Hello again!

One of my New Years resolutions was to do more on this blog. Well… better late than never, right? (Last post was in September, eeek!)

Well, my little one is over a year old now, I can’t believe it, how on Earth did that happen so fast? I adore her so much. I also have another teaching job which is good fun most of the time.

But what of the crafts?!

I haven’t really knitted a lot recently. Just nothing seems to have caught my eye. Crochet, however, has been quite popular the last couple of months. I found my Attic24 Log Cabin kit under the bed where it had been languishing for quite some time and pulled it out. I think I had done five squares. I’ve now completed eleven out of sixteen. It’s a slow project, but easy going. I cannot wait to sew it all up together.

I also started making my own graph blanket from the popular radio series ‘Old Harrys Game.’ It’s a comedy series based in Hell from the demons and the devils point of view. Very funny. I won’t put that up until I’ve got it a bit more done though. I’ve got two out of nine squares done.

For a while I haven’t really been into my spinning. I’ve found time-wise it a bit difficult, but I went to Woolfest on Saturday and my interest just sort of exploded again! I bought a beautiful Jacobs fleece (you just can’t beat a nice Jacobs!), a Berrichon fleece and a North Ronaldsay fleece. As well as all the other bits and pieces, including seven issues of Yarnmaker for a grand total of £3.50! I have only been thinking the other day that I really could do with looking for back issues of the magazine. It’s a fascinating read.

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This fleece was absolutely massive, it would have carpeted the whole of the upstairs! I was ruthless on all my fleeces. I uhmed and ahed at times but then thought ‘nope, no use working on bits that aren’t the best.’ It just wastes time trying to card out yucky bits or wash out the really dirty areas. There is still a huge black bag full of fleece. The Berrichon was lovely too. I really was unsure about it but thought I would give it a chance. It came in a cotton pillowcase (just how I store mine in the shed) and was pretty clean, with a short staple. When I lay it on the ground there was loads of great, useable fleece, even with the ruthless skirting. I took maybe a quarter away to wash using three buckets. It got a three rinse bath using a 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner. It smelt lovely afterwards!

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I think this is it after its first wash. Look how clean it is!

I then set about dyeing it. I had been given a great jam pan by my mother in law, which I thought was perfect for dyeing. I set it up with warm water and added in some magenta easy fix all in one dyes.

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I think I put in 5ml of the dye. I actually used it to dye some white wool I bought at Woolfest. I did the yarns one at a time, adding a shade mixer after each yarn to make them lighter, but matching, if you see what I mean. I love these colours. Eliza will hopefully be getting a Fair Isle hat from these.

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I used the final dye to dye my raw fleece. I decided to just dye it straight away whilst it was still wet, which motivates me more than having a load of white fleece and no clue what to do with it. I wanted to make a lovely purple fleece so added in some turquoise, which made a lovely purple.

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It’s a shame it didn’t stay this way!

After rinsing, this was the result.

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On the left is wool from the dye after twenty minutes, and on the right it’s wool after being left in the dye for 24 hours. Both pretty much the same. Because the dye had the added shade stuff in it, I think it prevented much dyeing to be done and maybe also because the blue just wasn’t holding as much as the pale pink was? It’s all a learning curve for me as I don’t dye that much with easyfix dyes. I usually use kool-aid!

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I put the fleece into net bags and hung it on the line outside to dry. It’s been super hot these past few days, and I mean SUPER hot. It’s been between 27-30 degrees centigrade which is almost unheard of around here. Once dry, and filling a washing up bowl nicely, I decided to card some. I cleaned out my carder of all the old colours and bits of old fleece and started going. It’s very theraputic sorting out the fleece and fluffing it up, turning the handle and watching all the fibres align nicely. I managed to get two small batts done on my Classic Carder before dinner time. Not much done, but little and often is my motto at the moment. The pink looks very pale in that photo but it isn’t that pale really.

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It hardly looks like anything has been taken from the tub! Tomorrow, after visiting the local town to see some dolls house furniture in the new recycling charity centre, I plan on having a few hours to myself in the shade outside, sorting fleece, washing it, and then carding the rest of this loveliness up. I have a gorgeous blue fleece outside washing too. It should match this nicely as it is quite a pale blue. I need to give myself confidence in using more of the dye, I can always buy more if it runs out! The batts in this photo need running through the carder again. I usually card it all once, and then once all of them are made, card them again. I love making batts and seeing them all on the table afterwards. Argh, I’m wanting to do some more now!

But, it is getting late and little one is asleep now and I don’t want to leave her. I love just being beside her, watching her sleep. I just keep looking at her and thinking, ‘wow.’ She truly is everything I ever wanted.

Have a good night everyone, and happy spinning/ knitting/ crocheting/ crafting, etc!

xXx Love Kais xXx

Well, that’s it for another year. Woolfest has been and gone. I had a great time and I’m sure so did everyone else who went there.

For those who don’t know – Woolfest is an annual event held just outside Cockermouth (don’t laugh!) in Cumbria. I think this is the eleventh year it has been run, but don’t quote me on that. It is held in a giant auction mart and there are so many stalls there, selling all sorts of things, from clothes, to animals, to fibre, to wheels, to tools, to anything woolly you can think of.

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I really enjoy seeing the animals here. I now desperately want an angora rabbit, especially an orangy, beige one.

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The sheep are a definte bonus too! Here are some Herdwicks, some sheared, some not. (First time I haven’t bought a Herdwick fleece this year, but I have one in the shed ready to be washed).

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I think this gorgeous guy is an Exmoor Horn ram. He had a sign on the pen saying ‘I am a lovely boy, but sometimes I can get grumpy, so please don’t put your  hands in the pen!’

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My favourite – North Ronaldsay. It’s a fairly coarse fleece but I like it for the history and unusual eating habits of the sheep. They graze on the beaches and eat seaweed. We used to have some when I was little so they make me feel all nostalgic when I use the fleece.

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Some photos of inside –

This stall had a lot of X fleeces, including Merino X Shetlands. Quite expensive, so I didn’t buy anything from this stall. It was here when I was looking through a pile of fleece packs that I helped a German lady with understanding the prices here. It was the highlight of my day helping her, in GERMAN. (I love the German language and would LOVE to chat to people in German, but no-one around here speaks it!)

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Look at the size of this drum carder!

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I was fascinated by this huge loom.

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Joe’s Toes – A stall specialising in making slippers out of felt. You could buy the seperate pieces to sew together.

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Wool!

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It doesn’t look very busy here, but at some points it was very crowded.

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I love the little fat sheep at the bottom of this picture.

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So, what did I get?

I think I was maybe a bit more restrained than last year… no… no, I wasn’t. I just spent less at Wingham Wools as I have a massive box filled to the brim full of fibre! I spent a lot less on raw fleece but still seemed to come back with as many huge sacks.

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I bought (what I can remember, the fleeces are now in the shed) –

  • North Ronaldsay grey/brown fleece
  • Black badger fleece
  • Shetland X Hebridean fleece
  • Hebridean fleece
  • Soay fleece – (£1!!!!)
  • Jacobs fleece

I think there was another but I can’t recall what it is. I also got loads of bits which you can just about see in the picture.

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I’ll explain these soon when I finish this post.

xXx Love Kais xXx

 

Hello again,

Woolfest is only a day away, I am so excited! Right now it is Wednesday and it is held on the Friday and Saturday. I don’t think I need to tell people who have read this blog before about how excited I get about going to this once-in-a-year-opportunity. My Mum and Dad are coming too, my Mum usually does, but I’ve badgered my Dad into going too, so I’m happy, happy, happy! I don’t get to visit other wool shows (bar the ICHF show in Glasgow, but that is more sewing – something else I adore) so Woolfest is pretty much my once a year buying opportunity for fleece and other related products. I haven’t bought a fleece online in a few years bar an alpaca seconds I got last year. I have been spinning some of it though so at least it is being used. Being seconds it takes a lot of time to prep. It took a while to sort out the decent stuff, then wash it, then sort out the decent stuff once again.

I finally got round to using up my North Ronaldsay wool that I spun up last year. I love this but it infuriated me no end that I had spun it up entirely and not actually done anything with it. My Dad suggested a shawl might be a good idea and I agreed with him. It was too rough and scratchy to go against the skin so a good shawl for poor weather or cold would be great over the shoulders. I decided using the pattern ‘Margarets’ Prayer Shawl’ on Ravelry as a start-off, using a 6mm hook. Instead of changing the last two rows at the end, I simply repeated the same row over and over, using a 3dc stitch per gap.

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As you can see, the shawl is pretty tiny. I am going to see if I can buy a nice brown North Ronaldsay fleece to continue it. A nice, two tone shawl in the same fleece breed. I don’t think it will need much blocking as the wool is holding its shape really nicely. But I do need to wash it as the wool is still slightly greasy and a bit itchy.

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What a lovely sight!

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I had a bit of a spinning binge and managed to spin up quite a few of the batts I had previously prepared. Using the unknown brown fleece I knitted my Dad a thick, warm hat for Winter. I had changed the pattern slightly because I did not like the way the ribbing looked when turned up for the headband. I ribbed as normal, and then when it came to the main part of the hat in st-st, I simply knitted the other way, making the ribbing look ‘right’ when it was turned back up. (Sorry if that makes absolutely no sense at all!).

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I also spun up some of the black shearling Hebridean fleece. Why have I not done this before?! It wasn’t very nice to prep, but oh my, what a joy to spin! I got three small skeins of wool and the colour is lustrous. I think the wool would look very nice in a fair-isle type pattern but nothing has caught my eye yet. The Gotland fleece was quite nice to spin too and the different colours were interesting when spun up. I plan on using some of this fleece to make some pin loom squares. I might get some Gotland when I go to Woolfest. (Did I mention I was going to Woolfest?!)

Yes, I quite fancy making another pin loom blanket, this time using natural coloured fleeces, all prepared from raw fleece by me. This will probably be an ongoing project throughout the year, rather than something I sit and work on. I really like the idea of another pin loom blanket. I wonder if I can ask Dad to help me make some more pin loom squares, but a bit bigger. My one is 8”. Maybe a 12” one might be nice.

My brother gave me some interesting sack fleece fabric yesterday when I visited him. (Happy Birthday, Franz! Eldest little brother is 25 now!). I had been thinking for a couple of days how nice it might be to try rug-making. (I can hear my family groaning now – ANOTHER hobby?!) I know a vintage stall at Woolfest sells rug making tools so I’ll have a look and see how much they are. Maybe a nice rug for in front of the TV – as long as A’s cats don’t destroy it.

My list for Woolfest –

North Ronaldsay fleece x 2, hopefully a brown one.

A small, white fleece.

A few interesting coloured fleeces, hopefully a fairly short staple.

Some ‘grab bags’ of fleece from the breeders stalls, maybe some more Hebridean and I would like to try Valais Blacknose. I’ve heard it is really coarse though.

A drop spindle from Spin City. Her spindles are beautiful.

A rug tool or two.

Some wool tops from Wingham Wools.

Silk Hankies from Wingham Wools. (IF they have any! Haven’t had them for a couple of years now).

Cheap magazines.

Alpaca from Wingham Wools.

LOTS of photos! (My Mum is the photographer of the family, she will enjoy doing this!)

Oh, I also designed a tote bag to take to Woolfest. I’m really proud of it. What do you think of it? Finally got around to using those dyed locks!

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Sewing the locks onto the penciled drawing.

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Backstitching the face of the sheep. I really love the nose. It wasn’t meant to be there, it was a slip of the needle, but it really works!

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Have a great day everyone!

xXx Love Kais xXx

Hi everyone,

It is now just under five weeks until Woolfest! Sooo excited! I am pretty much only going to buy raw fleece I think, and one extravagent purchase – a new drop spindle. I am hoping to buy one from Spin City. Her spindles are beautiful, pretty, glittery and oh, so many words to use!

I’ve been busy with my fibre again and am happy with what I have done so far. I still have a huge bag of Zwartbles to card and a white Shetland. Maybe if I have a bit of time on the weekend I will try and get it done. A good few hours of carding might build up my arm muscles a bit.

What do you think of this lovely Gotland?

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I bought this at Woolfest last year – 500g I think.

It went through the carder twice. Here it is on the first round.

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Look how lovely and wavy it is! I opened all the locks out by hand, it took sooooo long! Def. a bit of TV watching whilst that went on. I got five batts out of this fleece.

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This is fluffed up lamb Hebridean. I got a small 200g bag from Woolfest last year too. I’ve always been a bit wary of Hebridean but this one was lovely when washed. Unfortunately I got rid of about half of it whilst prepping it due to second cuts, etc. But I have got three batts out of it.

 

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This is the unknown brown fleece that I found tucked under the stairs. It felt VERY dry but carded up really well. I got three batts from this. I’m REALLY looking forward to spinning this one.

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Alpaca! Even with the amount I washed I still have been getting rid of about half of what I take out of the bag. In future, I will not cheap out and buy seconds alpaca. As you can see I have made some rolags out of it. I filled the box and when spun it gave me a heavy, packed bobbin on my Bliss. So, I imagine another box will give me a full bobbin again and I can get perhaps two decent skeins out of it. Even with the washing there is so much dirt coming off it! My hands are left black at the end of it, haha. My blending board has been getting some decent use out of it lately.

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This picture makes me very happy! I fancy taking some decent photos outside though, this picture is a bit blurry. I imagine this will be a lot bigger when I have carded the rest of the fleeces.

I also fancied doing some more dyeing. I used kool-aid again and used the white Shetland as soon as I finished washing it. I didn’t wait for it to dry, just put it straight in. I also left it all curled up instead of carding it, as I want the fleece to get a mix of colours, not just one solid colour.

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I pushed as much fleece into each bowl as possible. Each bowl got several minutes in the microwave, the dark dyes getting longer. The red ones were nearly impossible to get the water to run clear. When I spin it, I will have to give the red skeins an extra rinse. I didn’t rinse these in the washing machine, but left them to dry outside. I loved the colours the pink lemonade dye gave.

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My little work station at the side of the kitchen. My lovely dried, dyed fluff. Each colour made a decent sized batt.

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They were very easy to card. I decided to use a diz for the first time on my carder and made roving properly. I was so impressed with how easy and effective this is! Why have I not done this before?!

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Most of them I managed to get done with just one ball of roving.

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I spun up the pink one in the photo. Small skein, but sweet.

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Lots and lots of fleece! I still can hardly believe that this was from a manky Shetland fleece!

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I got this little machine at a charity shop in Ayr. It looks complete. It is a Simple Frame Knitter, made in the early eighties. It looks brand new! I can’t wait to try it out properly, but I’ve left it at A’s for now. I had too much luggage to carry back this time.

I’ve also done a bit more on my CAL. I have sooo much to catch up on!

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Well, the next bit of this post is a bit sad. My lovely Martha died a few weeks ago. She was getting on a bit and not really eating a lot. (Except cucumber, she LOVED it). She had plenty of cuddles towards the end and died in her sleep. I miss her a lot and it’s not the same seeing five chickens when there should be six. Love you, Martha. ❤ This is one of my favourite photos of her. Beautiful girl.

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This post is dedicated to my wonderful dog, Ben. On the 11th May this year, it was six years since he has been gone. There is not a day going by where I don’t feel like something is missing from my life. He was a wonderful companion and friend. He was taken far too soon and if he were alive today he would still have many more years to go. I miss you so much, Ben. I hope you are happy with your best friend, Bo, who was also taken almost exactly two years after you. I love you and miss you loads too, Bo. Words can’t really describe how much I want to see and cuddle them again. Maybe one day I will. ❤

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Ben – 2004 – 11.5.2010

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Bo – 2003 – July 2012

xXx Love Kais xXx

Hey everyone,

It’s been another couple of busy weeks which I have enjoyed. I managed to get myself a little part time job which I enjoy. It’s not teaching so it is far less stressy and far more enjoyable! I am still open for supply work though so at least I keep my hand in for teaching.

I’ve been using the past few weeks for some major fleece washing and fibre prep. Let’s face it, it’s Woolfest in six weeks and five days. I need to shift the stash to add to the stash. Am I right??

I found my much neglected blending board and decided that I really needed to get some good work out of it. I bought it at Woolfest last year and have made perhaps one decent set of rolags from it (the gorgeous red and black mohair fibre ones). I checked out what I had in my fibre box (which is MASSIVE) and decided to blend some merino 70’s/tussah silk with some dyed merino and some tiny touches of black mohair.

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I was thinking that the rolags were quite hard to take off the board and wondering how others seemed to do it so flawlessly. Turns out I was doing it wrong. As you can see from the above picture I’m pulling them off from the top. I should have been doing it at the bottom and then pulling the fibre DOWN. A real DUH moment!

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My lovely rolags and the blending board from Hedgehog Fibres. Love this board. It is just the right size for me. I am not sure if they sell them on their website.

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I love these. Looking forward to spinning them very much! They are sooo soft. Must be about fifty in there?

I also found some clean Wensleydale locks tied up in little bundles in my fibre box and thought that I would dye them. Why the heck not?

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Five bundles and five sets of colourings. Two of them are different shades of red, one is pineapple orange, one is grape purple and the one on the right is lemonade. That hardly had any colour at all so I added a green shot of kool-aid and it worked much better. I did my microwave heat set and put them to dry outside.

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I can’t believe how quickly the fleeces managed to dry outside. Even though I was forever taking them in and out because drops of rain fell for five minutes and then it brightened up again! The fleece on the left is Gotland, also bought from Woolfest last year in a 500g bag. I am loving the silvers and greys in this fleece and it is a nice amount to prep. On the right side is black Shetland. First cut and sooo soft and lovely! I’ve prepped one half of that so far and the rest is soaking in the bath as I type.

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And of course, I had to bring it in at night, so here is the Shetland at the bottom, locks in the middle and Gotland at top.

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Oh, the photo above shows you how I wash my fleece. FARRR easier than dumping it in the bath or a larger tub. Rinses quicker and uses far less water. I then put the clean, wet fleece into a zipped laundry bag and put it in the washing machine on spin cycle for 16 minutes. Then I hang it outside or put it on sweater drying nets in the warm conservatory.

I try not to leave them in the front room because this is usually what happens…

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After checking out all of my fleeces in the shed last week I had four left to process. I did one full one but had to throw away most of the second one. It was dry and just not nice. Not something I would want to spend time on processing.

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Here is one of the fleeces. It is quite a large sack on an average garden table. (You can see the chicken house behind!!) This one was quite difficult to take out the bag as it was so big!

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This is it, still practically folded in half! These Zwartbles sheep are HUGE! I think this was the first one I did, so the good one.

Anyway, I know this has been a rushed post but I hope to bring some photos of the processed Shetland, alpaca rolags and Gotland batts for next time. I need to go and rinse the Shetland currently in the bath at the moment!

Have a great evening everyone,

xXx Love Kais xXx

Hello,

It’s been a few busy days of crochet, crochet, crochet! I don’t know how my poor fingers are keeping up with it to be honest. After blocking my handspun blanket the other day, my index finger actually went numb. I couldn’t tell which end of the pin I was pushing in! I always use a ridiculous amount of pins when I block but it’s never done any harm, just taken a bit more time. I probably leave a less than 1cm gap between each pin. You can imagine how many I used for my blanket then. I kid you not, there must have been about a thousand pins. Ouch!

Here it is blocking.

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An example of how close the pins are!

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And here it is unblocked, still thankfully retaining its shape.

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I’m so pleased with this! After I finished blocking it, I found the rest of my handspun that I wanted to use for this blanket. I had four small skeins ready. I have put them in the order of colour that I wanted to use round the edge.

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I used only a simple SC crochet stitch around the edge. I also only used the first two colours as I felt anymore would spoil the simplicity of the blanket. I sometimes have trouble in knowing when to stop so I am pleased that I saw how nice it looked when I layed it down after the second row. I was also going to do a ripple stitch around but no. There was not enough yarn left anyway! I was playing severe yarn chicken and only ended with a couple of metres left from each skein.

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I have of course, the usual photos that everybody seems to take when they finish their blankets!

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I also finished my mini crochet square blanket and I think it looks pretty good! Very bright colours but cheerful at the same time!

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I have a small blanket pile now, I love it!

I found ANOTHER blanket that needs doing. It is a Christmas one, so at least I have plenty of time to work on it! I have done three large c2c squares and am over half way done with the fourth one. I plan on SC’ing around the edges with cream and then crocheting a top edge with ‘MERRY’ and the bottom edge with ‘CHRISTMAS.’ We shall see how that turns out! I’ll get photos for next time.

Have a great day!

xXx Love Kais xXx

 

Hello everyone,

I just want to say a quick thank you to everyone who follows my blog – I now have 101 followers! Thank you so, so, so much! It means a lot that people are following my blog, it must mean I am at least writing a little bit of what people find interesting.

I did start this blog off to show off what I have knitted and it just took off from there. People have witnessed my skills developing, learning crochet and my favourite, learning to spin. I have learned how to dye and created tutorials. I have created my own crochet patterns and learned so much about keeping chickens! So, once again, thank you very much for reading what I write.

So, what have I been up to?

Well, I am very excited to show off my, almost completed, hand-spun, hand-dyed, hand-woven (that was a mouthful!) blanket. I have spun all the yarn for it, mostly dyed it all myself and all have been woven on a (hand-made!) pin loom. I would recommend getting or making one, very simple, yet effective. I was looking through my wool stash the other night and came across thirty pin loom squares. I think I put them away because I planned on making a bigger blanket. But I looked at them and thought, ‘why not?’

I had already blocked most of them, but one was left. This was carefully blocked.

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I laid out all the squares on the bed.

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Don’t they look a raggy mess! I managed to sew them up quite successfully. I was very impressed with them really as, even after blocking, some squares were bigger than others. But the next day, the blanket got put into a hot bath to soak for ten/fifteen minutes. It was very heavy to get out! I rolled it into towels to squeeze most of the water out. I had already laid out a blanket and two towels on the living room floor and then placed a large piece of cardboard on top. The blanket then got some SERIOUS blocking. I kid you not, I must have used about a thousand pins.

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The squares look mostly the same size now and are mostly in straight rows/columns. I will unpin it tomorrow morning so I hope it will retain its shape! I even got my Mum to steam iron over it to give it a steam blocking too as it seemed to dry very quickly whilst I was pinning. Can’t be too careful, right?

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Please excuse the mess in the background. The blanket looks kinda of small, but I plan on putting a crochet border around it. Using handspun of course!

I’m very excited for this project.

I’ve done some more spinning. Some for the blanket using fibre I found under the stairs (don’t ask…) and some random other fibres.

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The top is Man Loughtan that was actually left on my wheel for ages. I decided it was time to ply it. This was from a fleece I bought at Woolfest last year, very clean and fluffy with lovely light brown tips. Prepped from raw, carded from batts. Batts were put through the carder twice.

The middle wool is Ryeland, also prepped from raw fleece purchased at Woolfest. This was bought in 2014… I think! This was an expensive fleece as it was so beautiful. Lots of silver and greys. I found some carded batts under the stairs and decided to spin them up. It is a nice, chunky spin. Dad wants a hat out of it, but I think it would be far too itchy for his skin! I still have so much fleece to prepare out of this though.

The bottom wool is Cheviot that I dyed with kool-aid, I think in 2013. So, a few years before it finally got spun! This MIGHT be going on my blanket, I’m not sure. Most little bits like this will hopefully go round my  blanket at least once, even if it is just tiny sc’s all around. I found LOADS of this under the stairs, all bright colours. I see some lovely spinning in the future.

What else have I been doing?

I was looking through my wool stash yesterday – look at the photo.

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Yep… I have a lot. The bottom one is full of fibre. Fibre I had completely forgotten I had. Carded Jacobs, angora, sparkly stuff, full braids. I am going to be busy this year as I am going to make sure that that box will be half empty by the end of December. The rest of the big boxes are full of acrylic and mixed yarns. One box is almost completely cotton and the top box is full of just handspun. I want to be able to knit from a lot of my handspun too. I have lots of fleeces to prep, so should have a lot of yarn to knit something decent with. Perhaps another pin loom blanket of natural coloured fleece? All from raw? Different breeds? Ideas, ideas!

In one of the boxes I found a load of crochet squares that I had made years and years ago!I remember crocheting around each square in yellow and then joining four squares together in red. It sounds bad, I know. I sort of cringed when I found it. I laid it out on the bed and decided hang on, no, it’s not THAT bad. I found some matching red, and crocheted the rest of the squares so I had sixteen squares attached. I went round the lot with red and now am working an SC around the border. I plan on doing a few granny square rounds (hdc3 in one sc, miss 2sc, etc). Then a couple of SC to finish.

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It is going to be a mini cot blanket. I’ll get a far better picture in the sunlight when it is finished.

I also remembered that I have seriously been neglecting my lovely Wonder Blanket CAL’s! One is much further on than the other and is only missing this fortnights stitches. I will see if I can do this tomorrow if I finish the above blanket. The other one is missing the last three weeks I think. Lots of catching up to do!

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I have completed almost four squares now! Attic24 blanket is slowly coming along. When I went up to A’s I took the whole lot with me so I could work on that and only that! It amazes me how much time it takes to do each square. I wasn’t best pleased when I left them in the living room on the sofa and Aya peed on them… I rinsed them with soap and water but they now STINK! They need to go in the washing machine.

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You can see the cool and warm colours emerging properly now. I worked on this whilst waiting for my train in Kilmarnock. An hours wait in the station cafe/book shop was well spent!

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I think that is all for now craft wise. I’ll leave you with a few animal photos ❤

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Aretha looks happy! They were tucking into boiled eggs with the shells still on. Absolutly lovely treat and it was a treat for me watching them. ❤

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The ground looks pretty naff at the moment as there have been a lot of heavy rainfalls. They still have plenty of grass, you just can’t see it! They have a lovely big yard though and lots of places to have dust baths and climb and just generally have fun!

Alfie has been giving us a few laughs lately!

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These dogs love their pillows, but Alfie took it one further. Pillow propped up against Freddy and he tucked himself into Mums cardigan and used it as a blanket/scarf. Sooo sweet! He slept for ages like that too. He has many funny poses – such as the meditation pose…

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He is fast asleep! He also sleeps like this –

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He loves sleeping on his back! Mind you, he is lying on his side with Freddy and me just now.

Look at them both – my whole world.

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I love Freds expressions ❤

Have a great evening everyone!

xXx Love Kais xXx

Hi everyone, new year, new resolutions!

I hope everyone had a happy, fun-filled Christmas and you got everything you wished for. I had a lovely Christmas at home with family.

Ok, I’ve been looking back over my blog, and disappointingly, my last post was on the 18th October. I have been so busy (I’m a teacher, for those who don’t know) that I just have been too tired to do pretty much anything in the evenings. That is going to change. I have joined a short blogging course that will hopefully get  me back into stride. For those who don’t know me, or have never visited my blog, I am aiming to just give a little insight into why I write what I do and who I am.

Let’s get started!

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I’m Kais and this is me demonstrating spinning. If you had said to me at the start of that year that I would be demonstrating how to spin in October, I would have laughed in your face. I didn’t even own a spinning wheel then. Since the start of 2013 I feel I have changed a lot. I am almost ravenous in trying out new crafts and finding out new things in the world of fibres.

I love anything to do with wool. I had read up on countless blogs and internet pages to bulk up my knowledge and give me the courage to try out my own things. I decided that it would be a good idea to put up my thoughts and ideas online just as others had done. I’ve always knitted and when I finished University, I needed something to do between jobs.

Once I felt like I got as far as I could with knitting, I wanted to go back, how was the wool actually made? Was every piece of yarn from a sheep? How could I make my own wool? When I mastered that with a drop spindle, I went further and got a spinning wheel. I went further back still and started preparing raw fleece, straight from the sheep! My dream now would be to go back even further and shear the sheep myself! Further back I would like to have my own smallholding, with sheep, goats and lots and LOTS of rescue chickens!

Then I thought, hang on, the yarn is different colours… so I got into dyeing. I got a drum carder and started creating my own coloured batts to spin.

This blog is for me to keep a good photographic record of what I have achieved and how I have done it. It allows others to see how I have done something and hopefully encourage them to make their own way in the crafting world. I am proud to say that I have helped others with their questions, just like I once asked others a while ago.

I feel that I am still on the right track for my blog, and have been happy with what I achieved with it last year. I have put up two free crochet patterns (which I am very proud of) and it helps me to revisit if I am struggling with something that I did before.

I’ve been looking at how I can further my involvement in the fibre community. I have started my own website, all to do with spinning, knitting, crochet, etc. It will probably not be up and live until the summer but I plan on doing it bit by bit.

Here are some screenshots.

I’ve learned a lot since doing this website and hope it will be helpful to those starting out.

I have also been working on my feather and fan blanket –

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Anyway, I hope this is a quick insight into why I write what I do.

Have a great day everyone,

xXx Love Kais xXx

Ooops, almost forgot to add – if anyone is interested, I run a crafts group on Facebook and you are VERY welcome to join! See you there!

Empress Spinning on Facebook.

Hello everyone, Looong time since last posted. I’ve not finished many items due to working constantly. I LOVE my job. Instead of doing the RICCT like I was contracted for, I’ve now been given Primary 3! I have my very own class! I love it so much. It’s a lot of work, it’s very tiring, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. It’s so much fun. I’ve had one day off so far because it was a snow day. We don’t get snow too often here but when we do it usually stops things for a couple of days. I think, over 70 schools in Dumfriesshire were shut that day. 10962010_10206032932888711_1769178435_n It doesn’t look too much in comparison to some places but it was a lot. We STILL have snow, a week and a bit later. Very slippery and icy on my driveway. My poor little car is still out of action too. We got it fixed which is great, but now the fan belt is playing up. Whenever you drive, it squeals and squeals. VERY embarrassing and very annoying, especially driving through a quiet village at seven thirty in the morning. I have to wait until Wednesday to get it fixed, but that’s ok. The chickens are not enjoying it too much. The first time they saw it they were eating it. It’s made them a bit mad having to stay in their run rather than being outside but they had a run yesterday and this morning so they are not too bad. So, crafty wise, what have I been up to? I’ve been working on this baby blanket for a while. It’s a bit longer now than it is in this photo. I love the colour scheme. 10923262_10205935491772744_7894774240871029137_n I’ve been working on it everytime I watch ‘Broadchurch.’ Anyone watch that? It’s fantastic. Next episode on tomorrow – eeek. Anyone been watching The Great British Sewing Bee by the way? I tried watching it last night but was very distracted to don’t know what it is going on! Will try again tonight. Right, so….I don’t tend to write anything negative on my blog as this should be a happy blog with nice feelings and thoughts. However, I was left disgusted with an incident with a seller I just have to bring it to light. I ordered a loom from a woman on facebook. Most of her customers seemed pretty happy, even if some did have a bit of a wait for items. Now, I had read reviews about this business before she came on this FB page, but I thought, ok, I’ll give someone a chance, it’s the best thing to do. This pin loom was cheap, so thought I would give it a go. This seller is unusal in that she does not expect payment until AFTER you recieve the item. Odd, but ok. I think this is because of what happened before. Now, do you still expect your item to be sent in a timely manner? I did.

I ordered it on the 2nd January. Told it would be posted the next day.

Asked for an update on the 7th January. Oh, it’s been posted that day. Annoyed that was not what I had been told, but ok. I even told her that if I liked them I would order some for my school classes.

A week later. Nothing. I messaged her. No reply

Two days later. Messaged. No reply.

That night I left a message on a public forum we are both on, asking for the tracking number or proof of postage. She demanded I take the post down and refused to answer my questions until I asked her again where it was. Apparently she had been in hospital and had not been able to do anything. And that she didn’t get tracking orders. Uhh, proof of postage is FREE. I’m sorry, but if you have posted this TWICE where was it? She was in hospital two weeks AFTER the order was place.

I had enough and told her not to send it to me as I wanted to cancel it. She told me that when I recieved it, (as she swore she sent it) I was to pay or send it back. I said no problem.

A week later guess what arrived? Now, if it has been the lost parcel fine, I made a mistake, I would apologise, but no. It was sent on the THIRTIETH of January, a MONTH after being ordered. Disgusted was not the word. However, I do not think she would have paid the return postage so I paid what I owed. (Postage was £2,80, but since I had cancelled the postage, I would have expected her to pay it to get her stuff back). When I got it, I sent a message saying ‘Loom recieved and paid for. Thank you.’ She replied, thank you.

So, a few days later I post up a picture of what I had done. Someone immediately commented ‘oh you got it then.’ I replied, ‘Eventually. Wasn’t posted when said. But oh well.’ And then continued to chat to others online.

This person replied, ‘Maybe it was a replacement?’ I ignored it.

So, then this seller comes on and comments under my photo the following – (now, all of these are actual quotes which I cut and pasted. NONE of these are changed in anyway, except names and ‘business’).

Empress27 , how very rude of you . As you know it was a replacement and secondly you had not paid for it up front, exactly the same as all my customers you paid when you received it. How can you moan when you had not parted with any money ???

So, just because I didn’t pay for anything up front meant I was less deserving of an order that I had placed??

Excuse me *************. It was NOT a replacement. I had in fact cancelled my order with you and have the messages to prove it. You said that you had indeed posted it. You had not. My parcel was sent on the 30th January which I can prove as well. Rather than hassle with posting it back, I paid for it. Just because someone does not pay for something up front does NOT mean it is any less important to send. I do not appreciate you saying it was a replacement when you know full well it was not.

And here is the message I sent privately.

  • I have messaged you on this more than once. No, I may not have paid for the item but that is not to say it was not wanted. I have tried to get in touch with you several times regarding this. I don’t understand the delay at all. Especially since you have told me it was already posted ages ago.
  • Anyway, it does not matter. I would like to cancel the order now.
    I have only gotten in touch with you on the spinning page because you had not replied to my other messages. That is all

And then, on the public forum she had the audacity to post THIS –

Wow, Empress27 such venom. When you first said loom had not arrived, i said i would post a replacement which i did.. when you place an order and do not pay up front, is there a deadline for items to arrive.? You really have a bee in your bonnet that it did not arrive within a week. I am amazed at the fuss over an £8 loom

Again, more lies. Here is my reply.

Empress27 – Please send me the msg that you said would post a replacement. Yes, I think that a month is a ridiculous amount of time to wait for a product. No, I was annoyed it did not arrive within THREE weeks. I’m done with this. Please do NOT contact me again.

The admin then very kindly blocked her. I hope she continues to stay blocked. They deleted all the comments for me, but then another started this morning from one of her friends. About not understanding why people moan about not recieving an order if they had not posted out any money. About how I have shot myself in the foot as she was a fantastic seller. About how I was complaining when it was ‘courier issues.’ Uh NO!

I am also a bit unsure why anyone would be grumbling about the looms not being posted or arriving as soon as they would like because payment is not expected or asked for until they HAVE arrived. Due to the grumbles *********** has now been taken off this site which is grossly unfair and the few that have moaned have now shot themselves in the foot. **** provided the spinners in this country with a great many fleeces and equipment to which they will no longer have access to through this great site. You can however still go through ******************* for anything you wish to buy from here and I shall continue to recommend her products because the quality outstrips any delivery delays caused by couriers etc

I then get a comment saying that the buyer should have the grace to wait since the seller waits for the money. Sorry, no. My reply –

This buyer had the grace to wait three weeks. Three weeks is the time I wait for something being posted from another country. It was not courier issues. At the end of the day, I had trouble with this and so did a few others. We shouldn’t be moaned at or complained about by others. We tried to deal with it our way and look what happened. Nasty comments from this woman who made up stories about me and so called messages that were never sent. That is why I am annoyed with her. Not just because of the waiting time.

I then got the comment.  ‘ Just not talking to some people I guess.’ I deleted the entire post because it was getting out of hand and I was sick of it. I visit this friends page and see a HUGE post where loads of them are moaning and bitching about ME and how unfair I was, and how sad I was that I had nothing better to do. How I was a troll, and how I was miss grumpy. How I was a madam who couldnt wait a week for a loom. How rude MY comments were. I did not turn to insults and patronising comments. How I didn’t even say thank you! Can you point out where I was rude in my comments, please? I just cannot see it.

And this next comment, seriously?? YOU started this on that post!

********** (Seller) I have just seen another post with someone else getting a hammering, to me if you have an issue pm someone dont do it public. They only do it in public so they can try to get others to back them. Trolls are vile. 

Now I can understand sticking up for your friends, but do you really have to get involved and spread it all over the internet? I was just going to completely leave it, but this is not good enough. They should be grateful I have not spread this womans name and her business over FB with the digusting way I have been treated, not only by her but by her friends too. I think it was a nice way to not take money until you have the item, but how long do you have to wait for it? Especially since you were told it had been posted TWICE! And what sort of a seller then blames YOU for HER mistakes? To me, a seller that makes up lies, has remarks like that on a public forum (such as when you place an order and do not pay up front, is there a deadline for items to arrive.?) I think you should keep well, WELL away!

I could have said so many more things on that FB page, but I DIDN’T. I could have said so many things on my FB for her and her friends to see, but I DIDN’T. And yet, I’m the one in the wrong trying to destroy someones business.

It’s a funny sort of a business that’s all I can say. And not one I will EVER return to again, that’s for sure. 

And the funny thing? The loom is not actually that bad. It’s solid, but a bit chipped in places, but that doesn’t bother me. It absolutely does what its supposed to do, and that’s good. I enjoy using it. And I will now go on and make my own. I’m going to paint over this one which will make it easier to look at so I don’t remember this awful transaction. 10984751_10206032929288621_1929440680_n 10984760_10206032924928512_1412954955_n 10965202_10206032927408574_1557501653_n 10962021_10206032925688531_1067826066_n 10947821_10206032926048540_107690931_n 10951431_10206032924648505_1990678869_n I’m only going to be using handspun wool for this one. I’m thinking of getting my white fleece out and dyeing it all with kool-aid to make a woven blanket. It looks a bit tartany, which is nice. I am in Scotland after all! Edited to add – First base coat added! I’m going to paint it with a cup of tea 🙂 1616408_10206035584595002_1609863435_n Anyway, I’d better go right now, got lots of books still to mark :p Have a great night. xXx Love Kais xXx