Monthly Archives: June 2009

Wonderwool Wales

Finally I have managed to sort out my pictures from Wonderwool Wales. I’m afraid I was over-come by the excitement and failed to take any pictures actually at the show. So you will have to imagine a couple of alpaca, a couple of Teeswater sheep, assorted other sheep, a lot of stands with fibre and yarn and knitting and spinning equipment, a slighly smaller number of stands of local food, and lots and lots of happy shoppers.

My plan for the show was to try lots and lots of spinning wheels, and to pick up some fibre that I hadn’t tried before. And of course to have a good look at what was out there.

For my first purchase we really need squishy-vision. This stuff is so soft you wouldn’t believe it.


It is superfine (19.5 micron) superwash merino from Bluefaced.Β  Each bag contains 200g. I am going to dye it but I haven’t thought about what colour yet.

Some more undyed fibre in types I haven’t tried before. First New Zealand Corriedale.


Next Falkland.


These are both from DT Craft and Design, and are going to be dyed at some point. 100g of each.

I’m not planning on spinning all the yarn I knit with from now on, so I also bought some yarn πŸ™‚Β  Time for the squishy-vision again. This is Cash Sock from Bluefaced. 4ply weight, 80% superwash merino, 10% nylon, 10% cashmere. You have to feel this stuff to believe it! And at the top of the picture, Anniversary Aran also from Bluefaced. This is superwash UK merino. Not quite as super soft as the Cash Sock, but still very soft.


Back to some more spinning fibre. Here is 100g of Baby Camel from Scottish Fibres. Then at the bottom, a sample bag of cashmere, and a sample bag of dehaired yak, both from Wingham Woolworks. I love the idea of these sample bags. A great opportunity to try out new things, without buying a huge bag full, which in this case would be quite expensive!


I am obviously going through a camel phase. This is 200g of 50% baby camel, 50% silk from P & M. It reminds me of hair.


The next fibre is some natural black shetland from Hedgehog. I tried some of this when I was having a go on the wheels at WonderwoolΒ  and really enjoyed spinning with it. In fact I have been using this as my practice fibre on Suzie. It isn’t quite as soft as some of the other fibres, but is very pleasant to spin with. I got 300g so that should allow me a nice lot of practising πŸ™‚


The next two were bought from a stand which had brought two of their alpacas to the show! The fibre I bought wasn’t actually from either of the animals at the show, but I had to buy it because I loved the colour. On the left is 100g from an animal called Kofie, it is actually a dark brown rather than black. Then on the right is 50g from an animal called Blush. It is rather fun knowing the name of the animal the fibre came from. These are from Black Mountain Alpacas, I don’t think they have a website.


In case you thought I had become subtle in my old age I also bought a couple of scary coloured bits and pieces. These are both the same colour, which on the label is called Fuchsienbeet. On the left are 2, 50g balls of pencil roving, 40m on each. These are 100% merino. On the right is one 100g ball, this is 4ply weight, 75% wool, 25% nylon. Both bought from the High Weald Fibre Factory. I am looking forward to seeing how the colours come out on these.


Lastly here are a couple of pairs of socks from Coldharbour Mill that were part of Paul’s birthday present.


I had a lovely time. It was great to catch up with loads of people I knew (a surprising number of people from my knitting group went), and meet lots of new people too. Lots of lovely yarn and fibre, and a great opportunity to try out a wide range of different wheels one after the other which aided in making a comparison. We stayed in Wales for the rest of the week and had aΒ  lovely time even though it was a bit wet.

Le Tour de Fleece

It all looked jolly good fun, and I do enjoy the Tour de France (mostly for the French scenery, I am never very good at keeping up with the whats-what of the cycling), so I have rashly decided to sign up for the Tour de Fleece. If a thing is worth doing, its worth overdoing πŸ™‚ So I have signed up for the Rookies (beginners), Team UK (fairly self-explanatory), Team Jelly Legs (Jo‘s team), and am considering signing up for Team Hopelessly Overcommitted too πŸ™‚

I am planning to get to grips with the new wheel, and to spin every day, although I am going to be starting on the back foot as I am going to the Knitting and Crochet Guild AGM on the day the Tour starts, so wont get very much spinning done then. Hopefully I will do a bit of knitting though. I got my first ever raw fleece (well fleece and a half) from Janine at knitting and spinning group a month or so ago, so I am hoping to finish spinning that during the Tour. I have cleaned it all now, and had a slighly unfortunate felting moment with some of the grey, which has now been given to Mummy for her to do something artistic with. I have started spinning the grey (the half is grey, although it is a big half, and the other fleece is white), but haven’t got very far yet.

I have even got a new ravatar to mark the occaision.


I hope that all those going to Woolfest have a fantastic time! Stroke some yarn for me πŸ™‚

She has arrived!

Look what arrived here this morning!


She is a Majacraft Suzie Pro bought from Hedgehog Equipment. I tried loads of different wheels while at Wonderwool. It was a great opportunity to try so many different makes all together. Then had a big think during the rest of our holiday in Wales, and ordered Suzie when we got home again.

I love her πŸ™‚ She spins so smoothly and has a beautiful green wheel. I spent a good chunk of today putting her together (I am rather slow at anything resembling DIY – I am someone who actually does read the instructions, often multiple times before embarking). Then had a little bit of a spin with some natural black shetland bought at Wonderwool (there will actually be a post on Wonderwool once I get my act together). I am just going to go and stroke her again before I dash out for band rehearsal.

Every girl needs an elephant

My friends James and Emma’s baby was born a couple of weeks ago (she was the recipient of the Baby Surprise Jacket and the booties) and I thought what little Megan really needed to go with her hand knitted bits and pieces was an elephant. Ysolda has a great pattern called Elijah, he is knitted all in the round and you stuff as you go so he has no seams.

Here is the top of his head as I was knitting him.


The yarn is Rowan All Seasons Cotton, 60% cotton, 40% acrylic. The pattern called for a DK weight yarn knitted on 3mm needles, but the yarn I had was aran weight so I went for 3.5mm needles and I think it has come out well. The yarn was left over from a blanket knitted by another of Emma’s friends, the blanket was mostly cream but with stripes in pale blue, pale green and brown. There was none of the cream left, but nearly two balls of the blue, and nearly one ball of both the green and the brown. I was concerned that there wasn’t enough of any single colour to make the whole elephant, and so went for a stripey body with head and ears in solid blue, the colour I had the most of. I think he has come out very nicely, although I may be a bit biased πŸ™‚

Here he is with legs and arms, but no ears or face yet.


He was a really fun knit, although if I was going to make another one I think I would choose a more elastic yarn. The fabric needs to be quite firm so that his stuffing wont poke through, and that was quite hard on the hands and shoulders with a cotton yarn.

Here he is finished.


He is even more adorable in real life, and I have been dragging him round to the knitting groups I go to to be admired πŸ™‚ I did manage to face the difficult task of giving him up so he can go to his new owner last week and she seems to like him.


I met up with Melanie at I Knit London last week at their Wednesday night knitting group. It was only the second time I had been up to the shop, so good fun to see all the goodies they had, and nice to meet another group of interesting and keen knitters. I was very flattered that Craig photographed the jumper I was wearing (ancient fair isle in acrylic with lammentably wobbly seams) and I appeared in their newsletter this week! The photo is up in their flickr set, it does show my many chins but at least I am smiling πŸ™‚

My first handspun finished project

I’m afraid I am in catch-up mode again. I have finally got round to downloading the pictures from the camera from about the last month, but I think it will take me a while to sort out.

I have sorted a picture though of my very first finished project from my own handspun! I am so ridiculously proud it is silly πŸ™‚


There is a definite difference between the centre, which was my first skein of 2ply, and the edges, which was my first skein of 3ply, but I have decided it gives it character πŸ™‚