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

 

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Hello everyone, I hope the weekend is going well.

Been really windy here today with rain coming down hard at times. Then hot sun! It’s been a big mix of weather today! I have had a lovely, lazy day and feel quite relaxed. It’s been lovely having a day where I’ve not had to go out or do anything.

Let’s have a look at what has been covered this week then.

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I started making a little crochet cardigan I had seen on Ravelry.

Baby Girl Cardigan

I followed most of the pattern but changed it a little to suit what I was doing. Instead of adding sleeves I did some mini ones to just cover the shoulders and the tops of the arms. The pattern wasn’t greatly written for the turning at each end of the shell pattern but I think it was written for people who understood how to crochet fairly well.

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This is the top before all the ends were woven in. I thought that it needed a little something extra…

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I’m really pleased with it – very dainty and girly. I added an SC border all around the edges.

Then I thought it needed another something extra…

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A small hat to match! I’ve been looking at booties to match for ages but nothing has caught my eye so far. I tried it on Baby Doll.

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The photo on the doll doesn’t show it up how nicely it actually looks. I’m really pleased with this. I wonder if I can make it in a bigger size? It seems to be a basic shoulder down pattern. I might try it.

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I also got out the big box of stuff that has never had the ends sewn in, buttons not sewn on, things not sewn up, etc. I managed to get several cardigans with buttons added on, lots of ends sewn in and an entire hat and booties sewn up!

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They are too big for Baby Doll but you get the idea. I love the Aviatrix hat and plan on making another one soon, I have lots of colours I can do it in.

I ordered these amazing labels from an eBay company ‘label-on.’ They were very quick in delivery and the labels are perfect!

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The labels had everything I asked for and look and feel like the labels you will get in your clothes. Perfect. I wanted them to go in all of the baby clothes I had made, just to give them a more professional finish. And I loved the idea of ‘Made By Mummy xXx’ being in my babys clothes! (Not that I am having a baby yet, but when I do!)

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I really am impressed with how they look. 🙂 I managed to get only five done today but I have been busy doing different things. I plan on doing some more tomorrow.

I have finally gotten round to blocking some of the pin loom squares I have piling up. I counted them and I have 28 so far! I have some skeins of wool lying around for this purpose, so there should be another few to add soon. I haven’t got any blocking boards so thought I would improvise with some thick cardboard and some towels underneath. I measure out 7″ squares and pinned them out. I only got nine done and nearly two small boxes of pins used! Some of the squares needed serious pinning out. My index finger on my right hand is soooo sore from pushing all those tiny pin heads in!

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A before and after picture. You can see how crumpled some of the squares were.

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So many pins!

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I love how uniform they all look now. I am looking forward to putting them together to make a blanket. I would like to make a natural fleece blanket once I have finished my dyed and handspun coloured one. The yellow in the middle of the three on the left is my first hand spun yarn. I knew I would be able to use it for something one day. 🙂 I really like it and it reminds me of how far I have come. The pink one in the middle on the right is also some of my first handspun yarn. Those squares do make me smile and give me such lovely memories 🙂

I must go now. I need my sleep! I have some reports for school to write tomorrow as well as attending my mothers work to help out with one of their events. I also need to keep calm about my P3 school assembly! The children and I have been practicing like crazy and they have been doing so, so well. I am very proud of them all.

I hope everyone has a lovely week!

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 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. 

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

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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.

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Later on, we all made felted soaps. 

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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! 

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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. 

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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…? 

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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. 

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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. 

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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.. . 

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And of course, my sweetheart. 

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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