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.

WP_20160624_001

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

WP_20160624_003

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).

WP_20160624_016

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!’

WP_20160624_012

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.

WP_20160624_010

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!)

WP_20160624_015

Look at the size of this drum carder!

WP_20160624_009

I was fascinated by this huge loom.

WP_20160624_007

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

WP_20160624_006

Wool!

WP_20160624_005

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

WP_20160624_004

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

WP_20160624_002

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.

WP_20160624_017

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.

WP_20160624_021

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

xXx Love Kais xXx

 

Hello everyone,

I’m quite happy my chicken jacket seems to be getting a lot of good reviews. I totally understand how some people might not like it and that it might interfere with the chickens natural way of movement. From what I have observed with my chickens, they are perfectly ok. I know that hens can regulate their own temperature, but if they don’t have many feathers I feel that anything that I can do to help, I will.

I have been getting up to quite a bit of spinning this week, notably my red and black mohair rolags and my North Ronaldsay fleece that you may have seen a few blog posts ago.

I went up to our flat on the weekend, and I always look forward to the train journeys. I usually (!) bag myself a table seat and this time was no different. But I came slightly differently prepared!

WP_20150925_003

I am utterly in love with the programme ‘Prisoner: Cell Block H.’ I cannot get enough of this drama. I’m on Episode 345… perhaps enough said, haha. Anyway, this was me on the train on Friday afternoon. My favourite programme, big headphones and some gorgeous spinning.

Let’s zoom in on that, shall we?

WP_20150925_004

There was quite a bit on the spindle, so I think I spun a tiny bit more and then wound it off. I probably got a few funny looks on the train but I didn’t care.

WP_20150925_010

The picture shows some of the sparkles, so that is ok. I spun a lot more at A’s and then on the way back I  tried plying it. For some reason, I plyed it the wrong way so that was almost half an hour wasted trying to get it back into singles again.

WP_20150927_004

As you can see, one ball was bigger than the other. I plyed what I could and then Andean Plyed the rest.

WP_20150927_007

I’m surprised I got it all on there, but I did!

WP_20150927_010

I felt very proud of this yarn once I had finished it. From rolags to completely spindle spun. I love the way it looks on the niddy-noddy.

WP_20150927_012

Not a great picture, but you can see the variations in colours and sparkles!

As mentioned, I did spin up quite a bit of my North Ronaldsay. I enjoyed quite a bit of this, but have been disappointed by some batts. The softer pieces seemed very neppy and I was forever taking bits out of the spun yarn. Very frustrating. But I persevered because I had not spent all that time to have it not work. I think I have a batt and a half left to spin, which should give me another decent skein of yarn. I love the colours in this wool.

WP_20150928_004

Plyed yarn on the left, singles on the right. As I do not have enough bobbins, I have had to do singles on the first two and then ply on the third. I then reattach the singles left onto the batts and keep spinning, to ensure that I have enough singles left to create another skein. I hope that made sense to you…

WP_20150928_005

I love, love, love this! I love the look of it hanging down and drying. One is ready and twisted up and another is drying in the bathroom. I am determined to get the rest spun up and washed tomorrow.

For anyone interested – WASHING 

To wash my skeins I tie them loosely using the end of the yarn. They are submerged into water with conditioner mixed into it. I leave it for ten minutes. Then I repeat it with fresh, clean water to rinse. I then gently squeeze the water out after ten minutes and wrap it in a towel. I stand on it to get most of the water out. I stretch the yarn to get out any twists and then simply hang up to dry. I would leave it for ten minutes to make sure it is completely dry before use.

WP_20150930_011

The yarn on the bottom left is my North Ronaldsay. The others are a mix of fibres that I took into school so children in another class could see where we get our clothes fibres from.

Anyway, I have lots more to add but this post is getting pretty big! I will be showing off some dyed Wensleydale locks and what I have done with it.

Have a great evening!

xXx Love Kais xXx

Hello everyone. 

I’ve just spent the last few days going over my room and giving it a massive clear out. I have so much craft stuff it’s overflowing! I managed to sort out all of my new bits and pieces into plastic boxes which makes it so much easier to see what I have! 

I’ve really gotten into my sewing, which I adore! I bought some simple lunch box type plastic tubs a week ago – 5 for £4. I bought some more yesterday too as they are so useful. I did have all of my sewing stuff on the table and in boxes and bits, all jumbled up. Not helpful when you want to lay your hands on something quickly. I’ve got a couple of extra tubs too. 

WP_20140907_010 

Excuse the socks and cups! 

Bottom up first column. 

1 – Lace, ric rac and ribbons. 

2. Scraps and fat quarters. 

3. Paper pattern pieces. 

4. The essentials – needles, rotary cutter, scissors, tape measure, chalk, etc. 

5. Elastic reel, alphabet buttons, large beads and teddy bear items. 

6. The little dress and shoes I am working on now. (Pictures further down). 

Bottom up back column. 

7. Christmas patches ready to sew. 

8. Teddy bear pieces. 

9. WIP little hat. 

10. Bias binding and velcro. 

11. Mini rabbit pattern pieces all ready to sew. (Been months now!) 

12. Tub of elastics. 

13. (Behind) Bra and skirt fastening type things, press studs, etc. 

You can see next to all the tubs a spice rack. I’ve had this for a long time and instead of spices I use them for other little bits, like needles, buttons, rose pieces, pins, etc. It’s really useful. I’ve also sorted out some of my fabrics to fit nicely under the table.

  WP_20140907_012 

It took me ages to find wadding anywhere at a decent price. I know I can’t get everything for cheap, cheap, cheap, but some places take the mickey. I went to HobbyCraft (about 10-12 miles away) but the wadding was £6+ a metre! Nooo thanks! I’d need several metres and there was no way I was going to spend £12 on two metres of wadding. When I was next in Glasgow I went to an amazing place called ‘Remnant Kings.’ It sells the remnants of fabric on rolls as well as other pieces. Ribbons, bias bindings, buttons, etc. Some pieces are very expensive obviously, but others not so much. There are some beautiful cotton prints there. I wonder if they do half metres…? Anyway, I found the wadding and it was £3.50 a metre for the thick stuff. Perfect. I only got one metre and I’m regretting it now…. why did I only get one metre?! No matter, next time I’m there I’ll get 2/3 metres more. It’s just storing it that is the problem. Maybe a vaccuum bag would be a great purchase. 

I’ve worked on the next little dress for a week or so, on and off. I’ve made the nappy cover to match, and made it without sleeves. I think sleeves would not have looked right on it. What do you think? 

WP_20140903_006 

I didn’t buy fabric like that – I was at a car boot sale a good few months ago and they were selling packs of fabric for a pound. There was a piece the size of a bath sheet in there of all these squares someone had sewn together. I imagine someone had been trying to make a quilt. Well, I didn’t want it as a quilt so I thought it would be really sweet fabric to make a little girls dress/top out of. I found some bias binding that matched it perfectly (from my trip to the Sew and Sew!) I sewed the majority of this by hand on the train and at A’s house. (I am sooo (sew :p) going to get a sewing machine at his house. I have turned the bias binding up at the bottom and at the sleeves so it is not so sticking out. I’ll need to get a photo for you. I’m really pleased with it. (Please excuse the tissues at the side – did NOT notice that when taking the photo, grrr). 

 WP_20140907_013

As I mentioned before, my local haberdashery is closing down and when I last went in it was 60% off. I was very good and only picked up these two items. I was charged £1.40 for the lot! One whole metre of cotton in red and white stripes that will make a nice romper suit and some gorgeous black and white cotton flower fabric which I have used before. I used it to line a knitting cable pencil case. I don’t know what to make with it yet.  

WP_20140907_014 

When I was in Blackpool I bought some fabric panels and fabric books to make up. Each panel was £2.50! EACH! Usually they’re about £8+ so I got a real bargain. Two books which look sooo cute! The rest are all going to be baby quilts. 

I started on one the other night. The only thing is, I had to pin down the sides quite a bit because the wadding was just too small. It would not fold in half so I ended it being fairly thin wadding, but it can be a thin cover blanket. I got some old childrens curtains from a charity shop yesterday and the back of them had the most perfect backing for this new quilt. 

WP_20140907_015 

I really like it. I haven’t sewn up one side as I needed to turn it inside out. I’ve seen some amazing quilts where they have been sewn around different patterns on the quilt itself. It made a nice effect on the back of the quilt. I’ve tried doing it with the machine and by hand but it just isn’t working for me. It looks good on the front – 

WP_20140907_016 

– But not on the back… I’m going to unpick it and see what else I can do. I’ve found a large cross stitch hoop which will stretch the fabric out at the back so it does not bunch up as it is currently doing. Either that or I’m going to take the back off again, sew around the different pieces (adding a thin piece of cotton on the back so I’m not sewing up the wadding as it will muck up my machine) and then sew the backing back on. We shall see. 

WP_20140907_009 

For anyone who is interested, here is the book I’ve been using to do my baby tops. I got the pants tutorial from online – 

http://www.danamadeit.com/2008/07/tutorial-the-perfect-diaper-cover.html

Here are some more examples of my WIPs. 

WP_20140905_001 

I’m still, STILL working on this blanket! I love it though. A is getting a flat in a few days (Thursdayy!!!!!!) and I promised him that one day this blanket will go on our bed. I doubt very, very much that this will be finished by Thursday but I will try my best. I’ve added two inches since this photo was taken. I plan on creating another half metre or less, then a border of sc’s, hdc’s, two granny stitches, and then a wavy border. Excited! I’m so excited for him getting this new flat. I won’t be living there but I’ll be going over there lots and lots! He is going to Uni to do film and media and it’s like ten minutes from his flat. I haven’t seen it yet, but A says it’s amazing and will be perfect for us…. we shall see on Thursday. I shall cast my eye over it and see the possibilities 😀 

I bought the best ever pillow cases at a car boot sale today – soooo true! 

WP_20140907_001 

A while ago I mentioned on one of my posts that I had bought a reborn doll kit. I realised that although I finished it a good while ago I’ve not put any photos up of it at all. I know a lot of people don’t like them but I’ve had fun doing this one, and would do it again. Just a shame at the £100 + price for the kits! 

Well, her she is – I’ve called her Christina. 

WP_20140907_008 

You can’t really see any of the paint on her face which is a shame. I’ve coloured her cheeks and lips and where her eyes are so it looks shaded and blushed. She has little veins too. I was using my phone camera to take photos so there isn’t any decent close up unfortunately. 

WP_20140907_007 

I love her little hands. The feet are cute too. The dress she is wearing is a knitting and crocheted dress I made a long, long time ago – when I was in my post tonsil pain! Made with King Cole Riot yarn. Beautiful stuff! The doll is weighted so it feels like a real baby. Hmm, well, I think she is a little too heavy – everyone says she is very heavy for a baby doll. The head is weighted so it flops back, as are the bottom, the arms and legs. 

I can’t wait until I have kids! Don’t worry, I’m not one of these strange people who treat it like a baby. It’s a doll. A doll for trying on the baby clothes I knit to see how they look, and then it goes back in the cupboard! 

WP_20140907_005 

This is the finished doll. The next photo shows the rooting of the hair. This took a good, long while and I ran out of hair and needles! I did find a few of my own felting needles but they were far too big for the dolls head and rooted like ten hairs at a time, which did make a big difference. The poor doll looks baldy at the back! 

WP_20140907_006 

Grr, this photos shows none of the colouring! It looks like how I got it out of the box. How annoying, oh well. 

WP_20140907_002 

Found this old WIP languishing in some bags of wool earlier. I don’t like the yarn I’m using. I think it’s a linen blend and it’s very soft but I just don’t like the floppy way it knits up. The cardigan looks good, so I should finish it really. Only the sleeves and the button band at the front. This the main part I dislike – 

WP_20140907_003 

This is where you have to do a YO to create the sleeves. Oh well. 

Right, I’d better go now. Find something to do! I might do some more sewing. I sit in front of my bedroom window looking outside whilst I sew. It’s a beautiful view over a river at the back. You can see England from my window right at the back. 

WP_20140907_011 

Have a great night everyone! 

xXx Love Kais xXx 

Hello again! 

It’s been such a long time since I posted. Just want to apologise to those who have commented on my posts, I’m very sorry for not replying, it’s very unlike me. Also, for those whos blogs I regularly comment on too, I apologise, I’m not ignoring anyone, I just haven’t been on here for a while. It’s been a hectic month for me, and the past few weeks have been quite stressful. I hope to resume normal service soon! 

Well, first things first. In the last couple of weeks I’ve been asked to take my spinning with me to various places 😀 One is to my Mums work, to show them how spinning works, as part of an ‘alternative art’ session. The guys and girls there absolutely loved it and everyone tried their best. I started off with some examples of what I had for them to try, and started off people using the spinning wheel. I used my Bliss. Instead of allowing them to try with sheep fleece to spin, I simply threaded it with some red acrylic yarn, so they could understand the feeling of spinning, without the hassle of concentrating on holding it properly. Some were very good and got hold of the motion of the wheel straight away. Others had me pushing the wheel for them whilst they felt the treadle go up and down. 

My Mum assisted them with the drum carder whilst I supported the spinning wheel. Some of the clients loved the carder and were fascinated by blending the merino colours together. 

Image

I spun up one batt of wool that one of them had blended. 

Image

All in all it was an enjoyable afternoon. I was due to go to a school the next day, and being the lazy person I am, I left the spinning equipment in the car overnight. I’m sooo glad I did! I asked the Head of this school if I were allowed to give a lesson on spinning and let them have a go, and she said yes! 

The kids LOVED it. They all got their iPads out (the school gives all the pupils iPads) and were filming each other spinning, like awesome reporters. I was very impressed. 

To start off with, I put all the different kinds of fibres I had in the middle of the table and had the children sit/stand around it. (Only 12 in the class that day). We discussed the various types of fibres and how each is prepared. They looked at plastic, silk cocoons and hankies, llama, alpaca and wool.

Image

Later on, we all made felted soaps. 

Image

I love the one in the top right hand corner, the white one with purple felted bits on top. I was very impressed with that. They all seemed to have great fun and all participated very eagerly. 

What else has been going on? Oh, I came back the other night from a party, and Mum gave me three huge bags of wool that someone had given her from work. I LOVE rummaging in wool bags, you never know what you might find! 

Image

Freddy very kindly helped me bring it all upstairs. His contribution is the wool on the top of the bags 😀 There was a massive amount. Most of it was acrylic, old acrylic, with some wool blends, all in different thicknesses. Plenty of new balls there, which is awesome. Two huge new balls of Aran wool. There was also loads of mohair too; I LOVE the bright pinks. 

Image

Acrylics in top left, (going to be awesome just right for my blanket and some the same kind as I buy anyway), chunky yarns at top right, Aran at bottom left, and mohair at bottom right. 

Oooh, and something else amazing at the bottom of the last bag…? 

Image

A whole set of bamboo needles! I haven’t used straight bamboo needles before, preferring to use metal ones. I shall have a go with bamboo ones next time I think. (I use bamboo ones for knitting in the round though… weird!) 

I also got my next order from Wingham Wools. 100g of silk hankies (YAY! Can’t wait to dye these. Just need to buy some more Kool-Aid now), 100g of mushroom alpaca tops, 100g of aubergine alpaca tops, 100g of jute tops, 100g of trilobal nylon sparkly stuff, and a small book on the history of spinning. Thought it might be useful next time I teach spinning and stuff. 

Image

Oh, went to the same school again that I taught spinning at, and this time we tried some lollypop stick weaving. They loved it! Some got the hang of it straight away, others needed a little more help. But they all made an average of three sets each. Don’t you think this is wonderful? I plan on trying to make it into a big hanging when I have some more time. 

Image

I think I may do this with one of my own classes if we have time. 

Here are some photos which made me smile this past couple of weeks.. . 

Image

And of course, my sweetheart. 

Image

That’s all for now. I hope to come back with some more knitting/crochet projects later on, kinda lost my mojo at the moment 😦 Sucks when that happens. I kinda feel like spinning, but at the moment that would mean getting out of bed which I’m not prepared to do right now, haha. 

Have a great evening everyone. 

xXx Love Kais xXx