Bookish……..

Ack. I’m all behind like a puppy dog’s tail.

This week’s yarn, which should have been dyed, dried, skeined, and labelled by now, is just going into the dye pot. Gulp. If I can get the preview up by Saturday night, I will deserve a sainthood.

Edited to add: Oh, who am I kidding? I’m not going to get it done, and that’s that. Ok, well this will be a good opportunity to do a one off Wednesday sale instead next week. So, no update Sunday, but a nice big one Wednesday. Howzat?

You see, earlier this week when we should have been dyeing, we were busy with other things. Namely this:

Oh boy, do I love this bookcase. And boy, do I love the clever Mr P who built it. I had a blissful day on Tuesday, taking all my books out of boxes, dusting them off (I like to dust them every six moves or so…..) and putting them on shelves. I had 14 boxes of books, and I managed to unpack 7 of them before the bookcase was full. At that point, Mr P pushed me out of the way and took over. He does the whole shabby chic boho thing much better than I do – I’m too anally retentive to have my books any other way than in an alphabetical regiment. But he managed to get all 14 boxes onto the bookcase, and I think it looks fabulous.

(Even if I am a little twitchy about the fact that there is no kind of order to the books, and how will I ever find anything, and how long can I bear it before I have to pull them all down and categorise them?)

This is now my favourite corner of the house, which is quite a miracle, since it was the ugliest before – dark, dingy, and uninviting. Now I want to spend two weeks sitting in that chair reading. And knitting. And reading about knitting. Someone send me a spare two weeks.

P.S. Hands up how many of you were straining to read the book titles on that last photo? I get completely distracted in films or photographs when there are bookshelves, doing the exact same thing.

In The Country……

Oh boy, have I been having drama. We’ve been here just over a month now, and I’ve been fighting the whole time to get broadband. Unfortunately, we have a little old country exchange, not digital, and BT are refusing to take me off the DACS line so that I can have broadband. I had high hopes this week, but they’ve crashed down today. BT have said no, and they are sticking to it.

I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent on the phone trying to sort this out. Infuriating. The only phone socket in the house is in the kitchen, so I’ve been using the laptop in there, which brings me to the second drama. Somehow (and no one in the house is willing to admit responsibility for this, but I can tell you that IT WASN’T ME) the laptop power cable and box got soaked in water yesterday. We discovered this after I plugged it in and it gave a few ominous pops, then fused the house. As you can imagine, the power box was toast. My immediate concern was that the laptop might have been toast also. With my current run of luck, this seemed entirely possible. Thankfully it wasn’t, and my borther-in-law had a replacement cable. Phew. Gave me some cold shivers there, and reminded me to BACK UP FILES. This is all part of my excuse for being awol over the last few days. That plus the fact that I’ve been feeling exceedingly lazy.

Anyway, this morning, I was reminded of some of the pros of living out here in the back of beyond, as opposed to the recent list of cons. Mr P and I took a walk very early this morning, down our lane, over a stile, through a field, and found ourselves in a magic land. First we saw this:

This was a house at one time, but this is all that’s left of it. My photography leaves much to be desired, by the way (I don’t make a very good mobile tripod, so everything comes out blurry) but bear with me. Around the next corner was this:

If there’s one thing I love above all else, its a pathway through a tunnel of trees. Beautiful in any season, but the ground was carpeted in lily of the valley, yet to blossom, so it’s going to be stunning to all the senses in a few weeks. At the end of this path we came out here;

This is the other side of the famous Bosherston Lily Ponds. The swans are in mating season, and were behaving like lovestruck children pushing each other down in the playground. They moved too fast for my poor photography to capture, unfortunately. At this point in our walk, we thought we’d reached the highlight. Then we turned to leave, and magic happened:

This robin perched on the bush next to me, within easy touching distance, and talked to us for a few minutes. After a minute or two, he was joined by other birds, all close, although not as close as he was, and all talking to us, and staring as though they’d never seen the likes of us before. The robin hopped down from the bush onto the floor, and began hopping around our feet, talking the whole time. I spent about ten minutes trying to photograph him, but he was a speedy little thing, and most of the photos came out blurred.

It was the most glorious start to the day, especially when followed by sausages and a pot of tea. Who needs broadband when you’ve got a wonderland like that at the end of your garden?

Well, okay, I do. But I’ll get it yet, you’ll see. By hook or by crook.

Now then, quick question before I go: how are Sunday updates working out for you? Still prefer it to Wednesdays? Majority rules, but I’ve had a few emails from people who prefer Wednesdays, so I thought I’d better just check again.

Bargain Time……..

Are you having a lovely weekend, my dears? I do hope so! The preview page is now up, so go take a look. And there’s two small changes to the shop page:

I know lots of you like looking through the pattern suggestions, but it takes sooo much time assigning each pattern to a particular yarn, and time is something I constantly strive for nowadays. So I’ve put all our pattern suggestions onto one page, categorised into yarn types, and I hope to add to it from time to time. You can see the pattern link page here. And there is also a link on the right of the blog.

The other new feature of the shop page is a bargain basement at the bottom of the page, where we put any yarn seconds. This week it is full of handspun camel yarn, which we discovered does not tolerate the heat that we put our other yarns through. The skeins felted, evvvvvver so slightly. Just enough that I need to tell you, not enough to cause real problems when you knit with it. But I’ve reduced them all to half price, to be on the safe side.

Decisions, Decisions………

Here’s something you didn’t know about me: I’m probably the most indecisive person I’ve ever met.

Actually, that’s not entirely true. I’m very decisive. But I change my mind, often, and with startling speed. Just as soon as I decide one way, I instantly know that it’s the other choice I wanted. Choosing a meal in a restaurant can be an agonising experience. I have a whole routine in the cinema, where I sit in a chair, get up, try another, and repeat for as long as Mr P will stand it. Then I sit through the film thinking that actually, the first seat I tried was the best.

Do you know what the worst bit is? I’m usually so sure that I’m right. And that I won’t change my mind this time. Then I do. At the moment we’re swithering (isn’t that a lovely word?) over what to do with our living room. Sofas? Chairs? Huge dining table? Shabby chic, French country, Art Deco?

So. Many. Choices. Sometimes I think life will drive me quite mad. Then I change my mind.

The point of all of which, is this: how do you choose from our yarns? I don’t think I could. Just picking which yarn to feature on the blog nearly kills me. I photograph 30 or so skeins, then try to narrow it down. Its no good, I love them all. Soft pastels, deep colours, murky shades, brights. Gossamer laceweight, squishy chunky weight. And the more we do (and boy, we’ve done another bumper crop this week!) the harder the choices get.

How do you do it? Especially under the pressure of the lightening fast update? You must all be made of stronger stuff than me.

So, here’s a teeny selection of this week’s yarn.

Now I must get to work (despite the fact that I am longing for an illicit nap) because there’s stacks to do ready for the update, and we have guests coming tonight for the weekend. Ah, life at the top. See you Sunday, my loves!

Oh To Be A Cat…………

You are all very kind, thank you for the lovely compliments. It slightly irritates me that my blog comments don’t get sent to me by email, on either blog, because it makes it hard to reply to them (especially on the Blogger one, in fact I haven’t figured out how to get any commenter’s email address from that). But I promise you, the very best bit of my day is logging on and reading new comments. I do it, oh every twenty minutes or so! Needy, me? No…….

The new yarns came in this week, and some of them are planned for Sunday’s update. They are all so squidgy and delectable – Mr P likes one of them so much that he said it makes him want to knit a sweater in it. But since he is still on Row 6 of the illfated scarf, I don’t quite see that happening.

And he’s not the only fan in the house. Somebody said to me once that if they had a room full of cashmere like we do, they would want to curl up in it and go to sleep. Well, my two cats have never shown much interest in cashmere. But the new yarns, which are various types of wool and mohair, evoked quite the response. I went into the storeroom yesterday, only to see this:

And on the other shelf, this:

(If you have a cat allergy, don’t panic – all our yarn is thoroughly scoured before dyeing.)

Rather cute, don’t you think? They crawled out, bleary eyed, a few hours later, smelling exactly like sheep. So, here are some of the new yarns ready for Sunday:

Tomorrow, lots more peeks at Sunday’s yarn. Some scrumptious colourways coming up this week. I always choose my personal favourites for the blog preview, but this week it’s going to be tough to limit myself to just a few. They are all so delectable. So far, this is my favourite, and I can’t wait until tomorrow to show it to you:

Could that be more like fluffy sunset clouds? I want, I want.