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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 🙂

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Smelly, Colour and Knitting

What strange unpredictable weather May has brought us.  A little of every season all jumbled up and selected at random.  Regardless, the shearing has started and the sheep are free of their heavy load.  The fleece are being picked over and sorted.  I have a bubbly feeling!  I adore this sorting and selecting and skirting.  Probably i should get out more, but hey ho!  At least I am happy!

I have started THE solution today with 2 of the most gorgeous soft Shetland fleeces ever!  I need the solution is deal with these in a gentle manner, so I start with the finest fleeces.  The solution gets fierce as the summer goes on and often i will have to dilute it if the fleece is fine.  It needs diluting or the fierceness of the mixture can literally eat the fleece.  So here is the start of this years cleaning.  It felt good!

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The large blue barrels are employed again! 

Does it say something very large about me that I find this exciting?  Just a thought!!!……..

Moving on……. to the weather?  Like the weather I am trying little bits of lots of things in no apparent order.  Inspiration is coming thick and fast and I have started lots of ideas and patterns.

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The barn is full of colour, just like the hedgerows

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And the Clematis is stunning and covering the back of the cottage completely!

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Busy Easter

This has been a gorgeous Easter!  Apart from Easter day when the rain fell earnestly, it has been gorgeous!  I have been very busy.  I had a long awaited clear out.  I had to clear out a lot of things which were still damp from the flooding.  I had to tidy up and sort things out.  One of my daughters helped me which is such a supportive thing to do!  Clearing out can be emotional and very tiring.  We worked all day and had an enormous bonfire which was very cleansing in an odd sort of way. 

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The dogs decided that all this busyness was infectious and they decided to start improving the garden.  So they got together and decided that what the garden really needed was a pond.

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So they dug one.  This has the advantage of doubling up as a useful hole or a pond when it rains!!  Result!

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Then 2 of them thought they could plant something in the hole, but they could not decide which way up it should go.  This took some time and resulted in many little options!!  The ‘pond’ is now big enough to place the terrier in without being noticed.  Work in progress..

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I have been dying.  LOTS!!  Now I am trying to dry!  The cottage is FULL of wet wool in various forms!  The smell is not as good as the appearance!

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Looking forward to seeing everyone at Wonderwool next weekend!

Cheerful Spin

As promised I have some pics of the plied spin of my new dyed rovings.  This particular one is Blue Faced Leicester.  I plied it this morning and think that the colours have worked really well.  I chose 2 different rovings which were based around similar colour palettes.  They have differences which are enough to make some colours suddenly ‘pop’ out, while keeping the same feel to the overall local colour.

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I am pleased (but it does not take alot these days!)  Basically no wet does it for me!!  This cheers me up!

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Not sure what I am going to do with it?  Knit?  Crochet?  Or just squish for a while…

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Pups and Spins

First things first!  Just look at what arrived this morning after a very long night…..

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9.  Yes NINE!!! 

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SO proud and pleased

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At the beginning of the week I spent a long long day (until midnight) dying some roving.  I am pleased with the results.

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So please in fact that I want to spin it all!!  So allowed myself 2 lots of BFL.

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When my new bobbins arrive I will ply them and show you the results.

 

This all makes the year so far not so bad.  To date the barn is broken as is the dog (not the mum), the microwave, the washing machine, the spin dryer, the tumble dryer and the car (impressively all by Feb 4th).  We are flooded YET AGAIN and the roof leaks.  But now we have 9 perfect puppies and all seems well!

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Woolly Thinking

Today I am just going to air my voice for the record regarding dogs, dog beds and the combination thereof.  This delightful (or not so much) combination leading me to much woolly thinking…..

Once again greeted by a kitchen full of ‘snow’ and delighted young dog (and ashamed parents, well mum anyway), I have decided that my relationship with dog beds is finally all grown out of.  I have 2 bed shredders.  They have bones and toys and access to the outside.  They are walked for a couple of hours a day whatever the weather.  They have, in short a great life at the expense of my dogs life!

I have to admit that early this year I reached a similar conclusion and made 2 huge dog beds stuffed with great British wool.  I used the end of a bolt of the fabric apparently used in lining the bags at the reputable Mulberry company, to make a waterproof and tough outer lining.  I then made a cover for the bed in good quality fleece.  I made 2 of these beds Deerhound size and to date these beds remain intact.

The weather being delightfully soggy means that every outing results in a tribe of dripping muddy large smelly canines.  Said beasts lie on the beds and then try to dig out the wetness from the gloriously large wet patches which no one wants to lie on.

I bought an extremely expensive and large dog bed.  This wonderful item arrived with all sorts of promises (which I confess I neglected to read out to the dogs – mistake).  They did not realize that the bed was indestructable and water resistant etc etc.  Frankly, neither did the bed.  The foam base to the bed has survived well.  The surrounded padded sides, well… , not so much!

So, I set to again.  I dragged out an old tent (also not aware that waterproof qualities are much desired in such an item).  This I cut up with a great deal of help and supervision from above mentioned experts.  I sewed this into a double bed size and stuffed with semi-felted wool from the mill.  This is the waste from the spins and similar to the type used in insulation.  I closed the gap.

I went shopping and got the end of a bolt of checked fleece of robust quality.  This I battled through my sewing machine.  Smaller dogs????? They dont shrink in the rain!   But now we have a NEW DRY LARGE bed with not a shred of stuffing to be seen!!

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AND IT IS STILL RAINING……………………..

RESULT!!!!!

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