Sunday, 5 April 2020

weekly round up #1

This has been my first full week at home, a bit strange and weird but I will get used to it. At the moment I'm spending time doing extra house work ie wiping everything with disinfectant, washing my partners uniform as he is still a key worker.

I'm even spending more time making meals due to his altered shift times !

I've been baking when I can get hold of flour, just basic biscuits and the occasional cake. I hope to lose weight in spite of this and so far I seem to be successful and hope to slowly shift the pounds as I no longer have access to crisps, chocolate etc which were always a huge challenge when I was working.

Most importantly, my work room needs some attention, I would like to pick up on some crafts that I haven't touched for some time but at the moment I can't access the cupboards.

Yep, that is my mandolin, bough a few years ago and hardly touched! I'm now picking it up most days and trying to get my fingertips used to the metal strings at the moment.

I have finished another hat, this one is black cheviot with an unlabelled white, both handspun. I'm pleased with the results.

IAs you can see from the photo, my espinner has been in use and I've spun a couple of skeins of Portland fleece, spun up as a aran/chunky. I spin a thick yarn every so often for practise as I usually spin four ply for my knitting. I've also spun up a braid of dyed british wool ( I've lost the label) Dyed by Velvet sixpence and purchased a couple of years ago. Its a bit weird spinning dyed fibres, not something I do much of these days.

Meanwhile, in the garden spring has finally arrived and the blossom is on the cherry tree. I'm hoping to have some outside seating sorted for the summer since it looks like we will still be confined to the house with few exceptions.

Well, that's about it for now, I'll check in again next week :-)

Monday, 30 March 2020

I didn't mean this much change !!


At the beginning of the year I had a post labelled ' A year of change" followed by one called 'Its just a Virus"

At the time I had no idea how prophetic these would be as they related to my plans for 2020 and a nasty virus that I caught at the beginning of the year.

Anyway, world circumstances have sort of mixed things up in the meantime. The 'year of change' referred to my intended early retirement due in May. I now find myself at home due to health issues for the next 12 weeks at least and in that time I will finish my employment without chance to say goodbye to my colleagues, weird.

My intention was to blog my retirement so I have a record of what I actually do, see hear etc and I will bring the start of these blogs forward to the end of this week and make them weekly probably on a sunday.

In the meantime, our last trip out in the van was to Belper so I have added a few photos taken as we walked around and visited the mill. The van is now in storage for the foreseeable future :-(

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Ist road trip of the year and a knitting update.


We had a cheeky night away at the weekend, great day but pretty lousy night for me as unable to sleep lying down properly, the weekend was promptly followed by a trip to the doctors and I'm now  waiting for an appointment with a muscular skeletal consultant !

Anyway, back to the weekend.

This time we travelled up into North Yorkshire to give the van a run out to recharge the batteries. We stayed on a site just outside Knaresborough so we had electric hook up for the heating (very small fan heater, works so much better than the vans heating system)

After arriving at midday we just had time for a quick cuppa before catching the bus into knaresborough. A cold day but not too bad so we had a wander around to see what grabbed our attention.

The obvious one was the painted windows. Many of the older buildings have bricked in windows, I assume this is a result of the window tax many years ago. Several of theses window spaces have been embellished with paintings.

We are always a sucker for blue plaques giving the history of buildings, Knaresborough did not disappoint with this Flax Mill.

Interesting that they use the term heckle where we would these days talk about using a hackle for combing or blending wool.

We then made our way, via several charity shops, to the castle. Amazing views of the town and an obvious place of importance ( details on another plaque.)

The views were pretty good as well, the weir and site of another flax mill

and the viaduct !

A hint of the past was glimpsed through the trees

Old Mother Shipton was waiting for us when we got back into town.

This is one of those amazing sculptures that you can spend ages looking at then suddenly see something new !!

After coffee we headed back to the van for the evening and I actually got some knitting done !

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Spammed and a quick update


I eventually made it back to work on Wednesday but I've still not shaken off-- the tiredness caused by the Virus. Also I'm really struggling to remember that we are no longer in 2019 when writing the date.

I have just removed around a dozen comments on here which linked to Chinese porn sites !! fortunately I set all comments to be moderated first so I can catch this sort of thing.

I'm still taking part in the Instagram lace challenge, there have been a couple of headings that still have me foxed so I will come back to the once inspiration strikes.

I have 3!! hats on the needles at the moment which is unusual for me but it will give me plenty of knitting to pop in the van on our next run out.

This one is simply oddments that were left on the bobbins, I may keep it for my self, not sure yet.

This one is mainly Jacob and the design has a masculine feel to it, its an easy repeat so I should get it finished soon.
Spinning.. I'm working on the last of the brown Shetland fleece, 60 gram on the bobbin and another 60 ready to spin onto the next. This will be used for knitting rather than selling as yarn.

My knitting/spinning mojo went into retirement with being ill so hopefully will return soon, the brighter if colder weather is helping a bit.

One thing that I have found is that I'm starting to bake cakes and biscuits and quite enjoying the process.

Speak Soon xx

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Its Just a Virus...

But it knocked me off my feet and I'm still exhausted !!

Anyway, I managed to start the January Lace Challenge, several days late and using photos pinched from this very blog.

here are the challenge words..

I suspect that I may have to skip some of them unless Inspiration strikes, yep, that is no 31.!

Its made me think about to spend my time once work no longer plays such a big part, although I love the spinning/knitting, I don't want to burn out on it.

So , the challenge so far is documented on my Instagram pages.
rather than repeat the photos that can already by found on the blog.

On the spinning front, I busy prepping the last of a brown Shetland and I have a couple of simple hats on the needles waiting to be finished.

I have a large amount of material scarps to be used up so I'll be looking at making some drop spindle project bags which will be handy if I'm ever asked about workshops. Also they can double as knitting bags :-)

Long term, I'm looking to use up/downsize a lot of my craft materials as they are taking up too much valuable space at the moment.

I hope you are all having a great week, watch this space xx

Saturday, 4 January 2020

belated New Year Greetings

May I wish everyone a very belated happy New Year :-) The bug got me, went to bed 9.30 New Years Eve, didn't suface until yesterday and then only long enough for a shower and a small bite to eat!
I've been mooching around today as all the unintentional rest has sent my body clock wrappy and I've been awake since 3am except for a short nap.
So to all my friends who I haven't caught up with, I'm not ignoring you, and will try to get the year off to a better start next week.
On the upside, we did catch some bike racing on Sunday before all this happened :-)

Saturday, 28 December 2019

looking forward...2020, a year of change


I know this is usually a New Year Eve kind of post but its 4.50 am and I'm wide awake so its a wee bit early :-)

 I've been thinking about next year for a while now as it means that a landmark birthday is pending and with it the chance of changing the amount of crafting time I have.

I've even made a list of how I'd like to spend the extra time ( In an ideal world ! )

1,  Blog more, This would give me a record of my progress since I started this blog back in 2007.


Wednesday, 27 June 2007

testing, testing

First attempt at posting only to find that I cannot load photos or maybe it is just that having dial up still makes it take forever.

No comments


2, try and design more knitted hats, I love knitting hats but I'm pretty bad a recording the details of them and once they are sold I simply end up with a bad photo of them.

3, carrying on the photo theme, I have had my lovely small Canon a year now and I'm just finding out what it really does so I want to get back into the photography habit.

4, Get to grips with both my e-spinner and my kromski loom that has yet to come out of the bag.

5, conquer my fear? of knitting mitts For some reason I only ever manage to knit one! definite second mitt syndrome.

6, spin down the stash before it takes over the house.

6 Make some lace


And travel more :-)

so, will this happen? shorter working hours, a little self care and hopefully a few changes in the pipeline should help make 2020 the gateway to a better, hopefully healthier life.

and the blogging ?, hopefully a little more frequent than it has been.

Wishing everyone a peaceful New Year.

Saturday, 26 October 2019


I'm still finding time to put pen to paper but here's some knitting to keep you going.

Yep, I'm still knitting up the oddments !! speak soon xx

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Random update plus fibre stuff :-)


I haven't completely abandoned this blog but we've been rather busy with work etc.

On the travel side, we have been down to Minehead, over to Morton, to  Hawes in Yorkshire and Rutland in the van. Isle of Skye and the tall ships festival in Gloucester were visited by car.

I will detail more of these trips when I get chance but safe to say the only reason I get time to blog today is because I hake picked up a chest infection that has kept me off work for the last few days.

On the fibre front, I have continued to spin and knit. I somehow lost count of the number of breeds so will check my Instagram as I'm sure I mentioned them on there.

The start of Tour de Fleece is only 3 weeks away and as usual I will spin and take my wheel out with me at weekends.

Sorry for this brief post. More will follow shortly :-)

Photos just to whet the appertite….

Sunday, 3 March 2019

This years fibre challenge

So here we are, 3 March and my last post was way back in January.

We have been a bit busy and will fill you in with our recent travels soon.

As for the spinning ….

Norfolk Horn X

I've been feeling that I need a challenge, to keep me spinning which in turn will enable me to keep knitting.

The one that I've come across is Twelve in Twelve which is running on the Create with fFibre Facebook group.

The idea is to prep and spin 12 different fleeces in the year (only one skein per breed is really needed and I really don't think that I could get through 12 in a year) and if possible use the yarn in some way.

Ok, its a big ask or at least I thought it was but its the beginning of March and I have 5 in the bag as far as spinning is concerned, all from raw fleece although its possible that I will sell some skeins rather than knit with them.
Black Welsh Mountain x Lleyn

So far I've managed South Down, borerey, Mule (poss NC) an unknown breed (random donated fleece but really nice, and Kerry Hill.
Waiting for more prep are a bobbin of Black welsh mountain cross lleyn and a bobbin of Norfolk Horn x Charolais.
unknown breed, Kerry Hill (dyed)

I have a white cheviot to check out, hopefully some black cheviot ( I suppose that counts as just one breed) some hebridean, ryland and Shetland.
South Down
The wish list includes Romney, Portland and I'm keeping my eyes open for a nice Jacob.

I may exceed the 12 breeds !!

I had to knit one of them, mule knitted up into a scarf.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

What I like to spin

October/November spinning
I'm a bit of a lazy spinner, don't get me wrong, I love to process a fleece but once I'm spinning I generally use a semi long draw drafting style. I hold the fibre in my left hand and pull away from the wheel. My right hand does little apart from pinch the twist occasionally to control the amount of fibre going into the twist.

As for the prep, I love combed fibre. I have a set of valkryie wool combs and process most fleeces with these whilst watching box sets on the computer. I have hand carders which I never really got to grips with and a drum carder which is rarely used.

I've found that up to now I don't really like Blueface Leicester or Wensleydale for spinning. Jacob, Ryland, Romney and most of the down breeds are more fun to spin. Since I knit hats etc these are often fine enough and certainly warm enough.

I have a chart of endangered British sheep breeds and I'm slowly making my way through them but I tend to choose fleeces more for their colour.

Its some time since |I dyed any fibre and my last attempt was not brilliant. I suspect that this may have been down to ageing dyes more than anything else so I've taken them plunge and bought some new stock. Not being too sure which colours I would want to use, I've ended up with 24 10gm bottles. 24 different colours to play with..

December spinning waiting for a wash.