Episode 32 – West Wales Wool Show vlog

Find me online as @owlaboutyarn on Instagram and Twitter, at http://www.owlaboutyarn.com or http://owlaboutyarn.etsy.com to see what I sell or in the Owl About Yarn Ravelry group for chat. I also mentioned the Knit-Tea Retreat – our podcast can be found on YouTube or via our website at theknittearetreat.wordpress.com. You can find details of our KAL in our Ravelry group (http:// http://www.ravelry.com/groups/the-knit-tea-retreat) and we’d love it if you came and joined in! West Wales Wool Show can be found at http://westwaleswoolshow.weebly.com as well as on social media, and I was at the Plas Hyfryd Hotel in Narberth, Pembrokeshire. http://www.PlasHyfrydHotel.com

Preparing for West Wales Wool Show

Just eight days until I pack up all my things to take them to Narberth in Pembrokeshire for the West Wales Wool Show. Yesterday and today have been batt-making days! I am really enjoying laying out my palette of coloured fibre (mainly merino wool at the moment, although I’m looking forward to branching out soon) and putting together combinations before I feed them through my drum carder. I thought that I would enjoy this work even before I got the carder earlier this year, but there is something so satisfying about blending a seemingly odd mixture of plain coloured wool (and sparkle, or silk, or other additives!) together and bringing out a wonderful single piece, all harmonising hues. I’ve never felted anything (deliberately!!) before, but I am itching to felt one of these batts and make some sort of landscape out of it!

In the next few days I have wool dyeing plans. I have a big box full of yarn downstairs crying out to be vibrantly coloured, and hopefully early next week I will receive some fibre which I will dye up straight away and hope fervently I can get dry in time for the weekend! If not, it will be a shame but it will keep for Nottingham Yarn Expo in November.

I dyed a new colourway last week, and it is definitely being repeated when I charge up my dyepots tomorrow.

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Inspired by the changing colours of all the foliage around my home, it is called “October Stroll” and I dyed it on 4ply (fingering) weight British BFL/nylon, which is my Happy Owl Sock base. What do you think? Does it shout “Autumn!” at you?

Show Season

It has been so long since I wrote anything here, and for that I apologise. The last few months have felt so busy and have flown by in a heartbeat. I’m sure it’s probably the same feeling for you too! So much has been going on since my last podcast and post, but it would take forever to catch you up so let’s pretend that we just spoke last week, yes? I’ll catch you up from there!

Last Saturday, Zoe and I went to Yorkshire and visited Yarndale. It was my first visit to that show, but we had heard so much about it that we just really wanted to see it for ourselves. The journey was absolutely horrific; I think we were stuck on three different motorways at various points, and instead of the 4.5 hours that Google Maps told us it would take, it ended up being nearer to 8! So, starting off exhausted is not ideal, but the yarn fumes kept us going!

[I should let you know while I remember, Zoe recorded a vlog of our trip and it will be uploaded onto her Youtube channel tomorrow, if you’d like to see how we got on!]

We both bought some nice things, and I even had a separate budget to spend for our friend Ellie who couldn’t come with us! (I’ve yet to give her her yarn, but she’ll get a nice parcel in the post delivered to her cosy little smallholding sometime soon.)

I bought a skirt length of wool fabric from a local shop which had a stall, as well as a length of Liberty Tana Lawn which I plan to use to make myself a top. My bags were actually remarkably light on yarn. The only yarn I ended up buying was some bombproof Opal to make mansocks for Mr OwlAboutYarn.

We decided to make a weekend of it and so had tickets for both days of the show. The Sunday was definitely less frantically busy which meant that there was a bit more space to look around the stalls, and a little more time to talk to the people we knew. We set off early afternoon to head home, and finally got back late evening (after a disappointing stop at Tamworth services which was fully and hilariously chronicled by Zoe on her vlog – I think mild hysteria brought on by exhaustion had set in by then!!), ready to collapse into bed and sleep for half a week!

All in all, it was nice to see all the lovely people there (although we did somehow miss a couple of people I would have liked to chat with), but it wasn’t so easy to get around as Wonderwool Wales, and the nature of the built in pens meant that the stalls were very crowded in. We liked that the organisers had provided much more seating than I’ve become used to at a yarn festival, and the effort that people had gone to to crochet bunting, hearts, mandalas and bollard covers was outstanding. Queues for food were horrifically long, but I think that’s the same at pretty much any event like this that you go to.

My next event will be in a fortnight when I vend at West Wales Wool Show. It’s a one day event in Narberth, Pembrokeshire, and I went for the first time last year and loved it! This next fortnight will be spent dyeing, carding and sewing in preparation!

Episode 30 – Light on the knitting, heavy on the waffle!

Workings – Milk Stout cardigan, pattern by Thea Colman (paid for pattern on Ravelry). My own hand dyed merino aran yarn, colourway Plum Duff. 3.5mm knit pro zing needles.

Loving

  • Blacker yarn for the #blackerpodkal hosted by Blacker Yarns and Louise from Knit British podcast
  • Wool Tribe magazine
  • Tyddyn Bryn podcast by my bkff Ellie
  • Moneta-along, which Zoe from Pins and Needles podcast brought to my attention

Out and About

  • Edinburgh Yarn Festival podcast lounge 10/11 March
  • Wonderwool Wales 22/23 April
  • Yarningham 15/16 July

Shop Update

All Blue Faced Leicester aran this week – a new base and weight for my shop. Eight colourways, update goes live at 7pm GMT

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Finally, please use the hashtag #owlaboutyarn on instagram when you post anything to do with my products to make sure I see it. Sometimes the @owlaboutyarn tags vanish before I get to see them, or they don’t notify me, and I don’t want to miss any of your beautiful pictures!

Episode 29 – Bright and Sunny!

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Question: are you a loose knitter or a tight knitter??

Workings

Monkey socks by Cookie A – available free on knitty.com

Milk Stout cardigan by Thea Colman – paid for pattern on Ravelry.

Petal Dress by Felicity Patterns (pattern available at https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/128630976/sewing-pattern-petal-reversible-dress)

Loving

Pin badge – madness hamsters
New pictures – Rhiannon Roberts ( http://www.rhiannonart.co.uk)
– Amy’s Not Dead Yet ( https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/amysnotdeadyet?ref=s2-header-shopname)

Shop news – update tonight at 7pm, http://owlaboutyarn.etsy.com – it’s all about the project bags!

Consistency!


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Finishings

Baable hat, knit in John Arbon Knit by Numbers 
Deco Mug Mat knit in Laal Bear 4ply and undyed 4ply

Workings

Milk Stout cardigan by Thea Colman, knitted on 3.5mm needles in my own hand dyed aran merino (colourway Plum Duff, in case you’re interested!)

Aran weight mitred square blanket

Monkey Socks by Cookie A knitted on 2mm needles in a yarn I think MariaSamira gifted to me?

KALs you might like to try

Pins and Needles Newfangled KAL hosted by BFG in her Ravelry group – until the end of February.

Louise Tilbrook Brioche Challenge – just this month

Carolien Kralalien of Colourful Creativity’s Colourful Brioche KAL – until the end of March

Katie MissLavelli of Inside no.23 has a year long Harry Potter KAL – just my sort of thing!

CC javapurl and Dami damisdoodles of Geeky Girls Knit podcast have the Winter Wonderland KAL until the end of February.

Vlog of walk in Cardiff Bay