Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Newsletter out now!

Our Autumn newsletter is now available with an awesome offer for subscribers on our new Botanical Colors natural dye extracts. Featuring saxon blue indigo (yes, a true natural blue without the need for an indigo vat), madder, lac and Himalayan rhubarb, they are super-easy to use. Sign up now and you can purchase a set of all four extracts for £30 plus postage (saving over £4 on the full price!).

Here's a quick look at the samples I did for photography...

Samples of wool hand dyed with Botanical Colors Saxon Blue - Liquid Indigo. The sample skein on the left was also dyed with Liquid Himalayan Rhubarb  to create a green shade and the skein on the right was also dyed with Liquid Lac to create a purple shade

Samples of wool hand dyed with Botanical Colors Liquid Madder natural dye extract

Botannical Colours Aquarelle Liquid Lac natural dye extract - Samples of wool hand dyed with Botanical Colors Liquid Lac natural dye extract. The sample skein on the left was also dyed with Saxon Blue (Liquid Indigo) to create a purple shade

Botanical Colors Aquarelle Liquid Himalayan Rhubarb natural dye extract - Samples of wool hand dyed with Botanical Colors Liquid Himalayan Rhubarb natural dye extract

Mix them, blend them, print or paint with them. They can also be used with our Hue & Dye and Earthues or with raw dyestuffs. Fab!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

And last (but by no means least!)...The Peatbog Faeries

Taking the mood way, way north of the border for our final gig of the week and it's the turn of electro-modern folk band from the Isle of Skye, The Peatbog Faeries. The gig was at the Waterside in Sale, a far cry from Club Academy. Of particular note (apart from the band, obviously) was the interval, complete with - wait for it - yes, pre-ordered interval drinks! Very civilised for a gig! We felt quite decadent collecting our drinks whilst watching the bar queue stretch further along the bar. Awesome!

Don't let this fool you, tho'. The band turned out some great tunes and the crowd were loud and enthusiastic. Judging by the amount of dancing that was going on, Pete appears to be fully recovered from his broken foot! Check out the Naughty Step if you're not sure how it goes when a bagpipe-toting, pipe and violin-playing band, complete with one member sans shoes and another with a part-missing digit, get together and rock it out!

The Naughty Step..

Why do great gigs all come together in three's like buses? Sheesh, I'm off to rest my dancin' feet ('til Sonic Boom Six next week anyway....)

A musical week part two

Swapping our reggae rhythms for something completely different!

Next up, And You Will Know Us By the Trail Of Dead. Not for the faint of heart, this US Post-hardcore Rock band from Austin, Texas did Club Academy proud with their customary blend of full-on rock, passionate stage show  and powerful message (the new work is dedicated to Russian punk band Pussy Riot). With tracks from their latest album, Lost Songs, along with some classics from my personal favourite album, Worlds Apart, it was an ear-ringing sweat-fest of a night.
And you have to love a band where the roadie takes over on guitar while one of the band joins the crowd, belting it out from the floor!

A week of musical eclecticism!

Pushing the boundaries of music was the hallmark of this past week!

The Drop and The Skints - Manchester Academy
First up, The Skints....
Roots-rock-reggae delivered with passion by London band The Skints....


 Ably supported by another excellent London-based reggae combo the Drop .

If you're a reggae fan, check both these great bands out. We'd lost touch with the whole reggae scene in the last few years (to give you an idea how long it's been, we used to be regulars at the International and International 2 - both great Manchester venues now sadly long-gone). Reggae Fridays at The Band on the Wall (thankfully still going from strength to strength!) were also a firm favourite. On which note, a big thumbs-up to the Band on the Wall who've sent us freebie tickets to another reggae gig featuring Manchester dub-reggae band Jeramiah Ferrari and former Specials frontman and co-founder of Fun Boy 3 Neville Staple.

(This is a bit of a longer post than planned so for part two see next post!)

Friday, 12 October 2012

3 show round-up part three - The Wool Experience

Another show first for us, this lovely, relaxed event organized by Black Sheep Spinners at Blaze Farm in Wildboar Clough (Nr Macclesfield) was most enjoyable. The weather was unexpectedly kind (after wild rain and winds earlier in the week) and we had a great day. Lots of spinners were on hand, including Diane demonstrating her prowess with the walking wheel.

The shearing demonstrations were very popular, although possibly the most popular "shearee" was one of the young lads who was having his head sheared for charity!

I confess to succumbing to a fleece (I really did need a Leicester Longwool - no, really!). Look out for it in Fibre Adventure Club parcels in the near future as it's a beaut.

And I can't mention Blaze Farm without a hearty recommendation of their first-rate ice-cream. So good we had to have two.....(oops) - but they are calorie free if you eat them when you're working, right?

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

3-show round-up part two - Woolfest

Just realised these posts are out of sequence, but not to worry.

This year's Woolfest was the biggest ever with new stall areas, more visitors and the usual great atmosphere!

It didn't escape the grotty weather with new "water features" in the form of rain running so hard down the steps it looked like a waterfall! But, like Fibre East, it takes more than a bit of the wet stuff to deter the enthusiastic fibre-lover!

Not many photos as we were rather busy (in a good way) and thank you to everyone who braved lashing rain, storms and floods to get to us. See you for sunshine fit to crack the flags next year!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

3-show round-up! Fibre East

Gosh, looking through my photos and realised there are 3 shows I haven't even blogged yet!

First up then, Fibre East.

There's no getting round it, the word that cannot be avoided is wet. and wetter. and wettest. Yes, definitely the wettest show we've ever done. Emergency welly purchasing wet. Traders abandoning shoes and going barefoot wet.

Okay, I've got that out of my system now, thanks for bearing with me!

On the (non-wet) front, lots of lovely visitors gamely turned out (it takes a lot to keep a fibreholic from his/her fix!),

 cheerfully paddled round the stalls

and staunchly refused to be deterred by the unseasonal conditions,
so a big, big thank you to you all! A big thank you, too, to the organisers, volunteers and the farm staff who worked tirelessly to keep the show on the road.

And Sunday did produce some nice sunshine, there were some super hands-on mini-workshops and, of course, lots of lovely things to buy.

 Oh, and weather forecasters take note: We've booked two full days of sunshine for next year ;-)

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