#1year1outfit Half Way House

We are 6 months down!   Aaaaaahhhhh, only 6 months to go to make my one Year one Outfit project  and I. Am. Starting.to.Panic.   Just a little. 

This might, might, have something to do with the fact that I am a novice at everything. No wait.  I am a stone cold begineer in all the things.  I’m learning to dye, weave, knit and felt – all in one breath. And well, things seem to be moving at a glacial pace when you are learning.

To catch you up since my last post, I need to show you the results of my wool dye tests……druuuuuuumm roll please…

And just because I tested a few other bits and pieces..

So after all those tests, what did I decide to do?  Well.  I took all 900g of handspun and dyed it with bottlebrush leaves.  Now for those of you paying attention you may recall that my first tangled dyeing disaster was with bottlebrush leaves.  I wasn’t happy with the colour, so I went off for a couple of months, tried everything I could get my hands on, and then, you guessed it, decided I liked the colour after all.  We all change our mind every now and then right!?

The dyeing took a whole week by the time I had scoured, dried, dyed and soaked all 900g.

2015-06-03 09.13.26

My knitting is going slowly as I chose a garment with cables, and yep, you guessed it, I’ve never done cables before!  I am at the point where things are starting to make sense so I hope the pace quickens a little.

In order to wear more than a cardigan (or boob tube as it currently stands)) I also want to get my head around weaving and felting.

I have been following along with @theweavingkind’s challenges on Instagram as incentive to read some tutorials on basic hand weaving.   My first hand weaving efforts were made using a small picture frame.  I have much to learn, much to learn..
Weaving startWeaving start

Then this week, I played with the big kids on a real loom at the local weaving, spinning and dyeing group and that was pretty exciting!  I have some basic information to get my head around before the next session and some designing to do, but looming my sample was very exciting!

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I also had a crack at felting at the Toodjay Fiber Festival.  I am excited to be catching up with Sue in the near future who is very close to finish the challenge and has become a ninja felter along the way!


Finally, I have also been collecting design ideas from nature by taking photos of this beautiful place I live in on instagram. The black swans and floral shapes and colours are just exquisite, my favourite photo so far has to be this one.


My head is spinning with everything I have learnt, and I feel like more and more of a fiber novice the further I dig!

This challenge would be overwhelming if it weren’t for the support of others joining in.  

–  Did you see Charlottes‘ post on natural dyeing?

–  I hear that Elle has had a bit of a break through in tracking down UK fiber so watch her new blog for more information there.  

– I am loving watching Raquel’s progress on instagram as she has sourced some wool very close to my heart and I cannot wait to see what she does with it, particularly when she keeps producing beautiful images of Peruvian textiles that inspire her and the dye plants she farms. 

–  And I want to welcome Zoe who has just decided to throw her hat in the ring and give this thing a go sourcing UK fibers. 

I would love to know how you are feeling about the challenge?  are you feeling overwhelmed like I am?  Anyone else got more than a boob tube so far? 

14 thoughts on “#1year1outfit Half Way House

  1. I can’t wait to see what garment is the result of all of these new skills. I love my Weavers, Spinners, Dyers group – they are great aren’t they! I learn loads from fellow bloggers online, but it’s also great to learn skills from knowledgeable local women in person. I’m just about to finish knitting a scarf for #1year1outfit, and I have socks and gloves (unblogged as yet) so far – so plenty of accessories, now I need some actual clothes – otherwise I’ll be looking a bit undressed in my wrap-up post!

  2. Great to see your progress – I am so excited about this project! I need to write a blog post because (eek!) I’ve been very busy trying to catch up with you guys… yesterday I learnt to weave on a rigid heddle loom at our local Wool and Willow festival and have lots more chatting to do with Dunja Roberts from Spinwise.co.uk who taught me – she knows a lot about spinning, weaving and keeping sheep and might even join the project – I’ve been researching wool as well as nettles because I am in deep sheep country and it would be silly not to. Last night I finally called the farmer Andrew next door and he has all kinds of fleeces freshly shorn ready for me to choose from. He’s also keeping a young ewe back for shearing when I can make it down to take photos – and that will give me soft lambswool! I’ve been reading up on what I can use in my garden to dye from and am poring through all the natural dyeing books in the County Library system… Someone today gave me the idea of collecting goose or chicken feathers… for a hat??? Also wondering about nettle cordage for espadrilles…? Gosh – methinks I have more ideas than time. Because sheep shearing time marks an important beginning in the fibre cycle round here, in many ways it would make sense to do my year June to June… although dye plants are abundant NOW…so I’d better get on to spinning! My mum has a wheel in Scotland… I just have to get it here somehow…

    • All sooo exciting! You are welcome to do June to June if that suits you better. I think this challenge sets its own timetable sometimes. Really intrigued about how you process the nettles into cloth so will watch your blog with interest!

  3. Great post Nicki. I had a meltdown about my outfit last night – I knew that it would look kind of blah – brown shades and frumpy. Anyway, I have a whole new outfit on the way (I will probably finish up with half a wardrobe suitable for One Year One Outfit!) – I am converting my skirt into a dress and adding either a poncho or jacket. So, my whole outfit will be felted! I definitely need to do some dyeing to get rid of the dullness…

    • I hear you on the dullness! As you can see from the wool samples, the colours are all quite muted without the use of a mordant. I’m keen to see if I can boost the results with mordants. That said, I am very sure that you can make the Browns work for you!

  4. Wow, you’re putting so much effort in this. It’s great. And you have still have a year left, with your output that’s a lot of time. I didn’t even start yet, but i’m getting a idea of what i want. I’d love to make shoes. Looking forward to see all the results of one year one outfit in half a year!

    • Shoes are on my “wish I had time” along with making a basket from wild grasses… Had to get real recently and focus on getting clothed! I’m excited to see what you do with your wool/linen sources!

  5. Pingback: #1year1outfit : hairshirt

  6. This is such a great project, great idea! The things you’ve tried really look like a lot of fun! I am excited to see all of your results and how you get to them!

  7. Pingback: #1year1outfit: The Great Making Bonanza Part 1 | this is moonlight

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