Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Off to Pastures new.

There's going to be some changes with Lazykate over the next few weeks and months and I thought that a change of blog would be in order so please follow me over at my Lazykate Handspun Yarn blog here


See you there

Friday, 7 February 2014

Things have been changing around here over the last few weeks, it's all very exciting stuff!

I've been concentrating more recently on my teaching and workshops, spinning is so popular at the moment and my time is taken up by that, so I've not been able to devote the time I need to on my website.

As a result it is a poor little neglected space and so it's sock pulling up time.  I've created a new blog - I'm off to fresh pastures where I'll be posting all that's going on at Lazykate and dates and events will be on there.

So it's bye bye to Blogger, thanks for everything and I'm off to (whisper)  Lazykate Handspun Yarn blog -


Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Spinning to Weave

I love all the different parts of my job, but teaching is a real buzz.  I like to be prepared though and so when I'm doing a new workshop, I like to have a run through to check timings, materials and general smooth running of the day.

So when my friend Suzi said she would be a guinea pig, I jumped at the chance.  In terms of preparing for my forthcoming dyeing day on the 15th February, I could have paid more attention and leant more....but in terms of having a great day gassing with a friend it was a huge success!

Suzi's blog entry of our day is here, her blog is extremely interesting anyway, especially for creative people who suffer with health problems so please take a look.


So with my own dyeing, I've been recreating my Delphinium fibre which is on the website and spinning for a very special item - a gift for my daughter.

I love the petrol blue of this dyelot with hints of purple, looks like this in the pot - a huge collection of intestines!  I often post on Instagram and ask people what they think of my dyes, I really should learn (intestines, baked beans, a big pot of brains)

I've spun it to lacewieght to be woven for a bear, what I hope will become an heirloom.  It's incredibly exciting spinning for something so special.  I can't wait to post the finished article.  I need another shade of yarn to compliment and lift this one, so I'm toying with this shade

I think the golds in this fibre will provide a brighter contrat to the bears body.  I'm itching to get spinning it.  Will post as soon as I have a skein, which could be sooner than I thought (daughter sent home from school sick). Am on nurse duty - which of course involves an afternoon of Night at the Museum

Happy spinning

Monday, 27 January 2014

Always Learning

Yesterday's workshop went without a hitch, the ladies and gentleman who came along were lovely as usual. In all the workshops I've done, I can honestly said I've never had a person come who's been awkward, people who spin are generally lovely.

I always learn something though and yesterday was no exception.  Andrew and Carol came all the way over from York, quite a journey to Ormskirk, Andrew because he wanted to learn to spin and Carol because she loved learning new things.

Andrew kissing his yarn (a la fly fishers)

Andrew is an extreme knitter and was probably the only student I have ever had who wanted to spin thicker from the beginning, normally were all determined to spin thinner and thinner until spinning more thickly is a huge task. I kicked myself when I thought I should have checked if there was anything they wanted to learn and then I could have brought along a jumbo flyer! 

So I will be asking you, if you come along for a workshop if there's anything in particular you'd like to focus on and then I can teach you what you need.  Always learning.

Thanks also to Ann and Joy for coming along but who are shyer spinners and shun publicity. Quit right too ladies!  

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Knickers and Natters

Last night was a return to Heddles & Treadles, my local(?!!) Guild of Spinners Weavers & Dyers.  Their venue has changed due to hall refurbishment and they now meet in a village hall almost an hour away from where I now live.  It was a heck of a trek but we had a great meeting.

Some learnt Dorset buttons, I, well it was mostly a chinwag for me. It was a worthwhile discussion,  I discovered how some people space dye their knickers, something I confess had not occurred to me, but I believe Kirstie Alsopp was doing it before Christmas. Something I can't find any evidence for bit I wouldn't be a bit surprised. 

Dorset buttons in progress, no knicker shots I afraid, being dyed or otherwise 

It's well worth leafing through old books and updating ideas, giving the old a new lease of life.  Think of that when you next put on your old grey pants ladies!

I also caught up with Ambermoggie from ravelry who is in our guild and was using a Hanson mini spinner, something I hadn't seen before, but it saves her knees (having been operated on). It's a brilliant machine, with different speeds and she highly recommended it.  It reduced her plying time considerably. 

The bobbin is larger than a standard bobbin and so would hold a sizeable amount, which would be needed as more would be spun in a shorter time.  I was impressed with it and would definitely recommend it to friends or students who wanted to spin but had difficulty with their joints.


Monday, 6 January 2014

New House, new beginning

Well we moved house in the week of the 16th December, exactly a year since we last moved. We took a week to completely leave our house in Hilldale and transfer all our worldly goods to Ormskirk but we are now done. 

We're living in an old farmhouse that used to be a pig farm, it's full of quirks and oddities, just the kind of house we love.  We're hoping to stay here for quite a few years - if I have to move again soon, I will just leave everything behind!

During the move Iacked up my wool room, I have so much 'stuff' it's untrue. I came across some alpaca fibre, in this beautiful shade so I started spinning it up over the Christmas holiday

Alpaca is such a beautiful fibre to spin and as I was spinning to 4ply I didn't really need to think at all.  Sometimes mindless spinning is the best!

I have to admit I might have gone a little bit awry during Sherlock but who wouldn't!

I love this Kelp Scarf pattern on ravelry by Ben Millett, so I think I might give that a go


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It better not be too difficult - I'm still in a brain of a jelly mould.  Off to Wickerwool this afternoon to see how their move is going on!

The workshop at Knitwise in Ormskirk on the 18th January is full now but keep an eye on the website for upcoming events


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

It Was A Disarster Darling

With getting ready to move house I was behind before we'd started today.  I was supposed to clean my new loom up so that we could get started first thing.  But the loom had stayed in the shed for the week while I'd packed and in the couple of hours free at night I'd spun yarn in preparation for all the weaving I was going to be doing.

    Extremely dirty loom in need of love and affection

The loom was so filthy.  Heather and I rubbed it down with wire wool, we wiped it over with a damp cloth (Heather did more work that I did). I really don't know where the time went but we seemed to be at it for hours.  

We decided to use up some cheap acrylic yarn first in our weaving just to make sure that we didn't dirty our precious handspun.  Heather showed me how to use the warping board. I'm so embarrassed to say that I couldn't wrap the wool under and over and count at the same time! I felt like such an imbecile.  Finally, it did click, and to be honest it shouldn't be difficult for anyone, I don't know why I couldn't do it.

     Threads (all 112 of them) on the warping board

So we knotted the thing to within an inch of its life, place it on the loom and immediately the threads all stuck together and tangled up.  The yarn (which an old friend had kindly given me for free) was useless, all messed up and knotted.  We gave up.  We were tired dejected and the enthusiasm from the morning had disappeared,  so we all went home.

No image of loom tangled, threads cut and put into bin. 

Lesson learned - check the yarn for your warp thread before you start.  I can feel all you weavers shaking your heads and pursing your lips in my direction.  I can even hear a tut or two.  But I plan to make every mistake there is to make, I might even do them twice. 

I will go back and have another go, but just at the moment, I'm not speaking to it.