Sunday, 26 August 2007

Off on holiday

And I CANNOT wait! We leave in the wee small hours of the morning and I have my Richard and Judy Summer Reads picked out - The House at Riverton by Kate Morton, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday and How to Talk to a Widower by Jonathan Tropper. Not sure how many I'll get through but do intend to do a fair bit of blobbing out by the pool. The children are so excited... they can't wait to get in that pool.

Have loads of ideas for new colourways bubbling away, including possibly one based on book covers, and just skeining up one of my favourites (do I always say that?) in red, orange, hot pink and green in cashmere/silk -with potential name of either Firebird or Strawberry Hill.

Just need to decide whether to carry on offering unique colourways or whether to concentrate on getting a dozen or so popular ones and repeating them. To be honest, can't see that happening soon. Am enjoying creating new ones too much and there's always the custom order if someone see something they like the look of.

Having been inspired by JustClaire's beautiful chevron scarf and as it's my birthday while we're away, made the rash move of ordering 2 skeins of STR in Sherbet colourway. Complete gorgeousness! Was a bit taken aback by the outrageous postage cost which was more than the cost of one skein, so decided it would make sense to order 2 instead! Well, it is my birthday. One does need a treat now and then. Then realised you actually need skeins in 2 different colourways. Doh! Must add it to my Ravelry queue.

Also as part of my birthday present, I ordered a drop spindle kit from a fellow Etsian, mainewoodsyarn, and then joined Natalie's Fibre Club over at The Yarn Yard.
Is it mad to covet lovely roving if you haven't even learnt how to spin yet? Yes, is the answer.

Finally, the lovely Piglottie pointed me in the direction of this great forum - Crafty Threads 'n Yarn which seems so friendly and welcoming. Thanks for that! What am I going to do without my PC for a whole week!

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

From the Snooty camel

Ok, what have I got for you this week? Hmmm... eventful week. Having problems with blogger so have to keep it short, sweet and photo-heavy.

I've been a busy girl stocking up the shop before I go on holiday next week .
This week's yummy yarns are, in no particular order:

Caramel Blue
Lime Violets (sold)
Someone who shall remain nameless had her nifty fingers on tonight!

Sugared Almonds
(There's a story behind this name)

And last but not least
From time to time in this dyeing game you get a little happy accident, and Waterlilies is one of them. Was aiming for turquoise, magenta and chocolate brown. Hmmm. Not quite. But I like it.

Here we have a custom order for a fab customer in Delaware - 5 skeins of Golden Plum.

And another order before it got wrapped in tissue:

Phew! This lot has taken it's toll on my good looks:
Whoa! You're not kidding.
(This snooty camel is really my Ravelry avatar)

For the first time in weeks, I got something started on my needles.

This is the Watermelon yarn from Freshisle Fibers which knits beautifully. I've done a bit more since this photo and started turning the heel and got myself into a bit of difficulty by starting with a purl row instead of a knit by the time I'd divided the stitches (how?) but will bore on and see what happens. It looks good so far and I love it when I get to knit the black seedy bits.

And finally, thanks to the lovely Piglottie for a glowing message on her blog and for the mention on the Ravelry forums. My head is so big it's lolling off my shoulders:)

Thursday, 16 August 2007


I realised it was high time I invested in a ball winder after a lovely customer asked for some skeins to be wound into a centre ball pull. I did it loving by hand - what do you think?
Summer Bunting and Garden Party

Some weekend dyeing:
And drying:

And some labelled up skeins ready for America:Some Moo cards:
And Moo stickers:

Wednesday, 15 August 2007


Ok, this obsession with yarn and knitting is getting out of hand. Spent way too much time over at Ravelry - that place is amazing but sucks up time - was up til 2am on Saturday night just checking it out, adding photos of my projects etc - though half of my finished stuff has been gifts for babies etc so not many pics.

And then, as if I was a lady of leisure who just likes to hang out and chat and has stacks of time, I decided on a whim to sign up to this new social networking site for etsians - We Love Etsy.
Another great place - have already met some lovely people there.

Other than that, wound up my wonderful Watermelon yard from Freshisle Fibers:Doesn't it look good enough to eat? OK, maybe not - told you I was obsessed!

Completed a custom order of Fruit Salad for my lovely Texan customer and loaded in my Etsy shop:
Dyed up loads new colourways in cashmere/silk and Superwash Merino - just have to skein them all up this week and gradually add them to etsy. There's one I'm particularly proud of called Kingfisher... more on that in the next post.

Then, any spare minutes left, I've been reading these:

Saturday, 11 August 2007

I got mine!

Yay! I got my Ravelry invite this morning. (She does a victory dance in the style of an Egyptian!) Now I've just got to get some time to figure it out - have managed my profile so far, and included my favourite curse word?! Now have to work out how to register as a Yarnie. If you're looking for me on there, by any chance, I'm on as skeinqueen.

Also I got my first return customer! She purchased Fruit Salad last week:

And placed a custom order for four more skeins which I dyed up this afternoon. It was a bit nerve-wracking as I'd used a slightly unorthodox method for this one, but the old memory kicked in and I think she'll be pleased with the result. Just have to skein them up.

I got a treat in the post yesterday when I finally got my hands on some wait-til-you-see-this-it's-incredible watermelon yarn from Marian at freshislefibers
OK, rather nice I hear you say but look what it can do - self-striping watermelon socks. Amazing, aren't they! Marian is so clever.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

A little taste of what's to come

Since the kids are away staying with grandparents in Holywood for ten days (boo hoo, yay, boo hoo, yah - mixed feelings as you can tell), I spent five whole hours last Sunday trying to get a big batch of cashmere/silk dyed up.

All will be listed on etsy by the end of the week and I got an arrival of gorgeous laceweight merino and Superwash 4 ply merino today so another weekend of dyeing coming up.

Here's a taster:

We have Lovebird in vibrant shades of pink and gold: (UPDATE: this has now sold)
Here's a close up as I'm loving these shades (though you might need your shades as the colours are quite bright):
Then I went mad with autumnal shades.

Here's Golden Plum:
And here's another plumy shade - Marmalade Plum:

And last but not least (I've a load more to reskein), here is Granda's red, white and blue colour choice, which I've called Patriot - but there must be a better name... any ideas? I parceled up his green, gold and white one which I decided he should keep.
This is in the lambswool/cashmere/angora.

The night before the children left for N. Ireland, we went to see High School Musical the show at Oxford New Theatre as it was Skein Prince's birthday. It was fab - they loved it. Skein Princess was trying to do a wolf whistle at the end she loved it so much.

Myself and the Skein King decided to walk up to the pub at Cold Ash this evening. Took the country route on the way which took 45 minutes - I needed that large glass of wine when we got there. It was worth it to sit outside and watch the sun go down and it not to be raining!

Oh, and here's a photo of two orders ready to go out to customers in USA (it's at this stage I have to admit I need a ball-winder when customers request skeins be rewound into centre-ball pulls):

Finally, check out this little bit of etsy advertising I purchased from monsterpromos on etsy:

Perfect for the back windscreen of my car. Now drivers behind me can ponder "What the hell's skeinqueen?" At the very least, they might remember the etsy name. Gotta get it out there!

Friday, 3 August 2007

Shy little girl stars on tv

I never thought I'd see the day! My little girl on tv and actually wanting to be interviewed! And on the radio and in the newspaper - all in one day.

Another weird day. We were in Newbury Library to pick out new books for the Big Wild Read when the librarian came up to us asking if the kids wanted to be on tv and on the radio. Them being pretty shy, I kind of resigned myself to the usual "Don't want to do it" when Skein Princess piped up that she wanted to be on tv. All the other parents were saying no, as was Skein Prince who was having none of it, but she definitely wanted to be on it.

Only one other girl agreed, so the man from ITV filmed them reading books and talking about them and it was on tv tonight! I was so proud of her doing something to put herself in the spotlight - so unlike her.

Then a guy from 2-Ten FM interviewed her and then he interviewed me. Mortifying! I whittered on about reading being VITAL for young children and came across as super pushy mum saying how we read to them from a very early age and how well they're doing at school. Apparently this is going to be pumped out every hour on the hour on Monday. Can't wait.

Finally, Skein Prince agreed to appear in a photo with her for the Chronicle after Granda bribed him with a fiver.

All that and I only put the car in the car park for half an hour while we popped in to get some books!

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Some lovely newness

Here's this week's offerings to gradually appear on etsy before the end of the week:

This one's called August because today was the first real sign of summer we've had and these hot summery colours remind me of a bright summer's day. This is in the soft cashmere/silk 4 ply.

Next is Plum Tree, also in 4 ply cashmere/silk:Inspired by the plum trees out in bloom at the Discovery Centre.

And finally, this is Seaspray which soft subtle colours suit the softness of the cashmerino.
I may ever get around to listing some of Granda's "Irish flags" wool. It came out quite nicely... watch this space!