Moving in to October really feels like summer is over, it's noticeable how much earlier I'm having to put the chickens to bed, and I lit my fire for the first time last night. Drying fibre is starting to take longer, and it won't be long beforeI need to start using the dehumidifier in the drying shed, because otherwise I end up with more damp fibre than I have space to hang it!
The first batch of 12 Days of Christmas parcels that I talked about in the last post are nearly ready to go. The bags are printed, the small parcels are packed, and tomorrow I'll be dyeing the fibre for Christmas Day. Make sure you subscribe to the email newsletter to hear when thy go on sale next week. If you miss out on this first batch then I will be listing more at the end of October.
I took some time off last week to enjoy the last of the sunshine before winter arrives. Not doing anything really adventurous (the furthest away from home I've been since February is to the garden centre in Welshpool!) but spending some time with the loom, with the sewing machine, in the garden, and out in the countryside local to home.
This is the rather wonky panorama looking down on the Mawddach estuary (between balance issues, and a bright sun on the screen I have no chance of turning whilst holding the phone in a level manner!). This is a walk we normally do at the height of spring when the woods are filled with Bluebells, at that point we were on a strict stay local lockdown, and this was further away than we could justify as local. The woods are very different as we go in to Autumn, but still stunning, filled with ancient oak trees, and when you come out on to the top of the hill you're greeted with this magnificent view.
If you managed to watch my Mid-Wales Textile Trade talk at Fiberworld in August, then this is the fertile valley bottom that leads up to Cwmer Abbey. It's now one of the talks that's on my list of online talks, demonstrations and workshops. If you belong to a guild or spinning group then I am now available for online bookings. Send me an email if you want to find out more, even if you're outside the UK (because that's the joy of online!)
If you don't currently have a guild or group then I am looking at how to offer courses, workshops and talks that you can access any time. I had a conversation with my accountants earlier this week because I need to make sure I get everything set up correctly for taxation purposes. Plans are in the pipeline though!
Of course during September we did a second version of the Tour de Fleece, and this time I decided to focus on getting my plant fibre spinning skills up to scratch. There's nothing like spending a 3 week block of time tackling a newer skill to really get to grips with it. I mostly focused on spinning ramie, because I have weaving plans for these skeins, but at the end of the time I also got some cotton spun. I'm planning on getting the rest of it finished when watching the Giro starting this weekend. One of these skeins has already gone on the loom, because the great tea towel weaving mania seems to show no sign of ending. Aside from that I feel somewhat adrift with my urge to cast on for anything. I am amply provisioned with jumpers, socks, shawls and hats, as are most of my nearest and dearest. So for now I'm carrying on chipping away at the mitre square blanket I started in 2009. It's now king sized, and within 2 rows of squares of being finished.
After that.... I am awaiting inspiration. I may just end up knitting more gnomes.