Archives for category: spinning

I’ve been very lax in my blogging of late, so felt I should show you what I’ve been up to.  I’ve been experimenting with new bits and bobs, including hand spun yarn and buttons…..

single printed buttons to spell out words…..’cosy’

hand-dyed, handspun BFL fleece…..

handwoven, tabby weave covered button.

possible design for cushion cover.

I’m also glad to report that Elena Costella‘s lovely yarn emporium is open again after all the dreadful flooding we had recently.  Elena, Leslie and all the willing helpers really worked hard to get the shop open again as soon as possible, so I hope everyone rushes down to replenish their yarn stash.

My loom is unfolded and ready for action.  I’m going to have a bash at some warp dyeing and have a folder of design ideas to try out.  Not all my activities have been wool related.  I made some yummy scones, using the River Cottage recipe, but replaced the cream with milk, and apple, rhubarb and ginger jam to top them off.  There was also some oranges in need of using, so they were turned into spiced marmalade.

Check out these bad boys!!  Big and crunchy on the outside and fluffy as a fluffy thing in the middle.

I was never keen on Rhubarb and Ginger as a child, but the addition of Apple made this lighter and really more-ish.

I spiced up the marmalade with some nutmeg, two cloves, and a little mixed spice.  I don’t like sweet marmalade, so the spices soften the sharpness of the fruit.

They are all residing in a wee cupboard in the kitchen, which Alan has renamed, ‘Bob Marley’……well there is jammin’.

It’s been ages and I apologise.  I still need to sort out my time priorities, but I’m working on it…slowly.   Around this time of year we are always on the look out for some special visitors in the garden.  We are fortunate enough to be surrounded by countryside and love watching all the creatures, big, small, feathered and furry, but there is one species that appear in abundance, practically overnight……..

I’m not exaggerating when I say that we get hundreds of wee toads and frogs migrating through our garden.  With all the heavy rain we’ve been having lately, their journey hasn’t been so difficult.  Usually we have to pick them up into containers and transport them over to the burn that leads to the lade where they will grow and eventually spawn.  However, because it hasn’t been too hot, there has been less danger of them drying out or hiding somewhere damp until it’s safe to move.  The only downside is for about 2 weeks we can’t cut the grass and have to be very careful where we walk…..not that we miss cutting the grass!

I’ve been spending a considerable amount of time in the studio.  I have been dying yarn on and off for quite a while for myself and as commissions, and the feedback has been really good, so I decided to take the next step and design some colour ranges to sell.  I’ve been experimenting and am really happy with the results so far.  My own handspun yarn is particularly yummy!

Once I had played about with some other colourways and different fibres, I sat down to work out how they would work together, and which yarns would be most suited for the collections, by season, project and cost.

Over the next wee while I’ll be designing patterns to go with the collections, and hopefully offering them in kit form, as well as individual skeins…..so watch this space.  They will be available on Ravelry, I am wildwoolwifey, and I will be opening a Folksy shop, too.

In the meantime, I am dreaming up some lovely handpainted warps for my loom, which I will be breaking out very soon.  I’m also knitting a long waited for cable hooded jumper for my hubby.  I’m using handspun oatmeal Blue faced Leicester, which is so soft and gorgeous, with brilliant sheen and stitch definition……my favourite fibre.  Other WIP’s are a blue cardigan for myself, which is nearly there, and tension squares of all the lovely yarn I have been dying.  I like them all so much, I’m not sure how I’m going to part with them.

Those of you who know me well are aware of my yarn obsession.  I try to kid myself that it’s all in the name of ‘research’ and totally work related, but who am I kidding.  I love the stuff.  So when I heard tell of a new yarn shop opening only a bus ride away, I was just a little bit excited.  I was crossing my fingers that it would be full of beautiful yarns, accessories and haberdashery items to make my head swim, and not an emporium of acrylic.  Don’t get me wrong…..there’s nothing wrong with acrylic, but getting your hands on anything but acrylic around these parts can be a bit tricky.

Well, Elena Costella Yarn and Fibre did not disappoint!  On approach, the exterior is classy with beautifully dressed windows.

one of the gorgeous window displays

Once inside you are greeted by the soft but intoxicating scent of lily’s and yarn.  It’s difficult to know what to do first, peruse the handmade buttons, grab and fondle the yarn of go straight for one of the big comfy leather sofas and just start knitting!

sofa heaven

Elena worked as designer, editor and journalist of everything knitting shaped at D C Thomsons for 30 years, but has thankfully, left all that behind to offer our area this haven to everything fibre and yarn related.  There is a knitting group every Wednesday night from 6pm-9pm, where chatting and cake are mandatory, so I will be trying my best to get along.  One knitter makes a special trip from Edinburgh!

And what did I purchase…..well I was very good and bought some lovely buttons for a cardigan I am making.

….and a ball of Noro Kureyon Sock wool, which is destined to become a crocheted summer shawl.

Elena is a complete delight and I wish her all the luck in the world, although I suspect she doesn’t need it…..her shop is FAB! And it goes without saying, that she’ll be seeing me again very soon.