Sunday, July 31

More Sheep Stuff

Did I share this view with you already? I certainly meant to show you the summer view from HQ. I had to get out with the secateurs yesterday and prune some of the undergrowth from the side windows - it was in danger of becoming overgrowth instead!

It's been a busy weekend what with the Border Union Show and a lovely sunny craft fair at Harestanes today. I had talented illustrator Lynne's company and once our stalls were set up, she whisked her knitting needles out and I set to with needle and thread. We had a productive day in between the customers...!

Here are my latest yarns, spun, washed, dried and ready to be twisted into skeins and labelled up. The pink + dark Cheviot one is a scrumptious blend of shades and I'd quite like to keep it for myself.

And this cheeky ewe? She's the cover girl for the new Crossing Borders Art Trail booklet. The Art Trail this year is split over two weekends - 2/3/4 Sept for the East side of the Borders and 9/10/11 Sept for us Westerners. Get yourself to the Crossing Borders website to learn more or leave me a comment or e-mail and I'll post you a booklet with details of all the open studios you can visit.

Hugh and I will be on our best behaviour and look forward to meeting as many new faces and old friends as possible. There will be coffee and cake and artwork and no doubt some cheek too...

Monday, July 25

Happy Mondays

They don't always turn out as planned but today was a fine example of a day off. It still involved bits of work because they sneak in anyway, but it feels different when you are choosing to do stuff. And at the moment, carding and spinning are a little addictive. I had company in Tart HQ yesterday which was lovely. We put the world to rights over coffee and fleece. I had combed and teased out some of the black Cheviot and I was easily persuaded to incorporate some into otherwise solid shades of tops. Here you can see a bundle of clean fleece with a mixture of pink shades spun on the bobbin. I made quick rolags with added Cheviot and they have given the pink an interesting depth. This morning I started a second bobbin of a mauve shade of merino with added soya fibre and cut dyed linen as highlights. They'll get plied together this week and I'll show you the finished washed skein in due course.Yesterday being such a fine day, I also got the first of the Blue Texel washed and this second pic shows the variation in shades in one half of one fleece. It's very dense but fine and I look forward to combing some and spinning it.

The general aim is to do some walking on Mondays and there was no excuse today. We strolled a simple little loop - over the Tweed via the pedestrian chain bridge at Melrose, along the riverbank, across Lowood Bridge (this is the view from the bridge looking towards Galashiels) and back along the other bank. The hot weather necessitated the consumption of ice-cream on our return to Melrose. Back home, a few more jobs done and then dog-walking time again. (Yes, they'd have loved to have come with us today but our water-loving dogs and fishermen paying large sums of money to fish the river do not mix.)

Thursday, July 21

Sheep Dip

I have acquired some interesting fleeces - a black Cheviot and Blue Texels. They are much softer and finer than I was expecting so I have been awaiting a dry day to start getting them clean. Today's the day for the Cheviot, and as you can see from the pic of part one soaking in the bath, it really is dark. Some of the rest is decidedly grey but I'll see how it spins up.

Above are three fine old Penguin paperback covers which I couldn't resist sharing with you. The Book of Toys one is rather cool, and the fairground horses are classic folk art - I love 'em!

Saturday, July 9

Grabbing the sunshine....

I've got lots of lovely shades of merino tops in stock now for spinners and felters and anyone who enjoys messing about with fibre. I'm happy to supply titchy quantites so you can experiment without breaking the bank.

Thunderbolts and lightening today, and now a weak sun is poking its head out of the clouds. Not ideal for picture-taking, so here instead are a couple from the beginning of the week when we enjoyed a walk at Selkirk. We parked at The Waterwheel and headed up a track through the Philiphaugh Estate. The views were glorious, the peace delightful. Rejoining the road, we strolled past the rugby ground and took the track by the old mill lade. This brought us nicely back to The Waterwheel where we had lunch in the sun. A jolly fine day off.

Sunday, July 3