Friday, 31 December 2010

The ending of 2010

So, after not blogging for ages I felt it was worthwhile just 'driving by'. I do have the urge to blog but then worry out sorting out photos and writing lots of text. This means I hardly ever blog.

So, as the year draws to a close, I thought I might just change my blogging style and see if that works.

I have had a great 2010, full of ups and downs. Through out I have been fully supported by my wonderful husband and my friends. I am so fortunate to have you all in my life.

For 2011 I have agreed to join a KAL concentrating on knitting socks from A-Z, a total of 26 pairs in 12 months. Luckily, I don't have to knit all pairs as it is possible just to dip in and out. I have plans to knit at least one pair of socks for Iain and one for my sister.

I have noticed is that my theme for 2011 also seems to be colourwork. I plan to knit a 'v' neck tank in fair isle in 2011 as well. I also would like to finish crocheting a blanket, crochet a cardigan, finish a shawl and continue dyeing, spinning and weaving.

I may need to organise my time as I also have to ensure I see lots of my friends in 2011 too.

I hope you all have a good 2011.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Saturday, 21 August 2010

I'm in love

A while ago I visited my good friend Puddytatpurr and got her started on her spindling journey. She is an accomplished spinner and always used a wheel. Needless to say, she had a play with my trindle and before I could say boo she was spindling away and had started a spindle collection. She has progressed to supported spindles and loves them.

We always manage to enable each other - go figure. I was intreged when she showed me her latest spindle from Gripping Yarn. It was a beautiful Russian. Well, I just couldn't resist and had to have one of my own.

Purchasing my custom spindle was a brilliant experience. I watched Lisa's videos and then emailed her. I stated I was interested in trying a Russian and a French hand held spindle and that I loved walnut wood but wanted something different. Lisa emailed back and suggested I purchase her Rose design as it can be used both ways and sent me a list of woods she uses together with a suggestion of based on my love of walnut.

Choosing the wood was difficult, to be honest I could take one of each and be a hugely happy bunny. I was seduced by the redness of Redheart but was worried by the fact it can fade in sunlight. I just love African Blackwood, Cocobolo and Ziricote to name a few but I finally settled on Bloodwood as it has a gorgeous glow and reddish tint.

Well, my Rose arrived today and it is even better than I hoped, it just feels so sweet in my hand and is a pleasure to twirl. It also spins well as a Russian although it is going to take me a while to get good at this lol.


It also came with a small chunky batt from Desert Garden Farms, which consists of Rambo, Silk Noil and Angora which is a total pleasure to spin with. Do look at their store, they have some lovely fluff.

I already have plans for ordering a Russian spindle in Lignam Vitae which is a wood that develops a green tinge and smells like roses. I just need to save the money lol.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Exhibition and Sale

I'm so excited! As you may know I am a member of the Wiltshire Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers which I love. At the moment I am busy helping to prepare for our annual textile exhibition and sale.  What is more, I have a couple of pieces of weaving and some yarn in the show.

The exhibition is being held at the West Barn in Bradford-on-Avon. The exhibition runs from 11 to 15 August and will be open from 10.30-5 each day. The admission is 50p with children free when accompanied by an adult.

It promises to be a lovely exhibition and will showcase some of the beautiful work by Guild members. There will be plenty of woven articles to look at and purchase as well as yarns, jewellery and the most gorgeous fascinators. There is usually a spinning demonstration and this year there will be the opportunity to have a go yourself. There will also be a raffle, which will include a range of prizes including a 'start dyeing kit' containing acid dyes and some yarn so the lucky winner can experience the joy of dying their own yarn.

Bradford-on-Avon is a lovely town, well worth a visit in its own right. The West Barn is a beautiful building and is situated near the Tithe Barn, a gorgeous structure. There is also a lovely cafe down by the locks; it is always very busy.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

A little weaving

This weekend I went camping with my friend, Hen, in Exmoor National Park. I met Hen online a while back and we had been hoping to meet for the last 6 months. She makes the most lovely baskets - I have a little one of hers hanging from my Pipy wheel. It holds my different whorls and other spinning bits and bobs. It is brilliant a great shape, it has an off-centre handle so it can hang from a door knob and that it came with a sprig of lavender and an orifice hook. I have been looking forward to meeting Hen in person as I am also in awe of her trail craft.

I arrived where we were camping and it is so beautiful with disused trails, woodland, views of fields and the sea. A perfect spot that is well sheltered, I put up the tent and settled in.  It was then a short drive so we could take a stroll along the Coastal path.  We spotted dolphins playing in the sea and we sat and enjoyed their frolics; it was such a huge privilege to see. Having watched them until they disappeared from view we continued our walk, coming across several wild goats climbing on rocks and chewing the grass.


It was great to spend the weekend under canvas as I love camping but it isn't something I do enough off. We had also agreed to do a skills exchange and so Friday we cooked some eucalyptus leaves over the fire ready for dyeing the next day.



The weather forced us indoors so I broke out the spindle collection, carders and several varieties of wool. I showed Hen how to card wool and spin using a drop spindle although she already spins on a wheel. I seem to demonstrate spindling wherever I go and people seem to really enjoy it, which I love.

On Saturday the weather improved be sunny and warm - ideal for a bit of target practice. For the first time since I left college I was let loose with a bow and arrow. It was brilliant fun. When my mum was much younger she was an archer and it was lovely to feel that connection with her all over again.

Then it was time for a car journey as Hen then took me on a woodland walk to Watersmeet. This lush walk on a clearly defined path took us along a river with plenty of waterfalls and deep basins, edged with a range of plants including wild raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, pennywort, wood sorrell and mushrooms.



I would really love to live in a house in such a stunning location.



We finished dyeing the fibre with eucalyptus and we modified some with iron and some with copper to arrive with 3 beautiful shades.



Saturday night was spent with Hen teaching me how to weave a basket base. It was brilliant fun and she is such a great teacher and very patient.



Sunday loomed, a beautiful sunny day. The weather was a bit hot for making baskets easily as the willow dried out quickly but I was shown how to make a sun.


This then became a sculpture.


Hen then taught me two different weaves.



And finally, after several hours I had a completed basket.


I am hugely proud of my basket and really pleased with it even though it is full of kinks and is slightly uneven and the wrapping on the handles could be better. I loved making it and my hands are recovering nicely. It took most of the day to finish and I did feel a bit mean that I had to run when I finished as it was getting late. Sadly, it was necessary for us to go home and our adventures were over.

It was such a special weekend, one I hope I'll have a chance to repeat in the future. Afterall, despite the fact we talked masses we still have loads to say. But you knew that would be the case, didn't you?

Monday, 14 June 2010

Shop Update


A small update has gone into my shop. This includes my new sock yarn - Grotto - comprising of 80% superwash merino and 20% bamboo it has a lovely drape, slight sheen and is ideal for summer knitting. I've also listed a new top to spin - 70% British black shetland with 30% tussah silk, scrummy and different.

Monday, 31 May 2010

Shop Update

Aren't bank holiday's wonderful? I have done my biggest ever shop update.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Shop Update

I have been busy recently and hope to do a blog about craftiness very soon.
Meanwhile, I've been creating some loveliness for my shop. Some of the yarn colours are part of my Egyptian Myths series.

If you haunted twitter at the beginning of May there was discussions about Egyptian myths and my brain started seeing colours. It became important I share them with you. So the colours inccluded are Anubis, Isis, Sekhmet and Bast.

I am also pleased to include my first fibres - a beautiful mix of 50% superwash merino and 50% tencel.


Of course, Iain saw the tops and took a shine to a pink, violet, turquoise and black. I shall be trying to spin and knit him some socks.

Friday, 30 April 2010

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Wonderhaul, Wonderwool, Wales

It took a while but this is my haul from Wonderwool, Wales.






I have already started spinning the Ryeland fleece and the Camel/Silk.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Wonderful, Wonderwool, Wales

Coughs


(This post is not for the feint hearted. Nor should my husband read it, just in case he realises how much fibre my already considerable stash grew by this weekend.)

Those of you in the know will realise that this weekend was Wonderwool, one of the best excuses to visit Wales beside the scenery. I am going to try and document some of what I did and I am so sorry if I forget to mention you, I met and talked to so many people, spent 10 hours in the car and got high on fibre fumes. I was also ably supported by my gorgeous and lovely friend Puddytatpurr for the whole weekend. We were so easy to spot as we were the really noisy ones squealing, laughing, talking, touching, and it seems buying as much as we could.

Before I dive fully in, I have a huge thank you to give to Jeni for gifting me some gorgeous angora from her lovely bunny. I shall do a separate post on playing with Hartley but it was great to get a chance to meet in person.

I also need to thank the ever wonderful Lynda. She recently purchased a Tekoteko Wendy and we had some great chats as her's needed a bit of work. A couple of days ago she supplied me with a couple of small oak dowels, which I was really happy to receive and on Sunday we finally got to meet and she gave me:


I can see you are as excited as I am! those two shaped dowels are from the wonderful Mr Philip Poore, the original maker of my Wendy. She arranged for him to make and send me this pair of bobbin supports as mine were missing. Wendy and I are very happy with this brilliant gift. 

One of the most fun things was to have an opportunity to meet up and talk to the masses of people I have met, those I know through Ravelry/Twitter and new people because they are there. It would be impossible to mention everyone I spoke to and a huge list would just be boring so, just quickly just because there are photos - I met:

Longdrawjames, so helpful and fun and look at his Saturday haul!

The lovely Wyndwitch, happy as always with red, she left with a Knitters Loom - it could be messy.

Babylonglegs who I have wanted to meet forever. Her fibre was the second hand dyed fibre I ever spun. I still have it and love it and one day I'll knit with it. I think she was happy, that is her Cherry Matchless.

Jeni (with Babylonglegs and me). Jeni has been great and is so generous with her time.

Freyalyn - her knitting is as delightful as her fibre. She was probably bored of me by the end of the show as I kept popping in and saying 'hi'.

Guzzisue couldn't stop smiling - she had been covetting a Sonata and on the last day had one of her very own.

Julie, Ursula (The Laar Bear) and Puddytatpurr.


Ian, (at the back), Bellgrove and Puddytatpurr from the IST stand.


The lovely Puddytatpurr, ToadofToadHall, (so sorry, I didn't get a chance to talk to you so I don't know your name), Guzziesue, Brian and Picperfic at the end of day one.

And last but definately not least the wonderful Ambermoggie and Mr Mog!


I'll post about my haul tomorrow.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Folksy Friday

I am so happy! I was Tweeting as I do and I received notice that Craftyjemima had included my yarn in her Folksy review on her blog. My yarn!

Go!

Check it out!

Don't forget to stay and look at her blog. Nerys is very talented.

Thank you for making my Friday :)

Saturday, 3 April 2010

New Yarn!

It is time for some shop news.

I have introduced a new core yarn: Cavern.
This is beautifully soft and it is hard to believe it is 75% superwash merino and 25% nylon. Giving an excellent 425m per 100g there is no fear of running out of yarn with just a toe to go. Cavern will replace my first yarn Merino/Nylon. All the stock I have of Merino Nylon is currently in my shop.

Cavern takes colour beautifully and I shall be loading the following in the shop:

A Spring Morning

Moody Sea

Dusk til Dawn

Mint Choc Chip

Powder

Pangea


I am so excited I am also a contributor to the wonderful Fibreholic's sample box scheme. If you are not aware of this Fibreholics issue boxes filled with samples from inde dyers and spinners and boxes are available for yarn or fibre. This month I submitted samples of A Spring Morning.

This seems to be an update for new yarn as I would also like to introduce you to Supershine, this yarn is soft and so very shiney with great drape. Wonderful for knitting shawls and garments where a fine stitch is needed. It will also make lovely, shimmery socks. The yarn contains 50% superwash merino and 50% tencel for the sheen and drape. There are 333m of this beautiful yarn to 100g. It is machine washable but, as with all my yarns I recommend hand washing to maintain colour.
Hail

I hope you enjoy my new yarns and colours as much as I have selecting and making them.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Shawls!

I have been working hard on my 10 shawls in 2010 challenge and completed two shawls in March (making a total of 4). Both the shawls also fit the large category. Don't worry I have bigger shawls planned.

So, without futher ado I would like to introduce to you Sock it to Eva. This shawl is a simple crochet pattern. When I say simple, I am sure it is when you are good a crochet but I had to frog and start this shawl 3 times. Guess I really shouldn't be a perfectionist. There are some errors towards the end but by that point I just did a quick fix and I'm not sure I could point them out even if I felt like it, which I don't so don't bother asking.



And a quick close up of the shawl:



To summarise the pattern is Eva's Shawl by Milobo, and I used two skeins of Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn, a total of 771yards. I only did the first row of the border as I preferred this.

The second shawl I finished was Pudding Swap.


The pattern is Multnomah by Kate Flagg and was made in my handspun from the Scrap Swap I took part in in February. The fibres, including mohair and gotland were spun in a pudding fashion giving me these lovely singles.


The shawl weighs 159.9g and took 502yards. I love knitting with my handspun.

Friday, 19 March 2010

And the Winner Is ....

The time has come to draw the winners in my shop opening give away. I have been blown away with the interest in and lovely comments about my products. I know you really just want me to get down to business and tell you who won so, without further ado.

So that I could draw the winners I made a list of entrants, dividing them between sock yarn and project bag. I then gave each entrant a unique number.  The first winner to be drawn was for the sock yarn so I hopped over to Random.Org, filled in the details and pressed Get Numbers.

And the winning number was 25, which was Deirdre and she requested Hail as her prize.

As you know, I am also giving away a project bag and again I used Random.Org.

The winning number was 10, which was BB Group and she requested Hippy Skulls as her prize.

Congraqtulations, please contact me to claim your prize :)

Once again, thank you all for taking part in my giveaway.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

A Hint of Purple

Thank you all so much for your lovely comments, the giveaway is still running this week and there will be some new colours coming up. Here are some drying on the line.


Elle and I were discussing how much we like black and I just couldn't resist a blast of American Gothic, soft greys build up to dramatic charcoal.

The back skein shows how the yarn was dyed and the front shows the yarn re-skeined. Do you think I should show the yarns in my shop re-skeined, although I think they will be supplied 'unmixed' so to speak? I think the re-skein shows the yarn to best effect.

I also painted Rainbow. This is slightly different to the colourway Miss Elle so kindly knitted for me as I have changed both the dyes and amended the method slightly. However, I really love how the colours work and flow together just like a rainbow.

I also created a violet (top) and a purple (bottom) colourway. I should have photographed them this morning while there was plenty of light but I'll post pictures anyway.

I also dashed off my first solid colour, I've named it Lacey as it is great for really fancy patterns.

Lastly, I had some BFL roving in my stash and I really wanted to play with some greens. I am very happy with it and think I'll keep it all for myself as I love the richness of the greens and pinks.


I have also been knitting and working on my fourth shawl for the 10 shawls in 2010 challenge I am doing. The pattern is Multnomah (Rav link) and I am knitting my own handspun yarn.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Shop Opening and Giveaway

Since announcing I was opening a shop, I have received several enquiries. So that I didn't disappoint, I decided to open shop a bit early. My two shops are now open.

To celebrate I have decided to give a prize to two lucky winners. One winner will win a project bag and one will win a skein of my Merino/Nylon hand dyed 4ply sock yarn. The lucky winners will be able to select from my shop.

All you need to do to win is to visit either my Folksy or Artfire shops (they both carry the same stock, Folksy invoices in GBP and Artfire in USD). Have a look around. Come back and leave me a comment as to which item is your favourite. Don't forget to say which prize you would prefer to win and to give me a way to contact you.

The winner draw will take place on on Friday, 19th March.  I will divide commentors based on the prize they want to win and assign each a unique number. I will then use a random number generator to select the winner.

Good luck everyone!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

KnitCave's Artfire Studio

I am so humbled, there has been such a buzz since I announced I was opening a shop on Artfire. Because of this, I have decided to open earlier. I am currently preparing the studio update and will post shortly, once I have it all loaded.

Also, I will be running a give away to promote my new store. I'll post details on the official opening post.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

I was made redundant at the beginning of January and, in between looking for work, I have obviously taken the time to enjoy my passions. Well a gal just has to keep herself happy.

I have been bouncing an idea in my head for a while and have deccided the time is right - I will be opening a little on-line shop on Artfire called KnitCave next Friday, 12th March.

To start with there will be Merino/Nylon sock yarn, project bags and small handbags. I do hope you will visit my store when it opens and hope you find something you like.

Monday, 1 March 2010

A Crafting Holiday

This weekend I went to stay at Sam's house on the Isle of Wight. I had such a blast and we pretty much talked and crafted the weekend away. It was amazing.

Sam spent Friday and Saturday finishing the singles for her 2ply BFL humbug laceweight and made a start plying it on Sunday. It is beautiful and soft.

I too played with my travelling wheel and sampled again for the Sleeves in Your Pi project, this time carding rolags instead of flick combing the locks. On Sunday I made a start on knitting the actual project and am loving the way it is turning out.


I also spent most of Friday evening and Saturday to spin 50g of the twinkle braid I bought from Picperfic's Fluff-n-Stuff. It is as beautiful to spin as it looks and Sam gave me some bamboo so I can dye it black and use it as the second ply. Thank you!


It wasn't all spinning as I managed to finish my Ravelympic DNA scarf and the never ending Dragon Socks while I was there. So, added to the aerial unwind (happi cardi) and the 18 skeins of hand painted merino/nylon sock yarn I had a very successful games and managed to update Ravelry when I arrived home, hafter wwatching the 3rd period and extra time of the Canada v USA men's ice hockey final.


I was also allowed to play with Sam's drum carder and produced these rather gorgeous batts using her hand dyed English wool. It was such fun I am now saving my pennies and am on the hunt for my own carder.



 Sam's two youngest celebrated their birthday's over the weekend so I was fed Chinese and home made cake, delicious. Sam makes a brilliant almond slice and iced coconut cake but the star was her chocolate cake.

I can't believe we had such fun and managed so much crafting.

I'm looking forward to my next visit when maybe I'll see more of the island.