Sunday, 24 June 2018

Tdf count down

We are now starting the count down to the Tour de Fleece 2018. Just two more weeks to wash and prep fleece ready for the big spin.

I had been steadily working through my fleece stash and nearly all of it was washed until my mate turned up with my Jacob fleece that had been left at his house.

As you can see, its been stored for a while and try as I did, I couldn't get it to roll out nicely but its a nice fleece and really clean.

I've spilt the grey from the white, there is a little brown but I'll probably blend that in. I'm looking for some white skeins for a hat and some grey marled skeins probably to use in a fair isle something:-)

Unfortunately the Jacob brought some friends along... another Jacob, 1/2 mule, 2 unknown, a Shetland and a bag of Norfolk Horn.

And a Southdown dropped in by post !!

No wonder this has been a fleece washing weekend!

I have already washed some of one of the unknown breed fleeces, filthy fleece but washed up lovely and white, proper woolly feel to it so maybe some down breed in the mix somewhere?

I still have a couple of bobbins to empty on the wheels then I will be ready to kick off TDF18 with a visit to the Wool Experience and I suspect more fleece will follow me home.

that's about it for now, more to follow soon plus we are planning another camper trip so keep an eye out for that one.

speak soon xx

Sunday, 17 June 2018

back in the van again


You may have worked out that we are trying to make a trip out every month between trying to tame the garden and wash fleeces (yes fleeces, I was expecting two from different sources but seem to have a bout six to wash!!)

This months trip was to Upton upon Severn, a charming village that annually hosts a Jazz festival, a Blues festival and a Folk festival . This year saw the Ist Upton upon Severn Ukulele festival.

Upton itself has many old buildings and we will return sometime to explore the little alleyways, investigate the museum and the antique shops but this time we were camping and hanging out with the ukeists.

As with any new venture, there are always teething problems but overall we had a really good weekend catching up with folks.

Watching the sun set over the campsite

watching the performers through out Saturday whilst catching up with a bit of spinning.

and later, another sunset.

Okay, Okay, I may have cheated a little with this picture, all the photos on this blog are untouched by any photo shopping but I thought I would just show the difference it can make. The original photo is below...

I did this to see how easy it would be to produce the Van life photos showing an idyllic life stye on Instagram and I must admit that this weekend I left my camera at home and simply used my phone.

Back to reality, the view from the door and the kitchen window was enough to help destress without any filters :-)

 and I got to wear my festival trousers !

 also discovered that some festival go'ers had four legs and were fairly small !!

Anyway, that's about it for this weekend, fleece washing next weekend and an update on the tdf prep progress.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Fleecy goodness and a Ram with no ears.


My week has been a mad round of prepping fibres and there are currently two Shetland fleeces on the line. I'm trying to clear the fleece left from last year ready for this years arrivals :-)

This fleece is a lovely colour but its proving to be extremely dirty. I was worried that it was felted in places but it seems more that the lanolin was holding it together. I'll let you know once its dry.

The Ram with no ears? If you go into the museum in Moffat there is a collecting box to raise money to give the ram ears. This is the ram..

and it has no ears, read here

That's about all for today, more about Moffat and Scotland next time. I hope to have a couple of fleeces dropped off this morning and if the mister gets back in time we will be off to enjoy some music later.

Monday, 4 June 2018

just a quickie

tonight I will be prepping more fibre for both the TDF 2018 and to make room for some fleece due at the weekend. I'm itching to spin but I'm trying hard to have another couple of evenings with the combs before I start with the wheel again.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

More fleece washing and some spinning

The North Ronaldsay fleece arrived on Friday and has been in a cold water soak overnight ready for a wash this morning.

+A small sample of the boreray has been spun and knitted, the yarn was much softer after it had been washed and I could quite happily wear it as gloves or a hat. Unfortunately my camera really didn't want to take a decent photo (new camera on the shopping list) so this is the best I can do.

Now its back to fibre prep for the TDF :-)

More of Scotland in a van

Being away in the van rather than the usual rented cottage gave us chance to slow down and chill out. We landed up on Skye on the Sunday and called at the Old Byre for a chat with Claire and Neil before carrying on to the campsite at Edinbane. 

Skye bridge coming into view

Our conversation as usual was about moving onto the Island, we have discussed this many times but at the moment we both want to travel and do a few festivals before settling down somewhere out of the way.

The campsite was a bit of an eyeopener... we are used to the Caravan and Motorhome sites where they let you have a look for a pitch you fancy then pop back to reception and tell them the pitch number. The Camping and Caravan Cub have a very different system which wasn't helped by our booking receipt showing a 6.3m motorhome and their receipt showing a 7m caravan which they somehow tried to make out it was our fault? I think we know what vehicle we have. Also they were a little put out or maybe surprised by me wanting to pay for the four nights in cash.

So they helped us fill up with water and then two of the wardens walked us to our allocated pitch and made sure that we were in place ( we would have preferred a proper van pitch ) All evening we watched a procession of vans and caravans being walked round the site. It reminded me a bit of a funeral.

We soon found that sunsets and sunrises could be glorious occasions and if we tried, we could ignore the cuckoos. Phone reception was non existent in spite of the new mast in the new field and it always amazes us how many people immediately set up there TVs on arrival.

There is a fold down TV in the van, we've watched a DVD on it once and now its just something that we hit our heads on occasionally, if it didn't double up as the reversing camera we would probably take it out.

For the next few days hubby cycled around, we caught a bus into Portree to catch up with gossip at Skye Batiks ( we've shopped there for maybe 29 years now) and dropped into Island at the Edge which was next to the campsite.

I even got to teach a drop spindle workshop which was great fun at Island at the Edge, there were six spinners and newbies, tea and cake and a wonderful view over the Loch.

And this is Puffin Skye, our latest travelling companion  and just to prove that my knitting isn't always strewn around the van I had a tidy up :-) Spot the home for the crutches.

That's about it for now,  have a great weekend xx

Saturday, 2 June 2018

A quick fibre update

June 1st

So here we are, June already ! This has been a strange year so far :-)

More campervan tales to follow but this is a quick catch up on where I am with the fluffy stuff.

I have recently acquired two Boreray fleeces, I have not spun up any yet but they are now washed and living in pillowcases.

They are small fleeces and continue my desire to try as many breeds as possible... I suspect that I may be driving my other half mad with this!

I also have a another brown ryeland  and a Shropshire? on order but I'm awaiting shearing for that one. Also a North Ronaldsay fleece due to arrive sometime today, again this will be a small fleece but will be added to the list.

There are also a Jacob and possibly a mule due to wing their way here from a friend.

On the knitting front, not a lot happening as I'm busy prepping fibre for the Tour de Fleece that starts next month.

Prepped and bagged so far NorfolkXsuffolk ( the last of this fleece) Ryeland ( grey and dark brown)
Rouge de L'ouest ,  (again, the end of a fleece), Cheviot and Shetland. I also have a bag of purchased, prepped black North Ronaldsay that I bought in Kirkwall last year that I may spin to compare with my own prepped fleece.

I'll leave you with a photo from our recent trip, more to follow in the next post.