Sunday, June 29, 2008

Back from Woolfest.

I went to Woolfest last Saturday, on the day trip bus organised by Doreen at Scottish Fibres. She asked me to be the bus coordinater on the day (ie I got to tick the list off and threaten people about being not being late) so I had to be up at 5.15am to make sure I got to the first pick up point in time. I didn't get home till 8pm, so it was a long day.

No-one was fact all 24 of them were early (!) at the various pick up points so we made good time and got to Woolfest at 10.30am. Was it just me or was it a lot less crowded than 2006, which was when I was last there? At 10.30am I could still see down the aisles to the far did get a lot busier to the point of bumping into people and struggling to get into the smaller but more popular booths on occasion, but at least I could still move around freely most of the time. Someone said that there were fewer of the big Guild buses going this year because of the big increases in fuel prices. Could be.

It was a bit too busy to take decent photos though. So sorry! I'm not into taking photos of someone walking in front of my camera in every shot. There will be some out there on the web. You'll just have to content yourself with pictures of what I brought back. I did manage to keep the purchases under control this year...tasty morsels rather than sackloads!

Latest Spin-Off and Yarn Forward. I've got subscriptions to both of these so I only picked these up. It was nice to meet Kerrie of Hip Knits at last....she was clearly over the moon at Yarn Forwards going national, and who can blame her?

Kool-Aid. I tried Kool-Aid dyeing at SkipNorth this year and it was great fun so I was pleased to acquire a selection of colours. I think I'll try dyeing some fibres with this.

Sock yarns from The Yarn Yarn. The pink version is one of the new Adventure colourways that Natalie has been experimenting with. They knit up as a series of tiny colour blocks rather than stripes. The other one is (I think!) designed to work up as single round stripes.

Two pairs of Suzanne rosewood circs from Scottish Fibres. I normally dislike wooden needles and I'd rather not knit than use bamboos, but I bought one set of these four years ago and have been buying the odd pair now and then ever since. They have a very slight grippy feel to them, like the texture of wild silk fabric and are a total pleasure to use. I'll still use my Boyes for wool knitting but these are perfect for slippier yarns like the Rowan Linen Drape I'm currently knitting a sweater from. So highly recommended as needles. I only have to get the 5.0mm ones now and I'll have a full set.

Two row counters with loops...ideal for socks and any other circular needle knitting because they dangle off the needle between stitches. They are remarkably difficult to find compared to normal row counters and I'm always giving them away when I teach folk to knit socks, so nice to get another two. I think they stock them in the Edinburgh branch of McA as

A couple of gifts...the vintage basketweaving patterns are from Wye Sue and the cute little sock blocker and stitch marker from Ambermoggie.

Finally, the compulsory splash-out purchases. Three skeins of heavy lace-weight 2-ply silk from Knitwitches, 600m per skein. I've been looking for something to make another larger Forest Canopy from and I really liked this blue. I didn't want ultrafine laceweight yarn as I'm still very much a beginner lace knitter, but the blues reminded me of a picture I took of the sea off Brittany last year and it's going to be my holiday knitting project. I've not yet totally made up my mind on the Forest Canopy pattern might turn out to be a Spring Thing shawl instead.

And though I may be a beginner lace knitter, I've got ambitions.

I met so many people too! There were a lot of Ravelry badges to be seen and it was great fun putting names to faces. Woolfest is definately turning into a great social occasion, as well as being a major shopping opportunity.

This will be my last post for a while, probably. I'm off on holiday tomorrow...six weeks of camping in France. I may pop in via an internet cafe and put up the odd short paragraph occasionally.

Just wanted to leave you with two photos though.

Mairi at the allotment...I like this picture so much I may even get a print to frame.

And Oliver, at five weeks. We'll be getting him the day after we get back. Doesn't he look like Trouble already?????

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Woolfest is this Friday and Saturday, and I've managed to squeeze enough time out of the hectic packing/child schedule to go for the day on the Scottish Fibres bus. We'll only be there for five hours and that's on the busy Saturday, but better than last year when I didn't manage to get there at all. Not as good as 2006 though, when I went for three amazingly child-free nights of camping and two full days of Woolfest!

So...anyone else going, that I should look out for? I'll be wearing a (home made) Ravelry badge with "Spinning Fishwife" on it, because some of the stall holders will give you 10% off if you identify yourself as a Ravelry member, and also because I want folk that "know" me to say hello. There's a Bloggers Corner and meet-up point as well this year. And of course I'll be heading for the Knitting and Crochet Guild's stand, to have another look at Sue's knickers!

I don't quite know what I'm looking for when it comes to shopping though. I'm well stashed up and at the moment I'm not knitting or spinning a lot, not with it being summertime. Summer is for camping and the allotment. But...I want some of Scottish Fibres rosewood circs, plus some nice sock weight yarn for a Forest Canopy shawl for relatively straightforwards holiday knitting. After that? We'll see. Small tasty morsels though, rather than sweaters-worth. And no fleece. I'm up to my eyeballs in fleece! Perhaps I might get a really nice spindle though, to take on holiday.

So....see you there???

Monday, June 23, 2008


"I iz big pussycat now."

Oliver, aged four weeks. Remember him three weeks ago? Amazing....

Monday, June 16, 2008

Oliver and Family.

Oliver and his sister Joy, aged three and a half weeks, with mum Lily.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Summer and growing things.

Just to show that I'm being productive even though I'm not knitting much at present, here's some photos of how the allotment is doing.

Bottom end...

The pond, complete with water lily, bullrushes and miniscule water boatman. (No, I can't get a decent shot of these last, so you'll just have to belive me.)

The shed, and The Herbs.

I think it's going to be a great year for fruit. Here's my positively feral rhubarb.

This blackcurrant bush is the only survivor from before I took over the allotment eleven years back. Every year I hack about half of it down, and still it just keeps coming back. I got about 10lbs of blackcurrants off it last year and I didn't even net it, so the birds would eaten nearly as much again.

Gooseberry bush, one of two. I love gooseberries and you can hardly ever get them in the shops. This is Invicta, a cooking/dessert variety, and the other is a red spineless dessert bush.

Strawberries are early this year.

Good year for herbs too, given the recent spot of hot dry weather. These are chives in flower.

This is variagated lemon balm, which is lovely dried and kept in the yarn stash as a (somewhat lightweight) moth repellent.

Early garlic.

And finally the other thing that's growing fast, our little ginger pusscat.

I like June.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Oliver Week 2.

Oliver, aged two weeks. Hasn't he grown!