Things are very busy round here at the moment. I just came back from running a workshop in Oxfordshire, I had a lovely time, but it takes nearly 3 days out of my work week, the day before getting organised and packing the car, the day of the workshop, and then the unpacking and catching up when I get home. I love teaching workshops though, I nearly always learn something from the really experienced spinners out there who started spinning before I was even born. The participants seem to enjoy them as well, so it's all good. This year is pretty much full up, and next year is starting to look the same way, but if you think you'd like a workshop then send me an email.
Back at home things are pretty busy as well, non-stop carding, and dyeing. I've just dyed up 3kg of a BFL/Ramie blend. I completely sold out of this at Wonderwool, and it really is a beautiful blend. It's drying in front of the fire now, because spring has taken a temporary vacation, and we're back to cold, damp and windy. Keep an eye out for a shop update, probably on Sunday.
I've also been busy plotting. Last year I didn't run a shop Tour de Fleece team, but this year I'm delighted to say I'm teaming up with my friend Katherine (BarberBlackSheep) and we're doing one together. Katherine is the person with the wonderful Gotland fleeces I was selling at Wonderwool, she lives just down the road from me, and also loves the Tour de Fleece.
For the unfamiliar, the Tour de France is the worlds biggest cycle race. The top professionals spend 3 weeks racing round France (with occasional detours to nearby countries), and the Tour de Fleece runs in parallel. You set your own challenge, but the aim is to spin every day. Last year I used the time to consolidate my handcarding and long draw spinning techniques, I got nearly 1600m of fingering weight 2 ply yarn spun up in the 3 weeks. The only thing you'll need to do to join in with the shop Team (Team HillSheep) is to spin something from HilltopCloud during the spin along.
I'm getting excited, partly because of the spinning, though spinning every day isn't that different for me, but also because I am a bit of a cycling nut. It's all the fault of the Tour de France knit along, I joined in when I first learnt to knit, and found myself learning more and more about the sport and now I'm addicted. Don't say I didn't warn you!