Sunday, 19 November 2017

yarn, yarn, yarn


I've just finished re-skeinning and labelling Octobers spinning, all of it is DK/aranish weight. All of the skeins are British breeds prepared from fleece except the North Ronaldsay at the end which I purchased whilst on Orkney and was a sort of thin roving and not my favourite to spin.

From dark to light - Jacob, Cheviot, Ryland, 2 Jacob x texel. Norfolk/Suffolk and North Ronaldsay which is a bit washed out in the picture.

 I've only spun the light bag so far and I'm not really looking forward to spinning the dark one. Still it was a souvenir from the holiday and I can always sell the yarn anyway.

I'm still working on the hat, hopefully be finished soon then it will be a case of fibre prep and spinning ready for next year, I think I may start by finishing up the bag of Hebridean.

speak soon x

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Nottingham Yarn Expo

so, Nottingham yarn expo...lovely building, lots of light, lots of space. It just didn't feel very busy to me.

As the name suggests, it was mainly yarn and I was surprised to see so many single breed yarns, undyed and beautiful. There were many indie dyers around even a few with spinning fibre for sale although probably not enough spinning related stalls to make me want to go back next time. Having said that, I probably will simply because its on my doorstep and it was great to be able to catch up with some of the stall holders that I know but don't often see.

suggestions put forward for next years show
1, a floor plan of exhibitors, lifts, toilets etc I'm sure some groups of stalls must have been missed by people.
2, signs outside the venue to tell you where it is. I knew where to head for but we collected several lost knitters on our travels.
3.If you have a group of spinners demonstrating their art then put them where they will be seen, not hidden in the 'basement'

I had intended just to window shop but decided to buy some fibre for next years outings in the van. Although my spinning wheel will fit in I don't really have room for a big bag of fleece, carders/combs etc

This is my haul, the braids are safely tucked away, the book has some beautiful patterns in it and maybe I will be brave enough to try one some time.

On the needles today is a hand spun Shetland yarn beanie, I just need to make up my mind about how to do the crown.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

excited about fluffly stuff


I'm just off to The Nottingham Yarn Expo, this is a new festival so I've no idea what to expect. I suspect that it will be mainly aimed at knitters but its a great excuse for a day out:-)

So, full report later.

Off the needles...
Norfolk horn and unknown breed of brown sheep named caramel. Even her owner has no idea what she is :-)

waiting for the wheel...

Shetland Merino, super soft !!

Have a great weekend :-)

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Autumnal colours


Such a beautiful weekend, Saturday didn't start out too promising with heavy rain but by the time we had picked up the van it was easing off and stopped before we reached our destination.

This wasn't a long trip, in fact it was only about 15 miles but we needed to try out everything and this is one of the prettiest parks around at this time of year.

The campsite is in Clumber Park a beautiful setting but the downside is that it attracts all sorts of people and there are sign saying beware of thieves, digital locks on the facilities and a locked bike shed is provided rather that keeping your bikes with your van. The staff were very helpful and I was amused to find that when you get there most people plug in the electric then the TV. I didn't know that this was a camping option as we are more used to tents, motorcycles and farmers fields !! 

I love having a kitchen with an oven and a whistling kettle :-)

We have had a extra handle fitted on the outside to help me get in and out and still need to find homes for things so that they don't rattle ! but we love it and are busy planning our next trips away.

Speak soon x

Sunday, 29 October 2017

I treated myself....then we treated ourselves


Some of you may know that I spin mainly on a Kromski Sonata that I bought maybe 8 years ago as a portable wheel. I also had a Kromski Symphony which I never really go on with and that was passed on to my spin buddy . An Ashford scholar arrived and was passed on to a new spinner but for a while I've found the Sonata too heavy and bulky to take out and about. I used to put it on a small trolley but since having to use a walking stick, this is no longer viable.

So, I started looking for another wheel, hopefully smaller, compact with a view to taking it on holidays etc in the future and I found a Louet Victoria for sale on the Internet. A bit of research told me that this may be the perfect wheel. I had seen several in action earlier in the year and everyone seemed happy with them. So we went out, about a month ago to look at it and buy it.
I had been  looking for one with this bag and happy to pay full price if necessary as several that I had seen advertised had a suitcase type bag which I really wasn't interested in.
Out of the bag it looks like this, very compact and opens out simply by pulling out the knob near the base. You can see the flyer has its own little home.
and next to her big sister you can see the difference in size

Picking up the wheel turned out to be very expensive as we called in at the Lincoln Motorhome show on the way.....cut a long story short, the wheel has a new home :-)

Time to start travelling again !!!

Saturday, 28 October 2017

unexpected visitor


I wasn't expecting to post this early today and this isn't what I had in mind but I've been off work with a heavy cold which has given me time to watch the birds around the feeders. On Thursday this little chap turned up.

He was having a good root around until the dogs next door started barking, he stopped still, didn't curl up but just didn't move till they stopped to I went and had a closer look ( through the long lens)

I assume he/she is looking for somewhere to hibernate and he/she is definitely smaller and lighter in colour than the other one that we occasionally spot wandering round.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

A bit more Orkney


Maybe that should be some photos of Orkney as the last post ended with a photo of the ferry!

As I mentioned, we tried to avoid revisiting places that we had already seen which made the weeks stay into an enjoyable challenge.

This is just a random mix of interesting places.

Hatston pier has been built since our last visit and we wandered down to see the size of the cruise ships. They are massive!! We had heard about the ships coming in on a programme shown just before our visit. You can see it here on You-Tube

Rendell Dove coot, amazing to see the birds fly out of the top of this dove coot. unfortunately the occupants of the car in front of us disturbed them before I could reach for my camera.

The Brough of Birsay, the causeway to the island was under water as we turned up so we decided to take a walk down to the fisherman's hut instead.

Stunning views out to sea, this is somewhere that we will return to in the future simply to sit and stare at the sea rolling in.

 The view from a window at Barony Mills, a restored mill next to a rather dilapidated one still at the same part of the island as the previous photos.
 We had a really interesting tour and bought some oatmeal with a view to trying to make oatcakes at some point... I've just noticed the rainbow on the water wheel photo below!

I will post a little more of Orkney in a few days time x

Sunday, 22 October 2017

knitting update

 I'm looking back at the blog and I've not mentioned my knitting since August so this is a quick round up of completed projects since then.

Hebridean and possibly Portland


Hebridean and unknown mystery white fleece

Ooops this is the back of the band as you can see where the row changes

Black cheviot and Texel

 Ryeland and Texel

Texel and black Cheviot

 Ryeland and white Shetland

Hebridean and Norfolk Horn

a couple of the ear warmers were knitted on the way up to Orkney and from Orkney to Skye. I now use Ravelry to keep notes of the fleece used as soon as I start a project otherwise I would be totally lost!

Saturday, 21 October 2017

memories of Orkney

HI, In September we headed back north of the border to Orkney where we had booked a self catering apartment for a week. We had a couple of overnight stops, one at the Falls of Drochart Inn which we reached via visiting the Kelpies....

and then this installation by Rob Mulholland

We reached the falls of Dochart late afternoon and went for a short walk to the nearby charity shop that had once been a mill and still had a working water wheel.

The second night we stopped off at Keiss with a view of the castles.

next morning saw us set off for John O'Groats and on to Gills bay to catch the ferry.

This was our third visit to Orkney so we have seen most of the popular attractions, many of them twice. This time the plan was to see what we had missed and things a title more off the beaten track although there are not many roads anyway. Some of the islands are joined up by a causeway but it still feels small and quiet compared with our usual destination of Skye.

More to come later, I also have gossip about knitting, fleece, a new toy and a new form of transport to tell you about over the next few posts.