Friday 31 December 2010


I'm hoping that everyone had a happy and peaceful, Christmas, ours was lovely spent with friends in Brussels. I have to say to residents of the UK if you think that the British way of dealing with snow is bad - try going to Brussels, they do NOTHING that I could see! No snow ploughs, no gritters, not a thing done to clear away the snow, it was left to the individuals to clear the path in front of their house and that was it! The roads were solid ice or snow and treacherous - no one was actually having problems though, buses were running but not brilliant, all the trams were running and cars were getting about (well maybe I should say sliding.....)

One of the things I am really aware of is that I never do anything with my yarns - I hate knitting, love crochetting, but haven't a clue how to write a pattern. How do you sell the yarns if there is nothing there for people to see? So I decided when I got back that I would do some designing!

A pair of mittens in Delice - the new 50% silk and 50% baby alpaca yarn, (dyed in pomegranate, cutch and madder extract exhausts, the colour is far more yellow than you would imagine from these dyes, but that's what went into the pan!) it's so lush and warm, these are perfect to keep your hands warm and not a bit "scratchy"!

 I have obviously made them to fit me - fairly large hands but particularly long! Both mittens can be made from 1 50g hank of yarn. Of course the biggest challenge is yet to come - how do I write up the pattern?

If anyone would be prepared to be a tester for me please email and I'll send it out with a hank of the yarn -so far I have made "long hand" notes to tell myself what to do, but putting that into a readable pattern you can follow will be interesting!

Wishing everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year, speak to you all in 2011!

Wednesday 22 December 2010

Winter draw results

The winner of the Winter draw is Ladka who follows this blog - if you would like to send me an email with your snail address, please, I will get your parcel in the post to you next week. Congratulations and thanks to everyone for joining in!

We are going to Brussels tomorrow for Christmas, back on the 27th. I'm hoping that it will have thawed out enough to get back into the dyehouse next week - I have lots I need to be getting on with! I also want to do some more walnut experiments as I have had some husks soaking since about September!

To pur you in the right frame of mind for the weekend here's what the walnut trees have been looking like all week - the squirrels have been thoroughly enjoying gambolling in the snow and hunting for missed fallen nuts!

Merry Christmas to everyone, hope it's good for you - wherever you are!

Tuesday 7 December 2010

December Draw - Alpaca Silk Lace.

Last month I had a phone call totally out of the blue from Yarn Forward Magazine. One of the patterns that they had received was using my alpaca silk lace yarn - could I let them have a hank to photograph. That was all I knew really. Whilst in Harrogate in the bleak snow we popped into W H Smith and found a copy of December's magazine - and look!

Here's the yarn looking stunningly beautiful as a scarf designed by Ruth Garcia - Alcantrud also known as Rock and Purl. It is gorgeous! Thank you Ruth very much for showing off the yarn like this! The first time that this has ever happened! I can't tell you what a thrill it was seeing the pages in the magazine!

In deference to this pattern the December givaway will be 2 hanks of alpaca silk lace in indigo "Cracked Ice" along with a copy of the magazine! The yarn is 80% superfine alpaca and 20% silk laceweight in 25g hanks. 350m per hank. The yarn is dyed in indigo - but I use a scrunching technique when the yarn is in the bath to get the multi shading of blues. As most of you know I like my colours to be very even normally, but after trying this technique on cloth to get a sample piece of multi colours I now use it quite often on the hanks so that the colour goes from small areas of very pale blue through to very dark.

If you already have a copy of the magazine and would like to knit the scarf in our yarn then please go to our etsy shop to find which colours are currently available.