Sunday, 24 March 2013

Sock yarn for Wonderwool

Sock yarn

Here we are, lots of lovely sock yarn freshly dyed up for Wonderwool.  Not as much as I'd like,  but there's some nice colours in the usual yarn bases - all British, both Falkland Merino and  Blue-faced Leicester, with either bamboo, nylon, or Donegal nep.  (There are a few of last year's yarns up on the Etsy shop, but that probably won't be updated now until after Wonderwool).

Adelaide Walker have asked me to sample a possible new fibre blend.  I buy all my bfl and bfl/silk from them, but this could be rather nice.  Black Jacob top blended with bamboo:

Jacob bamboo 1

It really is very nearly as metallic-looking as it looks in this photo!

Jacob bamboo 2

I have spun it into a fairly airy 3-ply that looks like dk thickness but will actually knit up as a hefty-ish fingering weight, and make particularly lovely bouncy socks, which is what I am making for AW to use as an example at Wonderwool.

Given the other sample knitting I'm doing for Ann Kingstone, and the vast amounts of fibre to be dyed too (a batch just having come out of the oven so some bread can go in), I'd better get on with it.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Yarnival 2013

Yarnival 2013

Just a few photos were taken at Yarnival - it's a friendly little yarn festival, held in Trawden Village hall.  Only a handful of stall holders.

I restrained myself - I bought two lovely balls of North Ronaldsay yarn which felt slightly different and much softer from North Ron I've found before (this was Isle of Auskerry yarn) and some other stuff to dye and resell.  I picked up a bag of Jacob/bamboo blend from Adelaide Walker's, to spin and knit into socks for them to use as a sample at Wonderwool.

Still tiring though.  I was glad I'd taken Mark to do all the driving for me.  And it was very decadent but necessary to have a homemade steak pie and chips that evening.
Yarnival 2013 Mark

The pupz came, of course.  The van ended up being parked next to the little trailer with the usual Yarnival sheep - Shetland, North Ron and Hebridean.  Lunil spent the entire day glued to the back window, staring at her unaccustomed neighbours.  However, they behaved perfectly correctly when let out for a pee - just a quick sniff sheepwards.

Yarnival 2103 sheep


My de-stash page on Ravelry has been updated again.  None of my own dyed stuff on there, just yarn I have bought with the best of intentions but now realise I'm never going to get knitted up.  Or even re-dyed.

Wool cotton yarn

Ba T'at dk

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

2013's Wool Shows and Teaching

Someone pointed out to me yesterday that I really need to have a page with all my teaching gigs up somewhere, so here we are:

Yarnival - Saturday 16 March

A lovely friendly little yarn show at Trawden, Lancashire - I shall be here with fibre and yarn.

Furness Guild of WSD - Saturday 23 March

I shall be teaching my Woollen/Worsted Workshop for the Furness Guild.  This involves considering the difference in preparation and spinning required to produce the different types of yarn, why you would use either type, suitable wools or other fibres to use, and then producing samples.  People taking part will need to be competant hand spinners, and bring a well-oiled spinning wheel, hand carders and hand combs if you have them, several bobbins and a lazy kate.  Fibre will be provided and a small contribution would be welcome.

Wonderwool Wales - Saturday/Sunday 27/28 April

Once again, I shall have my stall at Wonderwool Wales, and once again I shall be teaching a workshop on both days: Introduction to Drumcarding.  This will be a two hour class on how to use a drumcarder safely and efficiently, and how to process and blend wools and other fibres. You will be able to try at least two different sorts of drumcarder, and we will also discuss which make would be suitable for your needs.

Bowland Guild of WSD - Saturday 4th May

I shall be teaching my Spinning and Knitting with Beads workshop to Bowland Guild - how to produce yarn with integral beads, and also how to add beads to knitted fabric.  Attendees need to be competent spinners and knitters, and bring spinning wheels, bobbins and lazy kates, knitting needles, sewing thread and sewing needles, their own beads if they'd like to use them (though beads will be available to buy) and any fibres they'd like to use.  Some fibre and yarn will be provided.

Tynedale Spinners Gathering - Saturday 18 May

I shall be attending the gathering for the second year with my fibres and yarns.b

Woolfest - Friday/Saturday 28/29 June

The eponymous Woolfest - let's just hope the weather is a little better this year.  I shall be here with my fibres and yarns.

Brantwood,Coniston - Monday-Thursday 8-11 July

Beginning to Spin is a residential course at Ruskin's beautiful home at Brantwood.  This two day course will cover mainly spindle spinning, but wheels will be available to try. There will be many different fibres to try, all materials being included, and I shall no doubt talk about spinning in history and in the world today as well as many uses of your own handspun yarn.

Alston Hall, Preston - Friday-Sunday 19-21 July

A residential course at beautiful Alston Hall during which I shall be teaching a course on natural dyes: Red, Yellow, Blue. I shall provide natural dyes in these colours, and we will dye yarns and fibres in both primary and secondary colours. Please contact me for more information.

Fibre East - Saturday/Sunday 27-28 July

My last big yarn show of the year, and we are desperately hoping for better weather for Fibre East. At least we're under a permanent roof this time! I shall be here with my fibres and yarns.

Bakewell Wool Gathering - Saturday/Sunday 19/20 October

A new event to me, but I shall be here with my fibres and yarns at the Gathering.  A lovely market town to visit, with added wool - what could be better?

Eden Valley Guild - Saturday 12 April 2014

A nice early booking here with one of my favourite guilds, Eden Valley, to do a workshop on Fleece Selection and Preparation.

And that's it - so far.  Some of the entries above have links to the events' own websites, but please get in touch if you need more information on top of that, and of course if you want to speak to me about custom dyeing or to see what I have in stock.

Monday, 11 March 2013

New Year, New Dyeing...

Lunil and fibretodye

So here we are, a litttle later than normal, about to start off the new year's dyeing!  I've just done a quick stocktake on the fibre I have in, and am about to order what I need.  Mostly various colours of Bluefaced Leicester, I think; I'm not sure that I'm going to do such a wide range of British breeds this year, it's terribly faffy to keep track of them all.

So the core range will be black, oatmeal and white BFL, both on its own and with silk. Then shetland, probably moorit and white on its own, and the black with silk. They'll be superwash merino until I run out of it (I have another kilo left), I shall get some merino/silk for those who like it, and perhaps the odd bit of Manx and Masham, because I can get nice colours in it.

The dye stocks are good, certainly enough to keep me through to the end of the summer.

As for sockyarn, I have lots of BFL/nylon, which is my standard sock base. I have a small amount of bamboo/merino which I shan't get any more of, some BFL/donegal nep which I will get more of, even though it's expensive, and I shall also try and find some more of the British Merino (slightly slubbed) as I have a friend who loves it (Hi Syl!)

I have the first show of the year on Saturday - Yarnival, which is a small and friendly one in Trawden Village hall, near where we used to live in Lancashire. Mostly yarn, but I shall take the entirity of what I have in and ready,  because it's a good place to spread out and stocktake as it gets packet up again.

And another shot of the yarn island in the kitchen:
Mark, Lunil and fibretodye

Sadly, this will now stay in the middle of the kitchen for the next eight months or so - there is literally no other place for it.  It's all I can do to get the dyed fibre packed and stuffed upstairs somewhere.  And there is actually a year chart behind Mark here.  I have a frighteningly busy year, with more teaching than I think I've ever done before plus all the fibre shows, so I feel a need to keep on track of it.

Wish me luck....