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Monthly Archives: July 2013

Waterway to spend the evening!

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Doors are the window to the soul.

No, hold on, I think I may have got that a bit wrong.

Nevertheless, it is a generally held philosophy that doors hold meaning in the wider view of life. You know, “when God closes a door, he opens a window”, “doors of opportunity”, all that jazz.

Yep, I’m literally talking about doors; them things with the handles that separate one room from another.

Now, I’m going to hazard a wee guess and say that you probably take doors for granted.

Controversial, I know, but I find it hard to believe that we have a large number of door aficionados following this blog. If I’m wrong, I offer the heartiest of welcome to all those who can’t get enough of the hinges and handles.

I’m getting a little off topic here….

I certainly took doors for granted. I didn’t even give them a second thought. And if I’m  honest with you (and, dear reader, I will always be) it’s hard to think of something I cared less about than doors.

That was until I came home one day to find my door gone. Completely vanished. I thought we had fallen victim to one of the most specific robberies of all time.

I marched downstairs, livid, to inform my dear mother of the terrible crime that had befallen us.

There, in the unrelenting sunshine, stood my mother, giver of life, taker of dirty washing, elbow deep in dye, wool covering the most enormous make shift table.

“Mum! We’ve had a crime.”

“Oh, dear daughter? What crime has happened upon you, most beautiful, charming and intelligent of all my children?” *dialogue may be slightly misremembered…

“My door. It’s gone. I have no door. I am doorless. I am effectively living in a barn.”

“Oh… That…”

At this point, my darling ma gestured to this disconcertingly large table in our midst…

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Well… At least the aftermath is pretty…


I think the experience has left me more changed – I’m more friendly now.


I mean, come on in, my door is perpetually open.


Hot and smelly!

I spent this, the hottest day of the year so far in an indescribably awful smell and up to my armpits in filth. SO many horse flies and much interest and ‘help’ from the dogs! I have been brewing a very special type of home-brew. The fermenting fleece! This prepared concoction is now bubbling away nicely giving off the most awful smell. It is now ready to scour the fleeces I have queued up for this process.

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No detergent and no hot water and very little water in fact is used to cleanse the fleeces ready for spinning. The only thing there is a lot of is smell and patience! The safest thing is that there is no danger of felting the fleeces and it seems to me the most organic way to set about scouring.

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Here is a snap shot of a small amount almost ready to enter stage 2. We used these Suffolk fleeces to prepare the fermenting solution. They are being rinsed off ready to go back in the smell and slime for 3 – 4 days. Then they will come out clean! I then rinse them off and they dry. The fleece retains some of its lanolin for spinning which makes it easier to handle. The final washing as yarn removes the last of the lanolin and then it is ready for you guys to make wonderful things with!!

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My hands are 20 years younger after today!! The smell is dreadful but the effect on my skin is miraculous!!

Post WoolFest

Wow, wow, wow!! What a fab show that is. All those lovely creative people all in one place, and despite the torrential rain on Friday! Great customers full of inspiration and buzzing with ideas and enthusiasm. I owe a huge THANK YOU to all of them! PLUS the lovely wonderful tech editor Steph Boardman who literally saved the day. THANK YOU Steph you are amazing! Steph is so cheerful and hard-working besides being incredibly gifted in lots of textile ways. Steph helped me out and she has to be the reason I was still standing at the end! AND she helped with the pack up!! Friendship way over and above the call of anything. Oh, and one more thing……. PLUS she got me drop spindling! I have to wait till Fibre East to get the yarn off the spindle and learn to ply but look what I did!!!

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Now here lies a tale…….. On Saturday morning before the show opened I managed to pop quickly round the top hall. And I found a stand which brought me to a stand still! BEAUTIFUL turned wood pieces. I had to touch. Love at first sight…….. TOTALLY smitten. What ever it was I HAD to have it. ‘It’ turns out to be useful too!! Never in my life would I have considered a spindle. I have a wheel (or 2) and spin happily on them when I get the chance. Spindles are too slow and way too fiddly…… BUT I had to have this beautiful item. It is made of 5000 year old Bogwood Oak apparently. You can literally feel its provenance and life. It has me addicted. I am literally binge spinning now. Almost like punctuation throughout the day, a load of washing, spin, walk the dogs, spin, answer emails, spin, sort an order, spin, make some calls, spin, wash up, spin, pay a bill, spin, spin, and so on. Ok so there is not that much on there but I have never done it before and it takes a little learning, especially since Steph is not here to help (why not???).


Anyway apart from this the dogs are recovering from an exhausting show…….

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And I have almost dealt with the post-Glastonbury wash and our wet wet wet show stuff! So I am getting somewhere close to being able to face the barn where we literally threw everything in to deal with ‘later’ whenever that is!!

On ward and upward towards the next show which is later this month, FIBRE EAST!!

Can we have sun this time please?

Next week? Spin, dye, spin, dye, spin, dye…………… O and I have to knit some more samples and finish making a blanket and spin and dye and spin and dye……..and spin………..