Tuesday, 18 March 2014

My Mega De-Stash Update

This is a long post, please bear with me I ramble a bit but get to the wool part before the end  :-)

We have had to move house 3 times in the past 3 years and in a few weeks we will be moving for the 4th time, but this time we have a 2 year lease with an option of longer if we want.
At this point in my life I'm really tired of moving and I want to settle.

Those of you who have followed me (us) for a long time you will remember our story and why we have had to move.
We originally lived here in a proper house with a shower and a kitchen and central heating.

Then when we lost the house we lived here under the radar in the derelict pig farm that NDS worked from.
It actually looks quite nice in this photo, but believe me life was very very difficult.

Then we took the plunge and escaped to Exmoor to start a new life and our first home was the Mews. 
The mews was tiny, lovely in the summer, but in the winter it turned into a mouldy hovel.

When our landlord decided to sell we had to move again, we were lucky to be offered a massive flat almost next door and have been very very happy at no 19.
Here's Billy being very happy last winter before we re-tiled the fireplace and us being very happy with our close woolly friends.

And then just before Christmas our landlord told us he was putting our giant flat up for sale and that we had to move again, as you can imagine it made us unhappy to lose our home again . 
But living in a place and being part of the community means you know people, who know people and so we found our new home, which not only has a kitchen and a garden, but it also has a cellar, a shower and one of these.

And a view from my new bedroom window

And better than anything else is the fact I am going to have a Wool room/Studio.
So I have been planning my wool room in my head, its going to have filing shelves for all my pattern work and books and of course boxes and boxes of yarn, but as I have 14 blankets to make for my new book it needs it has to be very specific yarn, not the large and varied stash I have now.
So I made the decision that rather than move all my stash to the new house and fill up space I should be using for something else I would do a massive de-stash update and sell it.

You have to remember that the whole of the NDS stock is my stash, so this is just stock that's been on a long holiday.
I have spent the last 2 days photographing and preparing my stash for Thursday's update, I made a mental decision that everything had to go as long as it hadn't been used and was still in a good condition.

Some of this yarn has been with me on every part of our roller coaster journey, and I am really sad to part with it, but its much better that it finds a new home with you who might make something beautiful rather than stays with me in a box on a shelf for the next 2 years plus.

Here are some of my saddest goodbyes.

This beautiful boy. He is a bright pink (cochineal) Precious 100% silk DK, he got left in the bottom of a dye bath about 4 years ago and has been my treasure ever since.
He is impossible to photograph, but so stunning in real life.

 And the last ever batch of the old Angel 4 Ply/Sock which was discontinued several years ago, I kept the last 500 gms and promised my self I would make something special, but then life got in the way.

And this stunning collection of Godiva DK, the colours look so beautiful together I would keep them just to look at if I didn't have the job where I could dye more any day I wanted.

And the last skein of the first batch of the Lorna Doone that we had spun, I've paired it with the first skein from the new Lorna Doone batch.

And my lovely collection of Dazzling lace, lace just isn't really a blanket yarn!

 And some pure gold Lynmouth Precious 4 ply, so perfect, so precious, but so NOT blanket.

And finally amongst so many others I could chose in my stash is my collection of Madder Dazzle 4 ply/Sock, as you know we are discontinuing Dazzle 4 ply/Sock at the end of this year and its pointless making blankets for a book with yarn that won't be available when the book is published.

My de-stash will be this weeks NDS update, you will be able to find it on The Natural Dye Studio's website HERE at 7 pm (UK time) on Thursday the 20th of March 2014

And you can find all the photo's of my lovely yarn HERE on Flickr.

If you end up re-homing it for me, please love it as much as I do :-)

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Book - Blanket no 2, post 1

You might remember I promised to share photo's and stories from my future book as I go along.

As a designer I find it really difficult not to show you everything I do and 2 years is a really long time for me to keep my blankets secret, but I (and my publishers) want this book to be something new and exciting and unseen.
I want to share because I am really excited with what I am doing, sometimes it might seem like the only reason I want to share photo's is for you to tell me how wonderful I am, but thats not the reason.
I share as your reactions help me gauge how good a design is.
If no one comments it normally means you don't like it and I need to re-think what I'm doing, if there are lots of good comments it means I've got it right and I can carry on in the direction I am going.

For example no one loved the Rising Sun, you loved this photo as it tells the story of Daisy finally finding her man and happiness, but you didn't comment or "love" the blanket on its own.
I really loved it and didn't understand why you didn't too, but thats ok as your reaction told me that complex blended colour was the wrong direction, or maybe the photo's were a bit rubbish or maybe you just don't like orange.
You want all the colours of the rainbow in the same place at the same time, which is fine because so do I.

Anyway back to number 2
I've started number 1 and done about 1/4, but while working on my sketch book of designs I became besotted by number 2, I've learnt that when I feel like this I need to go with the flow, so I'm working on number 2 three designing days a week, my fourth designing day is Kaleidoscope day.
Number 2 is going to be big, much bigger than I planned, but thats fine because some of you (including me) have big beds :-)
To start work on number 2 I needed to master crocheting a flat circle, I spent days and days trying to do it, I must of read every flat crochet circle blog post and tutorial on the internet.
I came across several blogs that said once you can do a flat circle you can call yourself a crocheter, quite obviously I wasn't!!
Finally after a frustrating week of wobbles and frogging I managed it, all I needed to do was tweak a couple of numbers, but only after one of the tutorials said the numbers weren't set in stone - DOH stupid me!!

So now I can crochet flat circles I have a lot of crochet time I need to catch up with.
Stupidly I've decided to go back to Instagram, I signed up ages ago and didn't really use it, but have decided I quite like it now and so am planning to photograph tiny pieces of my blanket wips and post them on Instagram.
If you want to follow me I am queenieamanda2 and you can find me HERE

And here is the first photo some of my flat(ish) crochet circles for blanket no2, there is another one of frogging on Instagram, but I can't work out how to save it, and I stupidly deleted it off my phone.
I might take some more over the next few days, but don't expect to see anything that will look like a blanket, let alone a finished blanket.

Kaleidoscope Part 2 - February 2014

Oooops - I meant to do this post a couple of weeks ago, but Unravel and announcing the book got in the way.

Its a good job I didn't do it before Unravel because if I had done I wouldn't have this lovely photo of Caroline and her February.
I was so excited to see her and her Kaleidoscope, its the first one I've seen in person and I'm really hoping I will meet some more Kaleidoscope girls and their blankets over the course of this year's shows.
I know I have some coming to see us at Wonderwool in about 6 weeks

And here are few of our other member's wip photo's, I'm so pleased with the way they are progressing, I feel like a very proud mum.
If you click on the member's name it will take you to their project page on Ravelry.



I really admire this kind of dedication :-)