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Mysterious Girl

Last week I met someone in the main car park of my little town and exchanged two jars of homemade preserves (blackcurrant jam and seville marmalade) for a large and very full black bin liner. It sounds very mysterious, doesn’t it?

The bag has since been sitting in my study as the other parts of my life have taken on some deadlines (more later) and I haven’t yet been able to play with the contents. But it keeps reminding me it’s there and every time I take a peek inside I get excited.

So, what on earth did I swap for jam and marmalade?

A fleece. A whole one, from a sheep named Doris. Here are her before and after shots!

She is currently Mandy’s only sheep and, knowing I have taken up spinning, she asked if I would like it. Oh, yes please! It’s completely unprocessed and Mandy and her hubby sheared Doris themselves. Doris is a very clean sheep so there are not too many bits in it. So, I have a new learning curve to go on. Having washed a few locks of fleece is somewhat different to this type of quantity, but I have some notes and I will do some more research. A fine day on the patio seems like a good starting point. I did learn from the tv last night that any remaining less spinable parts of a fleece are excellent for rhubarb – Mandy mentioned this too as being generally good for homegrown fruit etc.

So what kept me away from Doris’ fleece? Well, I have submitted two (yes, two!) designs to a magazine I haven’t worked with before (deadline is next week, but, as you know, I don’t like to get too close to deadlines). Fingers crossed!

Also, I have finished my latest shawl design which I showed you last week and it’s going to be published in the next couple of weeks. It also now has a name – Angel of the North. See if you can tell why:

Finally, the MKAL I have been working on in conjunction with Yarn O’clock begins in 2 weeks!! It is in 7 parts, beginning on July 2nd and each part will be released weekly on Fridays. Because we like to keep you guessing, we’re not even saying what item the mystery knit will become, but you do need to know that for this one we are using Riverknits Chimera and 50g of Nene, both British Bluefaced Leicester 4ply and hand dyed in Northamptonshire (or 50g each of a multicoloured 4ply with a contrasting solid/semisolid one). Yarn kits are available for £25 from Yarn O’clock or you can buy the pattern on its own for £5.00 from me. The needles you will need are 4.5mm (60cm circular or 30cm straight).

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