Sunday, 11 September 2011

Woolly Invasion!

This last week has been British Wool Week a celebration of all things woolly with woolly events going on up and down the UK.

In Glastonbury we had Glastonbury Wool Festival which was put on at Glastonbury Town Hall for the whole day with lots of stalls selling woolly yumminess. The High Street was closed in the morning so that a little flock of sheep could be run down but as you can see in the clip the sheep had other ideas!
The Guild were in attendance with Chairman Jan and I dishing out raffle tickets at the door, stalls with hand spun yarn and fleeces and a sheep to shawl challenge going on up on the stage!
The little dog was very cute and he was very patient. He supervised proceedings on the stage all day…he must have been worn out!
I treated myself to a lovely spindle and some fluff made of soya beans of all things; it’s just like silk but I suppose it’s vegetarian!
I’ve also been sewing but on the sewing machine I got for my 21st Birthday not Miss Jones (yet). This is the sewing machine I got for my 21st.
It has a good range of basic stitches and after taking it to the pub on Knit Night for a bit of a clean I’ve been stitching up a few little bags.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

How’ve I been…mmmm sew, sew!

Look what I found….

Cute isn’t she?

She is a Jones Cylinder Shuttle Family sewing machine serial number 73376 probably made around 1895/96; now that’s old. She was made in the Jones factory just outside Manchester in England. Apparently lots of these were made and they are the equivalent of a Singer sewing machine. Although usually found in the UK some have made it over to the US via antique dealers or, in earlier times, when people emigrated to the USA from the UK, taking their sewing machines with them.

I found her in a charity shop in Midsomer Norton in Somerset yesterday and have been busy finding out about her and cleaning her up. She’s called Miss Jones! she sews beautifully. She has a shuttle instead of a bobbin which I haven’t had any experience of before.

Here’s the shuttle.

Miss Jones also came with these little items.

I’ve been advise by helpful folks on Ravelry that most of the ones on the bottom right are hemers; they make nice neat hems of different widths. I think the top thing might be a quilter?? and the thing in the middle of the second row is a braider?? If anyone knows please feel free to share!

I have been busy spinning and knitting as well but more of that laterSmile

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Tour de Fleece–Day 11

Following a day of rest yesterday we are now on to day 11 of the Tour and this is what I’ve been up to this evening.

and now for a close up……

About 80g of my home dyed BFL, spun longdraw and Navajo plyed.
It's about sock weight and I’m very pleased with it; it looks like real yarn!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Tour de Fleece–Day 7, 8 and 9

For the last few day I’ve been busy spinning the pink candy floss fluff and today I finished it – yay!

And to ply it…..yes that’s right, I’m going to Navajo ply it of course.
So, week one of the Tour is done and dusted and this is the result chez Pearlesyarn. We have:
  • 50g of natural white home prepped Jacob spun longdraw and Navajo plyed; and
  • 80g of home dyed BFL spun longdraw and Navajo plyed.

By the way Pearlesyarn is a whole two years old today! That means that I've been part of the blogosphere for two whole years rambling on about my thing!. So a big thank you to all my lovely visitors and followers and to all those of you who take the time to leave your kind and encouraging comments.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Tour de Fleece–Day 6

Day 6 of the Tour and I’m taking a little break from the Jacob by spinning the little rolags I made yesterday from the pinky BFL braid. They are spinning up nicely and the colour is very pretty; I usually don’t do pink but I actually do like this. I only managed a little bit tonight as it was Knit Club and  I spent most of the evening in the pub knitting and eating ice-cream with knitty, spinney friends.

Not sure what I’ll knit it into though; its about 80g so may be enough for some mittens maybe?

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Tour de Fleece–Day 5

Day 5 and this evening I thought I would have a bit of a change from the Jacob so I dug out this.

It’s the BFL that I dyed at Lesley’s mums when we did the crafty workshop afternoon with tea and cake. As I am a bit addicted at the moment to my hand cards and spinning longdraw I carded it into these lovely squishy rolags. They are all set to be spun up tomorrow.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Tour de Fleece–Day 4

Day 4 – yay!

Ok, so I have today completed my first skein of the Tour – hurrah!

It’s only little though – about 59 grams of white Jacob. I navajo plied it this evening and I reckon it’s probably about aran weight. I’m pretty pleased with it.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Tour de Fleece – Day 3

Day 3 and I’ve managed about 40 minutes of spinning this evening which means that I’ve completed spinning the first 50ish grams of the white Jacob. I’ll ply it tomorrow :-)

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Tour de Fleece–Day 2


Day 2 of the Tour de Fleece and I have continued carding my Jacob fleece into graduated sheepy colours. I’ve carded another two batts; one is very light grey and the second is slightly darker.

I’ve also continued spinning the white; this is how far I’ve got so far. It’s about 35g so I will probably get the white completed tomorrow and may even get it plied although work is going to definitely get in the way!

More tomorrow.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Tour de Fleece–Day 1

The Tour de France starts today and so does the Tour de Fleece!

The Tour de Fleece is an spin-along during the Tour de France. The idea is that each day of cycling is a day for spinning - they spin, we spin!

This Tour De Fleece is being hosted on Ravelry here. This Tour de Fleece started in 2006 on the blog, Keep on Knitting in the Free World, there is another Tour de Fleece on the web as well but I'm going with this one.
This year, the Tour de Fleece starts today and runs until Sunday July 24th, 2011.

Basically the idea is to spin every day the Tour rides, if possible. Saturday July 2nd through to Sunday July 24th. Days of rest: Monday July 11th, Monday July 18st. (Just like the actual tour).

There are a load of different Teams but I am in Team DyeVerse which is a Wildcard Team. There will also be prizes awarded both during and at the end of the Tour. The purpose of the Tour is a challenge – to challenge yourself to achieve something and to stretch your spinning abilities, maybe learn something new.

So with all this in mind my challenge is to spin as much of my Jacob fleece as possible into skeins of graduating sheepy colours. It’s all washed and divided up into colours and drying on the line in the red net bags.

I started by carding two batts of the white part of the fleece.

Each batt is just over 50g.

The plan is to spin long draw then Navajo ply and to spin at least 100g of each colour graduation. I think that I'll have five or maybe six colours from white to dark brown/black.

Here is my progress so far, not much but I did do a whole lot of carding today!

More tommorow :-)

Friday, 1 July 2011

Not Glastonbury…..Woolfest!

So as the whole world seemed to be driving past our house to get to the worlds best music festival we were on our way in the opposite direction off to the worlds best festival for all things sheepy – yay! Here’s a blow by blow account of our adventure.

Thursday 23rd
Ok, so on Wednesday the road outside our house, which just happens to be the main road from Bristol to Glastonbury, was choca with traffic travelling south from about 6:30am to about 9:30am. So today, in an attempt to beat the traffic I was up early, washed, dressed, bacon & egg breakfast and car packed by 8:30am so that I could go and pick up Lesley before meeting up with Liz and Andrea and then off to Woolfest! There was no major Glasto traffic though – weird, but a good start.

I took my Traddy, some of the Dorset Poll that Liz gave me from Freecycle which has washed up really nicely and is quite soft and crimpy, a spindle and some washed Zwartbles, also from Freecycle plus the BFL that I dyed at Lesley's Mums (just in case!). These were my spinning supplies for the trip :-)

I got to Lesley's and picked her up about 9:15am then we went back to meet Liz and Andrea at Farrington Farm Shop where we had a nice coffee and slobbed about on the comfy sofas until they turned up. Then we had another coffee and off we set to Woolfest 2011!

Liz had her wheel and an impressive amount of fluff considering where we were going! while Andrea had decided not to bring her wheel as she had brought her knitting instead.

We stopped and filled up with diesel in Bristol and then set off up the motorway to Cumbria stopping at Stafford Services for a spot of picnic lunch and arriving at our lovely B&B at about 6pm……a nice leisurely trundle.

We dumped our stuff in our rooms and had a cuppa out on our terrace which had a lovely view of Derwent Water and the fells with Borrowdale right down the end of the valley. Then we headed off to Keswick for some dinner at the chip shop opposite the Moot Hall, very yummy. As it was still early we went down to the lake for a stroll by the water. The Blue Box Theatre is still there but it’s not a temporary structure anymore but a new smart modern building where the old one use to be and a big improvement! We used to go to the Blue Box when my sister and I were little. I remember seeing The Tinder Box there; the dog with eyes as big as dinner plates, scary stuff! and people covered in grey mud?! mm not sure. As Liz and Andrea had never been to the Lake District before we took them off to see the Bowder Stone; a very large boulder dumped by the retreating glacier after the last ice age, then through Seatoller; the wetest place in England according to Lesley (not sure about that); and on over Honister Pass, stopping off at the Slate Quarry and admiring the sheep, then on down to Buttermere and past Little Town and Newlands back to the B&B for a cuppa and some spinning. We went to bed quite late, well after 10pm which is late for me, so excited for tomorrow!!!.

This is the Bowder Stone; a Glacial Erratic.

Friday 24th
I was up early 'cos I was so excited! Here’s the view from our terrace. You can just see Derwent Water and Cat Bells is on the right and Maiden Moor behind.

I was up first and even well before Janice our B&B lady. We had a fab brecky with fresh free range eggs from Janice's hens and black pud and Cumberland sausages from a butchers in Keswick. Then it was of to Keswick so Lesley could raid her savings account and then off to Mitchel's to Woofest – yay!

There was so much to see and I was a bit overwhelmed to be honest, however I did have a good look at absolutely every stall. They were all lovely and colourful and full of wonderful stuff to do with wool and sheep! I particularly liked the three dimensional felt; little felted sheep reclining on felted grass and little felted hens – so cute. In the end I bought a Shetland shearling fleece in a light brown colour, some acid dyes and some natural dyes and mordent. I also caught up with my Mum and Dad and we checked out the Sheep Parade and the Phop Stand. Mum got herself a nice shawl pattern and I got one for mittens, Dad really liked the sheep. I then caught up with the gang and we went for a spot of lunch before heading back to the B&B to drool over our purchases and get some spinning in before the sausage supper and spin in later that evening.

Here’s a pic of the sheep parade.

We packed up our wheels and fluff and headed back to Woolfest for the sausage Supper and Spin in. The sausages were yummy and the sticky toffee pudding was wonderful…mmmmm. Afterwards we went back into the cafe as it was getting a bit cold out in the marquee and had a spot of spinning till about 9 o'clock then we went back to our B&B with my Mum and Dad for a cuppa; spinning and chatting until quite late. We had a lovely time.

Saturday 25th
Today was a bit overcast and drizzly and we decided that we had done Woolfest so we went on a bit of a tour about the Lakes! First off we took my Dads coat back to their hotel in Grasmere; he’d left it behind at our place. Then we checked out the Grasmere Gingerbread Shop and bought some Gingerbread, breathed deeply the Gingerbread fumes and had a look at Wordsworths grave and cottage.

We decided against going over Hard Knott Pass as Liz was not too confident about the whole business so we went up to Cockermouth across to Maryport and up the coast road to Alonby Bay for a bit of a blow on the beach. Lesley though we were insane as it was raining by now and a bit cold; she stayed in the car!

Here’s Liz and Andrea on the beach.

And this is looking south towards Maryport.

Then we drove inland to Cald Beck where the Wool Clip cooperative is based at Priests Mill. It was shut of course because everyone was at Woolfest (they organise the whole thing) but we pressed our faces against the windows to see inside – very little left as it was all a Woolfest! We checked out the other little shops and I got a nice knitting needle case from the antique/junk shop and we had a bit of lunch at the cafe. We also checked out a really nice little shop called HestaScene that had various fibre crafts including three dimensional felted items – bags, flowers and purses – very nice; plus the lady did felting courses, now there's an idea…..

Sunday 26th
Home today – boo!

But not before Liz and I took a little jaunt up Castle Head to partake in a bit of extreme spindling! A very kind but somewhat bemused man took our picture.

The view down the lake was beautiful. Andrea is going to live on the big island and we can all go and stay with her whenever we like.

Then it was off down to Windermere to check out the Bobbin Mill at Newby Bridge – but it was shut!!! So that was that and we headed off home picking up the motorway just north of Lancaster.

So we had a fantastic time, the landscape was beautiful as ever and the people as friendly as ever. Liz and I have decided that we want to do more extreme spindling and we will be up Cat Bells and Skiddaw next apparently! Better go dig out my walking boots and buy myself a waterproof me thinks!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Fleece Fair Report


Yesterday was the Annual Fleece Fair of the Somerset Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers.

It was a great day even though it did rain quite a bit as predicted by Radio 4 on the way down to Hatch Beauchamp Village Hall. I managed to arrive just after 9am and members were already there setting out the tables for the sellers and washing lettuce for the lunches.

We had the main hall full of sales tables for the fleece and fibre.

And the back room for demos of weaving, spinning and fibre prep.

We had Amanda Hannaford from MandaCrafts with all her lovely fluff.

And we had Sarah Harris and Mr Harris of The Spinning Weal with all their fibery goodness.

There was also cake, mmmm.

After being adamant that I was NOT going to buy anything I did crumble a buy a couple of small bags of Romney. It’s from the same lady that the Romney I have just finished spinning up was from; which is cool, as I got to tell her how lovely it was/is and to get some more!

And there is more to come! Oh yes, we are off to WoolFest on Thursday, yay!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Calling All Fibre Fiends!

This Saturday is the Somerset Guild of Spinners, Dyers and Weavers Fleece Fair!

We will have all sorts of yummy fleece and fibre for sale all brought to the fair by local smallholders and shepherds plus dyed tops and fibres as well. Here are a few pictures from 2009s fleece fair taken by Amanda Hannaford of MandaCrafts. That’s Amanda behind all her lovely fibres.

The fair is held at Hatch Beauchamp Village Hall in the village of Hatch Beauchamp which is about 5 miles from Taunton. Here’s a map to get you there and there are more details on the Guild website too.

Map picture

Thank you to Amanda for the pictures.

See you there!

P.S. DH has spotted that I haven't mentioned that the reason I am able to go to the fleece fair is that my wisdom teeth thing has been cancelled. It got cancelled yesterday and has been rearranged for the beginning of August. Something to look forward to!


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