Monday, March 9, 2009

Woolfestival - St Abbs

At the weekend my friend Louise hosted a Woolfestival in St.Abbs. As I am sure you are all aware she runs the wonderful Woolfish shop based at St. Abbs Head. A real Aladdin's cave. The festival is held in the local village hall, formerly the school and is wonderful.

This time there were stalls from Woolfish, Yarn Yard, The Border Tart and the gorgeous Cairndinnis Alpacas. I didn't get chance to go out and spend time with the alpaca like I did last time - they are so sweet.

I came away with a smal stash of lovely yarn. This is some hand-spun from The Border Tart:

I bought three skeins of Caber from The Yarn Yard in the most gorgeous metal-toned colours:

I also got some gorgeous hand-dyed yarn with a matching plain small skein to make contrasting heel and toes on socks:

So two days before the festival I contacted Natalie from The Yarn Yard and asked if she wanted a hand on the stall. I turned up at just before 10 and sat down, I think four hours later, having never stopped talking and selling on her lovely stall. It was an absolute dream. In the afternoon it was a little quieter and we had the chance to get to know each other a little (we have never met before) and Natalie taught me how to spin on a drop spindle.

Well - I loved it - and here are some pictures of it all. Please bear in mind this is the first time I have ever spun and I am thrilled with the results - even if it does look a little uneven.

This is the first yarn I made - it is hand spun on a drop spindle from a mixture of merino silk and shetland roving and plied together using Andean plying:

This is what I have on my spindle at the moment - this is the merino silk roving which is wonderfully smooth. 80% merino wool and 20% silk.

I absolutely love working with this fibre and have another 100g in one of the other colourways to also spin. This is available from the Yarn Yard in five colours and is gorgeous - I may have to get some of the other colourways too..


A Wunderknauel is a ball of yarn full of gifts.

How does that work you may well ask - well you get some gifts together and a skein of wool and you wrap the presents up in the wool. The idea is that the intended then knits from the ball and gradually reveals the secrets hidden within. Such a fabulous idea don't you think.

I was involved in a swap with Ravelry and I was the luckiest person to receive mine first. So while others are still fretting about sending theirs, never mind receiving I had the luxury of my gift arriving super-early.

Here is what it looked like when it arrived...

Intreaguing huh?

The yarn is hand-dyed silk and a great shade of purple. Included were four suggested patterns - all lovely scarves and shawls. I decided to try one but it really did not suit the yarn so frogged back and settled on the gorgeous Cobweb Shawl. It really is a nice knit. As I am not a purl-lover I am making all the purl rows garter stitch - I'm still loving it though.

Now as you will have also seen from the picture above there is some weird stuff going on. I started to knit thinking I would be able to leave all the presents wrapped in the wool but as I progressed it was becoming harder and harder to do that - the yarn was getting caught on some of the objects inside. So I decided to unravel it. But - I was already knitting and didn't want to frog back - so I started to just go for it. Of course I got in a complete mess and at the moment have three mini sections of yarn that all need winding back into one ball before I can continue. Such a numpty. Oh well - you live and learn.

It does mean, however that I have released the presents. Here they are:

Lots of lovely things - tea, coffee and jewellery. No wonder the yarn kept getting snagged - all that lovely bling!

And finally.... here is a little sneak preview of the one I am sending - a small hint - it's a very Posh parcel....