Or something like that.
Things are crazily busy here. I'm getting ready for Unravel, which means preparing enough stock to do this.
It gets easier after this first show, as there's usually some stock leftover I can use as my starting point. I always try to bring enough fibre so that people coming on the Sunday still have plenty of choice, so usually end up taking some home with me. For now however, I'm in a dyeing frenzy, particular as I had 3 club parcels to get out at the end of this month.
Enough of my moaning (not really, I enjoy my job, and like hard work). There's something new to show you. I launched the first colours of my Gradient Packs just before Christmas, and the second set of colours are now available as well.
All the gradients are based on an image that I've found on the web somewhere. Pinterest is great for this, if I find a picture I like I can just pop it up on my gradients pinboard, and come back to it when I'm ready to start developing new colours.
Follow Hilltop Cloud's board Gradients on Pinterest.
The packs are 140g of fibre, sometimes 100g is a bit of a tight squeeze for some patterns, so this gives you a bit more felxibility. In them are 20g of 5 main colours, and the 10g of 4 transition colours, these let you move from one main colour to the next without an obvious stripe as they contain elements of the 2 shades either side of them.
Just like with all my fibres there's more to them than meet the eye. Each blend is made up of a combination of colours, all with a base of undyed fibre to tie them together. It makes for a really subtle, shimmering gradient, something really special. I hand card lots and lots of rolags to work out what colours to use, making notes and altering as I go along, once I'm done the rolags all get spun up in to a skein of stripey yarn, no point in wasting all that hard work!
Two of the original 4 colours have sold out (or are about to), these are limited edition, once the 25 packs have sold then they're gone for good. In a way this is good though, as it means I can keep evolving the collection each month, creating brand new colourways.
Here are January's colours.
If you head over to the Pinterest board I'm pretty certain you can work out what inspired them!
I'm about to start work on developing February's colours, and I'd like your help! Do you know of any awesome pictures out on the web that would make for a beautiful gradient? Don't be shy, share a link in the comments, and your picture might become a gradient pack of it's very own.
You can find the Gradient Packs in the shop.
For once the sun was shining, and outside was sparkling, so I took the descision that this was a good day to skive off for the morning and go walking with the dogs.
The lanes were full of frozen water, lethal in a car, but the streams and gullies were full of ice sculptures.
The hedges looked as if they'd been dusted with icing sugar.
And the puddles had frozen in to fantastic patterns.
The tops of the hill have a dusting of snow, and after days of grey rain it was nice to see everything sparkling.
There's currently a lot of bored looking rams about the place, their jobs for the year are done, so there's nothing to do except wait around for spring. The fashion round here seems to involve spraying your rams with as much coloured spray as posssible. It certainly makes them easy to spot, but is less than ideal for fleece. Mind you, as this one is a Welsh Mountain his fleece is probably going to end up as insulation.
These Texel rams were rather unimpressed with the cold weather, they'd got a warm frost free patch under them and were determined not to move!
I wear an apron when I'm teaching workshops, and when I'm at shows. Partly because it means I have pockets to put things in, but also it makes it easy to spot me! When the stand is busy there are a lot of people around, and working out who's working, and who's shopping can be difficult.
Mum made my first stall apron 3 years ago, until then I'd used a money belt, but by the end of a show it's usually full of change, and very heavy. It used to dig in on the top of my hips and be uncomfortable. So she made me a full size apron, with cross over straps at the back, so it doesn't dig in to the back of my neck.
That original apron now looks rather tired and worn out, so this autumn I treated myself to some custom printed fabric from Spoonflower. They're based in the US, though I have since found some UK companies who offer the same service.
It's Polyester, not the nicest of fabric to feel, but it won't crease, which is important, as it usually ends up being screwed up in to a ball at the end of the first day of a show... cotton just ends up looking really dreadful on the second day.
It took me ages to get the fabric set up right, I needed to have half a sheep at the top of the repeat, and half at the bottom, and get them cropped exactly right so they lined up when the design was printed.
When it arrived it was put to one side, the run up to Christmas was very busy here, and personal sewing was not a priority. Now however, it's made, and I have my own Flossy sheep apron for this years shows.
There was a tiny bit of fabric left over, so Mum has turned it in to a mini project bag. It's not quite as large as the ones she normally makes, but will still hold a ball of yarn, and some needles.
I thought as a thank you to Mum for sewing the apron we might have a little contest. If you want to own this unique bag then you need to head over to Mum's shop. Take a look around, then come back here and tell me, in the comments, what your favourite thing is. Simple as that, no need to buy anything, just do some window shopping!
I'll pick a winner on January 22nd, entries close at 8am GMT.
If you like the fabric, and fancy getting some of your own to make things with then you can buy some direct from Spoonflower here.