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.

Monday, 7 January 2019

How many photos???

Last November we had a short trip out in the van for Bonfire night ( Nov 5)

We found a good campsite in Tewkesbury  next to the Abbey and after breakfast we spent the daytime wandering round the shops and taking a few photos.

The old buildings were fascinating and there were so any of them that we will be going back at some point to explore more.
After a quick meal in the van we headed off to the fireworks and this is where the photo problem started... I was merrily taking photos of all the pretty lights and casually mentioned when I got back that I had taken around 250 pictures..... plugged the camera in when we got back and....956 photos of fireworks and bonfires !!!

Here are the best handful.

Saturday, 5 January 2019


I've been getting more interested in Podcasts over the last few months, firstly listening to Knit British then picking up on Fruity Knitting on You-Tube.

Knit British is pretty self explanatory, Louise concentrates on British wool, single farm yarns and generally anything Woolley related which extends to spinning, knitting, yarn shows and interviews with people involved with sheep and the processing of wool. The podcast is backed up with a blog and a ravelry group with various challenges including the wool exploration, where people taking part purchase or spin a specific breed and then put the knitted sample to the test re softness, stitch definition etc.

I have now listened to most of the back catalogue whilst doing housework and sitting spinning.

At present there is generally one episode each month.

Fruity knitting on You-tube follows the standard pattern of news/finished items/work in progress interspersed with useful tutorials and interviews with knitters and knitwear designers.

I find this enjoyable as the often have fair isle knitters/designers showcasing their work so I make a date to catch up with each episode released on a Monday every two weeks.

Recent finds have been Babbles Travelling Yarns, lovely Irish girl named Grace who is a spinner, knitter and dyer with a real passion for fibre, her rather tall husband and her cat.

Green Bean podcast, gentle knitting with artist and author Katie Green.

Tiny Fibre Studio. by Becks, I've only just found this one as she recently visited John Arbons mill along with Grace from Babbles travelling yarns. However I'm just starting on her older videos as she is a spinner and spent 2017 knitting only with her hand spun.

For me, one of my favourite podcasts is TJFrog based on the isle of Skye. Tania updates the listening community with what is happening on the island with a very strong bias towards yarn, crafts and textile.

 Tania herself makes Dorset Buttons , an old traditional way of making button with wool.

I listen to every episode and often find Tania interviewing people I know on the island :-)

If you have any other suggestions, I look forward to hearing them particularly one that are based in the UK.

I'm leaving you with a photo of the Isle of Skye, our bolthole from our working lives.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Happy New Year xx

So, I did some thinking, I need to document our travels, my knitting and spinning and if I don't do it here, where will I do it?

I will try and update at lease once a month but hopefully a little more often even if its just an odd photo to say where we have been or what's on the needles.

I'm still wanting to share some of our September trip and subsequent  weekends away up to and including xmas, no broken bones etc so far this time :-)

I have a bobbin to finish and ply whilst we still have some daylight so I'm signing off for now but will be back soon with a longer update.

The bobbin holds Ryland, the knitting is Ryland and Southdown and the cups are empty :-)

Happy New Year xx