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Some Knitting…

July 9, 2010

I am currently working on Cats & Mice by Jade Starmore

I am using Jamiesons Spindrift in colours of my own choosing. This is a lovely knit, much easier than anticipated, as each round has its own lilting rhythm.

I must confess the steeks are making me a little nervous! But, for now, I shall just keep on knitting around & around…

Elianna has some knitting of her own that she is working on:


She has knit one & is one third or so through the second

Once knit, the mittens will be felted into warm, dense, hand warming clouds : )

I am a proud mummy!

Making Elderflower Cordial

June 14, 2010

Our Sunday morning nature walk was graced with hedgerows filled with frothy Elderflowers.

We picked a bag full & now have a big bowl of cordial steeping. Here is our recipe:

Elderflower cordial


  • 3 pints of boiling water
  • 1 kilo of golden granulated sugar
  • 20 – 25  elderflower heads
  • 4 lemons
  • 2oz of citric acid


  1. In a deep mixing bowl pour the boiling water onto the sugar and stir.
  2. Add the citric acid.
  3. Leave to cool, stirring every now and then to dissolve the sugar & citric acid.
  4. When cool add the sliced lemons and the elderflower heads.
  5. Leave to steep for 48 hours.
  6. Strain twice through sterilised muslin
  7. Using a jug and funnel carefully pour into hot sterilised bottles

(This recipe is adapted from one I found on the internet, but cannot remember where, please let me know if you are aware of its origins then I can give credit.)

A Plea…

June 8, 2010

My seven year old daughter is saving up to buy a drum carder (which cost around £240-£300!!)

To fund this, she began hand dyeing fibre & selling it in my shop. She is doing so well & I am so proud of her. She has worked so hard & resisted the temptation to spend any of her earnings.

Someone has contacted her about a  second hand carder they wish to sell. She needs to sell just 2 more of her fibres to be able to buy this carder (which someone else has now expressed an interest in – arrrghh!) If you are in the market to buy fibre for spinning or felting anytime soon, please would you consider looking at her work. She dyes & prepares her fibres beautifully.

Thank you so much!

Finished Yarn

May 31, 2010

Do you remember the top I dyed & planned to knit into socks?

Here it is, all spun up:

What do you think? I am very please with the subtlety of the colours – this colourway is very unlike the colours I would usually choose – & I like them very much.

However – sock yarn this is not! I did not pay attention whilst spinning & I have ended up with a lovely 3 ply laceweight! (I must check the WPI)

My lovely friend Lisa emailed me today to say she planned to make the Gaenor  Shawlette with some silk laceweight that she had recently purchased from The Princess Rooms. I think this pattern will suit my yarn perfectly!

A pleasant hour was spent as I wrapped the yarn from bobbin to niddy-noddy, sitting in our attic. Some of the girls toys are in there, along with their dressing up box.

Introducing Baby Marigold

And ‘Daddy Pirate’

At The Beach

May 25, 2010

Shetland Fleece

May 13, 2010

Yesterday it was time to scour my prized shetland fleece!

The fleece came from Jamieson & Smith who are based in Lerwick, Shetland. I had telephoned them with the request of a ‘fleece for fine spinning – any colour.’ So opening the package was a little like Christmas day for me!

And here it is – in all its grubby beauty –

All laid out for skirting –

Scoured & hanging to dry – what a fine sight!

It is not too clear from the pictures, but this fleece is a beautiful colour – it ranges from off white  through pale grey, silver to charcoal. Beautiful!

I am undecided as to how to prepare the fleece for spinning – whether to card or comb. I wont be working on this for a little while yet, as I am still spinning for socks!

A Wee Shop Update

May 8, 2010

In The Princess Rooms

Todays Spinning

May 3, 2010

I plan to knit myself a pair of socks in an Old Shale lace pattern.

Last night I plundered my 7 year olds stash (!) I took 150g of BFL fibre & dyed it up in this bright, spring time colourway –

My plan is to Navajo Ply this yarn to preserve the sections of colours, but I may well try out how it looks 3 plyed, barber pole style.

The view from my wheel today:

My Spinning Wheel

May 3, 2010

Here is my wheel! Her name is Jesse & she is an Ashford Traditional

This wheel retails at around £250 – I bought mine from a gentleman on Ravelry. Good deals are to be found on second hand wheels – mine was £100 & this wheel has been well cared for.

If you are looking for a second hand wheel, they are to be found on Ebay – but be aware, the price tends to be higher. Good sources for a well priced wheel would include Ravelry, your local Weavers Spinners & Dyers Guild & have a look at the special offers to be had at Wingham Wool Work – they have for sale ex-display models, at reduced prices.

Hanging from my wheel I have the following:

A sock! This is my first knitted item, of which I am very proud. It belonged to my youngest daughter & now hangs from my wheel to collect odd scraps of fibre. (These are later used for wet or needle felting.)

An orifice hook. This hook goes through the orifice of the wheel to make an easy job of threading the leader or  yarn.

My spinning supplies bag. Isnt this bag sweet! It comes from Rose Knits & I have found it to be a very useful bag in size & shape.

Here you are able to see my spinning supplies:

Journal for quick notes on my spinning (I keep a larger Spinning Journal, in which I record my spinning experiments & my fleece studies) & project ideas (both spinning & knitting)


The other sock! This keeps a nail clipper for cutting yarn, lip balm & hand cream – essential for smooth spinning!

Spare bobbins (the others live with my fibre supply)

Homemade beeswax polish for my wheel – made simply with beeswax, olive oil & essential oils, so the girls are able to use this on their wooden toys.

In the tin I keep the items from my Wheel maintenance kit

Finally you can see a cloth & wheel oil

I like to have these things handy with my wheel – saves me rummaging around for them when they are needed.

Happy Spinning!

How To Choose A Spinning Wheel

April 30, 2010

For anyone out there contemplating buying a wheel, there are important things to consider!

This excellent PDF covers it all!