Sunday 24 March 2013

Basket Weaving

Last Saturday, our Spinning Guild at Stocksfield, had a Basket Weaving Workshop, which had been eagerly anticipated by Tim as he'd made a basket many years ago at school and wanted to make another one.
Here's what he made
He's quite keen to make another one, so we shall see what happens. But I think you can agree, it's a pretty good basket, and not bad for a one day workshop.

Sunday 10 March 2013

First Market of the Year

Yesterday was the first of this year's Saltburn Farmer's Market, and the first of our markets under our new name of Willo Fibres.
After the weather we've had over the past week, we were hoping for a fine day, but as always with the British weather, cold day.
We arrived in Saltburn around 8am, it was raining and the wind was blowing, just a bit. Setting up the stall wasn't too bad and we'd remembered to pack a couple of tarpaulins, which meant that I could at least keep the stall surface dry, and as I'd packed all the wool in clear plastic boxes, it was easier to leave the wool in the boxes, but tip them on their sides, so the wool sort of tumbled out of the boxes onto the stall. Though I say so myself, it looked quite effective and kept the wool dry.
The market was a bit slow to get started, so it was good to catch up with all the other stall holders and to hear what shows/markets they will be attending in the coming year. I also took the opportunity to order some more yarn bowls from my potter friend Jill, in readiness for Wonderwool at the end of April.
Around lunch time trade was brisk, despite the cold and rain. Saltburn is such a popular market and it was good to see so many old and new customers.
Because we were cold, and as trade had died down, we packed up around 1.30 (we weren't the only ones), got home, unpacked the Bongo, turned on the central heating and tried to get warm through. But despite the cold and the rain, we had a good market, let's hope this bodes well for the rest of the markets and shows we are going to this year.

Tuesday 5 March 2013


Some of you will no doubt know by now that we are changing our trading name from Willo Alpacas to Willo Fibres at the start of the new tax year to better reflect what we now do. We'd been thinking about changing the name before we moved from our smallholding as a lot of people thought we just did Alpaca fibre and wool!!! Anyway I order 3000 new business cards, 1500 with a list of  the fibre we sell on the back and 1500 with out, so that I can put my own knitting wool labels on them.
So.... for the past 2 weeks I've been re-packing and re-labelling like mad as the first of this year's farmers markets at Saltburn is this coming Saturday.
The one thing about putting new business cards into the bags of fibre has enabled me to do, is to have a good sort out of what I've got, re-box some fibre and wool, photograph it and put it up for sale on my Folksy shop - I've also finally sorted out the Fibre Store, so that I can now see all the boxes of fibre we have, and get to them easily. I've still got some wool and fibre to dye before Wonderwool at the end of April. But the Hobbits are here for a week at Easter so they can do some dyeing for me. I can't have them lounging about watching T.V. all day can I!!!! I've also lined up some lambing duties for them as well!
Here are some of my favourite fibres:-
Rainbow Merino Top
Bumblebee - Merino/Soybean/Bamboo

Hand Dyed Teeswater Top

B.F.L & Bamboo Hand Dyed Sock Yarn
We have workmen here for the next couple of days, new garage doors being fitted to the carport and garage and sliding wardrobes being fitted to the main bedroom, which once the plumber has been to fit the new central heating system, at the end of March, will become our bedroom. Once all that is done, we can really start on the decorating and hopefully work on the garden, weather permitting of course.