Monday, 13 December 2010

Meet our Artisans: Sue Routledge

Hi! I’m Sue and I’m half of the Forest Crafters team, the Woolly half! The other half is responsible for wood related crafting tools.

I’ve been a knitter and general hand-crafter for years always dabbling in something new and getting overexcited about it.  I started making the bags about a year ago when I met and was inspired by Bev Beattie. I couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed making them and consequently haven’t stopped.  I’m always just musing on what the next one could look like. Along the way I decided that I wanted to create my own yarns for different effects and that started off my spinning obsession.  I started with a homemade CD spindle and now have 3 spinning wheels all with names!

I really enjoy the fun of creating the bags on big needles then watching as they felt in the washing machine.  The reaction I get from people when they see them out and about is very thrilling.  It’s great to be told ‘I love your bag’. My hand knitted and felted bags as well as hand-dyed and carded batts and hand-spun fibre, are all available for sale at Knit Nottingham. I am also looking into creating felted brooches and jewellery. 

I have begun producing all the yarn to make my bags, and include some commercial novelty yarns.  This includes using local fleece and preparing it from scratch.  That’s a real labour of love! And I’ve begun dyeing the fleece and the fibres I’m processing mainly with natural or kitchen-friendly dyes. I enjoy mixing colours and different fibres to create my ‘fantasy yarns’.

What’s scary is that I haven’t really had a disaster yet, because I’ve realised I like everything that turns out unexpectedly.  Watch this space!!  So far I’m really enjoying working with any fibre that is colourful. I do like some of the natural colours that the rare breeds sheep produce as well. Thinking of my current favourite, Gotland, here.

I wouldn’t be able to have all this fun without the support of the other half of Forest Crafters, my hubby. He has gallantly made fibre tools from that original CD spindle to his current stash including, beautiful turned wood spindles, orifice hooks and WPI yarn gauges, crochet hooks, shawl pins and nostepinnes.  He mostly uses recycled wood but is now looking at using native and some exotic woods and acrylics. He also produces beautiful turned pens and pencils, which are great for writing down all those essential pattern notes. And his latest project idea is buttons! Lucky me, I get to play with all these new toys first. Some of my hubby's hand crafted fibre tools are also available in the Knit Nottingham shop.

Follow us on our Blog.
We’re on Ravelry as ‘Suejay’ and ‘amonster’. Yes…he’s happy about that name!
We look forward to hearing from you soon.


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