Draped In Lace

Julia Blakeman Plus

  • United Kingdom
  • Sold: 10
  • Feedback: 100%

“Knit and crochet lace shawls for all occasions, from chunky lace to very fine beaded lace heirloom shawls.”

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About Draped In Lace

Draped In Lace

Knitting and crocheting with beautiful yarns to create something unique for your special event.

Walking in a field... to walking down the aisle

I learned to knit around the age of 6 and to crochet a few years later and when I became an aunt at the age of 12, I made my first proper knitted item, a baby matinee coat, for my tiny nephew. I've rarely stopped knitting since!

Every time someone I knew was pregnant, out came my knitting needles to whip up a baby cardigan or bootees. I knit for each of my kids when I was pregnant with them. I have two girls, who are now aged 13 and 10, who also love to craft.

During my children's early years, I would knit as a way to relax when they were in bed. My mother passed away suddenly in 2007, when my youngest was just 9 months old, followed by my father, 15 months later, just before her 2nd birthday in 2009. As you can imagine, this had a massive impact on me but with two young children I had to hold myself together the best I could. I turned even more to knitting as way to occupy my mind when I felt depressed. It gave me something to focus on when the children were asleep. I became quite productive, making hats and scarves and I eventually opened an on-line shop where I would sell what I made.

After a while I started to get a little bored of making hats, scarves and such and I felt I needed to stretch my mind and my skill set to something more interesting. I remember as a child being totally in love with images of ladies wearing crinoline dresses, bloomers, bonnets and decorative shawls and I remember my mother making me a birthday cake with china figurine topper and the cake skirt being decorated with all kinds of fanciful patterns in icing. I am still fascinated by the costumery worn in period dramas and this is how Draped In Lace came about.

I began to learn to spin my own yarn 2011/2012 and my early yarns were mostly used for hats & scarves, which I sold in my first shop. I now spin my own yarn all the time and rarely buy manufactured yarn, although I do have a huge stash of manufactured yarn at my disposal from my pre-spinning days, and I usually only buy yarn when I need something specific that I haven't got or I need a really fine lace-weight yarn for a shawl as I haven't mastered spinning that fine yet. I only wish I could! My preference is to use as natural and eco-friendly materials as I possibly can, although this is not always possible and not everyone can or will wear animal derived products, which I fully understand, and I am flexible and have all that lovely manufactured yarn that can be used too.

I can take a fleece, freshly sheared from a sheep that is walking in a field, process it all by hand using an eco-friendly cleaning method, prepare it for spinning using good old fashioned elbow-grease and hand tools, spin it into beautiful yarn, dye it with eco-friendly dyes if I choose to dye it, and then turn that into a jaw-dropping beaded lace shawl for you to wear when walking down the aisle.

I source all of my fleece from UK farms, other than Falkland Merino, which is from the Falklands Islands, an overseas British Territory, which produces beautiful Merino fleece. I also like to support rare breeds farmers and love trying out new-to-me breeds as the wool from different breeds are very different from each other and have very different qualities to them. You can find out more on my blog.

I have recently discovered and started using some eco-friendly non-metallic dyes, which are the best dyes I have tried so far and would love to venture into natural dying from plants, lichens and such like in the future. I also leave a lot of my yarns in the natural colour of the sheep as there are a lot of interesting natural colours available and different natural colours can be blended together to make new colours, very much like mixing paint.

If you would like to view my previous work and find out more about my spinning I have various pages which contain photo albums and other information and the links for these can be found within my shop.