Sunday, December 27, 2009


Thanks to Feppy I have discovered how to make big photo's, I like big photo's best.
So here is me in my car again, just in case you are as blind as me and couldn't see the first one properly.

Lewis in another life.

Everytime my babies come home, we end up in a snuggly bubble, eat drink, play cards, laugh and snuggle on the sofa. They are still here, so we are still in our bubble, but am just snatching a few bubble free moments (they are all still in bed) to add a little update otherwise you may think I have disappeared.

We spent Christmas Eve evening at my Dad's, he has been putting all his old slides onto his computer.
And this photo is me circa 1966/7, possibly Italy or France, maybe my first time behind the wheel, seems like my love of driving and cars started at an early age.
Shame I wasn't a boy or my name might have been as famous as Lewis Hamilton.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Dentist & Shingle Street

I went to the dentist this morning, thought I was going for a filling, but it turns out it was a couple of x-ray's, so my girlies and I went to the beach instead to celebrate.

Feppy is the stripey one and Maisy Mae has green hair.

On the skyline you can just make out the church tower, and a little bit to the right there is a row of poplars on the skyline, these trees are at the back of Moors Farm and my house is next door to the farm
The lighthouse on Orfordness, barely visable, but I can see it, maybe because I know where to look.

The coastguard cottages.

Maisy Mae

Saturday, December 19, 2009

WE HAVE ELECTRICITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday night at about 7.30 the electricity went off in a thunderstorm/snowstorm, very odd as we don't normally get thunderstorms in the winter.
No electricity is fun for a little while, light the fire & candles, pour the wine and snuggle.
However it wasn't just for a while it was for nearly 40 hours, here is my photo story of our misery.

Friday morning - The backgarden with not much snow and an OTT tiny puppy frolicing in the snow.

Ok, so tiny puppy is 3 1/2 but its his first proper snow and as he has never grown up mentally he loved it.

Friday afternoon, still no power, even though our neighbours had come back on, Geinome and I had started to go stir crazy. We are both technology adddicts and after we had killed our laptop & ipod batteries we played games, boring games, won't try and explain which as I was so bored I can't remember.
Again this is odd, as my family (including our 2 potentials) are a huge games family, we always play risk, cards, monopoly etc etc etc
I think it was just Geinome and I were going cold turkey so neither of us wanted to play.
This is what the coffee table looked like at 6pm.
Then he had a brainwave, if our neighbours had electricity, then the farm might have electricity
And it did!! so the 2 of us spent the evening at the farm, snuggled in blankets, watching films on the laptops and drinking more wine.

Saturday morning - still no electricity and more snow.

The front garden, notice only one car, Homer had cleverly spent the night in Felixstowe at a works do, so missed our exciting evening.

Saturday morning - these 2 houses have electricity.

These 2 houses which are next door do not have electricity.

This white house in the distance (our next nearest neighbour) doesn't have electricity either.
Its not fair!!!!!!
Well it wasn't fair, but the power is back on, we are beginning to defrost and the sun is shining - :-)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Stamina & clubs

I know I should be doing sofa resting, but was getting to the stage I couldn't sleep as I hadn't done anything all day I hadn't made myself tired.
So decided to dye the club yarn yesterday, shouldn't take long, 4 dyebaths which is ok as long as they are ready to go.

But had forgotten I hadn't tied the wool and hadn't mordanted it, so that adds another hour.
First dyebath (cochinel) was ready to go using already used dye, I hate to throw it away if there is still colour left and this looked like there was lots of colour left, but there wasn't. So needed to re-vamp it - another hour while I waited it to boil and then cool down and be ready to dye with.
During this hour I dyed some indigo, well its almost instant once it heats up as I never empty my indigo vat, so dyed 2 kgs which is a very small batch for me, then of course I had to wash it twice and hang it out.
Incidently got the worlds most amazing blue on yarn destined for mini skeins - :-)
Decided to have a cup of tea while I waited for the cochineal and while relaxing it suddenly hit me, I was totally drained, I'd only done about 2 hours work!
I have lost my stamina and even though I am better I haven't recovered yet, need to build back up to 15 kg dyeing days.

So the clubs aren't going to be posted before christmas, I am really dissapointed, but guess they will be a nice after christmas suprise for all the club members and even if I did manage them before they might get lost in the christmas post so maybe its a good thing.

So am back to the sofa today, feeling guilty because I should be at work, but have christmas cards to do today and so will feel smug and satisfied that I have actually done something we normally forget to do until christmas eve - :-)

oh and p.s - I still didn't sleep.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Struggling not to be angry


I have just been reading a thread on Ravelry about mink/cashmere yarn, it works out at £12 per skein.

If the yarn is that cheap then its not going to be top quality ethically farmed cashmere, good cashmere is expensive.
(If you are interested put "Chinese cashmere farming" into google, there are some really informative.)

AND how do you shear a mink???????

Lots of answers to the thread saying "oh isn't it beautiful" and "lovely and cheap"
A couple of people have raised objections and been scorned with millions of disagrees.

Don't people realise or do they just don't care?
And if they don't care, why?
Most people are animal lovers and even the non animal lovers don't want to harm animals.
And the animal issue is just the tip of the iceberg, there is a huge enviromental impact to consider too.

Sorry to rant in riddles, but I have to be careful about what I say.
I'm not naming names, I'm not giving you links, its my own personal opinion and I might be totally wrong in my assumptions, but go read the sites and maybe you will end up ranting too.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Day ? - whatever, have forgotten what number

Guess it doesn't matter, was a stupid idea to write a sofa diary, how interesting can sitting on a sofa be?
Feel better now, can I go back to work?????

To the Doctorr's at 9.20 for blood tests, Homer wanted to know "what for?", have no idea I didn't ask - :-)
It was traffic jam nightmare out there, almost as bad as driving in London, the Doctor's is in the next village 2 miles away across the marshes.
First I got stuck behind a tractor, then a turf lorry, then when I got to the Doctor's men were digging up the road and I had to drive on the path, not good when your car is only about 6 inches off the road, kept expecting to hear crunching noises and then stuck behind the bin lorry on the way home.

But I love the drive home from the Doctor's because you are driving alongside the sea, or rather you are driving towards it.
This morning is greyish and muddy, but the sea is shining like a long silver ribbon, much brighter than the sky.
I love living here, I sometimes wish for mountains, but know this is where I really belong
If you look on a map I live in the big empty bit just north of Felixstowe on the other side of the river Deben, its empty because the land was so bad for farming.
No little pink thatched cottages, no big farm house's, no big rich villages, no tourist attractions, no holiday camps.
Instead we have nothing except sea and sky and miles and miles of forest and miles and miles of saltwater marsh.
4 villages, 2 shops, 2 pubs, 2 schools in about 100 square miles.
In the summer its always hot, in the winter its bleak and wild
And its my home.
And today the Zoom and I were honoured to be stuck behind the bin lorry, because it meant we could look at the silver sea and get all lyrical.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Day 2

Busy, busy, busy
I sorted my stash and pile of pattern books and magazines that were strewn across the lounge.
Was amazed to discover I have just of a kg of Angel 2 ply, I know its my favourite, but I didn't realise I had stolen that much. Looks like lots of pretty lacey things are now on the design list.

But also came to the realisation that sitting on my sofa makes me hungry.
This is really bad, as I am going to get fat!
Those of you who know me may think "what is she talking about??? she already is fat!!"
But as I have come to terms with my body I am quite content with my fatness.
I didn't used to be, spent all my teenage struggling with weight and then came about 20 odd years of constant binge dieting. You might know the kind of think I mean, starvation and weight loss followed by gorging and massive weight gain, this went on for years.

The reason I stopped was because I had become so obsessive I was getting depressed, I threw my bathroom scales away and forced to accept that as long as I didn't diet again and accept who I was I might be able to control my eating.
That was about 5 or 6 years ago, I have stayed the same size and learned to love myself, buy nice clothes and not wear tents and hopefully not look awful and unhappy.

In that time my appetite lessened and I started dyeing, dyeing is my exercise, its very physical. I lug around kgs of wet wool, so have big arms, muscles covered with a nice layer of warming fat, so that equals weight lifting.
My dyeroom has a gully and there are quite a few steps from the packing room to the office and then from the office to the dyeroom, which all equals step aerobics, who needs exercise classes??

But now I'm laying on my sofa and being hungry because I'm bored and not exerciseing I am worried I am going to get fatter - :-(((
The good news is I have several big wholesale orders lined up for the new year, so it should only be a temporary fat.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Day 2 of Sofa Rest

I have eventually arrived on my sofa, even though for several weeks I have been talking about resting I haven't really been doing it.
My idea of resting was to stop dyeing, but to carry on with doing everything else.
But after developing a gum infection from hell and a cold i realised that I had to stop everything or I wouldn't get better.
So all my wholesale is gone and on its way to its new homes, most of the Unicorn is gone, not really much left to do.

Yesterday (day 1)
I re-wound some skeins which I can do from the sofa as my skein winders sit on the floor in front of me.
I finished cutting the poodle, who had looked like a half shorn sheep for about 4 days.
And I made a little tiny sample piece of my angora Kiss, which is pretty.

I can almost begin to feel my mojo tingling and am really excited that it might be on its way back, so the sofa might be a good place.
But first I need to finish the winding.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Preview of the last Unicorn of 2009

9.30 am & 4.30 pm UK TIME.








Thursday, December 03, 2009

The end is nigh

Monday is the last Unicorn update ever, ever, ever.
Oh - that is until we come up with Unicorn 2010, which we are planning to do over new year.
BUT this next update of 2009 will be the last chance you can buy this yarn.

I have dyed all mine and it is drying and being wound, am going to put previews on the blog so you can decide which colours you want before they go on sale.
So check in tomorrow for the first 2 or 3 colours.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


I don't go to many parties, in fact I can say I have only been to one party this year and that was last new year (maybe should include a mini party to celebrate thhe end of the F1 season).
We don't go to parties because most of the time we are both working and don't really have a social life, thats ok as we are home bunnies and happy and content with each other's company.
The shows are our social life, almost all our friends are in the wool world, so I really look forward to show season.

But looking at other peoples photos on facebook sometimes makes me feel a bit sad, there are lots of party photos, smiling drunk people having fun.
Christmas parties are the worst as everyone has office parties and working on my own means I miss out, so I suggested to Cheryl that NDS knitting group have a Christmas party or rather we all go out for a meal.
And she being the superstar that she is organised the whole thing, so here are the photos and...

THANKS CHERYL - YOU REALLY ARE A SUPERSTAR. I had a lovely time, even though I look like my mother in the photos and I only had 1 glass of wine and didn't disgrace myself - :-)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Totally tired

And sooooooooo bored with being ill and having to rest.
Am not really ill, just very very sleepy and struggling to concentrate and string to words together.

Tiny puppy and Billy stupid cat share my sleepy bored world.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Strangely calm

I sent my newsletter to my mailing list and it it I said
"I am taking a break from dyeing, will start again when I feel better, hopefully will not be too long, but might not be until the new year."

I have just checked how much stock I have and
I ONLY HAVE 2 SKEINS OF SOCK YARN ON THE SITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lace is disappearing fast, if it carries on like this will be woolless by the end of the week
And yet I feel strangely calm.
I haven't been so short of wool for years.
I wasn't expecting it to disappear, how wrong was I?
If you want some NDS yarn RUN to the site or it will all be gone.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

De-clutter 25% sale

As you know I'm not well and laying on my sofa throne I'm a bit bored, so am looking around me wondering what I can do next.
Bear with me, this does make sense in my head, even though I might be slightly delirious...

My house isn't an untidy house, there is just the 2 of us and both of us like tidy as we both lead really chaotic lives, its nice to have a bit of clutter free space at the end of the day.
So have decided to de-clutter the site a bit.

I am not dyeing at the moment, (its not that easy to do on the sofa) but am planning a mega update when I feel better.
So to help with the de-clutter I have decided to run a 25% sale.
Just add "shingles" into the discount code box at checkout and you will recieve 25% discount on everything on the site.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What I did on saturday night

Watch a company director teach an ex-Marine how to knit

Subtitled "Homer and Timmy don't go to the pub and shout a lot"

Lost Mojo

Feel like I have been in a mojo-less bubble for so long that I am actually lying to myself and everyone else by claiming to be a designer.
Designer's design thinks that other people want to make, I can't even design something I want to make.
Have a huge pile of WIP's, which in my head equates to a huge pile of wasted yarn and its such beautiful yarn it seems like a sin and I hate seeing it all piled in bags accusing me of being decadent.
But I have a faint tingle of the "what if's?", maybe its the stirring of my long lost mojo, maybe it will come back.
Maybe being forced to be bored on my sofa as I'm too ill to do anything else will help it come back.
Maybe having shingles is just what my designer self needs.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Moan, moan, moan, moan..........

Resting is going to drive me out of my mind.
I am not ill enough to feel ill and not ill enough to stop feeling bored.
But too ill to do anything physical, like walking around and too ill to concentrate for more than 10 mins.
Feel wobbly and frustrated.

Have been laying on my sofa taking photos of things in front of me, would put them on laptop and play, but camera lead is at the farm and too pathetic to walk down and go and get it.
So instead of which am laying here moaning about how bored and frustrated I am.
But hey - at least the pain killers are keeping the pain at bay - so thats a good thing, and the sun is shining and Homer has gone for a long walk with tiny puppy and his big brother who he hasn't seen for 6 months as he has been in Costa Rica. So thats good.

Could play my PS3 game, but its only 11.40 and playing at this time of day seems wrong and lazy and more in character for the likes of Geinome and Moonpie than me

Have been looking at my old wool photos on Flickr and have lots of colour ideas for the last Unicorn.
Not sure what they will turn out like as its not superwash and so the colours won't be as defined.
And also not sure when I will have the energy to dye them.
Another but hey - at least I have dyed sock club!
And grateful that I'm not really ill and that I will get better in a few days or weeks - fingers crossed its only a few days or will need to be locked in a padded cell.

Moan, moan, moan, moan

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sleep & Dress

Over the last week I have been in pain and ill, but now I have many different pills to make me better.
And they are working.
Instead of feeling ill and in pain I am feeling sleepy, have slept about 18 hours out of the last 24.
And suspect I have much more sleeping ahead of me, as am struggling to stay awake.
The nasty plague nose is looking lots better and beginning to heal, the pain is still there but the extra strong pain killers are working and so I am feeling much more positive and happy.
I even dyed sock club yesterday - :-)

Do you remember my lack of ball gown hysteria, or was that just on twitter?
Anyway I can't remember if I told you that I had won my ball gown on ebay?
Well I did!
And here it is.........

Friday, November 20, 2009

Shingles & update

I have shingles and now I know whats wrong I can let go and be ill, which will lead to me being well again.
Have felt rubbish for a week, started new anti viral pills yesterday and feel awful this morning.
Dr said it would happen, but it doesn't help when you need to dye sock club, will dye it and go home, luckily Homer said he will wash it tomorrow - THANK YOU HOMER - what would I do without you.
And so this weeks update is pathetically small and if I carry on feeling like this there probably won't be one next week.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My poor face

Being a bad blogger, feeling awful.
Have a really nasty face infection, look like the elephant man.
Not sleeping because it hurts too much.
In hiding, feeling sorry for myself.
First round of antibiotics didn't work, back to the Drs today, hopefully will get some new ones that work and then all I will have to put up with is the elephant man face.

Worried that it won't heal in time for charity ball - :-((

Monday, November 16, 2009

The difference a camera makes

I have 2 camera's, an old and a new one.
The old one is basically a point and click.
The new one Feppy bought for me with my money and told me it was fab, but never told me how to use it.
Then borrowed it and let the battery run out, so it has been sitting in the lounge for ages, because I was too lazy to do anything about it.
Well I have done something now, made the effort to read the manual and started re-photographing the wool again!!

These 2 photos illustrate why it pays to read manuals and stop being lazy.
Now I have to retake the photos I took last week and finish changing all the photos on the site!

Old Camera

New camera with correct colours

Friday, November 13, 2009

Today's update 13/11/09


Mini Skeins

And lots of lovely sale bargains

I have to confess I have stolen a couple of skeins of the Rainbow Merino/nylon aran (below) and am already half way through some extra warm wellie socks. Thinking about dyeing some sweet pea and kingfisher variations, as I need several different coloured pairs of socks