Category: the making year

November, in wool

wovemberWALcsc_0319Outside the home, the November mornings have been adrift with fog in pockets of the valley. There was the first snowfalls of this autumn, which have had us reaching for the woolly clothes during the day and the woolly blankets at night.

Inside, things have been rather busy in our little family, leaving little time for the more energetic or involved woolly pursuits (fibre preparation, spinning, natural dyeing…) once the sun has gone down.

I have however managed to find some little pockets of time in between for some Wovembering – reading, researching, sharing and plenty of reflecting. This month dedicated to wool has given me much to think about in terms of both my own crafting practices and some of the wider woolly questions of the industry here in France and also across Europe. I am excited at the prospect of slowly working through some the strands in the coming months and sharing them here, when time and energy allow.

I have also managed a little knitting in the evenings. I cast off a second Quynn hat for our little man just in time for the first snows. I have also been working on my WovemberWAL project (I am on the verge of casting off as I write) as well as a series of little woollen love hearts improvised from some hand spun scraps. I’m thinking of scribbling down the pattern, let me know if you’d be interested?

What have you been doing with wool this past month?

October, in wool

As October comes to a close, I’m excited to introduce a new strand: Lately, in wool. Here you’ll find a brief round-up of what woolly pursuits have been keeping me busy the past month. I’m hoping it will be a manageable way to keep a visual journal of my progress and experiments. But I’d also love you to join in and share what you’ve been up to with wool recently on your own blog, whether it be spinning, knitting, crochet, sewing, natural dyeing or just simple wool gathering (i.e. enhancing your stash!). If you do, please leave a link to your post in the comments so I can drop by and take a look! 

Spinning csc_0317

Where spinning has been concerned, October has been about finishing off projects that were languishing on the bobbins since the summer:

  • Plying up some Ryeland singles (spun from some sliver left over from my Tour de Fleece spindle spin).
  • Finishing off a 2 ply sample skein of Lourdaise, spun “in the grease” from hand-carded rolags.
  • Gradually working my way through a big bag of carded Texel fleece (French reared, sheared & prepared) that I acquired at the same time as my (second-hand) Ashford Kiwi spinning wheel.

Knitting csc_0081

At the start of the month, some dear friends came to stay with us for a week. I had been feeling like I was caught in a place of stasis where my knitting was concerned recently, but having a friend to knit with certainly helped pull me out of the rut! Florine is an incredibly talented & prolific knitter (as well as being the sweetest person), and I was so glad to be able to knit & chat with her once the baby was tucked up in bed each evening. Whilst they were here,

  • I made some real headway on my Papa Bear Jumper finishing up both sleeves during their stay, meaning I now have knitted all the pieces of the jumper. A few days later I was able to block them and now all that’s left is to knit the neckband and do the seaming when I next have some spare energy.
  • I also cast on another Quynn hat for little man, as we seem to have misplaced last year’s one! It would probably have been too small for him now anyway, as after measuring his head we’ve now gone up to the biggest size.

Natural dyeing

csc_0331The mists of the start of the month seem to have given way to some unseasonally warm weather – just perfect for some natural dye experiments. I have to wait until the baby is in bed (or out for a few hours with Papa) and so am gradually working out a system of splitting up all the different tasks associated with the process of dyeing – and learning the importance of extensive note taking in the process! As with all woolly pursuits these days, progress can be slow. But it does mean I’m really enjoying the process all that more.