Sunday, 29 September 2013

Saturday in the country

A glorious day yesterday. For reasons I will explain later, Mark and I took a little trip to Stroud and the fantastic farmers market there. I have visited Stroud a couple of times before and I can safely say that it is my favourite farmers market in Britain ( my love of French markets is on a whole other level, I'm afraid ). We arrived relatively early and could enjoy strolling amongst the stalls before the crowds, admiring the autumnal displays, inspiring vintage items and glorious local food. I even managed to buy a sweet bouquet of country flowers....they are usually the first ones to sell out and I've seen real scuffles for the last bunches before.

 I was keen to revisit a peculiar little shop I'd discovered last time: On one side of a pet supply shop, the owner had set up a table, several spinning wheels, peg looms, bags of fleece and yarn for sale, even though at the time nothing indicated it to be a craft shop! The half-a-shop now has a proper sign outside and a lady demonstrating the use of the peg loom inside and the craft part is getting at least as much interest as the pet supply side of thing. They sell a good selection of British yarns from Blacker Yarns, and various breeds of spinning fibre in natural colours and apparently also run spinning and weaving evenings.


We had coffee at the Market Cafe, a perfect vantage point for some Cotswolds people watching, and picked out the last few treats for home (Sausages and sticky ginger pudding for him, goats cheese and ganache cake for me) and then debated which way to drive home.

My car has a worn part at the moment, due to be changed on Monday, and I didn't think the questionable surface on the M5 had done it any good on the way up. I also generally don't like driving the same way to and from anywhere if I can avoid it, so we decided to head up towards Gloucester and down along Monmouth on the A roads back home. Being young and reckless and not all that good at following maps, we took an unexpected turn and found ourselves on the scenic road through the Forest of Dean.
There we came across the Harts Barn Craft Centre and their gorgeous tea room....we had the best table in the house, looking out through the window in the meter-thick walls onto apple trees and brambles and drizzle from the comfort of a warm cottage-y interior and being served home-made soup and cheese scones the size of our heads.

    Another wrong turn (you need to look at this as
a road trip by now) took us through Abergavenny
- a place I never mind accidentally finding myself in. The sheep market was on - it felt a little like seeing the Source, especially as we then went straight to the Wool Croft yarn shop. Ginevra has been stocking my Gower Wool since earlier this year and it was a great opportunity to catch up with her and find out that the yarn has been doing
well for her...and that she would like some more as soon as we have it back from the mill :


On the whole, a faultless day: autumn and everything it has to offer at its very best.
Oh, and the reason for the trip? yep, a new toy. again. ;)

Thursday, 19 September 2013

The Tarnished Collection

I have been having a little play with some more subtle colours this week.....something more in tune with the weather, perhaps? I wanted to create something that would reflect the gentle softness of the Elfyn's Lace yarn....I hope you will like them!

Left to right: Old Rose, Dried Lavender, Pebble and Windswept

Understated for elegant winter accessories, and they really show off the natural sheen of the Bluefaced Leicester lambswool fibre!

Available in the shop today :)

As for the grey weather, I'm not complaining! I love autumn. I love grim rainy days which just beg to be spent indoors knitting, drinking cups of loose leaf tea made in that special tea pot, watching the cats all snuggled up and eating the occasional bowl of fortifying soup.


Monday, 9 September 2013

At last!

It took a little longer than expected, but it is finally here....and it is beautiful!
Our very own, very exclusive, very limited edition Elfyn's Lace yarn

A gorgeous and soft 2ply lace weight spun from the very first fleeces of Mr Owen's Bluefaced Leicester lambs - prize-winning lambs, no less, deemed special enough to be exported to Dubai to head up new flocks of Bluefaced Leicesters there! Only the very best in this yarn ;)

It is available in its lovely natural white colour as pictured here, and in hand dyed colours too, of course, as quickly as I can get them in and out of the pan!

We've only got 100 hanks of this yarn all in it while you can :)

In other news, we went down the farm last night and picked up the Black Welsh fleeces for this years Gower Wool,  personally handed over by the proud owner herself: our niece Ffion. She thought the bags seemed a little on the light side and made a valiant effort at "catching one more sheep to pluck it" on the spot, but the sheep were having none of it.

These black fleeces will be going off with the Bluefaced Leicester ones this week and hopefully be back in delicious DK form in 6 weeks time!

Monday, 2 September 2013

Still a little summery

This summer has been lovely, properly warm and sunny and perhaps not entirely productive in terms of yarn pursuits. And although the forecasts are allowing us a couple more weeks of warmth, the temperature has at least dropped back to that luxurious level where it's still warm enough to craft outside but finally cool enough to start working with wool again!

My big sloppy sweater is progessing nicely, just over half a sleeve left now:

And after a couple of months of really unfortunate eczema on my hands which left me unable to touch even the finest cashmere and merino without flinching, my skin has healed enough for me to be able to spin again. I didn't realise how much I'd missed it!
These are two plaits of Oliver Twists space dyed Bluefaced Leicester bought at Wonderwool earlier this year - I plan to spin them seperately and then ply them together for a two-colour yarn where each ply goes through its own colour changes like some of the yarns that inspired me to take up spinning in the first place.

The purple is spinning up rather nicely, isn't it?
I have 200gr of each colour, so hopefully I'll have enough yarn at the end for something a little bit more dressy than yet another shawl...maybe something like a Verdant shrug ?

Photo: Skeincocaine through Ravelry