We're a few days away from getting to the end of our 2 week Firebreak lockdown here in Wales. The weather, to be blunt, has been dreadful for most of the 2 weeks. Not really conducive to getting out of the house even if you were allowed to get out and about. Meg has had the right attitude for the current state of play here.
My quilting bug shows no sign of disappearing anytime soon. I finished this one this month, using up lots of oddments, combined with a couple of metres of neutral fabric. This is not the best beauty shot, but outside is not the place to be photographing anything at the moment and the only room with enough floor space is too dark to take good photos.
There's another top that's finished, and another one with the quilt blocks sewn, but still needing to be joined. Throughout October Moda Fabrics were hosted a Stitch Pink Block-a-Day sew-along. I didn't quite managed to sew a block each day, but on Sunday I did have all 30 blocks sewn, plus 2 alternatives for ones I didn't like in the original layout. The original design uses shades of pink and white... not the most practical colours for this household. So I swapped to using navy, and then scraps of pink and green. This is the half-way progress...
Things have not been quiet on a work-front. Two batches of 12 Days of Christmas parcels have now left the building. They account of most of the total that I'd planned to sell, however, I still have a few of the bags (I made less mistakes when printing than usual!), and plenty of the Merino & Silk, so there will be another small batch available soon with a different hand dyed fibre. If those all sell I can probably make a further batch, but they'll need to use the spindle bags from last year (I have lots of those spare).
I've also been busy writing and filming. I've been doing some work on another article for Ply magazine, this time on dyeing. I'm not completely sure what edition it's ear marked for, because I've been asked if I can get everything done ahead of the schedule for the edition I'd originally proposed the article. The results, I think are really interesting, and left me wishing I had more than 1200 words!
So in that spirit, because I always have more to say than I can ever fit in to articles I've got to work making the first of my new online workshops. I went through my list of workshops, picked out the most popular, and decided to focus on the aspect of it that most people highlight as being the thing they want to improve. So, if you'd like to get more control over the thickness of your yarn, there's now a new online course.
I've chosen to do this in a way that is different to many of the online workshops currently being offered. Many instructors have taken their usual workshops and filmed it. I've decided to go for a more structured approach, with written information, photos, diagrams, with short video sections. Built in to the course structure are regular practical exercises, when you need to go away and work through a task. At the end of it you are actively encouraged to post photos to share your progress and ask for further advice. I trained as a secondary school teacher, and it's an approach to learning that I used when developing lesson plans and schemes of work.
If you're intrigued there's now a new page on this site with lots more information.
If you're in a guild or spinning group and want an online course or workshop, send me a message, my diary is normally filled to bursting with shows and workshops, so these next few months are your opportunity!
Even once we get out of the current health crisis I'd love to carry on offering online talks and workshops to reach guilds and groups I'd not normally be able to visit.
I'm still quietly knitting and spinning away, but it's nearly all in the pretty boring category, plain socks, normal jumpers, though I have been carrying on enjoying getting to know plant fibres better.
This is a skein of 2-ply cotton. I started it at the end of the Tour de France, then finished it off during the Giro. I've already woven with some of it, because the next batch of tea towels from the warp I was sampling last month are now off the loom!
They still need cutting up and hemming, so I'll leave sharing photos of those for another time.
The shop will carry on having new things added it regularly, I should have a big box of fibres arriving from Italy in the next couple of weeks.
Brexit continues to loom over my head... adverts on the TV telling you to "Get Ready" "Make the Changes" just leave me wanting to throw things, because it's very hard to get ready for anything when you don't know what you're getting ready for.
If you're in the UK, nothing will change for you.
If you're outside the EU, nothing will change for you.
If you're in the EU its very likely you will no longer pay VAT to me when you make your purchase, and will instead pay it to your postal service to pass on to your own government. As we get closer to January 1st I'll make sure to get things set up so that you are not left paying VAT twice, particularly for club payments. Once I have a little bit more clarity about exactly what I'm going to do I'll write it all out, in part I am waiting to see what the companies I use to process financial payments will do. It's all a bit of a nightmare, but please bear with me.