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Buns and bikes and batts…oh my!

*fanning myself franticly!*

The Tour de France got on it’s way on Saturday evening and as always, the house goes a bit Tour mad…the poster of the route has gone up and Cycling Weekly will be bought and ITV4 will be on almost religiously for the next three weeks.

And of course the fibre and spindles are out too for the Tour de Fleece…where spinners all over the world have wheels moving as fast as Cavendish on a winning sprint…or, maybe not going by yesterdays performance!

That was a pretty impressive crash!

So what’s my plan of action for the Tour? Well, Cycling Weekly gave me an idea. On the front cover it poses the question “What type of Tour rider would you be?” Now, during the TDFKAL the “riders” would state which jersey they would be working towards, but in the Tour de Fleece, we don’t do this so I decided to see which kind of rider I would compare to instead.

hmmm..

Cycling Weekly suggests that sprint climbers need to propel themselves upwards so being a small or medium in size helps. Yep, sounds good to me, not sure about the stocky build and large quadriceps…(where are they again?) though.

Climbers have long legs and ferocious aerobic power…that’s me out then being a measly 4ft 11″!

Sprinters can be any size (cool) have a strong core (yep) and arm and shoulder strength…hmmm.

and then Time trialists…have narrow shoulders and a small frontal area…(uh yeah, that’ll be me then), flexible, yep,  and feel more comfortable in a low position. sounds perfect. So the aim of the Time Trialist? Fastest average speed…

So, this concludes that I shall keep spinning as much as possible, speeding up for the straight and slowing for the bends. I had intended to spin everything I have until I bought a load more fibre. So now I’m going for as much as possible as long as I keep going, no days off.

During the prologue I finished Jo’s “My Velocity” BFL/Seacell

Sadly after spinning so much on Saturday, I had great difficulty spinning on Sunday as my hands and arms were aching but I did manage 50g of a Merino/Alpaca/Camel and Mulberry silk blend, which was incredibly light and easy to spin, although it made me sneeze like …a big sneezey thing!

Now this beautiful fibre is now spun into DK weight singles I have aptly re-named “Velo” .

Purchased from Limegreenjelly

Chunnky singles. Merino/Alpaca/Camel/Mulberry Silk

Laceweight singles so far. BFL/Bamboo which I think I may ply with some Black Welsh tops.

It’s back to the doctors for me today. After being told I will have to wait 6 months to see a specialist about my legs, I’m pretty annoyed so a fair bit of…not shouting but a little more than gentle persuasiveness (oooh think i just made up a word) and get this sorted. Just some non drug induced sleep would be nice.

Good luck with the spinning and knitting everyone!

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Hello again!

I wasn’t going to post for a while but I just had to share with you my latest fibre haul, but first to say thank you to everyone who helped out with the World Wide Knitting in Public Day, without you all I’d have never been able to do it.

It was great! Loads of people I had never met before. A couple of ladies came over from Carew and taught another lady how to crochet before she had to go to a wedding! While I taught a friend how to spin.

I hope you’re still going M!

Some had a go at needle felting and made brooches and some came to listen to the fabulous storyteller…I learnt a little Dutch,  the sun shone and everyone was happy, it was brill!! It got a bit busy after, with Dylan loosing his shoes and the kids paper flying everywhere so I didn’t get any more photos sadly. I hope everyone else who did a knitting day had fun too.

I’ve really got into this needle felting lark, it’s really easy, though I have to do it in short bursts as it tires out my arms.

I’ve made a couple of these, recycled watches, the one above is made from Shetland wool with metal and glass beads.

I’ve had some reasonably good news about my health problems. I have actually got doctors taking me seriously about my restless leg syndrome now! Woohoo!  I am being referred to a consultant…so we shall see what’s happening there.  I’ve known that it was RLS for some time, but because it comes and goes and it’s really hard to describe the symptoms it has taken some time…10 years…to get someone to listen. I’m not really sure how they test for it so this should be interesting.

So, the fibre. I felt I needed a treat…not an expensive one, just something nice and different. Instead of buying some of Limegreenjelly’s fibre as I had intended to (sorry Jo x) I went to World of Wool and got these:

200g of Wenslydale Top

100g Grey Massam Top

200g Black Welsh Top

100g Yak Down

100g Bamboo

and the peace de resistance

100g Baby Camel

This stuff is like spinning air!

but it’scoming on ok.

Hmmm…note to self…don’t say that you’re going to spin everything you have for the Tour de Fleece and then by more! Silly Woman!

Won’t be long now spinny people…do you all have your spindles and wheels at the ready? No, me neither! I’ve joined two groups, Team Jelly Legs spinning some Limegreenjelly fibre and Team Spindle for obvious reasons…I shall be spindling all the way.

C’mon you greens!!

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Hello! Look at that! Another post. I’m so pleased with myself.

Sadly if I wasn’t off sick from work I’d probably not be writing this now. Remember the bloating stomach problems I was having last year? Well they’ve decided that it’s probably linked to the constant aching and exhaustion I am suffering with at the moment and the restless leg syndrome that I have had for years. I’ve done the routine blood tests which have come back fine…so right now they are treating the depression (I hate being slowed down) first to see if my mood lifts I’ll feel less achey, then we’ll see what happens next.

While it gives me more time to get crafting done…I don’t actually have the energy to do it. I need to learn to pace myself and take it easy. What is it they say – you can’t teach an old dog new tricks – this is gonna be the hardest lesson I’m ever going to learn. My mind is saying “YES!” but my body is saying “GO  AWAY!” (to put it politely). Still, I am doing stuff, small stuff in short bursts.

I’ve aquired a new crafting technique – needle felting. I love it.

I bought these from Bear Basics at what I thought was a fantastic price. It’s another one of those things that can be as expensive as you like. These 10 assorted needles was £5!

And it’s pretty easy to do. Though I must add…watch your fingers, they hurt if you catch them!

This was made from KnitCave’s merino/tencel tops I bought a few weeks ago. Which became this:

90g of Aran weight 2 ply gorgeousness handspun on a drop spindle.  I split all the colours up and spun the seperately then plied it all.As it was bought from KnitCave, I felt it must have a Nick Cave kinda name. So after trawling through his albums and lyrics for at least an hour (how sad am I?) I decided to name the yarn “The Birthday Party” being all sparkly and all.

Thank you Helen for a super quick delivery!

I did have plans for it, but a friend bought it instead and suggested I put all my handspun yarns in her shop which is quite exciting.

The purple and shell one on the right is a work in progress.  The top left is “Enfys” Merino singles. there’s enough there for baby socks.

bottom left is “Llyn Y Fan Fach” Aran weight merino singles from the “World of Wool”, The pink on the otherside is “Love is the Colour”  Bluefaced Leicester from “Limegreenjelly”

The blue in the middle is Merino and Tussah silk  from “World of Wool” DK weight singles and at the moment is nameless – if you see a name in the yarn, feel free to comment.

I thought I was going to have to cancel my World Wide Knit in Public Day, due to my health taking a well…funny turn. But people began to ask me about it and friends offered to help, so it’s still going.

I shall be at Trefalen Farm just outside Bosherton (on the way to Broad Haven Beach) on Saturday from 11am – 2pm with my spinning, needle felting, knitting, crochet, yarn stall from my LYS,and I’m hoping Posh Yarns will be there too,  things for children to do, and a super, super story teller.

Bring your tools, yourself and your lunch.

I think that’s about it. Need to rest for tomorrow.

Rosary made for a lady at church – wooden metal and glass beads.

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Well….what can I say?

Hello again…Gosh it’s been so long. I can’t say a great deal has happened really. My husband went away to work in Cardiff for a few months, which left me at home with the kids…which, albeit hard work and very exhausting and mentally draining, was great fun too.

Knitting and craft wise, I was about to say that I hadn’t done agreat deal, but thinking about it…I haven’t done that bad. This is the latest: Pure wool hand spun.

Pure wool roving scraps from here… hand spun on a drop spindle, DK/Aran weight singles…and sold it the following day!! 🙂

I’ve been messing about with Fimo…

These I made into ear rings and they sold the day after too! 🙂

I’ve also been popping into a jewellery making class. I can’t go all the time as it’s when I’m at work, but I can get there for a few minutes and pick up some tips.

“Father God and Mother Earth”

and wearing this lead to someone asking if I could make them a Rosary….:)

and I’m doing a craft group at the school with 7-8 yr olds… which  is fantastic fun.

I suppose that’s enough,  but while I seem to be on top form and producing good things I would love to be doing much much  more.

I just don’t have the time and that’s really beginning to get to me! Really! 😦

But…the clouds are clearing, there’s a week’s holiday coming up, WWKIP day, Pembroke Dock Festival, and the Tour de Fleece will follow not far behind.

I’m hosting another WWKiIP day, this year at Trefalen Farm in Bosherston….I think I’ve mentioned it a few times before 😉

Saturday the 12th of June, between 11am – 2pm. we shall have shelter from the sun, stalls, knitting, spinning, crochet, lace, felting, and storytelling…should be great fun.

And then during the Pembroke Dock Midsummer Festival I shall be knitting in public again on the Memorial Park on Sunday the 20th of June.

I’m looking forward to the Ravelry Tour De Fleece again this year and as last year I shall be in Team Jelly Legs. And probably another…not sure which yet. But I think the plan is to spin every bit of fibre I have:

Actually there’s a fair bit more than this…. possibly about 1200g.

Looks like I’m going for the Polka Dot shirt  again!

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Times they are a’changin’…

First project finished. I haven’t put a quote on the front in the end…it’s been bad enough having to stop every now and then for people to read the back! Project specs here (ravelry link) If you’re not on Ravelry, The cardigan is knitted in Wendy Ascot, chunky washable wool on 4mm needles and the quote on the back, chain stitch on with Wendy Aran (acrylic)

“Women who live wisely and well will shine brilliantly like the cloudless, star strewn night skies” Daniel 12.3 (I think that’s from The Message Bible).

Talking of Bibles, I found this excellent computer bible in the local Christian shop…I thoroughly reccommend it, it ace!

BibleGlo…if you run a youth group or teach at home or just interested, it’s a bit pricey, but well worth it.

Sadly I haven’t had much time to do anything else. I did start some mittens, but things have been so busy here lately that I haven’t had time to get on with them. Right now I’m on my own with the kids while Big J is working away, but once I find the right routine it’ll all be ok. I’ve had to give up going out to do my Bobbin Lace, but I’m still doing it at home, that helps to keep my mind off things.

One thing that’s keeping me busy is de cluttering the house, I figured it would be much easier to clean if there wasn’t so much junk in it! I’m being ruthless, really ruthless and getting rid of loads of my craft stuff, knitting books, yarns that I’m never likely to use. I’ve already given a load away…but wondered if anyone would like to browse through the stuff I have online…

I will have some hand made stuff up on there shortly, once I have the time!

Hope you all enjoy the rest of your week x

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New year, same goal.

This is my favourite song at the minute. Basically…”If you’ve got a trumpet brother…get up and blow it!”

A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other. (author unknown)

So it’s that time of year again, looking back on the past, looking ahead to the future. I tend not to dwell on the past, so I don’t hold any regrets or grudges. I try to learn from mistakes and no doubt, will be ready to make some more!
I was tidying up my little craft corner yesterday and discovered I have some serious stash busting to do this year!

Mostly hanks of Fyberspates and some MamaMi yarns.

Boxes packed full of yarns. (There’s also a chest of drawers full of stuff…eeek!)

Loads of fibre.

and tons and tons of books and patterns!

So what does one do in this situation…

Run away and hide?

No, search Ravelry for inspiring stash bust- alongs like this one…52 projects in 52 weeks (Ravelry link). It’s gonna be tough, but I think I can make it.

I’m going to start with finishing the project I have going, remeber these? Amen and Braided Pullover . I haven’t got a great deal to do on these…it’s just a though of the endless purling on the braided jumper. Why I gave up on Amen I don;t know, maybe life just got in the way. I’ve also started on a Log Cabin Afghan from Mason Dixon

Knitted in some Artesano alpaca, merino singles that I spun this holiday, merino/silk singles that I spun some time ago and some Violet Green yarn. It’s easy going at the minute while it’s small!

Talking about Ravelry, I must mention my wonderful gift from my LimegreenJelly secret Santa…

A beautiful handknitted shawl, a hank of green yarn, a little bag, a knitting kit for a lavender bag, stitchmarkers, tea, chocs and a box of jelly babies. Thank you so much, whoever you are! xx

This is what Santa brought me: Recycled wine goblets, made from wine bottles; Campervan Slippers; Skullcandy headphones; and a “Herdy” mug from my wonderful BIL.

So, that just leaves me to say…Happy New Year to everyone, I hope and pray that it brings good things to you all. x

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So this is Christmas…

This has got to be the best Christmas song ever. Nevemind all this Rage against the Machine/X-Factor business, this one should be the Christmas number 1!

This year I feel will be a year of changes…which is good, I like a good change, better than being stuck in a rut. Usually for Christmas, we would have my sister over with her partner and his 2 boys but because they have just had a little girl together, and James is having to work, they are staying home for the first time since my mum died 6 years ago. It’s going to be quiet.

But, as we now have an extra room in the house I thought I’d actually get the dining room sorted. It’s been a store room for most of that 6 years and the occasional bedroom. It’s by no means finished but the table is in and that’s the important bit. So, without the big oak table in the living room, I also thought it would be a nice idea to have a big tree, now the kids are old enough to leave it alone. So far, so good.

As we didn’t break up from school til quite late, then didn’t get paid until yesterday, it’s been a mad rush to get everything ready in between parties and church readings but as far as I am aware…we’re ready!

and I’m all excited…

The Midwinter lantern parade was great and it didn’t rain this year! I didn’t get very good pictures though as, surprise, surprise, I forgot my camera as I very often do.

This was taken as we were facepainting, rounding people up and singing along to the wonderful fiddle playing.

Little J did her first violin playing in public this year too, which was a nice change to be able to go and watch the year 4/5/6 concert as it’s held in the Zion Chapel in town. Did I tell you she’s also in a brass band? She’s the percussionist…and quite good too.

She’s played 3 gigs this year…I’m so proud.

And to add to that, my two eldest won a Christmas Card competition for Pembroke Dock Chamber of Trade.

As well as all the other children involved, they had a beautiful set of cards printed.

The vicar visited the other day and asked how my knitting was going…and well…I’ve done nothing creative at all since October. One of my new year resolutions will have to be to organise my free time better. Maybe if I tried doing one thing at a time it would help…but you know me, not happy unless my time is completely filled, completely!

I did help make this though…

After Big J had read “The Beattitudes”  from The Message Bible at a celtic service some time ago, a friend had asked if he could print the passage out. We both had agreed that it was too special for just printing. At the time I was trying out a bobbin lace cross intended for a Christmas card…but it fitted in perfectly on the page with J’s lovely handwrtting. So there it is, a perfect gift. Handmade.

And that’s pretty much it for me this year. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy new year. x