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Sunday, 29 December 2013

What's On the Bobbins?

Or rather, who's on the bobbins at the moment.  I'm currently spinning some of Jorrocks' first fleece and  must admit I approached it with a little bit of trepidation.  Wouldn't you? This is what he normally looks like :-

But actually, his fleece was surprisingly low in vegetable matter.  Jorrocks is now 18 months old so has only had one shearing so far.  I expected to have a lot of work with this fleece - picking out grass and seeds, carding etc., but I'm spinning straight from the bin liner it's stored in.  Just grab a handful and spin.  Brilliant.  These photos don't really do him justice as far as showing softness is concerned, but they do show the different colours.

He has quite a range of shades in there, but is classed as a rose grey.

The yarn is turning out really soft and I'm looking forward to taking it off the bobbin - I'll probably Navajo ply it so I can use every scrap.

The other projects to show you are made from some hand-spun wool I won in this year's Tour de Fleece on Ravelry.  This was a mix of black alpaca/Gotland/Finn sheep which came from Australia - spun by Sharon (Shazzapug on Ravelry).  She also sent a skein of black alpaca/Icelandic, which is rather dense, but very soft.

Not long after I received it, I started knitting a shawl, the Lonely Tree Shawl.  It probably took a few weeks to knit, but then it sat in the bag for quite a while because it turned out a bit smaller than I'd anticipated and I planned to pull back the border and knit another pattern repeat.  Needless to say, it just sat in the bag, neglected, and the extra pattern never got done.  In the end, just before Christmas, I washed and blocked it and, hey presto, it stretched out to a size I was happy with.

I still had some of the yarn left, so made a hat for Eric for Christmas.

Here it is in progress, and I was really pleased with how it turned out.  We call it his "rasta hat", but really it's an Anemone Hat.  Here's the grumpy old man wearing it:-

He doesn't look too happy with his new hat, does he?  But actually, he really likes it - just keeps saying how heavy it is.  I think that's probably the alpaca/Icelandic wool, which is what I did the "tentacles" with.  It's also rather warm, but perfect for outside in the winter : he's just got to learn to take it off in the house!!

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Christmas Time, Mistletoe and Wine

Merry Christmas everyone.  Hope your Christmas Day was spent with good friends, family, good food and all the best things in life.

We were awash with wine as usual (well we do live in a wine-growing area) and we spent the day with friends and neighbours.  The mistletoe was missing though - it doesn't grow here, although you don't have to travel far south to see the trees festooned with it. Everyone contributed to the meal so no-one had to do the whole lot.  This was our contribution (Salmon en Croute), along with lots of roast potatoes :-

A bit selfish really, because everyone else had Tammy and Rob's home-grown pork and lamb, but I don't eat meat so took this for me!  There was plenty for everyone, but after stuffing themselves with the meat I'm not surprised they couldn't manage any fish.  This will feed us both at least another twice, so I may have to freeze some for later.

Eric was in charge of after-dinner coffees so we took our super-duper bean to cup coffee maker with us.

We had a secret Santa too and everyone brought a gift destined for a particular person, but no-one knew who bought it.  There was even a present for Henry (super-duper coffee maker in background!) :-

He got two dried pigs ear treats, one of which he demolished in double quick time!

We ate at probably 2:30-3p.m., and it's now 6:45 a.m. on Boxing Day - I'm finally starting to feel slightly hungry again, although not hungry enough to actually get out of bed and do something about it!  Boy were we stuffed!!  Think we need to limit ourselves to fruit and salad today to try and sort out our digestive systems.

Happy Boxing Day!

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Christmas Market

Sunday was the day our village Christmas market was held.  We were all up early and busy setting up our displays.  My 3 neighbours and I had booked two tables between us, so it wasn't too difficult to fill them with only half a table each.

I took my wheel and spent most of the day spinning, which attracted quite a bit of attention and lots of people stopped to take photographs.

The Two Christines
There was a steady stream of people in the morning, and the afternoon was quite busy. Santa was there (I told him what I'd like for Christmas and he said I needed to write him a letter . . . and gave me a chocolate instead),  and guess what?  I won a prize in the raffle - a memory stick for my computer!

So, what were we selling?  Well, there was Victoria's jewelry and dolls :-

and Sheila's knitted children's clothes (that's the clothes that are knitted, not the children!):-

Tammy had some lovely felted and sewn things for sale (and Rob had made some wooden lathe-turned items, but I don't seem to have any decent photos of those) :-

Tammy's felted shoulder bag - love the mouse!

and I was selling handspun wool, some knitted items, felted soaps, lavender wands etc.

I use the term "selling" loosely - in fact I didn't sell a single thing!  Oh, except a little beaded Christmas tree ornament that my sister had sent to put on the stall.  Oh well, you win some, you lose some!

Actually, I really wasn't upset at all that I didn't sell anything.  Whilst packing the basket with balls of wool I kept thinking "I hope no-one buys this one, I really like it", and "ooh, this one would make a really nice hat".  I think it was a good experience to see all of my yarns together to realise what I had and see which ones went well together.  So yesterday I started knitting - what fun!!

Monday, 2 December 2013

The Last of the Woad

The skeins of merino I dyed recently have turned into an Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief :-

and a hat :-

Not sure who these are for - maybe someone's Christmas present this year.  Any takers??