We have a new stockist of our yarns – Bridport Yarns in Dorset. Rosie has a selection of Pure Natural Alpaca, Alpaca with Shetland and our sock weight Alpaca with Merino. Bridport Yarn
This is the peak of the fleece buying season for me. Shearing is mainly over and if I don’t snap up the best fleeces now, they’ll be gone. Sorting and blending the fleece happens throughout the year, so it helps that I’ve got plenty of cold, dark old barns to store it all.
I’ve bought a lot of Suri alpaca fleece this year which I’m going to blend with Blue faced Leicester wool. The first batch of Blue Faced Leicester from my neighbour’s sister has been delivered, but we don’t collect the majority until later in the year.
Unlike most yarn producers, I buy my fleeces directly from the farmers and sort it myself. The only exception to this is my Alpaca with Falklands Merino and Silk. I just can’t source enough top quality British alpaca so I buy Peruvian alpaca tops (fibre which has been washed and combed into long untwisted, fat ropes ready for spinning).
Woolfest was founded to provide a showcase and a celebration of the best of wool and wool crafts. The event is all about creativity and design with beautiful quality, amazing colours and skilled craftsmanship. It is also a great day out and was recognised in 2012 when Woolfest won the Cumbria Tourism Event of the Year Award. Woolfest 2016 will be on Fri 24 and Sat 25 June and we’ve pleased say that we will have a stand there again this year.
We’re also back again at Fibre-East in Ampthill, Bedfordshire. The aim of Fibre-East is to celebrate the Best of British: the finest quality British wool made from the fleeces of British sheep reared by British farmers. This remains at the core of everything they do and everything they try to achieve. They aim to enable the continuation of the crafts of hand spinning, knitting, dyeing, weaving, felting and crochet to name but a few. They do this by showcasing the very best of these crafts, by providing inspiration and advice when needed and their wide range of artisan producers offering any equipment and accessories you could wish for.
My second new show in 2016 is Edinburgh Yarn Festival on 18 to 19 March in The Corn Exchange.
I’m sharing a stand with my friend Anna who owns Wild & Woolly yarn store in Hackney. She will be bringing a selection of usual yarns including Karin Oberg’s Kalinka linen which comes in a wide range of beautiful colours.
I was pretty low on alpaca sock yarns after all the shows I did before Christmas, so I’ve been madly dyeing and washing loads of hanks ready to photograph. Finally the rain has stopped and the sun come out long enough for me to take some shots. The new colours are all loaded on the website now, and here’s a selection for you to see.
I’m really pleased that we’ve accepted for unravel in the Farnham Maltings on 19 to 21 February 2015.
The Maltings is an historic 18th century brewery with a number of beautiful beamed rooms.
This summer I bought some beautiful, crimpy, fine Shetland fleece from a local farmer. I’ve blended some of the fawn coloured fleeces with white and light fawn alpaca fibre and just sent it off for spinning. This is going to be a woollen spun almond coloured DK yarn with coloured flecks. The tweedy effect is obtained by adding lots of coloured nepps (or small felted balls of wool) into the fibre as its being carded. I decided to dye my own colours and here they are!
If this works well, I’ve already got plans for the next batch and the colours I’m going to use.
It was a sad day when we sold the herd at auction in May, so it’s nice to get news of how the alpacas are doing. Rebecca’s new owner has sent us this photo of Rebecca and her cria. It was a bit of a surprise for everyone because we weren’t sure that Rebecca was pregnant.
This photo shows his roman nose off nicely.
This summer, we’ve been collecting Blue faced Leicester wool from around the Yorkshire Dales, stretching across to Bowes in County Durham. The wool from this tup is the only Lake District fleece we have got hold of so far, although I am trying to persuade my neighbour to breed more.
We will have a stand at this year’s Pop-up Marketplace which is part of the Great London Yarn Crawl. The Marketplace is in Chelsea Old Town Hall and is the start for each of the teams in the yarn crawl.