lördag 30 juli 2011

The little yarn shop

There is a little yarn shop in Leighton Buzzard. Malin, Sarah and I visited it last year, and again this year. I love the walk from the street through the lane and into the shop.
The shop has a good sortiment of yarn, patterns, books, embroidery yarn, knitting needles: Nutmeg Needlecrafts.

tisdag 19 juli 2011

Knitting in the library

This is a knitter's paradise: Knitting Reference Library. Sarah had contacted the staff and asked permission for us to visit it, and so Sarah, Malin and I were let into the library to have a look at the treasures. For me it was like coming home. I have spent about forty years in libraries. A library with this kind of collections must be one of the best places on earth for a fiber freak librarian. Thank you Sarah!

I liked this work of art on one of the walls in the campus (no, the tree isn't a part of the work):

We spent three hours in the library. In that time I only had time to look at a few magazines and books. We were pretty tired after seeing so many knitting and crocheting instructions, at least I couldn't have taken in any more. The photos show garments beginning with the 30s and ending with Elizabeth Zimmerman's Wool Gathering.

I didn't take photos of the oldest patterns in Richard Rutt's collection, because you can see them online on the library's site. That's a service to be thankful for! Because it's a reference library you may not borrow the books.
Feel a bit cold? Do you like to knit lace? An idea for a Christmas present!
The pi-shawl can be crocheted also.
When did you last see an angora bolero?? :)
This is Richard Rutt's collection. The boxes are full of knitting instructions from many, many years. There are quite a few of us waiting for a new edition of Rutt's knitting history.
Look at the illustrations above. Are there anyone else than me who would like to see close ups of knitting patterns? Nowadays you have to find out what the knitting is supposed to look like from blurry art photos and charts (yes, I love charts, but I still want close ups).
Here are a few of Elizabeth Zimmerman's now classic leaflets, full of ingenious knitting. Wish I had them all.

The library has books and magazines mostly in English, but there are also a few books in other languages. Now I know where to send my own textile library if I ever want to get rid of it.

As ususal we were hungry after our adventure. A gourmet dinner in the car:
No, this wasn't all I had to eat that day. Have I mentioned that Sarah's husband is a very good cook? He cooked a delicious dinner for us every night we stayed in his and Sarah's home.

lördag 16 juli 2011

Malin the Chef

Malin cookes delicious omelettes, but she's good at cooking carrots too.

She needs some chemicals. Malcolm and Meara find this very interesting. Malcolm is deeply in love with Malin. Meara likes trucks. Malin likes my pizza. None of that is necessary knowledge for cooking carrots. But you do need chemicals. I have heard people actually drink them. First they mix them with water, I believe.
Then she needs some yarn.
Voila! Bon appetit!


Woolfest in Cockermouth, UK was fun. See, four happy fiber freaks waiting to go in and start the raid:
Barbro, Tini, Sarah, Malin

Have a look at the shawls we all wear: Sarah made them for us, each in the colors we love. They are just perfect!

First we went to the fleece tables. I found my fleece at once. It's a Cotswold/Shetland cross fleece, coal black, long stapled and absolutely awesome. I'll show it when I start working with it.
Part of the fleece tables
There were sheep, angora goats, alpacas. I planned to go back to look at the animals next day, but I didn't have time so I only show two Black Welsh Mountain sheep.

I saw a lot of spinning wheels.

Malin and I tried the new Schacht Sidekick:

I saw a spindle that was new to me, a big, heavy bottom whorl you can rest on the floor:

I bought some fibers and yarns, but not very much as we were going to visit Jon Dunn of EasyKnits the next week. I bought a few spindles and other equipment, and gifts for fiber people. I got a HUGE t-shirt, and a spinning apron with the Woolfest 2011 logo. Still I had difficulties in finding my bed:

We hade a few very exciting road trips in the Lake District. The roads are, well, scaring. Sarah is the best driver I've ever seen, so it made the trips much less frightening than they could have been. Norwegian roads are child's play compared to the narrow, winding roads with stone walls on both sides. The landscape is one of the most beautiful I've ever seen. Open hill landscape, woods, gardens, sheep, stone walls, stone houses, iron work... I can't stop admiring the stone walls and all the work and skill put into them.

Yes, we did have time for a beer and the fish and chips you just have to eat in UK.

I liked Woolfest a lot. It's not big, but it's certainly beautiful. Nice vendors, and a lot of them in a small hall. If you take your time you can scan the booths without having to struggle even if the place is crowded. I saw many of the vendors I use to look at on the internet, and that is very useful.

Now have a look at the big Merino fleece that Sarah, Tini and Malin bought. Under the dirt ther is a white, soft, crimpy fleece:

Then it was time to pack, take Tini to the airport and for the rest of us to go on to other adventures.


 Breakfast on the road

lördag 9 juli 2011

A hot day in London

One day during my trip to UK Sarah, Malin and me went to London to see Jon who had kindly invited us to his home and his studio: EasyKnits.

But first we went to Camden Market. That was fun!

Then we went to Jon. He is a smart man, he served Pimm's and yummy muffins baked by his husband before letting us into his dyeing studio :) It was a very hot day, so what could be better than a refreshing drink?

And then we went upstairs to have a look at the yarns and fibers. Oh THAT was fun!
Jon dyes both semi solids and space dyed fibers and yarns, so full of color. The quality is very good, I love working with them. The skeins hanging to dry is the first glimpse of Jon's new colorway Deeply Wicked that he'll intruduce at KnitNation in London next week. He makes his sock rolls himself, starting by knitting them on one of his machines, then dyeing them. They make really nice socks and shawls.

The beautiful Orbit shawl is on my list of shawls to knit. You find the pattern through Jon's shop on Ravelry. On EasyKnit's site you find more shawls, designed by the ingenious Marleen from Dutch Knitting Design.

Here are some of my purchases and on top of them the wonders Jon gave me as a gift. Thank you Jon!

Then we had more Pimm's and muffins, and I tried Jon's spinning wheel, an impressive Mach II.  The wheel is too big for me, but Malin seemed to be happy with it. I didn't take any photos, but you can find Mach wheels here: Spinolution.

Sarah's husband met up with us at Oxford Street, and as it was a really hot day we decided to eat in a Korean restaurant where they cooked some of the meals at the table :)

Chris bought us desert to eat in the train on our way home. Yes, I was tired. And happy!

måndag 4 juli 2011

Tour de Fleece has started, and Yes, I had a wonderful trip to England

I have been very busy the last two weeks, I'll try to catch up here in a near future. Just saying that my trip to England together with Malin to see Sarah was wonderful, and Woolfest was wonderful too!
A kind and gentle Ryeland ram
An accelerated wheel from Woodland Turnery
Lake District... oh my

Yes, I did some shopping. Here is a spindle I fell in love with:
A rim weighted top whorl from IST Crafts
And Tour de Fleece, the biggest yearly spinning event started on Saturday, July 2. I am in three teams on Ravelry, so I spin three different yarns every day. Here are the yarns I spin in Team Bosworth and Team Nordic Spinners:
White Shetland for lace, variegated Merino on the Bossie
Sarah had filled a bag with awesome gifts for Malin and me. Some I have eaten, some I have been saying ooh and aah about, and this I started using today:
Jumper dryer, perfect for small amounts of washed fleece

My third yarn in the tour will be a sample of East Friesian, now drying on Sarah's great gift. Thanks Sarah!

Back to spinning. See you later :)