Friday, 25 October 2013

New Books

Earlier this week I had a delivery of new knitting books to add to my already overflowing collection.

"The Magic of Shetland Lace Knitting" by Elizabeth Lovick, Search Press, 2013 (top right). This is a lovely book showing the traditional patterns used in Shetland lace with colour illustrations of each pattern and using both written and charted instructions. I have always been interested in traditional knitting techniques and one day I will get around to spinning some fine yarn to make something special - I have enough books on the subject!!!! For more information contact Elizabeth Lovick. The book on the left in the picture above is "Real Shetland Yarns : a collection of woolly tales and memories" published by Shetland Amenity Trust, Lerwick, 2012. This is another well produced book and just the sort of thing to curl up and read on a wet day with a nice cup of tea and maybe a few biscuits! It isn't the sort of book to read cover to cover, more of a book to dip into.
And finally "Shetland Textiles : 800 BC to the present " edited by Sarah Laurenson, published by Shetland Amenity Trust, Lerwick,2013. What a lovely book! It covers everything from the archaeology and history of textile finds on Shetland through to modern knitwear design and production. The book is full of wonderful pictures of the stunning Shetland scenery and also its wonderful sheep. If you are at all interested in the subject you must get this book - its a bit expensive but well worth it. Get it on your Christmas present list!
For more information on both these books see here. 

Monday, 21 October 2013

Rainy Monday

When a Monday turns out to be very wet and dark what should a doggy do then, poor things! Well Dan sat with his head on my knee...

Jack took it easy in the conservatory and had a nap on the sofa....
Whilst Toby crashed out in the kitchen and tried to forget his recent trip to the vets to have some bad teeth removed!
I, dear reader, played with my new Inkle Loom which my friend Helen kindly gave me as a thank you for helping out at all the shows this year. I've been gradually working through a few samples from the latest book The Weaver's Inkle Pattern Directory by Anne Dixon. So far I have done a few Baltic Braids in different weights of cotton yarn.

Hopefully these will be used as samples at next years shows.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Yarndale 2013

This past weekend saw Helen and myself attending a new show with My Fine Weaving Yarn. This was Yarndale aimed at the knitter and crocheter mostly, and held in the Auction Mart at Skipton in Yorkshire. We did get a few weavers visit our stand and buy yarn, some were regular customers and some were discovering us for the first time. It was nice to catch up with our regulars and see what they had made with the yarns they had bought which is always inspirational. I was pleased to meet quite a few men who were either already weaving/knitting/crocheting as well as ones who wanted to have a go. I met one man who wanted to try inkle weaving as a change from hardanger embroidery!

Here is MFWY before opening.
Once the doors opened at 10am it was very, very busy! It was so busy we didn't stop for even a little break until 3.30pm. I think the organisers had underestimated how well their advertising of the event had been! The next day it was reported that there had been 6,000 visitors on day one!! No wonder the car parks were full and the queue for the toilets was a long one! I took the next photo to give you an idea of the view we had all day!
 Sunday was a bit quieter so we both had the chance to walk around and buy a few things for ourselves. I added to my ever growing collection of spindles.
The one in the centre I bought from The Mulberry Dyer and the other two I got from Sheepfold Wheels, the one on the left being the heavier and longer of the two.
I bought this set of double row wool combs with clamp from Wingham  Woolwork as well as some roving - a camel/merino blend and merino/possum blend.
L. to R. - Merino/camel blend, Ile de France roving, Merino/possum blend.
I also got a finishing brush to put on my carder from Classic Carder. But the finds of the day for me was some extra special fibre. The stall next to us was Wheeldale Woolcrafts which is run by Phillippa Joad and her brother Harry helping out. I spied some bumps of fibre poking out of a basket which I had to buy, namely Ile de France. I remembered seeing this sheep breed mentioned in the Deb Robson book and thought it looked interesting but probably never get the chance to spin. There it was on the stall next to ours....I had to buy some and I took some back to our cottage that evening to have a play with it on my new drop spindles. What lovely fibre! So I went back next morning and bought the remaining bundles - a kilo in total. I have since found out that Ile de France is a cross between Dishley  Leicesters and French Merino, so that explains why its so nice! I also sought out The Little Grey Sheep stall as I follow Emma's blog and wanted to buy some fibre.
I got two packs of Gotland lambs wool locks and six packs of beautifully hand-dyed European Merino. I must say that this is the best hand-dyed merino I have ever spun! Merino is very susceptible to felting when heated so dyeing it can be tricky, but there was no sign of any felting when I had a trial spin back at the cottage. I'm really pleased with all my purchases which have all been taken to my workroom as I have now started to spend more creative time up there with the onset of autumn. Yes its raining again!!! Looking forward to Yarndale 2014 already.