Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Going batty in Yorkshire

I'm back from the sensory overload that is Skipnorth and am trying to get myself back into some sort of order. I know that there are blogs all over the place where people have meticulously recorded everywhere they went, what they ate and fully owned up to everything they brought home with them. Then there are bloggers like me who get so caught up in the moment of yap yap yapping with friends they saw last week and friends they saw last year alike that they completely forget to photograph anything that will support a story line and have yet to come to terms with how far their haul is from the 'I don't think I need very much this year...' Suffice to say that I think that Skipnorth gets better and better every year.

Huge thanks to Lixie and Nic for their impeccable organisation. It was wonderful to meet so many new people and put names to Ravatars. I just wish there had been more time as I felt like there were some people I hardly got the chance to catch up with at all - next time!

First of all I did want to show you one of the highlights of my shopping. As a relatively new spinner I was saving most of my budget for our visit to Wingham Wools on the Sunday. I had in mind that I wanted some interesting blends and some coloured roving for dying and was leaving one shed sideways due to the size of my shopping bag when Wye Sue asked if I'd seen the batts. Now I have never spun from a batt before but chose myself 460g of mostly pink and grey merino with some silk slubs which looked beautiful. I was advised to simply tear off strips from the batt and spin them end on end.

The moment I got home on Monday did I unpack and get the first load of washing on? Not on your life! I got the wheel out to have a go with my batt and was absolutely captured. It is so much fun and virtually spins itself if you don't mind a lively lumpy, bumpy characterful yarn with random flashes of colour. Thanks for the recommendation, Sue!


This is my first 100g of singles, spun in the matter of a couple of hours. I can't wait to see what the yarn turns out like - I am aiming for an approximately aran weight and am thinking of turning it into a little vest maybe.

One of the other things that surprised me was, despite this being a whole weekend devoted to knitting and spinning, how little of either I managed to get done while I was away. My main achievement was the progress I made on my diagonal lace socks. I started these so that I could teach Judy's Magic Cast on at my little workshop on Friday which I think went quite well. Everyone made a very good job of the technique anyway.

I have to say that I am very impressed with the new skills that I have learned in making this sock and if not a complete convert, I can see at least an equal number of toe up to top down socks in my life from now on. The reverse flap and gusset heel works beautifully and I have also finally mastered the sewn bind off so I no longer have to worry about how to finish a toe up sock without the cast off being too tight. Thankfully the pattern in these is a simple one so I can concentrate on getting all the new techniques under my belt - next time perhaps something a little more complex...

Finally, on our way home, to take the edge off the return to reality, Laura and I visited Saltaire, a woollen mill and model workers' village from the 1850s which is now an Arts and Shopping centre.It's an amazing place with the old mill providing the most enormous space for galleries and restaurants, book and houseware shops as well as an historical exhibition charting the history of the establishment of the village. I can thoroughly recommend a visit.

So Skipnorth is over for another year and I need to turn my attention to finishing off some projects so that I can show you what else followed me home...

10 comments:

tea and cake said...

I was breathless just reading your post, Jane, so goodness knows how you have settled back in to 'real' life' this week!
I am struggling with both the magic loop and toe up socks at the mo, but will get to it when I've time.

Wye Sue said...

Glad you liked the batt - mine is still in it's bag, think it might have to join it's friends on top of the wardrobe for a while.. They are the way to go - more spinning pleasure for the money, and the colours are you !!

LynS said...

Like you, for me there's an inverse relationship between enjoyment and the capacity to take photos and provide detailed descriptions. Sound like a great weekend.

RooKnits said...

I too came home with hardly any photos... too much time spent chatting and spinning. I love the yarn from the batt - looks fabulous.

Auntie Noo said...

That batt is gorgeous! and you have spun it perfectly........

Oh and there's a thread dedicated to you today on CTnY !!! ;-)

Suse-the-slow-knitta said...

sounds like a good time was had by all! it's so funny that you started to spin before you unpacked- I hope you at least put the kettle on!

Rosie said...

That yarn looks scrummy. Wish I hadn't resisted the siren call of the batts now!

Oh, and are birthday greetings in order? If so: many happy returns of the day.

Jane said...

That batt is dreamy and I love the socks. Just raving about Judy's Magic CO on my blog this week too.

Anni said...

Gorgeous spinning and love the socks. I've just spun my first bobbin from my first bat. Felt very different to spinning from roving.

Lin said...

Lovely socks. I would be like you and totally forget to take photos! Glad you had a good time.