Monday, 14 August 2017

post TDF musings

Hi,

I posted about the start of the TDF so I think I had better post about the outcome !!

I've been a bad blogger, very lax about updates probably because I've been a bit busy with other things.

I did actually spin almost every day and in the end I increased my stash by this.....



Jacob x texel, pictured on its own as it was sold before the end of the TDF.

and this


So this is cheviot, mid and light Manx Loaghtan, Shetland, Ryland and Hebridian. All from fleece purchased in the uk

and for anyone wanting to see fleeces piccies ... This is the Shetland :-)




assorted manx loagtan locks

 castlemilk moorit



and this is my natural colours stash ready for use over winter :-)

It looks like I'm going to be a wee bit busy, I also now have 20 or so pillow cases of fleece to work on, the latest being Norfolk horn and the now washed Rouge de L'ouest cross. So I will leave you with a picture of my latest knitted creations.

back to the spinning wheel, I will try and update more often, honest !!



Sunday, 16 July 2017

Tour de Fleece

The reason that I've been a bit quiet is that the Tour de fleece started on 1st July and in the run up I was busy prepping fibre ready to spin.

The tour de fleece is a spinners challenge to spin everyday in line with the Tour de France, there are rest days and challenge days but basically you set your own goals.

I don't follow the cycle race ( no television) but I use it most years as a chance to spin daily. exercise my spinning skills and build up the yarn stash ready for winter. I also belong to a couple of Facebook groups of spinners who are doing the same.

This year the start of the tour coincided with the Wool Experience which is a small friendly festival in a barn at Blaze Farm near Macclesfield and I can highly recommend the ice cream that they make there.




There were several stores selling woolly type wares, dyes, fleece etc and a good selection of fleece to choose from.




I had intended to buy just one fleece, a Castlemilk Moorit as I have never spun one before and they are a sort of mid/light brown which will neatly plug a hole in my palette of natural shades.

So I ended up with a Castlemik Moorit ( small 750gm) a grey Jacob/texel, a beautiful black/grey Shetland and half a white fleece that I need to check the breed name on the label. I also grabbed 4 of the 100gm grab bags of locks, 3 manx laoghtan and I light ryland.





Sunday, 25 June 2017

it's my mess

I'm beginning to feel like I'm living in a tip!! I've not paid any real attention to my work room as I've either been at my day job or away at the weekends. Its beginning to look like I'm going to be eaten alive by the fleece stash!!

So today I'm going to resist the temptation to pick up the needles, instead I'll empty the Shetland from the bobbin on the spinning wheel and have a serious tidy up.

Tour de Fleece spinning challenge is starting next weekend and I need to be ready :-)

I'm going in, wish me luck!!!



Wednesday, 3 May 2017

knitting in colour

Hi
remember the dyeing that I did? see what is on the needles now :-)

have a wonderful week xx

Monday, 1 May 2017

in steam again

I forgot to mention that we popped back to Papplewick Pumping Station to renew our membership at  Easter. I took my camera although it was a dull and dismal day.






I hope you enjoyed the photos x

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Its been an expensive week so far, I'm just wondering what else can go wrong. So far I've had a tooth rebuilt and a visit to the opticians to sort out some varifocals so I can spin and look up at people without having to remove my glasses or peer over them like a school marm.
Still, its bank holiday tomorrow so may fit some spinning or prep in and finish the hat so I can cast on something with colour in it :-)


Saturday, 22 April 2017

a splash of colour

A couple of weeks ago I was trawling round the charity shops looking mainly for DPNs as I'm always losing one and knit with 5 at a time when they generally come in packs of 4.

After picking up a couple of packets in one of the shops I spotted a slow cooker for £6.00, bargain for what I need it for. The assistant was friendly and asked what I was planning to cook and was rather surprised by the reply that I was going to use it to dye yarn.

So here it is, my Marks and Spencers slow cooker.

I've already put it to good use experimenting with some of my yarn. I had some concerns that there may be a problem with my dyes being so old but all seem ok so far. Previously I have set dyes using my steamer, ok with fleece where the variation blends in when spinning. As the fleece/yarn sits in the steamer there is a tendency for the dye to sink and pool at the bottom.

This is the Shetland, I was surprised how strong the colours were with only a very small amount of dye.


In fact the colours are slightly brighter in real life.

I then tried dyeing some grey ryland (blue) and some light grey Norfolk/Suffolk cross...


Personally I like these muted colours better. This possibly shows the variation more... I feel a hat coming on :-)

I hope you all have great weekend, speak soon :-)  x


Saturday, 8 April 2017

just a quick hello...

I've not done a lot so just a couple of photos.... last weekend I went out for a coffee with Pete and took my wheel for its first public spin this year.


and today I washed a bit more of the Shetland, I swear that the bag keeps filling up when I put it away!!

I have a bit of knitting on the go and that's about it for now. The sun is shinning and the spring cleaning beckons


have a great weekend :-) xx
.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

hat finished

at last... its taken about 3 weeks, knitting a few rows in the evening between fleece prep and spinning but I finally finished it last night.


I ran out of cheviot and ended up knitting the last few rows using Portland which is not such a brilliant white but you can't tell.

BTW it is round, I just couldn't get it to stay still for the camera! I now have a feel for how the top works so will try and design my own next time. I've bought a small square mirror to help me see the pattern repeats properly as I draw them.

My library of fair isle books is growing as I'm getting interested in the history of the knitting, luckily most have been bought second hand.

I'm still spinning the Shetland whilst trying to decide whether to dye the yarn or not.

Have a great weekend.




Sunday, 19 March 2017

bad blogger me

not a single post in February!!

This is probably because we haven't done anything exciting and I don't think our day to day life would interest anyone at the moment.





I finished the big hat, it still needs a tassel, had a look at some of the stash that building up and promptly cast on another one!

which I am pleased with so far, cheviot fleece  from Island on the edge and Jacob from a local farm. I just need to work out how long this will be and how to do the top.

I made a start on the Shetland, prepping and watching you tube as I go...

..... and the results so far

I've also spun up some more manx which is a pain as its a short staple and I prefer to comb rather than card, some random white which may be texel and I've made a start on some dusky pink wensleydale/ryland which I'm really not liking much.


If anyone is wondering how much yarn I have stashed.... this is the tip of the iceberg and the reason why I'm knitting at the moment.


so, anyone want to buy a hat?? :-)