Sunday, 1 July 2012

Tour de Fleece 2012

The 'Tour de Fleece' on Ravlery kicked off yesterday! If you don't know what it is, then it's a big Spin-along which coincides with the Tour de France. All the spinners on Ravelry join in and aim to spin a bit of wool each day. You can set your own goals and there are lots of different groups / categories you can join.
I am in the Rookies team - for beginner spinners or first time Tour de Fleecers. I am in the Breakaway group for people having a go at art yarns. I plan to spin some Wensleydale curls when I get back home. And I am also in Lantern Rouge - for those who don't think they will be able to spin every day. I am going to give it a good go!
Here is my Day 1 effort:
I have had this bit of Wensleydale sitting at the bottom of my bag for ages. It's a bit compacted and needs a lot of drafting out but it spins up quite well.
I have created a new page on my blog for the Tour de Fleece, so if I don't get to blog every day I can upload photos there!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Arde Lucus

So, this weekend just gone was one of the main fiestas in Lugo - 'Arde Lvcvs'. Lugo is a Roman city founded by Lucus Augusti. This fiesta is the celebrate the Roman history and foundations of the city. It was a really good weekend - there were Centurions marching about, Gladiators, Romans in chariots, a Roman senate, street theatre, slave market, a Celtic and Roman encampment, Celtic weddings and baptisms and lots of stalls on the market to look at. I didn't get to see it all as there was so much going on!
I liked the soldiers most of all. You could be just wandering around town and an army would come marching past or just 3 or 4 on their way somewhere! It was brilliant! The outfits were amazing too. About 80% of people who come to visit Lugo for this fiesta dress up as Romans or Celts.

I have playing about with and I have made some collages of the photos I took. If you haven'y used Picmonkey before, go and give it a try. It's really easy to use and there are loads of effects to try!

Saturday, 16 June 2012

No more teaching + Around Lugo Part 2

I'm here! I've not been able to post on my blog for the last week or so. I have been busy with the last week of work and sorting stuff out.
So, I've finished! I did it! I made it to the end of my first year of teaching English as a foreign language! Phew! I am very proud of both myself and my boyfriend for doing it. It's an acheivement. And to top it off, all but one of my Trinity exam students passed! So I can say that I have a 99% Trinity exam pass rate now! I don't think that's too bad considering it's the  first time I have prepared students for an exam like that.

Now comes the epic task of cleaning the flat from top to bottom before we leave. We have got just over two weeks left. There is loads to do, but I like to think that we will leave the flat nice and clean and tidy so that the next people - maybe even two more English teachers! - can enjoy it as we did when we moved in.

I am getting excited for next weekend - it's 'Arde Lucus'. It's one of the main fiestas in Lugo to celebrate the Roman roots of the city. Everyone gets dressed up as Romans and Celts and the whole place goes back in time apparently. It should be great fun!

Before I go, I have 'Around Lugo part 2'. Some more photos from the wall:
The bus station - where we arrived and where we will depart Lugo!
Bispo Aguirre and the bottom of the Plaza Mayor

Plaza de Ferrol

Avenida de A Coruna - the longest straighest road I have seen. Surely it must have been a Roman Road.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Decisions, decisions...

I have made a decision! I really don't like making decisions but I have done it!

I have been living and working in Lugo now since September last year. At first, we didn't think that English teaching was really for us and hardly made it till the end of the first term. But, we have stuck it out and we are now nearly at the end of our first year. We finish next Friday - big high fives coming up!!

We have decided not to stay a second year - we have a whole year of experience now and some money saved up. We have told the director of the school who was okay about it and he said to keep in touch. There is a possibility that we could come back in a years time if we wanted to.

So, my Spanish adventure is coming to an end! The plan is to go back home to the UK for a couple of months - completely veg out for two weeks and watch the whole of the Olympics! - then maybe go on another adventure. It could be a Polish adventure next...!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Wooly on Wednesday!

I don't always have time to post every single day on my blog, so I thought I would devote a specific post on Wednesdays to share the wooliness! It will be a sort of round up of the week's wool stuff - felting, spinning and dyeing (if any!)

So, to start with - to add to my fibre fix I treated myself to as I am going to miss Woolfest for the third year in a row, I ordered some BFL from ThreeWatersFarm on etsy. It came a couple of days ago. It's called 'First Bloom' and as well as being sooooooooooooo soft and squishy, the colours are lovely!
Here it is still in its braid

And here it is unraveled waiting to be spun!

I love the colours in it. It goes from a chocolate brown, to a rich plum colour. Then through pinks and lilacs and several shades of green. I am trying so hard not to just dive in and start spinning, but I have other stuff I need to do first!

I want to have more of a go at plying. I have done Andean plying once before, so here are the two candidates for plying practice:

Just some dark blue and varigated purple waiting to be plied!

The other thing I have been trying to get to grips with is the difference between spinning worsted and woolen yarn. A worsted yarn is smoother and more kind of 'compacted', and a woolen yarn is more airy and lofty and springy. What type of yarn you make depends on how you spin the fibres. I had a go at spinning woolen and this was the result:

This is the same fibre spun in two different ways. The one on the right is one of my earliest spinning efforts and is a worsted, chunky single. The one on the left has been spun much finer and as a woolen yarn. I think I prefer spinning woolen yarn - it comes out so soft and squishy, light and bouncy!

And just to finish off, here are all the mini skeins I have done so far:

Well, I hoped you enjoyed 'Wooly on Wednesday'. If you have any wooly things to share, leave me a comment on this post!

Monday, 4 June 2012

Jubilee Celebrations

Morning! I hope all that watched the river pageant yesterday  - either on TV or were actually there - enjoyed it! I was glued to the laptop for a good 2 and a half hours watching! It was very good and very well organised I thought. I'm looking forward to watching the rest of the celebrations. It's the concert and beacon lighting tonight.

I'm just popping into my blog to post about a giveaway happening at Artwork by Angie. There are some lovely themed prizes on offer - perfect for a Jubilee weekend. To enter, follow the link to her blog and all the info is there. It closes at 10pm GMT Wednesday 6th June.

Saturday, 2 June 2012


Hello again! Much cooler today and it's Galician raining - which means non stop raining!
I want to mention Podcasts today. One of which I have just downloaded and am going to watch shortly. It's the 'Dreaming in Fibre' video podcast from Saras Texture Crafts. I bought wool from here when I was in the UK! Saras podcast is a good mix of personal projects and shop update information. The latest episode is all about the Devon County show. You can download the podcast from itunes. But, if you don't have itunes then all the info will be on the podcast blog -

There is also a list of other wooly podcasts on there which Sara has put up! So, go and check it out! Who knows, it may inspire you to do a podcast. It's got me thinking!

Looking forward to watching the Diamond Jubilee celebrations tomorrow - it will get me away from the Olympic torchcam at least! Enjoy it!

Friday, 1 June 2012

Fibre Fix!

Hurray! Nearly a MONTH after ordering some wool from the World of Wool in Yorkshire, it's here! The Spanish postal system has to be the slowest on earth!Seeing as I am going to miss Woolfest in Cumbria yet again - the third year in a row I have missed it and not been able to get there! - I thought I would treat myself to some fibre! I have been using mainly Merino in my spinning up to now, so I now have 200g of Falkland, 100g of Jacob and 100g of Whiteface woodland to go at! Plus 100g of wool nepps! And a Spin-off magazine!

It's a bit hot for playing with wool today - 33 degrees C - but I can't wait! Lots of spinning and dyeing experiments coming up!!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Around Lugo - part 1

We have sunny sunshine and I took advantage of the beautiful weather to go round the Roman wall in Lugo where I live at the moment and take some photos. I realised that in all the time I have been here I have no photos of Lugo on my blog!
So, here we go with 'Around Lugo' Part 1!

Some of the surrounding countryside
Approaching the Cathedral
The wall is 2km all the way round and is the only unbroken Roman wall in Europe.

Come back soon for Part 2!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Too many things at once

I have been feeling very unproductive this week. The problem is that I have too many things and ideas on the go all at the same time! What do you do when this happens?
At the moment I have:
  • my crochet a-long blanket
  • crochet in general!
  • spinning wool and dyeing wool
  • needle felting bowls
  • ideas for needle felting fairy folk (need to get those started again!)
  • learning how to use a lucet
all going through my head. And last night I was lying in bed thinking how I could get some Youtube videos and teach myself KNITTING!!!
I really need to get myself a sketchbook or notebook otherwise I might creatively spontaneously combust!! Well, I feel better for getting that off my chest!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Power of the Internet!

What would you do if the Internet suddenly no longer exsisted? I was just thinking yesterday how much we rely on it. I for one, am addicted to it and it's proving to be pretty lethal with me now being able to connect from the flat! I could cope without a mobile phone and I would know what to do if I broke down on the motorway, but I would miss the Internet.

Skype is a lifesaver! I was on Skype with my nana yesterday. My Aunty and Uncle took her to my mum and dads and then for a day out to Blackpool, and I had a Skype chat with her! It was brilliant being able to see her and talk to her! I'd not seen her since Christmas! I don't think she had any idea how it was working - I just appeared on a screen to her! Skype has also played a part in me beating homesickness while I have been living in Spain!

The other thing which I am totally addicted to on the Internet at the moment is the BBC coverage of the Olympic torch relay. Here: you can watch a live stream of the torch being carried all over the place! I don't know why, but it is strangely addictive. I can't wait for it to get up north and it should go right past my house on it's way to Blackpool (but only in convoy!)

Will you be watching the Olympics? I can't wait for it. I love the Olympics. It's either a love it or hate it kind of thing I suppose. A lot of people I have asked say that they won't be watching it. But I think it's extra special when it's happening in your own country.
That's all for today!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Reclaiming wool

Hello! I have a post today about a mini project -or rather 'mission'- I have been working on over this weekend! Any other feltmakers, fibre artists or wool addicts out there might be interested!It started off with me having a sort out of my fibre stash when I came across a bag of oddments, scraps of wool and half felted pieces. These came from offcuts from past projects or experiements:

Not a lot could be done with these bits, so I set about tearing and pulling the bits apart! After about a couple of hours or so, I had a big pile of fluffy, reclaimed wool fibres:

One of the things I love about working with wool is that there is very little or no waste. All this reclaimed wool will be used for the bases of some needle felted bowls I have been making!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Bits and bobs and Broomsticks!

Hi! I hope it is as sunny and warm as it is in Galicia today! This is cool - I have got the internet in my flat now! Well, not technically! The ice cream shop / cafe downstairs has got wifi now and we can pick up the signal! It's very tempting to keep logging on and sit looking at craft stuff all day but then I will never get anything done!
Todays post doesn't really have any kind of theme to it! I have got a couple of things to blog about!
First, I was browsing the Stumbleupon website and 'stumbling my interests'. I found a crochet website and something called Broomstick Lace crochet which looks interesting but complicated. I might give this a go sometime:

The link to the website:

The other thing, keeping on with the crochet theme - see, I turned this post into one with no theme into a crochet theme post! - is that I might have found where I can get the Inside Crochet magazine online! You can buy copies in PDF format on a website called Yudu or something. I'm off to give that a try in a moment and if it works I will let you know tomorrow!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Sunshine and Spinning!

Finally! The sun has come out and we have warm spanish sunshine!! Hopefully it will last but you never know here! I suppose the Galician weather is similar to England here - it goes from one extreme to the other! I hope the warm weather does last because that will give me an excuse for a trip to Mango to get some summery clothes! I love the way Mango is so normal here. At home (that's the UK) everyone is like 'Oooh Mango' and you have to go to a big city to even find a Mango shop!

I also wanted to share some of my new obsession - spinning!! I got a drop spindle for my birthday last year but I have only just really started to get going with it. I have been watching multiple youtube videos and joined a spindle group on Ravelry. It's such a relaxing pastime and so satisfying when you end up with a skein of yarn at the end. Allbeit a mini skein in my beginners case, but it's handmade yarn all the same!
Using up bits of wool from my stash - so far I have done a few mini skeins:

I have tried merino, blue faced leicester wool, falkland and I have even managed to spin Wensleydale curls to make a type of art yarn. That is my favourite so far!
There are a few more bits to take pictures of so I will upload them soon!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Crochet blanket update!

Since the beginning of this year I have been taking part in the 2012 Block a month Crochet-along (BAM CAL) on Ravelry. I have been eagerly awaiting the new squares to be posted on the forum each month, and before I get started on this month's sqaures I want to show you what I have done so far.

Starting with the January sqaures:



and finally April:

None of the squares are joined yet, nor do I have a paticular colour scheme for this blanket. I just picked up a few balls of acrylic yarn from one of the multitude of Chinese hipermarkets round here! I am aiming to change one colour each month!
I am hoping to get two blankets out of the BAM CAL. I have a colour scheme for my second one in mind! Off to get started on my May squares now!

Friday, 20 April 2012

Back to blogging!

Two months since I last posted and vowed that I would try to keep up blogging! I now know that it is quite impossible to keep a blog going if you don’t have relatively easy access to the internet and you have to rely on unreliable internet at work or wifi cafes! When I was at home I could just
jump on the computer at any time and type away.I came across the blog publishing ‘thing’ in Microsoft Word and tried that but I keep getting error messages to say that my blogger account
can’t be registered! Anyway, I’m here now, third time lucky and let’s see if I can keep it going this time!

So, what have I been up to over the last couple of months? Apart from working and trying to acheive the impossible – that is trying to get Spanish 5 and 6 year olds to speak English! – I have been visiting Portugal, crocheting and I have become obsessed with spinning wool!
Since the weather has been like this for the last couple of weeks:

I have done more craft work than I ever have since moving to Lugo! We can’t complain about the weather as we have been extremely lucky. We chose one of the wettest places in Galicia to move to and this area has had one of the driest winters on record with some lovely and warm sunny days when everybody in the UK was shivering!

More crochet and spinning pictures to follow!

Monday, 13 February 2012

Crochet mania!

Hi! It's so hard to keep up with blogging when you don't have the internet at home and for some wierd reason, the internet at work only works on the school computers now! So I am having to resort to using wi-fi in cafes and I am spending a fortune and drinking far too much 'cafe con leche'!
I have been having a crochet-fest trying to catch up with the Ravelry Block-a-Month CAL! I just wanted to post about my progress with it so far!:

This is the first January 12 inch square completed.
And these are four of the 6 inch squares for February!
This '16 circles' square for the January 6 inch has been the most challenging so far!
I am really enjoying doing these sqaures! More pictures to come in the following few days!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year, Happy New Blog!!!

Happy New Year 2012!

Welcome to my new blog! In fact, it's not really a new blog, more like a re-start! For some reason a few months ago, Blogger went mental, and the whole layout of my blog went crazy. I tried deleting the blog, then undeleting it, but nothing I did would make it go back to normal. Only one thing for it was to make a New Year's resolution to get it up and running again!
I am going to try and keep this blog updated this year - I have missed being part of the bloggy world!
For now though - Happy New Year again! I hope 2012 will be a good year!