Thursday, 3 June 2010

I'll show you mine...

Hello everyone! I'm Jagienka from KnitSpinFelt (former and it's my pleasure to welcome you in my little crafting world.
As some of you already know, I hand knit lacy scarves, shawls and stoles, spin yarn on my antique spinning wheel, and recently started to felt and dye wool. There's nothing like a healthy fibre addiction!

So where do you do all that? I hear you ask.
Mostly at home. I transformed a spare bedroom, in the loft of my rented house, into a crafting corner, albeit I am known to knit in all sorts of places: in the garden, visiting friends, on a bus, car etc. Dying and felting, however, require a proper work space, such as house kitchen, with easy to clean surfaces, sink and a good waterproof apron! 
Thank goodness that my workspace organizes itself ;) I do not require a large workspace for knitting and spinning. I just grab my needles and yarn and sit on any vacant sit at home, or in the garden on a sunny day. (feel so spoiled this year!) Same with a spinning wheel. I just park it next to a comfortable chair with a good back support and spin along! 
With felting it's a totally different story. I need a water damage resistant worktop, a sink and a washing machine. In other words, I need a kitchen. I try to divide the work surface into DRY and WET area. I keep the fibre rovings and yarn in the dry area (usually the floor) and work on the design on my kitchen work surface, which can easily be wiped out when it gets too wet. I try to cover the rest of the kitchen units with a waterproof fabric before I flood everything around and serve lunch with a big woolly fluff as an aperitif ;)

I was trying to think of something in my craft space that inspires me most. And I think I am most inspired by the colours and textures of yarn and/or roving waiting to be turned into a yarn (or felt). I love my silk braids and I have them on display in a bowl. Whenever I struggle for inspiration I find it in my craft books and zines. I love flicking through them, studying photos, charts and material used. There's also the internet, with millions of blogs, videos and tutorials. And of course, for each knitter, crocheter, Ravelry is a place to be. It's like a bottomless treasure chest!

As for my favourite material and it's storage, I love working with fibre. All and any type of it. It can be a raw wool fleece, straight from the back of sheep, or combed and ready-to-go natural fibre. I also work with all sorts of commercial yarn, of which I love trying out new ones.

My favourite spinning material is natural wool (BFL, merino, corriedalle, alpaca). But I also use silk fibres, tencel, bamboo, cotton or seacell. I store them either in plastic boxes or in a laundry basket. Dyes and felting needles live in another box underneath the double bed in my craft room/guest bedroom.

For knitting I use yarn, of which I have a huge stash, albeit I have seen bigger ones! I keep the skeins and small balls of yarn on shelves, cones lives in a wooden box and scraps are stored in a plastic box. Knitting needles of all sorts, spinning spindles, beads, ribbons, buttons and a small selection of crochet hooks, have recently moved to plastic drawers and empty crisps’ tubes.

Word of advice for all you struggling to keep your workplace tidy:  
  • Empty crisp boxes/tubes make a great storage place for knitting needles, pens, brushes etc.
  • Keep the tools you use most often in easy to reach, always on site position.
  • Rearrange your craft space as often as required, until you find an arrangement that works best for you. Then, try to keep it clutter free and spend few minutes every day tidying your work space.

My favourite item in the craftroom, at the moment the big bowl of silk standing on the wooden box. And the recently felted flowers I am slowly becoming addicted to. However, if I could I would gladly get rid of the double bed and replace it with a proper desk and workbench with a sink. Not sure our guests would approve on my modifications to their bedroom though!

Thanks for having me!

Jagienka of KnitSpinFelt


  1. Wow you are a busy woman..... thanks for sharing.... Just love the flowers you are making.

  2. Good grief, thank goodness for the calmness of the garden! You certianly live and breathe you art. Great wee post and fab art pieces.

  3. Hi Jagienke, thank you for the tour. You are very organised and your advice to tidy once a day is so good. A tidy work space is so inviting and helps creativity.

    I love your felt flowers - they are gorgeous and could be used in so many different ways.

    Have you considered tipping the double bed on its side and covering it with a sheet? I did this in the past and although it did not look great it created more room. Just a thought!!

    Love, Carol :)

  4. Great work space Jagienka! I think I'd like woolly fluff in my dinner!... but only if it tastes like candyfloss! ;)*

  5. I simply love the fact that you use the traditional spinning wheel. It makes an amazing piece of house decor even if you didn't use it!

  6. Speaking as someone struggling to keep the workspace organised and the yarn stash under control, this article was a breath of fresh air!! Thanks, Jagienka:)