Monday, June 30, 2008


Firstly an apology; I forgot to take my camera with me to Woolfest so no pictures this year. Very very sorry.

Despite my inability to work out how many days there are in a week I managed to get myself organised in time (apart from the camera!). I was back from my run quite early as I only had two drops left to do on the Wednesday and a couple of pick ups. I was pleased to find that my parcel from Texere had arrived when I got home and that it had been put through the door as well so I didn't have to go back into town and pick it up from the sorting office either. I was able to carry on plying and emptied two bobbins to take with me for the spin in on the Friday night.

We had a pretty good journey up, though the weather was a bit horrible and we arrived at about four o'clock.

The actual show was great fun again, lots to see and do. I was a bit more restrained than I was last year as far as purchases were concerned. I bought a raw shetland fleece (a katmogget; white on the back and dark on the legs and belly.); a drop spindle so I can learn to spindle; Cat Bhordi's book "New Pathways for sock knitters"; twenty vintage buttons (five matching) and a Herdy the Herdwick mug. I also "helped" Ro to buy a black Wensleydale fleece as she was showing signs of not getting one!!!

We watched the parade of sheep which was interesting and educational as well as quite funny when the chap on the mike from the rare breeds survival trust offered to hold a Manx Loughtan whilst her owner said a bit about the breed. She decided that she wasn't keen on him and tried to leap out of his arms (for small sheep they can jump quite high!). The Alpacas also took exception to the Herdwick sniffing their bottoms, but in the main everyone was pretty well behaved.

We watched the sheep shearing but alas this year there was no audience participation (health and safety, not sure if this was in the interests of the volunteer or the sheep). And we went to the sheep auction which was such good fun. The auctioneer clearly thought that we were all completely bonkers, but he joined in with the spirit of the occasion in fine fashion and didn't turn a hair at someone bidding and breastfeeding at the same time (which I imagine was a first for him). Some of the sheep went for up to sixty pounds prompting the old boy who breeds Herdwicks who was sitting next to me to say that he thought he'd bring some dead ones down next time as they got better prices stuffed than they do live!!!

I didn't see as many people that I knew as I had in previous years but we met a friend from last year and met lots of new people. I also managed to say a quick hello to CarolL as I was shooting off on saturday evening. Oh AND as well as finding someone who will make bobbins to order from an existing one (Woodland Turnery) the chap on the Scottish Fibres stand told me that he adapts Ashford bobbins to fit Haldanes so I may be able to get some spare bobbins for the Orkney after all.

Got back home about four o'clock on Sunday absolutely shattered, but glad I went again. Roll on next year.

Managed a picture of my fleece after all, aint it a beut?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Rats, rats, rats!!!

I'm a bit harassed this weekend as I've realised that It's WOOLFEST NEXT WEEKEND!!! (gulp). Being my usual organised self I was not worried. Oh no. I'd booked time off at the end of the week so had it all planned that I'd do my run as usual, have the whole of the next day to get myself sorted out for when Als and Ro arrived that evening and we'd gently toddle up to Cumbria the following day.

Unfortunately I was working on the eight day week.

I still don't know how this happened but when I spoke to Ro the other night she pointed out that she and Als are actually coming up on the Wednesday evening (of course) because we're driving up to Cumbria on the Thursday. Well I'm driving on the Tuesday / Wednesday and have no idea when I'm going to get back as it's wholly dependent on how busy the run is and what the traffic is like on the way back up. So I'll get back at some time; have a bath (absolute necessity after being on the road for two days), get a meal ready for my guests (have to sort that this weekend as I'll have no time to shop on Wednesday) and prepare myself for the weekend away when all I'm likely to want to do is go to sleep.

How do I manage to mess things up quite so effectively? Never mind, at least I realised before Wednesday so I can spend this weekend getting organised. I've managed to borrow an air bed inflater that plugs into the car cigarette lighter so I won't have to cripple myself blowing up the spare mattress with a foot pump like I did for the Commonwealth Games so that's a bonus.

I also decided that I needed to finish plying the singles that I had on the bobbins of my Orkney as I'll need it for the spin in on Friday night. Don't know if anyone remembers that I was having a certain amount of trouble with this what with trying to ply from two lazy kates at the same time. (see here for details). I decided that it would be much easier if I had one lazy kate with all four plys on it so last night I got a bit of two by four that I had lying around; cut it to size and drilled holes in it to accept the metal parts of the two kates I have.

Brilliant! It worked like a charm and I didn't even need to tension it. I set about plying my singles. Half a bobbin later I ran out of the glitter thread that I'd been plying with the singles! AAAARGGGGHHHHHH! Of course I'd bought the stuff from Texere and they aren't open at the weekend so I can't get any more straight away! I've ordered some online but I dunno if it will arrive in time and if it does that'll be another thing to sort out on Wednesday evening.

Sorry this is such a downer of a post, I'm actually quite cheerful really. Who wouldn't be with next weekend in prospect? The thought of all that lovely fibrey goodness waiting for us would cheer even the most miserable person up. And who cares if I don't manage to get everything done? As long as we get there that's all that matters.

PS Dee, hope you're feeling better soon.
Oooooh Oooooh PPS I forgot to say that my "Sprout" is going to be on display on the Online Guild of Weavers Spinners and Dyers stand at Woolfest. I'm sooo excited.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

I am a bad blogger, I am a bad blogger, I am a.....

Think you get the picture.

A lot has happened since the PINK!! Monkeys. In fact so much has happened I've probably forgotten half of it.

I've finished two more pairs of socks; firstly:

Elfine's socks from "My Fashionable Life" by Amela Raitte. I'm teaching myself to knit socks from the toe up and I'm particularly pleased to have finished these as many years ago when I first begam blogging I attempted to knit a pair of these but gave up at the short row heel. This time I had help from Ann Budds instructions published in Interweave Knits on how to knit socks from the toe up, which I found quite helpful.

I've finished my travelling sock (Basic top down Opal pattern in Trekking XXL)

And I've knitted a blanket from stash wool (what a good girl!) 7 skeins of Rowanspun Chunky Jenifer Crawfords "Feather and Fan Afghan".