Monday, 1 November 2010


The new spindles arrived a few days ago, made locally by Lance. I got the chance to test them today and they spin beautifully, so I have some more on order, and will be able to sell starter packs with a drop spindle and some fleece to spin.

We have also had halloween and my daughter made a lovely halloween scene for her nephew. It was well received when delivered to Bristol during the holidays.

The shop has now been updated, as I have finished carding all the dyed jacob. I you fancy some handspun yarns or dyed fleece to spin with yourself, then please have a look here.
Tonight is pub craft night at the Red Lion in Brackley, we will be there from about 7.30pm. I think I am taking along some peglooming tonight. I am working on a wall hanging inspired by our summer holiday on Exmoor. It is starting to feel like a long time ago, so it is nice to be reminded of the lovely colours of the moor in summer.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Randomised Yarn

Not sure that it is even a word, but...... I am trying to create a randomly striping patterned yarn, with quite short repeats to knit gloves with. I was inspired by a commission for a pair of gloves from my dyed Cotswold fleece. I choose three colours (lilac, purple, and burgundy) and spun them in short sections keeping the colour changes to a pattern. This was the finished result:

I really liked them, as did their recipient ( I am glad to say!) As I really enjoyed the process of designing the yarn with the finished item in mind, I thought I would try some more, but wanted to create a more random effect. So I choose my colours: Yellow, green, lilac and deep purple. Tore the fleece into small sections and began to spin the colours randomly. However it is quite hard not to start making a pattern, so that is my point in today's blog - being random on purpose is really quite hard!

Colours haven't come out brilliantly in the photos, but it gives you an idea.

Have a good weekend. x

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Yarn Maker

As a 'Yarn Maker' I was intrigued when I came across a new publication of the same name:

I duely ordered the first copy and a couple of days later it arrived. Well what can I say - an itelligent interesting magazine, full of articles related to yarn making ( no surprise there really!).

A cup of tea and a couple of hours uninterupted biscuit eating later, I can report that the magazine is really worth while. There are inspirational articles about spinners and weavers, informative sections on drop spindle spinning and how to get free fleece through freecycle. There is a nice pattern for a small shawl or mat made with handspun yarn and some mouthwatering pictures of drop spindles. Instuctions for growing and dying with japanese indigo and a round up of events to come.

Suffice to say - I will be subscribing! link:

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Rainy sunday

Today is rainy and windy, but far from feeling sad about it - I love this time of year. What a fab excuse to curl up with knitting in front of the fire or get some more spinning done.

Yesterday with the Syresham Historical society's 'Rural Craft' exhibition. I took my spinning wheel and a few knitted goddies along to spin the day away. There were lots of crafts represented: Beekeeping, thatching, stone masonry, lace making, pottery, corn dolly making to name but a few. As always the people in the crafting community are friendly and open and love to chat. With out giving too much away, I hope that we will be seing alot more of some of them in the coming months.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Common Ragwort

One of things that I love about crafting is the people that you meet. I went yesterday to collect a Southdown Fleece from Marion in Farnborough. She was absolutely lovely and full of enthusiasm for spinning and knitting. She has invited me to go back in April to do some spinning when she takes part in 'Open Gardens', which would be absolutely lovely. In the meantime though I am going to teach her and her daughter Anna to spin, so they can spin their own lovely fleeces.

The Cotswold fleece is now all dyed and the white is carded. You can get a feel for the lovely colours that have come out. I hope to get spinning next week while camping in Kent. Keep your fingers crossed for sunshine.

I have started dying the white Jacob fleece. While walking the dog, I found lots of Common Ragwort, so I picked a big bunch and simmered the flowers.......

...... which have produced a lovely yellow colour. Very satisfying to find dyestuff and find it actually works! All for free. I am feeling quite inspired and will no doubt be picking all sorts of stuff to chop up and try and extract the colour.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

courgettes everywhere!

Courgette's seem to be dominating our lives at the moment! They are growing with vigour on the allotment and I have been trying out crafty ways of using them up. Courgettes in tomato sauce, stuffed courgettes, courgette cake and courgette muffins. Today it will be the turn of courgette chocolate cake. This kids have not been totally convinced by my courgette offerings, so my brother went home with three courgettes as a leaving present yesterday.
With the first jacob fleece nearly finished (here is 3/4 of it, done!) I have turned my attention to the cotswold fleece. The first test spinning has been soft and lustrious, so I thought I would see how it took dye.

I now have some white and other various colours, so will try and create some rainbow yarn. Either nice and chunky single ply, with plenty of slubs or maybe some three ply smoother yarn. We will see!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

come on England!!

...well football fever is well and truly here, and I write this just before kick off for that all important final first round match. Now, those of you that know me, may find it odd that I have got excited about all this chasing a ball around a field business, but I have discovered that it is a brilliant excuse to sit down in front of the telly with my spinning wheel for a couple of hours!!

'Piece of kit' of the week: - goes to ........the drum carder. It has come out from winter hibernation (under the bed) and complete with new drive band it has been working hard. The fleece has all been washed and is now going through the carding process. I have also bought a Cotswold fleece from the Cotswold Farm park and it has washed up nicely. Has a nice shine and luster to it, so I am looking forward to see what it will spin up like.

Well the football is about to kick off, and my spinning wheel is calling.

Keep on crafting and I hope to see you at PubCraft on Monday 5th July. (7.30 at the Red Lion)
P.S: Photos added after Football match finished. Clearly England appreciated the spinning that took place. Two whole skeins to show for this afternoon's work!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Blogging on the move.

Not that you will be able to tell, but I am blogging from my favourite cafe in Brackley: the Courtyard Coffee House. There will also be no photos this time as my computer is at the computer doctor's and our network at home seems not to be working. So I have taken myself off to the coffee shop, for some internet access with the added bonus of coffee and cake on hand!

June's PubCraft night went down a storm, much chatting was done and fun was had. I brought the 'Joy'! for it's first outing to a public house - I am sure it won't be the last.

I am however aching from head to foot - not because of the PubCraft night, but due to sheep shearing in Haslemere on Sunday. Weather was lovely, which was nice, but I am really not fit enough to shear. Next year I will definately need to go into training before hand. We had the help of a great ( and very patient shearer Susie) and it went much more smoothly than last year. I now have 4 fleeces to wash, card and spin, so will definately be keeping out of trouble. New Hammervale wool should be for sale soon!

Well battery on work laptop running dangerously low, so I will sign off for now.

keep on crafting. Polly x

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Joy oh joy

Meet my latest toy:

Spins like a dream and I am unreasonably excited. So I spun up the last of the dyed roving and the rest of the silk.

I also felt the need to paint my toe-nails in preparation for a grown up girly weekend away with my mum and sister. Ofcourse my knitting will coming too, two full hours of uninterupted each way on the train. :-)

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

and so to PubCraft night

Lots of lovely people came to join us in the Red Lion Pub in Brackley on Monday night. I enjoyed a G&T and a chat about spinning, knitting and lace making. Sue brought her lace making cushion along and got Trish started. Utterly facinating.

And then it hailed...

The Pin Money Craft Co-operative took our new gazebo up to Hatton Locks near Warwick on bank holiday Monday to take part in Mayday fun! There was Bob with his wooden chairs and mushroom and roumours of live music.

We set up and I even managed some spinning in the sun (lovely) and then...... it started raining and blowing a gale and then... HAIL!!!

We huddled for a while and got random strangers to help hold down the gazebo, but we were fighting a lost battle, so packed up and headed for home.

Rachael and I were in need of a pint by the canal, and went in search of 'The Cape of Good Hope' pub. It turns out that it is a very difficult pub to find, infact we ended up abandoning the car and walking along the canal. Still a well deserved pint was enjoyed in the sunshine in the end.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Summer is a-coming

Firstly apologies for the long 'radio' silience. I will try and do better! (I am sure that has been said before)

We have finally had some sunshine and things are growing again. I have lots of seeds on the windowsills and have been tentatively been doing some planting on the allotment. Can this be described as outdoor crafting? After all it takes (some) skill, patience and hard work to grow food to put on the table.

I have knitted Penny a jumper with Sirdar Nomad, I don't normally like to knit with a boucle yarn, but it did knit up quickly and looks nice.

(picture to come when camera has stopped playing up!)

I have also finished spinning the silk from the Ally Pally show way back when. I am going to navajo ply it later today. The Pin Money Craft C0-operative are having a craft fair at Hatton locks tomorrow and I am taking the wheel to do a spinning demonstration. I wanted to spin up the bits of Jacob from last year that I died to see what they look like. Also wanting to get all of lasts years fleece used up before new supplies arrive early next month.

Am currently knitting a jumper for my Aunt Jo-Jo in gorgeous Sublime yarn. It is a cashmere merino and silk mix and is very soft and yummy. Nearly finished the back so getting there!

Seems cold again today, so I am looking forward to lighting the fire and getting the spinning wheel going!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Peglooming course

Just a quick blog before I head off to the last of the sock knitting workshops in this first course. There are more booked in, have a look on the website for details.

Last Saturday Rachael taught the first peglooming course. We had two hours at the methodist church with six lovely ladies and plenty of wool and fabric. Everyone had a good time and some lovely wall hangings were made. Here are a couple of pictures. For more pictures look at the gallery on the website.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

March madness.

Well our first PubCraft Night went really well!! It was fab to see so many of you coming out to socialise on a Monday evening. It was also really interesting to see what everyone was making, so many different crafts were being represented. Sewing, knitting, peglooming, quilting to name but a few.

Other news this week is that we are exhibiting in the library from Saturday for the rest of March and April. There will be samples of our work and also information about forthcoming workshops and events.

AND our website is now up and running, so go and have a look at and remember us when you have presents to buy. There are some things in the shop, but more will be on added shortly.

No pictures this time, but I will take my camera to the peglooming workshop on Saturday, so check back next week for some pictures of what I am sure will be a great event.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Knit your own socks.

Today's title may sound like an order, but it was infact the name of the workshop which started last Saturday.

Here are a couple of pictures of some of the lovely ladies that joined me in the Courtyard Coffeehouse in Brackley for the 1st of three workshops. We cast on in the round and knitted a section of rib. Some people practiced casting on more that once - but we all know that practice makes perfect!! We all left with the first sock well on the way and everyone was smiling - so all in all a success. We will be meeting again on the 27th to learn to turn the heel and at the beginning of March to decrease for the toe and master grafting. This is a picture of our table, so you can see that there was lots going on!

If you would like to learn to knit socks, but missed our workshop this time, keep an eye on the workshop link on the right for future dates.

The other very exciting news is that we have set a date for our first PubCraft Night: 1st March 7.30pm at the Red Lion pub in Brackley. All are welcome, please bring a small crafting project along and prepare to make new crafting friends.

Workshop booking are coming in at a steady trickle, so if there is something that you fancy coming along to, please download a booking form and send it to me to confirm your place.

That's it for now folks. X

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

A huge welcome

I would like to say a great big HELLO and welcome to Sarah of Noahs Ark Crafts who became a member of the Pin Money Craft Co-operative on Monday. Pop over to to have a look at her blog. She has updates of what crafty things have been inspiring her and also recipes. The sticky toffee pudding looks fabulous and I can't wait to try it out. There is also a link from blog to Sarah's etsy and folksy shops, so get clicking and shopping! I met Albie owl from Sarah's 'made by you' range. He is really cute!!
So nothing ever happens in Brackley - well that myth has been well and truly consigned to the bin after Saturday's event in the Town Hall. It felt like the whole world was there, and it was non stop chatting from 9 till 4. We demonstrated some peg looming and spinning, so thank you if you were one of the willing (some less so) volunteers that helped us out.
The sock knitting workshop starts on Saturday. We will be casting on and ribbing the cuff on Saturday and then meeting again on the 27th of Feb to turn the heel. Finally finishing off decreasing for the toe and mastering the kitchener stitch on 13th March. There are still 2 places left, so if you fancy coming but haven't got your booking form in yet, download it and get it to me as soon as you can. Don't forget to check out our other workshops on the link on the right.
The last bit of exciting news is that we will be launching our website early next week (all being well, and if the computer gremlins play nicely) so look out for that, and put the 1st Monday of the month on the calendar as we will be organising crafty get togethers in the pub on that day. Venue still to be arranged, but I will let you know as soon as I know!!
Keep on crafting. X

Monday, 25 January 2010

Spinning in Bristol

I have had a fab weekend at my sister's in Bristol. We decided to get together and have a crafting day.

My sister's friend Liz brought her spinning wheel as she wanted a few hints and tips on how to improve her spinning and we had a wonderful time playing with wool. We discovered that her wheel has an integral 'Lazy Kate' - how exciting!!

As you can see from the pictures; collectively we knitted, crocheted, peg loomed, spun and sewed, as well as ate cake, drank tea and consumed a fair amount of chocolate. We finished the day with a japanese take-away. Perfect!

And finally just a couple of pictures from my "Guess what I was?" range. Go on have a guess what do you think these two items started life as?

Don't forget to have a look our workshops and let us know if there is something you would like to do which isn't being advertised yet. X

Monday, 18 January 2010

Life starts again.

The snow has gone and life had got going again at full speed ahead.

Business first: The learning to pegloom workshop on the 6th March has had to be changed from St. Peters Church Hall to the Methodist Church, but all other details remain the same, including the time (2-4pm.)

I have started making for February's craft Fair, where you will find our stall in the town hall, Brackley on the 20th Feb. February to me is still winter and we need warm things to cosy up to. With that in mind I have been working up a few pairs of 'Lotte' mittens. Warm and cosy, but keep your fingers free for what ever they need to be doing (knitting, texting, eating etc)

These will be available both as finished items and as a kit.

I have been spinning variagated yarns, as I think these gloves look best in an interesting yarn.

I fell in love with those lovely blues, and there wasn't quite enough for a pair of mittens , so this is what I made:

Just for me. Pattern is called Urchin and found on Ravelry. But not allowed to make these for sale. So it's a one off! More spinning has been done for the gloves though.
I am also planning a range of recycled items, but more about that next week.

Don't forget it is Brackley Knit'n'Knatter at the Greyhound in Brackley on Thursday from about 7.30.

Keep on crafting. X

Monday, 11 January 2010

Happy New Year

I wish you all a very Happy New Year and hope you are enjoying the snow!

We had a very busy run up to Christmas and met so many lovely people in the process. We were at Magdalen School Christmas Fair, which was buzzing with Christmas shoppers. It was our first time there, but I think it will be an annual event in our diary. I for one did most of my Christmas shopping there, as there were so many lovely stalls.! If you didn't go - look out for it next year.

We were also at the Brackley Craft Fair in the town hall, which was unusually busy and we meet many crafty folk of Brackley. The time there flew with chatting to people and enjoying the vibe, but I think the highlight of December was the Victorian Christmas Fair in the Courtyard. We set up in the snow and frost, but the sun shone and lots of people came for a chat and to see all the great things going on. We stayed there until about 4pm, when the sun dipped below the buildings and it started really getting cold. It was such a lovely day and a real demonstration of what a great community Brackley is becoming.

Well, enough of looking back and lets look forward to an exciting 2010. We have already got three workshops organised and we are having our first crafty get together tonight at Rachael's house on Hill Street.

The workshops are as follows:
Knit your own socks: 6 Feb/27 Feb/ 13 Feb, 3-5 pm, £3, The Courtyard Coffee House, Brackley
Learn to Pegloom: 6 Mar, 2-4 pm, £5, St Peter's Church Hall, Brackley
Easter Family Crafts: 27th Mar , 2-4pm, £5, St Peter's Church Hall, Brackley

For further details please see the links under our new 'Pin Money Workshops' section. If you would like to come to a workshop, please download a booking form and send it back to me with payment. If you are able please feel free to print out a poster and display it, and/or give a leaflet to your neighbour or friend. Word of mouth is really powerful!

I hope to see you at one of our events in the near future. Please do keep checking back to the blog, where I will be posting information about all our events and where to find us next.

Keep on crafting! X