Thursday, 30 April 2009

Whacked out from Wonderwool

Had a fab time at Wonderwool, meeting friends, catching up on news and gossip (and doing a bit of selling too!). I'm busy catching up on blogs as I didn't get to see anything but the coffee stand opposite (very nice coffee and very handy), so if anyone has posted any pics, do send me a link so I can see what I missed!

As a result I failed miserably to spend any money on yarny stuff, although I did bag a couple of lovely woad plants from Helen Melvin of Fiery Felts , some yummy veggie scotch eggs, two (yes, count 'em), helpings of sticky toffee cheesecake courtesy of the pudding compartment and a huuuuge choccy cake as a pressie for ds and nan as they had to stay at home guinea-pig sitting. All in all a bit of a calorific disaster - just as well humphing all the boxes back into the van then out again and into the house used up lots of them (tho' probably not enough if my waistband is anything to go by - oops!).

Back now and just about caught up on the practical stuff. Not sure what has happened to the garden - suddenly everything has exploded into life and the plants which were barely visible when we left are suddenly competing with the even more visible weeds. Guess what I'll be doing on Sunday?

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Wonderwool here we come!

Another manic day. Last minute collection of stock, hectic packing, labelling, producing new catalogues (be sure and pick one up!), and lots of up and downs to the loft for all the stall display stuff. There have to be easier ways to make a living! Good job it's fun, too : ))

Dashing off now to print patterns and bag up some more fibres......

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Fiber Baristas get into flower-power!

"Hot on the heels" of the Fiber Baristas Postcards from Home sock club (did I really just say that? Wow, long day = bad puns), comes the Flora and Fauna fiber club.

Take a trip around the globe with six dyers from four countries and sample some fabulous fibres and gorgeous colourways, each inspired by the dyer's favourite plant or animal. There'll be some fun competitions en route, so if you fancy joining us in some fibre-y fun and frolics, pack your suitcase and sunglasses (no passport required!), and book your place today!

For the latest news on what we're all up to, check out the Fiber Barista's blog and a warm welcome awaits you on our Ravelry group, so drop by and say hi!

April clubs on the way!

Club members, it's postie-stalking time again : )

All the yummy club parcels went out yesterday - no clues except to say that if you read my posts from last week you can probably guess where I was headed with my colourway for this month. (And no, my hands are still not back to normal colour yet!).

Piccies later when everyone has their parcels....

Monday, 20 April 2009

Poorly arm - ouch!

Woke up in the middle of the night in agony. I must have pulled something in my shoulder yesterday hoiking boxes around. So today I'm grumpy because I haven't had any sleep and I'm struggling with even using the keyboard, let alone lifting boxes and packing : (

Off to find some paracetamol......

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Multi-tasking

Can't believe that in 5 days from now we'll be in sunny (hopefully) Builth Wells for this year's Wonderwool festival!

Today has been mega-busy. Pete's been weighing lots of fibres, including our new Wensleydale combed top and our very special new British Kid Mohair combed top. I hope you all like it as much as I do (then again, if you don't, do I get to spin all of it?......mmm, interesting thought - a win/win really!).

I've been yarn skeining and labelling whilst juggling lots of pans and vats of dye. I've got rare breed fleece and roving on the stove, some natural dyed, some synthetic dyed, so there's a bit of colour to brighten up the stall. Unlike previous shows, I may actually have some dyed fibres for sale for a change - not lots, just a few tasters, really, to show what can be done with our natural dye extracts. Although at this rate, I still have so much to do, don't hold your breath!

Friday, 17 April 2009

The Texas Chainstore Massacre

Well, that's what my hands look like I've been doing, anyway. Some kind of mass murder incident in a New Year's Day Sale scrum. Red, red, red and more red. If my fibres aren't red after all this, I really am going to commit mass murder. The guy in the post office was horrified when I took my parcels for posting this afternoon. Not sure he believed the dye explanation judging by the look of horror on his face as I proffered my cash in payment. He won't be messing with me tho' - muwhahaha!!!!

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Parcel central

The last two weeks have seen a constant stream of parcels arriving at the door. Some exciting (yarn and fibres of course), some not so exciting. Somehow I can't get enthused over paper bags (even if they are recycled ones) syringes, vinyl gloves, toner cartridges and paper!

Still, it's all part and parcel (sorry, no pun intended!), of the start of the show season. And we'll be kicking off with Wonderwool at the end of next week, in lovely Builth Wells. I hope we have as much fun as last year. It really was fab. I just wish I didn't feel like I was drowning in preparations. Dyeing is one thing, but folding and stapling catalogues at 2am just does not float my boat, no way, dude.....

Thursday, 9 April 2009

International club memberships now available!

Oops, nearly forgot to mention that International memberships for all my clubs are now available on the website.

New fleeces arrived today!

Next week is club week so I've had the perfect excuse to do some serious fleece shopping for the Fibre clubs. And I have bagged some fabulous new fibres. Three different British Rare Breeds, all shearling fleeces and all irresistible. I won't spoil the surprise, but members can expect a treat in the coming months. (Incidentally, there are only a few places left in the Adventurers club - I'm having to limit memberships so I can be sure to have enough fibres to go round, as rare breeds are, well, rare, and so harder to source).

Knit 'n' Go in bag in Simply Knitting!


This week has been a busy one!

I've had a new pattern featured in Simply Knitting this month. Regular visitors may remember the "Knit 'n' Go" felted project bag which I launched as a new Kool Aid dye-it-yourself kit just before Christmas. Well, the bag is this month's designer challenge and I've added a little dpn pouch to go with the bag pattern. The idea of the bag is that you can fasten it to a belt and knit anywhere. I love mine for sock projects as it stops my yarn rolling around the floor and wrapping itself round chair legs!

The little pouch fastens to the outside of the bag to stash your unused dpns, scissors etc while you're knitting, but then can be unbuttoned and tucked into the bag when you're done. Of all the projects I've designed this is probably the one I've used most of all and I rarely travel without it.

To celebrate the publication, I've also created a range of hand-dyed shades in the alpaca yarn for those of you who aren't into dyeing (yet!) and there are more new colourways in the pipeline (well, on the dryer actually).

Better yet, both the Kool Aid kit and the hand-dyed yarn are on offer, too!

Friday, 3 April 2009

p/hop pattern in test mode

In case you thought I'd forgotten, I finally finished the instructions and chart for the p/hop socks yesterday! I tried three different heel types and two toe types (yes, just call me the Frog Queen!) before settling on a standard heel flap and my personal favourite, the rounded toe (no grafting - yippee!) I may produce a short row version at some point, but this one was the best match for the pattern repeat and looked nice and neat, so I'll stick with it for now. A big thank you to my three brave volunteers, Debbie (another Debbie, not me), Nora and Fran who now face the challenge of following the prototype pattern. I'll keep you posted with progress.....

ps. For those of you who missed the original post, see Feb posts for my rather dodgy photo of my own foot wearing version 1.0 !

Missed out on the whole p/hop phenomenon? Check out this fab idea, the brainchild of Natalie of the YarnYard to raise vital funds for Medecins sans Frontieres, here.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Stocktaking - yuck!

It's that time of year again - stocktaking : (

So today I counted 1000's of Kool Aid sachets, pots and pots of dye, biiiigg tubs of dye and equipment. Tomorrow's target is yarn and fibre.

Please could everyone just buy everything so I don't have to count it!!!!
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