Archive for June, 2010

June 29, 2010

Dyeing alpaca

I was asked to dye some beautiful alpaca for Vicky at Spring Farm for a felting project. Although she has all the natural colours at her disposal she wanted to add some colour to a picture so I dyed red, blue, green & yellow for her. I had to be quite gentle with the whole process to prevent it felting  but I’m please to say it didn’t. I have managed to keep the softness while bringing some colour to it, I must say the blue looks just like clouds! I used mostly Kemtex dyes except for the yellow for which I used an ICI dye from the 70’s.

June 23, 2010

Rock Pooling at the Marina

After last weeks disappointment of finding the tide in at Brighton Marina I checked the tide times & was relieved to see rock pools!  the boys were a little apprehensive about dabbling their toes into the pools but Sue & I had no such reservations. The first rocks we perched on were rather slimy with a covering of chalky mud but after a little more investigation Asher & I found some dry rocks & masses of winkles, cockles & a few anemones. At least that’s what I thought they were! More nosing around we found a perfect pool with shrimp, crabs & snails of all colours. Now I ought to go & find out the names of all the things we saw.

June 20, 2010

Fox watch

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to watch the antics of 5 fox cubs (and their parents) in a field adjacent to the drive , most of my sightings have been viewed from my skylight window but once or twice  I have seen them from the drive. I was sad to see them go,they were so funny interacting with the 2 Romney sheep, I even managed to see dad bringing back a rabbit for them. Bertie the Westie was probably relieved they went as all the time the parents were in protective mode the big dog fox kept chasing him round the garden. It was a bit like Tom & Jerry at times.

 Yesterday there was a new kid on the block, a brand new cub has appeared in the field. I haven’t had a chance to capture him on film yet but here are a couple of images of the first batch. I’d love to know if this is usual behaviour having 2 litters a year or can they have even more? All my views are blocked quite a bit by the tree in the foreground, so it’s a case of now you see me, now you don’t

June 17, 2010

Knitting course-beyond basics

On June 28 I will be at The Wool Bar in Worthing holding a class for knitters who know how to cast on, knit & purl. We will be covering such techniques as cable, bobbles, I cords, Fairisle and intarsia. This will be followed on 5th July by another workshop covering diaganol, modular, entrelac etc. Click on the link for more details

June 13, 2010

Zwartbles fleece

South of England show is over for another year, just have to empty the car of all my booty and equipment. 2 new fleeces made their way into my boot, Zwartbles, a very black soft fleece. We had offers of fleece from all over the county so will be receiving Jacob fleece next and some Masham later in the month. Masham is one of my favourite fleece as it’s so silky but not as long as Wensleydale, it takes dye beautifully too. Wensleydale crosses are exciting to use as often they have the curl of the Wensley and properties of the cross. I managed to dye some Wensleydale Southdown at Springwatch last Sunday in the indigo vat, it is midnight  blue/black, stunning. The photo is the wool coming out of it’s first dip I think, it had several so was much darker.

June 12, 2010

WWKIP day at South of England show

OVer the past 2 days we have spun about 150gms yarn ready for WWKIP day today. I have my giant knitting needles as well as some normal size ones to knit up some coffee cup cosies. Sun cream packed & wellies stowed away.

June 3, 2010

Dyeing for Springwatch

It’s almost here, this Sunday at Stanmer Park will be a great day out for everyone. I’m dyeing with chemicals there so am preparing a few samples in advance in true Blue Peter styley. Today it’s Cool Aid & MR dyes so the house is a bit whiffy. Yesterday I used some old ICI dyes from  1975 & the colour was quite stunning but the enamel pan I used is still bleeding blue…..