I thought that I might do a quick blog post looking at the sorts of fleece I have been prepping over the several years I have had this blog. I just love fleece!

Seeing all this fleece makes me want to just dive in and start sorting. I know I was complaining about how hot the weather was before but I’m now sorry for doing that and wanting it to be hot again! I could get soo much lovely fleece washed and dried.

What is your favourite fleece?

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

Hello again everyone.

It’s been a busy few months, hence my rather long absence from this blog. I’ve missed writing it but I’ve been rather preoccupied with work and such. From starting out contracted with only a day and a half a week, this past few months I’ve been working almost every day. Sadly, today was my last day. I thought I’d be ok but nope, the tears started flowing. The staff were lovely and bought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers. I’ll have to get a photo of them and show you. Some of the kids made/bought me cards and I got a few chocolates!

Anyway, it just means that I’ll have a bit more time to myself, after the holidays that is.

I got a summer teaching job!

I’ll be teaching foreign children English. I look forward to it very much. It’s going to be for six whole weeks at a residential school, which means six weeks away from home! I’ll be ok, but I bet I’ll be sobbing when I have to go. It’s down in England, in Worcester. It’s a beautiful place and only twenty minutes from my Nans house, meaning I have some family there so I’m not totally alone. There are great school trips the kids go on, lovely evening activities and the teaching will be fun too. I teach three hours of English a day to a class of fifteen children. The first few days there are training days for the staff and then the kids come in. I hope that it is single person accommodation – otherwise some poor person is going to have to suffer with my snoring!

I went to Woolfest the other day 😀 I’d waited 52 weeks for it!! It did not disappoint. The fleece sale was great and it had changed a bit too. Instead of the fleece checking table being behind the payment desk it was at the side meaning it was far easier to check. I didn’t use the checking table last year as it seemed to be too much hassle cramming in past people. I used it plenty of times this time! A few fleeces I would have gone for from first glance in the bag were rejected because the inside of the fleece was poor. I remember seeing one that was a high price for something so awful – badly felted and dirty. I bought eleven fleeces this year. I only bought seven I think last year from Woolfest and I used all of them up, so didn’t feel bad in buying eleven this year. Image

I can’t really remember which ones I got, but I will try my best.

  1. Shetland X
  2. Wensleydale X (shearling)
  3. Black Welsh Mountain
  4. Shetland X (shearling)
  5. Whitefaced Woodland (shearling)
  6. Badger Faced Hogg (or something similar to that!)
  7. Jacob
  8. Herdwick
  9. Ryeland shearling (GORGEOUS!!!)

I cannot remember the other two though. Absolutely gorgeous. One of the Shetland X’s was really badly packed but was only £2.50. I thought, what the heck? I bought it to check it out. It wasn’t anything great by all means, but I will get something out of it.

I was very surprised to see that it had been rolled up (or rather, squished up) and then held together with a cable tie or two!

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My Dad is modelling it for you in the picture, ready with the cutters! You can see why I went for it in the first place, with the nice crimpy bits on the front. I won’t lie – most of it was rubbish, but I got some ok bits from it. This is what the fleece looked like all spread out.

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Very dirty, very dusty. I haven’t washed it yet, but I have pretty much skirted everything yucky from it.

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Some good bits of the fleece.

My ‘get rid of’ pile and ‘keep’ pile.

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I got some beautiful Ryeland fleece. This was the most expensive at £20 – most I’ve ever paid for one!

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These pictures speak for themselves. Beautifully sheared, so soft and light.

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The size of it! It swamps little Alfie, haha. The bottom left picture shows the different colours on this one fleece alone!

I will have to put more of the fleece on another post, my eyes  are getting a little tired staring at the screen. I’ve washed a fleece this afternoon, a lovely Shetland Shearling X and it’s drying outside in the sunshine now. It was so hot this afternoon! I didn’t spin it out like I should have so it is still a bit drippy. Next time I shall def. spin the water out.

I look forward to carding it on my Classic Carder and then trying to make roving using the new diz I bought from HilltopCloud at Woolfest.

I also bought –

A diz (Hilltop Cloud)

4 x wool tops  (Wingham Wools)

Carded Cotton (Wingham Wools)

Trilobal nylon, both gold and silvery white (Wingham Wools)

Blue alpaca tops, 100g (Wingham Wools)

All in one Easy Dyes (ColourCraft)

Dye squeezy bottles x 2 (Colour Craft)

Extra large syringes for dyeing x 2 (D and T Designs)

Purple dyed silk cocoons (Hilltop Cloud)

Alpaca 250g

Gotland fleece 500g (Eden Gotland)

Alpaca seconds x 3 huge bags (Why Not Alpaca – I think!)

Felting needles, extra fine, size 38 (Karl Hof? or something like that!)

Knitting magazines (Charity Stall)

Wool nepps (Wingham Wools)

I THINK that’s all I bought from Woolfest. We nipped into HobbyCraft on our way home and I bought a gorgeous cream metal container – looks a bit like a bin with handles, but it’s very pretty. I will use it for my washed fleece.

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Oooh, I didn’t mention – we got some more chickens! They are called Grace and Martha 😀 They are both beautiful girls with quirky personalities. Grace likes to jump on your arm and sit on your shoulder like a parrot 😀 Martha likes demanding to be let out of the run and is first out on the grass!

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Hello, Martha! Rose in the background having a drink of water and Donna striding across the run! Gorgeous Donna 😀

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Grace at the back and Martha at the front, checking out their surroundings.

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An example of Grace sitting comfortably. She roosted happily on top of my hand for ages. They didn’t get on well with Donna and Rose for a while but now they are as thick as thieves and adore each other. 😀

So there we are – just a little peek into what has been happening the last couple of months. I’m going to go now and try and finish as much of this last sleeve as possible.

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This is just the front as an example. I’ve finished front, back and one sleeve. I’m only needing to do one last sleeve and I’m done, yay! I’ve never knitted an entire jumper for myself before so I’m very pleased.

Okey dokey then, have a great night everyone!

xXx Love Kais xXx

 

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a blog post and I don’t have much of an excuse for not doing so. I feel quite demotivated at the moment which hinders my writing. Anyway, I’ve managed to gather up all my photos for a pretty long post, so here goes.

Sarah-Jane

I’m very sad to say that my beautiful girl Sarah-Jane died on Saturday 12th April. She had been absolutely fine in the morning when I went to shut them in the run as we were going to town for a few hours. I had been in a great mood when I got back and I did what I always do. I let the dogs out and I went to hop over the mesh to let the chickens out the run and I saw her.

I truly believe she had had a heart attack, but the most upsetting thing was that I found her in the water bowl. (Their water bowl is a rectangular tub). I think she had died on the spot and fallen in, but in my shock I was thinking she had drowned so I was very, very distressed about it. Her top layer of feathers was dry so she didn’t struggle, she looked like she had just fallen asleep in the water, so I’m hoping she didn’t know anything about it. The other chickens had left her alone so I’m glad about that. We buried her at the bottom of the garden with the other animals. It’s a nice spot and in the grass where she loved being. We had a very happy eight or nine months together and I’m very glad that we were able to give her the loving home she was denied at such a young age. The fact that battery chickens are still allowed disgusts me and I would love to get them all banned.

I love the above picture of Sarah-Jane. She looks very peaceful and beautiful with all her feathers. When she first came she had no back or tail feathers or front feathers to speak of.

We still have our beautiful girls Donna and Rose.

Chickens

I love my girls to bits, I really do. I think some people can’t understand how much they mean to me. Since Sarah-Jane has passed we are going to rehome another two hens. We are undecided on their names yet, but I think they will be Grace and Martha. (More Dr Who companions!) I’m excited to get some more girls. We will be getting them perhaps a day or two after they have been taken from the farms, so the poor girls will be pretty traumatised. I hope my two show them that there is nothing to be afraid of and that they will love their forever home. They will certainly be spoiled! Donna and Rose were happy when I bring them out cooled baked potatoes. I always pop an extra one or two in the oven for the girls.

We have been thinking about making a new chicken run at the bottom of the garden. Their run is great for them just now, but it hasn’t got any grass patches. I’ll show you what I mean.

Chicken Run

They have quite a big yard to be in and the whole of the side of the shed. (It’s pretty big!) They can scratch and dig around for things in the dirt and stones which they love. There is an old ladder in there and they love jumping up onto the rungs (the ladder is on its side). I enjoy watching them have dirt baths because they look so content. I’d love for them to have some grassy areas to play in and I do take them down the garden occasionally. We are thinking of turning this area into a run –

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We have a door frame already made up from when we had a chicken house years ago. I am thinking of making a squarish run with mesh all around it and on the roof. Ideally I would love to make two or three little pyramid ‘arks’ to put in the run so we could leave the chickens there all day. They would have these arks in the run so they could lie down in them, lay an egg, rest in the shade, etc. And they would have the whole of the run to play in during the day. (And it would mean I could possibly have another couple of chickens!) It’s certainly a big project! I’d even make the arks too, I’d love to do that. I’m really enjoying the whole idea of self sufficiency. (Though I couldn’t live without TV or Internet, so I don’t think TOTAL self sufficiency is my thing just yet, haha). We have a huge garden so even a large run wouldn’t take up too much room. I think it would be lovely to sit there in the summer and listen to them softly clucking away.

So, the first week of the half term holidays A and I went to Blackpool! It was our first ever holiday away together and we loved it! We bought a Big Ticket and got into six attractions for £45 each. Expensive, yes, but if we had gone into them individually it would have cost £90 each! We went to Blackpool Circus (no animals, just very clever humans!!), Blackpool Tower (wowww! I even walked on the glass floor!), Blackpool Dungeons (scary but fun!), Madame Tussauds (a wax works exhibition), Blackpool Tower Ballroom (just beautiful, I’d love to get married in here!), and the Sea Life Centre ( I could stay in here all day). We stayed at the usual Guest House my family stay in, a wonderful place. The hosts are so accommodating and lovely, and it’s like meeting old friends when we see them.

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We were pretty lucky the weather was nice and bright during our stay. Look at the wonderful clean beach and the views! And yes, you may have noticed I’m standing on the edges of the glass floor and not the floor itself :p I did eventually walk across it though and do have photos as proof! The views were amazing. (Gosh, my feet are STILL tingling looking at those pictures!)  The top picture is in Madame Tussauds next to the figures of The Two Ronnies.

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Isn’t the ballroom just beautiful? There is always an organ playing whenever you go in. The guy plays lots and lots of music and it’s beautiful to listen to when having scones and cream and jam! I love that place.

There is A sitting in front of the figures of Andy and Lou from ‘Little Britain.’ Ever seen that? Hilarious 😀 Lou looks very upset that A dares to sit in front of his chair!

We mostly spent our time wandering in the town, around the arcades and on the pier. Oh… and that meal. We wanted to go out for a meal to finish off our holiday. Instead of rewriting about it, I’ll copy and paste the tripadvisor review. I was not a happy bunny.

My boyfriend and I wanted to go for a nice meal to round off what had been a lovely holiday in Blackpool. I had wanted to go to this place for ages. We chose what we wanted on the menu (myself – steak and ale pie with chips, peas and gravy, bf – hotdog and chips with coleslaw, mustard and sauce). We were told that there were no peas with the meal. Disappointing but ok. I would have thought they would have offered something else in place, e.g. carrots or whatever, but no. It took a very long time to arrive and when it finally did (even though there were perhaps two families in the entire place) it was luke warm at most. I literally had a handful of chips and a piece of pie on the plate and that was it. We had to go and ask for the gravy which arrived cold. My bfs meal was just as boring and came without the coleslaw! I don’t understand how such a simple meal order was not followed through. We ended up leaving most of the meal because it was awful. We will not be returning there again. 
We thought this place was like a Wetherspoons with the cheap prices, but clearly not. Wetherspoons give good, filling, HOT meals whereas this place gives the opposite. Terrible.

Ah well, the rest of the holiday was great! There is a wonderful wool shop just around the corner from the guesthouse and I always make sure its one of the first shops we go into. The first time I went in it with A he got bored VERY quickly so I just had a quick look and went back on my own later. Here is what I bought.

Purchases

I bought the stuff in the top right corner. Just some sewing bits and pieces. I also bought some teddy bear eyes and limb socket thingies. I want to try them out the next time I make a teddy. I haven’t been able to find them anywhere else and they were really cheap from this place. Urgh, why can’t this shop have a website?! No matter, I’ll stock up again later!

All the wool on the left hand side was part of a bulk deal someone was doing on FB. 50 balls of wool for £40 delivered. It did take a long time to arrive (due to lack of organisation on their side I think – but they did have A LOT of orders) but I was thrilled when I got it. The colours are better in real life. I’ve already started making an entrelac blanket with a few of the colours (one thing to tick off on my New Years list!)

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It’s a lot easier than I though. I’ve started a blue on it now, and then will be going onto dark grey. I’ll put photos up later. The middle right picture shows some very pretty fat quarters I bought from a charity shop for £1 each! Beautiful colours. I’ve no plan for them just yet but the fact they were £1 I had to buy them. And the bottom right shows the fun fur fabric I bought to make some bunny rabbits. I bought a lovely sewing pattern book from a charity shop in Blackpool and am determined to work my way through them. The pictures are beautiful. Last night I copied out the patterns onto grease proof paper, cut them out and am waiting until later to pin them together and sew them. I just need to finish making the skirt pieces for the clothes.

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I’m making the bunny on the bottom right. She is so pretty!

Ahhh… something I am very proud to show you next!

Dress

I made my first ever dress! I spent a long time trying to find some nice (cheap!) material to make a lovely McCalls pattern with. I found some in the local town and bought everything I needed. It took me a long time to pin out the patterns as I’m used to working with far smaller pieces. I made them seam allowance smaller (and I’m glad I did) and I made the zip bold red to match the top part of the dress. I have got buttons to go down the side of the dress but I’m not sure if I will put them on or not. I need to hem the bottom too. What do you think? Ok for a first attempt? It’s a size 12 and fits perfectly. I was so glad because I would have cried after all that work and it didn’t fit!

Fleece

I decided to get the last full fleece out from under the stairs and start working on it. It was a hot day so it was perfect. Look at the siz of the thing! I managed to get it sorted into four bags – best, middle, rough and bin. I wonder why it took me so long…

Fleece 2

The fleece was really yellow in some places but after a good hot wash it came out fluffy white. I haven’t needed to card it or anything which I’m really glad about. It just means I can start spinning straight away. I’ve spun almost a full bobbin. As I have that much I’m just spinning until two bobbins are full and then ply them together. The bobbin on the right is my attempt at spinning in the grease. It was … ok, but not something I’d particularly want to do again. I much prefer working with washed fleece.

Luxury wool

I gathered up all of my handspun wool and took a photo of it for a blog post I did for Woolmakers. If you want to read it, the link is here –

http://www.woolmakers.com/blogs/almost-year-bliss/

The last to skeins I spun are on the left. One is a silk and llama mix I THINK, and the other one is superfine camel. I hated doing the silk mix but quite enjoyed the camel one. Overall I think I much prefer working with wool than any other fibre. But I don’t know, maybe I just haven’t found the ‘right’ luxury fibre for me? But no matter because I LOVE WOOL! 😀

Ah well, I think I’ve pretty much finished the blog post for now. Just a few pictures left to round it off. 🙂

My beautiful boys. Isn’t Alfie getting bigger so quickly!

Boys

A quick picture of my gorgeous Patsy.

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She was enjoying time out of her cage in the hamster run. I put an old T-Shirt in there and she spent ages burrowing round in it. Fred was most puzzled seeing this old T-Shirt move!

And I know I usually finish with a picture of my baby Freddy but today I thought I would end with this. I don’t think it needs much explaining but here goes. This picture was taken in Blackpool in one of those photo machines. I’ve never done this before and it was something I always wanted to try. We got a set of two, so I took one and A took one. I love how happy we look in the photos and I always want to remember that moment. I want this photo to be something I look back on when we are both together and have grown old. I want this photo to be something our children one day see. It might sound soppy and silly but it’s just a little something special 🙂

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Anyway, I must go now. I have letters of application to write for various jobs I’m applying to. Wish me luck, I think I need it!

xXx Love Kais xXx

 

Hello again,

Not been too much happening here to be honest. I’ve worked every day for the last two weeks which has been really good. Some only half days but still, I love it. I was observed today during an art lesson and it went really, really well. Well, I think it went well. I kept in mind the points I had to work on from my last observation and I think I covered them all. I had a younger class and we all made Easter cards 😀 They had an egg on the front which you had to carefully cut to look like it had cracked. Inside was a chick and their notes to whomever they were giving it to. Some were amazing! Some were…. interesting! Such as… ‘To such and such, Happy Easter, see you on the xBox!’ I love working in a school 😀

Hmm, A was down here last weekend which was nice. We watched Hells Kitchen and a film called ‘The Amityville Mental Asylum’ or something to that effect. Utter nonsense and drivel. That should teach me not to choose such rubbish to watch. Or not…. Mum and I went to see some friends after we dropped A off at the station. The daughter was telling me about the exercise programme she had been doing called the ’30 Day Squat Challenge.’ Mum and I immediately decided to take part, and we are both on the 70 squats at the moment. I’ve been doing the same number of stomach crunches too. Let’s see how this goes!

She has some rats, don’t look at this picture if you are squeamish! (Please ignore how terrible I look in this photo!!!)

 

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I can’t remember the rats name but she was so sweet and friendly 😀 I adore rats.

Craft wise I’ve not done too much. I’ve done another couple of inches on my CAL blanket, and am loving the bright colours. It’s at the size now where no matter how much you seem to do to it, it never gets any bigger! I could do with measuring it. I’ve added some sides to my star quilt.

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I wasn’t too sure about the browns but I think they go together quite well. I’ve stopped there with it, and put on a brown patterned back, with the wadding from a quilt. The backing is very tight on two of the edges and doesn’t look too good. That’s rushing it for you :/ When I get back into it it might be a bit easier. I can see it with fresh eyes instead of late at night.

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I got a nice quilting book from Mum the other week and in it they had a bit on scrappy squares. I found the coloured cotton squares I had tucked away after the cotton square quilt and decided to use those. It took quite a bit of time making it up, and then agggges quilting it up. I wanted to use plastic thread for it but the sewing machine was just not having it. It would sew a few stitches then jam up. I changed it to white thread and voila! Working normal again.

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I quite like it, but I don’t think it’s something I will continue to do. Takes a very, very long time. I did three altogether.

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Can you guess what I made out of this little lot? Don’t laugh when you see…

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Pants! I saw this amazing tutorial about making your own pants and I thought, I want to try that!

http://sewing.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=sewing&cdn=hobbies&tm=68&f=20&su=p284.13.342.ip_&tt=3&bt=1&bts=1&zu=http%3A//comeandseetheseitz.com/2010/03/09/panty-tutorial-how-to-sew-underwear/

You had to cut apart one of your own pairs to get the pattern, and then I used the elastic from them to complete mine. (I have no stretch lace elastic  😦 ). I couldn’t believe how BIG the pieces of material were! Honestly, whatever size you are when they are complete is nothing compared to what you are when the material is laid out flat! I haven’t got a picture of the finished pants yet, but I am very pleased with them. Apart from the one leg elastic, every single bit was hand sewn, which I’m proud of. You won’t catch me doing that again though! It took far too long and was very messy, haha. When I sewed it on the machine I was really pleased with it. And the best thing? They looked like proper underwear! Haha.

I’ve done a bit of spinning too. I found some luxury fibres in the cupboard so thought I would have a go spinning them.

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I’ve spun up the bottom left which I think is camel and silk, and I’ve done half of the camel on the bottom right. Gotta say, I didn’t actually like spinning it that much… I prefer sheeps wool to this. I love the feel of the luxury stuff, but I found drafting this quite a bit harder. Can’t wait until I can get some sheeps wool to spin.

I bought some seeds from eBay on the weekend. I bought some cotton seeds! I got some lovely looking basil seeds free which was very nice of the seller.

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Tonight I planted them. I think I planted 24 cotton seeds and a pinch of the basil seeds. I’m going to leave them on my windowsill as it has good sunlight there during the day. Also, cotton seeds don’t need too much water which is good for me because I tend to forget!

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Right, I’d better go now. I’m shattered and I’ve got work again tomorrow. Nighty night everyone!

xXx Love Kais xXx