Avon Valley Country Park

A few weeks ago I went with the kids on a church outing to Avon Valley Country Park. They had great fun down these scary slides:

red scary slide

while I sat in the cafe and chatted and drank tea.

There are a lot of animals there, including Jacob and Soay sheep and angora goats. After a hairy boat ride where DS1 and DS2 rowed me around (an adult was required otherwise I would have foregone the pleasure), I went and regained my calm by having a walk around to look at the animals. The kids meanwhile hared off to the go-karts…

Jacob sheep:

black/brown and white Jacob sheep

Soay sheep (had to crop this photo because they wouldn’t come any closer!):

soay sheep

Angora goats – this little one was very obliging…

angora goat standing under tree trunk

There was a tiny little kid there as well:

angora kid

Felted bag finished!!

Yes, it’s finished!  It knit up really quickly once I got going.  I nearly ran out of dyed wool though – it was good that I dyed the two extra skeins last week because I needed them.  This is all that was left of the dyed wool (apart from the Kool Aid dyed stuff and about 8 oz of undyed which I’ve earmarked for indigo or henna or something that doesn’t need a mordant).    I bought 2lbs of it altogether so the bag is pretty heavy!

a few odd scraps of mainly brown pencil rovings

The brown roving is the one I dyed with St Johns Wort (and copper mordant).  The thinner wool is what the skeins were tied up with!

Here is the finished bag before felting:

knitted bag prior to felting.

I decided to make the handles as in the French Market bag in Knitty rather than a shoulder strap which was what the pattern I used called for.  I was glad I did because I think it looks better that way.

Here is the finished bag!  I ended up washing it at 60 and then at 90 (thanks, Helen!) on a short cycle each time, then I spun it contrary to the pattern instructions because I didn’t want to wait DAYS for it to dry out and I finished it off for 5 minutes or so in the dryer to fluff it up a bit. 

felted bag in greens, browns and pinks

I like the way the Discount Pharmacy Online, medication without prescription how do porn stars get viagra http://arubatourism.com/assets/blog/index.php?=viagra-online/ canada drugs online, buying viagra in toronto overseas drug stores colours have changed with the felting.  The browns look much more greenish and the reds stand out nicely.

Other side of bag

This is the other side of the bag.  And underneath:

green base of bag

And a close up!

close up of felted bag

At present it is sitting on the floor stuffed with towels to give it a nice rounded shape!

felted bag being shaped

Knitting and onion skins

Here is the onion skin-dyed yarn drying on the line.  Yummy colour, isn’t it?

yellowy gold yarn dyed with onion skins

Here it is dried and ready to use:

onion skin dyed yarn

The colour is actually closer to the top picture.

And here is some more yarn being brought to a simmer – this has a mishmash of St Johns wort, the remains of the onion skin dyebath and a couple of nettle teabags which I chucked in for good measure!  Talk about unscientific… The yarn has been mordanted with copper.

the next dyebath

It actually turned out a mid brown colour and is drying upstairs as I type.  Photo later.

Here is the half knitted to-be-felted bag.  I have still got about 30 rows to do and the yarn is disappearing at an alarming rate!

knitted bag in greens and pinks

You will notice I have tweaked the blog colour a bit and made a few changes and additions to the sidebar.  If you find it isn’t behaving itself for you, do let me know.

Wonderwool Wales

I had a nice day out on Saturday.  DS1 and 3 were camping so I went to the Royal Welsh Showground at Builth Wells for Wonderwool Wales.

I went by train on the Heart of Wales line, which is probably the most picturesque rail journey in Wales, winding its way through from Shropshire to Swansea.  At the railway station I got on, you had to hail the driver for him to stop the train, like getting on a bus! 

The show was fun – it was part of the Smallholders’ show but I mostly stayed in the Wonderwool area.  There were lots of yummy fibres and yarns, and lots of local producers and processors of the fibres.  And craftspeople from all over the UK. 

There were also animals there!  Here are a couple of alpacas which I fell in love with!

two alpacas

And lots of different sorts of British sheep, which I found fascinating because up to now I thought sheep were sheep and didn’t realise they were so different and individual.

ryeland sheep

These are Ryeland sheep.  They have such sweet faces.   A lady there told me that apparently their wool doesn’t felt, which makes it useful if you don’t want it to!

wensleydale longwool

This is the Wensleydale longwool – its wool was very soft!

jacobs sheep

This is the Jacobs sheep.  There were lots of other coloured sheep there with different variations of colours between black, grey, browns as well as whites.  I wished at this point that I wasn’t travelling on the train because it precluded me buying lots of fibre but I did buy a drop spinning kit from Hedgehog Equipment who are based near Abergavenny which isn’t that far from Newport.  I picked up lots of leaflets with links to websites so I can find them again readily if I take to it!

There were also angora goats in another of the sheds.  At least, I hope they are angora goats – I get very confused with the non-wool fibres…

angora goat