Hello everyone,

I’ve feel that I’ve not done a vast amount of crafts since my last post but I think I have. I’ve tried out a new craft, washed some fleeces and done a fair bit of crochet.

This is a large hand made loom I made. I simply made this from the wooden frame of an old picture I found in the charity shop for £1. I marked where to put the nails in and then spent a good while putting them all in. (Took waaay longer than I thought!) I’m amazed it didn’t split the wood whilst I was putting them in. For added strength I added some brackets underneath the frame. As I make my second blanket I can see how the nails are buckling in already. I imagine if I didn’t have the brackets underneath it would have snapped already.

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Making these blankets is not tricky, but it requires patience – a LOT of patience! At each point where the strings cross you double tie a knot, really tight. When that is done you cut the strings at each side of the ties, but only half way done the strings that are there, e.g. if the squares are twenty strings across you cut only ten. Then fluff up the cut strings into mini pom poms. I wasn’t a fan of the pom pom side, I thought it looked quite scruffy and not the nice, neat pom poms I have seen on peoples FB posts.

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To be honest, it reminds me of a bath mat…

I much, MUCH prefer this side, the back!

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It looks really neat and tidy and the tassles at the side look nice too. What do you think? I think the ribbon sets it off nicely too, although you can use any colour. I have another blanket on the loom already, a simple white one. I’ve done 20 odd ties, but it is such a looong process!

I’ve washed my fawn North Ronaldsay – aren’t the colours lovely?

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I also ordered a black North Ronaldsay. It was more a very dark brown, with light brown tips, but it’s perfect for what I need. Both are now washed and fully dried, waiting to be carded. I had left the North Ronaldsay for a couple of days in cold water and I was worried I had ruined it. I found that it seemed to help the process and the fleece was less greasy that the other North Ronaldsay.

My fleece washing process –

1 – Hot wash with shampoo.

2 – Hot wash with conditioner. (If it works for our hair!)

3 – Hot rinse.

4 – Hot rinse. (If needed).

5 – Spin in the washing machine.

6 – Hang out to dry in a laundry bag on the washing line. The windier it is, the quicker it dries.

I might start putting a cold rinse for a couple of days though, see if that works. I’ll try it with an old Zwartbles fleece.

I’ve also been working on a CAL (CrochetALong) called the Groovyghan. I’m really enjoying it. I joined late, but I’m catching up quite quickly. I’ve left out the long pieces that go across the blanket but I’m making sure I do all the squares neeeded.

Parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

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Part 6, 8, 9 and 10.

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I love the colours! It is all from my acrylic stash and I’m running dangerously low, haha.

Want to hear a funny story? Well, not funny at the time!

Miko, one of Andrews naughty cats, went missing whilst I was looking after Andrew’s house. My Dad had come over for a cup of tea and we were about to go back to my house. I said that I had to go check on the cats before we left. I found Aya straight away and for some reason, I couldn’t find Miko. I thought she would be upstairs, so that’s where I went next. I was starting to get worried that she might have gotten outside. (They are house cats). Up and down the house I went, calling out her name. Dad joined in the search too. We upturned chairs and the sofa, stripping the bed, checking cupboards. Panic mde fully activated! It had been at least fifteen minutes of searching the house (with not that much stuff inside, he had not long moved in) to no avail. I went into the kitchen and for some stupid reason though ‘I have opened the fridge in that time, could she have possible jumped in there??’ (Stupid thoughts go through your head when you get worried!). I looked up just above the fridge…. and what did I see?

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I was pretty damn angry at that point so didn’t have much sympathy knowing she was stuck up there. Mean, I know! But I’m a panicker, so she had me seriously worried. Dad got her down and she hasn’t managed to get up there since, phew!

Ooh, something wonderful happened on the 1st July! They say pictures say 1000 words, so here is mine –

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My gorgeous fiance graduated with a 2:1 BA (HON) degree in Film-making and screen writing. I am so proud of him! I made the graduation with only ten minutes to spare as the trains had very odd times. So glad I made it, what a lovely day.

Anyway, I think I must go now, have written quite a bit!

Aretha says ‘byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!’ Gorgeous girl ❤

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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

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, 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