5

There She Goes My Beautiful World…

(Nick Cave)

Well that’s that then, the Tour de Fleece is over. It was great! I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. I feel my spinning has improved greatly, I have learned to navajo ply, spin fine, consistant singles and I’ve had a go at art yarn, though not very successfully I have to admit.

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I’ve also written a new pattern after discovering a neat little trick.

It’s quite a strange feeling after continuously watching the Tour on TV and spinning like a very spinny thing…to nothing. I have started some socks with a merino/solk blend that I beagan spinning at the beginning of the tour.

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The fibre was very kindly given to me by DeepSea Knitter.

And this one is next on the cards….

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This is 50% Faux Cashmere and 50% Silk,  “Cherry Kiss” from Limegreenjelly.I’ve also got some fibre coming from HappyNeedle which I’m really excited about but I’ll have to wait a while for that, it’s coming from the states.

During the passed two weeks it suddenly dawned on me why I began blogging in the first place…this whole internet community thing can seem a little wierd at times. Especially when you have stories in the media telling us it’s bad for our health and state of mind, people are going out less and all that…where I see where they are coming from and no doubt for some people it can be a bit of an obsession…but without the internest (I quite like that typo so I’m leaving it in) I’d still be knitting in secret, I’d have never even thought about spinning my own yarn, or I would have done but I’d still be crap at it!

I’d never have been in touch with people like Jo and the LimegreenJelly group,  Anne and Kath, all the Plurksibs, The Ravelry lot, the Mobbloggers without whom Jim wouldn’t have been able to cycle 300 miles and to everyone who reads my blog and takes the time to leave a comment.

And though I have a tiny little voice, I just wanted to say, no, shout,  thank you all, all of you are wonderful and helpful and fantastic!

So what’s next?

I’m waiting for the other half to get back from London then we’re going to stay in Bosherston for a bit where I’m going to be giving some spinning lessons. I’ve got plans to give a friend of a friend some lessons on a knitting machine and no doubt I will be doing some craft sessions at some point, but those are still to be planned.

At the moment I am being tested to see if I have Coeliacs disease, which is a bit of a pain…as we’re in a pretty small town gluten free stuff is hard to come by (and if anyone out there also needs a gluten free diet and has any tips…they will be greatfully received). It also means no more Riggwelter…the beer that is, or whiskey…Do they do gluten free ale? Hmmph!

And on that bombshell (sorry I’ve just been watching Top Gear)…see you soon.

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6

“Hey man, slow down”

(Radiohead – The Tourist – Ok Computer)

I’ve been meaning to write this blog post for ages, but for some reason or another, I just haven’t got around to it.

The Tour de Fleece spinning is going well, and have so far spun 2 50g hanks of navajo plied merino, 100g of BFL 2 ply 3 40g hanks of a chunky slubby shetland yarn and I’m about to spin another shetland…I might try plying on the fly for this one.

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This is “Take Back” from Limegreenjelly, a merino nad bamboo blend.

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This yanrn I have named “Navajo Blue” a superfine merino which was gifted to me from MamaMi.

I love to learn new techniques and can get quite obsessive until I feel I’ve got it right. I still don’t really know if I have but I followed the instructions given on this video.

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This is “Precious” from Limegreenjelly, I’ve spun it into a 2 ply yarn and have named my creation “Smeagol”. I am so pleased with this one! Jo’s wonderful colours make it a special yarn.

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The yarn on the left, middle and right are the “Slubby Gimp” yarn, this is “Ceiliog” (If I remember rightly,  is Cockerel, in Welsh) a shetland fibre from MamaMi, plied with a bright red cotton yarn.

So stage 11 is up and I’m gonna spin this one: “Derw” (which is Oak, in Welsh) another shetland from MamaMi.

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I’m either going to ply on the fly with this one or ply it with some “Take Back” merino/bamboo…or both! I’ve been spinning most of these on my spindle that was hand made by a friend in Pembroke, I am so impressed with them, they have worked so well.

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If at all you would like to buy one, they are in my Folksy Shop.

I had the most wonderful 3 day weekend. Saturday was spent shopping as I had to go to Haverford West to get my eyes tested…I wion’t tell you how much we ended up spending in the Christian Bookshop, but it was alot!

I bought this one for me:

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Which is book 1 of the Circle Trilogy. I’m enjoying it, though it sounds, so far, a lot like ” The Chronicles Thomas Covenant” by Stephen Donaldson, but a lot easier to read.

The reason we spent a lot was that Jim and I are hoping to set up a youth church in Pembroke Dock, we want it to prepare young children for big church, but explaing various things like Communion, Baptism, the sermon etc on their level. We’re looking at alternative worshipping, so it’s not boring….and I get to do all the craft bits, naturally!

On Sunday I had my little sister over from Leeds, she’s about 7 months pregnant with her first baby and very excited. We spent the evening looking through all my baby knitting patterns and had a good laugh at all those fantastic vintage patterns!

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I think she’d kill me if I knitted this for her!

Monday I took the day off work, the big kids were a bit poorly, but nothing too bad in the end. As Caryl and James were still around, we took them to Bosherston and met up with my friend M (she own’s the alpacas), who has booked us in to camp on her site for a couple of weeks during the summer hols (only 3 days to go!!!!!!) which will be so handy as we’re not too far from home if we need anything, and we still get to go away, a change is as good as a rest, so they say! I have to give her and a friend some spinning lessons in return though! I’m sure I can manage that!

First though, we have a trip to London to meet some of Jim’s Moblog friends. He is taking part in a charity Bike ride, from London to Cambridge….if you fancy sponsering him at all, the website is here: He’s raising money for “BreakThrough” a Breast Cancer charity. There is a link here if you would like to know more about the Breakthrough Charity.

So, what’s next for me?

After I finish work in 3 days time, Spinning for the Tour de Fleece, I have face painting for a friends birthday, making table runners from Sari fabric for a friends wedding, I have been asked to do another face painting session for “The Big Lunch” which is happening the Sunday. I’m hoping the weather stays dry! We’ll be meeting in the Memorial park at around 12.30pm and having a big picnic.

So, still busy, busy for now at least.

Happy days xx

6

Turning of the Tide

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1. “Taffygog Tribble”. Alpaca and Merino, handspun on a drop spindle.

2. Good beer and MamaMi’s “Blasus”, superfine merino.

3. Alpaca neck warmer.

4. New drop spindle with more MamaMi superfine merino.

5. Twilley’s of Stamford 100% wool “Freedom” knitted in garter stitch.

6. “Blasus” superfine merino singles, spun on drop spindle.

7. Spinning outside, alpaca.

8. “After the Goldrush” wool and angelina fibre I think….(help Anne?) from MamaMi.

9. New drop spinlde, new carders and new fibre……heaven!

10. Alpaca, 2ply, drop spindle.

11. Handbag knitted in “Freedom” with circular bamboo handles.

12. “Taffygog Tribble”.

Centre: more alpaca!

As you can see I’ve kinda got into this spinning lark….kinda. It seems there is more spinning going on than knitting at the moment, though I do need to swap the spindle for needles soon as there are a few babies on the way….not me, btw, before anyone gets any silly ideas!

But while things are going my way I’m sicking with this spinning. The wonderful lady at my LYS has done it again and managed to put me in touch with a local wood turner. I bought a few of his bowls which are beautiful (I’ll post a pic later). I asked G when she saw him next to ask if he’d have a go at making drop spindles…..A big fat YES was the reply and after a phone call from him, I think he’s about as excited as I am about it all and wants to try his hand at making a spinning wheel! As I don’t have one I’ll have to see about finding stuff on t’internet for him (if anyone can point me in the right direction I will be very grateful). Anyway the new spindle in the mosaic above is the one he made…..it works fine, a little wobbley, but it spins. I was hoping to meet up with Jonathan during the half term holidays as he said he’d let me have a go on his lathe! How cool is that? But it looks like we may be going away to Cardiff to see a frriend…..Angie, I will be in touch, maybe we can meet up?

As well as all that, I managed to get a pair of second hand carders from the wonderful Christina (thank you x) so that’s me in business!

Apart from all that good stuff, there’s not a great deal going on. Work, work and work! I am looking forward to the half term holidays though and getting a bit of a break. She says, with four kids in tow!

I’m trying to organise a WWKIP day here. I was trying for the Pembroke Town Hall but it’s booked for that week. I have a lovely lady on the case who’s been trying very hard to find a venue, but nothing is working out. So I’m going to try for the space outside the Pembroke Dock Library, it’s close to a cafe, toilets and seats. If it rains though, I don’t know what we’ll do? Still working on that one! We might end up in one of the church halls, which is what I didn’t want to do, as they are not public enough…..we shall see.

If anyone in Pembrokeshire wants to come and join us, please feel free….please, let’s make this a fantastic event!

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Hand made wooden bowls. If you’re interested, they are £16. Just let me know.