Thursday, 7 April 2011


Today I went to the Stitch and Creative craft show at the Bath and West Showground at Shepton Mallet.  It was a good show this year with some lovely stands.  There was a stand with the Lucet company.  I dont know if you are all familiar with a Lucet but it is a tool that was used in mediavel times to make cords to decorate clothing and to lace up clothing before buttons were used.  The man demonstrating the lucet was very fast at making the cord and there were lucets of different sizes there, some large wooden ones that were used to make strong cords out of hemp or thick string.  These cords could then be plaited to make thicker ropes for use such as dog leads or tie backs for curtains.  You can add beads and different colours.  Fascinating.

I also fell foul of some lovely discounted knitting yarn with the Black Sheep and a skein of sock yarn.  A good day out and well worth a visit.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011


Hi, the lovely spring weather didnt seem to last long but I am hopeful it will return soon.  In the meantime its a good excuse to stay indoors doing the things I love best, spinning, knitting and weaving.   I have to confess that the hour change last week made me feel very hung over for a week, does it have this effect on anyone else.  I seemed to spend the week chasing my tail!

This week I have on the Julia loom a warp using my handspun yarn.  The yarn is a Bluefaced Leicester/Suffolk cross fibre which was handspun with extra twist to make it strong.  I have to say I am very pleased with it, no broken threads.  I have wound quite a long warp using a four shaft tie up in an M's and O's pattern draft.  I am using Gotland yarn for the weft and making cloth to turn into bags for an upcoming craft show.

The weave looks quite open when you look at the first picture, but in the second picture you can see a sample that has been washed and fulled after weaving and there is quite a difference.  None of the tension problems here that were experienced beforehand. 

I dont have any spinning this week as I have been concentrating on the knitting and weaving.  A few more days and the children will be off for their Easter holidays.  I am hoping the weather will be good so that I can get some dyeing done, the fleece does smell so lovely when dried in the sunshine. 

Last Friday I visited a lovely lady near Weston Super Mare who owns Alpacas and Shetland sheep.  She approached me at the craft fair I attended in February and asked if I would be interested in buying some of her fibre this year.  It was lovely to meet her animals and she is obviously very passionate about them and very caring.  The Shetland sheep have been bred for their fleece as their owner is a handspinner and weaver so understands about the need for good quality.  They were very friendly and came up to be hugged and scratched, although I think the large bag of hay might have had something to do with their eagerness to say hello.

The fibre is very fine on both the Alpacas and the sheep and I shall be purchasing some later in the year when shearing takes place.  Also we have been promised a phone call when the baby Alpacas or Cria are born so that I can take the girls to see them.  I am looking forward to that.

I will ask her permission to take some photographs when we go and post them here for you all to see. 

Shearing season is nearly here and I have to admit its one of my favourite times of year.  Once again I shall be visiting the fleece tent at the Bath and West and no doubt will have to be dragged out by the children, loudly proclaiming "Mum!! You dont need anymore fleece".  But there is always room for just one more?

Happy Spinning.