Let Them Eat Cake……..

Behold, the panacea, the answer to the world’s problems, the silver lining to a cloudy day………CAKE.

Cake! Here are some things you should know about cake, or rather about me and cake.

I love it. LOVE IT. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s my favourite food. Or was. Because I was diagnosed gluten intolerant a year ago, and haven’t had a slice of cake since. The gluten free stuff you can buy from the shops is…..eh. I can bear the ‘biscuits’ but I haven’t found anything that even comes close to real cake. And I don’t have the time to bake for myself.

So where did this piece of deliciousness come from? The wonderful, adorable, delightful, Michaela. Honey, I’m going to love you forever. Michaela makes and decorates the most gorgeous party cakes, and she’s super talented at it. She mentioned to me recently that a customer had requested a gluten free carrot cake. ‘Sounds good’, said I. And thought no more of it.

Then yesterday morning, in the midst of all the wailing and hair pulling, a parcel arrived. A beautifully wrapped carrot cake, moist and fragrant, and utterly delicious. I don’t know how she did it, because it tastes like normal carrot cake (albeit a superior version) and has no gluten-free-ness about it. Two slices with a cup of tea was just…..oh, heaven.

So today, as well as all your lovely supportive comments and emails, I have cake to live for. Which is just as well because:

Mr P has come down with flu (but I have cake!)

I think I’m getting it too (but I have cake!)

I’ve lost the chart for the lace club pattern and I can’t understand my pattern notes (but I have cake!)

I have to pack 80 Sock Club parcels on my own (but I have cake!)

There are now only 16 days until the move and I haven’t started packing (but I have cake!)

I have cake!

Welcome to my Pity Party…….

Please put on your party hats, and help me blow up these balloons.

No, really, did you think it would last? All the positivity, all the sweetness and light? My name is Dee, and it’s been a month since my last whinge.

Ah, you’re still here. Obviously you’re a good reader, a loyal visitor, and you’ll stick with me through thick and thin. Well, it’s about to get very thick (or should that be thin?).

Waaaaaaaaaaaahhh!! I’m on the Can’t Cope train, and the next stop is Hell! Less than 3 weeks left before the big move, and we’ve only just settled the tenancy agreement on the house. The letting agency had all kinds of ridiculous perfectly reasonable requirements for new tenants, and eventually, due to the new (ish) nature of our business, we had to agree to pay six months rent up front. Apparently, even with a very healthy (and rising) income, and a million and one references, we still look dodgy. So we’ve dug deep, and paid up front.

But less than 3 weeks are left, and we are yet to book a moving van, or begin packing. So! Much! Packing! We will never fit everything in, so we have to figure out what to abandon and what to take. The 22,000 boxes of books are coming, the sofas may not be. But hey, I can read in bed.
I booked our phone line and broadband transfer today, and discovered that there is no way round the 10 day broadband down time. I’ll be on dialup for at least a week, which will be oh so fun.

But the biggest straw of all has nothing to do with the move (although it dovetails nicely with it). As you know, I’m anally retentive with a well developed strain of perfectionism. This means that if I’m a day late for Sock Club, or if I don’t answer emails within 24 hours, I break out in boils. So, I’m always well organised, and things generally run according to plan. The pattern for the next Lace Club shipment (which is due to go out tomorrow, sorry, WAS) has been ready for six months. The colourway has been carefully planned. The yarn was ordered in advance. And I planned to give you Lace Clubbers a nice treat – 110g of cashmere/silk Eva 2ply. Yummy stuff.

The yarn came today, which was cutting it fine. 6lbs of it. Does that sound like a lot? I need 6kg. Kg are not Lb. Repeat after me. A kg is smaller than a lb. No, bigger. Damn, you can see where the problem popped in. I ordered 6lb, I need 6kg, and now I have to wait for the supplier to send me more. Lace Club will have to wait until the middle of the month. I have to ask you to wait! Do you know how I’m hating this?

And the middle of the month, mmm, lovely timing. Sending out 65 parcels the week that I move 500 miles across country.

Just kill me now.

Metamorphosis…….

I’m running a little experiment today. We got so behind last week (and if you visited the sale page, you’ll know why. So! Much! Yarn!) that there was no time left to rewind yarn. I like to rewind at least a few skeins, because the transformation when you do is quite amazing. Let me show you:

I love this colourway (Regency). Rich, a little dramatic, just my kind of colour combination. But alas, it went unnoticed on the sale page, because like moi, it isn’t very photogenic. But a little rewinding, and voila…..

Much more desirable (updated to add: this sold within 5 minutes of posting this. Coincidence?). Rewinding is the yarny equivalent of slicking on some lipgloss and concealer. Another example:


From this skein of merino (Admiral), via the magic rewind, to this little beauty:

It’s a funny thing. The colours don’t change, but redistributing them like this enables your eye to see them all working together, and makes the yarn look much more inviting.

By the by, these two yarns were dyed in the same colourway, but the two fibre blends took the dye completely differently. The cash/silk is much more vibrant in colour, while the merino is soft and muted. Yarn always has the last say.

I love that.

The Good, the Bad, and the Interesting……

Lots to tell you today. Firstly, those of you who live in the North East or Scotland should take a wander down to St Abb’s some time soon. There’s a cool new shop opened up there, called WoolFish, which stocks all kinds of goodies, and they are now stocking Posh Yarn. There’s only a teeny tiny selection at the moment, but we’ll be doing a proper wholesale order for them soon (once this pesky move is over with – 3 weeks tomorrow, argh!). Pop along, it’s worth the trip. Plus St Abb’s is a really cool place, and if you drive on to Coldingham, you could visit Moondance Wools too.

What else. The lovely Emily emailed me yesterday to tell me about Wonderwool Wales, a wool festival that is being held in May in Builth Wells. A Welsh version of Woolfest. We’re booking a spot, and Jeni from Fyberspates will also be there, so if you can, come along. It’ll be our first show, and I want to meet as many of you as possible. I’m not entirely sure we will make Woolfest this year, although we’re hoping to, so this might be our only summer show. Come see us!

Thank you SO MUCH, everyone who has been sending in photos of finished Posh Yarn items. Everytime I get one, it lifts my day out of the ordinary. And I don’t want to keep all the fun to myself, so I’m going to put together a gallery page over the next week or so, showcasing customer’s creations. If you haven’t already sent in yours, please do!

Last, but not least, this Sunday’s sale is going to be a fabulous one. We’ve got more of the anti-pooling yarn I was talking about yesterday, including this colourway (April in Paris) pictured below.

I’m working my butt off to try to get the sale preview up by tomorrow evening, but because I took time off at the beginning of the week, I’m behind, so I might not make it. I will get a preview page up at some point before the sale though, even if that’s just an hour beforehand.

To work!

Innovation……..

Where do you stand on the issue of change? I’m not a big fan, myself. On the one hand I know it’s necessary, after all without change there can be no progress, and life must progress (or perhaps we would be living in a world without toilet paper).

But on the other hand, messing with something that is an established classic, that’s a dangerous game, my friend. You’re unlikely to improve it, and there’s a good chance that you’ll ruin it. A case in point: the corned beef hash that Mr P made for me while I was poorly.

Corned beef hash was the only thing I could fancy, so off he trundled to the supermarket to buy the ingredients. One hour later, with delicious smells wafting up the stairs ahead of him, he brought me a bowl of hash. Or should I still call it that? Because this was corned beef hash with a twist. A bad twist. To the classic and time honoured potatoes, onions, and corned beef (with a dash of ketchup, which doesn’t class as innovation) he had decided to add garlic. And broccoli.

This was no longer hash. This was a bowl of unfamiliar grossness. Now it’s not that I dislike broccoli, and I actually adore garlic. But there is a time and a place. And that was not it. We had a similarly unfortunate incident last week, when he sprinkled chilli and garlic (the man has strong taste buds) flakes on my egg on toast breakfast. There were tears.

Now the point of this long convoluted story is this: sometimes innovation is necessary, but sometimes you’d do better to leave well alone. Which brings me to today’s photo (on the PY blog, not here, because Blogger is being foul tempered again). This is a skein of sock yarn that we have been experimenting with (don’t worry, there was no cruelty involved). You see, every dyer wants to achieve the impossible – a variegated yarn that won’t pool. In general, I think our yarns are pretty good, but every now and then I see a pair of socks knitted up and wince, because there is unfortunate pooling involved. Usually its when the sock has been knitted in stocking (stockinette) stitch, because that really doesn’t suit variegated yarn. Brief tip: 3 x 1 rib. Gorgeous.

Anyway. We experiment often to try to achieve a non-pooling sock yarn, one that cannot possibly pool, no matter what you do to it, but – and this is important – still has plenty of variety of colour. Here is our current candidate. It has colour, it has randomness, it has cloudy, discreet colour change. It doesn’t look as good in the skein as our regular variegated, but I think it will work.

Unlike that hash.