Kits, Tools and Quirky Bits

We’ve had a great time trying out gadgets and gizmos for this issue. Work has never been so much fun.

Multipom – Pompom Maker

We love our pom-pom makers here at Olann and, so as you might expect, we were more than just a little enthusiastic about the Multipom Pompom Maker.  We will put our hands up and confess to being a little ‘sceptical’ though. Surely there can be nothing quicker than our Clover Pompom Makers?

Designed and developed by Sue Walton, the Multipom Pompom Maker was released to the trade in 2015 and was nominated for ‘Most Innovative Product’ in the British Sewing Awards.

Olann and MULTIPOM pompom maker with made pps DSCF9611

Multipom Pompom Maker is the only pompom maker on the market which can make more than one pompom at a time.  You can make up to 20 pompoms at once in sizes from 1 to 12cm in diameter.

It’s an ingenious tool made from powder coated metal, so there are no sharp surfaces to snag your yarn or fingers on. The kit comes packaged in a natural cotton bag, complete with a booklet of instructions, tips and ideas.

The Multipom Pompom Maker costs £12.99 and is available from some stockists in Ireland (see here) or online on the website here. You can keep up-to date with the team at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

You can use your pompoms to embellish everything from hair accessories to lamps and you can even make a pompom rug.  Before long, like us, you’ll have pompoms everywhere.

Olann and Juko Designs

Juko Designs – Weaving with Sticks Kit

Originally set up by Janet and Samina to sell handbags they’d woven from fabric, Juko Designs has developed into a company specialising in weaving and weaving kits.

Janet and Samina both trained as weavers at Huddersfield University and are passionate about weaving, yarn, colour and creativity.  Through the Juko Design Kits the duo are able to demonstrate how easy it is to weave, using simple tools and techniques, without the need for expensive equipment.  The Weaving with Sticks Kit is a great example of this and comes complete with three weaving sticks, some yarn to get you started and a booklet with instructions and suggested projects.

No one is really sure when or where stick weaving originated, but it’s a great, portable, child-friendly introduction to weaving, that’s very much like weaving on a peg loom but on a smaller scale.  You’re able to make some interesting projects with stick weaving, anything from a bracelet to a rug (check out the Juko Designs Gallery and Pinterest).

Currently the Weaving with Sticks kit costs £9.99 and is available on the Juko Designs Website here.  Janet and Samina also organise weaving events and workshops, so if you happen to be visiting West Yorkshire be sure to see if they’ve anything coming up.  Stay up to date with them via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Merchant & Mills - Bulb Pins

If you’re familiar with Merchant & Mills, it might surprise you to learn that the company was founded in 2010?  The emphasis on elevating sewing into its proper place has its roots in times gone by and the visual styling has a very definite ‘vintage feel’ to it.

Owned by Carolyn Denham and Roderick Field, the company has grown from strength to strength, with their products stocked by Liberty and the V&A Museum as well as many independent retailers worldwide.

Olann and Merchant & Mills

Even if you’re not a sewer, their website will have you wishing you were.  Each product is carefully selected for the job it was intended and then presented in ‘no nonsense’, utilitarian packaging – a great aesthetic designed by Roderick.

So what’s so special about Bulb Pins then?  The simple change of shape from your usual safety pin can make all the difference.

  • Great for pinning tags to garments (think washing instructions on your handmade gifts)
  • Use them in your craft projects
  • They make great stitch markers/progress keepers
  • You can still use them as you would a standard safety pin

They cost £6.50 for a box and are available from the Merchant & Mills website if there’s not a stockist locally.

If you like to sew, be sure to look at their patterns, all designed by Carolyn.  Some of you might have seen the top Lora’s son made for her a while back?  It’s a Merchant & Mills pattern – Top 64.  He’s also made the Oilskin Duffle Bag and Lora has been trying (without success) to persuade him to make her one of the dresses too.

Olann and Clover Thread twister

Clover – Handy Thread Twister

This is one of those gadgets that you never knew you needed, but you’ll use time and time again because you do.  The Handy Thread Twister from Clover allows you to twist threads to make braids, easily and evenly in just three steps and can be used with everything from embroidery thread to aran weight yarn.

The pack includes clear, easy to follow instructions and if you’re still not sure, there are is a great video from Clover on  You can use your braids to spruce up your gifts, make jewellery and as a base for lots of other crafting applications.

The Handy Thread Twister completely comes into its own when used in combination with the Clover Tassel Makers that we featured in our March issue.

If your local yarn shop isn’t a Clover stockist tell them to get in touch with the team at Viridian Yarns via email

Back in the Day Reenactment Furniture - Bone Naalbinding Needle

You might recall that Lora tried her hand at Naalbinding while on the Introduction to Medieval Textiles Crafts workshop back in February?  Well, as with all things craft, but especially when there’s fibre involved, she promptly jumped down the rabbit hole and set about investigating where to purchase more ‘traditional’ needles.

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to track down a vendor here in Ireland, at least not one online anyway, so we had to look a little further afield, to Birmingham in fact.

Olann and Back in the day Reenactment furniture

Kata and Rogann are re-enactors who sell multi-period replica items and specialise in woodwork.  Lucky for us, they also sell Naalbinding needles.  Made from bone, these needles are individually crafted, with care and attention to detail.  Available in two different sizes and with either a round or larger eye, they make a great gift for the Viking in your life.

The needle pictured would be ideal for Naalbinding with finer thread, or for sewing. It retails for £6 plus p&p on the Backinthedayreenact Etsy Shop.

You can find out more about Back in the Day Re-enactment Furniture on their Facebook Page here or on the website here.

Woodware Craft Collection - Clear Magic Knitting Bag Stamp JGS433

We couldn’t resist this stamp duo from Woodware Craft Collection when we saw it.  Designed by Jane Gill, it’s an unmounted clear stamp to be used with an acrylic block.  Rubber stamps are extremely versatile; you’re able to use all or some of the elements to make cards, scrapbook or even print directly on to fabric, with the right inkpad.

The Knitting bag and phrase can be used individually or together as in the greeting card pictured.  We think the stamps would be great for embellishing washing tags for your knitted gifts.

Woodware Stamps are available in all good papercraft shops, for details of stockists pop along to the webpage here

Olann and Woodware Clear Magic Stamp Duo