August went by with no monthly round up...
For someone who is mostly staying at home it's amazing how busy life has been. We've had visits from family, who have been making the most of the opportunity to get out of the city and spend the time with us in the countryside. I'm not feeling very positive about our chances of not needing further restrictions as we go in to winter so we grasped the opportunity to see them and spend time with them.
I was also really busy making sure all the things I needed to do for my Fiberworld booth were in place, and of course there's been the building of the new Mighty Networks Group. Speaking of the new group, it's also our new home for all things Tour de Fleece, which we are doing again for the second time as the riders race. Please come and join us, here's lots of beautiful spinning going on.
In addition to Gin, Tonic and Not-A-Squirel we also have 3 new young females chicken which were purchased a few weeks ago. All 3 are complete characters, who escaped their isolation cage less than 12 hours after arriving, and have carried on their Dugoed life in much the same spirit of adventure!
All 6 have formed one large gang, and have settled in really well, and have decided that the outdoor furniture was purchased purely for them to have somewhere comfortable to hang out. The new babies are still hanging around with Ebony, weeks after most female chickens usually give up on mothering their babies! She's slightly less protective of them, but will still find food for them, and they go everywhere together.
We're reasonably confident that both are females, though it's hard to tell with the Polish genes that are still running through the flock, so have gone for Juniper for the baby with the quiff (that's the questionable female), and Myrtle for the other one.
I'm still plugging away at a secret sewing project, so nothing to show off on that front, but I have woven another of the projects from Jane Stafford's Online Guild, this is the gamp from Episode 1, which is just a simple 2 colour stripe to experiment with 2/2, 3/1, 1/3 and basket weave.
The original sample of just done in grey and white, but as ever I went off piste and introduced more colours to give me more options to play around with patterns. This set go perfectly with our kitchen, so they're already in use!
The next warp is wound, I thought I'd be clever and use up the cone of blue I'd used as its of weft in these towels.... and then ran short with a quarter of the warp left to wind. So I had to order another... and then to make the most of the postage I added a few more colours. This weaving thing is leading to serious stash multiplication!
Now all I need is a day with enough energy and brain power to get the warp on the loom and threaded. Hopefully this weekend.
I have got a shop update of fibre in the drying shed that is waiting for photos. I'd hoped to do it today, but I'm not sure I'll be able to fit it in... keep an eye on your inboxes!
I've also been planning ahead.
Yes, the 12 Days of Christmas parcels will be back again. The fibre is ordered, and this is going to be the design on the hand printed bags. I'd done some sketching around, and not come up with anything satisfactory, and then a friend shared an instagram account with me and everything fell in to place. Wash your hands seems to have been the theme of this year, along with all the helping hands, and the pointing fingers highlighting governments not doing the right things.... As creative people our hands are our tools, I can make yarn on just about any piece of equipment because my hands are the most important thing in my tool box. Anyway, they've all been set in a festive bauble, my hand drawn version of printers manicules that will then be carved on a block of lino ready for hand printing.
The contents of the parcels... well that's a surprise as ever, but there will only be one colour choice this year. The fibre is already ordered and once it's here I'll be able to make them available to purchase. It should be sometime in October. There will be 100g of hand dyed luxury fibre, and then 11 parcels of 20g of co-ordinating fibre. All parcelled up individually and in a hand printed cotton drawstring bag. They're going to cost £37.50 (ex VAT), £40 (inc VAT), and will be posted to you in good time to arrive before December 25th when you are scheduled to open your first parcel, and you then get a parcel every day after that until January 5th.
I've been writing away about doing things to make you a better spinner for a few years now, and recently filmed an hour long lecture for Fiberworld, that may be available in the near future for people who weren't at the event, either through Fiberworld, or if they choose not to take up the first refusal rights in my contract (or I decide that I'd like to go in my own direction). Meanwhile, because as always I have more things I'd like to do than I have hours in the day, I've written an article for Ply Magazine about using a control card. The Basics issue is out now, and is filled with things that will make everyone a better spinner, no matter your level of experience. Digital copes are available direct from Ply, as are printed copies and subscriptions, or they have distributors in most parts of the world.
Happy Spinning everyone, look after yourselves. Wash your hands, wear a mask properly, stay 2m apart from people outside your household, and if you're in the USA go and vote!