One week to go until the Trunk Show at Socktopus in London - so I've been dyeing up lots and lots of yarn for it. If you're in the London on Sunday 17th May, this is a small sample of what you may find:
Squash, Elegance, Opulent, Blissful, Little Desire and Finesse with the rest of the week taken up with dyeing up some Plushness, Decadent and Kimono. I've also got to finish knitting the second sock for the pattern I'm putting together for Plushness socks - I'm particularly proud of these ones - soon to be revealed. Speaking of patterns, you can now find the Ten O'Clock Scarf and the Zig and Zag Pram Blanket as pdfs on the right-hand side bar. Yay, people, we're in the 21st century! More patterns to follow.
Alabamawhirly and Kiknits are coming over on Friday to help me label it all up and if we've time, we may even make a start on washing a fleece that Whirly acquired from a recent trip to the Lake District.
As you may already know, I'm a dedicated yarn base tart and just couldn’t resist adding a new one to the SQ repertoire. It’s called Exquisite and I think the name captures the silky softness of this 80% merino 10% nylon 10% cashmere yarn. I thought long and hard about introducing this yarn as the composition is q. similar to Elegance (without the bamboo), but when the box landed on my doorstep a week or two ago, I knew I couldn’t not introduce it to the SQ range. So look out for it in a forthcoming update.
Yesterday I went to the first in a course of spinning lessons. When I finally found the venue (long story), we learnt how to wash a fleece (handy), how to use the drum carder, how to use hard carders properly, how to Andean ply and how to spin. I brought along the BFL above which I'd dyed the day before as I was so pleased with the intensity of colour. I've started to spin it without carding it and it's an absolutely dream to spin. I may even dye some more up and bring them along to Socktopus.
Albert, husband of Linda who runs the course, is a wealth of information on everything textiles. He told us the story of the Newbury coat. In 1811, Sir John Throckmorton bet that he could sit down to dinner one evening wearing a coat made from the wool of sheep shorn at 5am the same morning. The workers sheared the sheep, washed, roved, spun, dyed, wove and cut the cloth and by 8pm, the coat was ready to wear, just 11 hours after the sheep arrived in the mill-yard. Albert took part in a recreation of this feat in 1991 and they beat the record by one hour. He told us of the challenge to get so many spinners spinning to exactly 4 twists per inch! I believe Johnny Morris of Animal Magic fame wore the coat at the end of the day. I love listening to this kind of story.
One other bit of yarn news - the lovely people over at Inside Crochet sent me a preview of an article on Skein Queen as the featured indy yarn dyer. As it's my first interview, I did blush profusely when I read it - don't know why as it was a very flattering write-up, it's my former shyness coming through. Anyway, it's out on 25th May if you want to see what's so embarrassing.
And a bit of household news - we're expecting - Honey pictured rather fuzzily in the front - is expecting kittens. Paddy - pictured rather guiltily in the back - is not the father (unless the vet was somewhat incompetent many years ago.)
Finally, it's been a gloriously sunny weekend - not quite so nice last Bank Holiday Monday, but here are some photos of our walk in the New Forest.
I don't know about you, but I couldn't help but think of adders lurking under all that leaf mulch. I don't think anyone else was thinking about them, but I'm a bit paranoid when it comes to snakes having had a bit of a close encounter with one when I was younger and walked with a very heavy tread!