Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Wonderwool Part2. The people.

This is part two of my Wales Blog and these are some of the people I met .This Andy the Alpaca buyer. He supplies me with all my gorgeous yarns that I dye. He's very helpful to micro businesses like mine and I don't have to give him bank breaking orders.

This Prudence Mapstone . She comes from Australia and makes the most stunning clothes using freestyle crochet . This photo does not do the purple coat justice.

These girls where my favourites. Raggedy and Wench . They made all these fabulous clothes , most where recycled . Made me yen for my Hippy days.

Last of all Papa Bear. Loads of people took his photo over the weekend . I think it was a bit of a novelty seeing a man knit but most people said they thought it was cool he wasn't afraid of knitting in public . He belongs to a group on Ravelry called S.M.A.C.K. ( Straight Men Also Crochet and Knit ) At the moment he is knitting baby clothes for the Neo natal Unit at our local hospital. Last instalment tomorrow ..............

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Back from Wales Part 1 The Stall

I'm back after conquering Wales. I have so Many photos the Wales report will be covered over the next three days .

We set off Friday morning and hit the M6 at 7-40am . A bit later than i'd planned as the caravan needed a bit of tweaking.Had a good journey down and after my initial misgivings about Welsh hills it wasn't to bad . The road between Builth Wells and Newtown was the worst as it had some very tight bends , some hairpin . I had to slow down a lot. But we got there in one piece about 11-15am . Found out where the campsite was , then disaster struck . As I was parking the caravan up I got slightly stuck in the mud. First time ever . Luckily there was a gorgeous big Welshman who came with his huge red tractor and pulled me out . It was worth getting stuck . He He !!!!!
After we had parked up and had some lunch we went to find the stall.
The Stall undressed.
This is what I got . 3 metres by 3 metres . There was ample room and after unloading all the stuff I quickly began to dress it out .
The Stall dressed.
After about an hour and a half this is what it looked like . I was rather pleased with it . You could see everything and it was like a little shop.
All the self -patterning yarns and bags .
Lace weights . Didn't sell to many of these . Made a note to dye some self colours .
Customers perusing the goods.
The Show itself was good . Though Saturday was much the better day . Sunday was very quiet. In fact I didn't take a single penny till lunchtime , then it picked up a bit. Back to Saturday . There where loads of Ravellers came to see me from the Ravelry website. It was nice putting faces to names. All my stuff was greatly admired and they bought well. They must have been saving up . I managed to have a look round and bought some Wensleydale rovings , some Merino Pencil Rovings and some new Birch knitting needles , which are very kind on the hands .

The organisation of everything about the show was good. Especially stall break down on Sunday evening. It went so smoothly and we got packed up so quickly , that DH and me decided to travel home Sunday evening. It was a very good journey home . The sun was shining and there was absolutely nothing on the road. Much better than leaving Monday and getting in cummuter traffic. The roads where so clear we did it in three hours , arriving home about 10-05 pm.

It was dark but because we've got the Mother of all security lights at the front of the garage we got the van away ok. To be continued ........

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

All's Ready for Wonderwool.

You may think what has a frog got to do with Wonderwool??? Absolutely nothing but he does look cute. He popped up to say hello to my DH , whilst he was sorting the pond pump out . Well this will probably be my last post till after the weekend. Everything is finished ,I hope . I've got loads of wool , bags , sock blockers , the list goes on . Something for everyone anyway. Just got to put some clothes in the caravan . I've treated us to new t-shits that i've embroidered with the company name on. They will be modelled on next weeks blog .
This is another new sock design . The only name i've come up with up to now is Snake Charmer . If you've got any other ideas post me. They are sandal socks , as the pattern goes up the back of the ankle . Just right for wearing with Birks or Crocs.

Remember my wool pulling back session . Well here's what i've knitted so far . I've nearly finished the second front then there's just the edging to do . I found some plain for that as there wasn't enough coloured. Should look nice for Summer , if we get one.
Lastly this is Finlay . Everybody say aah! He's aged four weeks and four days and he came to see me yesterday with his Mum , Sarah . Now this will sound strange . Sarah is the ex- girlfriend of my Number 3 son , whom he went out with a number of years ago but they kept in touch and when she's up here from her home in Kent she usually comes to see me . This time she brought Finlay as well , which was nice .
OMG i've just taken a good look at the pic and I might as well be looking at a pic of my Mum.
Mind you I should't be suprised , she stares back at me every morning from the mirror .
Well that's all folks . Wish me luck for Wonderwool .

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Pizza and Soup

Below is a pic of the Pizza, I made on Friday, prior to going in the oven. I had some fresh yeast left after making bread and decided to have a go at pizzas. It didn't take very long ,once the dough had proved , to put together from ingredients I had to hand . Some passata , Low fat Mozzarella Cheese , peppers , onions , mushrooms , salami . Total cost £3-25 for two ten inch pizza and they where delicious my DH said so.

Slice of Pizza , glass of Rose wine . Nice.

Yesteday I made soup . This is Spicy tomatoe and Pepper . Another cheap and cheerful . Large panfull which will last a couple of days , for lunches, £1-50.

I like homemade food. It's so rewarding .

AND there's no additives , preservatives or E numbers.
Today I am doing my utmost to have a day off . I need to sit down and chill . It isn't easy !!!!

I keep thinking of things that need doing . That's the trouble when you work for yourself one day seems to blend into another and you never stop.

I am now going to put the kettle on , have a brew , and drool over some yarn I bought yesterday (less than half price ) which is going to become Christmas Presents. Can't say what as my children read this Blog . So there'll be no pics etc till December. Ha Ha !!

Friday, 18 April 2008

Digging for Victory / Make do and Mend .

Our little bit towards self sufficiency has taken another step forward DH is lifting the flags in the side garden to grow more veg . We are going to grow late crops here for an Autumn harvest as we are away in July and August in Cumbria . So he is thinking Brussel Sprouts , Cabbages and the like . We've already got potatoes in and some salad stuff . Yesterday he planted Runner Beans into pots. At least it will all be cheaper than the super market and taste better .
Whilst Papa Bear has been Digging for Victory i've been doing a bit of Make do and Mending . Well more like Making do and Unravelling. I have a pattern for a sleeveless jacket I want to make but can't afford the yarn ( i can't use my hand dyed because it isn't thick enough) This little pile was an unfinished cardigan that I started knitting . It is now going to be my new jacket .
I unravelled it and wound it into hanks , making sure it was all secure and soaked it in the sink along with some more unravelled yarn that began like as a waistcoat .
Now it's all drying on the radiator ready to be made into two jackets. It didn't take long to do and I have the satisfaction of having used what I've got instead of driving to the wool shop and buying yarn as well as having saved money on fuel.
I'm off too save a bit more money now .We're having home made pizza tonight instead of ready made . Maybe not cheaper but I'm using what's in the cupboard .

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Holidays ,Wool, Radishes

We've booked the hols. We've been dithering a bit as money is a bit tight ,then thought what the heck. We are going down to Devon , one of my favourite places. We are going to a place called Woodbury Salterton . Below is a picture of Pidgeons Farm , where we will be staying with the caravan. It's an easy journey , M6 then M5 then 3 miles on A roads .It will be a good rest before we tackle all the shows in Cumbria. We could have taken two weeks off work and stayed at home but the temptation to do things is to much . So Devon in June here we come. This is most of the wool I have dyed and wound over the past two weeks . I have just been trying out my display to see how it looked and i'm quite pleased with the effect.
Looks like a proper wool shop. There's 340 hanks on there and there's more in crates.
I think I'll have enough for Wonderwool.
Things are hotting up now . I've still a few more hanks to label and all my carrier bags have to be labelled as well . No rest for the wicked. Sock Blockers are on hold for a couple of days . DH isn't to well Epilepsy wise . He's not been to bad of late but I think he did a touch to much in the garden last week and it's caught up. Below is a pic of our first Radishes showing themselves .They are French Breakfast variety my late Dad's favourites. He used to make a meal out of a bunch of fresh pulled radish and a plate of fresh bread and butter. A man of simple taste.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Sock Patterns

This is just a short blog. I was supposed to be taking it easy today but I just can't sit about when ideas are buzzing in my head. I had designed and knitted this sock for the stall to show off the Alpaca/ silk yarn. Then I got the idea to write the pattern . So with a bit of time spent on Publisher i've done it . I will now be able to put the pattern on the stall with the yarn. The Sock . Knitted in Alpaca /Silk . Colourway Hellibore.
The Lace pattern was adapted from a pattern in Vogue Stitchionary Vol 1 knit and purl.
I have also written the pattern for the Fair Isle Socks featured in a previous blog.
Off to knit now , i've got another idea on the needles .
I need more hours in a day.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Dye diddly idye dye dye .

The luxury yarns are all dyed , dried and rewound into a kaleidoscope of colours.
It took me all last week to dye and dry and this week to wind and label . I've still got the Blue Faced Leicester to rewind and label but that shouldn't take very long . It's now only two weeks to Wonderwool and i'm getting a bit nervous. It's not the show i'm nervous about ,it's the journey . Uncharted terratory with the caravan . Never been to Wales with it before and Wales has a habit of being hilly . We'll have to see ,no good meeting trouble half way is there.
Now for some pics.Alpaca Merino.
L to R Jonquil , Pansy, Holyhocks , Flax
Alpaca Silk.
L to R . Seagrass , Clover, Virginia Stock , Ixia .

Merino Tencel
L to R Pansy , Flax , Candytuft , Hellibore .
Botany and Lambswool lace weights .
I've really enjoyed dyeing these as I havn't dyed these yarns before . I've test knitted them and they are a joy to have on the needles.
Apart from all this dyeing and DH's painting we are venturing into the world of veg growing. DH has dug some small patches for salad stuff and he's planted a few potatoes . It all helps with the rising cost of living and anyway you can't beat fresh picked veg. Our DD is doing the same. Though she's growing in tubs as she hasn't got a garden . Her neighbours on either side are joining in as well ,Lets hope we have some good growing weather.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Papa Bear's been busy.

This Blog is to show you the talents of my DH for a change.He's a very good painter but he needs a kick up the bum to get him going . So I did. I wanted something different on the walls in the new front room ,instead of the tapestries and cross stitch pictures ,that have been up for years.
Aldi where selling sets of canvases really cheap so I bought a load for DH and presented them to him and commisioned the trio seen below . I am so pleased with them they look great on the chimney breast.My ploy worked and he's taken the bait and got back into doing some pictures.
The pic isn't quite straight due to bad photography . I love this painting it's very moody and he's going to paint some more today . The creative juices are running again at last. He says because the canvases are so cheap it won't matter if be botches things up.

DH has also made these sock blockers and hand painted them. Again the pics aren't very good . I think it may be the camera . I'm well chuffed with these as well and they will be on the stall for Wonderwool.
They are finished with yacht varnish so are completely waterproof.
Close up of the paintings .
The Guy's got talent but i'm biased . He just needs a push every now and then.

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Spring . What Spring ?????

What is going on with the weather ? It's supposed to be Spring , it's officially British Summer Time , what was it doing 10 minites ago ? Hailstoning the size of marbles . The big white spot on the pic isn't a fault , it's a hailstone . As i'm writing this the sun has come back out and it's brilliant again. I think Mother Nature ishaving an off day. This week I've been busy . Hence no Blog . As you can see below, my dining room looks like the store room at Sirdar. I have dyed every day this week and luckily the weather has been very blowey and I got it all dry . Next task is reskein it and label it . There's some BFL , some Alpaca / Silk , some Alpaca / Merino , some Merino/ Tencel , some Wool / Alpaca laceweight , some Botany wool laceweight and last of all some Lambswool lace weight. All to get ready in time for Wonderwool Wales.
Look what I got this week . A Nodding Buster. I sent Paul O'Grady a pic and an email of the little hats we'd made for the babies in Africa . He read it out on Tuesday and yesterday I got this .
It will have pride of place in the caravan this Summer.

Last but not least , I backed the winning horse in the Grand National , again!! I've been having a flutter since I was about ten . My Dad used to let me pick a horse and he would put sixpence each way on for me . I've never missed a year since and every year i've either won or had a place. I don't put much on it's just to see if I haven't lost my touch. I think I've won about £4 this year . Dh has just gone to the bookies.