Tuesday, 6 July 2010

YarnMaker news

The first edition of YarnMaker is coming together, and a subscription form can now be downloaded from the website www.yarnmaker.co.uk for anyone wanting to book their copy in advance of publication.

The admin side of business is demanding for a newly set up company, but talking to people who want to write about their special interest makes up for all the dull moments, and assembling the articles and photos is superb fun. I am enjoying my new job.

So, with the layout coming together now, it's time to reveal what's going to be in the very first edition.

There is a focus on spindle spinning, with an article from expert spinner and teacher Carol Leonard accompanied by book reviews and a showcase of spindles handmade in Britain. Mike Williams is kindly donating a spindle to be won by one of our lucky readers.

A different aspect of spinning (wheel or spindle) is looked at by Alison Daykin in an article on art yarns and design, this will be the first in a series on yarn design from Alison, co-author of Creative Spinning.

Elizabeth Lovick of Northern Lace has provided a pattern you can knit in any weight of handspun yarn, while at the other end of the process Jill Shepherd starts a series on scouring methods, Angie Corbet finds free fleece, and Karen Tesson tells us about her small flock of Ryeland sheep.

Jill Shepherd has also written of teaching children spinning on a simple-to-make spindle, and wheel maker and restorer Joan Jones of Woodland Turnery offers advice on buying 2nd hand wheels. Ann Kingstone tells her story of growing and using Japanese Indigo, and Innes Carmichael of Scotland relates how she took up spinning and got involved in a Gaelic Waulking group.

It's too early to announce details of the second edition, but articles are already coming in and you can look forward to another edition with a wide range of subject matter for your enjoyment and inspiration.

Meanwhile, I'm delighted to have this, which arrived in the post on Friday:


It is the UK Trademark Certificate for "YarnMaker".

Since I last wrote, I've been to Wonderwool Wales and Woolfest to meet people and promote YarnMaker, and this last weekend I had a small stall at the Wool Experience, held at Blase Farm, Wildboarclough.



It was a fun event, with local businesses and guilds. There was a sheep shearing display and plenty of the ice cream for which Blase Farm is well known.

And, although weaving does not fit into my life at present, mostly because of having to re-arrange the furniture and stuff and stash to make office space, I have found time for growing dye plants and purchasing and washing fleece.

Here are this year's Japanese Indigo plants.



And new madder plants settling in well. These are grown from root a friend sent me, and in a well drained sunny spot. I lost the madder plants I had before due to last year's wet summer when the bed they were planted in was so wet it grew spagnum moss!



At Wonderwool Wales I was delighted to find and purchase a magnificent Corriedale x Shetland fleece on the Coloured Sheep Breeders Association stand, it was produced by Yvonne Hoskins who specialises in producing fine fleece for hand spinners. I'm spinning a fine yarn that I envisage weaving into a beautiful soft scarf or shawl.



One of the fleece I purchased this year is Derbyshire Gritstone from a local flock, a very fine fleece, it will be white when it's washed. Pheobe approves of this one, in fact, she's taken to fleece. I think she'd enjoy being a farm cat, with lots of rodents and sheep around the place.



She does not share her privileges with Annie - look at that stare!




Poor Annie, she crept away just after that photo, pretending she didn't mind,



but Annie loves fleece too! And has no sense of dignity.