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Author Archives: MiniBean

Chock full of Wonderwool

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I know, I know, I’m massively late in the game to offer my thoughts on Wonderwool, but you know what they say; better late than never!

I managed to take my surprisingly enthusiastic fiancé along this year and we both found it a haven of inspiration, craftsmanship and encouragement. The calibre of stall was high, as it is every year, and it was a treat to show someone who’d never been before the sights and sounds. It also gave me an excuse to try a wealth of cakes that in the past I had somehow always missed. (He had a strawberry tart, I had a delectable brownie).

The wall of colour!

The wall of colour!

It was very hard not to be involved from start to finish this year, and walking away from Mum to go home in the evening was something I found incredibly difficult. It’s funny how much you can get used to a place, to seeing the same people, being in the same spot, watching the same things. Waking up on Sunday in my nice warm bed, knowing that I wouldn’t be greeted by the traders’ warm faces and a hot cup of Welsh coffee was something that I don’t think I’ll be able to cope with next year. I’ll have to get my act together and help out properly.

A busy moment....

A busy moment….

However, we did manage to have a good look around, see old favourites and discover some new ones. I loved having a nose around the new hall, and it’s so nice to see such a range of dynamic stalls.

It encouraged me to pick up my spindle, and almost every evening I’ve been home since, I’ve enjoyed continuing to learn. It’s something I’m looking forward to carrying on with it when it gets too hot to carry on with my chunky jumper. Yes it will get hot, one day soon! I’m holding out hope…

At a quieter moment...

At a quieter moment 🙂

Dog babies.

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Cor blimey! This has turned into nothing but puppy palace.

Ah well, if you can’t beat them, join them.

p.s. I still very much love the puppies, and it’s sad but also incredibly relieving to see them finding homes already. Living with thirteen dogs is getting somewhat challenging…

Slugs and snails and puppy dog’s tails

Hello there.

It’s been a while since you heard from me. I’ve undergone a massive career change, and to say that it’s kept me busy is somewhat of an understatement.

I’ve had a quick look over the past few entries, and it would seem that you guys have been overrun with puppy portraits, but nevertheless on their week birthday, I thought that it was high time I waded in and shared a few pictures, too:

They’re unbelievably small and delightful.

At the moment I want to keep them all, but I’m sure that in a week’s time I’ll be playing a different tune.

When they were being born, this time last week, it was disgusting and amazing in equal part. On the whole, I’m not completely sold on the whole birth/miracle of life thing. It all seems a little bit yucky. Lace didn’t seem to be too sold on it either…

All change!

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Well, the season’s are a changing and so is everything here at JBHQ.

Today has been one of those days where anything seemed possible. We began the day with torrential downpours, and ended it with beautiful blue skies.

Some people were not too impressed with the former:

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 Britain eh? Who can beat it.

Mum has also decided to go for a change and get a full fringe which looks great.

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New season =  new hair!

We’ve also been busy putting the Etsy shop back online, so do head over for a butcher’s.

We’ve uploaded all the Jacob/Shetland/Alpaca that was launched at the shows this year, so that lovely shawl/jumper/cardigan/hat that’s been in your queue for yonks can get underway!

As ever, we’ve got limited stocks, so get your skates on, and remember, we post anywhere in the world!

Adios lovely readers, you’ll no doubt be hearing from Mother shortly!

Peace,

MJx

A hole lot of lace!

“I consider lace to be one of the prettiest imitations ever made of the fantasy of nature; lace always evokes for me those incomparable designs which the branches and leaves of trees embroider across the sky, and I do not think that any invention of the human spirit could have a more graceful or precise origin.”
Coco Chanel, April 29, 1939

Lace indeed, is one of the best occupations of yarn to date; Coco says it better than we ever could.

We’ve recently had this beautiful shawl made up in our delectable Rainbow Spin. Blocking it was quite a spectacle, so I took the opportunity to evidence it for your pleasure.

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I also got a swish super-macro lens for my birthday, and this seemed a perfect opportunity to try that out too. The colours are just perfect.

Enjoy!

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wet detail

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You’ll be able to see and squish this wonderful shawl in person at Yarndale, at the end of the month!

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Other occupants of the sunny garden were a) fleece ready to be spun

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and b) a very amused dog, who happens to be called Lace

We’re still steaming ahead with various preparations for the next show, but also, rather scarily, we’re already making lots of decisions about the next year and the next season, thinking about colours, new spins, designs and fleece.

It’s inspiration central here…

But don’t you dare mention summer’s inevitable end…

 

Oh arr oh arr aay.

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I feel slightly aware of the fact that nearly every post on this blog begins with a short tale of how busy we are. I’m loathe to do it again, but I shall merely hint at the fact that we have been bee-like in our activity.

So… Glastonbury has been and gone, and what a lovely show it was.

Sadly, last year I was unable to attend due to the aforementioned bee tendencies, but this year I was up bright and early and even managed to drag my boy along with me. Surprisingly, he was keen to experience a wool show, and I thought Glastonbury was a nice one to ease him in.

A rather lovely Victorian sampler that captured our imaginations.

A rather lovely Victorian sampler that captured our imaginations.

We started out the day at the Museum of Rural Life. And when I say that, of course, I mean that we kicked off the day with a lovely cup of tea in the café. I mean, that’s what shows are all about –right?! We then pottered around the lovely museum which is free in case you were wondering. We learnt a lot about what things were like in Somerset in yesteryear, and, in a nutshell, people died in awful ways. Sad, but true. Oh, and they drank a LOT of cider. Seriously. They used to get paid in cider.

Please ring for cider I-Am-A-Cider-Drinker

Anyway, I digress.

THE SHOW.

The calibre of stallholders was marvellous, and I had great fun explaining to boy the difference between tops, roving, batts, art yarn, handspun etc. I don’t think he was listening intently, but hey, he permitted me to go and squish and sniff to my heart’s content.

It was the first time he had seen the JB stand, and needless to say, he was very impressed.  I was too, I have to admit. The colours this season are really striking, and every time we’re at a show I have to restrain myself to only one or two [or four or ten] skeins.

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It was a wonderful day out, full of the classic sights and sounds of the south west. The perfect way to spend a weekend.

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Yep... These are Somerset's FINEST strawberries. Devon, read 'em and WEEP.

Yep… These are Somerset’s FINEST strawberries. Devon, read ’em and WEEP.

Some summer.

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This morning I dressed for winter.

The skies were overcast, and rain was drizzling down, unrelenting. It was as if the weather had no regard for the fact that it is mid-August, and thus, on all counts, the middle of summer.

Alas, I pulled on jeans and a jumper and ambled off to work.

The day passed, and I gave no more thought to Britain’s cruel and taunting weather systems. I stepped out of work none the wiser, but ho, BLUE SKIES were there to meet me.

I dashed back out to our rural abode, and we did what we always do, and took the pack out for a walk.

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The only interruption to the tranquillity of the Somerset countryside was the determined parping of my mother’s wellies. With every second step, the most almighty farting noise would escape from what she claimed were her aged rain boots.

Birds were singing, grasses rustling, and lo, the trump of rubber on rubber.

 

The perfect way to unwind from work, no?