26 July 2008


Well we got home safe & sound yesterday evening having had a wonderful time. Ireland is completely stunning and we saw quite a chunk of it in the few days we had - our friend, with whom we stayed, drove us all over the place - via all of the most scenic, one track, country lanes.

He lives on the rural edge of a small town with quiet neighbours....

and a dog



20 July 2008


Last Saturday (actually it's a few weeks back now - pre Irish break) our guild held a natural dyeing day at one of our members houses. The weather was a little unpredictable so, instead of dyeing and spinning in the garden, we were housed in two barns - one for dyeing and one for spinning, chatting, eating and general conviviality. There was a good turn out and we also had visitors from the Mid Herts guild which was really nice.

We arrived in the morning and got ourselves settled in with tea and coffee and some wonderful home made biscuits - yumm. Then the mordant baths were set up and we all put various bits and pieces into each bath - four mordants were used - alum, chrome, copper and tin. These were then left to work and we went off and spun or knitted or socialised or all three. I had a sock knitting lesson - which was great fun and I may have a new obsession gripping me now!

After lunch various dye baths were brewed including coccineal, cota, bracket fungus (don't know which one) hollyhock, comfrey, coreopsis, dyers chamomile and maybe a few others - actually I wasn't paying proper attention as I picked three dye baths only, and then went back to sock knitting and yattering. I had some super wash merino and silk fleece which I split and put into the coreopsis and cota dye baths and I also had some alpaca, silk and wool fleece which I put into the cochineal dye bath. In the afternoon the tea and coffee came around again - this time with the most amazing cakes - I was briefly sent to heaven with a chocolate muffin stuffed with cream and jam.

I wasn't totally happy with the coreopsis samples, so I've over dyed one piece with some ancient dye bath which I'd had in the garden - I think it may have been madder - it was a little pungent and it came up a warm brown which I was quite pleased with - I'm planning to over dye another couple of bits - hopefully with a very fresh madder dyebath - perhaps next weekend when we get back from Ireland - I'm hoping that I'll get a stronger orange - can only try.

sadly I have no pics of the actual day as my batteries were out of power - lack of planning and forethought there!

I'd hoped to post this earlier but life is a little busy right now - my in-laws have just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary so it's been a very family oriented time with my niece and nephews over from Canada and brother & sister in law over from Paris and the celebrating and general getting together. Then my own father will be visiting later this week, in order to go to the cricket at the oval with my hubby. All of this means that housework needs to take precedence over spinning (and blogging) - how dull!


In about 35 minutes we're off to Ireland - I've only got one thing left to do - seeing as we're not taking hold luggage I've got to work out what I can take with me to do - knitting needles are out - can I get away with a drop spindle? opinions are divided on crochet hooks hmmmmmm....

next post when we return - next weekend


Finally - I've done it - I've been looking at other peoples' mosaics and finding them fascinating and have wanted to do one myself to see what it'd turn out like - it was really fun to do and I'm pleased with the results.

Basically you answer 12 questions (see below), for each question you put the answer into the flickr search and then pick your favourite pic from the first page. You then paste the URL for that pick into (4x3 mosaic) and when you're done copy it to your blog or where ever.

The Questions:

1. What is your name?2. What is your favorite food?3. What high school did you go to?4. What is your favorite color?5. Who is your celebrity crush?6. Favorite drink?7. Dream vacation?8. Favorite dessert?9. What do you want to be when you grow up?10. What do you love most in life?11. One word to describe you.12. Your flickr name.


1. Michele 2. soup 3. Northampton High School 4. green (& red) 5. Keanu Reeves 6. tea 7. Thailand 8. chocolate & strawberries 9. textile artist 10. Billy 11. artistic 12. spinner.lady1966

13 July 2008


Oh dear - I haven't managed much spinning this weekend - I did a little yesterday but was somewhat distracted by sock knitting (well it makes a change from scarves)! and dyeing. Sadly none at all today we went out without our front door key so when we arrived home (me thinking I'd be able to spin a bit before bed) we had to go straight off to friends who keep a key, who, it turned out, were celebrating another friends' birthday - so, of course, we had to help celebrate and consequently have just got back - and it's already past my beddy bo beeps time - so nighty night - will post about the dyeing, sock making, cake eating etc in the next couple of days.

11 July 2008


Well I'm pleased to say that I have spun every day so far - by Wednesday I'd finished the Carnivale yarn and on the same day received a little wrist distaff that I'd ordered in my last Etsy frenzy. So, obviously I had to have a little fiddle with that - more about that later.

Yesterday I started spinning some Persian cat fibre that I've had lurking about the place for a while. It starts off looking not much better than a fur ball and ends up looking and feeling wonderful - in fact I wish you all could feel it because it's indescribably soft and lovely. I've decided to carry on with this for a while, as I've some vague plan of making a scarf from it (yes I know I always make scarves - I like making scarves - in fact I like wearing scarves)!

Tomorrow will be exciting - we have a guild meeting at one of the members houses where we're going to be mordanting and dyeing ... stuff - whatever we bring. There'll be plenty of chat - also I'm going to be having a sock making lesson and hopefully spinning a bit too. We're all praying for decent weather - it's so much nicer when these things can happen in the garden.

7 July 2008


Well -today was the first day of the Tour De Fleece where I also had to work - Boo! still it gave me something to look forward to.

It's interesting that I feel I have permission to spin just because I've made this commitment - normally I'd find a dozen housework related reasons not to spin because 'I ought to ....'

I'm hoping to finish the Carnivale fibre tomorrow or Wednesday so I'll post pics then

6 July 2008


Yesterday I signed up to join the Tour De Fleece - I think it will be fun to do and a really good extra incentive to spin daily. I'm currently spinning the wool I received from Etsy a few days ago - it's a delight to spin and I'm hoping to have it ready for a lesson in sock knitting scheduled for next weekend.

I haven't been able to work out how to put the Tour De Fleece button here, but below is link to find out more about it. It's basically a great spin along with 138 spinners joining last year - I'm sure it will mushroom rapidly.

I will endeavour to join the flicker group and if I can work it out will add a link or button to this.

flickr link

first day's spinning.......


I'm going to break with tradition here and talk about blogging rather than spinning. I'm so excited by it all - I hadn't been prepared for how easy it is to blog - I thought there was some sort of magic and I couldn't possibly be a party to it!

No really - if you've been tempted to have a go and have not yet done it - DO IT SOON - now , even - it isn't as hard as you think it's going to be. Ok there are the banging the head against a wall moments - but equally there are the epiphanies "Oh ... that's how you do it'. Then there are the ' oh... I wonder HOW I did that (but I'm glad I did)' moments, (or I wish I hadn't!).

There have been some other fun happenings along the way - the first time someone looked at my site (as shown by the counter), the first time someone who wasn't family looked at my site, the first comment made about an article I'd written. Then I joined some webrings - fun places where like minded people link their blogs together - and viewing figures went up (by one or two a day - but hey it's still good to feel appreciated!) and now I have a friend - someone who has a lovely blog all of her own. So, let me reiterate - if you're humming and hahing - just go do it - it's fun.

4 July 2008


Gosh it's been a good morning - the postman has been and he brought me lovely pressies. I feel like I've just had a second birthday!

Last month it was my real birthday and I was given lots of loverly money to spend. Needless to say I imediately went mad on Etsy and ordered a selection of bits and pieces - mostly spinning related.

Yesterday after a tiring day at work I arrived home feeling a little flat - soon after there was a ring at the door - my neighbour delivering some lumpy post that wouldn't go through the letterbox - and...YIPPEE - it was some scrumptious fibre that I'd ordered from Frog Hair Fibres. one called Carnivale and the other Goddess - both very aptly named I feel.

This morning I couldn't wait to start spinning Carnivale and, just after getting stuck in, the bell went again - postie delivering more lumpy post - WOOHOO - this time it was a lovely little fabric basket that I'd chosen with the express intention of putting hand spun balls of yarn into it, and also a hackle complete with diz and clamps from Catskill Mountain Fibers. I am delighted with the hackle - it's nicely made and finished, so now I'm torn between carrying on spinning the fuzz I started on this morning, and getting out some more fuzz and blending it on the hackles! I just love the roving that comes from using a hackle and diz to blend colours. (mmm can feel another post coming on)!

Below is a pic of the basket from Wrap 2 Patch


wrap 2 patch

catskill mountain fibers

frog hair fibers

2 July 2008


aaah yes - sorry about this - I keep hitting the return key before I should - this blog post isn't yet ready - it's more of a work in progress - expect to see it pop up again later!!