Friday, 17 January 2014


I am extremely pleased to show you my new tuffet - as described in the nursery rhyme about Miss Muffet!  It is firm and adds comfort to the chair, and being made of wool is warming.  While washed to remove most of the lanolin and dirt it still smells comfortingly of sheep.

tuffet on a chair

in and out
Carrying on the nursery rhyme theme - In and Out the Dusty Bluebells - although not sure of the rest of the words but remember dancing to this one in the playground.

peg loom and tuffet

Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet
Eating her curds and whey
Along came a spider
And sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Tuffet Away

Tuffet on a different chair
A very good sculpture in the background made for the Tagore festival at Dartington 2 years ago.


After weaving was complete, the tuffet was washed in the washing machine - It shrank by two inches.

warp made of string

I need to find a new kind of warp - something less Kitchen cotton string and more in keeping with the rustic woolliness of the tuffet.  A friend gave me a Romney fleece - which makes up two of the white stripes - a kind of sheep bred for the marshes in Kent, but this ram living happily on soggy Dartmoor - so happy in a damp climate.  His fleece was open, a reasonable staple but very little crimp and I reckoned that it would not be so good for felting, although it will spin up well.  A lovely oily fleece that left my hands moisturised from the lanolin.

The black stripes are from a Black Hebridean fleece, another gift from a friend.  This fleece was cotted (felted on the sheep) and had a very rich sheepy smell, so again not good for felting.  But great for weaving.

This tuffet is a birthday present.  For the next one I'm going to experiment with using a warp of yarn made from nettles (bought at Totnes market, and spun from the giant himalayan nettle!).  The blacks and greys of the hebridean fleece remind me of the brooding Dartmoor landscape at this time of year - black crow and jackdaw shapes wheeling against storming scudding skies.

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