A crafty little update

Apologies I was due to podcast this weekend….. but I haven’t a the energy and b with all the visitors I haven’t had a chance to do as much…..

However…..

Some sneaky peeks…… at an A J Aviator hat (pattern from Made by Jacks Mum) made for Young Sir for next winter me thinks…….. or a over hat as he seems to want to wear hats over his hoods at the moment!

Some spinning of Icelandic wool is still happening despite me not enjoying this fibre as much….. I have to go slow and really concentrate and even then I think it’s going to be horribly over spun and squirly…

Some BEAUTIFUL RiverKnits Splendiferous yarn for swatching and knitting up a new design!!!

Some skeined up pomegranate….

And some more sewing in the form of a commission for a very special young lady I used to teach!! (For those not in the know I spent 11-12 years as a full time special needs teacher where we used to live!) and this work is making some pretty but useable bibs for everyday use and for when she is eating!! I drafted up the pattern and made a couple of prototypes!! I’m quite pleased and am now cutting out and making the rest!!

Busy weeks!!

So the past two weeks have been filled with visitors and LOTS of outside work….. not much time for crafting except in between visitors and knitting of an evening!!

We started with a few days with my sister and niece and nephew!!

Someone was very pleased with his visitors!! And we had wall building round the Polytunnel!!

Playdoh….. painting…… forest school trip!

Bird box building and painting….

Phew very busy!!

Then last week my parents came for a few days!

It turned colder…. but we have meshed the fruit cage….. planted and frost fleeced a few plants that had been delivered…. blueberries in pots in some good Ericaceous compost as our soil isn’t right for them but we need them as young sir would eat his body weight in blueberries!! Well fruit in general!!

Then we had lots more Polytunnel progress…. just a shame on the final day the wind picked up so we couldn’t get the plastic on….

We had a wood delivery too…. didn’t get as much in last year as this year has required!! It’s all a learning process and bear in mind this time last year we were only able to collect wood every other weekend!!!

Any way all this done plus toddler wrangling…. plus catering…. keeping the home fires burning…. and growing a baby….. phew

We have had a quieter weekend this weekend sans visitors!

Finishing some jobs in the fruit cage….

Using sawdust to make paths…. cable tying the mesh further and pegging it down….

Then today….

Chipping the brash piles we’ve had lying about from hedgerow sorting!! Finally seem to be making some progress in rejuvenating some of the hedgerows and hope we will be able to lay some of them in a couple of years to thicken them up and really sort them!

Episode 11 show notes!! 

Episode 11Monday 12th of February

Only a week later than planned due to illness, starting with toddle chops and ending in all of us!
Knitting

One FO toddler socks

New cast on…. Weasley sweater for me in Hayfield Aran bonus in purple

Swatching for some new designs…..

1 shawl…. In Owl About Yarn Tibetan Owl….

1 toy in Aran weight alpaca…

Another shawl which is being swatched in my smooshie base (azure) but will eventually be knit up in RiverKnits’ glorious Splendiferous base in Silberman Mond or silver moon….
Wound the yarn to cast on the next two pairs of vanilla socks…

Both are weavers loft, which I picked up at Wonderwool last year no colourway names, but they are 75% super wash wool 25% nylon

One for James and one for Dad….

Crochet

I’ve balled up the masham and mystery hand spuns and have decided to crochet a log cabin style blanket out of them…. Mainly for ease and the fact it grows sooooo quickly!! 
Aside… I love the way these Masham skeins have balled up!!
Acquisitions 

Ummmm so before we get into sewing…. I’ve a few…. Ahem…… Acquisitions to admit to……

1 tartan off cuts…. One bag thereof…

Flannelette cotton

Four colours of Sherpa fleece….

Green sweatshirt material….

Waterproof fabric

White terry towelling fabric
And I’m still waiting on some pretty pink cottons and some ribbing fabrics I ordered….

Eek!!! 
Sewing

So it’s been three weeks and I have just about three projects finished….

The first two are the Bucket hats by Oliver and S which I have made out this tractor fabric…. One is for William, the other for a little friend of his!!

The second is an AJ Aviator hat by Made by Jacks Mum….

This one is for James and I have started the one for William today!! 
I have been finding crawling about on the floor increasingly not fun for cutting out so I have now spent a chunk of time and cut out a few big sewing projects, smaller one I can manage at my table….
I have cut out a blue coco by Tilly and the buttons

A grain line studios Linden in the green foxy fabric

An Agnes by Tilly and the Buttons in black for the body green for the sleeves, 

A load of the AJ aviator hats….

Plus I still have a fleece jumper cut out to sew, though I don’t think it will now fit toddle chops, it will have to wait for his little brother to grow into it!! 
Spinning

I’ve managed a fair amount of spinning these past few weeks despite illnesses….

All working on this Pomegranate colourway from John Arbon, which I picked up from Wonderwool a few years back now!! 
I have Navajo or chain plied it and I am definitely finding that easier the more I practice!!! But Amy Beth of the Fat Squirrel speaks has alerted me to another ply variety called thread plying so I think I may try that on next on the gorgeous purples I have also from John Arbon…. And thread ply it with one of the beautiful cones of yarn I was gifted an age ago!!! That way I’d get a really great yardage from it…. Who know maybe even sweater yardage?!?! Or part of a sweater!!! 
Weaving

Unfortunately something had to give in these past weeks with illness…. And weaving was it…. Plus I keep forgetting to ask James to help me pull the weaving round the loom so I can start the next section!! But I reckon I’m well over halfway…
Shop update

Well last Friday saw the release of the Lovehearts hat!!!! It’s available so far in my Etsy shop and in my Ravelry Pattern store!!! So head on over and have a snoop if you’d like!!!
I’m planning to release the next one…. broadleaf around the time I next Podcast…. 
I am also putting a call out for test knitters for the coniferous hat…. All the details will be in the Ravelry group!! 
Baking

So these past two weeks we’ve been a bit more kitchen productive again after a small hiatus post Christmas!!! 
I tried to make a apple pie I saw a video for in Facebook, watched once and then couldn’t find again….. 

It actually turned out great!!!! I’ll make a few tweaks and make it again…. Then blog what I did!

And then I made banana loaf cakes!!!! As toddle chops went off bananas when he was ill, loads went really ripe and almost over…. So I went on the interwebs and BBC good food gave me a fab recipe for banana loaf cakes. 
On the same day as we had the oven all fired up through the day rather than just ticking over James made a vat of spag Bol, a pot of leek and potato soup (his go to Delia Recipe!) and a lasagne for tea!! Yum!!
Farm Update! 

Well there has been snow….

Colds….

Cold wet weather…

Hail…..

So we’ve done a fair bit indoors, finishing off bits of the house, glossing door returns…. Glossing the under stairs cupboarding….

James has built housing for his electric fencing gubbins….

And he has been collecting wood like no tomorrow!! Phew!!! 

 The chicken have gone onto adult food…. And Dai has even started to try and crow!!! I shall try and insert an audio clip…. If not I might be able to Facebook his proto crowing or get it onto the blog!!! Sounds rather pitiful though but he is improving daily!! (Our poor neighbours!!) 

We have had another growth scan on baby two… And I’ve started washing all the clothes to freshen them up….. Next is the car seat and the baby seats and we built the cot at the weekend!! 
Giveaway

Before coming on air I updated the spreadsheet I have been keeping on the giveaway entries and ran a random number generator……

Drum roll

The winners of the Alpaca are….. 

Anita from Gaga knits on YouTube!! 

Angeiship13 on Instagram!! 

Please PM/DM/ message me your postal addresses and I will get the yarn parcelled up and off to the post office the next opportunity I have!!!! 
That’s all folks!!

What a week!!

Well this week has been a whirlwind after our usual more sedate pace round here!!

Monday we were at the hospital for another growth scan and clinic….

Not a great photo but he is a larger baby than his brother and running out of space!!! (7 weeks till due date!)

Tuesday we caught up on some jobs here…. James collecting wood, helping a neighbour who is unwell, me sorting house cleaning/laundry etc!!

Wednesday James had some more wood collecting time and I had to race through a metric crap tonne of paperwork ready for a meeting with the FUW to help me fill in claims forms and field maintenance sheets…. AND for ANOTHER farm inspection…. We have had our SAF and maintenance payments for Glastir held up by the Welsh Government, both because we have been included in their audit…. where the inspectors get inspected!!! Yes total bad luck on our first year!!!!! Joy and because they had questions about some satellite imagery which again is a new thing this year…. well done us getting the double whammy!!!

So Thursday I trooped off to Carmarthen with folders worth of paperwork and completed a capital works claim, a field maintenance new online thing to alter my field boundaries now we have added the new hedgerows!! Plus take advice on becoming VAT registered etc etc!!

Raced home to grab some lunch…. then back out to the midwife!! (Now at the we want to see you every other week stage!) who bless her was running a smidge Kate and then I hotfooted it back to holding for the inspectors!!!

Well thankfully they were late and wanted to look at activity diaries first!! So I had time to get togged up for the field portion of their trip!! Thankfully everything was all good and to quote one of them “if only all inspections were this simple and straightforward!” Phew!!!

William and I then had Forest School on Friday which we both love!!

Then after lunch we collected my car from the garage all mot’d and driving like a dream again!!!

So we have had a week of interrupted naps….. short naps….. naps in the car…… and only one nap in his big boy bed!!

So no real crafty time *sob*

Managed a bit of spinning and a bit of sewing earlier in the week…

But it’s been scarily productive paperwork wise and farm wise…..

Now to spend today and tomorrow catching up with all the other jobs we need to get sorted!!!

Episode 10!

Episode 10 of the podcast
Sunday 21st January
Knitting: 

Finished James’ Vanilla socks

Half finished some toddler socks for William, from my toddler sock pattern available on Rav, LoveKnitting and in the Etsy shop.

Started knitting up a secret shawl pattern!!! Using RiverKnits Indian Giant Squirrel.

First designed this shawl for my granny for James and my wedding, now reknitting to check the pattern before writing it up for release!!! 
Spinning:

So I have finished up some bobbins and skeined them up…..

Mystery yarn

Sara’s Texture Crafts BFL no clue as to the colourway….

Wheeldale woolcrafts merino silk blend in the heathers colourway

All of these have been spun half and half onto two bobbins then plied using my lazy Kate and made into two ply yarn, all about 145m from 100 g which would make them maybe a chunky yarn….
These now need washing, thwacking etc to set them…
Adelaide Walker Masham wool in four colours spun up as singles

And I have had my first try at Navajo or chain plying, which makes a three ply yarn!!! Rather pleased, but I reckon it’s going to come off the bobbin very squirly….

So I’m leaving it to sit a rest a bit first…. Hardest part about the Navajo ply was keeping the tension on the yarn coming from the bobbin…. Plus elements of the initial spin were over spun and squiggly….
Going to keep trying though because I like the way there is no orphaned yarn on the bobbin….
Sewing:

I have three FO’s 

Puts me on track for one a week for 2018!! 

The Fitted Tee by Elemeno Patterns

The Coco dress by Tilly and The Buttons

The Bucket Hat by Oliver and S
Plan to cut out and make another bucket hat in the tractor fabric this week and watch my seam allowances…. I think I need to actually measure my seam allowances to make sure I get them as asked for!!! 
Weaving:

Over halfway on the loom…

Photo story…
Shop update:

Alpaca is in the shop!!!! 

Caramel, charcoal and grey
Patterns:

The Lovehearts hat and the Broadleaf hat are out for testing!!!! 

One of my lovely test knitters has finished her already and has put a mini podcast episode out about it, you can find her as Gaga knits on YouTube! 
I have the coniferous hat almost ready for test knitter or two if anyone fancies it, please head on over to the Ravelry group for more info!! 
Right giveaway time!! 

Two separate skeins of alpaca yarn…..

One grey one charcoal…..

In order to win one….. You can earn one entry by for any/each of the following….

1. Subscribing to the podcast

2. Following the blog

3. Following me on Instagram

4. Liking/following the Facebook group

5. Joining the Ravelry group

6. Commenting on/in any of the above groups or sources and adding the #Tyddynbrynalpaca into your comment!!!
So six ways to get an entry!! Multiple comments/ follows get multiple entries and I’ll draw before I next podcast in a fortnight!!! 
Woodwork:

Starting to make hazel panels to cover the gaping holes/drops into the slurry pit…

Thinking I might make them hazel and willow though as we seem to have more coppiceable willow about the place….
Farm update:

More wood collecting…..

Rain

Hail 

Snow

High winds

Looking at ordering our fruit bushes and plants for the fruit cage starting to plan planting and work on planning raised beds for the slurry pit which need to be built

Awaiting planning’s response for our application for the tin hut….

Sheepy friends are doing well out in the fields….

Things to entertain William have restarted in the form of forest school and nursery tots group…

New yarns in store!!

I had a heap of locally sourced alpaca fleeces back last year that I sent off to be spun….

I grossly underestimated the amount of time it would take me to skein up….. but I have finally done three out of the four cones that came back from the Border Mill!!

And they are now in the Etsy shop as limited editions!!!

There are three colours, Caramel, grey and Charcoal!!

And I love them all!!

They are soooooo soft and warm and snuggly!!!

It’s an Aran/worsted weight yarn and knits up beautifully!!! So if you fancy grabbing yourself a skein……

Head over to the Etsy Shop!!!

And keep your eyes peeled….. the black alpaca is coming soon, plus a chance to win a skein or two of this gorgeous yarn on my podcast later this week!!!

A first try!!

So a different sort of weaving has been happening here…..

A hazel hurdle is in the making!!!

We have decided to have a go to make some prettier panels to make the gaps into what was the old slurry pit and will be our fruit and vegetable garden, safe!! Hopefully child safe!!!!

James and I selected an old beam which was big and heavy enough to form the jig…..

Then whittled the ends of some larger hazel rods to make the uprights….. lots of our hazel is very overgrown so we are working with some very bobbly bits of wood, but using what we have!!

This took ages to sort…. the beam was OLD and rather solid to drill the holes into!! And some of the uprights, in order to get the straighter bits were a tad large in diameter!!

I’ve even found a use for the ash mallet I made on my forest school leader course!!! Fantastic for bashing down the hazel whips!!!

We are at the stage of weaving in the thinner whippier bits of hazel now and over half way up the panel!!

And I’m surprised how pleased I am with it!!! We both predicted this first go would be a disaster but no….. totally a usable panel!!!