How was your day mum?

Posted by Caroline in Knitting, Spinning, sweaters, Weaving on September 30th, 2015

Thank you for asking sweetheart, my day was good. I did two loads of washing, dealt with the recycling (as I keep telling you, there is no recycling fairy), ironed a score of shirts, walked the dog, did some boring banking stuff, bought your father’s Christmas present, acted as your agent and booked you on a workshop, bought a length of shirt material and buttons to match, vacuumed the floors and baked a batch of bread. Then I went to my mother’s and devised a series of tests to determine which part of the wire-handset-mower combination was at fault, causing her robot mower to not mow. When I got back I decided to ignore the dusting for another day and instead played with wool and did some thinking.

I’m plodding along with this, it will in time be one of those looped scarves that ends in a V. It’s not exactly flying along and that’s because of the multiple colours in the weft. It’s all stop-start and I don’t like that. It is using up odd bits of yarn so it is a worthy thing and someone will like it when it’s done, possibly even me. Sitting with it gave me some valuable thinking time and as a result I’ve decided not to beat myself up about the lack of progress on the big grey blob of a sweater. There’s nothing about it that’s making me happy, the knitting is boring, the spinning is ok but not exactly exciting and combing is not right at the top of my list of favourite things. I will not freeze this winter if it isn’t finished so what does it matter if it isn’t? I would rather spend my time on something that make me happy and the grey sweater isn’t it. This time I will pack the pattern with the sweater when I put it back where I found it.

The knitting that is making me happy this week is the little sweater that I started last week. I can be certain this time that we are looking at the front here, you can see that the central black pattern is starting to divide. In about an inch there will be a few stitches cast off and a steek for the neck opening. I’ve not made a neck like this before and that is the single reason that I bought the pattern. I had a bit of a yarn crisis with this, I decided that I wanted a grey, black and olive colour scheme and then google assisted me with choosing the accent colours. Where it went wrong was that when I went to the sock yarn bag there was a marked absence of undyed yarn. I buy it a kilo at a time and although I assume that the bag will always be full it stands to reason that there will be times when it isn’t. There was just enough yarn to dye the grey and the olive and then I had to ditch my carefully planned colour scheme and look at what yarn I had. The blue is left over from baby Sirdal and the purple was sitting about from the neckwarmer that I ripped back last week. It’s not exactly what I had in mind but “good enough” will do. The blue and the purple look to be more uneven than the black/grey, it’s not my knitting but the wavy twice-knit wool

Now that I have recognised that grey Wensleydale is not a priority in the spinning queue it means I am free to spin some pretty things that I actually want to spin into yarn that I want to use. This is superwash Cheviot and if it behaves itself it is going to become a pair of socks or possibly mittens depending on how I’m feeling when I get that far. It’s hard wearing and washable but it’s not the softest of wools so that knocks it out of the running for baby wear. Before I start I need to decide whether it’s going to be one ball that transitions dark – light or two balls (ideally matching) that run dark – light or whether I mess about with it for something more random.


The right sort of a carrot

Posted by Caroline in Knitting, Spinning, sweaters, Wensleydale, Wensleysweater 1 on September 23rd, 2015

After all that moaning I did about the boring, boring sleeve I managed to knit my way through the whole ball of yarn by Sunday. I am still out of yarn, I’m working on the combing but realistically a ball of yarn a week is all I can manage and that’s if I actually pull my finger out and get on with combing. If I pushed myself I could find the time to comb 100g a day but that’s a bad idea because when my attention starts to wander I find myself combing my left hand. Wool combs are sharp and pointy and you swing them about – it’s a painful combination that means that it is a really good idea to keep your mind on what you are doing. The house rule is to stop when you draw blood,  I’m aiming to stop before then which is why I’m only aiming for 50g a day. I don’t dislike combing but there’s some set up and clean up that I’m not too enamoured of – it’s always easy to say that I’ll skip it today because of [reason]. I’m hoping to have another ball of yarn by the start of next week so that I can finish this sleeve and probably start the next.

Clearly something happened to make me knuckle down and get on with the boring sleeve and it’s not snowed so it isn’t that. I found the right motivational tool in the purchase of a new pattern because there’s nothing like the promise of a new start to make me get a move on and push through the boredom. This is the very start of a Dale of Norway pattern, it’s a Geilo in the twelve month size. I’m doing the sweater rather than the cardigan because the neck treatment will be new to me. The black edge will be only half that length, there’s a picot turn hiding in the middle of the hem and when I’ve sewn it to the back it will stop rolling up so I can actually see what I’m supposed to be knitting. This is the centre of the front or maybe the back, you can see that the diagonals of the pattern are reflected around that central blob. The next pattern doesn’t do this and I can’t wait to get there because I am not coping well with this reflection business. Maybe at some point my autopilot knitter will figure out that there’s an intentional change in the centre but at the moment she’s screaming ERROR when what I’m counting doesn’t fit into the space that I have. There are only a few rows left in this section, I don’t think I have enough time to get the hang of it before the pattern changes.

Sometime this side of Christmas I will need a gift for someone I don’t know very well, I’ve seen a photo of her but that’s all. I’m running with the idea that everyone has a neck (I’m certain she does, it was in the photo) and that you can’t go wrong with soft and fluffy. What I thought I had in the bag was a hundred grams of cashmere but when I came to open it the label (in my handwriting, there is no excuse) said 30% cashmere, 70% merino. I wasn’t expecting to get it all on the bobbin but a positive mental attitude (also known as “stubbornness”) did the trick. There are about four hundred yards here which will certainly be plenty for a little neck thing. I have to decide whether it’s going to be a beaded thing before I decide what colour it is because I have bags and bags of beads that I’ve bought for projects and then not used. I’m going to shop the stash and then dye the yarn to match the beads.

Return of the prodigal sweater

Posted by Caroline in Spinning, sweaters, Wensleysweater 1 on September 18th, 2015

The blog has not seen much of the Wensleydale sweater started last autumn and it’s not alone in that, neither have I. Each year when the Christmas tree goes up the spinning wheel comes down and because I’d knitted the last of the handspun I packed the sweater away too. Time passed, seasons changed. The pattern was living under the coffee table and whenever I came across it I had a vague feeling of unease because I wasn’t sure where it was that the sweater was living. I didn’t hunt for it because that would be admitting that I’d lost it but as the year went on I’d reduced the search area so that if I did need to search for it I knew the places where it wasn’t. I cleared out the spare bedroom while I was getting ready for a spot of quilting and it wasn’t there, we emptied the assortment of random stuff out of the cupboard under the stairs and it wasn’t there. I’d looked in my wardrobe, on top of my wardrobe and then I was out of ideas. It was September and nine months is a long time for a sweater to hide. I was out of ideas and so I came clean about it being lost.

My husband suggested that it might be in the drawer under the bed. He meant well but it was a daft idea as that’s where I keep the sock yarn and you’d think I’d have noticed a big lump of knitting in there. In the interests of marital harmony I went and looked and that’s where it had been all of the time. I looked for the pattern because I knew exactly where that was, except of course that now it wasn’t. I will never know the detail of the notes I made on it because it’s gone, I’m assuming I told myself what I was doing when I ignored the directions to knit the sleeves first and then pick up for the body. Providing it fits when I’m done it doesn’t matter if I changed track part way through, at least I’m sure what size I’m knitting and what needles I’m using and the rest is minor stuff.

The one thing that I managed not to lose was the spinning sample so I was able to make a skein of yarn that looked just like the last one I made before Christmas.  I decided to ignore what I had been doing on the body and start with a sleeve mainly because I could start from scratch rather than having to figure out what adjustments I’d started to make for the body. When I’ve knitted all of this ball I’ll have a clue how much more yarn I need to finish the sweater, at the moment I’m thinking it’s another ball for the other sleeve and two more after that. I’m not worried about running out of fibre, no doubt I will be at some point but not this week.

The blue that was briefly a striped cardigan didn’t all get packed away. This is a dickey to go under a sweater with a wide neck, I’ll need something like this to wear with the Wensleysweater as I think it’s going to itch. At the time the photos were taken it had a flaw that you can clearly see here – the top button is too big for the space it is in and it’s sticking up above the fold of the collar. I liked the buttons, they were exactly right or at least they would have been if the buttonholes had been in a different place. As it is they are not going to work and are coming off. I cast on for with another cowl come dickey and got very near the end of it before deciding that I’d rather have the yarn than the finished object. It didn’t sit right on the shoulders and I knew that I’d never wear it.

The only knitting that I have now is the sweater and it is such a mind numbingly boring knit. There is one interesting cable set in acres of seed stitch with a pair of decreases every three rows. If I didn’t have so much time invested in it I’d rip this too but I know that I’ll wear it once it’s finished and I just have to survive the sleeves.



Sew, knit, spin

Posted by Caroline in Knitting, sewing, Spinning, sweaters on May 21st, 2015

This looks to be the last shirt I’ll be making for a while, I’ve used all the shirt fabric I have and the shirt wearer doesn’t seem to have ordered any more. This was another piece that I bought as a three metre length, I cut out a short sleeved shirt first and that made the cutting of the long sleeved one very tricky. Sleeves are bigger than you think and it was a close thing as to whether I could make a long sleeved shirt with what I had left. It does look as if you can get two shirts from three metres of fabric, I’ve done it twice now but it is much easier if you are cutting the short sleeves at the end. This one has hidden buttons (you may need to click on the photo to be able to see that they aren’t there…..). I think that this is worth the effort and that little extra fabric involved in forming the placket because you don’t need to fret about getting the buttonholes perfectly aligned. I got the idea from watching an episode of QI where Mr Davies had a shirt with hidden buttons so we can chalk this one up to their props department.

I was close to running out of thread as well as running out of fabric. The worrying thing is that I knew that I couldn’t go out and buy another spool as this one is most certainly not available in the shops. It’s probably older than me, certainly old enough to be considered vintage, but it was the right colour, perfectly sound and free. I have custody of the family thread collection as I now do more sewing than my mother does which means that a lot of the time I can match thread to my project simply by opening a suitcase and rummaging through the contents. It’s a bit short in the purple range and I use a lot more grey than there ever was in the case but for most colours I can find a close match. Finding two shirt’s worth of close match is another issue.

The cardigan is crawling to a finish. I’m on the bands now, they are “zip bands” rather than “button bands” so there will be two button bands with no holes. I steam blocked the body and the first sleeve before casting on for the second sleeve so that if the first was the wrong length I had the chance to correct it on the second one. I can’t see the point of making two identical wrong things if you have a chance of getting one of them right. I basted the first sleeve in to the body to check the length and the fit of the cap and it looked like a sleeve should look so I made the second one the same. I have to finish the bands, sew in the sleeves and add pockets to the fronts and hopefully by the time I’ve done that I will have got the zip that I haven’t ordered yet. This was supposed to be a stash reduction project but it doesn’t look to have reduced it by very much at all. It’s difficult to see how much yarn you are using when you are knitting with three balls at once because you can knit forever without making any impact on the yarn. I haven’t counted the balls I have left (they are upstairs, I’m not) but I don’t remember going upstairs to fetch more yarn more than once.

It’s been a while since I spun anything other than grey Wensleydale so this was really enjoyable. I have a big plan for this, one of those plans that looks wonderful in my mind but may or may not transfer to the real world. Next time I will have yarn and perhaps more of a clue whether my idea will actually work. I’m pretty sure that when it comes to sewing the fabric made from the yarn I’ll be needing to match the green because I’ll have no chance at all of finding thread to match the purple.

Do you have a collection of vintage thread? Do tell, I’d love to hear about it especially since the sewing machine man told me that “no-one uses thread like that any more”.  He’s wrong – I do and I suspect that I’m not on my own.

Countdown part two

Posted by Caroline in Knitting, sewing, Spinning, Weaving, Wensleydale on September 23rd, 2014

THREE cushions. The cushion pads are 18″ square and the covers needed to be a bit smaller than that to make a plump rather than a flat cushion. There’s a difference between “a bit smaller” and “too small” and the width of the cloth put me very firmly in the “too small” camp. Had I started with a grand plan then the purple cushion would not have had the silk inkle trim but that was the one that I made first. I needed something to cover the join in the panels and I had a length of silk tape left from something else so that’s what I used. It would have been better if I had used the same purple wool trim that I used in the other two cushions, that would have tied the three together.  After I’d finished the first cushion cover I had to think about what I would do with the join on the second. There wasn’t enough of the silk inkle left but then I remembered the thin purple wool fabric in the top of my wardrobe. I’ve been surprised by the number of times that my son has worn the jacket that I transformed with dye but he didn’t want the trousers and after he wore them for the photo I put them away with the idea that I’d use the fabric for something. It made the ruffle in the second cushion and the tape that covers the seams in the third one, it’s fine enough to use with the smallest bias tape maker so I can see that the rest of it will find a use too. You’re not getting a close up picture because the checkerboard was sewn with child labour (they’re his cushions after all) and they’re best seen from a distance.

TWO big skeins of Wensleydale, the surprise here (to me at least) is that they are not the four ply I set out to make. Once I’d got my six bobbins full I made another sample of the four ply yarn and a three ply just to see what it looked like. I liked the three ply better. If it had been frosty then I might have leaned more towards a thick sweater but just now a medium weight one seems like a good idea. It doesn’t actually matter seeing as I didn’t have a pattern in mind, I can either find one that works with the yarn that I have or alter one that I like the look of. These haven’t had their beauty bath yet, I’ve been waiting for a fine day where I can hang them out to dry (which as you can see from the lighting might be today). There is 400g of yarn here so another two skeins should do it. I need to start up the comb-spin-ply cycle again.

ONE new project. I felt that I deserved a break from spinning grey so I turned the bright braid from the last post into bright yarn. This is another Ulina (the first one I made is here), it starts with a provisional cast on at the centre back and works outwards from there to the cuff. The wide black stripe was my insurance policy because at that point I wasn’t certain that I would have enough yarn to reach the cuff. I thought that if I added a wide stripe early on by choice then if I needed to add another to the sleeve from necessity it would look less obvious. When I was half way down the sleeve I weighed the remaining yarn, worked out how many rows were left in the ball and knew that I was in the clear. I didn’t even get as far as the purple in the ball.  I split the top into four and made two balls of two ply yarn so hopefully the second side will look similar to the first. I’ve learned my lesson with this one, I’m only putting three buttonholes on it rather than five so that I can use buttons that I already have. I’m also putting buttonholes on both fronts so that I can choose which set to use once I’m done (sewing on the button closes the hole that you don’t use so it’s not obvious that you were indecisive).

It’s a lovely sunny day here so it’s time to soak the Wensleydale and hang it to dry. Now I know what yarn I have I can start looking at patterns.


Countdown, part one

Posted by Caroline in Knitting, Spinning, Wensleydale on September 19th, 2014

SIX bobbins of Wensleydale. One may turn out to be slightly different to the others because my sample card went walkabout for a couple of days. I’m not all that worried, these are going to become a four ply yarn so hopefully the difference in one ply won’t be all that noticeable. I’m going to start plying now, I decided that six bobbins would be the perfect number to kick off a four ply yarn. The first skein will leave me with four part bobbins, the second one will be made from the two full bobbins and the four part ones left from the first skein. There will be a significant amount left over but that’s fine because two skeins isn’t going to be enough for a sweater.

FIVE – buttons on the cardigan. I bought the first set of buttons while the knitting and I were on holiday. In my mind they were perfect but I don’t know whether this is true because they never got near the cardigan. I’ve worked out how I came to lose them, they were in a small paper bag in my handbag for weeks before they mysteriously vanished. I remember sitting with a coffee and clearing out all the shipping receipts, shopping lists and till receipts that I stuff in my handbag. It’s more than likely that the small paper bag went in the bin with the rest of the rubbish. I’m now at the stage where I want this finished (because last week I met a baby that it could be given to) so the button tin that originally had nothing suitable now has something that meets my newly lowered standards. I understand that not-matching-on-purpose is a thing these days. The pattern is Butterfly Net, it’s knitted bottom up in one piece with the sleeves picked up and knitted down. It would be a good use of leftover bits of sock yarn because the overlay would make the background stripes less prominent. I thought I’d be knitting one after the other but one was quite enough.

FOUR – socks from the sock blank. Yes I know I’m stretching it a bit here with the numbering but I have a theme and I’m running with it. I don’t have four of anything else but I do have four finished socks. That’s not quite true, it seems that I have a lot of buttons in fours which is telling me that I should stop making buttonholes in fives. It would have been simple to start at the top of the blank and knit until all the socks were done. I didn’t do that because of the sunset in the middle, the second sock would have been very much more yellow than the first. My second sock was knitted from the other end of the blank so both missed the sun. This was a good idea, bonus marks to me for thinking ahead and planning, except that I then went on to make the second pair exactly the same as the first pair so really I needn’t have bothered. I probably could have knitted as it came and paired socks one and four together. The leftover sunny yarn will go into another pair of school socks when I feel like it, for the moment I’m done with black topped socks. We’re entering the season of grim, grey days and I don’t appreciate spending dark evenings trying to count rows on a black sock.

Do I have a three, two, one? Not yet but I’m working on it. I’m sure by next week I’ll have something that I can force to fit the theme.

Piles of grey

Posted by Caroline in Knitting, Spinning, Wensleydale on August 25th, 2014

I put the Wensleydale away before we left on holiday but before that I had grey wool piled up in various formats. The first stage pile is a messy one resulting from me pulling individual locks from the mass of wool and opening them up. The fleece was muddy and two soaks, two washes and a rinse wasn’t enough to get all the grot out. If I don’t open up the locks I need another combing step and that means more waste. It’s easier to open them up by hand using paper to catch the fine dust that falls out. When the pile threatens to topple over I put the bag of washed wool away and get the combs out. What comes off the combs is lengths of smooth roving with no sign of the original lock structure, all ready to spin. I’m putting those in a wicker basket (lined with a silk scarf to eliminate snagging) and when that pile starts fighting its way out of the basket I spin it. There is exactly the same amount of wool in the photo on the right as in the photo on the left, all of that big pile of fluff went onto one bobbin. So far I have four bobbins full of single, enough to start plying but I’m not going to do that until I have another three bobbins full. This is not going to be a quick project, the majority of my time is spent in fibre preparation, the spinning and plying are the last stages of a time consuming process.

The other fibre that comes off the combs is made up of shorter wool together with any tips that have broken off the locks and any second cuts. This is the combing waste although it’s only waste if you don’t use it. I’m throwing it into a carrier bag and then in the evening I sit and spin it into something thick/thin and lumpy. In the morning I chain ply it and by the evening the yarn is dry and there’s just enough to knit what looks like a small hat. Once it’s had a vicious hot/cold wash the lumps and bumps all vanish into the thick fabric. I want five of these little bowls, one for each weekday. The husband needs cash each day for the station car park but as a household we use plastic more than cash and so don’t generate many coins. We’ve had little piles of change lined up on the kitchen counter but they get knocked over so I’m moving to the five pot system. After that there will be a matching but larger pot to organise the free range rechargeable batteries that have multiplied and are running out of control across the breakfast bar. Only then will I be generating proper combing waste or maybe slippers, depending on how the mood takes me.

I don’t have a pattern lined up for the yarn, I’m not even sure yet whether I’ll be making a cardigan or a sweater. I have plenty of time to consider my options because I worked out that there’s about four hours work in a bobbin of single which means that there’s about 48 hours more work before I have enough yarn for a sweater.

TdF week three, return to Wensleydale

Posted by Caroline in Spinning, Wensleydale on July 23rd, 2014

Last week I combed the last of the Oxford Down and said that I had no fleece in the garage. At the time that was correct but it isn’t now.  This is Wensleydale, the left hand side is the original chocolate colour, the top right corner is what it will end up as when washed. It’s seasonally hot this week so a good time for wool washing because it dries quickly. I’m still working out the best washing strategy, my first batch had a cold overnight soak, one hot wash and two rinses but that produced a finished product that was still too sheepy. My second batch had a cold overnight soak, two hot washes and two rinses and that resulted in acceptable fibre but I’m going to see if a second cold soak will substitute for one of the later steps. The reason for this is that I have two big water butts full of rainwater that I can run off for soaking and the resulting bucket of very brown water can then go on the border plants. It seems a shame to use lovely drinking water for washing wool and then pull the plug and have it vanish down the drain. This is going to be a long term project and I can guarantee that the blog will be seeing it again at different stages.

The Tour de France is still on and I’m still spinning. I’m now on the third bobbin of what will be a three ply yarn, the last bobbin looks remarkably like the other two which is something that pleases me greatly. The bobbin on the left has more of the burgundy, the right one has more of the green and the third has equal amounts of both. It’s superwash bfl and nylon so will be good for baby things or socks, should it meet my exacting quality control standards it will end up as shop stock but if it’s “too” something then it will have to stay at home. Oh dear, what a shame that would be.

I had a trip out on Monday to deliver the heir to his first summer music course, had I taken a photo it would have been identical to the one I took last year so let’s just run with that. He’s at the same venue, assigned to the same room and he bagged the same bed. This year I had no worries about turning him loose with his peers, last year the pastoral care was excellent, the accommodation was good, the food was good, he enjoyed himself and he wasn’t out of his depth musically. Habits are hard to break, it’s day three and I’m watching for the school bus going past in the afternoon and walking about at night as if he’s in his bed.



The wheel turns (TdF week two)

Posted by Caroline in Knitting, socks, Spinning, Weaving on July 18th, 2014

Well I’m still keeping up with the Tour De Fleece in that I’ve spun every day apart from rest day. I may not have spun for very long but I’ve added something to a bobbin every day. The pink is Southdown in “dyer’s mistake” which I like as yarn. The white is all there is of the Oxford Down. Last week there was a huge pile of it and I genuinely believed that there was at least 200g there. No, I didn’t go as far as to actually weigh it and yes, I do know that a pile of fluff is mostly air. When I started combing it last summer I pulled out the 4″ locks and I’ve continued cherry picking it on and off through the year. The result was that the remainder was barely long enough to comb and the waste was much higher than with the first batches. I’ve ended up with about 100g of three ply sock yarn which is good enough. As it turned out this was the last fleece in the garage, the other two bags in there turned out to contain combed top. I may have only got enough yarn for a pair of socks but the result is three bags out of the garage. That must mean that it’s time to buy another fleece…

As I anticipated, the first half of the threading took me a week and the second half took no time at all. I’m positive that I’ve been careful and threaded this perfectly with no mistakes but then I think that every time. It’s always such a disappointment to tie on and find out how wrong I was. That will be next week’s treat, I’ll have time to sort out the mistakes with the extra hour I’ll gain each morning. Next week I don’t have to make breakfast, hunt for missing items (this morning it was the bus pass that had gone walkabout) and check that junior has checked that he has everything ready for school. We haven’t quite broken up yet for the summer, school is open for another three days next week but junior is away on a residential music course for all five. I will miss him and I’m sure that the washing machine will pine for him too.

On my to do list this week was “repot bamboo”. This one is a thug and has to be contained or else it would run and take over my garden and my neighbour’s too. Every few years I take it out of the pot, hack it in half and put it back again. Last time I had to call in a husband with a saw, the pot had a fancy strip near the rim and the root had pushed out into the detailing and he had to cut the pot off to get it out. I can learn – this pot has a flat internal face and so I got the bamboo out without any trouble. I knew there were ants in the pot but I didn’t realise the extent to which they had taken over. It’s bad enough trying to cut the roots in half without having hordes of ants running up your limbs while you’re doing it. It’s raining now with more forecast for tomorrow and I’m hoping that will persuade them to move elsewhere.


TdF week 1

Posted by Caroline in Knitting, socks, Spinning, Weaving on July 10th, 2014

Last week I said that I was done with socks but clearly I’m not. The last pair have been finished, initialled with duplicate stitch and released into the wild and I started another pair just as soon as this yarn was dry.  I checked and the new ones aren’t the ones that are in the dog basket (don’t ask me why there were socks in the dog basket, I was just pleased that they were a pair) so they could be anywhere. The new ones will be husband socks, he doesn’t have to wear uniform quite as often as the school child so can have colour all the way to the cuff. I usually avoid white in socks because I find that it picks up stray colour in the wash and over time turns to a murky grey but if I need to I can always dye them at some point in the future. I still believe that all colour challenges can be solved with either navy, red or brown dye and with this pair the cure would be navy.

This is my Tour de Fleece spinning for days one to five, it’s pretty underwhelming but although I undertook to spin every day I never said how long for. This is Southdown, probably, and it is a shop reject because I intended it to be a more interesting range of colours. The Tour related project that I have put most time into was the weaving because I added yards to that during Le Tour de Yorkshire. I can’t remember the last time I watched so much television in one day and then I did it all again the next day too. It was a five yard warp, I’ve not measured the final length but I’m certain that there will be enough for whatever I want to do with it. It’s turned a bag full of random handspun into something I can work with although it’s not at all what I set out to make because the bag of random handspun really needed to be twice the size.

Progress here is measured in inches rather than yards, I know from experience that I drag myself across the first half of the warp and then the second half zips along. Threading is not difficult, it doesn’t take as long as I think it does but I find it to be so monumentally boring that I want to run away just as soon as I’ve started. I have started, that’s something at least, but I’m not promising that it will be finished before the next time I post. I can always find something else that needs to be done, even the ironing is more interesting than threading the loom. My target is two inches a day, every day which is nothing at all really but just as much as I can stand.

One of those other things that needs to be done is combing the bag of fleece that I took out of the garage. This is my next TdF spinning project, it’s Oxford Down and I promised a pair of socks out of it. I’m not sure how much there is left but there’s certainly enough for a pair of socks, possibly even three pairs. I’m going to comb until the bag is empty, spin enough for one pair of socks and then take a decision on the rest. Whatever I do with it only the empty bag will be going back into the garage.

Next week is the last week of school and then after that it will be my annual wool week. This year is even more exciting because it’s not going to be wool week but wool fortnight. The first week I’ll be excused from all parenting duties as the child is going away and the second week I’ll be excused all meals because both males will be out of the house for twelve hours a day. Will I have enough wool to see me through?  Watch this space.