In my last post, you may have noticed some cute little guys on the table. I was delighted to be able to offer Dizzy Sheep spinning kits at Kendal at the weekend. In fact they proved so popular that my initial stock had sold out by lunchtime! Luckily my amazing friend Mandy dropped some more off on Sunday and I’ve now uploaded the remaining stock into the shop.
At last! A simple kit that allows you to separate out the steps involved in spinning. The Dizzy Sheep is great for beginners and experienced spinners alike, allowing you to spin on the go. Small and compact, Dizzy Sheep can be popped into a pencil case to take out and about. As you draft horizontally, it’s easy to spin sitting down with Dizzy. He even tells you which way to twizzle to spin or to ply!
We’re delighted to offer Dizzy Sheep, designed by Crafts From The Dungeon, for £16 or as a kit put together especially for Yarns From The Plain for £20.
The kit comes with everything you need to get spinning:
•One Dizzy Sheep raring to go
•50g of hand dyed British fibre
•Detailed photo tutorial.
They are currently available in 5 different hand dyed shades of Cheviot from here.
Well, I’ve just got back from Kendal Wool Gathering and I had a blast! It was brilliantly busy and had a real buzz about it. I was manning the stall on my own, so didn’t get to move away from it on Saturday. On Sunday though, a friend covered me for half an hour and I managed to slip into the Livestock marquee to have a quick coo at the sheep. I left my camera on the stand though, so didn’t take any pictures of the gorgeous little Ouissent sheep, which were small enough to pop into your pocket, not of the Herdwick ewe and lamb in the pen next door. Ah well! What I can show you is the stall – I got excited because I could put the banner up on the wall this weekend! Here it is on Saturday:
Here’s a wee close up on the Sunday. Can you see some new friends?
Well, I have to say it was a brilliant day down at the Harbour on Saturday! Aimee hosts a Saturday morning knit group at Harbour Yarns and it was great fun to sit with them and chat and to see their reaction to all the yarn and fibre. The pop up racks seemed to fill the shop but there was room to swing a cat, honestly!
I do love doing Trunk Shows at yarn shops. If you would like me to come to yours, get in touch!
Anyone who knows me knows I love Woolly Wormhead – the woman is nothing short of a genius! With that in mind then, I am shamefaced to say that she very kindly gave me a copy of her latest book some time ago to review and, due to the ongoing technical do-dahs that is thwarting the podcast I haven’t done it. I know, I know. I’m crap.
However, the other weekend saw me at a show that was a little… quiet… shall we say, so I took the opportunity to cast on a new hat, as a stand sample. I used a skein of my Mobberley Aran, in one of my favourite colourways, Bewitched:
I have an e-copy, which is never quite as easy to slip through as a hard copy, but as ever, it’s a Woolly book, so it’s a feast for the eyes. The photographs are as usual, very strong. I like Woolly’s aesthetic, and enjoy seeing models that one would perhaps not see elsewhere; in this case, real women full of sass! As a sometime glasses-wearer whose bodytyoe does not conform to a societal norm, I love these models and a particularly like the urban background in these shots to. There are at least two shots of each of the ten hats and they allow you to see how the hand-painted yarns are used within the designs. Woolly has specifically designed this collection to use those gorgeous skeins that we fall in love with, buy and then stare at because we don’t know what to do about them. she has also designed it to celebrate the joy of indy dyers, and of course, that’s something I can get behind!
The designs themselves each feature garter stitch somewhere, which I really like for hand painted yarns. They also have strong structures (but I wouldn’t expect anything less from a Woolly pattern) and a variety of styles. My personal favourites (at the moment!) are Helical, Jetty and Lamitra, although I also love Cornice. It’s not a style that would suit me, but it makes me grin!
All the patterns are available in at least three sizes (and most in four or five) and the instructions are clearly expressed. I happen to know that Woolly takes time to ensure her patterns are tech edited, copy edited and test knitted thoroughly, so it is rare to find any errors in them. This book also comes with clear tutorials you may not be familiar with, such as garter stitch Kitchener and a provisional cast on using a crochet hook.
I cast on for Helical, but really it is more for a DK weight yarn (I foolishly grabbed the Mobberley Aran instead of the Mobberley DK!) and I didn’t like the way it was pooling. However this is the joy of this book – if your yarns doesn’t work with one pattern, you are bound to find another where it does. A few days after I cast I on, I ripped out and started Jetty instead, which is a much better combination of pattern and yarn. No photos yet as I’ve only done the brim so far, but I will photograph it when I’ve finished it. I’m currently away on holiday, so hopefully I’ll be able to get a wiggle on!
If you would like your own copy of Painted Woolly Toppers, it is available as a Ravelry download for £10. Print copies are available from MagCloud for $25 (which is around £17 at present).
Hope you are all well, and enjoying this last little blast of warm weather. It was pleasant enough to sit outside for lunch today!
I just wanted to take the opportunity to remind you that the beautiful and bijou Harbour Yarns is hosting a Yarns From The Plain trunk show on Saturday 3rd October. Harbour Yarns is nestled into a lovely row of shops at Seaham Marina, County Durham and stocks a delicious selection of yarn, including West Yorkshire Spinners, Fyberspates and Adriafil. There is also a great range of books and notions and the smiliest owner and staff I think I’ve ever met! There is a café and also a lovely ice cream shop in the row, too, so make sure you make time to enjoy the refreshment opportunities whilst you are there!
I’ll have a wide selection of 4ply with me, along with some DK and aran weight yarn as well. I’ll also have a selection of hand-dyed fibre too, plus I’m excited to have some spinning kits available as well. If you want to make a start with spinning on a small scale, I’ll be happy to show you how!
If you are in the North East at all, it would be great to see you next Saturday between 10am and 4pm. Come and say hi!
Seaham Harbour Marina
Today’s update is all about the DK – Mobberley DK, that is! I popped into the big newsagent in town today, on the hunt for Inside Crochet Magazine, issue 69. I have to be honest, I don’t really buy knitting, sewing or crochet magazines at the moment as I have so many back copies of so many different titles. I had a reason to seek this one out though:
Valerie Bracegirdle, aka Agrarian Artisan, has designed a scarf which is featured on the front cover, and it is designed in one of my yarns! I am so excited by this, I can barely squeak! She used a skein of Mobberley DK in the Malted Chocolate colourway, which is now in stock in the shop. Mobberley DK is a custom blend of 70% Exmoor Blueface and 30% British Alpaca, spun in Devon form local fibre sources and dyed here in Cheshire. It is a truly British product and a yarn that I love to work with. I’ve not crocheted anything with the Mobberley yet, so I can’t wait to make an autumn Beaches scarf of my own. My problem is I just can’t decide which colour!
To mark this pattern publication, this week’s update is all Mobberley DK. Here are a selection of the colours now available:
There are other colours avaialable. The skeins are 100g, 250m and cost £13 each. I hope you’ll find something you like!
Gosh, what a whirlwind it was again this weekend! Hubby and I, in our corporate polo shirts no less, were manning the stall at the Pop Up wool Show on Saturday and we had a great day. It was lovely to see so many familiar faces and also to meet new customers and some faithful podcast listeners. (As I said, it’s not dead, just in a wee coma…).
The stall at the Pop Up Wool Show was three times the size of the one I had at Fibre East, which meant customers could really get in to look, which was great.
Don’t worry, I did get Hubby to smile at the customers! I was also able to put some tables out to show off the miniskeins and a new product that got a little launch at the show. I’m not going to mention it in the blog though, until I am able to launch it in the shop. Keep you eyes peeled!
Did you notice my banner? I’m so ridiculously excited by it!
This week’s update will be on Friday, more details then!
Gosh, where did July go? I thought it wet fast when I was teaching, but maybe July is just a fast month, as it didn’t seem to go any slower this year!
July saw my first stall at a show. I was in the Cotswold Marquee at Fibre East and I learnt lots at this show! The biggest thing I realised was that in all the Guild shows and pop ups in stores and knitting groups that I’ve done, I’ve never had to unload the car in the rain before… Note to self – find some plastic sheeting….
Anyway, after some slithering about in the wet and a couple of hours on the Friday evening, the stall was ready:
Well I wanted a woolly rainbow wall!
The other thing I realised is that I need to knit a lot faster, as I only had one sample on display.
these are Monkey socks by Cookie A, a free pattern from Knitty and they were knit in Nether Alderley by the lovely Liz, who is a good friend.
The show ran over a weekend, and the Saturday was very warm, with the need to continually run out of the marquee to get some air. In contrast, the Sunday was very wet. There was a very small leak, but nothing that caused any damage and I was very pleased we were in the Cotswold as it had boards down. Apparently the torrential run was running in rivers through some of the other marquees, on the tarmac!
Don’t despair if you didn’t get to Fibre East though. This coming weekend sees me at the Pop Up Wool Show on the Wirral on Saturday. More details about the show can be found here. It’s a great little show and I look forward to meeting some of you there. Until then, happy crafting!
Wowsers! this weekend has passed in a blur of yarn winding, labelling and uploading to the new shop, which will launch tomorrow morning – woot woot! There are now only 2 items left in the Etsy shop, but I’ve uploaded over 13 kg of yarn alone to the new shop, so I sincerely hope you will be able to find something you like!
For the lovers of twist style yarns, we have our DK BFL/Masham blend, Wilmslow:
We also have a number of colours in the workhorse BFL/nylon blend Chelford:
Finally, we have limited colours in my current favourite bases, Mobberley, the custom spun 70/30 Exmoor Blueface/British Alpaca blend:
There is also some fibre for the spinners amongst you, mainly Cheviot and Shropshire, but I am hoping to add some more fibre within the next coupke of weeks. To keep up-to-date with the news and updates, sign up for the Yarns From The Plain newsletter on the main website front page, here.
As a little thank you for signing up, there will be a time-limited offer code for 15% off purchases, valid until 13th July 2015.
So in our geographical tour of Cheshire, this week we land in the heart of the footballers’ wives territory, Wilmslow. Wilmslow is just over 10 miles south of Manchester. According to Wikipedia the town “is known for its upmarket lifestyle and its many rich and famous residents. It is one of the most sought-after places to live in the UK after central London, and … has one of the highest proportions of wealthier residents in the North of England. The town has boutique shops, cafes and restaurants, and high-marque car showrooms which cater for those associated with the “Cheshire Set” lifestyle.” Somewhat removed from my life then! However I do like Wilmslow, it has nice shops and one of the first Starbucks in my part of Cheshire! I think today’s featured yarn is a bit special, hence the name.
Wilmslow is one of the first bases I dyed, but it’s been unavailable for a while, so I have held back all my stocks for the launch of the new on-line shop (so excited that it’s finally happening next week!) It’s a DK yarn, made from a blend of Blue Face and Masham and is, of course, 100% British. It was spun in Yorkshire. It’s a 2 ply with a marked twist structure and has been Superwash treated.
Wilmslow is dyed in a range of semi-solids and tonals. You may be able to spot what my inspiration was when I was during these! It comes in 100g skeins, with 240m per skein (approx) and retails for £12 per skein.