October 28, 2010
I first wrote about silk caps in the Winter 2000 issue of In A spin, this piece contains some of the original text.
For some people the thought of touching silk puts their teeth on edge, for others this luxury fibre evokes passion & pleasure. Before I spun, silk was indeed a luxury, I remember being given a silk shirt one Christmas & I felt wonderful wearing it next to my skin. Now I spin I have an array of beautiful dyed & raw silk at my finger tips. I store mine in glass jars which show the colours I have and keeps them safe from moths. To prepare cap for spinning I would recommend that you first apply a dollop of hand cream to your hands, rub in well, then you can begin. You need to be able to grip the silk so it’s important that you haven’t got slippery hands either, rough hands and nails just snag the silk. Peel away a layer of silk from the cap edge and make a hole in the centre, put both thumbs into the hole and pull apart. Once big enough put both hands into hole and pull apart as far as you can. You can put your foot on one part of the silk ‘ring’ and pull it upwards. Once you have a very large ring of silk you need to break it. Then, holding one end tightly keep pulling the silk ring until it is an even thickness all the way round. The more you draw it out at this point the easier it will be to spin. You can use a single ply for embroidery or ply it with alpaca or a fine wool. When you are carding wool try adding a few wisps of silk for that little touch of luxury.
October 25, 2010
There is now a Krispy Kreme donut shop in North St Brighton. The day I went there they had run out of bags but didn’t stop me buying a donut. First time I had a coffee creme & I have to admit it was rather sickly sweet.
October 25, 2010
Bonfire season is well under way here in East Sussex, with less than a week til the 5th road closure signs are already appearing on the A26. I would urge people to stay away, watch the fireworks from anywhere but Lewes. It’s manic, dangerous, a no go zone for small children and people of a nervous disposition. Dogs & cats should be safely tucked up in the broom cupboard. Ear plugs are manditory as are woolly jumpers, hats & gloves. The trains are going to be like sardine tins with last trains leaving Lewes between midnight & 12.30am. If you park in Lewes make sure you leave by about 4.30 or else you may be stranded with all the road closures & restrictions, some of which are in place from 2pm this year. A handy leaflet is available from tourist info and other localities. The celebrations will be in Newick on 30th October.
October 19, 2010
An outing with the boys found us at Falmer for a walk around the pond. I’d never been to Falmer before, passed it hundreds but never stopped in the village. The boys were in their element, water, leaves & ducks. Hoping to find some chestnuts we found some fungi instead. Sue is hoping to extract some colour from the big one but the small one she’s holding like a ciggy is just so beautiful & delicate I doubt it will yield any colour at all. As for the chestnuts all the ones on the ground were too little to be edible, the conkers seem to be good this year but chestnuts not so.
October 11, 2010
This week (11th -17th Oct) is National knitting week which also coincides with Wool week. HRH Prince of Wales is backing our wool producers and trying to get a fair price for British wool. For decades farmers have been paid a pittance for the wool but now with HRH Prince of Wales behind them it looks like people are sitting up & taking notice. Savile Row are firmly behind the use of British wool, especially rare & traditonal breeds for their superb natural colours. Today, sheep will be grazing in Savile Row to boost the profile of British wool producers. Throughout the week Harvey Nichols, Debenhams, Jigsaw http://www.jigsaw-online.com/, and Liberty have pledged to promote British wool in their window displays. There are many web sites running this story, check out the Wool marketing board website for full story. The NFU are running one on York Minster http://www.nfuonline.com/Regions/North-East/News/Sheep-and-shepherds-at-the-Minster/ Ravelry have a list of events here http://www.ravelry.com/events/search#query=wool%20week
Help me support British wool by buying something from my etsy shop! I use all British wool. Believe it or not this is a tea cosy!
October 7, 2010
I love to be in Brighton,
oh Brighton by the sea
if you were there & I was there
how happy I would be.
I wrote this for my eldest son Andrew, in 1983 we emigrated to the US but when I came back in 91 with his siblings he stayed behind & hasn’t been back since. Brighton is my favourite place on earth & I so wish he could experience it too.
October 6, 2010
I’m praying for a dry Saturday as I shall be at Mansion Market, Forest Row this Sat selling my warm woollies. Should have a pumpkin or 2 as well, in time for Halloween. I ought to try and make a ghost too!
October 1, 2010
This weekend the East Sussex Guild of Weavers, spinners & dyers will be demonstrating their crafts at Nymans garden at Handcross. It’s a beautiful garden with the added attraction this weekend, food, eco stalls & spinning! I only hope the rain ceases or we’ll need canoes to get around the garden.