Saturday, March 29, 2008

Think I have a cold - head full of rubbish

Time for pointless comments and questions, rather a ramble to the PC as there is no one here to listen to me and I am waiting for the kettle to boil.

Horrible and rainy yesterday, but went to have a meal with freinds who live down the lane last night.
Sky was clear when we staggered home about midnight.
We have so little light pollution, its so dark you can't see your hand in front of your face, which makes walking difficult when you have drunk too much wine and you know there are huge puddles to navigate before you get home.
But the sky went on forever I am sure on nights like that you can see stars that don't exist, love it when the sky is so big...........

And do you ask lots of questions, I feel I have a very small brain that doesn't know enough and will never have enough life left to ask all my questions.
Not that I believe I am stupid, just lust for more knowledge.
Ravelry is great because I can ask stupid questions all over the place and normally get a variety of answers.
But DH does get really annoyed with me sometimes, thinks I am questioning his knowledge rather than what I am doing which is wanting to know more.
Maybe my brain is stunted at small child stage, afterall I do have brain damage, not just saying that as a joke I really do have it.
When my epilepsy was diagnosed I had to have brain scans, the Drs couldn't tell me if and how it would effect me .
Or would I be an annoying nosy anyway??

pointless rubbish over now as the kettle has just boiled.

Monday, March 24, 2008

My yarn origins

My Blue Faced Leicester is British, as you may have already read on my sites and labels I am licensed by the British Wool Marketing Board to carry the British wool mark.
All my exotic yarns (alpaca, merino etc) comes from Peru.

To all Indie dyers

To all Indie dyers

If you are like me then I am sure you read the competition's blogs - ;-)

I urge you like myself and Jeni to come out of the closet and state the country of origin on your yarn labels.
I know its only a little thing, but if we all do it we can make a difference, not only giving assurance to our customers that they are buying ethical yarn, but also taking a stand against all the mispractises.
If you want to talk about it e-mail me or alternatively come and have a chat at Wonderwool to Jeni or myself.


Please add my dear freind Jeni (Fyberspates) to your list of ethical dyers, she too is deeply disturbed by all the enviromental and ethical mispractises and only sells yarn she knows to be ethical.

And Jeni really looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks, shame someone who will be nameless (lol) gave me the wrong hotel name.

Also just thinking you can safely buy from

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Oh Dear

I am feeling a bit guilty now and what I am going to say now probably isn't good business practise.

I am not the only indie dyer who strives to be as ethical as possible.
I know several who buy from my supplier and care deeply about the origin of their yarn.
If you are concerned about the origin of your yarn, e-mail the dyer first to check where their yarn comes from originally.
You can try e-mailing the big name yarn companies, not sure if you will get an answer but its worth a try.

I think I might start adding the country of origin to all my on-line sales items and add it to the labels (I am sure Heidi can fit it in somewhere -:-)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Cotton, Cashmere and why I don't sell it.

Why did I wake up on Good Friday and decide I needed to preach an enviromental sermon on my blog - no idea?
I guess its because I joined in the MCY thread on Ravelry “yarn” the other day. Someone stated that 100% cotton is 100% cotton! I have to say I had a big tantrum (ask Heidi - :-) and went of to find some links to prove 100% cotton is not all the same.
But here it go's...............................

At the moment I don't sell cotton, not that I wouldn't like to. Cotton dyes paler than animal fibres making it a gorgeous summer yarn.

I don't sell cotton because I can't be sure where it is coming from and I don't want to buy from certain countries because of human rights and enviromental concerns.
I don't want to buy yarn that takes children out of school to pick the cotton and blackmails them into picking their quota.
Please click on this link and read the details, its very scary.

I wish I could dye cashmere I would love to know how it dyes and what colours I can get and what it feels like to knit.

But I don't sell cashmere either, a lot of the cheap cashmere comes from china, where again there are human rights and enviromental concerns.
Looking for a site to link to I came across these
(I do find this article slightly ironic, as the google ads in the side bar are for cashmere clothing, not sure if it comes from a different source to the cashmere in the article.)
And another to add to the collection

I would buy ethical cashmere but the price would be so expensive you wouldn't buy it.

The older I get the more I worry about human rights. I have always been a greenie, supported Greenpeace since the late 70's, recycled in the days when there you could only recycle glass.
I do have one big enviromental sin and those of you who have read my blog for any length of time will know what that is - I console myself with the fact it is used occasionally and isn't as bad as you would think, but I still feel guilty - :-)
My children have almost all left home, my baby will be off to university in september, all 3 of them would like to have kids of their own which means one day I will be a grandparent (ARGHHHHHHHH - you don't know how scary it is to write this!)
What kind of world will my future grand kids have to live in?

BUT having said all the above I have good news!
My lovely ethically aware supplier thinks he may have sourced an ethical organic cotton and he is also researching a new yarn which has small percentage of ethical cashmere in it.
So maybe I will be able dye some new fibres in the future and be safe in the knowledge that I am not adding to the worlds problems.

(Please excuse the number of "ethicals" in this entry)

Friday, March 14, 2008


Bessie of the blanket fame - 1983

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Am I mad???????????? (I am going to knit this!)

Back in the days when I was a full time artist I used to embroider (please note all the silk background fabrics are naturally dyed).
I have had my embroideries shown all over the world.
Being a hugely inspired by history and mythology I have to admit an unhealty obsession with Tolkien, the fact he dedicated his life to creating a mythology.
Have read all his books numerous times and all the analytical books (12) written by his son.
I like artistic obsession - :-)
And have verged on it myself.

The Bayeux tapestry has also been a inspiration to me and putting the 2 together set in motion a series of work, this was partly due to Peter Jackson's Lord of the rings trilogy (another unhealty obsession). If you look at the website link above you will be able to see the results.

In 2004 when the Dye Studio was beginning to dye wool and erupt into the knitting world, Phil had cancer (luckily it was caught very early, was all over and done with in about 6 weeks - thanks to his company's private medical insurance)
I took the above Minas Tirith to all the scans, chemo sessions etc
As you can see I never finished it, the wool by that time was invading my house and it held too many memories, so its sat in a cupboard for 4 years.

I have started to design intarsia/fair isle charts which I am applying to socks and due to my inability to pick up a sewing needle I have decided to knit it instead. It does make me slightly hysterical looking at the drawings and I feel maybe I am taking on more than I can do, but it should be finally be finished.

So far I am translating the drawing onto graph paper, the next step is putting it on to the computer, which I am dreading, not because I won't enjoy it, but because I know I am going to be so frustrated.

I will keep the blog updated as to its progress, so wish me luck - :-)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Ariel all gone........

I can't believe the reaction to our Ariel sale, it was all gone within 4 days, so I know a lot of you missed out.
I know its not silk, but I have added a selection of our Cobweb Kid Mohair to the sale instead. And of course it is gorgeous.