Tuesday, 29 June 2010


Well, it was a long, hot weekend - we've had rain and thunderstorms before, so I shouldn't complain - but what fun! We saw lots of people we know and met even more lovely people for the first time.

There was nearly a fiasco with the tables on Thursday's setting up day. We'd left home very early, got to Cockermouth about 11, put the tent up and unpacked, and then waited for tables to arrive. And waited. It turned out that the company providing the vast amounts of sturdy trestle tables that most of the stallholders rely on thought they were needed by 9am on Friday morning - oops! Luckily someone from the Woolclip thought to ring and check, and they started arriving from about 4pm. So Mark grabbed two for us, then whizzed round and helped various other people to tables too. I unpacked our stall, arranged it in vaguely decorative fashion, then Mark and I took the lovely Denise out to the Mill Inn at Mungrisdale for dinner, which was much needed by then. We've been going there, on and off, for years - it's always excellent. And dog-friendly too, so the pups lay in heaps on the floor and didn't phase the waiting staff at all.

You can rather see that colour is my strong point! I found an odd comment on a photo of my stall at Wonderwool this year, that someone had posted on Flickr. Something along the lines of the brown tape, and how unprofessional it looked, and how careless it was to use it. Which rather misses the point of these events.

On Friday evening Mark and Denise and I sat up on the bank behind the auctino mart and enjoyed the beautiful evening. Our tent is the blue one below us. We've been doing Woolfest since its beginning, and I still haven't managed to explore Cockermouth. I know the Eastern Lakes well, but whenever we do Woolfest it's always straight up here and then straight home. I must somehow manage to take longer and stay around soon.

We charged off at speed on Saturday night - we were packed up, fed (in the canteen which does really good, basic food - pie and chips and salad for me!) and off by about 6.30. So we drove down the scenic way through St John's Vale, Grasmere, and Ambleside, and stopped to let the pups cool their feet.

They have been so good this weekend - they spent most of Friday and Saturday in the big crate in the shade of the tent or the van, and the evenings monstering on the bank. They've since been zonked for the two days we've been home.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Quick update pre-Woolfest

Frighteningly, I seem to be pretty much up to speed for Woolfest, which has never happened before more than day beforehand. I have a small amount of fibre to pack, label and price, and my new sock yarn to do the same, and then a few orders which I must bag and write names on so people can collect them easily. But yes, I think I'm there. We're collecting the van on Wednesday evening, probably loading most stuff up that night, and setting off first thing thursday morning, aiming to get to Cockermouth by lunchtime. That gives us lots of time to get the tent and assorted camping impedimential set up and the stall all finished in plenty of time to let us have a relaxed evening. Um - it could all go wrong.

A Twist Collective sock I had on the go last week, that's had to go into abeyance when I suddenly realised that my mystery shawl had to be finished by the Alston Hall weekend on 10/11 July. That was train knitting last week and it's grown nicely - this sock will, I think, be stuck like this for a while. I love how the colours are spiralling round.

Quick bit of handspun from the batts in the last posting. Just a nice structured 2-ply - the fibre is very soft. Shiny too, and I managed not to make the colours too smoothly blended - there's streaks of various blues, the odd bit ofpurple, and some bits are more silky than others.

And this is the first scarf to come to my from the Travelling Handspun Scarf Exchange that I'm participating on Ravery. Must get it off tomorrow. The reddish part is mine - the next one should be imminent so I need to get this on its way.

Saturday, 12 June 2010


I have been doing lots and lots of dyeing, but not much of it has made the blog.

This is what I've done over the last few days - mostly coloured BFL, which a few oddments of superwash merino, in fibre. I did all the British Merino sock yarn today - it looks nice stuff, and there's a new pattern up on Twist Collective that I feel a strange compulsion to knit.

And this arrived in the post yesterday and had to be retrieved from the sorting office. I arranged to swap fibre with the lovely Aurorabee on Ravelry for this spindle that she's made and coloured with indigo. It came with a beautiful bag and a little bit of padding to keep the hook safe.

I had a chunk of BFL/silk that I'd dyed in Steelsheen earlier in the week (it wasn't quite 100g so I'd kept it for my stash), so I stuffed it through the drumcarder along with the lovely silk from Aurorabee and got this:

I only gave it three passes so there are still streaks of purple and pink amongst the muted teals. Lovely.

And while I had the carder out I hauled out a bag of fleece that had come home with me (amongst others) from Wonderwool. The bag was about a quarter of a Corriedale cross fleece, and Sarah D and I split the bag between us. A lovely creamy caramel colour, again I didn't over process this (three passes) to keep some variation in the shades. No idea what I'll do with it, though thinking about it: a sturdy single to weave into a throw/shawl? We will see...

Tomorrow I'm planning to sort out all the fibre for Woolfest and price and label it. Depending upon how many of the huge plastic bags I fill, I think I may even be up to date with all the dyeing, and won't need to do any more. Somehow, I don't think I'm that lucky.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

The Sheeps - they had better stop breeding!

That's four done now. The newest is the one in the background. I may have to do more due to popular demand - Ma was round this afternoon and it was all I could do to get one of the multi-coloured ones back from her grubby little mitts. There's something about these sheep - they fulfil no practical purpose at all (you can't even use them as mittens) but they are so appealing.

A new colourway that came out of the pots the other week. Called 'Remnants' at the moment, and it's shown on the merino/bleached tussah blend tops that I bought to dye up for Woolfest. When spun up there will be some lovely lilacs stretching out between the pinks and blues.

The yarn on the left is the lovely merino laceweight that came as part of a Ravelry swap. The one on the right is a handspun I did as a quick sample of the BFL/angelina blend (new fibre for Woolfest too) which I'd quickly dyed in my 'Depths'. I had no idea they'd match so beautifully until they were accidentally put together. Although my handspun looks like a much thicker yarn, because I tend to spin an airy, light yarn than has much less grist than it looks like, they will actually knit to the same tension. Now all I have to do is think of something that I can use them together.