Total Pageviews

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Wool Combs

Errr - I've been shopping!  Couldn't live without these Indigo Hound wool combs any longer.  They arrived last week from the USA, and really I don't know how I managed without them.  They're so much better at preparing camel and llama wool than carders.

Lethal Weapons!

This is some llama being combed :-

and then pulled through my home-made milk bottle top diz (basically, a piece of plastic with a hole in it)

To make a perfectly clean (well, almost) length of fibre ready for spinning.

It may not be dramatically faster than using carders, but it's much more satisfying, and the result is so much more professional-looking.  Worth every penny!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Catching Up

Posts have been a bit sparse on here of late, not because I've not been doing anything worth writing about, more because there's just been too much going on.  So, here's what's been happening lately to keep us so busy.

There were gigs to be played :-
Sud Rock Festival

Look at the size of that stage!

Jeff, the bass player was to the right, Steve in the centre, Eric left, and Geoff the drummer is just visible in the background!  It's got to be the largest stage Eric's ever played on.  They had sound engineers too:-

and their own air-conditioned porta-cabin kitted out with settees, cool drinks etc.

The next day we went to visit Sarah and Paul of La Maison des Chameaux, to (finally!!!!) deliver her sweater.  I was a bit worried whether it would still fit her, as she's lost weight since we last saw her.  Luckily, she likes them "sloppy"!

We had a fabulous lunch with them outside in the shade (ankles got bitten to death though!), and ogled their kittens,
Basket of Fun!
My favourite

Their mother was killed on the road last week, so Hershey the dog has adopted them and regularly gives them a good clean and keeps them in order.

She's very protective of them, and sees off any other inquisitive cats.

As usual, it's impossible to visit Sarah and not come away with something.  Like half a ton of camel, llama, alpaca and sheep's wool!

I don't have enough lifetime left to spin all of this!

The cotton bolls are growing like mad - can't be too long now before they start to open.

They're still flowering too

These are such pretty plants, even if you're not interested in spinning the cotton.

This was a little dyeing project I did a while ago.  I found lots of these red dock seeds in and around the garden, and thought there must be some potential for colour.  So I collected them, just put the seeds in a pan of water, and soaked them for a day or two.

The dye was quite a deep colour and I was hopeful it may give a reddish orange.  I mordanted some fleece with alum and cream of tartar and heated it up slowly in the dye bath.  The results weren't quite what I'd expected, but it's still a nice colour.  That's it on the right below, next to a second-dip in the madder dye bath.

2nd dip madder on left, red dock seed on right

My current knitting project, the Buds of May shawl, has reached a standstill - I'm stuck! I'm about 60% through, and the pattern has become quite ambiguous and confusing.  So it's sitting in a bag, abandoned, until I manage to find some time to sit and work it out. This pattern would definitely not suit a beginner.  No photo, because I'm pretty disgusted with it at the moment.

Finally, the garden is producing lots at the moment.  I harvested this lot yesterday.

Yes, there are 26 cucumbers there!  Some of these will be pickled in jars, hopefully today, and I think some chilled cucumber soup is in order.

A few days ago I bottled 15 jars of tomatoes, and the next lot are ready for processing. Then yesterday I was given a large bucket of yellow plums, so they need bottling today too.  Maybe it would be a good idea to get out of bed and get on with it!!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Buds Is Growing

No, that's not meant to be bad English - it actually means the Buds of May shawl is growing.  It's taking a bit longer than I'd hoped, mainly because I'm writing out the pattern (from a chart) as I go, so next time I knit one it'll be a doddle!

Here it is so far, just about half way there :-

I really like the way this is turning out, and the variegation in the colour which goes from very pale blue, to mid blue, to teal, to dark blue.  The finished pattern is lovely, I think I'll be making another one of these before too long.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

More Wedding Images

Here are some more photos of Matthew and Rona's big day, stolen from various people on Facebook, now I know how to do it! (merci Beatrice!)

Waiting for Granny!
. . . and the band played on

Daddy's Girl

Wedding Cake
The bride and groom

Bar Staff

Posh Wellies!

Friday, 10 August 2012

A Perfect Day

Thought it was about time I posted some photos of Matthew and Rona's wedding last week.  Actually, I've been trying to find out how to download other people's photos from Facebook, because they're better than mine.  Haven't managed it yet though - if anyone can tell me how to do it, please leave a comment.

The fabulous venue :-

Benholm Castle

Rona's parents have been renovating this place for the last 20 years.

A minstrel played :-

while the guests assembled.

But then the bride's father had an important announcement to make :-

(Had Rona done a runner??  Had Matthew done a runner?)  No, it was Rona's Granny - she got the time of the wedding wrong and was late!

The groom waited patiently

for the bride (and Granny!) to arrive

The vows were made :-

and sealed with a kiss :-

Signing the register

. . . while the minstrel played on


The new Mr and Mrs Saunders (with the old one!) :-

And then the party started in true Scottish style

There was a hog roast, a whole salmon, and lots of other nice things to eat.  The electric ceilhid band played until we couldn't dance any more, then there was a bonfire, fireworks and more food.

A perfect day, and a perfect couple!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Scotland Here We Come

Six minutes past midnight - time for bed.  Tomorrow (or today, actually), we're off to the north east of Scotland for Matthew (wicked stepson no. 4) and Rona's wedding.  Long drive up to Zeebrugge where we get the ferry on Thursday evening, arriving in Hull Friday morning.  Another long drive up to Scotland where we'll drop off the wine (French, of course) for the reception, and a quick rehearsal (Eric's playing guitar during the ceremony), and then up to Stonehaven to stay with friends - fish and chip supper already ordered!

The wedding is 1:30 on Saturday, and we're keeping everything crossed that the weather behaves for them.  May not have WiFi until we return (8th August) so will post photos then.  Hope you're all doing your sun dances for us!