find some ideas and more suggestions here.
Once you’ve learned the basic technique knitting is a fantastic craft. You can click away whilst cozied up in front of the TV, or use your commute to develop a new skill and make something for yourself. Scarves and hats are good things to try first, and then you can build up to more complex patterns once you’ve mastered the basics. It is relaxing and calming too, and a lovely way to make personal gifts for loved ones. Head over to this beautiful blog for inspiration, and check out Ravelry for ideas and patterns. There are lots of tutorials on Youtube, and your local library will have pattern books that you can borrow.
Quicker than knitting and just as fun, crochet is a great way to make things, from cushion covers to rugs, as well as scarves and gifts. Using yarn and a crochet hook you simply learn the appropriate stitch for the project, building up to more complex patterns once you are confident with the basic stitches. This is a good place to start.
If you want to take your wool crafting out of your home and meet other creative people this is the time to take up making. There are lots of lovely-looking craft cafés springing up all across the world, where people can meet and make things as they drink coffee and talk. An international community that is growing around creativity and wanting to learn something new, and where you can find inspiration for all sorts of projects. For readers in the US this website has lots of resources about wool craft, as well as a fun podcast. Just search online for ‘craft cafés’ in your local area and you will come across places like this in Leeds, UK.
Whilst a full-size wool throw might be a bit ambitious, there’s nothing to stop you whipping up something easy and beautiful, as well as learning a new skill. The perfect way to start a new year.
With winter being the cosiest season of them all you might find yourself desperately gazing at the electric fireplaces and wool socks at the stores. While there is no way to enjoy winter for longer you can still enjoy the cosy season in style. Here you will find some tips on decorating your home for winter to warm up both your body and soul.
With the festive season now in full swing, it’s time to turn our attention to New Year’s Eve. You may have a traditional way of seeing in the new year, but if you are looking for some fresh ideas about how you can celebrate the coming of 2018, read on. We’ve chosen 7 fun things you could do, with something for everyone from nature-lovers and homebods to party people.
1.For a romantic New Year’s Eve à deux
If you feel exhausted by the idea of yet another busy party, why not stay in with your partner for the night? Share the cooking and have something unusual for dinner. Then snuggle up under a cosy blanket with a bottle of Proseco and a classic festive film, like ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ or ‘When Harry Met Sally’. String up a sprig of mistletoe for a midnight kiss and the perfect romantic way to usher in another year.
In Japanese culture the first sunrise of a new year holds magical powers, bestowing good fortune for the coming months upon those who witness it. Steal away for the night to somewhere with an incredible view, and watch the sunrise. Take hot water bottles, a flask of soup and a drop or two of something warming, and sit under a woolly throw gazing at stars until the dawn breaks. You could choose somewhere dramatic like Stonehenge in the UK, the breathtaking Cape Inubo in Japan, mystical Ayers Rock in Australia or Bryce Canyon in Arizona. Or for something closer to home, simply head for the nearest beach, high hill or tranquil riverside.
Some people just love to gather together their favourite people and celebrate in style with food, drink and music. For a party that embraces the fun aspect of fancy dress without causing your guests costume-induced stress, you could throw a ‘Hats, Tatts and Tashes’ party. People can come in a hat (of any kind, from a flamboyant sombrero to a jaunty top hat), or wear a fake tattoo (or sporting their real ones) or choose to adorn themselves with a novelty moustache. Simple bits of dress-up like this give your guests the perfect ice-breaker without making them go to too much trouble. Though there will always be someone who comes in all three.
4.For the escapists
You might want to get away from it all and escape to a country retreat for some peace and seasonal hygge. These cottages look divine, or you could hire a larger house and go with a couple of other families for a fun weekend away. Think scenic countryside, roaring log fires, good places to eat nearby, beautiful walks and lazy mornings with the newspapers and lots of coffee.
5.For the time-poor
If you are having people over for dinner on New Year’s Eve but realise you just won’t have time to cook, several companies will deliver or prepare (and you collect) delicious dinner-party-ready meals with a homecooked vibe. Whether you choose to fess up or pretend you whipped up the feast yourself is your own business… Try Cook in the UK or Magic Kitchen in the USA.
6.For the family
If you are celebrating with the kids gather up some classic board games and spend the evening being silly together. These games are always hilarious: Articulate, Headbandz, Twister, Cranium Junior and Cluedo. Order take-away pizza for a proper treat, so everyone can join the fun without someone dashing out to stir things in the kitchen. Get some indoor sparklers for a bit of midnight countdown excitement.
7.For the morning after
If New Year’s Eve just doesn’t do it for you but you’d like to celebrate somehow, you could hold a New Year’s Day brunch instead. Invite friends round mid-morning and keep a rolling pot of coffee on the stove. Serve fresh orange juice and ready-made frozen pastries that you can warm up at the last minute, sling some sausages and bacon in a low oven and serve with scrambled eggs and toasted bagels. Go for minimum fuss and maximum chilled-outness.
Whatever you do and however you spend New Year’s Eve, we at WoolMe hope you have a very happy 2018. Wishing you a year filled with joy, good health and prosperity.
With Christmas right around the corner and present search fever giving us a headache the least thing we would like to end up is having no present for that someone special. In order to avoid that we are here to help you out to choose a present even for those who seem too rugged to be given a present in the first place. And since we love making lists here is one that might come in handy.
While flowery perfumes are considered girly there is nothing girly about cologne. Every man enjoys smelling good and will appreciate you giving him his favourite cologne as a present. Besides, that means you like it too which is the best compliment a man can get.
A warm wool throw
Feeling warm and cosy is essential in winter and the perfect item for cuddling up in front of a fireplace is a warm wool throw. With the huge variety to choose from you are guaranteed to find the perfect one for your loved one.
While it does not seem very manly to be wearing slippers it does feel cosy and warm. A pair of cosy and maybe even funny slippers will make sure to keep our loved ones feet warm and put a smile on his face.
A grooming set
Grooming is essential for every man that looks after himself. Without it he might end up looking like a caveman and we are pretty sure no one wants that. A luxurious grooming kit will be a perfect present for every man to make him feel classy and good looking after pampering himself.
A SPA date for the two of you
A present for him does not have to be one that is only for him. Even the most rugged men enjoy spending time with their ladies and what better way to do that rather than spending a day at a SPA pampering yourselves, just the two of you.
As you know, we love wool for its versatile beauty and its super cosiness, but this magical fabric has also found its way out of people’s homes and into the streets. The phenomena of ‘yarnbombing’ began around 12 years ago in the USA and has spread across the world, so we thought we’d give you the lowdown on this fun craft.
What is yarnbombing?
Yarnbombing takes knitting and crochet from being a hobby or means of decorating your home, and places it in public spaces. Think of it as removable graffiti, but made from wool rather than paint. From a small item like a scarf thrown around a statue’s neck, to an entire bus covered in crochet squares, yarnbombing is a way of brightening up a community and being creative with an urban space. Mundane objects like lampposts, benches and signposts are transformed by colourful knitted pompoms, tubes, squares and other shapes. The aim is to make people smile as they pass by, and to make a harsh city environment feel more welcoming and personal.
Sometimes yarnbombing is used to make a peaceful political statement, for example the covering of a Copenhagen tank in pink yarn as a protest against the war in Iraq. But often it is seen more as an art installation, and increasingly crafters are working alongside local authorities to create temporary displays across towns and cities as part of a specific project. Emma Leith, a knitting and crochet artist and teacher who has worked on projects in Bath, UK (including Bath in Fashion in conjunction with fashion designer Zandra Rhodes), has kindly given us permission to use some of the images from her 2016 project. These will give you a great idea of how playful and fun yarnbombing can be, and how a street can be transformed by such a simple fabric and a bit of imagination (see below).
It is worth noting that successful yarnbombing is done in collaboration with local authorities. This ensures that health and safety requirements are met and that the yarn bombs are not seen purely as graffiti or vandalism and swiftly removed. For example, YBLA, a yarnboming group based in Los Angeles, work on large-scale projects with city governments, museums and art spaces to create accessible, site-specific street art. For more information about yarnbombing, this book is a good start.
So, if you fancy jazzing up your local streets and have a few crafty friends, why not approach your council and ask permission to adorn your town in brilliant yarn? Or if you’d rather just enjoy the pleasures of wool in your own home, bring some summer brightness indoors with one of our sumptuous wool throws.
We love woollen throws and blankets for their versatility, cosiness and general loveliness, and we thought it would be fun to show you some ways you can bring complimentary wool products into your home. Wool chairs anyone? These pieces are luxe designer products that would compliment any of our wool throws, and would bring something unusually beautiful into any interior.
Alternative flooring: wool rugs
Luxurious yet simple, Moroccan Berber rugs are having a moment. These pure wool rugs are handmade high in the Atlas mountains and each has its own unique patina and imperfections. Wool makes a great fabric for flooring because it is hardwearing and non-toxic. We think it would pair perfectly with our steel grey Roberto wool rug.
For a unique way to use wool in your home, you could invest in a stunning wool lampshade. Who knew? These gorgeous felted wool lampshades come in 32 colours, meaning you can choose exactly the right one for your interior. Team this lovely mustard one with our stylists’ favourite grey and gold Alberto throw.
(pic via quirk.com)
Oh my, this chair has got us all a-flutter. It’s sleek and contemporary, unusual and comfortable. And it’s made from wool. It’s a new spin on the classic Eames mid-century design, made by innovative brand Solidwool, who set about turning around the fortunes of a declining wool town by creating a new material that combines sustainable wool with non-toxic bio-resins. Their products are functional yet stunning. Drape with one of our Luigi blankets in canyon rose for an instantly stylish yet soft look.
Wool is perfect for weaving and creating not just functional objects – it can also be a piece of art. This lovely tapestry was created by artists Kathryn Swailes and Caron Penney and is handwoven from wool, cotton, linen and gilt gold. It is framed behind non-reflective glass and would make an amazing centrepiece for your wall.
Check out Jane Walker’s exquisite designs screen and digitally printed onto wool cloth, or these quirky cone-shaped seats crafted from steam-pleated wool by designer Jule Waibel. And of course, our pure wool, super soft, durable blankets will always look great in any home.
With spring just around the corner we all start dreaming about lightweight jackets, windbreakers, sneakers and late afternoon walks in the park. To make sure you are ready for it when spring finally comes there are several items for you to get that are essential for spring. One of the essentials is a cosy throw that is just perfect for you and we are here to help you find one.
With the winter giving us the chills every morning all that every single one of us want to do is curl up in bed all cosy and warm and watch James Corden shows all day long. While that sounds like an amazing plan not every one of us can stay at home the whole day without having to go out shopping, walking the dog or simply having to go to work.