DIY: We are the makers…

the dreamers, the fiber fanatics galore.


Years ago, I purchased cloth labels to attach to my creations.  Since then, I have collected lots of craft supplies that I could certainly create my own.

If you are ever in need of a million ways to make something, head on over to Pinterest. It is full of ideas and DIY’s, really more than any one person would have need of in a lifetime.

Gather your supplies:

Freezer Paper (need iron) or
(optional: copy paper- baste fabric onto paper  – cut to 8.5″ x 11″
cotton fabric – cut to 8.5″ x 11″
scissors or rotary cutter/mat
word program to create labels
ink jet printer
sewing machine (optional)


Using a word program, create your label with any font, clip art, etc.  I won’t go into detail on this part, as there are so many options.

Print a draft of your labels and decide how you will finish them off.  I created 8 to a page for folding over the edges.

Cut freezer paper and fabric to 8.5″ x 11″. Iron fabric to freezer paper.

Optional: You can baste your fabric onto standard copy paper.  I may do this next time as I did have a bit of a fold happen each time the printer took up the fabric/freezer paper.

Run your fabric/paper through printer one at a time. Stand by when it is printing in case it jams.

Once printed, remove paper and heat set the ink to the fabric with an iron, probably 20-30 seconds with a HOT iron.


Cut the labels leaving a good 1/2″ on the top and bottom of the printing and about 1-1/5″ on each side.  (I cut across each row, then cut the two apart)

Fold down the top edge and iron, repeat for the bottom edge.

I top stitched each label, though you could leave them without the stitches or do a running stitch by hand for a more folk art look.  Also, I didn’t turn under the raw edges on the back as it wasn’t going to unravel.

Pretty simple and a great way to use up your craft supply stash.

Until next time…






History Makers: Cushendale Woolen Mills from The Minds of Makers

With YouTube around, there are so many great videos that give us a glimpse into the world beyond our front doors.

Objectlab, the video series, from has made available many videos that are part of the world of wool.

Here is a wonderful video I had to share about Cushendale Woolen Mills. Cushendale Woolen Mills is located in Graignamanagh, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland and still uses turn-of-the-century manufacturing techniques to produce fine wool.

The film focuses on the mill and one of the local farms with Zwartbles wool.

Zwartbles is a breed of sheep which originates from The Netherlands. The fleece comes in a natural brown shade, with excellent crimp, making it superb for felting. The fiber is around 30-32 Microns.

Gather your knitting or spinning and your cup of tea for about 6 minutes of wool delight.

Until next time…

History Makers: Mary Red Dan Smith and a Spindle

If you follow the link to Cape Breton’s Magazine, you will be able to read the story of Mary Red Dan Smith and a Spindle.

An interesting story of how a piece of wood about 5 inches long, with notches at the base and tapering into a cone to a tiny round ball at the top was used as a small spindle, or dealgan beag (Gaelic meaning for small spindle).

I was able to find one made by @happay on Instagram (as pictured above). 

An interesting spindle, just over 6 inches high and weighing in at 1.7 oz, it seems light, but for a spindle, is quite heavy. 

Initially spinning on the dealgan-style spindle was a bit awkward, though given a good hour or so of practice, it was becoming more of a fascination to me.

The beauty of this spindle is it also acts as a nostepinne.  As the length of single is spun, it is then wrapped onto the body of the spindle in the same manner of wrapping a nostepinne.  The ending result being a center pull ball, that you can then ply your single from.

There is not much information on this type of spindle available on the web.  I am trying to research it deeper to to see if I can discover anything more.  With my trip to Edinburgh just a few weeks away, I am hoping to obtain more information while there. 

Until next time…

Makers Gotta Make: DIY Wool Gypsy Wrist Distaff

Grab a few items around the house and make a Wool Gypsy Wrist Distraff for your travels.

Items needed:

Strong cotton string

Yard Stick



Bead needle or tiny crochet hook

It’s easy, just:

Cut 9 pieces of cotton string in 9 yard lengths

Fold in half, around a chair, leaving about 8-10 inches before knotting.

Divide into three sections and braid until about 10″ left of length. Cut the part wrapped around chair in half.

Once braided and off the chair, drape over wrist and find a comfortable amount to create the opening to move on and off the wrist/hand. Then take a small piece of cotton and secure through the braid, add a few beads and cut off the extra length.

Start adding beads to add weight to the bottom of the wrist distaff.  Be creative. Add a few to each thread or add one.  I had a few jingle bells to add as well. 

Presto! A finish wool gypsy wrist distaff to be a wool wanderer and spin.

Until next time…

History Makers: Scotland’s Wool Industry: Border Weave Documentary c.1941

If you haven’t figured out by now, I LOVE YouTube. I’m not a big fan of television, but I do love to watch short clips on DIY or documentaries.

When I find clips that pertain to wool, I must share.

Today, I found one from the British Council, c. 1941, on Scotland’s Wool Industry: Border Weave – 1941 Textiles Industry / Educational Documentary.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Until next time…

Dressing a Distaff

Have you dressed a distaff? Maybe one that tucks under your arm, hangs on the wrist or a wheel distaff?

Browsing YouTube videos today, I found a few videos to share with you on dressing different distaffs.  You never know when this information will come in handy.  You might be at the top of a Swiss alp and need your hands free to spin, so dressing a wrist distaff might be the ticket.

Supported Distaff:

Wrist Distaff:

I’ll be sharing how to make a simple wrist distaff in my next post.

Until then…

Blue Texel

This morning I decided a little spinning was in order.  I had a small batch of Blue Texel that I had received from @bakewell_hearts earlier this year, ready to be picked on the wool picker to open the locks and then ran through the drum carder.

It did not spin as easily as I thought it would have.  There was a lesson in it for me. Sample spin a bit of the wool first as it will save a bit of grief and struggle in the end. This really is good advice for anyone.  Not everyone spins rustic wools, nor do all spin luxury. Know what you are spinning and decide if it is right for you.  

Texel sheep is a domestic sheep from the island of Texel in the Netherlands. It has become a popular lean meat sheep in many countries.  

The wool is a medium grade and a fleece can weigh between 7 – 12 lbs.  

The micron count is around 32 and is used mostly for hosiery yarns and knitting wools.  

I just didn’t have a spectacular time with this batch of Texel, though I persisted to the end of spinning the single. 

Tomorrow I will give it a chain ply and use it for rug hooking or fingerless work-gloves.

Until next time…