It’s been a long time, and I have been meaning to write for a while…
A mini recap since my last post – I finished ankle socks for my sister, started socks for my mum (then frogged a whole sock and re knit it in a different yarn), finished my HHF socks, finished spinning F is for Fidelio (from Countess Ablaze) and kept going on the Farmhouse Cardigan – it’s getting there! Also I learned how to start socks from the toe up, which was on my list of things I wanted to learn.
My current projects are: still Farmhouse Cardigan in Shetland aran weight home dyed yarn, Treccia hat in Garthenor Shetland yarn, some Monkey Socks in Rusty Ferret yarn, my mum’s socks (waiting to be fitted), and lastly my granny stripe blanket, which has grown quite a lot lately!
Last weekend was Bakewell Woolgathering; it’s not too far from where I live so C graciously drove us down there to have a gander at some yarn and other bits. I haven’t bought yarn it what feels like ages – apart from a treat of a skein of Voolenvine Yarns a while back – so I wanted at least to go have a look, and be around likeminded people!
It was bigger than I expected it to be – I thought it might be quite a small local style event but Bakewell Agricultural Business Centre is actually quite large, with a decent cafe tacked on too.
I wanted mainly to check out Hilltop Cloud‘s stall, I have been following Katie for a while and really like what she produces (I also love Barber Black Sheep – both of these sellers are from Wales… and I also miss Wales). It was really nice to see her stand and the variety of braids and other bits she offered. This time I didn’t buy from her, although I plan to order online from her in the future. I am feeling a lot like I need to make purposeful purchases rather than just buying because I want to own something from this or that stall. The time will come when I will make a Welsh yarnie order 🙂
I was impressed by the other stalls, there were some extremely tempting merino/nylon/stellina hanks in vibrant autumnal colours, some exciting fleeces and other bits and pieces. There was even a stall which sold mostly handspun yarn – which left me wondering, how did this person manage to spin such a large volume of yarn? Perhaps she only did one show a year or there were multiple spinners involved there. It did get me fantasising about having my own stall someday.
I came away with a 22g drop spindle and 200g of suri alpaca, a new to me fibre. I think I bought the alpaca fleece, which was incredibly soft and a beautiful colour, from Alpaca Yarns and the spindle from Nancy’s Graceful Fibres, although I’m not 100% as I wasn’t super familiar with most of the sellers there. I left happy, even if I was yearning a bit for some brightly coloured yarns too. I know I have stash to knit up!
This weekend we went to stay near the Northeast edge of the Peak District for a restful weekend. Lucky for me, our airbnb also happened to be 20-30 minutes from World of Wool, a Huddersfield-based fibre seller, among other things. We drove to their warehouse, which also functions as a shop (including a cafe), to have a look. It was a bit weird entering and I did feel a bit like an intruder since it’s primarily a warehouse serving online customers, but staff were friendly and helpful, and it was actually ok for me to be there after all. Just writing this in case anyone else wants to take a trip there and is unsure too.
They had all their fibres and yarns in boxes on shelves so I spent a while going round and having a look/feel. I got a chance to see what all the different fibres felt like, which was nice; ones that I hadn’t touched before like cashmere, alpaca, pineapple fibre, etc. and breeds of wool I hadn’t really worked with yet. I picked up a merino/baby camel blend, some shetland, BFL and then botany lap waste (which I think is unidentified plant fibre, it was super soft though so I wanted to give it a spin). The way it works as well is that you can take as much as you want, it doesn’t have to be per 100g, so I maybe only took about 50g of the merino/camel, 50g lap waste, and 60g of the BFL/shetland combined, plus 1 shetland moorit batt. All this came to only £10, which was nice!
I do recommend making a trip there if you are able to and want to get hold of some fibres you haven’t yet given a go. I didn’t get everything I wanted; I thought about buying seacell as I really love working with that fibre, but like I have said previously, I need to work through my stash. Maybe next time!
They had a huge range but a few things I didn’t see where some specific breeds of sheep of interest to me; cormo (but this seems to be primarily an American fibre?), targhee (again, american) and Hebridean. I do have a small amount of cormo and targhee to work from, and someday I would like to try out Hebridean (or at least knit with it, see Daughter of a Shepherd’s yarns). There are a range of other more uncommon sheep breeds to explore, but for now I’m satisfied and have a lot to work through!
Today since getting back from holiday I have already spun and plied the merino/camel fibre, and I hope to do the same with reasonable speed for the other fibres I picked up. I’m thinking for all these natural coloured bits of fibre I’m picking up, I could spin them all to roughly DK weight and then use them for colour-work in some way – perhaps mittens or as accents against some dark Hebridean yarn on a colour-work yoke. I feel like my exploration of other fibres is a step towards having a biodegradable, more sustainable wardrobe, woop!
We’ll see what I can do. Anyway, the continuous stash dashing is progressing well despite this month’s slight swell in supplies. I actually finished a pair of socks and a hat this weekend, along with the significant progress on my Farmhouse Cardigan. Once I can complete the cardigan, I think I will have a good amount of momentum to continue with. Fingers crossed! I hope you all are well. If you have any thoughts on Bakewell Woolgathering, fibre from World of Wool, or anything like that, please let me know!