Yarn stash update: gifts from home

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My yarn stash has grown considerably in the last few months and yarn is sort of taking over the flat. When my sister came to visit this month she brought with her quite a few balls including some lovely handspun, alpaca and wool blends and even milk fibre yarn (first time I had ever seen anything like it before!).

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First let me show you this lovely handspun Corriedale yarn. This was the product of an inspiring initiative to train 215 women from rural communities in Chile in the art of handspinning and dyeing. They spun and dyed 15,500 of these balls which were then put on sale in a large department store in Chile. The packs also included a small booklet with patterns and a pair of wooden needles handcrafted by a local artisan. You can see a video (in Spanish) of the project here, even if you don’t understand the language it is worth watching these talented and hard-working people, and see how proud they are of preserving the heritage of our ancestors. I am so happy to be able to work with this yarn and continue this chain of love for tradition and fibre, their faces will be on my mind as my own hands work on what was created with their skilled hands.

Next I have some beautiful alpaca and wool blend from the south of Chile, I just love these colours and they come in quite big cakes so I am definitely thinking of getting at least one sweater out of this yarn.
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Finally, my mum sent this milk fibre yarn she purchased at a local yarn festival. The colour is so stunning and it is the-softest-thing-ever. I am very intrigued by it and may do a separate post to tell you how these types of yarns are produced once I have knitted or crocheted a sample of it to also tell you how the fabric behaves. So far I don’t know much except that after a quick Google search it appears it is not the most environmentally friendly of yarns and therefore I don’t believe I would purchase more of it, however knowing this makes me want to make sure that it is put into good use.
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That is all I have for today, next will be my guide for shopping for yarn and other crafty goodness in Skye so keep an eye out for that 🙂
Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

x

Sol

If you are ever in Cumbria…

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I am a planner. I can’t really start a day without listing what I want to do and what needs to get done, not only because it helps with my anxiety but also because I have a horrible memory 🙂

So when things happen like getting a stomach virus that won’t leave you after a week, it really messes my whole system up. I had planned to write quite a few posts this week, clean my flat, hang out with friends and family that are visiting, but instead it has been work and bed, work and bed. I have been trying to stay positive and not complain or feel sorry for myself, but it is so hard! I know it is not the end of the world, but is so much easier to just feel down. If you have any tips or advise on how to stay positive please share in the comments, would love to hear from you!

Since I am feeling a bit better this evening I am improvising in my usually organised routine and I decided to write a blog post that I have been wanting to share for weeks now. I went to the Lake District for a few days last month and happened to find a flyer for a wool shop on a nearby town, so of course my very-supporting-of-my-yarn-addiction boyfriend had to drive me there to check it out. The shop is called WoolClip and I couldn’t believe how many gorgeous things they had!

The shop is located in a beautiful old building in Caldbeck, a cute small town in Cumbria about 30 minutes north of Keswick. Once you go in you are welcomed to a stunning large range of all things wool: knitted and crocheted garments and accessories, tools, kits and yarn. But it is not only the range that makes this shop special, it is the women behind it. The WoolClip is a cooperative set up by 15 local crafters: weavers, spinners, knitters, crocheters, felters and more. All the products are crafted by them and they each spend a couple of days a month at the shop to run it. I found this description at their website:

The Wool Clip began as a co-operative of Cumbria-based crafts people back in 2001. We were all enthusiastic designers and makers but many of us were juggling our work with farming, families and other commitments. We enjoyed working with wool but also understood the threat to British wool and local sheep farming and the loss of traditional craft skills.

By creating a co-operative, we were able to raise the profile of our work and create a shop that we could share – each member spends a couple of days per month in the shop and the commission from sales pays for the upkeep.

Source: http://www.woolclip.com

You can understand my excitement at finding such special place. Quoting my boyfriend: “It was like seeing a kid at a toyshop”. It is such an amazing and inspiring model, I wonder if there are more initiatives like this across the country since I think it is a fabulous idea.

I wanted to get so many things and after much thought ended up getting some fabulous yarn, including some BFL and Shetland in natural colour by Ruth Strong and a beautiful hand dyed skein by Wild Wood Wool.

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There was no signal to look on Ravelry so I don’t have a project in mind for them, I think the blue one will have to be a nice summery shawl, maybe one from the Shawl Project? I accept suggestions!

I think that is it for today everyone, my body needs some rest and nurturing so I am off to my couch with a cup of tea and Say Yes to the Dress. I haven’t had much energy for working on my WIPs, I think right now I just need to allow myself to do something I never do: absolutely nothing.

Have a great weekend!

x

Sol