Sunday, 27 January 2013

A Flock of Sheep Heids

In October last year Tina and I decided to spin along together to make yarn for Kate Davies Sheep Heid

I started out sampling some yarn to see what I wanted to spin. I am decidedly a 3-ply girl. I love the roundness of the yarn as it is beautiful to knit with. Yes, I know that colour work is traditionally done in 2-ply but this is all for my pleasure.

I sampled with bright green Southdown which Katie from HilltopCloud included as a gift with the 2 kits of British Sheep Breeds that I bought from her.

I divided it into three equal amounts, spun up the singles and plied them into my favourite 3ply and knitted a small sample that I can't lay my hands on to photograph.

Katie's fibre is delicious, beautifully prepared and a delight to spin. This has lead me to visit her Etsy shop often and partake in her fibrey loveliness. I have some gorgeous BFl/silk which she has dyed for me to spin up for a cardigan but more about that another time.

Then the spinning began in earnest with my choice being to spin up one colour a week for 9 weeks. The first fibre was brown BFL which spun up and plied beautifully.

 This is the comparison between the sample and the Bfl.

Soon there were 2 skeins

and then there were four

You guessed - next was six

By Christmas time, I had the full company reporting for duty and ready to go.

Black Shetland 52 yards
Brown Ronaldsay 45 yards
Moorit Shetland 59 yards
Grey Jacob 46 yards
Brown BFL 56 yards
Grey Sheltand 52 yards
Oatmeal BFL  55 yards
Grey North Ronaldsay 42 yards
White Sheltand 56 yards

I cast on on Christmas day and loved knitting this pattern. The initial ideas was to knit one of these for my mom-in-law for her birthday in June and one for me. However, the Saint saw the first one and fell deeply in love and as I can seldom deny him anything knitted as he is such a marvellous reciprocate  and an avid supporter of my creative endeavours, he was given the first one which adorned his head immediately.

The second was for Mom.

There was plenty of yarn for a third one for me and I still have enough for another. Each of the hats is slightly different and I left a pattern out of mine as I have a smaller head.

It was great fun spinning for this project and much easier than I thought it would be. I urge you to try something similar.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

A Cornish walk

The weather in Cornwall at this time of year is delightful, made for log fires, coffee, whiskey and sitting indoors carving, spinning, knitting or reading.

We did however manage to tear ourselves away from the fire and walk every day, only getting soaked yesterday on our last walk before we left.

My favourite walk was along the coast. We drove to Padstow and explored the town

and then headed to Trevone Bay to walk along the Southwest Coast Path to headland at the entrance to the Camel River estruary. It was a very grey day but the views were stunning.

Everywhere one looks the waves are pounding the rocks and cliffs.

The sea has worn away relentlessly at the land until holes and caves abound and with each breaking wave the sound of thundering waters echos across the hills. This is old smuggler country.

We walked over 5 miles along the cliff edges. That is Trevone Bay back in the distance.

I love the different layers in the cliffs where the birds find sanctuary.

The Saint wore his Sheep Heid. I am still knitting mine.

The path stretched on ahead

occasionally fording little streams that dropped over the cliffs as little water falls. There is a great deal of water sitting on the land.

A steep cliff looms before the intrepid walkers framing rocky islands in the distance.

Then we were at the top looking down.

Finally the Camel River came into view which was such a triumph for me. I have not walked like this for over 3 years. I promptly sat down to admire the view and rest the hip. 

We walked back along a more direct path and came up over the hill to meet the sun setting over Trevone Bay.

It highlighted the spray blowing off the waves creating a myriad of rainbows

and then sank behind the clouds leaving reflected patterns in the sand.