Well the Tour de France, or should I say Tour de Fleece, for those of us who love to spin (with one wheel or even a spindle) finished ages ago but it meant I spent extra time at my wheel although a group of spinning friends and I get together every couple of weeks to spin. During Tour de Fleece, we kept up a lively WhatsApp chat with photos and opinions on how our spinning was progressing and advice flowed freely too. I just love our small community of natural fibre lovers - spinners, weavers, knitters and crocheters. Some of us also dye our own fleece and yarn to include in our fibre crafts or to share with others.
I am a very casual spinner who isn't particularly technically minded unlike some friends so the differences between us make any discussion or "show and tell" an interesting time. I spin as a form of relaxation and very rarely spin for a project which sometimes confuses people who always like a goal or project before commencing. I have a huge collection of hanks in all colours and they are waiting for their time. So far spinning and knitting are my main things to do but weaving on my little Ashford SampleIt Loom is happening now!
Dyeing, of course, is a big part of my life and I love sharing it with my arty daughter. Although her varsity is full of English, History, Classics and Journalism, she is very arty and it fills a large part of her life. She loves blogging, journalling, photography and drawing - I think I spend almost as much on pens, paper and other equipment for her drawing and related things as I do on clothes for her!
So, when Catherine is at home, I love to get her into the dye pots with me to have some fun. She is bold and fearless when combining colours and her efforts are usually well received by my customers - some who ask when she will be dyeing again so they can buy her contribution to my online shop contents. It is so much fun seeing the reaction to her work and I encourage her to go with her passion for this side of her life.
I've looked forward to the varsity and school holidays more this year I think as my daughter Catherine is now at varsity in the Eastern Cape and only comes home during the holidays. The second term has been 11 weeks and is officially the longest period that she has been away from home in her 19 years. The first term was about 6 weeks which flew by until the Easter holiday.
It's been a lot of catching up between us as, being a typical student, there are lots of things happening that don't necessarily get told to parents as there is too much to remember to text or WhatsApp! Her to do list highlighted getting back into the kitchen straight away. Living in a student residence on campus means no cooking or baking for her and she was very keen to try new recipes and experiment on her long suffering father and brother! They are always game to test out and quality control her efforts and, so far, she has scored 100% with them. She is also blogging and her baking/cooking/experimenting forms a part of that.
Also on her to do list is sewing and we have been hitting the fabric shops and choosing patterns or getting ideas of things she fancies making.
Hopefully she will also do some dyeing as she has her own take on colour combinations so will update you on that if she gets to it. She is a fairly new crocheter and is just finishing a beanie in some of my hand-dyed yarn. Maybe the next thing she crochets will be with some of her own hand-dyed yarn.
The next step after buying the mohair curls was to wash it - not very dirty but full of sawdust from the Sheep Goat & Wool Shed floor. Until I placed some into a bucket of hot water - yes, it is very dirty/dusty/whatever!
Drying in winter is the next thing. Though we haven't had a very cold winter so far the air remains chilly and the drying time is extended considerably.