Archive for the ‘spinning’ Category

Over the last couple of days we have been tackling the room of doom aka the spare room.

‘Spare’ makes it seem surplus to requirements – not so – we have both worked from home in that room, it is the main storage area of our home dyed wool, in various stages of  process, our dvd and cd library, and alas, a general dumping area.

The cats, Molly and Pete have been helping.  And by helping I means curling up and lying down in the middle of everything  – in Pete’s case, and playing happy adventures climbing through the loom and over teetering boxes with glee in Molly’s.

But, after many days, lots of sorting out, being ruthless, building shelves and reorganising, we now have a large space in the middle of the room – revealing the hideous swirling brown and orange nightmare carpet we inherited in all its ‘glory’.  One day we shall change it.. but it seems far down the priority list at the moment.

Ultimately our plans are to make a study / craft room.  With a big table to sew/model/craft at, my desk an paperwork mountain in the corner,  a little wood burner installed in the fireplace, the sofa bed will double as guest sleepage, and a chair so we can spin or weave or  knit or craft and keep each other company as we craft , listening to the radio or music etc.  I did wonder if I had over subscribed the room with too many uses, but now we have shifted everything about, it actually seems possible, as it is a large room, and all that shelving takes advantage of the high ceilings.   (Why do we have high ceilings upstairs and low ceilings downstairs?)

but before we play musical tables and set ourselves up there, we have to tackle our son’s room – or more to the point the floor – which is decidedly bouncey and if anything like the floor that came with the room of doom, the joists  will have been eaten by the delightful death watch beetle, and will need replacing – with all that that entails.

So – we have been opening boxes of things not yet unpacked since we moved in, and making decisions and freecycling etc, because the floor of my son’s room needs replacing. you know how it is.

There is a goal at the end of all this hard graft, and it is that craft room, with the wood burner and sofa and all the craft things… and then no doubt the room of doom will become the room of loom.

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Somehow, something has always cropped up to prevent us going to fibrefest, but this year we actually made it.

Just for one morning.. which was long enough for me to ‘accidentally’ buy some alpaca fibre for spinning.. and some pretty blue faced Leicester yarn.. himself bought a loom….  So now, with the looms we have been given by generous friends and neighbours, and the toy one I found in the charity shop… we are a four loom family.  Spose we had better do some actual weaving…

Fibrefest was great – full of people with similar mindset, and there were lots of sheep and alpacas to look at, and fibre to fondle. And we bumped into lots of folk we know from various knitting/downsizing groups. Ideal.

Home to lots of harvesting.. The beans have grown like mad with our trip away.. and we picked loads and loads.. and spent many hours slicing, blanching and freezing.  Six hours of harvesting beans.. I think I have bean slicers thumb!  (Hope it does not interfere with knitting and crochet !)

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I like it when the rain sets in properly, and you can stop agonising over whether its indoors or outdoors things today.

Whilst my son and I were doing the home ed thing: watching “Henry VIII: Mind of a Tyrant [DVD] [2009]"" “looking at banking and bank accounts, cooking and making brownies and so on, himself started to install the thermal store we bought back along.  Well I say install – more like discover just how beetle eaten the joists are, make repairs and put in extra strength  to take the weight of said store.

We had a lovely lunch of home grown salad with bacon and feta, and I spent the afternoon pottering in the greenhouse, practising tomato bondage, potting up things, sowing things  – all to the accompanying snores of the cat who had curled up there in disgust earlier.

No late working tonight.. so, once the birds are put to bed, and we have moved the chick coop to less muddy ground,  playing with wool is in order.

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hedgehog and mini skeins


After spending a bit of time looking for a random number generator.. I finally realised the easy option and put all the names in a hat.. well ok a paper bag.. and my son chose one.

So, something woolly I said and after some hasty stabbing (aka needle felting) last night, the prize is one of my hedgehog pin cushions and some mini skeins of  handspun Devon Closewool wool (natural, onion dyed and bluey greeny dyed), from our own sheeps.

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test skein for a jumper for himselfLast year, one of the goals for the year was to knit a jumper for each of us.  I only managed one.. But have higher hopes for this year. Well we shall see.

The problem with the jumper for himself, was settling on a colour.  He wanted a jumper from our own wool, dyed ourselves, and hand spun.  Fair enough – the ideal of being self sufficient in jumpers is very appealing! But he could not decide on a colour.

Not knowing how much yarn it will take, we wanted to stay away from a solid colour, as we would have to dye the right quantity to start with, whereas a blend would be (I hope) more forgiving. I like to blend colours on the carder, prior to spinning, and use at least three colours.  Himself became indecisive (his favourite colour is ‘warm’) and the jumper never started.

This year, I took matters into my own hands, choose the combination, dyed and experimented to get the right colours, blended the batt, and the finished skein was produced and himself approves.

I’m stalling now.. on knitting a test piece.   I love how the wool looks in skein form… what if it does not look so nice knitted up….

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