After a very busy July, August has been a bit more of a sedate month. There's been chance to get out and about more, and to spend time on various hobbies and of course in the garden. There's been time in the kitchen turning garden gluts in to tasty food, and the gentle pleasures of a country garden at the height of summer. August is always marked by stunning heather, turning the hillsides these beautiful shades of purple. This photo is taken just above Aberllefenni, this was the last working slate mine in Wales south of Blaenau Ffestiniog, and there is still slate related work going on in the valley. A company is working through the vast spoil heaps turning it in to chipping and aggregate, and processing slate from other mines in to slabs and tiles. The slate on our drive came from this operation. These photos were taken just as the underground operations ceased.
One of the purposes of the walk was to go round checking the geocache circuit we've put out going along the valley. If you're in the area, and want to go and see more of the valley and don't mind a bit of mud and rough terrain, the Miners Trail is the series you are looking for.
Nellie remains a happy-go-lucky delight. So long as you are a human in her family... we're still working on the barking at random strangers, but we'll get there. She passed her Bronze Kennel Club Good Dog Citizen award this month, proving she can behave when she chooses to do so! There have been playdates with her friend Boudicca, which are an absolute riot, Meg is definitely an old dog at 13, and whilst she can be tempted in to playing for a short while, eventually grumpy Meg comes out and Nellie is told to get lost.
Most of her life is either spent digging holes or chasing anything that flies. The rest of the time is either spent being busy, or lying down. The common phrase in the house seems to have become "if you can't do it lying down it's not worth doing!"
I have very little spinning or knitting to show this month as most things are secrets for gifts, but I did get an enormous quilt finished off, this is Plaidish Scrap Quilt, but Kitchen Table Quilting, and it did indeed use up an awful lot of my scraps.
I also finally got to go along to an in-person, indoor guild meeting for the first time since January 2020, the last meeting they held was February, but I was away teaching that weekend, and apart from some meet-ups in the park, we've been online ever since. It was lovely to see everyone again, and we enjoyed messing around with some shibori and an indigo vat which I even managed to transport home with only minor blue staining to the back of the van! This weekend we're doing some stitching on the cloth, so I will be back to show those off next month.
After a quieter August things are beginning to ramp up as we go in to the cooler months in the norther hemisphere, the shop is pretty well stocked, and I'm now back in the studio regularly. There's been a brand new fibre collection launched, and there will be plenty of other tempting things on the way soon.
There will be spaces available in the Gradient Club in the next couple of month, the only place where I announce spaces is via the shop email newsletter, there's a link to sign up at the very bottom of this page.
EU orders are now shipped using the IOSS system, and that seems to be going smoothly, so if you are an EU customer but have been put off by uncertainties about fees and taxes please give ordering under this new system a try. I'm absorbing the extra fees to pay for the registration and the intermediary, so you'll be paying roughly the same amount as you were in 2020 (the VAT rate used is now the one applicable to your own country, not the UK 20% rate).