Friday, 17 May 2013

Festival camping time

Pulse music festival - good music, food and friends

Phew, what a great weekend!

First time taking Imogen to a weekend camping music festival. Not far away on the most wonderful site of an organic farm we have been customers of. The weather forecast as the weekend approached was mixed but glad we ignored it as we had a lovely time, mostly dry but for some drizzly rain Friday night but who cares when the music is good, the beer too and the food was wonderful, plus the marquees gave us some shelter! The heavier rain waited until the music was all finished and we were back in out tent for the night - boy it rained then but we were cosy and sleeping.

The venue Sunnyfields Organic Farm, the festival "The Pulse" a festival raising money for the Childrens Heart Unit at Southampton hospital.

Imperial Leisure - great nights entertainment, such energy

Highlight of Friday night was seeing Imperial Leisure, oh what fun! Dancing in the drizzly rain and watching Imogen impulsively break into some skanking was such fun.

late night dancing

Awoke to bright sunshine that dried and warmed the tent lovely, the ground was dry and the day was set to be good (a couple of brief showers).

 Campsite writing and Poi spinning

Did I mention the food was good? Sunnyfields know a bit about good food. They grow it, they sell it, they cook it and they served it up in abundance for the weekend. My favourite was the Hog roast rolls - a rather substantial meal. Chips were bought and consumed aplenty to accompany the beer.
 jumping on friends, getting piggybacks
Face painting by a fantastic face painter we know!

Spending time with friends, meeting new friends was good - a yarnie friend only previously known online was great too - putting a face and voice to a name. Seeing another friend, Grant Sharkey, on stage in his onesie had to be seen to be believed! Worn ironically of course, highlighting the trade of items made in poor countries. His first of 40 albums being released over the next 20 years is out now, priced £6.19 - the national minimum wage!

 Grant Sharkey with his Double Bass
Late night kindle reading by torchlight as the bands played on
The venues bar serving great beer and Pimms!

Great time was had by all, looking forward to the next one in about a month - just an overnight stay in the tent for that one, then a longer break of 3 nights at another festival in July. It's been a while since we camped at music festivals - before Imogen was born we regularly went to Reading festival, and a few Glastonbury's and others.

Fun times x

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Woolly Wednesday May (Spinspiration)

Welcome to the Woolly Wednesday gathering for May, new location to come and share your craft and inspiration. Posting on the eve of Wednesday!

Whether you are a regular or a new visitor - come and share what you have been doing with wool or fibres in the last month, or plans for the month(s) ahead. All crafts and inspiration welcome. Thank you for following me over from the Spinspiration blog and look forward to regularly sharing this space with you here.

 Woolly Wednesday falls on the first Wednesday of every month. Think of it as a creative gathering, or a virtual guild meeting. Bring along any fibre-related project, whatever it may be. If you are starting out in fibre arts, share what you are interested in pursuing. Let's show each other our projects, share any tips, tutorials, ask questions, seek advice. Add your post to the Linky below and we can visit one another and share, support, encourage, be inspired!.

 Please feel free to add the button to your blog's sidebar with a link to Woolly Wednesday (Spinspiration), a lovely way for us all to link together. Just copy the image to your desktop and then in your blog design - add a gadget, add picture - upload the picture and then add the url ( and the image will link to here. Join in with the linky below, link to a recent blog post of your woolly adventures in the last month or to a post in the month ahead, I look forward to seeing you, no time limits just join in when you can.

I look forward to reading all about your woolly days x

My recent woolly days

Trying something new this month, merging the Spinspiration blog with this blog, writing separately for both has become difficult at times so I hope those who link up to Woolly Wednesday will understand and join me here as I really enjoy reading your posts, being inspired.

Since last months post, I have finished a Shawlette I made for a lovely friend of mine. This is the project I couldn't post about just in case the lady in question saw it. I shared a picture of some dyed fibre and the yarn spun - remember these bright yellows! Well it was knitted into a Garden View shawlette and gifted recently as a birthday gift and also a thank you for organising a yurting weekend for a group of us with a day trip to Wonderwool. I was pleased with the overall effect. Hand-dyed, handspun, hand-knitted.

 Garden View Shawlette (folded in half)
leaf detail

Other knitting projects are, yes still the cushion - haven't touched it for another month!; plus I have started a Sheep Heid hat but again haven't knitted it in the last month, I will get back to this soon though; and there's also a tunic top for Imogen started and not picked up in ages.

So knitting that has been happening (yes, there is some) this month. I spun a Monet inspired dyed fibre back in January/February and always had in mind a knitted bag with the yarn. I separated the fibre out a little so that there was more of the lighter shades at one end of the skein and darker shades at the other. When making it into a ball (yarn cake) I again separated the colours a little so there were 2 equal length balls going from light to dark shades. This was with the intention of making a circular bag, something I thought would complement the yarn and tie in with the inspiration of the Money picture, the water lily pads.

Monet inspired yarn

The circles were knitted and the last rounds finished whilst away at the Yurt.

 2 circles knitted

To join the circles, I had recently been spinning some light blue/grey fibre at an even - just randomly picked for something to spin, and then realised it was a lovely match for the bag. So on my return from my yurt weekend away I set to plying the already spun fibre and here is some of the yarn now being used to create the gusset and strap for the bag - hopefully this will be finished by next month!

joining the circles with a gusset and strap

I have always thought that I want to felt the bag too, although this gets mixed reactions when I tell people. I think it will look good felted and create a firmer fabric so I still think I will, and maybe line it too. Watch this space.

In other knitting, there is a pair of socks on my needles. A gift for another friend.

Sock knitting with handspun yarn

But what about spinning? Well I just looked across and both of my wheels are empty at the moment. The blue is all plied, although there is more of that fibre so I shall probably continue to spin that up. But you have 3 wheels Dawn, don't you? Well yes, kind of, one is destined for my daughter, and is currently out on loan to another friend who I helped recently get going on a spindle, and yep she's loving it!

And hey what about Wonderwool?
Well I had a wonderful time. I blogged about the yurt stay here if you want to read about that part. I didn't take many photos at Wonderwool, some stalls understandably don't want you to take photos of some things, and the rest of the time I was just taking in all the beautiful things.
Gorgeous colours all around
 Lovely British sheep fleece
and a lovely knitted garden scene

I picked up a few things, a braiding kit with yarns for my daughter, a lovely collapsible weaving frame, some odd bits and pieces, some dye stuffs and a little Shetland fibre for a project. I hadn't gone with the intention of buying much and stuck to that very well, after all there's always next year!

Looking forward to seeing what others have been creating. You can link your blog post to Woolly Wednesday here. See you on the 5th June for the next Woolly Wednesday x

Friday, 3 May 2013

Fabulous Yurting weekend

Oh that was such a lot of fun!

Six months ago a group of lovely friends forged a plan to go away together in a Yurt for the weekend in Wales and to visit Wonderwool. It seemed at the time to be a long way in the future, then suddenly it was here.

Two trains and a car journey and we arrived in the beautiful surroundings of Kite Hill Yurts near Builth Wells, Powys. A lovely warm welcome greeted us from Kate and Dominic and their gorgeous little boy. We were soon transferring our bags to the trailer for transport to the yurts and walked up the hill to find our home for the next three days. And here is what greeted us

Our Yurt for the weekend
welcoming entrance to the yurt

I stayed with the wonderful ladies in Skylark, the rainbow yurt while the rest of our party stayed in Curlew across the field. The yurts are fantastic, as you enter the wood burner catches your eye, and then your eyes wander to take in the home from home comforts. We even had rainbows outside

 The wood burner kept us cosy and warm

The glorious roof
Rainbows inside and out

More beautiful pictures of the interiors can be seem on Kite Hill Yurts website and facebook page. Each yurt has it's own lovely well equipped kitchen, barbecue, fire pit and compost toilet. There is also the communal kitchen and solar shower and more compost toilets, just down the hill. A little further down the hill are the lovely Alpaca too, friendly and inquisitive. A lovely site, lovely hosts, would recommend them!

Kite Hill Yurts and surroundings

We talked, we laughed (a lot!) and we knitted (sometimes!). I took a stroll one evening to take in the wonderful views, and was not disappointed when I arrived atop of the hill by a copse of trees.

Gorgeous views across to the Black Mountains

We visited Wonderwool on Saturday and what a feast for the eyes that was, fibre and yarn delights all around. It was lovely to see other familiar faces from Hampshire Guild there too. There were sheep and fleeces, wheels and looms, something for everyone.

This knitted garden display was lovely to see.

A quick trip into the village to buy some funky shoes, oh and some food and wine. Returning to the yurt to explore our purchases, to knit, to crochet and to laugh some more.

After a lazy morning in the yurt, we headed to Hay on Wye for lunch and to wander the numerous bookshops. Some of us came home with new to us books and we had a wonderful lunch in Booths cafe.

Then it was Monday and time to go home ...

I had a wonderful time, with kindred spirits. Thank you to everyone from Kate and Dominic (& baby) for the wonderful place to stay; to Denise for being the inspiration for the weekend; to Jacqui, Teresa, Jill, Lou, Lucy and Kim for the company, conversation and laughter.