Sorry about lack of smile for the camera! I was a bit anxious about whether I had got the set up right - I was using the camera's self-timer setting and had to guess the focusing. The camera was on a book shelf pointing in roughly the right direction and I just hoped for the best. It worked - what a super camera! I'm using a Canon 350D (digital SLR) which has all sorts of features - every now and again I go back to the instruction book and learn a new one.
About the jumper: it's knitted in Twilleys Freedom spirit and I drew up the pattern myself. I finished the first jumper in this pattern and wool in April, and to celebrate I started another straight away. It got put on one side over the summer while I knitted socks and baby things, but as the weather turned cold I realised that I shall be wanting warm woolies soon. I knitted up the second sleeve and the collar in a couple of weeks.
The wonderful book from which I learnt how to design a knitting pattern is Montse Stanley's Knitting - Your own designs for a perfect fit, published by David & Charles, England, 1982, ISBN 0-7153 8227 6. This book is absurdly cheap second hand in the UK, see abebooks.co.uk, or Scottish Fibres who are offering a copy in good condition for £3. Go on someone, follow my link and snatch it up, it's a treasure!! It's about knitting technique, different stitches, but above all, pattern designing made straightforward so you can D.I.Y.
In the background of the photo, as I'm sure you noticed(!) is my loom and the latest colour samplers.
Something else I've been up to recently is washing fleece. I was given a couple of sacks of Jacob's (possibly equivalent to 3 sorted fleeces). Doesn't it look lovely? And all now ready to card and spin.... it feels medium soft, has a very distinct and tight crimp, no lustre at all, a bit finer than the Shetland wool which is a usual favourite of mine.
A tip I was given when I bought my special Timbertops spinning wheel from the Williamson's last year was that Ann separates the out the colours of a Jacob's fleece, cards them separately, then combines the colours again as she spins. This gives a beautiful marled yarn.
I have about 3 x the amount of fleece, in the above photo.
Note the very useful plastic trays from the local organic grocer. His supplier doesn't take the trays back, so he's pleased if anyone can make use of them. They are very good for drying wool, easy to carry, and ventilated as it's an open structure.
We also use them in the garden, for organising pots of seeds, shifting pots of plants about, and sometimes for temporary planting of things that need more space than an ordinary plant pot.
I've got a lot of spinning to do on the dark nights ahead - I still haven't spun the Wensleydale and Ryeland fleeces that I washed last year.