Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Club pics August - Red Rubin

In between busy shows, teaching at Knit Camp and the school holidays, I was planting up my first dye garden (more of which to follow). I hadn’t thought of basil as a dyeplant but apparently there are lovely yellows and greens to be had from the flower tops. Even if they don’t pan out, I can always use plenty of basil and this one, Red Rubin, has the most fabulous deep red-burgundy-purple leaves, perfect for a yarn colourway! So August's colourway was Red Rubin, after my new seedlings (which, incidentally, are still alive although a bit windswept by the recent weather).

To show off the glossy tones of the basil leaves I chose shiny fibres ; )

Merino/tencel for Sock Club members...

Roving Medley was a lovely merino/tencel roving....

And for Fibre Adventure Club members - merino/tencel roving, cheviot fleece and a gorgeous mini-braid of lustrous, pure kid mohair.

Club pics June - Game, Set & Match

A whistle-stop tour of the last few month's clubs starting with June...

For sock clubbers - alpaca/wool/nylon blend - almost too soft to part with : )

Roving medley was an equally soft organic merino/alpaca blend. The alpaca is a natural pale beige which lends interesting extra tone to the colourway.

And Fibre Adventure Club for June was a tasty blend of organic merino/alpaca roving, romney fleece and some gorgeous baby camel/silk roving.

The inspiration for this month (in case you hadn't guessed!), was Wimbledon. (Wow, those hot, sunny days are like a distant memory!).

Tuesday, 28 September 2010


We've done boat trips before on our holidays in Cornwall but this year was particularly special as we saw.....


It's impossible to capture how exciting it was to see a huge pod of dolphins swim alongside, under and around the boat (and catching them on the camera was equally impossible as you can see!). They may look impressive on tv or at wildlife parks but they are absolutely amazing firsthand in their natural environment. They really did seem to be just enjoying playing, leaping out of the water, swimming in pairs and groups and watching us watching them! Makes you wonder what they think about us!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010


So much to fit in at the moment and so little time to blog!

We had such a fab holiday in Cornwall this year (after last year's noro virus disaster), that I thought I'd share a few highlights (please skip this post if the very idea of other people's holiday photos has you yawning!).

Sandcastles (well, sand cities really) are a big feature of the Tomkies' holiday experience and above you can see the first one of the week.

There was the Lappa Valley Railway...

This was a fab day out. Three little steam engine rides, mini-golf, canoeing on the lake (well, big pond really), an amazing disused beam engine and tower, all contained in a secluded, hidden valley. You travel to the site in the little train you can see above so there are no cars and it's really peaceful.

Then Flambards....

Sadly my love affair with rollercoasters was ended with the brain tumour so I missed out on this...


...and this...

But I did manage this...

..and, erm, this...

I don't think I'll be appearing on "Adrenalin Junkie" any time soon! ; )

(More later but have just taken club pics so I'll put them up first, I think...)

Crochet design part two...Back to School backpack

The second part of my "How To" crochet feature is in this month's Simply Knitting! My copy arrived yesterday and even after four years of working with them, I still get excited when I see my designs in the magazine : )

It's knitted in my new 100% chunky wool and the yarn is currently on special offer. There are 17 colourways currently available with more in the pipeline, but as always, you can have any of my yarns in any colourway on the site so if you'd like one that isn't shown in the wool yarn, just let me know.

And, as I know how frustrating it can be trying to find all the bits and bobs to finish a pattern, I've also put together a complete pack of notions to go with the pattern. It has all the accessories you'll need - straps and adjusters, fasteners, key chain, drawstring and toggle - also on special offer!

The "How To" this month covers making circles and tubular fabrics and pics are, of course, courtesy of my fab hubby. How he manages to make my multi-hued dyer's hands look presentable is anyone's guess! (Yes, they really are my hands!).

Monday, 20 September 2010

Design update! New crochet designs!

Having just finished a three-part "How-to" crochet series for Simply Knitting I thought I'd share a pic of the project I've designed to go with part one, a very simple baby jacket called "Cherry Blossom". I crocheted it in my alpaca/wool/nylon dk yarn which is just gorgeously soft. The alpaca makes it more silky feeling than fuzzy so it's very low on "itch factor". The current shades are here with more in the pipeline as I love dyeing it! The yarn is also available in the same shades in a 4ply weight and makes scrummy socks. I have a new sock pattern for the sock yarn that my lovely friend Vicky has just test-knitted for me but more of that later....

(ps. Crochet part two has just gone into the shops so look out for my crocheted rucksack. Check back shortly on the website for a very special offer on the yarn and the notions pack. Pic to follow....)

Friday, 17 September 2010

Buy logs, sell frogs!!

...One of the first pics I took of Pete on our hols in Cornwall. I said he looked like some stockbroker closing a big investment deal (hence post title) (actually he was listening to the Arsenal match but don't tell anyone).
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