Sunday, 10 December 2017

Winter Brrrrrr

this morning we have woken up to this

so I think I will be mainly finishing this

and skeinning up this
altogether a sort of monochrome day xx

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

back to my old habits

Yes, its getting towards the end of the year ( we don't do Christmas) so once again I'm looking and assessing the contents of my work room. Things really haven't changed much ! I manage to stay tidy(ish) for a few weeks then its back to stuff all over the place.

My knitting pics are deceptive...

 The reality is pretty grim!!

 and probably dangerous given that I can be unsteady on my feet. In my defence I have emptied 5 pillow cases, albeit not full ones, of fleece in the last month or so but I do seem to have an ongoing problem !!

Today is dedicated to making a start, working out what I have and maybe even a plan of what to spin next and how to spin it.. who knows ??

Monday, 4 December 2017

Yarn and inspiration

Last year I treated myself to a pair of cheap slippers which have provided inspiration for my knitting and would also make interesting inkle weaving patterns.

See what I mean? the knitting is a hat ( no surprise there then) and the book is one that I have read before but quite sometime ago.

Here's a closer look at them and they are really comfy as well.

Since my last post we have visited Moreton in Marsh, I had intended to take photos but it was a damp, drizzly day and much of our time was spend trawling through the charity shops and drinking soup.

The evening was spent knitting and dozing in front of a DVD, such an exciting life!!

I can't even do the view from the kitchen window as there was so much road muck on the van! This is the view from the door.

The beginning of last week was spent carding and spinning this ryeland fleece which is now on the needles although I'm not sure of a design yet.

that's about it for this week, the brief snow shower midweek caused excitement but the temperatures seem to be heading back up to double figures again for this week.


Saturday, 25 November 2017

knitting, more spinning and some old wheels


I finally finished the hat, I'm getting quicker but family hospital visiting means that I'm down to a row or two a day when I eventually get home!

What do you think, this was a grey Shetland fleece which ranged from nearly black to light grey across it. I picked out the darkest locks I could find, spun them to a fairly fine 4 ply to match the white Shetland which was spun whilst we were on Skye earlier in the year.

I'm starting to spin the rest of the fleece, it is washed but still quite greasy which is making it an easy spin and a bit of a surprise to see how it is when washed.

The skein is thicker, more woollen and very soft.

Going back to our trip to Orkney, I'll leave you with a few pics of random spinning wheels. I had thought that there would be more spinning, yarn based indie outlets than there were. We dropped in at the Little Orkney Dye shed and The Wool Shed where I had first played on her spinning wheel maybe 9 years ago.

Corrigall Farm Museum

 Fossil museum, Burray

and I think this one was in Kirkwall Museum

If you like a giggle, I was recently sent this photo of a wheel that someone wanted to rehome, if you are a spinner I'm sure that you will soon spot the problem.

I have put her in touch with someone who restores wheels and teaches spinning, I'm sure it will have a new lease of life.

That's about it for now, speak soon x

Sunday, 19 November 2017

yarn, yarn, yarn


I've just finished re-skeinning and labelling Octobers spinning, all of it is DK/aranish weight. All of the skeins are British breeds prepared from fleece except the North Ronaldsay at the end which I purchased whilst on Orkney and was a sort of thin roving and not my favourite to spin.

From dark to light - Jacob, Cheviot, Ryland, 2 Jacob x texel. Norfolk/Suffolk and North Ronaldsay which is a bit washed out in the picture.

 I've only spun the light bag so far and I'm not really looking forward to spinning the dark one. Still it was a souvenir from the holiday and I can always sell the yarn anyway.

I'm still working on the hat, hopefully be finished soon then it will be a case of fibre prep and spinning ready for next year, I think I may start by finishing up the bag of Hebridean.

speak soon x

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Nottingham Yarn Expo

so, Nottingham yarn expo...lovely building, lots of light, lots of space. It just didn't feel very busy to me.

As the name suggests, it was mainly yarn and I was surprised to see so many single breed yarns, undyed and beautiful. There were many indie dyers around even a few with spinning fibre for sale although probably not enough spinning related stalls to make me want to go back next time. Having said that, I probably will simply because its on my doorstep and it was great to be able to catch up with some of the stall holders that I know but don't often see.

suggestions put forward for next years show
1, a floor plan of exhibitors, lifts, toilets etc I'm sure some groups of stalls must have been missed by people.
2, signs outside the venue to tell you where it is. I knew where to head for but we collected several lost knitters on our travels.
3.If you have a group of spinners demonstrating their art then put them where they will be seen, not hidden in the 'basement'

I had intended just to window shop but decided to buy some fibre for next years outings in the van. Although my spinning wheel will fit in I don't really have room for a big bag of fleece, carders/combs etc

This is my haul, the braids are safely tucked away, the book has some beautiful patterns in it and maybe I will be brave enough to try one some time.

On the needles today is a hand spun Shetland yarn beanie, I just need to make up my mind about how to do the crown.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

excited about fluffly stuff


I'm just off to The Nottingham Yarn Expo, this is a new festival so I've no idea what to expect. I suspect that it will be mainly aimed at knitters but its a great excuse for a day out:-)

So, full report later.

Off the needles...
Norfolk horn and unknown breed of brown sheep named caramel. Even her owner has no idea what she is :-)

waiting for the wheel...

Shetland Merino, super soft !!

Have a great weekend :-)

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Autumnal colours


Such a beautiful weekend, Saturday didn't start out too promising with heavy rain but by the time we had picked up the van it was easing off and stopped before we reached our destination.

This wasn't a long trip, in fact it was only about 15 miles but we needed to try out everything and this is one of the prettiest parks around at this time of year.

The campsite is in Clumber Park a beautiful setting but the downside is that it attracts all sorts of people and there are sign saying beware of thieves, digital locks on the facilities and a locked bike shed is provided rather that keeping your bikes with your van. The staff were very helpful and I was amused to find that when you get there most people plug in the electric then the TV. I didn't know that this was a camping option as we are more used to tents, motorcycles and farmers fields !! 

I love having a kitchen with an oven and a whistling kettle :-)

We have had a extra handle fitted on the outside to help me get in and out and still need to find homes for things so that they don't rattle ! but we love it and are busy planning our next trips away.

Speak soon x

Sunday, 29 October 2017

I treated myself....then we treated ourselves


Some of you may know that I spin mainly on a Kromski Sonata that I bought maybe 8 years ago as a portable wheel. I also had a Kromski Symphony which I never really go on with and that was passed on to my spin buddy . An Ashford scholar arrived and was passed on to a new spinner but for a while I've found the Sonata too heavy and bulky to take out and about. I used to put it on a small trolley but since having to use a walking stick, this is no longer viable.

So, I started looking for another wheel, hopefully smaller, compact with a view to taking it on holidays etc in the future and I found a Louet Victoria for sale on the Internet. A bit of research told me that this may be the perfect wheel. I had seen several in action earlier in the year and everyone seemed happy with them. So we went out, about a month ago to look at it and buy it.
I had been  looking for one with this bag and happy to pay full price if necessary as several that I had seen advertised had a suitcase type bag which I really wasn't interested in.
Out of the bag it looks like this, very compact and opens out simply by pulling out the knob near the base. You can see the flyer has its own little home.
and next to her big sister you can see the difference in size

Picking up the wheel turned out to be very expensive as we called in at the Lincoln Motorhome show on the way.....cut a long story short, the wheel has a new home :-)

Time to start travelling again !!!

Saturday, 28 October 2017

unexpected visitor


I wasn't expecting to post this early today and this isn't what I had in mind but I've been off work with a heavy cold which has given me time to watch the birds around the feeders. On Thursday this little chap turned up.

He was having a good root around until the dogs next door started barking, he stopped still, didn't curl up but just didn't move till they stopped to I went and had a closer look ( through the long lens)

I assume he/she is looking for somewhere to hibernate and he/she is definitely smaller and lighter in colour than the other one that we occasionally spot wandering round.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

A bit more Orkney


Maybe that should be some photos of Orkney as the last post ended with a photo of the ferry!

As I mentioned, we tried to avoid revisiting places that we had already seen which made the weeks stay into an enjoyable challenge.

This is just a random mix of interesting places.

Hatston pier has been built since our last visit and we wandered down to see the size of the cruise ships. They are massive!! We had heard about the ships coming in on a programme shown just before our visit. You can see it here on You-Tube

Rendell Dove coot, amazing to see the birds fly out of the top of this dove coot. unfortunately the occupants of the car in front of us disturbed them before I could reach for my camera.

The Brough of Birsay, the causeway to the island was under water as we turned up so we decided to take a walk down to the fisherman's hut instead.

Stunning views out to sea, this is somewhere that we will return to in the future simply to sit and stare at the sea rolling in.

 The view from a window at Barony Mills, a restored mill next to a rather dilapidated one still at the same part of the island as the previous photos.
 We had a really interesting tour and bought some oatmeal with a view to trying to make oatcakes at some point... I've just noticed the rainbow on the water wheel photo below!

I will post a little more of Orkney in a few days time x