Wednesday, 27 February 2008


Well, the only little gripe I have about working for myself is the lack of knitting time. So this morning when I woke up at 6.15, I sprang out of bed and thought of the hour and a half of knitting I could do, so I am drinking tea, knitting my secret project for a submission, which Sophie keeps leaping into because I am knitting of a huge hank of the softest chuff chuff ever, everytime I am not looking she ends up in the middle of the hank, which is unusual for her, because she generally ignores yarn, seeing as it is everywhere, but she LOVES this stuff, thank god its all in the store room on shelves, lol.

Anyway carmella's mum and dad have come from spain to stay, and they bought me a tagine, finally, I have a flippin tagine, problem is, I got a book on moroccan cooking with looks amazing, but it calls lots of things tagines, I don't think the word tagine just refers to the cooking pot, so anyone point me in the direction of some nice tried and tested slow roast lamb recipes, with apricots or something similar that I can cook in my new tagine?

40 days to go

I think its about 40 days to go until Peru, I am not too good with dates and things. Sometimes it feels really soon, and then when I write 40 days it seems so far. I am getting so excited, this will be the biggest trip I have ever done, I just feel like taking an empty suitcase so I can fill it with treats, and samples.

I am also very excited today, I know, I am always excited, but I have some new blends of tops arriving early next week, which I can guarentee you will not be able to get anywhere, and I mean anywhere in the entire world. One of them is alpaca and silk, and another is baby alpaca, silk and cashmere, gulp, I have forgotton what the other one is lol! Its some serious stuff. I am getting a good range of blended tops now, and I am so excited about wonderwool, because I will have them all there for you guys. So, I have to get all my wholesale done in the next two days so that I can just dye tops when they arrive. *shiver with delight*. Now I just need a new spinning wheel, because my little crappy haldanes, is just not cutting the mustard, and I am ready to throw it out the window, so in the meantime, I am going to hunt out the last hand made drop spindle which claire made for me and take some of the silk hankies out of the shop, because they are just calling me......

Tuesday, 26 February 2008


So, you know when you walk in on someone who is meant to be on a diet and they are stuffing their face with a cream cake or bar of chocolate and they look guiltily at you as if you have caught them doing something criminal, well I'm like that, just not about cakes and chocolate. I'm like that about things that are made in china, or come from a huge supermarkets, lol.

So there is me supporting local shops, going and buying my tofu and Bio D washing liquid in refillable containers from the new health food shop on Clifton Street, buying fresh veges, from the local shop etc etc. And yesterday something awful happened.  I drove past EVIL Sainsbury's, and I was so blinded by the bright lights, that my van and I got sucked into its evilness, OH, the smell of the evil bread, and the ridiculously over packaged food, the taste the difference organic thick cut bacon, croissants, delicious butter that wasn't from Wales  the perfectly formed vegetables and fruit, what was extremely shocking was the only fruit I could find from the UK was cooking apples, everything else had been flown across the world, I even scooped so low as to have plums from some far flung country that probably will now  contribute to global warming, just because I wanted apple and plum crumble! Oh the shame of it. Now in the broad daylight I feel like a dieter who has eaten 10 chocolate eclairs. No really, I'm kidding, well, I kind of am.

As I sat down with my 'supposedly' fairly traded coffee and my taste the difference croissants, I redetermined my efforts to be an Eco warrior, starting tomorrow, just as soon as those bacon sandwiches have been eaten and that apple crumble has been polished off with a nice blob of evil, not locally produced cream. 

Monday, 25 February 2008

Beautiful spring day.

Due to some strict choices, that was the first proper weekend I spent at home, apart from shopping for paint and guitar strings and waffle makers, it was my first weekend at home for about 3 years where I wasn't completely exhausted. I cleaned, and washed and cleaned and washed more than I have ever ever done, because I am realising how much easier my life is when I am organised, and everything is in its place. The house feels fantastic, and I am so in the mood to do some decorating and every time I walk into the lounge, I can smell the daffy's that mum put in the window.

I realised this weekend, I think maybe I have the tendency to surround myself with people to stop me feeling lonely, after about 3 hours of being alone this weekend I stopped feeling the urge to ring someone up and comfort me, and started to really enjoy it, and then I was amazed at the things I had time to think about when I was alone, and actually had some really profound realizations  about a few things in my life, I wasn't expecting that! They are a bit too deep to share, but blimey I am feeling so damned good today, my head is clear and I am ready for some serious work.

So happy spring cherubs, I hope you all feel as ready as I do to have some hard working fun :-)

PS, this is my idea for my kitchen, this is how it looks at the mo:


And this is the little tester I did, you won't be able to see any of the natural wood when its finished, and it will certainly lighten up the kitchen, I am loving it, but its quite labour intensive with the two colours, any thoughts?


Sunday, 24 February 2008

Sunday Bliss

So, I have lots of things to do in the house today, including painting some sample doors in the kitchen, because I hate my wooden doors, and its such a gorgeous kitchen, that if it was made lighter it would just be a complete delight. I have my samples and now I just have to try out some different colours, I'll post some pics tomorrow.

To start with though this morning I tried out my new waffle iron I bought yesterday, I've been wanting one for ever and ever, and yesterday felt like the right day.....


Home made waffles, fresh coffee and the Archers. Bliss!

Saturday, 23 February 2008

I decided to stay at home.

Ahh, I was to tired to drive, so I'm staying at home this weekend, but I did go and buy some paint samples this morning for the kitchen, and have trialed it out on one door, it look cool, I'll take pics in the morning to show you, I also bought some teal paint and some gold for the wood work in the bathroom, very exciting.

Also I'm gonna spin some silk hankies tomorrow, they are just too good to sell, lol!

Friday, 22 February 2008

Talented family

So, normally my working week doesn't seem to really have a beginning or an end, but its the first time in ages where I was so tired last night, and I couldn't wait for it to be Friday, I am actually going to have the weekend off. I am going to see family, and take my knitting, I have to finish a pattern, and thats it, but its fairly mindless knitting. But I'm not there yet, I have alot of dyeing today and lots of labeling to do, but my god, I am going to go for walks, eat Sunday lunch, and sleep in.

Do you want to see a picture of my new cupboard that my uncle built me in the bathroom? Well you are going to anyway...

My bathroom is rather on the large side, the size if a bedroom actually, alot of the houses in Cardiff tend to have bathrooms downstairs and then only bedrooms upstairs, my house has been chopped around out of recognition, but thats why I love it, anyway there was a flimsy cupboard in there, but I have so many people come and go in my house that I have a serious amount of bedding and towels, and no where for them to go, so now I have my new large airing cupboard, its so gorgeous,

Sorry I should have put the loo seat down, but anyway...


I can't wait to go and sort the whole room out now, but I need to do my work, and its Carmella's room to clean so I will resist, she was painting baskets white last night at 11.30 so we can put all our bits and pieces in them!!! I am getting a major itch to decorate, now we have started things it kind of makes you want to keep going........

Then my Auntie Marylin sent me a pic of a scarf kit of mine she knitted up, its really gorgeous...........


Pretty isn't it...

Thursday, 21 February 2008


Uncle still building, mum still organising, man coming for very important meeting at 2pm, gulp.

I need my knitting.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008


The weather is so gorgeous here, so blimin gorgeous, would like a walk,  but the dye pot is callling ...........

Monday, 18 February 2008

My little head is spinning.

Well, mum came today with my uncle peter to do some tidying up jobs in my house, things like filling holes and building cupboards, and mum bascially deconstructed my entire dyeing space and reconstructed it into something which is pretty damned amazing. She has the most incredible ability to organise, which I obviously have not inherited, but I almost don't want to dye because I don't want to mess it up, lol. Anyway I am very very grateful, and chuffed.

I am mildly anxious though that I have a million deadlines to fullfill this week, so its going to be a week of very long days, still thats ok, I will look forward to the weekend.

So, what do I do first, finish my article for a magazine? Dye the wholesale orders, pack the other orders and 70 sock clubs? carry on knitting a design for another magazine which is due in the next week or two?

Cup of tea and a nap anyone?

Saturday, 16 February 2008


So here it is, its v short, and like I said minky, NOT manky Tracey!!!!!! lol.


Friday, 15 February 2008

so much to do so little time

hair is white, well, slightly minky, am loving it, photos later I promise, have so many exciting things and orders, just can't kind of keep feet on update will be tomorrow.

will be knitting secret project tonight to keep me sane and not running around house squealing with excitement.


Thursday, 14 February 2008

So the hair has been cut.........

So Tristan the most gorgeous hairdresser in the world (gees, I hope he never reads this) chopped my hair up, and now its just under 2cm or less all over. The next step is bleaching it. That comes later, probably accompanied by a glass of wine, and some superstrong bleach, I am going kind of ash white.

So tomorrow I'll do pics. I'll try and do before and after as well. ;-)

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

PERU and reflection

Its booked, the trip is actually booked. You know when you can't actually believe it, so your head is gearing up to be excited, but you are still in denial? Well thats me. I am a little shell shocked to be honest, I am going to Peru for 10 days to research my yarns and do business things, as well as going to see Machu Piccu and the Alpaca's. GULP!

I decided that this year was going to be the best seeing as it was my 30th year in this world, and up until the last 2 years of my life, I have done things which I have always thought I 'should' do rather than what I actually want to do, and chase options which I thought would validate me, and then when they didn't, I stopped, and decided to be true to myself.

My friend Philip always says life is like a big massive tanker ship, which if you want to turn around to go in another direction, you have to switch of the engines, and then the motion still keeps it moving for ages in the wrong direction, and that's a bit like life, if you want to make massive changes, sometimes it feels like things take so long, and of course all the causes/choices you have made in your life up until now are still having their effects, so sometimes slowing that tanker down and turning it around can take a really long time and a hell of alot of effort. It feels like its taken two years to turn my tanker around, but my goodness its turning now, lol!!!

I was chatting to A friend last night who is supporting someone who is dyeing of cancer, and the change in that friend is phenomenal. Because he is around someone who is dyeing he has realised how precious life is, and has decided that he is going to live his life with joy in every moment. I cannot even begin to tell you what a change that is for him, he was just shining. I was so inspired by this, so I suppose its why I am feeling reflective today.

Anyway I am a little shell shocked by my new life, lol, but I am going to make sure this is the best year of my life so far, and I hope you all don't mind me sharing it with you.


Monday, 11 February 2008

I'm excited today

I am excited, because I have a whole week of work at home, I do so much traveling, and as much as I love it I am just glad to be home to work hard and do some dyeing, and the sun is shining, so I may even make it outside today for dyeing. So I have some yarns showcasing in Stash in London in April, and they wanted some of the chunky scrumptious for the shop, so I needed to whip up a little something for two skeins, here is the progress so far.......


Talking of traveling, I need to fit in a trip to Peru, in amongst workshops at Get knitted, and Wonderwool, just a tiny little thing to fit in!!!!!!, it is a business trip, to work on business developments and because I have to check every source I get my yarn from, to make sure it comes up to my standards. You can't get much more of a guarantee of good sourcing than that can you? ;-)

Also getting hair cut short and decided am going to go peroxide blonde again, the sun is shining and I am bored with dark hair already.

Its a true 'beans on toast with lots of cheese on the top' lunch day today, something about spring and beans on toast, must be something from spring school holidays in my memory.......

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Experiments and ravelry

Just got back from running the knitting and therapy experiment in bath with Betsan from Stitchlinks, it was fab, and it was nice to do some research again, it took me a little while to get into it, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, and we are close to coming to the end, and I can't wait to see what the results will be, its very exciting.

So I have been on ravelry for ages, but its only just now becoming a daily addiction, I'm on there as 'sapjh2' I just changed it to 'fyberspates' come and find me :-)


Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Changing titles.

Firstly thanks for those who commented, I was very grateful for those.  I changed the name of the last post to 'knitting garments for physical uniqueness'. I have set up a group in ravelry, called knitting for physical uniqueness, so please come and join it, I would be really interested in some discussion from people about it really.

So, I am trying to finish a pattern, finish an article, dye my wholesale orders, and get ready for the weekend, where I am due to spend the whole of it running my experiment on knitting and therapy. I neeeeed to get the damned thing finished, its taken about 2 years so far, lol, thats why it costs £150,000 to run a research study, because you have to pay researchers, get equipment, and participants, so if you want it done quickly it costs money, so seeing as its free, it takes AGES. Anyway I'm in a bit of a ranty mood today so I'll shut up. I probably need to do some knitting instead.


Sunday, 3 February 2008

Knitting garments for physical uniqueness

Sometimes I forget how lucky we are to be hand knitters, mainly because we have so much flexibility, I know it doesn't always feel like that when we want to change something in a garment but thats what makes it exciting for me. So whats the relevance of this? Well, my father is hemiplegic, which means he is paralysed down one side of his body, I've never known him any other way because he had an accident which resulted in this condition before I was born, he's an amazing amazing man, despite only having the use of one arm, he's always making things, doing DIY, and working on his vintage car and doing things that lots of most people with two hands wouldn't ever be able to do. However, this morning, we spent half an hour trying to get a glove on his paralysed hand and get the fingers into the fingers of the glove. I was completely frustrated, and so was he, and luckily in the end we found a thumb-less mitten I had made him ages ago, but the only downside is it needed some lining, well, adding thrumbs would have made it perfect, so this is what I will do next for him.

So it got me thinking about how frustrating it must be for people with disabilities. For a few reasons.

1. To have to wear things that don't fit, or you can't limbs in on, and that take a million years to get on.

2. How silly things look when they don't fit properly and how perhaps an ill fitting garment draws attention to your disability and not you.

So I decided to add a section/link to pages onto the shop with free patterns for garments that have been adapted to make it easier for people to wear if they don't fit conventional things. So I need some help with this, I am absolutely sure there are plenty of you that have adapted patterns just like my thumb-less mitten, and I want to put them all in one place so we can create a central resource, I am aware that people have all sorts of disabilities which will mean there will be lots of different adaptations, but we can put them all together so people can find things to knit for their loved ones, which perhaps the might not have done because there was no patterns for a glove for a paralysed hand for example.

So I will get scheming and planning, and I would like some feedback/suggestions either by emails or by comments, let me know if you would find something like this useful, or if you've ever had to adapt things.

Email fyberspatesATbtinternetDOTcom (replace the capitals for the real thing)

My father is happy to be used as a model, so I will photograph my progress of the thumbless mitten etc ;-) 

Friday, 1 February 2008


Nope, not the show, the update, there is sooooooo much fibre on there, click here to see there are two pages of it, and  little more to come tomorrow. These are my absolute favourites:

Fyberspates_hand_dyed_knitting_136 Delicious mohair

Fyberspates_hand_dyed_knitting_166 Bfl/silk

Fyberspates_hand_dyed_knitting_173 Merino Tencel in 'faery'

There are two types of merino tencel the one above which is the streaky merino tencel and the well blended one.

They just want to make me spin, so I suggest you get in there quick before I take the whole damn lot of it for myself, lol. Oh there are some new sock as well, and more tomorrow of that.

Hope you have a lovely weekend :-)