Monday, 24 November 2008

A New Recruit

Meet Twinkle the Unicorn, a new recruit at Wildcraft. Twinkle is now in charge of Wildcraft's Quality Assurance. She’s taking her work very seriously, as you can see in this photo, where she’s checking the standard of some newly polished spindle whorls:

Twinkle was created by the very talented Amy, who’s a member of my local knitting group. Amy had a stall at a craft fair at the weekend, and it was there that Twinkle decided she was going home with me. Amy also has a new shop on Folksy, where many of Twinkle's friends and relations are now hanging out and looking for new homes.

Twinkle also very kindly checked out my progress on the February Lady cardigan today. She thinks the buttonholes are a bit wobbly, but other than that, it's looking very good, she thinks it might even be finished by Christmas if I don't get distracted by other projects!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Autumn Spinning

This week I have been spinning up some Wildcraft BFL/nylon sock batts in a colourway called 'Calendulas'...

On a calendula petals spindle...

Into a tweedy calendula coloured sock yarn...

I've only plied and finished about 25g of the fibre so far, so I still have three quarters of it left to spin. But it's a lovely relaxing project to work on, and I'm loving the finished yarn. A big thank you to Chriss, who prompted me into making these batts and ordered a custom-blended set of them, the yarn she's spun from them is amazing, mine is nowhere near as smooth and even. But it should make good socks, probably quite cosy too. I like these batts a lot, and they're fun to make so there will definitely be more around in the shop soon.

Friday, 14 November 2008

New Arrivals

Exciting news, my flock of pedigree Coloured Ryeland sheep has grown! Yesterday I collected three lovely ewes from a farm in Wales. I don't have good photos of them yet as they've spent today inside recovering from their long trip. However, here's a sneak preview, aren't they cute?

They don't have names yet, I'm hoping that as I get to know their characters, their names will pop into my head. They're already growing used to me popping in and saying hi at frequent intervals during the day, and it didn't take them more than a couple of minutes to work out the the orange bucket means feed! The little one in the centre photo is the friendliest so far, but the other two are rapidly gaining confidence too. As I've discovered with Giles the ram, Ryelands have very sweet natures, and these ewes seem no exception.

They've been sharing a field with a coloured Ryeland ram on their previous farm, so they may be expecting lambs in the spring. I'll get the vet to check that out however, and if they're not expecting I'll put them with Giles for a while (who seems to have got his act together with the crayon action on the crossbred ewes).

And the best part?! Their fleeces are lovely, a real downland sort, so it's springy and really crimpy wool. But it's not your ordinary downland off-white colour, no these girls have fleece that varies from a pale caramel at the tips, to a lovely silver further down the staple, with patches of brown speckles mixed in. I can't wait to try spinning it!