Hi Lott

You’ve been very patient, but I’m finally free of all things work-related for three whole weeks and can start to focus on something much more important….yarn talk.

Thank you for the drop-spindle lesson yesterday. You’re such a good teacher – funny that, as you’ve not even been in the profession for ten years! I know you thought that I picked it up instantly and was a natural, but it was purely down to your really clear and patient instruction and encouragement. Anyway, this is where I finished yesterday, as you know:

IMG_0089

…and this is how much I’ve done since you left:

IMG_0089

…because I went back to trying to complete the ultimate cardigan. (Notice the sneaky view of the project bag label btw.)

Now I’ve been pondering this since we talked about it. Why is it that, for you, spinning is an end in itself, whereas I’m more about the finite? Why is it that you are far more open to learning the skill in and of itself, whereas for me, it’s all about completion? I can’t get my head around having more than one project on the go at one time, and actually find it quite stressful, but you revel in the prospect of dipping into lots of things at once. I wonder if it’s to do with me having more of a utilitarian attitude towards yarn work, rather than the more creative approach that you take? That would make sense, as it links to my hangups about the whole work-ethic thing. It’s like the toy-making; remember the first time I saw the wonderful Toft bunny at Woolfest last year and promptly decided that it would be far too tricky for my rudimentary crochet skills? Then, after getting the fabulous Edward’s Menagerie book and making Emma:

IMG_0181

it wasn’t long before I’d made a mini-menagerie of my own…

IMG_0231

but seemed to need there to be a purpose to it, rather than just for the pleasure of making them for their own sake. So the fact that they could be given as Christmas presents worked rather well for this mindset I seem to have got stuck into.

Anyway, I’m going to continue to ponder this. There is no point at all in having a hobby if it just becomes another job that needs doing. Might as well clean the oven. So, here’s the promise – I am going to finish my ultimate cardigan and then start on your puppy from the One & Two Company:

IMG_0088

…and then I’m going to give the spinning another go. And in the meantime, focus on the fact that just the process of making something is the lovely thing, not the finishing of something. Otherwise there’s no point.

And are we going to go to the wool festival in York next weekend, by the way?

Love,

Daz

Advertisements

In a spin

My dear Daz

I know that you’re really busy right now, because it’s exam season, so thought that I’d update you on how I’m also in a spin of a different kind. Remember that I bought myself a teeny tiny little birthday pressie back in March?! From the lovely ladies at Nunoco on Etsy.

Well I finally got round to spinning it up. So here we have the ‘candy floss’ I started with. This is a couple of ‘batt droppings’ from the Secret Smorgling box. The one on the right is called ‘Whisper’ but I have no idea what the batt on the left is called as I lost the tag from the ribbon it was tied with (and it was a ribbon too, those ladies at Nunoco understand customer service!) Whisper has the most gorgeous silver threads in it which you can’t see on this photo but look at those fab rogue pink bits of fabric/fleece in the batt on the left…

Candy floss
Candy floss beginnings…

I been spinning all evening and this yarn really did almost spin itself, it was so easy to work with! So it wasn’t long before I had a full bobbin of this..image

Its absolutely divine, the rogue fibres made beautiful slubs and the yarn shimmers with the silver thread.

Not sure how much I’ve got here and I’ll have to let it rest a day or so on the bobbin until I can wash, dry and wind it. But I’m very excited. What do you think I should make with it?

Love ya Cx

I have a confession …

Dear Daz

Please forgive me; I know I’m meant to be knitting your other Ecclefechan glove which I know I was supposed to finish for your birthday (in March) and I do feel very guilty about the fact that I only gave you one glove on your big day. But it was a lovely glove wasn’t it!? I was actually quite pleased with it to be honest! But, look at this from Susan Crawford and tell me how I was supposed to not cast on?! You know I can’t resist anything from Susan Crawford! And it’s knit in the round – no seams, Daz no seams!!!!

Blanche
Blanche Too by Susan Crawford

So, guiltily, I’ve cast on in Diggle DK by Woolyknit.com in their Teal Nepp colourway. I’ve never used this yarn before but it has quite a vintage feel to it with quite a loose ply and it produces a very firm fabric which would be consistent with the yarns used in the 1930s-1950s. The nicest aspect of the yarn though is the little flecks of brown in it, which, when knitted up give a lovely tweed look to the fabric. Look, lovely isn’t it?

Diggle (2)
Diggle DK by Woolyknit.com in Teal Nepp

Now I have been knitting this for a while, hence why I haven’t really discussed anything knitted related with you for ages! But the guilt has been eating at me so now you know! Look at my progress, though, this is quite a lot for me isn’t it?

Weird how the colour looks totally different in this pic.

acres of progress...
acres of progress…

Anyway the good news is that having got about a third of the way through, I’m now bored. So I think I’m now over my ‘second glove syndrome’ and I’ll be able to finish your glove just in time for…winter! How selfless of me!

Love and hugs Lott xx

Are we really doing a blog?

So as Lott says, here we are, this is us (looking particularly glamorous at our visit to Toft Alpacas – more on that later) and hello to anyone who lands here and reads our stuff. I have no idea why we’re doing this; basically my role in this friendship is just to do what I’m told. I tend to trust my friend though – in spite of being completely mental she’s also usually right about most things…

As an example, to go back to the alpaca farm visit, which involved a seven-hour round trip (me driving, needless to say) because we’d met the fab people at Toft Alpacas at our visit to Woolfest last summer and Lott decided that her uber-cool, fabulously sneering and self-possessed teenage daughter would love nothing more than being woken at seven in the morning and dragged there (in the rain) for her ‘surprise birthday treat’. What seemed to really galvanise Lott into this particular day out was the promise of participating in the alpaca obstacle course, which was advertised on their website.

When we eventually arrived at Toft Alpacas, (silent, seething daughter on the back seat) it was to discover that the ‘obstacle course’ was actually devised as a minor bit of distraction for pre-school children. We dutifully got our tickets and took our place in the queue for our alpaca …. trying not to let our quite palpable embarrassment as being the only ones without toddlers show … and dealing with the increasing mortification of said teenager as we looked at the ‘obstacles’ we were instructed to weave our own personal alpaca around (a small row of upturned red plastic buckets and a couple of long poles to vault over, precariously placed at least two inches off the ground). The lovely alpaca handlers there were clearly trying to hide their own discomfort, obviously wondering if we were on some kind of medical programme or just plain barking. The only thing to do was just get on with it and try to treat the whole thing as ironic. And then Lott fell over one of the obstacles, which made it all better. At this point, even the toddlers were looking at us in disgust.

Seething daughter managed to perk up a bit at the sight of some Japanese teenagers (apparently alpacas are ultra-cool in Japan). But the day was just rounded off perfectly by my husband telling me, when I eventually got home, soaked to the skin and exhausted, that apparently there’s a great alpaca farm about ten minutes up the road from our house.

So there you are. One example of a great day out with Charlotte and Sarah, two mates who never had a best mate before and, since we became friends, have started to realise why it’s quite nice to have a best mate. Although we do spend the majority of our time bickering.

We’ll be putting up bits about all kinds of things: I quite like baking stuff, although I’m rubbish at following recipes, so when I bake something, rather than just texting the photo to Lott, I’ll probably put it on here. And lots of animal stuff – I’ve got three dogs and she’s a cat woman, although we do share a bit of a thing about tropical fish so they’ll no doubt find their way on here as well. And given that we’re both ‘Englishy’ in terms of degrees / jobs, no doubt we’ll be talking about what we’ve been reading. We’ve both just finished Sarah Hall’s Wolf Border, incidentally. Fab book.

Anyway, enough for now. First blog post over. Now I just need to work out how to tweet. Lott, is this ok for the first one?

Welcome, come in, mind the dogs, don’t trip over the cat and have a seat…

Hang on to that alpaca
Hang on to that alpaca – Sarah (l) Charlotte (r)

Hello, hello, we’re so pleased to meet you and thanks for popping by! This is our first post and we’re a tiny bit nervous, so do bear with us.

You’ve just entered the world of Charlotte (Lott) and Sarah (Daz), two friends who share a love of many things but for the purposes of this blog we’ll start with a passion for knitting.

Knitting is our relaxation, it’s our reason to sit and gossip, in its name we plan outings, weekend breaks and shopping trips, all of which never seem to go entirely to plan, often involve some kind of toe curling embarrassment, but always, always, involve Sarah buying 14 (exactly 14) balls of DK for a cardigan. We shamelessly use knitting as a reason to ignore housework, our children and husbands, and even our jobs! Knitting gives us a shared future to dream about, where we live nearer to each other – actually we might even live together in a farmhouse large enough for our families, dogs, cats, and various tropical fish – oh and yarn. In this idyllic future we live in a sunny pastoral landscape tending our flocks of rare breeds of sheep and alpacas where our hobby pays for our living and our happy-go-lucky lifestyle is stress-free and ‘meaningful’. Ah.

So, knitting provides us with one of the threads of our friendship.

We hope you’ll stick around to read more about what we’re working on, where’ve been, what’s going on, whether we are any nearer to achieving our dreams, what Sarah’s strange whippet dog Skippy is currently scared of and much more which may or may not be knitting-related ‘yarns’!

Love C&S xxx