Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The Tale of Rippled Raspberry and Ophelia.

I have recently made a Facebook page for Misty Cottage Crafts which you can find here (don't forget to 'Like' it if you do). When uploading photos for my new page I realised that there were one or two yarns whose stories had not yet featured here on the blog.

One is a lovely pink merino with 20% white silk which is obviously the Rippled Raspberry 

and the other is Ophelia, 

again 80% merino with 20% silk but this time in very beautiful shades of green which remind me of the painting of Ophelia you can find here.

Both of these yarns were spun from large blanket-like carded batts (almost 500g of the pink and 350g of the green)

which I treated myself to back in May when I was lucky enough to go to a Wingham Woolwork fibre tasting day. If you have not yet made it to one of these special days then you are in for a treat. The one I went to was in a village hall here in Cornwall where Wingham Woolwork had brought along vast quantities of all kinds of fibre in myriad colours together with every conceivable spinning related book, magazine and gizmo.

It took me quite a while to fully realise that it really was OK to help myself to any of the fibres and sit down with my trusty Traveller and spin some up. What a treat - a whole day of trying out all sorts of different fibres, blends and colours!

One of the highlights of the day was the chance to watch Ruth Gogh of Wingham Woolwork spin and talk about spinning and plying techniques. I learnt more in those 20 minutes than I had in the previous two years of spinning.

So, tip of the week from Misty Cottage Crafts – if you are in the UK, contact Wingham Woolwork and find out when they might be visiting near you and move heaven and earth to get there!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

A Room of One's Own.

As Virginia Woolf pointed out in the 1920’s, for a woman to be creative she requires her own space. I would say that this encompasses both a physical space and some mental space. It is difficult, if not impossible to create in a physical space that is full of the comings and goings and detritus of a whole family’s lives. It is even less possible in an environment with constant interruptions. During the writing of this one paragraph I have been told the length of an anaconda, answered the phone and dealt with questions relating to VAT, been asked if we could go on holiday somewhere where there are snakes, been tapped on the head with someone’s finished multiplication clock and harassed about the need to go and tidy it up a bit!

So, I have spent some time recently carving out some space for myself – not exactly a room of my own, but a 3 metre long worktop!

 Enough to lay out fibre to dye with acid dyes. And I have fashioned a drying rack for said fibre to dry on. I consider this to be quite an achievement and if you had ever visited Misty Cottage, you would too!

As for mental space - well that comes and goes. I have had some in the last couple of weeks thanks to my parents who are lovely, involved grandparents to the Misty Cottage children. As a result of this I have created a space (which I will now have to protect fiercely) and some fibre which I think is lovely. I have called it Minti’s Choice because that is exactly what it is, my favourite colours used because I like them! I have used Blue Faced Leicester because it is so soft and delicious to handle.

Now the only problem is - should I spin it or sell it as it is for someone else to spin? I have been trying to decide for nearly three weeks now!

What do you think?