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Thursday, 21 January 2016

Five Year Socks!

I'm notoriously harsh when it comes to socks - I wear them out pretty quickly.  Quite surprising then that I've managed to keep some for almost 5 years, and no holes!!!

Confession time - these socks have been sitting in a bag for almost five years waiting to be finished!  There's no other way they'd last that long!!

I found the bag the other day when I was sorting out my old spinning cupboard and moving things up to the new spinning room.  It took me a matter of hours to finish them, so why didn't I do it before?  Mind you, the clock is ticking now.  It'll be interesting to see how long they last on my feet!

Friday, 15 January 2016

Faerie Cashmere

This spin included something I've never spun before - 100g cashmere from Hilltop Cloud.  I've had it for months, but was waiting for that special occasion to spin it.  One of those "down" days when I needed a treat!  Not sure if I spun it on a down day, but I obviously thought I'd waited long enough.  Especially when this came out of the cupboard, and I decided it would be the perfect 2nd ply :-

I bought this plait at Le Lot et La Laine in the summer from Faerie Fiber (Toulouse).  It's the first plait of fibre I've ever bought, mainly because they quite often seemed a bit compacted and I worried they might not be too good to spin.  Not so with this one - it was gorgeously soft and very easy to spin.  I loved the colours as soon as I saw it, and when it was still on the stall towards the end of the afternoon, I had to have it.  Unfortunately, having turned my new spinning room cupboards upside down, I can't find the label that came with it which said what the fibres were.  I know I won't have thrown it away - maybe it's still lurking in the old cupboard which still hasn't been emptied.

Because this was a real treat to spin it had to have a worthy partner for the other ply.  Out came the cashmere I'd been saving for that rainy day.  Another brilliant spin, and it contained some of the same colours.  I failed miserably (again) at getting a photo of the raw fibre, but the spun single is on the left with the Faerie Fiber on the right.

The finished yarn (as usual the sparkly bits don't show up on the photo) = 175g and 387 yards/357m - probably enough for a shawl (you can never have too many shawls!)

So now to trawl through patterns on Ravelry to find the perfect one.

P.S.  I finally found the label for the FaerieFiber plait - it was "Extasy" made up of 58.5% Merino,  25% Tussah Silk, 12.5% Bamboo and 4% Stellina.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

New Studio

At long last, after living in this house for over 12 years, I finally have my own workroom/studio.  Up until now I've had to squeeze everything into a small cupboard that would normally just be big enough for maybe the vacuum cleaner, ironing board and associated bits and pieces,  Needless to say, my fleece and wool, etc. spilled out into almost every room in the house, and whenever I needed something that I knew was in that cupboard it was a nightmare to try and find it.  Well no more!

The beam you can see running across the room is actually not as low as it looks, I can just scrape underneath it without hitting my head - hubby at 6 foot 3 inches has a bit of a problem though!  The space at the back is a little attic which I can use for storing bags of fleece and things I don't use very often.

We put in a sofa bed because this room may occasionally be used for guests if the spare room is already occupied.  It's also very handy for just sitting and admiring the view . . .

and has it's own balcony which is very handy for loading spinning wheels and boxes without having to carry them through the house and up a flight of rather steep stairs (the balcony isn't very high and I can reach up from ground-level).

A view from the outside :-

We will eventually re-install the handrail at the front of the balcony (don't want guests falling off!), but I think we'll leave that until I've moved everything up.

Furniture and bits and pieces are gradually moving up there, including this cabinet we managed to acquire for just 70 euros.  In fact, this is only half of what we bought for that price; the rest is in our dining room - bargain!

And this one has just been moved up from our living/sitting area (I think it looks much better up here!).

I still have a lot of sorting out to do before I can say this is finished, and I may have to buy more cupboards, but it is usable now, and is a very pleasant space as it gets the sun for most of the day.

I'm looking forward to many happy hours pottering about in my new room . . . when I get time, of course, which is the next problem!