Tuesday, 29 June 2010


Yesterday, one of the hottest days of the year so far and Mr S and I were at Wimbledon - Court Number One on the sunny side......... too hot to knit much of my Winbledon Shawl but I have finished the nupps and started the short row shaping now so it should fly along now!

Saturday, 26 June 2010


Thursday and Friday were two of the most exhausting days for a long time. We drove north in the new car to collect our new (to us) caravan. Not that tiring physically, but mentally exhausting. Even though we have had the latest technology fitted to the caravan, designed to prevent 'snaking', every time there was the slightest movement I had a mental picture of the old car rolling. I even tried knitting to concentrate my mind, but fear is stronger. Still my Wimbledon Shawl is growing slowly I have now only one row of nupps to go and then it is just short row shaping.....

Wednesday, 23 June 2010


This is Lucy

or to be precise this is Lucy's fleece - she was a big girl....

Yesterday afternoon C and I divided up the fleece that we went 'halves' on at the Somerset Guild's Fleece Sale on Saturday. It was so clean there was only one small bag of dirty bits to throw away.

Now the awesome task of washing Lucy - so Mr S is resigned to the fact that the bathroom will be full of fleece soaking in buckets for days to come....

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Fleece Overload

Yesterday was spent in glorious sunny Somerset with two like-minded friends solely with the idea of acquiring some sheep's fleeces and I think on the whole we were successful!

As I am relatively new to the world of spinning, dyeing and weaving this was my first ever first fleece sale. It could have been easy to have gone overboard and bought the lot. What I found really refreshing was the lack of hard sell and the willingness to discuss at length the life history of the particular animal whose fleece was on the table. These, of course were small producers, who made you feel that they cared for their flock.

My modest purchases were some gorgeous baby aplaca in a honey colour, a very small amount of baby black suri alpace which is so soft and scrummy I kept touching last night, some white Romney, a bag of Shetland from sheep called Venn (grey and morrit) a grey Clun, (which K said had a pink tinge!) and half a huge Blue-faced leicester fleece from Lucy aka Lightridge Jemima. This weighed in at an incredible 22kg - I feel for poor Lucy carrying that around. But as she is a prize winning sheep the fleece is clean and the most beautiful shades from deepest black to the most pretty silver grey (pics will follow). C and I bought this to share as it was really too much for one person to manage.

And for the group to share we bought a beautiful Shropshire fleece for a fiver! On the way back we stopped off for post shopping cool down in Clevedon by the sea and sat discussing our purchases and other sheepy things over a welcome cuppa!

A perfect day!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Le Tour de Fleece (France) Spinning

Have joined the Ravelry group Tour de Fleece! Seemed like a good idea as Mr S is a cycling fanatic, so far this year I have spun my way through the Paris - Nice, The Tour of Turkey,The Tour of Navarre, The Giro de Italia and now currently The Tour de Suisse, plus various other one day rides like the Paris-Roubaix - so if you can't beat them, join them!

Last week I was supposed to have dyed the rovings for the Seaside Bag as part of my Queen's project - last week wasn't a good week.. After numerous telephone calls I finally managed to sort out the insurance claim for the car and then collapsed in a heap - all very traumatic and drama queenish. Perhaps delayed reaction or a bug I don't know, but back on top form again now - which is more than can be said for the top seeds at Queen's - nuff said.

Monday I dyed up five hundred grams of Falkland (not the new very squishy stuff) in really bright colours using my new Landscape dyes. They are a joy to work with, wish I had found them earlier on in my 'dyeing career'.

Have decided that the colours also represent the jerseys worn by the riders - yellow for the race leader, green - for the leader in the sprint points, and the red polka-dot jersey - king of the mountains. there is also a white jersey for the best young rider - so I have just about got them all covered - the other colours can represent the colours of the various teams which are very bright.

These rovings are now reserved and cannot be touched until Saturday 3rd July which is tricky as I shall still have two days of Wimbledon to go with the shawl - choices, always choices....

Monday, 14 June 2010


I have succumbed to the squishy softness of DHF Falkland fibre from Dunnose Head Farm on the Falkland Isles and bought 10kg!!!!

It came in a box today and is just what I expected - gorgeous just can't wait to get dying...............

Friday, 11 June 2010

All those little things that niggle

I don't know whether it is just age, or what, but I seemingly am becoming less tolerent as I get older. In particular I am becoming a 'pedant'. The greengrocer's apostrophe annoys me beyond belief. Is it so hard to use punctuation correctly? Perhaps it should be compulsive that all potential greengrocers read the excellent book by Lynne Truss Eats Shoots and Leaves at least then they might have some idea of how ridculous their signs are! Or do they now do it to annoy?

Perhaps it is due to the upcoming competition in South Africa that TV and Radio interviewers have brought out of the woodwork some of the dimmest experts I have ever had the misfortune to hear. Plus is this really newsworthy when people are starving and the Carribean is being swamped under millions of gallons of crude oil? Surprisingly not all the world is talking about this event, just as not everybody is waiting with bated breath for the next episode of Eastenders or The Street.

So current expressions that really annoy:

Conversations interspersed with the words 'you know' - no actually I don't I am waiting for you to explain to me!

As do speakers 'umming. I once attended a lecture where the speaker used this 'word' 186 times - I know because I counted, can't remember what he talked about - this habit spoilt entirely what could have been an interesting talk. Even worse both together as in 'you know like, umm you know' heard yesterday on Eurosport 2.

'To be honest'. Needless to say as soon as these three little words are spoken you might as well switch off. The words are unneccesary and add nothing. Indeed 'to be honest' anyone who uses this phrase is probably not telling the truth.

Ditto 'the truth is' when you know jolly well it isn't - this is a favourite of politicians and generally you can say not the truth at all.

The use of the word gender when the speaker means sex. Gender is socially constructed, femimine is gender female is sex! Would you believe on the TV programme Countryfile last Sunday John Craven referred to the gender of cows!!!!!!!!! Aren't all cows female? I agree they might not be very feminine but they are generally female and are given girl's names - Buttercup, Daisy and the like......

Things generally:

Misuse of disabled parking bays

Tattoos - especially on older people.

Body piercing particularly of the tongue.

People talking down to me because I am a paraplegic - it is my legs that don't work not my brain..

Male chauvinists particularly those who work in call centres.

Able-bodied people who step backwards without looking and then say 'watch where you're going' to me! This is directed at the woman in M&S on the Isle of Man whose husband had to forceably restrain her from hitting me because she stepped backwards and fell over - obviously I should have been aware of her intentions and taken evasive action..

Unwanted emails that advertise the best way to watch that competition in the southern hemisphere - five in the last three days - apparently everything that you need to watch, experience and support can be bought at Argos, Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys and M&S! Why do you need a BBQ to watch TV? Answers on a postcard please.

Stupid flags on cars. Shouldn't let it get to me, but all I can think of is the wasted fuel on a planet whose resources are fast running out.

Losing weight and nobody noticing! And what's more I'm still not able to get the size I need - when I was bigger there were always small sizes left, now it is the big sizes on the rail - life's a bitch.

And just because I hate them - Slugs and snails, particularly those that come from next door and eat my delphiniums...

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Flaming June and Strawberries

This is the bestest month of the whole year - Tennis and Strawberries, two inseperable things to my mind. I have spent the last week and a bit glued to the French Open (disappointing finals) - next week it is Queens (didn't get tickets in the draw - despair) and at the end of the month Wimbledon (did get tickets for the second Monday on Court One - joy). Now I have to decide which projects for which event. Queens is only a week - so something simple - spinning would be best. I have fallen in love with a bag in this month's issue of Let's Knit designed by Anniken Annis so I think that the Queens project will be dyeing and spinning the yarn for this - Lime Green, Bright Pink, Yellow, Turquoise and Purple. The pattern calls for Cascade 220 which is a double knit so achievable.

Wimbledon will have to be a shawl and I am spoilt for choice. Do I make the Pettine Shawl or the Annis Shawl which I really like a lot and what yarn? It will have to be a stash yarn as I won't have time to spin - or will I? What ever I intend to get a pic of me knitting at Wimbledon - I really would have liked to get a pic of me using my drop spindle, but don't think that I will get the spindle passed security... although I could give it a go.....

For the French Open I have just finished spinning the 200grams of dyed Falkland that I bought at Wonderwool. This was part of the 'tour' stash and I had great difficulty in not starting to spin it as soon as I brought it home. The fibre comes from Dunnose Head Farm on the Falkland Islands and it is absolutely gorgeous. It seems right somehow to be spinning with fibre that hasn't been cleaned with chemicals and can really called green as they don't use herbicides, pesticides, dips, footbaths or regular injections!

It had been dyed by Amanda of Mandacraft and I couldn't resist the bag of fibre as soon as I saw it on the shelf and also at a great price of £9.00 - I have never been one to pass up a bargain!

The fibre is called Plum Pudding and best of all I have another 200grams in a different colourway Victorian Velvet in my stash just waiting on the wings......... if only there were a few more hours in the day!

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