Monday, 29 April 2013

Wonderwool Wales 2013

Boy was that a busy weekend! I've been helping my friend Helen sell weaving yarns at Wonderwool Wales for the last two days and I'm just about recovering from being on my feet the whole time. Saturday was much busier than Sunday from the sales point of view, but people seemed to have more time to chat about weaving on the Sunday which was just as hectic. Here is what the stall looked like before the public were let in.
I didn't manage to get much shopping time but I did make a quick dash late on in the afternoon to collect my new drum carder and some liquid natural dyes. As it was a bit quieter on Sunday I managed to bag some alpaca fibre, a cone of baby alpaca yarn and some 10/2 cotton from Helen.
It was great to chat about weaving and I found it very encouraging as there seems to be a new interest in weaving with lots of our customers being beginners. I also bumped into a few old friends from workshops I have been to awhile ago and got up-to-date with what we were all up to. Our next outing is in about eight weeks time when we go to Woolfest in the Lake District. I've been there as a visitor a couple of times so it will be fun to be on the other side so to speak! I'll end this brief post with a couple of views from the stall during Sunday afternoon.



Monday, 15 April 2013

Babette Blanket

I've never been very confident about my crochet. It always looked to me like a screwed up rag. At one time my sister - Urban Rustic - and I signed up on a crochet course at a local college. I still didn't feel happy with my attempts even though I really love crochet lace and I love the crochet blankets like those my Nanna used to make. So I've always been more of a knitter. However I have always been drawn to old crochet hooks made from bone like the one Nanna gave me but was lost amongst the odds and ends many house moves ago.Last year we went to Ludlow Medieval Fayre and came across a stall selling boxes and lots of things made from bone. I couldn't resist buying two lovely, fine bone hooks for £5 each. I haven't stopped crocheting since - they must be enchanted!

This is my version of the Babette Blanket pattern by Kathy Merrick found in Interweave Crochet Spring 2006. The original is worked in Koigu wool using about 13 different colours. In my version I have used lots of different handspun wool that I have amassed over the last few years. They are all of a similar weight - a fine 2ply- and are all pure wool. I started to crochet this during the evenings in the run up to Christmas whilst watching the t.v. But I have only started to put it all together this week. I have really enjoyed working on this and I even like putting all the blocks together which is something that I usually find off-putting about most patterns using small blocks. I will definately make another one but this time I will use hand-dyed yarn for a change.

This photo shows how far I have got with the sewing up. Lots more blocks to go!

Other news..... I have heard my first Chiff-Chaff and seen 2 Swallows flying over the field this afternoon as I walked my dogs. Spring must be on the way surely?

Sunday, 7 April 2013

More lamb photos

Here are a few photos of the lambs we bought on wednesday. These were taken by Lucy while the sheep were out in the fields and she has given me permission to post them on this blog. I think she has really managed to capture the lambs as they enjoy the early spring sunshine. The lamb pictured above is Dandilion.
                                                                        This Cyril.

These two cuties are sisters Cloud and Bubble - that's Bubble in the front with the sandy patch on her back.

                                                                         This is Baloo.

                                                                          This is Treacle.

And this has to be my favourite photo of them all! This is Dandilion with his mum Burdock. Isn't it just beautiful? Thanks to Lucy at for these lovely images as I'm sure when I see them next they will have grown somewhat.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Day Trip

On wednesday we had a lovely trip over to the north welsh coast near Pwlheli. The weather was perfect for a trip over the mountains with a beautiful blue sky, but abit of a chilly breeze still. We headed off in the direction of Welshpool then over the very snowy hills to our coffee stop at Merion Mill. After fortifying ourselves on cheese scones we took off for Dolgellau past some very deep snow drifts. The views were spectacular! I wanted to stop and take loads of photos, but there either wasn't a handy lay-by, or if there was one the view was behind trees. We got a lovely view of Cader Idris - 892m high - covered in bright glistening snow. Wow! Soon we were nearer the coast and the snow had dissappeared.
Suddenly we had arrived in spring! Criccieth is a lovely seaside town with a medieval castle overlooking the beach. The town was bathed in warm sunshine and the temperature was in double figures! We were amazed to see daisies and celandines in the grass verges, all the forsythia was in bloom. It was so warm.
After a short drive we had arrived at our journeys end -- the home of Patchwork Sheep.
I have been thinking for the last year or so of increasing my small flock of sheep but couldn't make my mind up as what breed to get. I needed something that would produce a nice fleece for spinning and my taste is for a longer lock and a fine fleece too. I didn't want to buy sheep that would produce the same colour fleece, 6 black fleece for instance would be too much.I also wanted a smaller breed of sheep that would be easier to handle as Trixie and Hubert who are my largest sheep can be very difficult to manoeuvre at times. Shetland sheep seemed to be the answer, but most of the ones I had seen advertised were pedigree stock for breeding, and I don't want to go down that route. However, playing on the internet as one does before bedtime!, I came across Patchwork Sheep who had loads of lambs for sale that were a cross between Jacob, Shetland, a little bit of Welsh Mountain and Soay. So I sent Lucy an email and arranged to view some lambs hence the trip. Boy did we have fun! It was very hard to choose which ones to have. Here a some photos to show you some of the lovely lambs I bought.
The little black one in the front is Treacle, a ewe lamb.
This is Cyril.
This is Baloo another wether lamb.
And these were bought by my Mum and they are called Cloud and Bubble. I've also got another wether lamb who was too busy rushing around chasing his mate Cyril and I couldn't get a good photo of him at all! He is called Dandilion - his mother is Burdock - and is a lovely milk chocolate brown. They will be ready for collection later on this summer when they have been weaned from their mum. I'm so excited!!
So after a very pleasant time looking and choosing sheep we headed back home via Merion Mill for tea etc.
Finally a couple of views back towards the mountains from near Porthmadog.