Thursday, 31 May 2007


So its 6.55pm, i'm drinking a glass of wine and waiting for cardiff stitch and bitch to arrive at my house for some serious knitting, and boy today do I need it.

I am now a single gal again, me and sweetiepie decided we would make it much better as freinds, we have a tonne of fun together and I'm still not quite over the whole marriage thing yet so here  I am a single bird. Feeling quite mellow about it really, and a little sad, but its for the best.

In addition Nan still very ill, so I have been knitting for therapy quite alot recently.

I purchased a little treat from this lovely lady I can't remember which yarn it was, but its super to knit with and I have so far finished a ribbed sock and have cast on for the second,


don't look at the decreases on my ribbed bits, they are horrendous, but this is therapy knitting remember, not perfectionism, I always make a pair of socks ina crisis, I was knitting some on my wedding day.

Sarcasm? me? no!! I'M ALLOWED TODAY, OK!!

So in addition i'm working on some new kits, and here is my lovely little sample I have knitted so far;


Right thats all folks, i'm off to get drunk and drop some stitches.

Friday, 25 May 2007


right, I've uploaded a load of new things into the shop, probably best to look under new arrivals. I have 3 new colours of sock yarn, which I'm totally in love with, the first is called 'hot lava' the colours are deep and strong, they will make killer socks;


Next, a new colour called 'flowers and autumn leaves', I am totally in love with this one, and the colours are made in quite a special way, but thats top secret. hehe.


Finally, I was dyeing some foxglove and decided to layer some colours up, so this one is called 'flower garden', and un like foxglove has a the foxglove colour plus some pretty mauves in it too.


I've also popped lots of fibres on the site, plus I am now stocking bamboo double points, in 2mm, 2.25, 2.5mm, 2.75mm, 3.00mm, 3.25 and 3.5mm, for all your sock needs.

Right thats it for now.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Wonderwool Wales 2007

So finally here is my pics from Wonderwool.

As I drove in on friday evening to set up, the first thing I saw was a pen of Alpaca's, I had to stop and gaze for ages, they are such beautiful animals, and here is one of the cutest baby aplaca's ever.


and this one


Diane came and did some spinning on my stand, she bought this tiny little spindle, perfect for spinning cashmere, and as I happened to have some cashmere fibres (which will be in the shop later), she got to spinning some, not wanting to be left out I went to purchase one of the little cuties and couldn't stop after that. Here is a pic of us spinning on the stand, go check her blog out, she is a brilliant spinner, taught me a few things!!


Its not a particulary good picture of my stand, but the others all have people in them, so I won't post them, just incase they wouldn't be very comfortable with it.

Elly was a fab help, but for some reason there are no photo's of her on my camera, so I can't show you, but she got some great feedback on her designs, she is a fab designer afterall.

It was so much fun meeting everybody, and chatting and getting feedback on my yarn, I'll definately be there next year.

PS Diane, you are tagged. hehe.

Someone special wrote me something very beautiful this morning, and it made me really tearful,  I just wanted to say thanks, and that I love them very much. xxx

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Where do I start?

Wonderwool was fabulous, but I'm saving that for a post tomorrrow when I have plenty of time to write it and post photo's, I am a little stressed cause I have so much to do, in psychology work and fyberspates, and my Nan is in hopsital with pnemonia, I went to see her yesterday just incase, well you know, it was the last time I saw her, she is very sick, and its not looking good, so I feel a bit sad today, everything seems harder when you feel sad doesn't it?

Anyway, I'm grateful then to have been tagged by Dee so I've got some random stuff to talk about!!!

So here are seven random facts about me!

  • I used to have worm eating contests with my brother when I was about 8.

  • I love fairy stories, especially celtic myths, I love the Mabinogion, I could sit and read them for hours.

  • I still don't have any  dental fillings and I'm 29.

  • Like Dee and Kerry I have never had the urge to smoke and I hate smoking, however, I do have very fond associations with the smell of smoke, which comes from spending time with a very special freind I have called Philip when I was a student, (and occasionally now when he comes to stay). We used to sit and chat, he would smoke and we would drink endless pints of coffee while we would anaylse the world around us, or talk about books and life, in his old scruffy kitchen, on old wooden stools, in the sunshine, very very special times for me. Sometimes I just get a whiff of smoke and feel very very comforted.

  • I'm a buddhist, and I Chant everyday morning and evening and have been a buddhist for 9 years (so is philip as mentioned above).

  • I always have a massive breakfast, I never ever eat cereals, well not for breakfast anyway, I prefer fried eggs on toast, or beans on toast, or a sausage sandwich, if I miss breakfast it makes me ill and tired (I am convinced my breakfast habits are my secret to being skinny).

  • I love more than anything an impossible challenge. The harder the better, I truly believe there is nothing that can not be achieved if you want it enough.

So I am going to tag the following people, there are some more, but I need to find their blogs.

Elly  Marie Flossie Annarella

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Wonderwool, wonderwool, wonderwool

Man, I am so excited about wonderwool, I am not too sure what to expect, I think it might be a little different to woolfest, but the waiting is just killing me. I am not obviously going to buy much, but what I really really want is some carded fyber blends to spin my self something like a stripey cardigan. Or at least some fybers I can blend myself, I have a tonne of fybers, but I love to have something that someone else has dyed.

I promise to take lots of pics for mondays posting. Please come and say hello to me on the stand. :-)

I ate some of the haloumi by the way, the texture is excellent, a little less rubbery than shop bought Halloumi, but it needs more of a bite, I think I might try it with sheeps or goats milk, but I need to find out what my favourite brand is made with. Hmm trying to emulate noro got me into dyeing and spinning and the result was fybersaptes, lets hope thats this cheese lark doesn't turn out to be anything more than a passing obsession, saying that I don't really have passing obsessions, just a list of obsessions that keep growing!

I can't remember if I blogged about this or not, but I got some funding for a student to work for me over the summer on the knitting project, not quite sure how that happened, seeing as lots of 'big wigs' applied as well, and didn't get it, I guess that its just meant to happen.

Monday, 14 May 2007

Halloumi Cheese

So after writing the last post on Friday morning, I decided to try my first batch of cheese, one that was simple and didn't need alot of fussing, I happened to find a recipe here for halloumi cheese, I bought 8 pints of Rachel's organic full cream milk, and some vege rennet, because thats that only one sainsbury's had, and got to work. I followed the recipe, well kind of! So poured the rennet in to the 8 pints of milk, and waited for it to set, and a bit longer and a bit longer.....nothing!

Then it occurred to me that as the recipe for junket on the side of the rennet bottle required warm milk, and the fact that I used cold milk straight out of the fridge could be why it wasn't working. So I popped the huge thing of milk on the radiator and waited for an hour or so. Nothing DAMN IT!!!!!!!. So being fed-up, I shook a load more rennet in and left it. After copious glasses of wine, (it was friday afterall), I remembered it was still on the radiator, and it had thickened, I jumped for joy and went and found some muslin in my fabric stash and hung the curds up to drain. Again after the desired waiting time, I checked my curds and they were just down right crumbly. I hung them back up and left them till the morning, when they were...............yep, still crumbly!


So I threw caution to the wind, salted them and stuck them under the grill to see what would happen;


They were yummy and creamy, but they were not halloumi!!!!!!!

So as the day wore on, I pondered my haloumi attempt, and read a few of my cheese books, none of which had anything remotely like it in their recipes.

Sunday morning I decided was time for attempt 2.

So this time I heated up my milk to 32 degrees first, I also added double the amount of rennet (2 tsp), I think vege rennet might be a little less strong, and left it. After about half an hour the curds and whey were separating. After about another half an hour (during which time, I whipped up a filo spinach pie, with the addition of yesterdays failed curds, some pine nuts, basil and eggs), I hung the halloumi up to drain;


Sweetie pie constructed the perfect cheese draining device, (a plank of wood across my two kitchen cabinets), and I do believe they are hanging from a silk alpaca blend thread! nothings too good for my halloumi!

I left them to drain till this morning and this time, they were much more solid;


They had to be boiled in the whey,. which I have done, they look a little more rustic after that, but tonight will be the testing, yummy, grilled halloumi with a scrummy tomato and onion salsa, my favorite way to eat it!

I'm going to make mozarrella next.

Friday, 11 May 2007

When I was 10

I heard someone say once that the things that you like to do when you were ten years old are the things that would be your dream job.

I grew up in a household where the aim was to be as self sufficient as possible, my mum and dad were often called 'Tom and Barbara' I remember endless weekends going to chop huge trees with my mum and dad for our Rayburn, our house was decorated with my mums paintings, and home made furnishings, my mum is a bit of a designer I have to say, so it always looked amazing, as she has an amazing eye for colour, and can pretty much make anything she wants too. One Christmas I had a huge dolls house made for me, which was the envy of all my friends, it had everything in it, and the whole thing had been made by mum. I think alot of it was because money was tight, but I never knew any different.

I would like to share here a small ice cream anecdote, my mum told me and my brother that the reason we couldn't have icecreams from the icecream van was because it had anti-freeze in it, I have never to this day been able to eat a Mr Whippy, lol, I'm sure she only told us that because she couldn't afford them, but it worked!!!!

Anyway, back to the point, when I was ten well all my childhood really, um, actually, its not really changed, I would spend endless hours creating little gardens and planting seeds, weeds mostly I expect, and sewing clothes, they never fitted of course, and making shoes, I spent endless holidays making shoes, he he. I even remember going to a corn field when I was about 8, got lots of ears of corn and  ground my own flour, I also used to get up on sunday mornings every september about 6am and go on my own roaming throug the fields mushroom picking, hmm, as I'm writing this, I'm thinking that I was quite an odd child.

I was pondering this thought this morning in bed, mainly because I lost my switch card about a week ago, I knew it was at home, but I decided to see how long I could last without it, I had about 10 pounds in cash so it was going to be a bit of a challenge, (especially seeing as most of that would go on Sophie guapita's food and milk), but to be honest it wasn't too bad at all, I cooked lots of yummy things, and had to be inventive, made a tonne of pesto with all my basil plants, made myself sandwiches for work ( half of which contained pesto), which were a million times better than the ones from the cafe, I even found some old goats cheese in the back of my fridge and made wonderful grilled portabello mushrooms, with roasted peppers , pesto topped with goats cheese, obviously my veges are not quite ready yet but they will be, but it got me thinking about all the things I plan to make in the summer. like some cheese and wine. I have lots of 'how to make cheese' books and a cheese press so I think its about time, I'll start with soft cheeses like ricotta and then mozzarella and then go from there, and I promise I'll document it all here on my blog.

I ran out of petrol so I've been walking a little more than normal, but I'm loving it, even in the rain, even though I insist on wearing sandals.

So what made me chuckle was that I ran out of soap, and then I remembered the soap I made last year, which contained lavender from my garden, and some which I bought on my honeymoon, but we won't go there or I'll probably cry, anyway, so I cut a huge chunk off it and its fabulous, not quite as bubbly as normal soap, but it does the job wonderfully. I thought I'd take a pic for you;


As I was washing with my hand made soap this morning and planning my first batch of award winning cheeses and the blends I was going to spin into yarn for a self striping cardigan, I chuckled to myself thinking about how much like my mum and dad I am and how if I was ten years old I would be doing exactly the same thing, and unlike when I was a child, where it was a nessesity to grow our own veges etc, I can now drive 10 minutes not even think twice about buying all my treats from Sainsbury's, but damn, it doens't seem half as exciting as when you make it, knit it, sew it, brew it, grow it yourself does it?  he he.

Quick garden update, this is roughly what my vine looked like three weeks ago;


and now looks like this, how exciting would it be if I got some grapes this year?


Thursday, 10 May 2007


So I have 2 new additions to the hand dyed silk range which is a soft scrummy silk yarn, its in the same vein as the lace weight, one which is doule the thickness of the laceweight in 50gm hanks, and then double the thickness again, resulting in roughly a  4 ply weight in 100gm hanks.


I have lots, but saving it for wonderwool, but I have put a small update in the new arrivals just incase you love silk and you are not coming to wonderwool.


and of course some lace weight wool;


I think you'll aggree, my pics are getting alot better. hehe, actually I'm actually getting quite addicted to this picture lark.

Wednesday, 9 May 2007


Thanks for all the comments I've been getting recently, its lovely to recieve them and know what people think about all the things I blog about. In addition, I just got an emial from my little bro, I say little, but actually he is 6ft 4, and built like a brick shed, he is little in the sense he is 14 months younger than me, but anyway back to the point, he just read my blog and told me it was soooo cool! Out of all the people that like my blog, I think that his approval probably means the most to me, it made me blush, and grin stupidly.

So Wonderwool is approaching, and as usual, I'm still dyeing and packaging and stuff, and probably will be up until the night before, but I Have a few special things to take which are new to the shop, some super soft silk yarns, which I dyed up at the weekend, which I will probably put in the new arrivals later, obviously the superwash merino dk, which is cashmere soft, and some cashmere fibres, which I will sell undyed and dyed, its not arrived yet, but I find it so hard to go to work when I know there are lovely fibres arriving which I neeeeeeeed to dye, for me  for my lovely customers, and there is a lovely garden which I need to be in. My sink/kitchen overlooks the garden, and I can say that I now actually wash up, just so I can look out the window at it. hehe.

Monday, 7 May 2007

Its nearly there.

So end of of a hard working weekend, I now have muscles i never knew I had, and I still can't seem to stop finding sand every where, hehe.

So so there is a little more trellis to be built, but in the mean time, mum and dad took me shopping to blooms for plants for the new garden, and we got lots of lovely things including 2 more vines and alot of climbing plants, a sweet climbing rose, a passion flower, and a pretty clematis, plus lots of hanging baskets, oh and of course a couple more vege plants. So here it is at the stage this evening.




So I have some beautiful flowers and plants, but things have to be functional, they either provide shade, colour or food, and I was I am so excited about the list of edible plants I now have in my garden, with only raised beds and pots, see, you don't need a huge garden to grow veges, so as follows;


Three varieties of grapes to climb up the wood, 1 white, two red, melons, morello cherry tree in pot, dwarf bramley apple in pot, fig tree in pot, and an odd variety of climbing kiwi fruit.


Tonnes of rocket, in pots and mixed in hanging baskets, 3 varieties of tomatoes, in pots, coriander, basil, runner beans in pots, aubergines, 2 varieties of squash, courgettes, chilli's and peppers, hmm think thats all. not bad huh?

And I just wanted to say thanks to sweetie pie, who to be honest built most of it all himself, the garden came from a planning one sunny afternoon and I could never have believed it possible to do it all, he is very very clever. Thanks sweetie pie, he wouldn't let  New_camera_020 me take a photo of him so this is all you get.

Sunday, 6 May 2007

sunday progress.

Its sunday morning, the garden is starting to seriously look like its on its way now. The raised borders are being rendered today and trellis being built.



Saturday, 5 May 2007

garden pics.

So this is what the garden kind of looked like at the beginning of this little project. The blue shed on the left has just been moved from infront of my kitchen window to make room for the tree trunks, yep tree trunks.


Then the tree trunks start going in, and the raised borders start taking shape.


Friday, 4 May 2007

Garden transformation

So over the next 4 days my garden is going to be transformed from a long peice of patio into a magic garden with a huge pagoda, raised borders and a new work area for my dyeing, and plenty of trellis.

I will take pics at the end of each day to document the progress, its soooooo exciting, currently my garden is full of huge tree trunks, concrete blocks and sand. Pics later!!!