Woolly weekend randoms

OMG where does the time go? There's been a lot of travel and goings-on in the last couple of weeks (who am I kidding - months!) and I'm sorry the blog is just one of those things that seems to fall by the wayside.

This picture pretty much sums up the fun we had this weekend! L-R: Dani, Catherine, me and Rachel

This picture pretty much sums up the fun we had this weekend! L-R: Dani, Catherine, me and Rachel

I spent this past weekend recharging my batteries in the company of my girlfriends - all of whom are truly amazing, beautiful, clever, wonderful women. I'm so lucky to have them in my life and am so thankful to have found a group of stitchy friends as dear to me as my gals back home.

Some of you may remember my tweeting this photo of Rachel and Alison following last year's successful jaunt to Wonderwool Wales.

Some of you may remember my tweeting this photo of Rachel and Alison following last year's successful jaunt to Wonderwool Wales.

In the last couple of weeks we managed to throw together a slightly planned yet slightly impromptu excursion to Wonderwool Wales and it was just perfect.

There were alpacas.

There were alpacas.

Baa Ram Ewe won a ribbon.

Baa Ram Ewe won a ribbon.

Catherine took the Mercedes of spinning wheels for a test drive.

Catherine took the Mercedes of spinning wheels for a test drive.

We made new friends at the new  Midwinter Yarns .

We made new friends at the new Midwinter Yarns.

Shetland sheep were there too.

Shetland sheep were there too.

This knitter very kindly let me get a photo of her awesome skulls cardi.

This knitter very kindly let me get a photo of her awesome skulls cardi.

The rainbow of SweetGeorgia colour was proudly on display at the Purlescence booth.

The rainbow of SweetGeorgia colour was proudly on display at the Purlescence booth.

While  Kettle Yarn' s Islington was also very popular (and so sweetly displayed!).

While Kettle Yarn's Islington was also very popular (and so sweetly displayed!).

My stash haul included the new ChiaoGoo DPNs kit - although technically that's for work and not stash!

My stash haul included the new ChiaoGoo DPNs kit - although technically that's for work and not stash!

There was also yarn for a new design project, and a kit to try something new.

There was also yarn for a new design project, and a kit to try something new.

Why yes, that is a new yarn bowl. And glass spiral shawl pin, and a very restrained single skein of "non-work" yarn.

Why yes, that is a new yarn bowl. And glass spiral shawl pin, and a very restrained single skein of "non-work" yarn.

And the time in the car was spent productively too!

And the time in the car was spent productively too!

Thank you so much for your patience as I get back to finding my blogging groove. Blogtacular is in a few weeks. I'm sure it will help.

KCBW Day 6: A tool to covet

I know Knit and Crochet Blog Week is officially over now, but like any overdue project, I'm still committed to seeing it through. Here's my post for Day 6.

Originally I had planned to write this post about Schacht's new Zoom Loom - a pin loom that I've been reading about on the Ravelry boards and which seems like good fun for quick and easy weaving.

While I'm coveting it, its not readily available in the Uk as yet so it's going to be a bit of a wait for me on that one.

But as luck would have it, being at Wonderwool in Builth Wells this past weekend meant that there were plenty of tools to ogle and be inspired by. And I fell down when fate faced me with what probably my favourite tool of all time.

 The latest addition to my little family of yarn bowls.

The latest addition to my little family of yarn bowls.

A yarn bowl is a smallish bowl often made of pottery or ceramic or even sometimes wood. It is large enough to comfortable hold a ball of yarn and will have some kind of angled notch on one side where the yarn can be pulled through. Yarn bowls are a very practical way to keep your ball of yarn from scampering all over the place or jumping off the sofa while knitting, and tidily away in a charming little vessel.

It's the charm of the yarn bowl that is usually what captivates me. The best yarn/wool shows or shops that I've tended to enjoy the most are filled with incredibly talented artisans and their wares. Indie yarn dyers, spinners, wood turners. And knowing that crafters appreciate other craft, they often share their space with other artists, which is often how I luck out finding lovely yarn bowls. It only makes sense that they be found with lovely hand dyed yarns!

Over my short career as a knitter I've somehow acquired a collection of yarn bowls. I don't always use them for yarn - often they look lovely sitting prettily on a shelf, with or without a different project's yarn tucked into them temptingly. And each one is special in it's own way.

There's the pale, yellow ceramic bowl - my first. It's simple and serviceable but the colour is so sunny that I always feel happy when I use it.

At two separate shows where I ran into Kim from Indigodragonfly I came home a yarn bowl each time by the talented Haliburton potter Susanne James. Both are completely different yet equally stunning.

I have a honey-pot shaped one that was acquired at The Purple Purl from a local artist. It's taller, narrower shape holds the yarn well so that it doesn't pop out if I pull too hard on it.

And last year in honour of Knitty's 10th anniversary I treated myself to a limited edition yarn bowl by Jennie the Potter. It is even more special to me because I'd sought out one of her bowls at Rhinebeck the year before and was sad to find out they were all sold out before I even made it to her booth!

So no, I didn't really need another yarn bowl. But faced with the beautiful spalted beech wood, turned by hand by artist Keith Leonard, as it sat amidst the hand dyed beauties of Shearer Girl Yarns, I knew it was going to be my last purchase of the day.

At Mary's request from the comments here's a quick pic of all my little yarn bowls together. I should have thought to include this earlier!   Back row L-R: Jennie the Potter, my first yarn bowl, the "honey pot" yarn bowl. Front row L-R: wooden yarn bowl, bowl 2 and bowl 1 from Susanne James.

At Mary's request from the comments here's a quick pic of all my little yarn bowls together. I should have thought to include this earlier! Back row L-R: Jennie the Potter, my first yarn bowl, the "honey pot" yarn bowl. Front row L-R: wooden yarn bowl, bowl 2 and bowl 1 from Susanne James.

If you've not had a chance to try out a yarn bowl yet, I highly recommend seeking one out at whatever yarn show you next attend. They're not always easy to find, but well worth it when you do!