Afternoon my creative friends
It has been a couple of weeks since my last newsletter came out, and wow, your response to Cloth Atelier has been amazing - thank you so much for all the sign ups, and orders... and incredible positive feedback, we are buzzing with excitement... If you missed out - redeem your 10% discount code on Cloth Atelier here www.clothatelier.com.
Woolfest online 2020
We were delighted to have the opportunity to take part in Woolfest online this weekend, would have much preferred the real thing, but hey... worth checking if you haven't already. Facebook - Woolfest online 2020 A big welcome to all the new newsletter readers, and thank you so much for your orders... !
Video tour of In The Wool Shed
Harry did a grand job filming and editing to make a great video for the event. Tour of In The Wool Shed can also be found on In The Wool Shed Youtube channel.
NEW - Indigo Cakes
I have a limited stock of natural indigo cakes available. The quality is excellent, we bring it back with us from our India trips and I use it to dye up my yarns. The cakes come in a variety of sizes starting around 85grams up to 140 grams.
If you haven't used cakes before, it is easy to turn into powder form using a mortar & pestle, they break up really nicely... one of those rather satisfying jobs... otherwise a coffee grinder does the job well too I have been told.
Newsletter readers only 10% Discount code "INDIGO BLUES"on indigo cakes, available until Sunday 5th July.
BFL 4ply/sock yarn
Working with natural dyed Indigo cloth & yarns
So the thing to understand with indigo dyed yarns & fabric is that a small amount of the indigo dye sits on the top of the fibre unattached, causing a rub off on your hands when working with it. If you haven't used natural dyed indigo fibres before it can be a bit disconcerting. However it doesn't stain anything, its a bit like wearing a new pair of jeans... turns your lovely white knickers temporarily blue. I am often asked how to "fix" the colour, salt & vinegar are often advised, but I have to say it doesn't work really! All our indigo yarns go in a vinegar bath at the end of dyeing, and are then washed with soap... the vinegar is used to balance the extreme alkaline bath needed to dissolve the indigo - ready for dyeing. Salt? ummm....no. The best way to "fix" the indigo is to embrace it it, wear it and it will settle, just like your jeans eventually settle down. It is worth every moment!
In The Wool Shed Community
I receive many wonderful emails - from all round the world... feeling connected is so important. In recent times I have had emails that have simply broken my heart... and I have feel incredibly privileged and humbled to be in touch with some very courageous people... who still reach out to share creative inspiration. Other emails are full of wooly news... which I would like very much to share with you.
If you would like to share, catch up, chat - just get in touch, it is so so good to hear from you.
Hallo Emma, just read your email and am prompted to email back - just gazing at those gorgeous, lustrous indigo dyed yarns inspires me. And we have woolly news! - dear friends of ours were to move back to Australia in September after getting married here, but everything has had to change and they are on their way to Heathrow at this moment. They were the loving stewards of two Ouessant wethers, last year's lambs - who of course needed a new home, and have come to live with us. Last week they were shorn for the first time and we now have a creamy fleece and a milk-chocolate one. The boys, being a French breed, have French names, Chocolat and Croissant. And, at the last moment, Kelley couldn't fit her spinning wheel into the shipping box, so we are fostering a Norwegian Princess. I've never spun before and it seems to me very much an art to learn in person, hands on, close up with someone who knows how. But I suppose in current circumstances that will have to wait a bit. Meanwhile we're enjoying our garden's new residents and they have reached an accomodation with the dog and the cat.....
I was trying to send a couple of photos of the sheep but tech troubles prevent - oh well, maybe another time. Still keeping my fingers crossed for the block printing workshop in October, though everything seems to be up in the air for the foreseeable.....Sending lots of good wishes to you and yours, Ginny
_Hello Emma I do not knit much now, except for the nine Noro Blossom jumpers I have knitted and have enough for one more in my stash. I used a Noro pattern and it was obviously designed for petit Japanese people! I am 5’ 11” tall so had to rejig it all and now I can knit that easily. I love the colour changes and knobbly bits that have pops of colour that are in Blossom. It is discontinued but I bought enough for 4 more jumpers before it was all gone in the UK. I am not a neat knitter and picking up stitches is my nightmare so mistakes do not show with the blossom yarn. I am knitting the last pack now. I am a member of a Weavers Spinners and Dyers Guild and some of the members are stunningly clever knitters! _
_I weave on s Saori loom now, I love colour and texture so weaving in a Saori way is calming and gentle and I do not have complex warping up to do. I am in love with my loom! I sold the more complex table looms to friends at the Guild and now have only this loom and a large yarn stash. I mostly weave with knitting yarns and buy hanks or balls for their feel. Having them sitting in baskets around the house as 'still lives' makes me smile even if I never weave a particular one of them. I mostly bought at shows like Woolfest but I can’t manage to travel to them so easily now. The freedom of Saori is good for me too, I was a research microbiologist and have a methodical mind so Saori frees that up well and I play and have fun.. I went along, by chance, to the first Woolfest whilst on holiday in Cumbria…I was hooked and came home with a Knitters Loom and never looked back to my fabric stash! _
Your newsletters bring me smiles and interest and I love receiving them. I know it must sometimes be daunting to sit and write but you do it so well and it seems to flow naturally as if we are having a chat over a cuppa. :) Thank you for replying to me, I do appreciate it.
With much love and gentle hugs.
Last mindful word...
It is really interesting how comfortable we get with situations even if they are not the best. Lock down is easing and for many it is quite a frightening prospect... I have friends and customers who are still shielding and remain by choice to carry on with lock down rules, while others have given up on the rules already... I do not know what the right answer is, for many the economic situation is so difficult a return to what was before is essential, at any cost, just to cope, while those who have more to risk physical health wise it is a different matter. Either way health is at risk for many, both physical and mental. There is no excuse for the excesses we have recently been seeing on the beaches, but we are all coping the best way we can. If you are like me some days are just much better than others for no real apparent reason...then thats just ok. Lock down has created a whole wrath of difficulties in so many different ways... it's time for us all to have more understanding for each other. When lock down started it was in many ways easier than now, we all went into war mode, with clearly defined rules, we had a common ideology that glued us together... save the NHS, and take care of the vulnerable. The vulnerable were easily classed, the elderly and those with underlying health problems, and that still stands... However, the NHS did cope, mostly, even with all the difficulties it faced, and with some very courageous people on the front line...but the common enemy has dissipated now, it is no longer clear cut.
I have been getting back into my meditation and yoga recently on a more consistent level, which means getting up a tad earlier and doing it rather than procrastinating... ha ha! gosh it makes such a difference to my day. Every moment of every day we have the option to choose our thoughts... which is such a powerful tool, meditation helps us to see our thoughts as separate from ourselves, we can make choices, drop the thoughts that damage us instead of getting involved in them... we are not our thoughts, they come and they go that is all. With meditation we can not stop thoughts, we just allow them... accept what is. Extremely simple, yet so complex to do! If you have never meditated before just start with a single minute, focus on your breathe, returning it to it every time your mind gets caught up in a thought. It maybe just be a split second you can see your thoughts to begin with - but with practice it will grow, the key is to just allow what happens, rather than forcing anything to happen. Acceptance of what is.
"Every event, every situation in which you may find yourself has a positive value, even the dramas, even the tragedies, even the thunderbolt from a calm sky." Arnaud Desjardins
Lots of love to you all... Emx