Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Out with a bang

2012 went out with a bang, and a splash.
It was very, very wet round here. The Dyfi river wasn't quite bursting it's banks, but it wasn't far off. The rivers this close to the hills tend to be small and fast flowing, so when they flood there is a lot of water moving very very fast.

The river does a sharp meander here, and your can just see the water cutting the corner slightly, as an old university friend of mind would say it was geography in action, eventually the river will wear away at the banks and straighten. In the back eddy were full size trees, being tossed around like match sticks. This video clip gives you a better idea.

Just round the corner the river goes past a house, not many houses round here are built this close to rivers, precisely because they flood so often, this house must once have been a mill.

These trees are in the back garden of the house, they were bending, but it's amazing how strong a tree actually is, the force of water hitting them must have been incredible. 

Things have calmed down a lot weather wise since then, in fact New Years Day was actually dry! Though things have reverted to normal today, and it's still raining....

Coming up, a post where I promise not to mention rain...

Monday, 31 December 2012


2012 has been an adventurous year. The weather has been dreadful, but fortunately everything else has been fantastic.

January saw winds strong enough to peel roofs off houses, the launch of handblended fibre club, and my converted barn neared completion.


February was the coldest month of the winter, our water supply froze up, and I moved in to my barn.

March saw the arrival of the chickens, the daffodils appearing, in the hottest March I've ever known, I was wearing shorts and sweating as I dyed fibre in the caravan. at the time I was worrying that a dry summer might mean we ran out of water and I wouldn't be able to do much more dyeing that year, if only I'd known what was in store!

April was a busy month, I was in the last stages of preparing for WonderWool, my first proper show, but the weather was still doing odd things, this frost put paid to any hopes of fruit from our orchard this year. 

I also took HilltopCloud to it's very first Fibre Festival, it was cold, very cold, but I had a lovely time meeting lots of online customers for the very first time.

In May, I got inventive and worked out how to use a Singer sewing machine treadle to power my drum carder, I then got even more drum carder envy on our guild trip out to Quarry Bank Cotton Mill, I went to Shropshire show and was interviewed on the radio about spinning. 

June was a busy month, and my laptop dyed on me, I did however take HilltopCloud to Woolfest where it rained, and rained, and rained. For my birthday I got a Charkha.

In July we got our bees, and I visited FibreEast, and handed over my Woolsack cushion as part of the cultural Olympiad. 

I also developed new labels for my fibre.

August didn't see much of a change in the weather, but we did get our first slow worm sighting of the summer, and work started on my deck from my upstairs door in the barn. 

September was still wet and cold, but I did go over to Welshpool to see the Tour of Britain cycle race, I also started my blogposts featuring small quantities of handspun yarn, I'm always after new ideas, particularly as samples for shows, please leave me a comment if you think you've done something particularly yummy. 

In October I did a series of posts featuring things customers had made using my Learn to Spin kits. We enjoyed reclaiming our beaches from the tourists, and I went up to Glasgow for the Glasgow School of Yarn

November was cool and misty, perfect for wearing my new Warriston jumper, I also ran my first full scale workshop for my guild. I took a break from work, headed inland, and drove through a beautiful temperature inversion

I've just been out to take photos of yet more flooded rivers, we're currently experiencing yet more heavy rain, the chickens are miserable so I've just put them in the polytunnel to dry out a little. 

My over-riding memory of 2012 has been rain, the wet stuff falling from the sky has been unrelenting for much of the year. I know Wales is renowned for it's rain, but it's been a bit much. 2012 has also been the year which has seen me turn HilltopCloud in to my full time, wage paying job. I hope 2013 treats me just as kindly, and I'm excited that I'm going to be at far more shows this year.

Thank You for your support this year.