Sunday 30 October 2011

North Eastern Textiles Open Day - and other things

This happened last Sunday and this year's event proved as popular as the last 2.
We're not sure if as many people came through the door as last year, but all the stallholders were saying that they had had a good day with sales, so that's always a good sign. It was good, as always, to meet up with customers old and new, and many thanks to the ladies who brought their spinning wheels and spent the day spinning and chatting. There was a fair mix of wheels.
We will be doing this event again next year, in actual fact we are going to do 2 events, one on May Bank Holiday Sunday at the end of May and the 2nd in October, but we are moving the venue for the May event nearer to Pickering to give people nearer to York an opportunity to visit. As for the venue for October, well the jury's out on that one for the moment.
Hotpot has been busy again this week. He's covered another 4 of the ewes so he's now covered half of the them, and this morning whilst we were trying to change his raddle colour (it's now orange) he was sticking very close to Anya and a couple of the Scotties, so it wouldn't surprise me if they don't have orange bums before lone.
Today we took 2 of the cream leg bar chicks that were born in July to their new owners, Ian and Elaine. The hens are our wedding present to them, a few months late, but we had to wait until Ian & Elaine had their chicken house in place. We've already given them 2 maran hens, who have just started laying, another set of friends have given them 2 bantam hens, so with these latest 2 hens it means that they have a lovely little flock of hens scratching around in their garden.
I've got a load more dyeing to do in readiness for Saltburn Farmers Market in a couple of weeks time, but in reality I've only got next week to get it all done, as the following week I'm supposed to be working in Newcastle all that week! Well it'll keep me out of mischief if I've got lots to do!

Friday 28 October 2011

Yellow Bum count

I meant to post this photo on Sunday

It shows that 3 of our ewes have been covered by Hotpot
Which means these ewes will be ready to lamb early March 2012.
It's good to know that he knows what to do.
We'll soon know if he's working when we change his raddle this weekend

Sunday 16 October 2011

Playing with the dyes

As it's the North Eastern Textile Day at Danby Village Hall next Sunday I've got some dyeing to catch up on.

This is 100% Bamboo yarn that Freyalyn helped me dye up at the end of September when she was here. The colours are really vibrant and I'm very pleased with the results, despite feeling that the dyeing process was so wasteful of the dyes. I'm used to dyeing my yarn through to "resist" and having no dye left in the water. But with dyeing this Bamboo, there seemed to be loads of colour left in the water.
This photo and the following ones are of the 3kgs of British Falklands Merino sock yarn that I dyed this week. The yarn has taken the colours very strongly and if I dye some more another time I think I will have to reduce the amount of dye powder used to get less striking colours.

All the same I'm pleased with the colour combinations.
Will have to see how well they sell next Sunday and at the next 2 Farmers Markets at Saltburn
I'm also going to put them up for sale on my Folksy Shop in readiness for Christmas.

Now just to get the 4kgs of BFL & Bamboo sock yarn dyed and then labelled in time for next Sunday!!!!!

Sunday 9 October 2011

Teeswater Sheep Annual Show and Sale

This took place last Thursday, and for me, as their breed secretary, is one of the busiest day of the year.
We had 120 sheep put forward for the show and sale, and despite the heavy rain, most members managed to get their sheep into their respective pens without getting them too wet. All sheep have to be inspected, to ensure they conform to the breed standard, and once inspected, the grooming and washing began before the show, which started at 10.15am. Not all sheep entered are shown, but it still took over 2 hours to get through all 5 classes.
Once the show was finished and the Overall Champion and Reserve Champion were photographed for the 2012 Flock book, there was time for a quick cup of coffee and then it was on with the sale.
Prices, as always, varied from as little as £50 guineas to the overall champion being sold for over £800 guineas.
Apart from the Annual Dinner, held in January, this is the only time I see a lot of the Teeswater members, so it's good to put names and faces to the voice on the end of the phone.
If you click on the link below, it should take you to the photos I took of the show.

Catching up

I seem to have been a bit behind with my blog writing just recently, so I thought I'd better do a quick catch up on what's been happening.
I've done some dyeing of a wool that has some stellina sparkle in it. I think you can just see it in the picture

To be honest, once the wool is dyed, the sparkle seems to disappear, so I don't think I will bother too much with it again.
At the end of September our friends Freyalyn and Mark came to stay, along with Lunil, Bill and Jasper. As it was high tide at Runswick Bay when they arrived, we went off to pick some sloes.

This was our half the haul of sloes of around 7lbs, which are now in the freezer so they will be easier to make Sloe Vodka with. Not sure what Freyalyn and Mark were doing with their half of the haul. Though Mark was muttering something about going down to Aldi for some cheap gin.
The walk with the dogs at Runswick Bay on the Saturday afternoon, was not a long one. But low tide on the Sunday morning was around 9am, so after our usual breakfast of sausage patties, bacon, eggs and toast we had a good long walk along the beech.

We picked up some limpet shells that had holes in the top to use as Dis' to create narrow rovings for spinning. Not sure how effective mine will be but I will give them a try as I have a good selection of hole sizes, as you can see from the photo.
Yesterday I was at Saltburn Farmers Market, which thanks to the rugby world cup, was a little slow to get started. But once everyone arrived sales certainly picked up. That was until the rain and a busker with a squeeze box, who, not only played badly, but also so loudly you could hardly hear yourself think. I decided to pack away around 1.30 as my wool was starting to get damp.
Finally on the house sale. After a quiet August and early Setember, viewings seem to be picking up again. We've had one couple round twice, second time with a builder and they are just waiting for quotes from him to finally decide if they want to buy, and yesterday a couple round who are looking to start a livery business. They seemed impressed with our house and land. But time will tell if they put in an offer or not. We will just sit and wait. We do know that we have a definite buyer, once they have sold their house. I'm hoping we can get it all sorted before the bad weather of the winter sets in.