Monday, 30 June 2008

My house is a bloody tip, gulp.

So I am off to Forenze on thurs for Pitti, and my house is such a tip, its horendous, there is so much fluff and dust, and yarn. It was probably best I didn't buy much, I wouldn't be able to find it anyway. So I need to clean, damn, I wish my mum was here to help. I need to make and send wholesale packs, I need to do my VAT return, clear the van out, sort lots of fs trading stuff before I go, wash my entire wardrobe, I am going to florence afterall so I need to look good, go get my hair dyed, and cut, might just chop it all off really really short, its doing my head in, buy a scrubbing brush and scrub all the dye off me because I look like a bleedin urchin, and basically get a grip.

My knitting is calling me so loudly, 'just knit me, knit me' well it is a new hat design for the scrumptious, so its technically work, but I should also be finishing off my designing for the fyberspates pattern booklet thing for autumn, which the photo shoot for is at the end of July,  gulp! Guess its going to be a busy couple of days.......

Ahh!! I was going to show you some photo's wasn't I!!

OK, once I work out how to switch the bluetooth on this replacement laptop (no really my laptop was so broke its still being fixed) then I will zap them over and post them, I promise..... and tell you all the people I said hello to at woolfest.


Sunday, 29 June 2008

Yay, I'm back from Woolfest!

I think that totally one of the best shows ever, I love woolfest so much and I met loads of my customers, and freinds and usual suspects, its always great to see them all, I will write a proper post later.

I am ashamed to say I only bought one thing, and it wasn't wool related. It was this amazing hand made broom, it looks like a witches broom, one or two people asked me if I would be flying home on it, I hope they didn't drop their purchases in the rain ;-p.

I did take a few photo's as well, especially of Amanda and of Mr Cold harbour mill in his pink jumper. Ahhhh, can't wait to show you those. Right off to do some work and knitting imbetween then I can settle down and chill out later and make you laugh.


Wednesday, 25 June 2008

little bit sleepy, lol.

So tired today it hurts. Still, driving up halfway today then the rest tomorrow, and would you believe it, my huge order of undyed yarn arrived today, scrumptious lace, new sock yarns, and lace silk. Banging my head against the wall now, I needed them yesterday, anyway, thats the way the cookie crumbles. Hmm, wonder if I could dye a few tonight, NO JEN NO!

See you at woolfest folks, I'm near the entrance :-)


Tuesday, 24 June 2008

If only I had just one thign to think about at a time, lol.

So, getting closer to being a bit more ready for woolfest, but as usual, there are a million things to think about that come straight after, lol! So I get back from Woolfest, come home and then the day after, guess where I am going? Pitti Filati !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am postively bubbling with excitement, and I have a few appointments, man, I wish I could tell you who with, but I can't yet ;-) you know its all undercover stuff, hehe, I love teasing you lot. I will aslo be meeting freinds from Peru, so thats lovely. I have always wanted to go to this show, for ever and ever, and I know its going to be wonderful, I also hope I might have a bit of time to go little bit of shopping in Florence, fingers crossed, and hopefully come back so inspired I won't know what to do with myself.

So off to go and try and get the last lot of dyeing finished.

Photo's later,.


Monday, 23 June 2008

Sock, gloves and fun :-)

So as it happens, I am still finishing of dyeing for woolfest, lol,  especially seeing as the self striping sock yarn kind of disappeared from the shop last night ;-).

So that means I have to get the rest done a bit sharpish, but I have my trustee helper Elly, who is super, she makes me lunch and gin & tonics when I show signs of stress, Lol! Nothing better than a G & T to calm your nerves. I am just dying some gorgeous fleeces which are extremely fine merino, they are very clean, so they are just getting dyed as they are, and will be perfect for spinners, and they are all rainbow colours, yay! I will photograph it tomorrow for you, because today we have some photos from the sock knit along : very very fantastic, I am stunned at the gorgeousness.

OK so firstly with these very arty photos are Vicky's socks:



Claire's mitts :-)



And these are Juliette's


and captain carrot by the lovely Karen.


Cool huh?

There will be lots and lots of this yarn at Woolfest I promise!!


Sunday, 22 June 2008

Shop update 6pm.

Shop update will be at around 6pm.
See you then :-) self striping sock anyone ?  ;-)

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Clubs postings and shop update.

Hi folks, right just so you know whats going on, all the clubs will posted out on monday, thats the 3 month sock club, 6 month and 12 month sock club, the lace club, and the 2 fibres clubs! Yay, gotta get em all done before woolfest, lol.

And shop will be updated tomorrow afternoon, and the will be self striping yarn on there!



Friday, 20 June 2008

Sock knitalong.

So seems like people are getting into the swing of this knitting the sock lark, and fingers crossed I actually think the self striping pattern might be similar for all.

So I have taken some photos of my sock for you, because I am inlove with them the pictures are ok, but again don't show how lovely they are in real life, the colours are a alot more intense:





So send me your pics and I'll put them on here :-)



Thursday, 19 June 2008

my finger has a hole in it.

because I can't stop knitting the sock, its too addictive, and those knit pic metal dpns are sharp as hell, I have had to adjust fingers, but anyway I don't care, I am happy to suffer for my yarn, anyway just waiting for the camera battery to charge up and I'll take a photo of my progress.

I will do an update tomorrow as usual with more self striping sock ofcourse! and perhaps some more in Sunday, depends if this sunshine stays.

I am going crazy because I am so excited about woolfest and taking my yarns and fibres and gorgeous ness. It is my favourite show of the whole year. Gulp.


Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Ok fyberspates HQ is on a permanent high at the moment.

So yesterday was a trip to Simply knitting in Bath, as usual Elly anD I had a great time, met all the crew,  and had lots and lots of fun. They are all such dedicated knitters, that its a pleasure to take a visit there.

And to add to the wonderful day I had, I went to the dentist in the morning for the first time in 8 years. I know thats shocking isn't it?!  Elly went so I thought I would book in for a checkup. Turns out I have perfect teeth, no fillings needed, no signs of anything bad, and the dentist was gobsmacked that I had got to 30 withoout any fillings, I did feel just a little bit smug it has to be said, hehehehehe.

My mum sent me a text reminding me what a fantastic mother she was, by limiting my sugar  to a weekly ritual of letting me have 1/4 of a mars bar on a sunday afternoon when I was a child. And I remember the dentist saying to my mother that I shouldn't have things like sweets, and even tomato sauce was a no no because it had sugar in, I remember wanting to lamp the damned dentist for saying that, it was about the sweetest thing I was allowed!!!!! Anyway  here I am fillingless :-)

So it really is the week of self striping, I was dyeing to test out my sock yarn so I cast on and haven't stopped knitting since, the effect wasn't exactly as I had planned, but I now realise that I may have discovered a little secret method completely by accident that makes the most uncredible effects when knitted up, BUT I NEED people to knit their yarn up now to see if it similar in the other this I am knitting, I really really hope it is. I am going to call this particular yarn Echo, because the effect is so gorgeous, I will then adjust it slightly for more sequential stripes (it does knit sequantially if you knit it with 2 needles), but slightly differently on 4.

So if you knit up some of the self striping yarn, all I want to see is one sock, or 3/4 of one, in a photo then I will give you a £5 gift voucher of your next purchase from the shop, how about that?

Here is my sock un the lavendar colourway:

So the colour changes in graduations, its amazing, I really really wish you could see it in real life, the blue stripes are starting to come back now, I can't stop knitting, its to exciting! Elly was gogsmacked which is a really good sign, but I need to know if its a fluke, or wether I am a genius! I know we'll have a self striping knit along!!! Who wants to join me? Starting today, comeon Claire, I know you will!

Ok folks

tata for now.


Monday, 16 June 2008

Self striping sock yarn.

OK, well I'm dedicating this post to it just because I have had a few questions about it that perhaps I need to answer.

OK, someone asked why the price is so high on this yarn, mainly because it is about as labour intensive as it gets. Seriously it takes 3 times as long to create this yarn than any other sock yarn I make. Therefore the price has to reflect that. However I absolutely know it is worth it. The yarn is gorgeous and will make gorgeous socks and garments.

Secondly I have updated the photo's because they were dreadful yesterday, I had the wrong setting on my camera, although its hard to reflect the quantity of colours because there are so many, but thats something I need to work on. There will be ALOT of this yarn at woolfest I promise you :-)

This has to be my favourite I think:


I have wound some off and will be starting some socks tonight so i will post then some pics of it striping up :-)

And I am going to do a self striping sock club, which is £45 for 3 months for UK members and 50 for US members. It makes it a more economical way of buying the yarn, and will give you a chance to try it out properly :-) The places are limited though because of the labour involved. The club will start in July.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Self striping yarn shop update.

The shop will be updated with the most gorgeous yarn in the world at 2pm. Trust me, you are going to love knitting this stuff, I am struggling to sell it, I want to knit it all.
I will put a couple of phot's here later once the rain has stopped.




Friday, 13 June 2008

First finished project in ages and ages!!

So, its just knitting central here, Elly and I just can't stop, we went to the borders  and then the pub last night with some of the Stitch and Bitch lot, and we are all going out for dinner tonight too and we will take our knitting. So as a result of all this knitting,  I actually finished the shawl this morning, and I love it, the pattern is my own, and if you are interested I will write it up, its not a conventional shape, but it does create a shawl colar when its on, which looks really cute, and I wouldn't wear it as a conventional shawl anyway, I like the striping, there are a tonne of colours, but it was my first practice so I wanted to make the most of it, and I am really happy, it only took one hank of my bluefaced sock, not bad huh?


And here is a photo with it on, to show you you the colar, I will wear it out for dinner tonight so I will take a nicer photo then:


So now onto updates and dyeing lots more for you guys. I might, just might do some for the sock clubs, but we'll see, the self striping will be on the site on sunday afternoon, I will tempt you with photo's tomorrow.

I hope you all have a nice weekend. and the weather is good for you :-)

By the way, I am going to scale down the custom dyeing a little bit, and put the minimums up for it, I will do it at times when its not so crazy, but at the moment, I am too busy to take on small custom orders, they take triple the time of larger scale production, and I am not turning thigs around fast enough to my satisfaction, so I do have someone who is happy to do them for you though, so if you want something I will pass you on.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

I'm getting a grip.

Its amazing how much you can get done when you have a little help, lol! I actually feel like I am catching up finally, its a lovely feeling. I can tie up lots off little loose ends today, and finish the couple of custom orders I have, and finally send out wholesale packs, yippee.

Yesterdays trip to getknitted was a blast. It feels like home there, I really enjoy going, and everyone has a really good laugh, so its nice. Plus they love my yarn so thats kinda nice, lol!

They will be stocking lots of lace and self striping sock in the near future, I just need my delivery to come soon, eek. But anyway, there will be two updates this weekend. One is tomorrow, where there will be some more baby Alpaca from Peru, and also other bits and peices, and then on sunday there will be lots and lots of self striping sock yarn for the first time ever. I am so so excited!! There will be some fybers too.

Seeing as its all quietened down and I have nearly caught up, I have started to work on FS trading, and started getting everything sorted out, I feel so excited about it. Its quite a big task bringing something from another country and selling it here, because all the patterns need translating, and picking the right things can be a bit scary, but I feel absolutely capable, and in my element really, its sure is nice to feel like I know what I am doing, I am not sure exactly why I feel like that, I just feel like having started a business from the beginning and building it up and getting it wrong and then trying again and going through this cycle, has been the best experience I have ever had. I am learning to let go too, and  distribute tasks  to others who have their own unique speciality's, so they are much quicker than me at what they do.

I also decided yesterday, I also am going to start saying no to things, I am tired of doing lots of labour intensive things for free, like designing, and then getting stressed because I don't have time but feel pressured and then end up late, and then I feel so damned guilty, not feeling guilty and keeping up with things is worth a million pounds. So I am am going to say no LOTS  more, lol, I think I am going to be a tough old bird one day. I don't think Richard Branson got where he was by spending 3 days of his week designing his planes for free, because it would get him where he wants to be, I am already there, I don't need to be a slave anymore, sounds harsh, but its true. I would never ever expect anyone to do anything for free for me, EVER, so why do I accept that as normal when its me not being paid when my time is worth so much? Um HELLO JEN, THIS IS A BUSINESS!!!. Its hard to learn that lesson and draw the line under fun and switch to earning money, its so hard because it I am so used to contributing for free, I have always been that way, and its sometimes got me the contacts and experience I wanted, so its time to let go now of that.


So Elly is here, and she has started some yarn experiments for me, lol, not telling you what, you will have to wait for the update, ooooooh I am so damned excited. Oh and nearly finished the self striping shawl, really it should be finished tonight, then I need to start on a design for my scrumptious book. Yay!! I love knitting again! I'll post a photo tomorrow.


Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Yippeeeeee she squeals!!

I actually got the replacement laptop until mine is fixed!!! Yay, I am so so happy.

Well, Elly is coming for a few days, or longer I hope, and we are going to have lots and lots of experimental fun. There may be self striping goodies, possibly won't be dry for Friday, but I would imaging they will be done for Saturday. I will show you our progress though. Boy I am excited. We are off to getknitted tomorrow for a little trip, so thats great.

So the kitties; they are getting on quite well, Monkey has stopped hissing at me every time I stroke her, and even woke me up this morning, so I think she has stopped being annoyed with me. Kitty is loving the house, she has been out in the garden which I normally wouldn't have wanted for a while, but she goes in and out, and has been out exploring, so I am not worried. She did push monkey out the way this morning to get to her food, so it will be interesting to see how it pans out, lol, but all in all she is settling in fine.

So, service resumes as normal, lovely jubbly :-)

Monday, 9 June 2008

what doesn't kill you makes you stronger

OK folks. I am having a nightmare at the moment, carmellas laptop won´t go online and a very very old laptop I borrowed has no keys, so basically I have to write all my email replies on one laptop and then save them and copy and paste them over, its driving me nuts, and I am stressed, seriously stressed, so please don´t worry if you don´t get any email replies from me. I will get sorted asap. I am fairly up to date with most things, but there are one or two things I have to send people, but am completely lost without my laptop, so I am really really sorry. Order are going out fine though, so they will be dispatched within a couple of days of being placed.

Elly, please bring your laptop tomorrow!!!!

Signing of, an extremely anxious jen.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Saturdays and been tagged.

Wow, its the first saturday I have been at home for ages and ages, its completely Lush. I am on an extreme economy drive, seeing as my bills have gone through the roof, I´m saying no more or I´ll get a bit mad. But anyway, instead of being extravagent I decided not to go shopping for a week or two, which is proving to be really good fun, I have been eating quite alot of beans and tomatoes, and Paella´s. I made waffles for breakfast too, much more fun that eating toast, and seeing as I have lots of flour and eggs, its fabulous!!! I am going to cheat though, Mum did send me a text saying ´mummy will take you shopping to sainsburys later´ which I will not refuse, lol!! 

Its amazing having weekends off though, I have done so much work this morning because I decided to do all the annoying things, I´m gonna take the afternoon though, weird saying that on a saturday isn´t it!! Go see mum, and then if I get all the things finished today I might, just might do some sewing or something. The first day ever doing something crafty for me for years, I have so many things I would like to do I can´t decide, sewing, or decoupageing a cabinet or making some weird nobs for my kitchen, ahhhhhhhh!! Too much potential. Anyway moving on from my blather. I was tagged by Cairi for a meme

The rules:
“The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.”

1. What was I doing ten years ago?

I was just finishing my first year of University, the best year of my life, and I had just started going out with Anth, my ex husband, and had just met Philip who was the first buddhist I had ever met, and we used to go and chant on Sunday evenings, I thought he was completely mad, I had never ever met any body like him before in my life, his honesty blew me away, but I looked forward to those trips so so much, it was amazing, a different world from anything I had ever experienced.

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):

1. Go and see mom and pops and be spoiled.
2. Do some knitting
3. Drink a Gin and tonic
4. Cook some nice food and light my chimnea in the Garden tonight and my outside lanterns I got from ikea, lol
5.Make some banana cake.

3. Snacks I enjoy:

Cold spanish tortilla, spanish toast, avacados, cold sausage, fruit salad, sometimes homemade cake in the afternoon.

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

Give lots of money to my family, so they didnt have to work and could live their dreams.´

Fund a project that would encourage people to look at the causes of poverty, rather than throwing money at the effects of wars and ecological disasters and stick sticking plasters on things. Encourage people to understand that if we changed the causes we make, then we could create a whole different world which was prepared for natural disasters, stopped famines by stopping war, and abusing the planet, by our throwaway, stick our heads in the sand culture.   

Invest in research for green technology, and start a business building houses that were completely green, and take the research findings spread it all over the world, and plough he profits back into it so we could continue to make it amazing.

Oh and build a lovely big house which was completely self sufficient, oh and buy my own mill so I could make the greenest, most gorgeous yarns ever.

5. Places I have lived:

I grew up in a little village between swindon and Oxford, then I came to Uni in cardiff, and have lived in the student areas for years, now I live in Splott, which is totally wonderful and often discoounted, but which is buzzing with lovely people, and is really developing wonderfully.

6. Jobs I´ve had

Waitress, Shop assistant, washerupper, nanny, psychology researcher, yarn dyer.

6. People I want to know more about:

Elly, Marie, Amanda , mary.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Shop update

OK, Got laptop backed up at PC world, and apparently I get a replacement while mine is being fixed, but I am not going to believe that until I see it. So I have all my incoices and labels and club info and everything, thanks goodness, what a relief I thought I was going crazy!!

So I am going to start updating the shop, because its rather empty, I have to warn you, I am pretty much out of scrumptious lace, I will eek it out over the next couple of updates, but I need to keep a little for woolfest. So there is not going to be alot in the next 4 weeks of that unfortunately, the next lot comes in on the first week of July.

Happy shopping,


Thursday, 5 June 2008

One eyed cat Karma.

So, it was nearly rainy thursday, but the sun has come out this afternoon so all is not lost, however the laptop is causing me rather alot of stress, the last time I backed up was April, which is annoying, thing I am bothered about is all my invoices, I have to do my vat return and they are all on the computer, I didn´t print them out, damn, I am so annoyed with myself. Not only that but I have to start again with all my labels, and I can´t get the printer on to this spanish laptop, its doing my spanish good though, I am learning!!, lol.

Anyway, its not all lost, I have new one eyed munchkin!! Remember sweetie pie who built my garden? well, he has decided to go off to Shrilanka and build some houses, I am really proud of him, I just hope I can wangle a visit!!! But anyway, he owned monkey cat before I inherited her, and also Kitty, but he has a small flat so they didn´t get on too well, so I inherited monkey cat who is blind on one eye, then when Sweetie pie decided to uproot, and do something completely exciting, he needed to find a home for kitty, but for some reason struggled because she has one eye! Sometimes it makes me mad to think that people wouldn´t want a cat simply because they have one eye, I can not even concieve of why that would be a barrier. My mum also has a cat called Olly´, and after looking after monkey for the week when I went on holiday, thought that it was a sign when she saw as rspca advert at sainsbury´s for a one eyed cat, lol, despite the fact that Olly is so sweet, because she had one eye, no one would adopt her. Strange but true!!!

Anyway, I am sure you have seen lots of photo´s of monkey before but here is another because I love her so much:

P1010141 She is the sweetest little monkey in the world, when kitty arrived yesterday, clearly she wasn´t happy after the journey, and monkey went up to her and meowed really sweetly, not once hissing, but kitty obviously doesn´t feel the same, lol. Anyway monkey is not one little bit bothered kitty is here, I suppose she must remember her.

Anyway, here is kitty, she also has one eye, also as a result of a traffic accident, she is a little madam and an old one at that, I think she is at least 12, but very lovely, a nice addition to the household and has a real personality. Thankfully she hasn´t shown much interest in the wool, lol!


Right, I am off to see if I can do some surgery to my laptop, one more time before I throw it out of the window. OOOHHH, by the way,  have added a custom dye section to the website, so that I can keep track of them better, if you want a yarn custom dyed which is not on there, I can add it no problem. Stripey shawl is coming on lovely by the way!


Tuesday, 3 June 2008

lol, one damned day off and the world falls apart

So I took the morning and early afternoon off today so I could help my freind move house, afterall a woman with a Van can often be in demand, lol. That was fun, I met some nice people, and my arms got a major workout, I think they will be very stiff tomorrow.

Firstly I need to say, the laptop, just kind of broke. Not turning on or anything, so after nearly throwing it out the window, Carmella lent me hers, but that means all my stuff is not accesible so patterns and things I can´t print, although I think I can print other things. I feel a little bit stressed without it, but it shouldn´t in theory impede business, but if you get any weird spellings or spanish symbols you know why!!!!

So, yes I know its what you cherubs have been waiting for lol, the thing I keep teasing you with, well, as you all know, or I think  some of you do anyway I love self striping yarn, I mean really love it, its why I learnt to spin, and dye. But up until now, the only thing I could do was create multicloured yarn, which when knit in the round as in socks sort of self stripes. I did try some huge hanks, but that is not commercially viable. But I have now cracked it, its a secret for now, but basically you will now be able to buy proper self dtriping yarn from me!!! Gorgeous sock yarn and also dk , and perhaps some other things in special occasions. I will run a couple of clubs to introduce it, and I will be wholesaleing it, and there will be special colours every week. Everyone I have shown my little sample to has really loved it.

So I tried a little shawl to start with my first messing abouts, because I wasn´t in a sock mood. I am INLOVE with it:


Bear in mind I did just about every colour I could think of to get maxuimum trialage out of it, lol, here is a closeup:


These length of stipes would have worked perfectly for socks I need to make sure the DK ones are thicker. But I will be taking LOTS of them to Woolfest, so you will have to come and buy them there or join a sock club, might do a dk one too, I need to plan it out I will have to reorganise my clubs a bit so they are all on track, infact I was thinking instead of them all being staggered, to do them all in on week, that way they would have a week of my attention devoted to them, anyway we´ll see.

So let me know what you think people!!!

Monday, 2 June 2008

Wow, what a trip!!

That trip was great, for so many reasons. Firstly we sold lots, which was so great, and the shops in Edinburgh and Glasgow are so gorgeous, we had delicious Brownies and cupcakes, and it was great to see such enthusiasm for my yarns, I loved getting feedback, and chatting to people.

Its so nice to see K1 growing, we sort of mirror eachother, so its nice to chat to someone who is in the same boat as me in terms of their business. And what is great, is I find her refreshingly honest about things, I learnt so much spending two days in the shops. Things really I would liked to have learnt a year ago, but nether-the-less I suppose you learn things at the time it is needed. :-). It was great to ask her lots of questions and thrash things out about parts of my business which need refining. How lucky am I to have such great friends/collegues in this business!! We also are working on a project together for the Autumn, but thats still a little bit secret yet, until we get things a bit more underway.

I was also looked after so well, it was super, I also particularly like the vege haggis we had for dinner, I am so going to see if I can find it in Evil, lol

I met Ysolda, who designed some seriously wonderful animals,  and hats and things, really nice stuff.

It was great to chat to customers, and just hang out really, it really was wonderful. It made me itch to have a shop, but I can't really have a fyberspates shop yet lol, but I will one day I am sure.

So as a result if my trip, there is due to be some small price increases this season. My prices have been the same for about 3 years now, and they are a little unworkable as they are. So its time for some price restructuring. Nothing major though.

So I will update the yarn but there isn't really alot left, but there will be a nice big update on friday as usual, lol.

And tomorrow I will post pics of my new product. I need to knit some more of it first, its so exciting its wonderful, and I can produce it commercially. Yipppppppeeeeeee