The Joy of Spinning!

Spinning is very important to us at Grace and Jacob. Since setting up our spinning group over a year ago we have shown over fifteen people how to drop spindle and converted them to the cause. In a city like York we often have tourists and restaurant goers amazed at watching us spin on wheels and drop spindles!

We like to defy stereotypes and our group does that with a wide age range and lots of members in their twenties.

So what is spinning?


We usually start with fibre in the form of tops, this was my secret santa from our spinning group and it’s a mix of camel, silk and cashmere, it’s scrummy thanks Jo!

The next stage is to spin it into a singles yarn with my drop spindle


Then I used a nostepinne to wind a centre pull ball so that I could ply it.


Don’t look too closely, I haven’t wound it on the nostepinne very tidily but it does the job….


Here it is my pride and joy, a two ply yarn that is destined to become a pair of Cranford mittens. The pattern is available on the P/hop website here this is a brilliant site that supports medecin sans frontiers. P/hop stands for pennies per hour of pleasure where you download gorgeous patterns for free and then donate based on the hours of pleasure you have had knitting your pattern. It’s genius, making something beautiful and supporting a good cause.

Happy spinning and knitting


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Colour Inspirations

I think one of the reasons I love working with textiles so much is my love of colour and texture. On a visit to Florence a year ago, I visited a textiles recycling business and loved the patterns and textures created by the bales of sorted fabrics, I have lots of images like the following two in masses of colour ways.

IFA Florence Trip 084        IFA Florence Trip 086

I often return to inspirations such as these in my design and sketch books, and they influence the hand dying of fibres and yarns I create for Grace and Jacob. I think colour influence is sometimes subliminal and it  seeps  into every aspect of  my textile work, a simple example is the final layer of hand dyed fibre on these hand felted slippers.

Berlin March 2010 142

Remind you of anything?

If you have a hankering to learn to hand dye or to hand felt your own slippers further information can be found here

Look forward to sharing more thoughts, ideas and inspirations with you soon.


Fiona x

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Welcome to Grace and Jacob Studio


Hello and welcome to Grace and Jacob Studio we are a small working studio and shop selling supplies and equipment for felt making, spinning and creative textiles in York UK. It is a beautiful historic city and a very inspiring place to live, work and visit. We hope to share projects, ideas and inspirations with you through our blog.

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