Monday, 31 December 2007

End of the Year

Christmas passed very quietly . We spent it at DD's and the dogs where great . After the first initial flying round they where fine. This is them curled up for the night Christmas Eve . Meg , a Welsh Border Collie ,is on the right and she is ours and Maggie , a Patterdale Terrier is on the left . She belongs to DD. This is DH on Christmas morning ,just proving you don't have to spend thousands on pressies . He's playing with an electric Sudoku that cost me £7-99 from Aldi and it kept him quiet all day
These are some of my pressies . I sat and devoured them which got all my creative juices going so roll on New year.
We had a lovely Christmas dinner Robert and his girlfriend came round so more pressies. We all ended up stuffed , so after dinner me and Lucia took the dogs out for a long walk.
Boxing Day we all went to Andrew's ( No 2 son) to see the Grandchildren and stayed a couple of hours then headed home.
I think DH and I are missing the doting Children/ Grandchildren Gene as we where glad to be home just the two of us. Don't get me wrong we love them dearly and it was nice to see them but we where like a couple of homing pigeons on the way home.
Friday we went wool hunting to Heywood and got some fantastic Lace Weight Yarns . All wool and a good price .Then we went a ride round and found where DH lived when he was a little lad in Milnrow . He was dead chuffed ,though it had changed a bit . Houses where there used to be fields . The old story.
The last few days have been unexciting . Been walking , knitting, eating sleeping etc etc .
Today endeth 2007 and it will be good riddance . It's not been a good . Number 1 son split from his not so DW . Business took a big blow in the Summer when Foot and Mouth struck and shows got cancelled and the dreadful weather which resulted in more shows going . So all in all it was pretty crap . Lets hope 2008 will make up for it. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL MY READERS.
Nearly forgot very important both me and DH are now on Ravelry. I'm thelaalbear ,of course , he's having his username changed at the mo as the one he chose was bad . Anyone on Ravelry check us out. If your not on sign up it's great

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Deck the Halls etc etc

Did my last Grassington on Saturday .It was good but took till one o'clock to get folk spending and boy was it cold . So it's feet up time now till the New Year then re- stock. Well actually I've not made anything for the stall since the beginning of the month which is very unusual. Because of all the cancelled shows in the Summer I had plenty of stock . I did have an emergency call last week from a customer asking could I make her DH a pair af welly socks in time for Christmas . What can you do , i posted them this morning so someone will be happy. So with so much time .

Ive been doing a bit of dyeing and spinning . This is Blue Faced Leicester and there will be enough for socks and mitts .I've also been doing a bit of knitting. Forest Canopy using Yarnyard sock wool . I think it was called Frazzle. Loved it so much I'm making another only bigger using my own BFL. This came yesterday from The Natural Dye Studio . It's Alpaca and Silk so i feel Entralac socks coming on.
These where brought from Cape Cod by my dear friends John and David . The patterns in the book are gorgeous . I've got so many projects in a queue now I won't have time to work after Christmas ( I wish)
And Yesterday I did this . All trimmed up for Christmas . I love doing it and have never allowed anyone else to do it. It's a bit selfish but I just like everything to be perfect.
We won't be spending Christmas at home this year we are going to DD's for a few days. First Christmas away in 37 years.
Don't know what it will be like . We have a two year old Border Collie and she has a one year old Patterdale terrier . I feel chaos coming on.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Tired again.

Just a short post .On Saturday we went to Grassington and the rain rained and the snow snowed . It was awful . Still lots of people came though it wasn't as good as last week. I think I'm getting end of seasonitis and a cold . Round about this time of year when i've only one more Grassington to do my body and mind seem to slow right down .I don't need to make anything more as there is enough stock for next week and with the short days i seem to go into a sort of hibernation till after Christmas . I've a couple of projects to try out . A shawl , some Marvelous Mitts and some spinning. I mainly want to spin as I lose myself whilst doing it and you never know how the yarn will turn out.Want a little treat ,go and visit Robert and click on the Myspace link . He's my youngest and is a singer ,he's great , but then I'm biased.
I've got a little bit of pressie wrapping to do this afternoon . Said Robert is going down to Bristol ,he's appearing at The G Casino, and meeting up with number one son so he's playing postman and taking everyones pressies down. Saving a lot of money in postage.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Chlling and More Good News

First the good news . I have been accepted for Wonderwool Wales ,which is great, not done it before. Plus it will be a bit of an adventure as we havn't taken the Caravan to Wales before either. I hope the journey isn't to hilly as I do all the driving . Anyone know of a not so hilly route to the Royal Welsh Showground? from lancashire.
Yesterday I received a letter from The Pension Service . It's official from next March I will be a pensioner. I didn't do what MiL did. She burst in to tears . What's another year ? Anyway your as old as you feel and at the moment that's about 30. The back end of this week I've been mostly chilling out. Pressies are all finished .I've enough stock for this weekend at Grassington so i decided to put my feet up a bit. Tomorrow is a long day get up at five not home till seven thirty and hopefully loads of sales in between. Will report Sunday.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Busy ,busy

I have been so busy these past couple of weeks Blog has had to take a backseat . I have been knitting pressies for my huge family .
Just finished these for my only daughter. The pattern is Flight of Eagles but the pattern isn't very prominent . I should have used plain wool. But DD loved the colour of some of my hand dyed wool. I have also been mega busy making stuff for Grassington Dickensian Festival. There on Saturday and it was HEAVING . We are back this Saturday and the 15th . It is always very busy hence not getting any blogging done. Now down to good news first I've been accepted for Woolfest in June . Yippee!!! Second my good friend Kevin has put my Hand Dyed Wools on his website . I have put a link in the sidebar ,so if you are interested , please feel free to browse. Now the other things I've been making.
I've made these bags for Sock Knitters . Very handy for when you are travelling about. Lots of Pockets and a cute little mouse on the front knitting a sock .There is a close up below. I had them on the stall at the weekend and sold some along with my newly dyed BFL. Managed along walk this morning . I'm trying to lose the weight I gained during a Summer in the Lakes. At last it's moving can't wait to get back into my decent jeans again. Well back to the attic still got lots to do .

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Socks and Mitts

I've actually finished rehanking all the wool now. It took nearly three days but it was worth it .It's now sitting in baskets ready to be sold. I start on the next 50 hanks Monday. Someone came last night, to look at it ,with a view to putting it on their website to sell for me but they wanted to much of the profits so I politly said no. I've finished a sock and a mitt in the Christmas yarn and there is plenty of wool for a pair of each. I'm using 100grm of mixed colours and 50 grms red . I'm quite pleased with them and the basket weave stitch seems to grow quickly. I've tried to do a close up of the Channel Island cast on. It gives a really edge and is ideal for socks.

My friends ,John and David, flew off yesterday to Provincetown for Thanksgiving .I gave them a long shopping list to take with them. They are so good . They went earlier this year and brought me back some fabulous fabrics. With the dollar being like it is I get loads for my money . This time it's needles , books and magazines and maybe a little bit of wool.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Confessions Craft Fairs and Spinning Wheels

I can't Believe it's been a week since I wrote anything. I've been so busy with all my dying and winding wool. First of all a confession . The Blue Faced didn't get dyed with the Natural Dyes. On looking into it properly I decided I needed more time to experiment first before I ruined any wool. It did get dyed though and the results are below . I used my acid dyes on the mordanted yarn and the colours have come out beautufully and it's so soft . I think I will be keeping a couple of hanks for myself . Well, dyers privilages and all that. I did aCraft Fair at the weekend as well . Again a proper Craft Fair . After spending the last two years with an organisation that is only interested in money and having more stalls with bought in goods than crafters , it is great spending time with like minded people again. It was a really good weekend. The picture below is part of the stall. This is the wood and Christmas decorations section . The pics of my memory albums didn't turn out so I will have to try again on Sunday.
This is Christmas sock wool . I had a play last week just for fun but I like it. I've started a pair of socks .I'm using 100grm space dyed and 50grms solid red .Finished one last night it looks good . There will be enough yarn for a pair of mitts as well. I've done a 4x4 basket weave stitch and it gives them a bit thicker feel so they will be warm. I've saved the best till last . This my dears is an Ashford Traveller spinning wheel and it's all mine and it is THE bargain of the year. On Sunday I was chatting to one of the stall holders and we got onto the subject of spinning . which i just love, and she said she had a wheel that she wanted to sell. I asked what sort and how much .Back came the reply , an Ashford Traveller and £25 . I nearly bit her hand off . I said yes without seeing it . So she rang her DH who brought it along when he came to pick her up . Now it has pride of place with my Traditional in the front room. In the Summer it will become my caravan wheel as it won't take up much room. So all in all I've had a good weekend. I've still some yarn to hank up yet but it should all be finished by tomottow night. I've got someone coming to buy some so it had better be.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Not Dyed yet

Unfortunately the Blue Faced isn't dyed yet . I hadn't realised how long it would take to Mordant 25 100grm skiens with only two large pans . So whilst it was mordanting yesterday I made a start on the 50 skiens of sock wool I have . Got some done last night and have ploughed on today . I am just having a tea break then I will finish the last 10. I've done some Christmassy ones which look good . Hopefully I'll have them all re-skiened for Salmesbury at the weekend. Managed to do some of my Christmas knitting as well last night whilst watching Autumnwatch. I'm making socks for everybody.Had another enquiry about my wool ,just waiting for a phone call. My link to Made in Lancs seems to be working. Ah! well back to the dyepot.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Tired Out

No pics tonight I am to tired. Just had a long soak in a Lush bath with a large glass of wine.I've spent the last three days dyeing , hanking and doing alsorts to wool. Thought i'd encountered a blip when I started to wash the Blue Faced . It was crinkly and it stayed crinkly after I'd washed it . Not having dealt with Blue faced before I was a bit concerned so I rang my good friend at Bright Dyes , who put me right straight away. It's her fault I got the dyeing bug after meeting her at a fair last year but she is most helpful whenever I'm stuck .
I've posted my form back for Woolfest so all I have to do is pray that I get in . Tomorrow the Blue Faced Dyes.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Dyeing Wool

This is what I've been doing yesterday and today. It's Merino and it's soooo soft. November is not a good month for dyeing wool . It takes ages to dry . Luckily I have an old fashioned rack which helps but it's not very big . I've got to get another fixed up somewhere.

The box below came this morning . This my friends is a large box of Blue Faced
Leicester and it all has to be soaked and washed and mordanted ready to be dyed with the natural dyes which came the other day . So I'm going to be busy busy.
My forms for Woolfest came today and I'm golng to have to get them back quick if I want to stand a chance of getting accepted
I've sent the ones off for Wonderwool Wales but i will have to wait till the New Year before I know if I'm successful. I'm keeping everything crossed.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007


Well first of all my socks are finished. I started to knit them Friday night and finished them Sunday evening . Not bad really . Iwas at a Craft Fair Sunday and that helped . More on the fair later.

Tops to Socks in Six Days . Sounds like the title of a travel book.
Havn't been able to get on here for a few days been tied up.
Papa Bear wasn't well over the weekend .His epilpsey reared it's head again after five weeks abscense. This is the longest he's gone seizure free for years. Never mind it's no good bothering.
Had a good Fair on Sunday . Met up with some of the old gang of Crafters and had a whale of a time . Even tooksome money. Also had an enquiry about supplying a wool shop. Two young ladies where rather taken with my hand dyed wools and askedd if they could come to the house. I said yes but did not get my hopes up as i've had enquiries before and they have come to nothing. ANYWAY got a phone call yesterday and they came last night and had a good spend and they want more. I've to ring them as soon as i've got my stocks up . Yes!!!!
So i've got to get dyeing.

These came yesterday and I can't wait to get dyeing. They are all natural dyes and i should be able to get some nice muted effects with them. I havn't used them before so i will have to be very careful . Got some some nice new dye pots so I can start this weekend.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Hand Dyed Tops .Hand Spun Yarn

Well the yarn is spun . I was quite suprised how muted the colours are now ,considering how bright the tops were when they were first dyed. But i am very pleased with the result and now plan to do more . I've got Woolfest and Wonderwool Wales to plan for , for next year and I don't just want to be selling commercially dyed sock wools. I think it will be Hand Dyed Yarns and Hand Dyed Tops. Spinning my own yarn will take to long.

This is the yarn being plyed.

All done and hanked up ready for a wash. The colours are so soft now.

Ready for knitting.

At the moment the yarn is being swatched . It may make me a pair of socks . The yardage was 280 and the weight 100grms. I think next time I will try to spin a little finer . I'm not doing so bad though , I only started to spin in June .

Hopefully over the weekend I will get it knitted up.

Craft Fair on Sunday so I can take it there and see what the punters make of it .

Wednesday, 31 October 2007


Today we had along walk. The weather wasn't brilliant but the walk was. We went down by the River Ribble and round by an old railway path .Meg , our Border Collie loves this walk. The trees looked gorgeous all different colours. Who needs New England our Autumn { Fall} is as good as there's .
Tonight I am going to spin more of my Fruit Salad , it's coming along grand. And as tonight is Wednesday it's Joe Costin night. We don't watch tele, instead we listen to the wireless , sorry , Radio. Showing my age there. Talking of age ,Joe Costin is reputed to be the oldest man in Cumbria but he plays great music . Tonight it's seventies chart hits and tomorrow it's all Sixties . No pics tonight Blogger's having probs uploading. I was going to put Meg on.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Dyeing Fibre

I am so pleased with myself. I've managed to dye fibre for the first time. I bought a kilo of Blue Faced Leicester tops at Woolfest earlier this year . I've used some ,whilst I was honing my spinning skills but there was loads left. I saw an article in Spring Spin Off mag about dyeing tops and decided to have a go . This is the result.

I've photographed the tops in my fruit bowl because I used Kool Aid to dye it . I used Grape , Strawberry , Mango and Blue Rasberry . Quite bright isn't it. I've called it Friut Salad . Not very original but it will do for now.

This is what it looks like undrafted and drafted. It went quite pastel and translucent.

This the first bit of spinning . The colours have darkened again but not as dark as the tops . I'm trying to spin a fine enough yarn to make socks . Which should brighten up the Winter days.

Monday, 29 October 2007

Socks and Stuff

Yesterday was another good day at the Fair . It was so good being with real Crafters instead of a room full of bought in stuff. I had a good knit and produced a pair of socks using my own hand dyed yarn .I was very pleased with the result. Here are pics of start to finish.

Plain yarn before Dyeing

Dyed yarn

Pair of Socks.
I love the colours and they will be worn this winter with my sandals. I don't wear shoes my feet get claustraphobia. It's been great since I started knitting socks my feet are warm but free.
Today I have dyed some Blue Faced Leicester fibre . It's the first time I've done it so who knows what it will be like . At the moment it's cooling . Watch this space.

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Craft Fair

Well I was amazed today .What I thought was going to be non-event turned out to be GREAT!!!
Small church hall ,fifteen stalls , not a lot of punters but they all spent. What a change after such a bad year. Plus it was only five miles down the road. No crack of dawn get up.
Got on with some sock and mitt knitting . I've learnt how to cast on Channel Island method and it's great for the tops of socks . It makes them all elasticy round the tops. Hope to take some pics tommorrow.

Friday, 26 October 2007


Not doing to bad with this setting up business. Managing to sort out my profile . Keep adding bits and tweaking. Work tomorrow . Two day Fair hope it's O.K. Got loads of stuff ready . At the moment I'm up here in the Attic workroom.

I'd rather be here in Mungrisdale.

A well must get on got to knit a mitt before tommorrow morning.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Blunder Round Blogger

25th Oct 2007
Do I really know what I'm doing????? This is a try out to see what happens.