Monday 28 November 2011

Manic dyeing, a day out and a poor market

Most of last week was spent dyeing 13kgs of knitting wool in readiness for the next few weeks Christmas markets. I got it all dyed, priced up and packed away into bags by Friday, so I was feeling suitable impressed with myself, especially as I had the Teeswater Sheep Breeder's newsletter to produce and get out by the weekend as well.
A Day Out - On Thursday I went to the Knitting and Stitching Show with Carol, Judith and Sarah from the Tuesday night knit club. We left our house at 7.30 and arrived in Harrogate at around 9, managed to park at the Exhibition Centre before having a cup of coffee and a discussion on our "plan of attack" to ensure we saw everything at the show. We split into 2 groups, Carol and I wanted to look at all the wool and textiles before looking at the exhibits. We kept meeting up with Sarah and Judith every 2 hours to swap notes. We finally left the Knit and Stitch at 5.30, when it closed. We all had a great day, even if our feet ached terribly. It's a few years since I've been to the knit and stitch and I'd forgotten how big the show was and how inspiring the exhibits are. We all came away with our heads buzzing with ideas.
The Poor Market, on Sunday I was at a Christmas Market, along with my friend Jayne (the lady who does amazing cut glass work), as the initial contact was through Ravelry we were expecting a well organised, well publicised market. What we got was something entirely differently, 16 stalls in a sports hall, which had no sign outside to say there was a Christmas Market inside. Driving to the venue we saw no signs for the market and friends who knew I was going to the market and lived in the area could find nothing about the market either. Suffice to say, takings were poor. We did manage to cover the cost of our stalls, but I think we were the only ones who did and some stallholders left just after lunch. The lady I felt most sorry for was the cake stall. Her cakes looked lovely, very seasonal and a lot of work had gone into making them. She took most of them home!
I know from arranging the North Eastern Textile Event, just how important advertising/publicity can be and it is not something that can be done lightly or half hearted, needless to say next time either Jayne or I get a contact via Ravelry asking if we are interested in attending a market they are arranging, we will be extremely cautious.

Sunday 20 November 2011

Another Market and a bargain Spinning Wheel

Yesterday I was at Botton Market, it's one I've not been to before, but despite it being outside, (I managed to get a stall in the sun), and a little bit off the beaten track, it was a fairly sucessful market, so I will be back there in December, the weekend before Christmas.
All this weekend in Danby, there have been two Christmas Fairs, one at the Village Hall, run by Esk Valley Enterprses, which we felt was a bit of a let down, the stalls were nothing outstanding and very "samey", which I think gives Craft/Christmas Markets a bad name.
The second of the Christmas Fairs was at the Danby Moors Centre and a couple of friends had stalls as this fair. Whilst we were looking at the stalls we found this spinning wheel

It's an old Ashford Traditional, in need of some TLC, which, after some haggling I bought for a 10th of the price of a new Traditional. Ashford do repair/maintenace kits, so we've ordered one, along with some oil to treat and feed the wood.
The flyer is going to take quite a bit of work as it's very rusty, but I have found a new one on the internet for not silly money, which if we have to buy will mean that for less than £50.00 we've been able to repair this wheel. The only other thing I will have to buy are some bobbins. Once the wheel is repaired Tim is talking about having a go at spinning?

Sunday 13 November 2011

Christmas is coming........

I was checking my diary this morning, when it suddenly dawned on me that from this weekend and every weekend until Christmas, I am attending either a craft fair or market, and after my sales yesterday at Saltburn Farmer's Market, I'm going to have to ring my wool supplier to top up my diminishing knitting wool stocks, which will mean loads of dying to do as well. I'd better check my dye supplies as well just to be on the safe side.
Now that the days are getting shorter, the hens are laying fewer and fewer eggs and some have started to go into their annual moult, and so are looking very bedraggled.
Hotpot has now covered all the ewes he's with, so tomorrow we will be changing his raddle colour to blue, this way we will know if any of the ewes have failed to take the first time round. But it's 3 weeks since Frea, Missy and one of the Scotties were covered with the yellow raddle, and they have stayed yellow, so it's more or less safe to say they will/should lamb the middle of March 2012, and if the rest of the ewes hold, we should finish lambing around the 1st April 2012. A nice tight lambing, hopefully.

Saturday 12 November 2011

Saltburn Farmer's Market

These markets seem to come round quicker each month, but thankfully the weather, yet again, was mild and stayed dry. It's hard to believe that it will be Christmas next month.
The market today seem a bit slow first thing, but it did give me chance to do buy some Christmas presents, then all madness seemed to be let loose, everyone seemed to want knitting wool and the sock and scarf packs that I'd made up also went down well with people shopping for Christmas presents either to make or give. It looks like I'm going to have to order some more wool as I've got another 4 markets to attend before Christmas!!
Today I was on the next stall to Wold Pottery from Loftus, and between customers we have come up with a new product for Jill to make, with a knitting theme, hopefully they will be for sale at the next market in December, just in time for Christmas. Watch this space.