May 31st

This is going to be short and sweet as I have to help John pack ready for Scotland tomorrow. I am in charge of clothes and he is in charge of fishing tackle!

I am having my hair cut at 9.0am tomorrow and then I shall come home and walk Slip and pack parcels.  I must also do my Rowan Autumn order. I shall definitely get the new Tweed in both 4 Ply and DK weights but am undecided about the other new yarns. The Creative Focus Worsted comes in 26 shades  and I would need 2 packs of each.  That is 52 packs of an unknown quantity.  I think I would rather order the new shades in the established yarns.  It is easy to sit and add everything to your order and it does not seem much when you do it, but when the invoice comes, it is somewhat of a shock!

Now I must go and fold shirts!  Back tomorrow

May 30th

Sorry I did not write yesterday.  I have an attack of shingles on my left hand side right where my bra is.  It is most uncomfortable and I am considering going bra-less for a few days!  I did not  feel up to sending my newsletter out today but will try to do it tomorrow.

John is getting ready to go to Scotland on Wednesday – Kevin will pick him up at 8.0am.  It is about an eight-hour drive – rather them than me!  They will be back on Sunday late afternoon.

Now a new contest!!  The  Queen will attend the Epsom Derby on June 4th.  What colour coat ( or maybe suit) will she wear?  Answers by midnight June 3rd to  The prize is a pack of Kidsilk Haze in Drab or Garden – winner’s choice.

Jackson has been out all night, every night.  I have to de-flea his ears each morning.  Slip checks him over for any exciting smells and I know if he has caught anything because she wags her tail if she picks up the scent of a rabbit or whatever on him.

It is a holiday here – we seem to have had a month of holidays.  Now I am going to iron and make prawn cocktails for our dinner.

May 28th

Jackson is missing! He slept all day yesterday and went out at 10.30pm. When John looked out of the bedroom window this morning there was a fully grown dead rabbit and a shrew outside the window on the patio. One rabbit ear had been eaten and there was a lot of blood on the ground. There is no sign of Jackson and it is now 10 am. He always comes back at around 7.30am. It is cold here too and raining – I wonder where he can be? I will report back later.

It is now 11.15 and he has just strolled in, none the worse for wear. John walked miles looking for him but did not find him! I will write more later

It is now 5 pm and Jackson is fast asleep in his hammock. We are going out for a drink soon and then picking up an Indian takeaway on our way home. There is a big football match on TV which John wants to watch. I expect Jackson will go out hunting again. I found a flea in his ear. He had obviously been peering down rabbit holes.

Now I am going to wash my hair! Back tomorrow.

May 26th

The Stop Out!

Jackson was out all night again.  He has been in his hammock since he came in at 7 this morning.  Note “mousie” – this is a knitted mouse that he takes to bed with him!

John's Flies for Scotland

John is busy tying flies for his trip to Scotland with Kevin next week.  This is his box of orange and yellow ones for murky conditions!!

Now, new shades of existing Rowan yarns.

  • Wool Cotton : Celendon, a pale sea green and Paper, a blue/grey, also quite pale.
  • Cashsoft 4 Ply : Jewel – a bright fuchsia
  • Cashsoft DK : Dusty, a pinkish beige and Lake, an airforce blue
  • Kidsilk Haze : Mud , a golden fawn and Shadow, a beigey pink
  • Kid Classic : Mellow, a golden fawn and Drought, a very pale watery blue
  • Felted Tweed : Horizon, a pale faded mauve
  • Felted Tweed Aran : Glad, a brightish mid green
  • Lima : Ecuador, a pinkish beige, Aztec, a pale watery blue and Brazil, a deep brown
  • Alpaca Cotton : Fog, a pale lilac and Lichen, an olive green
  • British Sheep Breeds Boucle : Light Brown Marsham, Mid Brown Marsham and Dark Brown Marsham – colors are as the names!
  • Renew : Camper, a blend of olive green and yellow and Mini, a blend of gold and tan
  • Big Wool : Champion, an ox blood red and Prize, a pinkish beige
  • Cocoon :  Hedge, an olive green

Michele Obama wore black last night and there were no correct answers.  I will start another contest tomorrow.

Now I am going to wake Jackson up – it is grooming time.

May 25th

Jackson stayed out all night last night and so has slept solidly all day. Goodness knows what he gets up to in the dark!

Now I will continue with the new Rowan books.  Purelife Home contains 14 designs that use Purelife British SHeep Breeds Chunky, DK and Boucle and Purelife Renew.  The designs are all for things for the home including a rug, throws, cushions and  place mats.  Not sure that it will be a good seller! Next is Dalesman which is 14 designs for men knitted in Alpaca Cotton, Cocoon, Kid Classic, Baby Alpaca, Lima, Felted Tweed and Big Wool. There are sweaters and cardigans – cables are prominent again.  Next is Winter Warmers. 32 designs by Martin Storey using Alpaca Chunky and Lima.  There are gloves, hats, bags,capes, a snood, leggings and a tea cosy. Not too sure about this one either!  Next is City Retreat. 18 designs by Martin Storey that use the new Rowan Creative Worsted.There are capes, jackets, sweaters, hats,mittens and shrugs.  Last is Farmhouse Knits. 20 designs by Erikka Knight that use Amy Butler’s Sweet Harmony.  We have socks, hats, berets, sweaters, scarves, throws, cushion covers and a skirt!!

Tomorrow I will tell you about the new shades in existing yarns.    I had an Addi Needle delivery today and have 120 cm and 150 cm Bamboo  and 150cm Turbo  in stock now!  Back tomorrow!

May 24th

Well, no bag for Michele!  I had two people who thought this would be the case – Mary Bodine and Kateryna from Italy.  Can you two tell me what color or predominant color Michele’s dress will be when she and the President host a dinner for the Queen at the US Embassy tomorrow ( Wednesday) night?  Answers to by Midday GMT tomorrow!

Now, the new Rowan Magazine. As usual, it is divided into 3 sections (or stories as Rowan call them). The first one is Wildwood and the designs are mostly multi-colored and reminiscent of some of Kaffe Fassett’s earliest designs. He has designed a wrap in Kidsilk Haze and also a beautiful sweater in Felted Tweed.  The one color designs feature very large, wide cables.  The second section is Finesse. These are traditional styles in Cashsoft 4 ply, Pure Wool 4 ply,Wool Cotton and Cashsoft DK.  Two of them are in wool to the bust and then the upper part and sleeves are in Kidsilk Haze – I am not sure that this works!  The third section is Winter Essentials and the designs are in Kid Classic, Big Wool, Lima, Cocoon, Silk Twist and Lima.  Cardigans, sweaters, jackets and a cape.

Next new book is Nordic Knits. 12 designs using the two new Rowan tweeds and the new Colourspun and Kid Classic.    As the name suggests, the designs have a Nordic feel to them with Norwegian  motifs incorporated into them. Evolution also contains 12 designs using Alpaca Cotton, Big Wool, Felted Tweed Chunky, Cocoon, Drift and Kidsilk Haze. Again, there are big cables and over-sized proportions.

I will continue with this tomorrow. John and I are going over to the fishing lake now to let Slip have a swim!  Back tomorrow!

May 23rd

Well, I was wrong about Jackson!!  He went out at 10.0pm last night and did not return until 6.30 this morning.  He has slept all day. Goodness knows what he is doing out all night!  In some ways he is safer as there is no traffic and also he won’t be catching baby birds in the night. I wonder if he will go again tonight!

The Rowan rep came and showed me all the new yarns, books and new shades in existing yarns.  There are 7 new yarns.  Rowan Fine Tweed and Rowan Tweed are similar to the old Yorkshire Tweed. There is a total of 24 shades with some of them being common to both yarns.The Fine Tweed is 4 Ply and the Tweed is DK. Next is Colourspun.  This is DK weight and is a blend of Wool and Mohair. Each shade is a solid colour with a contrasting color wound around the yarn so that it will appear variegated when knitted up. There are 20 shades that are mostly quite rustic.  Next is Creative Focus Worsted. This is 75% Wool and 25% Alpaca and knits on a 4.5mm.  There are 26 shades some of which are heathered.

Next is Alpaca Chunky in four neutral colours.  It is 98% Alpaca and 2% Polyamide. Needles are US #15.   Amy Butler also has a chunky weight yarn, Sweet Harmony. It is 100% wool and there are 10 brightish shades. It knits on US #15 needles. Last, but not least, is Fine Lace. This is not coming until September.  It is 80% Baby Alpaca and 20% Fine Merino Wool. There 8 muted shades and it knits on US 2 – 4mm needles.

Tomorrow I will tell you about the books – there are a lot!!  Back then.