Exciting new venture (again!)

It’s not long since I told you about my Etsy shop selling jewelry, www.jennieworldcrafts.com. And yet there is another venture which I’ve not yet shared with you. Since the summer, Ellie and I have been dyeing yarn, and we also have an Etsy shop set up for that at www.jelliebeanyarns.etsy.com. I’m so enjoying doing this. It’s so close to my most loved craft; knitting. And yet it’s so different that I can flit from one thing to the other without getting bored!

Another thing about it that I love is that if I feel like knitting, say, a shawl in purple, I know that I can now go and dye that yarn myself rather than waiting to get to a yarn shop or wool festival before I find my perfect colour.

Anyway, I’ll share some pictures of my yarns with you in a minute, but first off, we had very good news at the weekend! As soon as we choose which yarns to take, we will have our yarn stocked in ‘Big Knitters’ yarn shop in Roath, Cardiff! This is tremendously exciting news, especially as we are such a new little enterprise. We’ve only been dyeing for a few months, but we’ve had such a gratifying response both from people we know and those we’ve only just met. Many of our friends at the local knitting groups have been kind enough to buy some of our yarn. We’ve also been fortunate enough to sell to crafters visiting from the United States as well as, via our Etsy store, to the US and Finland! And every skein I hand over or send off brings little shivers of excitement! It’s thrilling to think that, sometime in the future, this could be a viable, profit-making, income-bringing business for us!

Anyway, here are some of my yarns so far:

Firstly, those which will be listed in the shop in the coming few days;

Witching Hour

Midnight Jade

Autumn Days

And next, those which are already listed in the shop, or have already sold;

Acid Hiss

Blackberry Blueberry

Gryffie Roar

Ocean Swell

I am loving the opportunity to play with all the different colours and see how they all meld together so beautifully. My only problem at the moment is that I want to knit with them all! I have reserved a skein of the ‘Midnight Jade’ for myself (there have to be some perks to this job!!) and I’m designing a shawl with it at the moment. To my credit, I think I’ve only held back four or five skeins for myself so far, all to use to design new knitting patterns, so I think that’s pretty restrained!

This yarn is all British wool, from Blue Faced Leicester sheep in a 4ply or sock weight. The wool is yummy because it takes the colour so well, but it also has a sheen about it which really accentuates your work. We’ve also got new yarn bases in to try, so I’m looking forward to sharing some of them with you soon, just as soon as I’ve planned which colours to use for which bases!

As I’m passing by…

Just a really quick post to say hi! as I’ve not been by for a while. I’ve been super busy trying to get ahead of the game with Christmas crafting, and I’ve also been working on getting my Etsy shop ready to show you all. I’m nearly there, but I want to put a few more things in the shop first.

Anyway, it occurs to me that I haven’t showed you my latest knitting projects that I’ve finished, so I thought I’d nip in and share a couple of photos. Hopefully I’ll have some time later on to write a little more.

This is my Ishbel shawl, which will be a Christmas present for someone who for now will remain nameless! I’m fairly certain she’s never looked at my blog, so I’m safe to add it. It’s from a pattern by Isolda Teague, and I love the vinework lace pattern.

And this is my second Travelling Woman shawl. The pattern is free (I’ll find a link later) and it was so lovely to knit up. This one’s for me, although I think there’ll be at least two more knitted as Christmas presents.

And that’s all for now. I’ve got to dash or the kids will be late for school. Catch you later!

Springtime at last???

Well, today came as a pleasant surprise. I’ve given up watching the weather forecasts as they are largely unreliable and mainly gloomy! So, having become accustomed to cold, wet, snowy, cloudy (or all of the above) weather, today’s rise in temperatures and blue skies really cheered me up. Especially as I’ve not been sleeping too well for a few days, so I was incredibly tired this morning. The cheerier weather was a valuable pick-me-up.

After lunch with my in-laws, GG persuaded me into a bit of a walk before we came home. If I’m honest, the only place I wanted to be was in my bed, but I knew how much he and the boys wanted to get outside, so I made the best of it, got my camera out and enjoyed the sunshine.

Roath Park, especially the area in the photo above around the promenade and lighthouse, was very busy today. Many other people obviously had the same idea as us to get out into the sunshine. I especially love the sky in the above picture, with the gradations in colour caused by the clouds.

The sunshine made some beautiful relections in the river possible. Roath Park is split into several parts. The two main parts are where we were today. The best known is the lake part, with (I think it’s) a five acre lake, well populated with fish and the accompanying ducks, geese and swans. Across the promenade begins the other part, with the beautiful big trees, planted borders and beds, lawns and river. I think that the latter is my favourite part. The lake is very beautiful, but other than to walk around it, there’s not much more scope to enjoy it. Whereas, in the rose gardens you can watch the changing seasons pass, you can picnic on the lawns and let the kids run off some energy while you enjoy your seat on the picnic blanket, you can watch flowing water in the river and you can admire the grand old tall trees (I love trees!).

After our walk, we returned home and I set up camp on the sofa. Wrapped up in my blanket, I’ve enjoyed lots more Winter Olympic action and have knitted another repeat of the lace pattern on my Ravelympics medal attempt, Shawl of Doom. I’ve been spoilt rotten by both my children and my husband, and now I’m watching some ice dancing. Hopefully I’ll get a couple more rows knitted before bed time. I’m really hoping to finish this shawl in the next couple of days – I’m getting really bored writing about it! At least if it was a jumper I could say that I’ve done back and front and am heading up the sleeves. With a wrap it’s all about how long it is. Progress pictures won’t mean a lot, which is why there was only the one after the first couple of days!

Please, please please God, I’ll come back tomorrow and tell you that it’s finally done. And also please God, we’ll see some more of those blue skies in the near future!

Snowing again

It’s snowing again. The first I knew of it was when I looked out the window and saw snowflakes the size of snowballs falling past my living room window. Some cherubs in the sky are having a little fun with us, methinks! So I rushed outside and took the above picture of my car, in an attempt to capture the size of the snowflakes. The enormous blobs of white aren’t a distortion, the snowflakes really are that big!)As you can see, Tallulah (my car, don’t judge me) is already losing her gorgeous turquoise hues (the colour of the season, apparently, so my car is totally on trend for Spring 2010!) in favour of a fluffy white coat. It’s only five minutes since I took that photo, and already her white coat has doubled or more in thickness.

I had to laugh though, as when I came back in from my impromptu photo session, my BBC news alert flashed up on my screen to tell me that south and east Wales should expect some more heavy snow. Well, duh!

My mum once told me that in Norway, such large snowflakes heralded the beginning or end of a significant snowfall. The snowflakes have got smaller now, although I can’t tell if the ground is too wet for it to settle. I’ll keep you posted!

No knitting today (but it was a good day despite that!)

I had a lovely day today, spending time in Cardiff with my friend Ellie, visiting bead and button shops and drinking huge amounts of hot chocolate! We went to the museum but unfortunately some of the exhibits were off limits, so we’re hoping to make a return visit at Easter when everything should be open to the public.

Unfortunately there were no pancakes in my Shrove Tuesday. Instead there was birthday cake – it was my sister in law’s birthday today, and I’m pleased to report that she loved her presents. From Handsome she had jelly babies and chocolate toffee eclairs, and from Cheeky she received this;

A bracelet and earrings set that he designed himself and partially made – I just helped with bending the pins into loops at the ends, but other than that it was all his work! Well done Cheeky!

Lovely Stratford Upon Avon

I’ve just had a lovely weekend away with my husband in Stratford Upon Avon. It was his idea, and completely booked by him, so I was very spoiled!

We stayed in a gorgeous five star guest house called Cherry Trees. It was really conveniently located, just over a footbridge from the main town and the Royal Shakespeare Company theatres. On our arrival, they couldn’t do more to make us feel welcome.

Even though it was nearer dinner time than afternoon tea, a tray with a pot of tea, scones and jam was brought to our room. Our breakfast order was taken so that it would be ready at the time we specified that we’d like the meal. Our room was beautiful as well.

A lovely old fashioned four poster bed, living room area with comfy chairs and a chaise longue. We even had our own private conservatory with two more comfy armchairs and tea and coffee making facilities (including a little fridge with milk, filtered water and chocolate!). We also had access to a small garden with a pond and water features.

I couldn’t recommend this guesthouse more. It was fabulous service, a fabulous location, and a lovely comfortable room. If you’re visiting the area, see if they have any vacancies. I don’t think you’ll regret it!

More soon, including the town, the theatre and the eateries!

Just a quick post today…

…as I have lots to do!

I’ve been busily crafting away and have completed a few more projects recently. I’ve not got a photo of my jumper yet, and there’s another project which I can’t share as it’s secret, but I’ve got two things to show you.

GG got a new phone recently, and didnt like the cover that came with it. So, he asked me to make him a phone sock. I even bought him a manly button to do the top up!

This is my new cowl, made from a very lovely lambswool that I found on Ebay! I loved the colour on sight, and love it even more now that it’s knitted up. Hopefully I’ll have some pictures of me actually wearing it by next week, so that you can see it as it actually should be!

Have a happy weekend everyone. I hope that the sun shines on you all, and that they are smiley days!