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

 

Hi again. 🙂 Thought I would just do another quick blog post about the blending board I bought at Woolfest. It was bought from the very nice people of Hedgehog Equipment. They had run out of blending boards at Woolfest so very kindly offered to send me one free post. I LOVE it!

It was sent very quickly and was wrapped well. I think it had only just been made too.

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So, of course I had to try it out straight away! This is some Shetland X wool which I had prepared from raw fleece, with some purple merino.

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It took a little bit of trial and error to get the rolags off properly.

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What do you think? All odd sizes and thicknesses but I enjoyed doing them.

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I thought I would try out some nice multi coloured rolags using some fibres I had bought specifically for it. Red and black mohair with some white sparkly trilobal nylon.

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I lay down red in stripes, and black in stripes between them. Then some red on top and then sparkles on top and more red on top!

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You can see which ones came off the blending board last as I find it more difficult to take them off at that point.

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I really like the shinyness of them all.

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All ready to spin and kept nicely in a shoe box, using the new spindle bought from Woolfest. (Hilltopkatie).

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Here it is all spun up! I am surprised how much yarn there is from it. I really, really like it. I plan on making some more rolags with this colour design.

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And here is the delights of using my spindle around cats! The look on Ayas face when I caught her chewing on it! Ah well. I will put some tape on the end and hopefully it will still spin as well!

Feel free to join my group ‘Empress Spinning’ on Facebook and share your fleecy and fibery photos. Everyone is welcome.

Have a great day everyone,

xXx Love Kais xXx

Hello everyone,

It’s the night before I have to finish the weekend and go back to work. I can hardly believe I have been at this job for about five months now. I love every minute of it, even though it is a lot of hard work. I’ve had a good weekend and feel like I have achieved a few things crafty wise. The photos that I will show you have been from the entire month of May. I haven’t had a great deal of crafty time, but I’m hoping to get more done on the weekends than I have previously.

I’ve been working on a crochet baby blanket. This one is SO beautiful I had to buy the pattern straight away. The words spell out ‘Your first breath took ours away.’ How sweet is that?! I am using Drops I love 5. It is 80p a ball, so I filled up the online basket to get enough to make this blanket.

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I’m using white cotton from a local yarn shop. It’s dishcloth cotton, but it is so nice to use.

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I also finally, FINALLY used my weaving loom! I was going to cut everything off, but then I saw it had loads of thread left to weave on. I grabbed some of my white cotton in the thought  of making some dish towels, but when the time came to cut it off and cut it into separate bits, I couldn’t do it, so now it is a nice, white cotton scarf.

I haven’t worked up the courage to thread it all back up yet…

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A couple of newborn crochet hats. These crochet up REALLY quickly. I did the blue one first, then decided to reverse the colours. I like the blue one better.

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I started making a sock the other day. I didn’t use a pattern or anything, just sort of made it up as I went along. I think the sole is too long and wide. Not too sure where to go with this. I will probably frog it.

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Look at this beautiful fleece! I visited a craft fair last weekend, but it was disappointing because it was so small. However, I got chatting to one woman there and she informed me that just up the road they had some sheep shearing demonstrations and spinning. Me and Mum went there straight away and we saw some gorgeous Zwartble sheep. I couldn’t believe how big they are! The owners were very nice and gave me one of their fleeces. It is HUGE. I took some photos of it this morning after unravelling it, but they are on the other camera. I have washed some (JUST remembered I have left it outside… I do hope it doesn’t rain!) and am just waiting for it to dry. It seemed to wash really well and was pretty clean. I look forward to carding it and spinning it.

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I thought I would get the trusty drum carder up and used for a bit. It has sat on my shelf for a good few months now, which is a shame. I raided my wool tops box and found some bits and pieces. The red one is a mixture of kool-aid dyed Poll Dorset sheep fleece (prepared from raw fleece) with some sparkly trilobal nylon carded in too. The blue one is a mixture of German sheep fleece wool tops, with some blue bamboo fibre. Also, with some white sparkly trilobal nylon in too. Both have been spun up.

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A very poor photo, but it is the two on the left. The two on the right are the darkest of the following photo –

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It is showing a blend of colours from white all the way to blue. Very soft and smooth. It has been lovely to spin too. I simply spun the whole batt into a single, then Andean plyed it together.

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It is a mixture of white German sheep wool tops, blue merino tops and white sparkly trilobal nylon. I am unsure yet of what to make with it, but I shall keep thinking!

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I found out my old vintage carders this afternoon after I had a sudden craving to make some rolags! I have some alpaca fibre that needs spinning but it was quite difficult just spinning it straight from the fibre. I cleaned these up the best I could and then started on the rolags.

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They do look funny in the box! I think I did fourteen altogether. I couldn’t believe how much easier it was to spin alpaca this way! However, it didn’t take too long to spin them all up. I’ve been looking at blending boards lately… they look fun!

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And here is the resulting yarn! Very soft, but my hands were filthy afterwards! I’ve left it drying upstairs in the bathroom.

So, that’s been my crafty month so far! Before I go, here are some lovely pet photos of the month. I LOVE this one, it looks like me and Freddy are just in the middle of nowhere – the grass and colour is so beautiful.

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Little man hiding in the field!

And a cute one of Aya, just before I left A’s house yesterday.

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Look at that face!

Anyway, it’s getting late and I must go to bed. I hope you all have a lovely evening.

xXx Love Kais xXx

Hello everyone. 

What’s been happening in my little world then? Well, I’ve just been trying to keep as busy as possible these past few days. It’s been hard, super hard, but I’m trying my best. 

I managed to clean up my room as best as I could, heck, I even hoovered! Haha, you can tell I’m a fiberholic, my room looks like the floor of a shearing shed! Anyway, I tidied up the best I could and I’m loving the neatness. Contrary to what most people see, I do like a nice, neat tidy room. I will have to put some photos up of my fiber/yarn/wooly stuff stash areas. 

Whilst I was tidying up the cupboards I found a piece of clothing; one of the first items of clothing I ever made for myself. I tried it on, and it fitted quite well. A little stretched, but then again, I have put on a little (!) weight since I made it a few years ago. 

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It sort of rolls up at the bottom which is super annoying. I have use a rib stitched edging, but obviously not enough. Ah well, it was my first attempt so I’m still happy with it. The one thing I did notice was that was my first time also of making stitches to make the edging on the arm and neck holes. I didn’t add them properly, but sort of stuck my needle under any bit of wool I could get it under, and knitted them off somehow. Of course, I know better now…

 

I bought the first wool in agges the other day. The local yarn shop was having a small sale and I picked up each ball of wool for £2 eac. I ADORE the colours. 

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I really fancy making some cute baby cardigans with them, I think something with a lacy pattern would bring out the colours beautifully. 

I’ve also done some spinning on my gorgeous Bliss.

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EmpressFibres hand dyed roving (Kool-Aid) in ‘Juicy Fruits.’ ( 😀 ) 50g. This was turned into… 

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Again, this is me trying out fractual spinning.  The long strands are where it has been tied up, and are not part of the finished wool. 

I also had a go at spinning this – 

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I called it Pretty Princess, because of the pinks and purples in it, but looking at this picture I should have named it ‘bruise!’ I don’t have a picture of it finished at the moment, but will try and add it later. 

I’d like to process some more of my own fleece and dye it with some more kool-aid. That way I could spin a lot, lot more than just 50g at a time. I mean, I have plenty of plain roving, and I could dye it with the kool-aid, but how awesome would it be if I did my own fleece, from scratch?? 😀 You never know though, I have plenty of kool-aid left over, that could be my fun thing to do tomorrow. 

Yesterday I had a go at making rolags. I have been desperate to do these for ages, and decided to have a go using the Louet Carders that I now own. I found out some of my coloured merino and had a go. 

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The lighter fibres next to the carder, near the top right are dyed rovings by me. Not sure what type of roving though. The blue was dyed with Dylon, and the two pink shades are with food colouring. I started off by tearing strips off and putting them onto the carder. I then brushed down the fibre to pack it onto the brushes. 

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I did this for a few more layers, and then, using the paintbrush, I rolled them off into a neat cylinder. The first rolag I did wasn’t as neat as I would have liked, but the second one was great. I then did a blue one, and it was… ok. 

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I tried spinning with the first rolag, and … yeah… it’s not something I plan on doing again soon. They look great fun, and so pretty, but spinning them isn’t as fun as I thought. It’s probably because I’m more used to spinning the fibers all aligned the same way, but with rolags they are sort of the opposite way – quite a challenge for me! 

Yesterday I found some fat quarters in my cupboard also. Some really, really pretty squares of material I had forgotten I had. I measured one out, and thought about making a knitting needle cover for my bamboo double pointed needles. I am pretty sure I thought about making this at the start of the year (see very much earlier blog posts!) but nothing had been done about it. So, I thought, why not? 

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I’ve managed to sew some bias binding onto it – well, some of it. It’s slow going because I’m doing it all by hand. I have got a sewing machine, but I find it a hassle to get it all out and set it up. Ah well, we shall see. I might get it out when I get fed up with sewing by hand. 

Talking of sewing, I’ve found out that I want to start learning to sew properly. It started with working on the needle case, and then looking at some beautiful quilts people have been making. Mum and I went to HobbyCraft today and I found some material there, for an advent calendar. It was £8, but reduced to £6 as the material was apparently cut incorrectly. I had a good look at it and it didn’t seem too bad. I think the material was just trimmed a little too close to the edges of the calendar, but Mum and I thought we could just put some bias binding or something over it to keep it holding together and looking nice. 

What do you think? 

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The left side is the calendar and the right side are the pieces that need to be sewn up to make some cute little pockets! I think this would look awesome in time for Christmas – there’s another challenge for me to complete! 

I also bought something else I had been wanting to try for ages – a mini mosaic coaster kit! This cost £2.99 and I thought it was so cute!

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It had everything needed inside. 

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I thought that it would be more child friendly actually, and have the actual sized pieces for the shaping, but no! All it had were the mini squares so I had to work out how to cut them down. In the end I used a glass nail file and some sharp scissors. There were plenty of squares left over, but not enough to make the same thing again though. 

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It worked up slowly, bit by bit. 

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Until I was finished! 

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It looks a bit of a mess, but I’m pleased with it, and it shall do very well for my cup of tea I inevitably have by my side. I had a tiny packet of grout to go with it, but I’m afraid I mixed it up too watery. The grout just did not thicken up 😦 Ah well. I put it on anyway, wiped it with a cloth, and it’s currently drying. 

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It looks really bubbly 😦 I hope it works out! 

Right, I’m off now – got this to look forward to! Mum’s meringue pie – MMMMMMMMMMMMM! 

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Have a great night everyone! 

xXx Love Kais xXx