In a year when many things have changed it seems apt that this blog is being written in the car, on my laptop, in a hospital car park. I always dispute the word remote, when applied to our location, but we have no major hospitals in our part of the country, and anything that requires more than basic care means getting in the car and doing a 90 minute drive. Mum's having a guided injection done on a joint in her hand, and the hospital is too far away to justify going home and driving back again. Because it's being done in theatre there's no set time slot.... so here I wait!
Normally I'd go and do some shopping, have lunch out, or go to an art gallery or museum. But this being 2020, and I'd like to be here to see 2021 with all my family members... here I sit. Wearing as much wool as I can put on.
Last month I ended the blog with a note about Brexit... one month on and I'm not much wiser.
Gradient Club members in the EU have just had an email letting them know that I've delayed the date of their next payment, these are normally processed on the 1st of every month, and I decided to put their payment date back to make sure that the subscription software is set up to not charge them VAT as it is likely the UK will no longer be part of the customs union.
Time Travellers Club members I'll be doing similar for you in the next few days.
The Low Value Import Threshold will remain in place for the next 6 months. This means that fibre club parcels shouldn't be charged any extra fees as they are below the €22 limit.
If you are an EU customer and contemplating a purchase I strongly recommend buying now, so it arrives with you before January 1st, as larger value parcels will be taxed on arrival, and most postal services will also charge a handling fee. Until January 1st legally I have to still charge you VAT, and this quirk of postal delivery times means you could end up being charged VAT twice.
During Fiberworld this summer I put a warp chain on my rigid heddle loom to weave in some live demonstrations and discussions about choosing a weft to maximise the beauty of a hand painted warp. I finally finished weaving it this month because I had a plan for turning the cloth in to a Christmas present.
One of the key things to make cloth successful for sewn projects is to full it, and that means using a lower sett, the warp threads need to be far enough apart to give you space for them to contract and lock together with the weft threads. The top photo is the cloth straight off the loom, and the one on the left shows how open it was. You can still see all the strands of yarn, and lots of daylight. After 15 minutes being swished and squeezed in a sink of hot soapy water it had firmed up, the holes virtually disappeared, and the strands of yarn stuck together.
A couple of hours with the sewing machine later...
It's now a roll-top bag, with a hand dyed cotton lining.
I also did a lovely online workshop with Betty from THE LANSDOWNE HOUSE. I've done lots of eco printing on fabric, and used indigo vats a few times, but never used both together, and never printed on paper.
The stacks of soggy paper look so very unpromising, but the end results are really beautiful.
Over in the Hilltop Cloud Community Group we're spending the run-up to Christmas taking part in the ADVENTure Gnome Mystery Knitalong. I've been on a serious scrap busting mission this year and have transformed my scraps in many things, including finally finishing my mitre square blanket. These were the hottest project 12 years ago... and I made the error of making mine wider than a double bed for my first rows. Every now and again I've pulled it out and added more, but progress has been sporadic!
However, it would seem that 2020 has been good for something, and knitting 30 stitch mitred squares using scraps of yarn has often been all that my flailing brain can handle. It is done, and is currently around my knees attempting to stop my feet becoming ice blocks.
I've got a few posts lined up over the 12 Days of Christmas, I'll be sharing the new colours of Merino & Silk I created specially for the parcels this year, so this won't be my last post of 2020, but for now, stay safe everyone. Much better to have an all mighty knees-up in the summer with all your loved ones, without risk of killing or disabling them, than it is to cram in to the living room, quarrel over what to watch on the TV and accidentally pass round a virulent plague.
I'd love to see you all in the future, either in person or online, and for that you need to still be here.