Monday, 28 June 2010

We Have Achieved Fleece (oh and Woolfest too!)

First off, an apology, my camera is still in Ange's car so I have no pictures for you. I took it all the way to Woolfest, left it in the car because a) I couldn't be bothered to carry it; and b) Ange has a fancy-pants new smartphone with more megapixels than my camera (jealous? Moi?) Of course, we were so addled with wool fumes that we barely took any pictures anyway :-)

I'll come back to Woolfest in a minute, first a picture-free catch-up. Use your imagination.

The Jane Thornley KAL project is nearly completed (yay!) I have just cast off the second sleeve, so all it needs now is bands and edging. I'm toying with a crochet shell edging, but I still need to ponder on it a bit more. Very pleased with it though, it is light and summery, but has a good drape. I did a bit of fancy stitchwork at the bottom of the body and it's really worked well. Pleased, I haz one.

I have achieved fleece! Can't remember if I mentioned it, but my lovely neighbours have gifted me a Blue-faced Leicester fleece. It was as mucky as all hell, and quite disordered, but I gave it a good skirting and pick-over, and have washed up all the good stuff. I have a large storage box FULL of lovely clean fleece now. I've carded a bit of it, both on the hand cards and the drum carder, and hopefully this week I'll get chance to start spinning it. I have a feeling the hand-carded rolags are going to spin better than the batt, but we'll see. I want to keep some of it as-is, as there are some nice locks which will make a super-fab tailspun yarn, if I can get my head around it.

Visitations and Reorganising
I had a semi-unexpected visitor last week (Hi Izzy!) so much tidying and cleaning was undertaken :-) She made her way over to Gigha, and has been having an awesome time and I think wants to move there immediately :-) I now have my lounge floor back again, and reorganised some of the yarn storage. I had a flash of genius (happens occasionally) and dug out two bread trays I recovered off the beach. They make great yarn containment devices and fit perfectly under my sideboard. I must go back down to the beach and see if I can score any more :-)


I'm working on the last panel of the SAORI blanket - it's been going a bit slowly as I've been doing other stuff too, but I'm roughly at the half-way mark now.
Shetland Hap Shawl - I picked this up again as a potential "take to Woolfest" project, then realised there was little point as I wasn't likely to sit down long enough (a totally accurate assumption as it turned out!) However it was ideal TV knitting, watching the Grand Prix (OMG talk about Red Bull Gives You Wings) and I could put it over my head whilst watching England get knocked out of the World Cup (man, we sucked.) I'm about three quarters of the way through the diamond centre, so not long before I can start picking up eleventy million stitches for the borders and edging.

Ange kindly offered to drive me and Lilith down there, as she has the biggest car :-) So a 7.15am start and a three-hour drive later (Lilith came prepared with a Thermos of coffee, clever girl) we arrived in sunny Cumbria. And it really was sunny. In fact, it was baking. The poor Teeswater sheep in the hall looked rather warm, as they'd not been sheared yet! On the other hand the alpacas looked pitiful, as only a freshly-sheared alpaca can. We spotted the cutest lamb in history - a Ouessant. You could have fitted it in a handbag - it was smaller than the average cat. In fact, we considered sheep-napping it, but decided the owner might notice. Hopefully I have a fleece coming my way shortly.

Woolfest is much more "woolly" than Wonderwool - probably because Wonderwool is too early in the year for shearing, whereas Woolfest is bang-on in the middle of shearing season. There was fresh fleece everywhere, and somehow I managed to not snag a single one, apart from the potential Ouessant. Fail. Ange scored two lovely Shetland fleeces though, cowbag that she is :-) I think I was suffering fleece overload to be honest. I did spy a Lincoln / Merino cross that appealed, but it was HUGE and really needed combing to make the most of it. I wanted to get some English wool combs, but as the only proper ones available (it seems) are £210 from Wingham, I gave them a miss.

So what did I buy? Well, lots of fibre :-) Some beautiful tops and batts from Daniela at FeltStudioUK (again - I can't say no to her batts); some more blended tops from Wingham, along with some goodies for carding; some fibres from Freyalyn; back issues of Spin-Off from P&M; silk brick from Oliver Twist in a gorgeous green; some Udderly Smooth handcream (if it's good enough for dairy cows, it's good enough for me); a lovely shawl pin from Michael Williams; (and I'd like to apologise now for drooling all over his fabulous new skein winder - I'm saving up already); a kit from the House of Hemp for the Metamorphosis Coat though mine won't be so long; a bag and badge from the Online Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers; some fancy yarns for Jane Thornley-type projects; and finally a BEAUTIFUL Forrester drop spindle from Spindlers2 and some fibre from them as well. Phew.

In other news, I'm shattered, I need a holiday, my ironing basket has gone critical and I joined an online dating website. Yeah. Y'all can start laughing now. Let's just say I smacked myself upside the head a few times and I think I've got my shit together relationship-wise now, i.e. yes I'd like one please. Knights in shining armour or sheep farmers are particularly welcome to apply for the role...


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