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.


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


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).


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!’


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.


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!)


Look at the size of this drum carder!


I was fascinated by this huge loom.


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




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


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


What a lovely sight!


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!).


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!


Sewing the locks onto the penciled drawing.


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!


Have a great day everyone!

xXx Love Kais xXx

Well, do you want to see? See how the neat pile of material sewed up into a teddy bear?

Well …. I managed to sew up the body….


I turned him the correct way round, stuffed him all up, and with some difficulty, sewed the head half on. The rest of the head I had to hand sew.


He looks like  a proper teddy! I finished sewing him up, and then thought that he needed a little something extra. I thought about buttons for eyes, but there was nothing that suited him. I need to buy some teddy bear eyes I think. I found some ribbon in my sewing bag, and tied it in a neat bow around his neck. I thought it would be really cute if I made his nose match. I took a bit of the ribbon and sewed it round an old button, and firmly sewed it to his nose.

Here is the finished Teddy. What do you think??


He’s got a little fat tummy, and solidly stuffed arms, legs and head. I couldn’t stop cuddling him for AGES.

And you know what? I went straight onto making another one… This pile of material here…


Became this skinny fellow here!


He looks a bit wonky because I am not very good at lining up the limbs properly. They are all the same size though. I think he is sweet, a certain charm about him. I think he needs a proper black teddy nose, so I shall look out for some next time I go into town.

They both sit on the shelf, next to other teddies. They look very cosy together.


The rabbit on the left is a cuddly toy I have had since I was born. Bunny Girl. I’ve taken her on many a holiday with me. The other bear I got this year from A. He is called Benny! The two new bears look like they are holding their paws out for a hug! At a risk of sounding ridiculously soppy, I’ll stop, haha.

I’m not too sure when I’ll make another bear. Perhaps I should buy some new material. It’s lovely working with this material, and no way on Earth did I think I would produce a bear as good as I did, so perhaps I should invest in some other type of material? This was rather expensive at £12 a metre, but it was folded in half, so I basically got 2 metres. I’d also like to try making the paws and soles and inner ears with different material too. Something floral would be quite pretty. This is the start of a WHOLE new hobby. Oh jeez, the expense!!! ( Who am I kidding, I LOVE it!)

Spent a rather quiet day today just tidying up the house basically. The weather was shocking yesterday, but it had calmed right down today. Just quite cold outside, but with beautiful sun. I gathered up all my fleece from under the stairs and had a look at it. I selected the washed and unwashed Poll Dorset fleece to finish sorting it out. Three fleeces (Dorset Down Ewe, Hebridean and Jacobs) were left under the stairs to be sorted another day. I also looked through my stock boxes and selected four batts of Jacobs wool to spin up.

I bought the fleece upstairs and sat it on the carpet on a blanket. With the washed fleece, I was planning on simply picking it and fluffing it up, ready to be put onto the carder. I seemed to get rid of as much as saved which I was a teeny bit disappointed with. But, on the other hand, I’m not as bad as I was, and if I can’t card it, what’s the point of wasting time and energy saving it all? I picked out the long, thick locks and put them into a large bag, and the waste I put into another bag, ready to use for something else, whether it is felting, or stuffing. I tried to get as much done, but Freddy had different ideas!


He jumped head first into the soft pile and lay there, playing with his ball! I love it when he does stuff like that.


And then he fell asleep in it! How adorable is this?? I couldn’t bear to move him, so I just used the bits of fleece that weren’t trapped under him. He must have been there about half an hour quite happily. I didn’t get too much done, as you can imagine, but it was nice starting to get back into it again.

Did I tell you all about the wonderful swap box I got from my Secret Santa swap partner on Ravelry? Oh, it was stunning!


All these beautifully wrapped presents in one big box. I was sooo spoiled! I opened these last on Christmas day, slowly, savouring each one. Want to see what I got?


  • A sheepy cup and saucer.
  • Soya Bean Top
  • A GORGEOUS Falklands dyed roving
  • A ‘fat rolag’
  • Merino and silk mix
  • Merino mix
  • A bookmark
  • Stitch markers
  • A silk brick
  • Some teabags
  • Chocolate sheepy!

It was a fantastic present, and even though I don’t know who you are, thank you! I plan on spinning up the Falkland one when I have a bit of time. I’ve always wanted some roving like that, and the colours are beautiful. I think fractual spinning will suit it perfectly.

Right, that’s me for this evening. I’m off to go have a loooooooong, hot soak in the bath. Shame the bathroom is such a mess as we are in the middle of redecorating it!

Have a great night everyone.

xXx Love Kais xXx

PS ( Only 25 weeks and 5 days until Woolfest! Less than HALF a year!!!) xXx

Hello again everyone. 

Been such a busy couple of weeks, I feel I’ve had hardly any time to myself whatsoever. I’ve worked loads of extra time at the school lately since one of the teachers is off with laryngitis. Hope she feels better soon, I’m exhausted! Haha. Lots of busy time planning and sorting out things, and because it is December very soon, lots of Christmas plans to make! Urgh, I haven’t even had the time to think about what Christmas presents I’d like to get for other people. I won’t even start until next month. 

So, what has been happening lately craft wise? 

I was helping out in the charity shop again last week, and when I walked in, what did I see? 


Oh yes, mine immediately! I was very good however, and only picked them up once I had finished all my school work. There are some good patterns in there, and some I know my Nanny will LOVE. Even a few Alan Dart patterns in there – score! 

I get a little bored sometimes in the shop when it is quiet, so the last few times I have been there I brought my knitting along with me. I started this a few nights ago, using one of the massive Aran balls of wool blend that I had been given. 


It is the ‘Falling Leaves Baby Blanket’ that I found on Ravelry. The designer has used cotton yarn which gives great stitch definition, but I thought wool would be nice, warm, and snuggly. 


It is (the one I’m doing) 100 stitches per row, with a seed stitch border. Normally I hate seed stitch, but it’s working out perfectly fine. I’m worried about it being a little small, but I could always block it to see what it’s like after, and perhaps a nice, little crochet edging. Someone left a comment on the page about doing perhaps six rows of seed stitch to begin and end as it will match the sides better. As I knit on and look at the blanket, I can def. see why they would say that. Good idea. 

I’m using my gorgeous brand new needles for this blanket! I’m still so excited about these needles, they are beautiful. Someone one Ravelry was selling a case of Boyes circular needles in coloured aluminium. You know, the kinds with the detachable cables? I saw it, and just KNEW I had to have it. I messaged the seller immediately and within ten minutes – mine! 


I’m using the 6mm ones at the moment for this lap blanket, the red ones at the bottom left. The cables get loose from the needles occasionally, but not enough to come off. Quick tighten and voila! They are so soft and smooth and I adore them. I love the fact that there are little end caps too (the little pink things in the top middle) that I can screw onto the ends of the cables, so I can use the needles later, or if I want to put them away. Beautiful. I wonder now if I can get dpns in the same mixed colours. Then I will have a case of circulars, a case of crochet hooks, and then some dpns. I’m using my circulars as straights too. 

What else? I started spinning some ‘aubergine’ coloured alpaca the other night and finished it a few hours ago. 


100g of DK dyed alpaca. I got out some more of my own hand dyed stuff from under the stairs and quickly spun up some of that too. 


50g of Cheviot, hand dyed – Lucky Dip! This turned into… 


Slightly thinner than DK. When people say that their fibre decides what kind of thickness it wants to be spun, I used to think, oh, how silly. Now I know that it does happen, it does decide for itself sometimes! 

I am desperate to start dyeing up some of these silk hankies. I have plenty of oranges and reds to dye it with. Not sure if I want to dye them in full lots, or mix the colours up. I have about 100gish of hankies to dye. I might just dye them altogether. 


A few great photos to finish this post off… 

On a cold day, we made some porridge for the chickens. Didn’t they enjoy it! 


We also made some for Freddy. He hasn’t been quite right these past few days 😦 He started coughing the other night, and we thought it was because his collar had been pulled a little too hard once he was out on a walk. At night time he woke up three or four times just coughing, which is heart breaking to hear. He was very coughy through out the day too, but last night he was fine. And he hasn’t coughed again since I’ve been back. But the coughing was very loud, like he was choking almost, and sounded like a ‘honking.’ He wasn’t sick on any of the coughs which is good. We were going to take to him to the vets if the coughing continues but he seems right back to his beautiful, bouncy, adorable, energetic self. He is lying next to me right now, snoozing away, which I adore. 


Right, I’d better go now, I’m so tired. It’s only twenty to nine, but feels sooooo much later! Might watch some TV shows with a cup of tea and the blanket. School tomorrow, so early night too. 

Nighty 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. 


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


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.


Later on, we all made felted soaps. 


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! 


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. 


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…? 


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. 


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. 


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.. . 


And of course, my sweetheart. 


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 

Soo… I tried something a little different today. Remember when I said that I had bought some silk cocoons? (Cut ones though, I refuse to buy anything which is bought about by cruelty). Today was the day I finally decided to try them out. The silk is very long and thin and catches on everything. 


Cocoon fingers!!! (Childish but funny 😛 )


I got hold of an old picture frame which had been thrown away, and took the back from it. On this I inserted eight drawing pins. Not the best thing to use, but it’s what I had on hand at the time. I put a pin in each corner, and one in the middle of each side. This is where I was going to put the hankies once they have been stretched.


I then got hold of some fairly hot water and put into my individual dyeing jars. My thoughts were that I could keep an eye on each cocoon and watch it transform. Also, so that it won’t stick to others making it harder to use. I put a cocoon in each jar.


But I found to my dismay that the water was just not hot enough, and I didn’t want to make it hotter or it would ruin the jars. I decided to find out my big dyeing pot and filled it half full with boiling water and some clothes washing powder. (I read that somewhere it would help clean and degum (?) it).


I dropped them all in, and tried to keep them apart as much as possible. I tried to get a photo of them softening up, but as soon as the camera got near the lens got misted, haha. Once they were able to be squashed out of shape (pretty easily) and were kinda gooey I could start the hanky making process!


The cocoons were so soft on my fingers. I did recall seeing on eBay that people were selling the cocoons as as way of making your skin feel nice and smooth. You soaked the cocoon in some warm water, stick your finger in it and rub it over your skin. Sound odd, but it does feel nice! (Though to be honest, they stink…).

I took the cocoon and stretched it as much as possible and put it over the pins on the board. Unfortunately I don’t have photos of this process, but it was a bit harder than I thought it was going to be. I mean, easy to stretch, but not easy to get into squares, haha.


Very poor first attempt, but I’m learning, and I enjoyed the process. I did this for the other seven. Not all of them went on as neatly as I would have liked, and some didn’t even make all the nails. Patience and practice I think 🙂


I think this is all eight. I only did that many to see how it works. I have another 22 or so to go, so that can be another days work. I then took these hankies, board and all, and rinsed it under the sink. My head kept saying noooo, they will felt! (But of course it won’t, it’s silk, not wool!) They can get matted, but I took extra care and did it really carefully.

I then peeled the hankies off and put them in a layer of kitchen roll paper. then this was rolled in a towel and stood on for a couple of minutes to get all the moisture out. Once done, I undid it all, and voila! A set of silk hankies! It is still drying as we speak, but this next photo is basically it. I’m so pleased.


I don’t even want to spin with it, haha, I wanna keep it forever 😛 Nahh, I might try spinning with it tomorrow, we shall see. And if I make some more, I would like to try dyeing them too.

Overall, an interesting little project, but time consuming if you have lots to do, and not much to show for a lot of work. But, I found it interesting, an educational experience, and something I would def. do again. 10/10. I’d recommend it, even just to try it. But remember, get the cut cocoons, not the uncut ones. 🙂

And how did the rest of today go? I’ve got half my lessons planned, yay! Hopefully do the rest tomorrow. I also did mountains of washing and tumble drying, as well as folding.

Little Saffy is still here and she seems to be doing quite well. Her eyes were a bit stuck so I’ve eased them open with warm water and she has been crawling around on me. She has also eaten some bread and biscuits, which is great! And, the best thing? She tried biting me! Which hopefully means she is starting to get back to normal. She seems pretty weak at the moment, but hopefully she will improve. Such a sweetie.

Anyway, off to go do something else now, very probably wool/yarn related.

Have a great evening!

xXx Love Kais xXx

Post 2 – continued due to photos not uploading on other post!

I read a little e-book today about spinning silk. Well, I skim read it, and decided to have a go. Last time I spun silk it was so thin, it was just not enjoyable. And it was plain white. A while ago, I dyed some of my silk hankies and thought that these would be nice to try tonight. I tried to spin them as fairly thin singles, to play into a dk weight.

First of all, I checked out what colour of hanky I would like to try…


I decided on the ones in the middle, the darkish ones. I split these up into the thinnest hankies I could.


You should be able to see right through them. (I dyed these with kool-aid too, if anyone is wondering). They looked super dark together, but when they are split up, they become paler. You then take one hanky, and tear a hole in the middle. You then pull this hole wider, until you reach the edges of the hanky. Then you pull it a bit more, until it is as thin as you want to spin it, just like drafting wool. You can then pull the hanky apart, so you have one long, continuous piece of roving. (Warning, if you have even the slightest bit of dry skin on your hands, or a pulled bit of you nail, the silk WILL catch onto it – guaranteed!)


I really like how the colours thin themselves out, but merge so beautifully together. This produced a really gorgeous candy cane striped yarn. Once you have predrafted it, attach it to the spindle, just as you would with any normal wool.


Then happy spinning!



I love the effect of the colours twisting together.


One full spindle. I then Andean plyed it quickly, and skeined it up using my board.



Voila! Sorry about the horrible photo quality, but I just do not seem to be able to take nice photos using lamp light. I will try and get a better one tomorrow. But I can tell you that it is soft, squishy and sooo smooth! I just love the colours. This photo doesn’t give it justice.

Anyway, I might go try out some more silk spinning before I go to bed.

Night night all,

xXx Love Kais xXx