First of all, sorry it's been soooo long. Lots has been happening here, mostly good but some not so good.
So lets get the not so good over with first.
We are down to one little brown hen. Callie got sick again and we had her put to sleep, it was the kindest thing to do as she was not going to get better. Then Caroline got ill and died; that was pretty fast as I had made an appointment with the vet for her but she didn't make it. Miranda had a check up with the vet and has been pronounced fit and healthy.
I think that Carolines illness was related to the mystery puddle. It apeared in April but the water compay could not find out where it was coming from. They came out and dug a hole but said that the soil under the hole was dry!!!. They said that should the mystery puddle reappear that we were to ring them and they would come out tpo "catch it in the act". Anyway, it reappeared about mid May and the water company came out to take a look and do some tests which revealed that the mystery puddle was in fact sewage water! yuck!.
Hens had been confined to their pen as soon as the puddle was spotted, but in truth I think that they had probably drunk some of the puddle already and Caroline was just not strong enough to fight off the germs it contained. This was on the Sunday afternoon. By the time I got home on Monday evening there was a big hole in our front garden. They had dug down and found a broken sewage pipe and managed to fix it. They filled the hole in the next day and that was that.
Coldharbour Mill down near Exeter. We went on the Whitsun Bank Holiday. The weather was lovely and we set off quite early. Everyone came and parked next door and then we all went down in my car. I had cleaned out the car so that all the junk was gone and there was an empty boot for yarn and fiber....which we filled ....with yarn and fiber. lol! The boot was so full that we had to squish it all down so that I could see out of the rear view mirror.
The Mill was really interesting. We saw how the machinery spun the prepared fibre into worsted type yarn and then how the looms were set up and the yarn made into cloth. I loved the wooden bobbins, they were great. We had a spot of lunch with pudding which was very yummy. I had lemon meringue roulade, oh my, was it good, it was all home made as well. We all bought fibre and yarn. I got two skeins of Coldharbour Mills Organically Farmed Merino Wool 4 ply, one blue and one white to knit some Norwegian Mittens ala Elizabeth Zimmerman.
Firstly, I bought some alpaca fibre from a seller on eBay, 500g of white yummyness. So I spun up some singles yarn and dyed it a purple/lavender colour, here its is.
I've been knitting it up into an Ishbel scarf; the small version. Here it is about 3/4 of the way through.
Jeny's surprisingly stretchy bind off
Unfortunately the Noro Kureyon sock yarn that I ordered form Get Knitted hasn't arrived yet so I the Noro Pi Shawl has had to go into hibernation until it arrives. In the mean time I've been knitting my Ishbel but as that will be finished today I have also been looking about for something else. I got Weekend Country Knits out of the library recently because the knitting traditions of Shetland are really interesting to me and I fancied some traditional knitting and learning some new techniques, so, I'm going to knit the Old Shell Shetland Shawl which is a traditional hap shawl design in 4ply weight yarn. You start with the edges and knit in, so it should be a nice challenge, but with lots of garter stitch so not to difficult for in front of the telly/out in the garden knitting.
I ordered the same yarns as the book called for, some are from Jamieson's of Shetland and some are from Jamieson & Smith. Both types of yarn are what are known as jumper weight yarns and are used to knit traditional Fairisle and Shetland patterns.The colour ranges are wonderful and the yarn is lovely, I'm looking forward to getting going with it. While I was at it I also bought some skeins of grey Jamieson & Smith jumper weight yarn, 12 in all, so that I can knit myself a Pi Shawl of my own design. I have been looking for suitable lace patterns and there are a few that I have in mind....we will see.
Woodland Turnery over near Abergaveny. They had been restoring it for her and it was all ready to be collected and I wanted to see how spinning wheels are made so it was a good excuse. Clive and Joan were lovely and we had tea, chatted and had a look at all the lovely spinning wheels they had. They make Timbertops wheels which are beautiful (my neighbour has a Timbertops Leicester also) and there was a Leicester and a Sherwood in the workshop while we were there. The Sherwood was just waiting to be carefully packed so that it could be shipped to a lady who lives in Shetland. It's a big wheel so I couldn't fit it in my house, but it was gorgeous :-)
Really, that's probably it for now.
I'll try and post more regularly in future.