This quilt has been a long time in the finishing... hand stitching is not my forte, and once I committed to adding some hand quilting I had to keep going and do the whole thing. It's taken me forever! It's also huge, king sized, but is now finished and covering one of the sofas because it's easier to wash a quilt than it is to keep taking the covers off.
This month we also finally paid a visit to St Phillip's Church which is just north of Dolgellau. It's now under the care of the Friends of Friendless Churches, and is utterly beautiful. The church was built purely so an Oxford College don could have church services in English, rather than in Welsh at the local Anglican church. The building is very European in feel, utterly unlike most other Gothic revival churches being built at the time. Well worth a visit if you are in the area.
There have also been trips to the beach, Meg in her old age has finally discovered that swimming is not an impossibility, and Nellie loves being able to charge around like a lunatic.
Less fun was the volume of rubbish four of us picked up off a 2 mile stretch of beach less than 2 weeks after we'd last been along doing the same task. In the end we ran out of space in the bags to carry everything. The fishing waste is a year round problem, we pick up this amount nearly every single time we visit the beach, but the rest of the rubbish is nearly all as a result of it being tourist season.
Our meeting at Monty Guild this month saw us head out to a members house and do some natural dyeing. I've dabbled with natural dyeing in the past, but it's not something I really do a great deal of. I much prefer my synthetic dyes, but this is why guild meetings are great, I'll never bother with growing dye plants on a large scale, but as a group activity it's fun and enjoyable to try new things.
Adventures in weaving have continued, this is a crackle draft, and yet more tea towels for the present pile. This type of weave structure uses a thicker yarn for the pattern picks, which gave me a chance to use up some handspun ramie. The ramie is great for tea towels, incredibly absorbent, and gives a lovey contrast thanks to the slight shine. This was plied so a great substitute for a 4/8 cotton. I'm currently experimenting with some hand dyed ramie which I'll leave as a single and that should work as a 2/8 cotton substitute.
The baby chickens are definitely not babies any longer. I'm pretty certain we have 3 girls and 3 boys in this clutch now. The boys are going to be Eric, Ernie and Ronnie, Eric will be the biggest boy, Ernie has the silver feathers and Ronnie is the other one. As the boys are named after male comedians the girls also needed names, so they're going to be Dawn, Jennifer and Victoria. The girls are impossible to tell apart at the moment, all have the lovely little head tuft which makes me smile every time I see them hurtling around the place.
I've also finally washed and twisted up all my skeins from this years Tour de Fleece. These are the past 2 years of the 12 Days of Christmas, plus this years Tour de Fleece colours, all Superfine Merino and Silk. We'll ignore the bag I just found with one of the colours I was missing from one the 12 Days of Christmas sets!
Which leads me on to this year. I am already well advanced in the planning for 2022, fibre is ordered, bag design is developed, then I get dyeing and packaging. The price this year will be broadly similar to last year (£40 ex VAT), I still need to do the final sums with the components, but I have a feeling it might be a couple of pounds more as everything is just slightly more expensive... They will go on sale in October, and this year there will be double the quantity to try and make sure they don't sell out too quickly.
In this past month I've also been busy filing lots of videos for a new online fibre dyeing course. This will be ready to launch very soon, I've got one more video to reshoot, because I managed to do a whole section and block the view to the camera, and then it just needs tidying up and checking. I've been loving letting you in to my studio filing the dyeing livestreams for the seasonal changes packs. The filming style for the course is slightly different, but should give you lots of ideas to try dyeing for yourself.