Loop’s 10th Anniversary Plans – with Tif Fussell
The final design we have to reveal from Loop’s 10 is the Rosemaling Mitts by Tif Fussell (also known as Dottie Angel). These classic hand warmers are a blank canvas for Tif’s signature ‘woolly tattoo’- pretty floral embroidery that she has taken to adorning her knits and clothing with.
Psst! Some of the custom colours are starting to arrive! We now have Dye for Yarn ‘Golden Beehive’ and Old Maiden Aunt’s colour ‘The Angel Islington’ in stock. Plus, you could win a skein of Old Maiden Aunt this week! Read to the end of the post to find out more. (This competition is now closed – but we’ll have more in the future!)
A great beginners pattern, finished with an easy crochet edging, the Rosemaling Mitts are also a wonderful way to try your hand at embroidery too. Tif used our custom colour of The Uncommon Thread Lush Worsted ‘Turbillion’ with a Pigeon Roof Mini Skein Set, but you can also use any scrap yarn that you have saved in your stash.
We had a chat with Tiff to find out more…
Hi Tiff! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your wool based adventures.
I am a Brit who has resided with her clan and critters outside of Seattle for the past 15 years, slowly but surely my clan has grown up and grown wings and I am now plotting and planning growing a pair for myself. In the meantime I am a crafter, and for many years blogged happily over at www.dottieangel.blogspot.com however in recent times I have taken a step back from that side of things and indeed most of the crafty makes I used to create. You can keep up to date with my work on my Instagram account dottieangel
I appear only to have eyes for yarn these days, this has been greatly helped by working at Tolt Yarn and Wool our LYS where the proprietress, Anna Dianich stocks all manner of lovely yarns and wools which find their way home with me. For now, I am working on creating a collection for small beings, grown~ups and crinklies featuring quality yarns, in crochet and knit whilst adding in a sprinkling of thrifted knitwear with woolly tattoos adorning them. I have also been teaching workshops and classes in recent months and am hopeful next year to be traveling further a field to share my love of woolly tattooing.
What inspired the motif that you’ve embroidered on the Rosemaling Mitts? And where did your idea for a ‘woolly tattoo’ come from?
I am a squares and rectangles kind of knitter and crocheter, which suited me fine as I wished for the woolly tattoo embroidery to be the star. I am also thinking it is sometimes nice to have a simple knit pattern that a beginner could make but a more advanced knitter could see the potential to change things up a bit. As for the embroidery, I knew it had to be a floral design and I have a lovely wooden platter I found thrifting which has a stunning Rosemaling painting upon it, I took inspiration from an area of the design and then it sort of went on its own merry way.
And for folks wondering where the term ‘woolly tattoo’ came from, one day after working on my first pair of embroidered mittens I thought about how we adorn ourselves with tattoos and how it could be if we were to adorn our second skin (our clothing) with woolly ones too. Hence I place the embroidery in areas one might see a real tattoo. A good example would be a thrifted wool coat I found for a bobby bargain and placed a woolly tattoo along the front of where my left thigh which cleverly covered up a blob.
Any advice for those trying embroidery for the first time?
I must confess the yarns caused me a little bit of practice and patience for I am used to working with thicker yarns and also of late I have found myself working with more rustic fibres. The yarns for the Rosemaling Mitts are beautifully soft and they have a little bit of stretch to them when embroidering. The colour palette took me somewhat out of my comfort zone so I channeled my inner Loopette and it all came together in a most delightful way.
For first timers I would suggest you practice stitching on the knitted gauge swatch made for the mitts, before you work on the finished mitts. For once you start stitching into the fabric, there comes a certain point it is not possible to unpick your work. If you are unsure of the stitches, or wish to learn to embroider, try your LYS to see if they have lessons you could take, [Loop is hoping to offer some embroidery lessons with Jessie Chorley this Winter, email the shop to let us know if you are interested and would like more info nearer the time] or go on YouTube for tutorials and indeed, there are a fair few embroidery books out there which will help you on your way. Embroidering on knitted fabric is a little different however to cotton fabric. I do not use an embroidery hoop, I just stitch carefully being sure not to pull my stitches too tight or leave them too loose so as not to distort the knitwear fabric underneath.
It is better to build up the layers slowly then to try to do it all in one go. I would also advise when working with mitts or socks or anything in pairs, if you wish the design to be similar on both items then work on them at the same time. Do one bit of the design on one mitt, then do the exact same bit on the other mitt and so forth, this will make all the difference to the finished result. Also, do not fret if its not perfect, the point is you want them to look handmade and you can always add your own flourishing touches to the design if your needle and thread are going off on their own creative path.
How did you first hear about Loop and what does the shop mean to you?
I have been a Loop and Susan Cropper fan for a long long time. For my 40th birthday me and my soul sister made a pilgrimage to London to see Loop when it was still in its first premises and then several years ago when we spent our first Christmas in the UK since leaving in 2000. Again I took another pilgrimage to Loop in its new premises where upon I met Susan and was a little in awe because hey, Susan for me was at the forefront of turning around the dying LYS situation. Growing up as a child in England, there seemed to be a wool shop in every village and my mother would take me in there, I would look through all the patterns, pick one and we would choose the yarn and then a few weeks later I was wearing a most spiffy knitted number, even in my gothic phase she knitted up oversized mohair black cardigans without blinking an eye. I do not think at the time I realised just how amazing her knitting skills were nor how amazing it was to have yarn stores on every corner.
Then it all started to change and slowly but surely they closed down. So to me Loop is a pioneer of a place, it boldly went where others had trodden and failed or dared not tread. It is nothing short of a wonderful inspiring miraculous tale and I am so giddy to be part of Loop’s 10th Anniversary celebrations, I mean truly, how serendipitous is it to think once upon a time I took a trip to London to look at a little yarn shop and all these years on, not only do I get to be part of their birthday celebrations, but to also count Susan as a friend.
Loop ticks all the boxes in what a yarn shop is for me, it is colourful, it is filled with exquisite yarns, it has an amazing array of knick knacks I did not know I needed until I saw them all lined up in pretty jars, it has a wonderful scattering of mid century furniture amongst it all and of course it has a lovely line up of knowledgeable Loopettes to guide you in your yarn choices. When I was there visiting this spring I bought myself a skein of Madelinetosh in a bright pink, which is ironic because that is US yarn but I had not seen the colour over in my neck of the woods. I claimed that skein for my own and have since used it held with a rustic cream I bought from Estonia to become part of my collection of knits I mentioned earlier.
So all in all I am feeling most blessed to be invited to share in Loop’s grand moment and hope one day to stay long enough to teach a woolly tattoo class within its perfecto yarny walls. Now that would be a totally Fan moment for me… Till then, hippity happity 10th birthday Loop!
Thank you Tif!
We announced on the blog last week that we are now taking pre-orders for our anniversary book and lots of you are taking advantage of our early birds 10% discount. Place you order here, and please note, if you do order other items in the same transaction the entire order will be held at the shop and only dispatched when the book is available. If you wish to receive your other items sooner, please place two separate orders.
We’ve got quite into the spirit of giveaways, so you won’t be surprised to hear we have another one this week! Old Maiden Aunt’s colour ‘The Angel Islington’ has now arrived and there is a skein that could be yours. Ideal for the ‘Isokon’ fingerless mitts designed by Ysolda Teague for Loop’s 10 (did you catch our interview with Lilith and Ysolda?)
Comment on the blog letting us know your favourite shade of Old Maiden Aunt (there are plenty to chose from!) and we will chose one winner at random.
This giveaway closes at midnight GMT on Wednesday 12th August and the winners will be notified next week on the blog. Good Luck!
(This competition is now closed – but we’ll have more in the future!)
Finally, we have the winners of last weeks giveaway to announce. Two skeins of each custom Koigu colour were up for grabs for two readers. And the winners are… chosen at random from the blog it’s Jules who is looking forward to knitting our ‘Islington Shawl’, and from our Instagram account is username ‘salliann’. Congratulations both of you! We’ll be in touch to let you know how you can claim your prize.