Saturday, 30 March 2013

Snow damage

It's now over a week since we had the largest snowfall for quite sometime. I have spent quite alot of the last few days shovelling heaps of the dratted stuff and trying to make paths across the yard. My elderly chickens haven't shown a leg outside until yesterday and they are not venturing past the hay that is spread liberally across their run. Unfortunately we suffered some tree damage as the snow was of the heavy wet variety and we have lost some branches off our scots pines that edge the pond.

The removal of the branches will have to wait until it has defrosted and will probably involve the use of my sons Landrover and winch! Another casualty of the snow was the logstore roof which fell in under the strain off nearly a foot of wet snow. Fortunately we had almost used that stack of logs but, disaster!!! My lovely wheelbarrow was pinned down by a roof timber and one of its handles was twisted in an alarming way!!! I have managed to keep my beloved wheelbarrow going despite a split body and lots of flat tyres - alas it is no more!
As a result of all the snow shovelling I haven't been doing any weaving since my last post, but I have prepared more fibre for spinning - both Huberts grey fleece and my dyed stuff. I have been treadling my trusty wheel most afternoons whilst watching the cycling on Eurosport - 3 Days of De Panne. I hope to get my cat track and snails trail sample finished and off the loom tomorrow so that I can get on with another scarf sample for Helen.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013


I have spent a lovely morning combing out some previously dyed fleece in order to spin some yarn for rug hooking. What else is there to do when there is still 6 inches of snow outside! The fleece in question is some Welsh Mule of which I managed to buy  3 fleeces from a local farmer last summer after one of his ewes decided to jump the fence and join my gang of sheep for breakfast. The Welsh Mule is a cross between a Bluefaced Leicester ram and a Welsh Mountain ewe and has a large fleece with a long, lustrous staple. It dyes wonderfully too! Here it is loaded onto the combs.

And here is the resultant puff.

After producing a couple of boxes of dyed puff I turned to one of my own fleeces from Hubert. His mum - who I also have - is a Shetland Icelandic cross but Huberts fleece is more like his Dads who was a black Wensleydale I believe. His fleece is a lovely silvery grey and very shiny with a staple length of about 6 inches. It's perfect for combing and I'm hoping to make enough 2 ply yarn to weave a special blanket from it by the end of the year.

On the Louet Spring loom I've got a sample warp of a lovely overshot pattern it has taken me nearly 20 years to get around to weaving. It's a miniature version of Cat Track and Snail Trail taken from the Recipe Book by Mary Meigs Atwater. When I've woven this warp I have to make one more sample scarf for my friend Helen who runs My Fine Weaving Yarns. I've done a few scarves as samples for her to take to Wonderwool Wales next month. But there is lots of finge twisting to do first!

Finally here is a photo of handsome Hubert taken last July on one of those rare summer days.