Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday is my day: LilouColours

Off we go to the UK to visit Ingrid! The first thing that caught my eye in her Etsy shop (, with scarves, bags and yarns) were all the beautiful colours - it's no wonder that word is in the name! This week Ingrid takes us along to show us her creative day. Enjoy!

Hello, my name is Ingrid (a.k.a. Lilou) and I live in the small village of Bollington, in Cheshire, England, with my lovely husband Andy and my two hedonistic cats.

This is a day in my life:

I get up. I laugh seeing my hair in the mirror. I've decided to let it grow again and must endure the awkward "Hulk meets Jedward" stage.

Off to the kitchen, where I make sandwiches for Andy: On the menu today is camembert and Paté. Andy works hard, as a painter and decorator and this is my way of thanking him.

Next, I feed the 2 cats who have been waiting patiently, while I my coffee steeps... Andy is off to work and it looks like a beautiful sunny day.

I am not a morning person, so I need all the help I can get! Coffee time is my personal time, when I check my emails, catch up on news and chit chat on the Etsy thread. This a really relaxing time for me. When my coffee mug is empty, I know it's time for a shower.

I'm all dressed and ready to start the day. I need to do some indigo dyeing today, so I turn the heat on for my vat. Indigo is a beautiful dye, but the process can be a little complicated and time-consuming. It requires a fair amount of planning.

I have a bunch of silk skeins that need to soak, before they can be mordanted and dyed tomorrow. So it's off to the bath for a little dip.

I hope on the loom and start weaving. I have been playing a lot with painted warps lately. It seems I am most happy when there are many colours, constantly changing as I weave. I get up frequently to refill my bobbins, with my manual bobbin winder.

Weaving is a very repetitive task, so I love listening to my favourite songs, as it makes the time go by, as I enjoy watching the clothe change in front of my eyes.

I go check on the indigo vat. The temperature and colour looks good, so I dip the yarn for about 8 minutes. Then give it a quick rinse and watch the transformation happen, from yellow to blue. Indigo requires many dips for darker shades and the yarn must rest in between, or the colour will not develop.

Back to weaving and my music.

Time for another dip in the indigo vat.

I think it's time for some food now, as I am getting a bit peckish. It's a beautiful sunny day, still, which is a rare treat here in the Peak District, so I'm in the mood for a fresh tomato salad, with mozzarella and basil from the garden, and a little slice of home-made bread.

I look at my cats and wonder: Where did I go wrong? That was supposed to be my life!

Back to my loom. My lilac scarf is near the end. Once finished, I cut it off the loom.

Before I can wash the scarf, I need to knot the fringe, so it doesn't unravel. This is a tedious task (and not my favourite), as I need to pick 8 threads at a time, to make a smooth slip knot. I enlist the help of a pin to do this, as it makes it much easier to separate the ends.

I am musing at what colours I want to play with next... I am without a doubt a colour junky and can never get enough of them...

I need to prepare my next set of scarves, for next week. First I need to measure the yarn on what's called a "warping board". It is a simple frame with pegs, around which I wrap the yarn to a pre-determined measurement. These scarves have 442 ends, so I got up and down 442 times!

I need to finish a couple of cushions I started last week, so I can list them on Etsy, in my 2nd store. I love these gorgeous kimono fabrics, they really perk me up in the afternoon, as they are quite fun to work with. I am also enjoying my fabulous new Janome sewing machine, which I recently bought second-hand on ebay. It is so smooth compared to the old dinosaur I was using before.

Time for a tea break. Checking my emails, etc.

Back on the loom, and a more music. I start a new scarf with the remaining warp and this time I decide to use a pastel yellow. It's surprisingly perky and I can't wait to see what it will look like on the other end, where the warp is lilac again.


Andy is back from work. He has had a really long day, finishing a big job for a customer. We decide to go for a walk, as the weather is too good to be true! We go through the cricket grounds, come face-to-face with a wandering dalmatian, continue to the canal and look at the ducks grooming themselves at the end of a long day.

I haven't made any plans for dinner this evening, so we decide to enjoy a meal at a nearby pub. I have a glass of wine, we enjoy a simple meal and an evening conversation. Chatting about our move to Chester next week, how we will miss Bollington but at the same time, can't wait to move to our new place. Chester is a beautiful town and our new place has a much better studio space and storage.

We walk back home, after a long, productive day, ready to start all over again tomorrow.


  1. Hi Ingrid.
    Thanks for this great post. I really enjoyed reading and looking at the pictures.
    That bag has been a favorite of mine for a while now! Nice to meet you :)

    Have a nice weekend!

  2. A really busy day, Ingrid! Wonderful creations, and I envy you for the loom! I bet it is a wonderful experience to weave on it.

  3. Fantastic bags!
    I used to be a weaver but had to give in. It's great to see an artist that dyes, weaves and sews great designs like this.

  4. Wow! This post, seeing how she works, makes me want to buy from her. She should add a link to this in her product descriptions so customers can see her process.

    P.S. And of course, I love that her shop has the same name as my daughter :)


  5. I like your creation for a while now but it was so nice to get you know a little bit more.

    Enjoyed every moment of the story. An I am totally in the same boat when I look at my cats and wonder: Where did I go wrong? That was supposed to be my life!


  6. Thanks for this peek !
    I really enjoyed to read about your daily creative life!

  7. Oh Ingrid, you have a lovely day:)
    and those boat reminds me on my Sunday walk by the canal when we were still living in the UK!
    Thank you for sharing you day with us!:)

  8. Fantastic story! I love the pictures! Very productive day,indeed!

  9. Thank you all for your lovely comments!

    I am grinning at the fact that my day seems productive.

    I never feel very productive because I often have to interrupt my weaving to do other things like winding, skeining, dyeing, knotting, warping, etc. And too often I feel like it takes me ages to weave anything!

    So thank you for the boost ;-)

    Also, for those who commented on the bags, those wouldn't have been possible without the amazing Aldona (
    I showed up at her door with some fabrics and a couple of bad sketches and she made the rest happen ;-)

    We have been moving today, the loom is in a million pieces! The van driver had a problem with his van. Half our things are at the new house and the other half at the old one. But it's not raining, so we daren't complain :D

    Have a lovely weekend everyone!

  10. WoW, WoW, WoW! I´m totally stunned! weaving, dying, sawing! You are such a talented woman! I´d love to visit you and see you working!

    Good luck with the moving, it is not fun! Chester however is a beautiful place! Good luck!

  11. Thank you so very much for sharing!

    And good luck moving!

  12. It's always nice to see the face and get to know somebody a bit closer whom we only know from exchanging words on the internet! I can see how the beautiful country side you live in inspires your fiberart!

    I would love to try indigo dyeing, maybe I give it a whirl this fall. You should give workshops!

  13. Perfectly wonderful day...I see many smilarities. :-D
    And indeed....cats have it right !

  14. Beautiful day, lovely to see you working on a loom! I studied weaving for 4 years but the life took me to different direction after graduating. Would be fun to try weaving one of these days. Your work is just amazing!

  15. Thanks for sharing your day, the indigo looks gorgeous.
    Your bread looks so professional!

  16. Lovely to meet you Ingrid, and to hear more about your day. You live in a beautiful part of the UK, good luck with your move to Chester, my sister lives nearby in the Delamere Forest! Love your weaving, and all your work!

  17. I'm a little late but it was great reading and knowing some more about you Ingrid! I'm very impressed by the weaving part! And the dyeing seems magical!!!! I love your work and I agree with you about the cats :D

  18. Great day!
    I thoroughly enjoyed going through it with Ingrid.

  19. I love your colors, fabrics and handbags .... in short everything:-)