Monday, April 6

April Fool

Wow, what weather! Who'd have thunk it. A great way to welcome in the Spring. Heavens, I have even been spinning yellow (probably my second least favourite colour, only beaten by baby pink. No wait, peach is worse. OK, my third least favourite)

I've just prepared four batches of drum carded fibre so that I have several skeins-in-the-making in stock. And as I am selling my indigo-dyed fibres, it's a good idea if I spin up a skein so that people can see how it looks (thanks Fiona, sensible plan...) 
This lovely cactus came my way and I have blended wool and silk fibres inspired by the striking colour combination. I'll show you the finished yarn in due course.

There has been much dyeing going on but my little Etsy shop is earning its keep. Yarn sales keep magically happening so the process of building up stock is quite slow. 
And there'll be a hiatus as I disappear north for a wedding then south-west to run a bookshop

Normal dyeing service will be resumed in May, but only after the excellent Art@Ancrum  over the early May Bank holiday. Fitting in preparations for that event is quite an art in itself.
Busy? You bet
Happy? Oh yes!
Making a living in the country is hardly ever simple. It may look restful as you pass through but stop a while and you'll find we are all pretty busy people. We appreciate the beauty of our surroundings and our good fortune in living closer to the natural world. We are more than happy to share it with those of you who venture here but don't be seduced into thinking it's a worry-free, care-free life we are living.

On that note I must go and pack a frock (ok, my one frock) for the impending nuptials. Oh heck, and shoes with heels....

Thursday, March 5

Between Fairs...

The last Saturday in February dawned chilly but dry and I headed off to St Abbs for what turned out to be the busiest Wool Festival there yet. We had lots of visitors who thoroughly enjoyed their day, as did I. My newest indigo products are these dyed wool batts, all carded and ready to be spun or felted. I was really pleased with how well they were received and am now on a mission to get a further supply ready for 14th March.

St Abbs is such a good venue for a family outing, enabling those that do to wander around the woolly goodness on offer, and those that don't to go off exploring the cliff walks and harbour and Number Four Gallery

Number Four Gallery

And now my days till Edinburgh Yarn Festival are dwindling quickly... So much yarn and fibre still to dye, and some tarting up of display props to be done. 

My brand new knitting kits are all sorted and soon to be packed. I've chosen to use sturdy cotton canvas bags which I have indigo dyed, so they can be re-used for small projects. Each contains lovely smooth bamboo needles and not one but two patterns. 

Sorry, must dash... back to the dye-pot for another batch of blissful blue.

Saturday, February 7

A Package from Pushkar

Receiving parcels is almost always fun although in this household they are as likely to contain vital parts for the wellbeing of Land Rovers as textile-related treasures. However the one this week was well stitched into its cotton protective jacket which was a bit of a giveaway - Indian Treasures!
I cannot tell you how much these designs please me. 
I was privileged to meet Ajrakh block printers in Gujarat. The numerous complex processes involved in the creation of the fabrics is fascinating to learn about but the speed and dexterity with which the block printing itself is carried out is humbling.
So it was lovely to get my hands on these lengths of richly coloured fine cottons from Rajasthan. The bottom one is traditional - a square repeating block that is symmetrical in each direction - while I think the top one more contemporary but well balanced and equally pleasing to the eye.

carded wool ready for spinning - very arty, I thought...
 I realise there's been over a month's gap since my last post here. There are many reasons for my absence but I find myself posting more on Facebook now, and plan to open a Border Tart page there soon. 
When is soon? It is immediately after I get my yarns into an online shop! Photographs have been taken which is real progress, and I think initially I am going to re-open my Etsy shop and list the yarns there. Ultimately I want them on my website but I have too many irons in the fire presently and no ability to cope with tech-speak.

One of them is the cottage - You can find it at and on Facebook (just search for The Old Tearoom, and please like us!) as well as on airbnb. Soon it will be on other holiday let websites too. As I write this we have our first guests through airbnb, and they are happily ensonced in front of their fire tonight, making a pleasant change from their city flat-dwelling life.

And what's next? 
Well on Friday 13th there's a private view of the Working Perspectives exhibition at Peebles, so I will have to tidy myself up and look presentable as the great and the good (and participating artist/maker friends) look at  the results of our labours. I am looking forward to seeing everyone else's work. It runs until April 11th at Tweeddale Museum & Gallery.

And in no time I'll be off to St Abbs for the Wool Festival on the 28th. Stallholders will have new products to launch and some bargains to offer on older stock too so do enjoy a day out to the coast and come and see us all!