This weekend saw the annual SKIPNorth take place in Haworth, West Yorkshire. On Thursday afternoon my little Clio and I headed up the M6 to stay with friends in Hebden Bridge, only a few miles from Haworth.
After talking crochet and wedding invitations I left Dan, Kate and Hattie at lunchtime on Friday and drove over the moors to Howarth.
Friday afternoon saw me learning Judy's Magic Cast on with Probably Jane and Modular Knitting with Wye Sue. Both very successful - I see a modular sock yarn blanket in my future (Kate had one, which was fabulous).
However, Skip North for me was a chance to learn something very new... Natalie had offered to lend me her Ashford Kiwi spinning wheel! I had a quick look at the wheel in Natalie's car soon after arriving in Howarth, but had to wait until after dinner to get stuck in. Isabella and Sally both gave me some excellent tuition. I found that despite my usual lack of co-ordination the treddling and drafting was remarkably easy and suprisingly soothing. By half way through Saturday evening I had produced something resembling yarn - 2ply Shetland Humbug.
I borrowed Heather's Niddy Noddy and turned the yarn into a skein and was remarkably happy with myself.
The yarn was washed and whacked against the wall in the drying room of the youth hostel to the sound of much giggling from Sally, Margarete and myself. It seemed a ridiculous thing to smack a skein of wet yarn against a wall as hard as I could, but it worked. Next morning my skein was dry and I now have this:
My first handspun! Yipeee.
The shopping potential of the weekend meant that I didn't come away with just one tiny skein of handspun.
We have, from the top, fibre from Wingham Wools - well, I can't have a wheel without anything to practice on! Some King Cole merino from the yarn mountain at the Knitting & crochet Guild - a 500g, 1800m skein of 4 ply for £1! So what if it is mustard?!! Some Fiddlesticks Zephyr, also from KCG, potentially for my wedding shawl (I'm getting some Charlotte from Posh Yarns but I want to compare the two); 10 skeins of what I think is Aruacania Toconao from Coldspring Mill. They are sample skeins, so there was only one of each colour... but I couldn't resist
Perfect for a baby blanket, or maybe even Staccato if I can find a little bit more of this.
Some Rowan wool-cotton from the p/hop swap and finally lots of buttons from the haberdashers.
I especially couldn't resist these:
There was even time for knitting too - Provence socks in The Yarn Yard Bonny, end of Sept 08 sock club yarn. Toe up on 2.75mm needles with garter stitch heels and toes. I've got about as far as I would for a normal sock, but still have loads of yarn left, so I might make these into knee highs! I have some purple contrast yarn I can use for the ribbing at the top.
When I arrived home on Sunday afternoon I found that someone else had been busy too!
Yes, the garage is missing a roof.