All a bit quiet, but still here! (plus shop update news)

Oooh, it’s been rather a long time since the last post! It’s all been a bit busy here as Fleece Cottage has become something of a building site over the last 3 months. Our cosy cottage is expanding to become a forever family home, with the added bonus of increased dyeing space! The downside has been that shop updates have had to be scaled back a bit while we get through this phase, so I hope you’ll bear with me for the time being.

The good news is that the next shop update will be this Wednesday (21st May, 8pm BST) and there will be lots of summery silks to complement the beautiful warm weather we’ve been having.

In the meantime, if there is a particular yarny dream that you have in mind, you can always request a custom order. Here are a couple of the custom orders that I’ve dyed recently:

‘A Shade of Ice’ Cashmere/Silk 4ply custom order

This luxurious cashmere/silk blend 4ply was dyed for a snowflakes and icicles themed shawl and the customer wanted a pale and chilly ice-blue for their project. There’s some more of this gorgeous yarn in a pearl grey colour in the shop at the moment…

‘Slowly eating custard pudding’ Merino DK custom order

At the other end of the scale, this cheerful and sunny bright yellow DK was dyed for a customer to make her little yellow-loving son a new tank top. The skeins were named ‘Slowly eating custard pudding’ from one of Edward Lear’s nonsense poems.

If you are interested in commissioning a custom yarn, do get in touch with me via the Etsy shop (there’s a ‘request custom order’ button on the left sidebar of the shop).

Anyway, the latest skeins for Wednesday’s update having been drying in the sun and I’ll be back soon to share some more works-in-progress with you…

 

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Shop Update: March Flowers

Where does the time go? Time for another shop update – Wednesday 19th March at 7pm GMT (slightly earlier than the usual 8pm slot!).

This month’s skeins are themed around March flowers – an injection of colour after the cool neutral shades of February. Along with some merino/silk and pure silk laceweights, there are also two new bases which I’m very excited about. The first is a gorgeous pure mulberry silk 4ply/fingering – I’ve been hunting for a nice silk 4ply for a while, so I can’t wait to see what you think of this! The second new base is a merino/nylon sock yarn which will be perfect for projects that need to be a little bit more hardwearing – gloves, socks, children’s clothes etc.

So here is the sneak preview…

Here are the lovely pure silk 4ply skeins:

Matching sets of mulberry silk 4ply

This base has a lovely even twist and has a nice weight to it but please note that these are 50g skeins, not 100g!

And the sock yarns (with a cameo from a merino/silk laceweight too):

There are more skeins on the drying rack, so this is only part of what will be in the update – hope to see you there!

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Shop update day: February Skies and Valentine’s Day

This week’s shop update (Thursday 13th Feb, 8pm GMT) is a game of two halves. The majority of the newly dyed yarn is themed around “February Skies”, a range of hazy greys, blues and purples. The colours represent the subtle hues in the changing winter skies and there are some beautiful silks in the ‘pale and interesting’ vein:

L-R: Tussah Silk Lace in “The winter has chilled my veins”, Tussah Silk Lace in “The marsh is frozen” and Mulberry Silk Lace in “The winter has chilled my veins”

And moving more towards twilight skies, there are a couple of skeins in complex dusky blues:

L-R: Tussah Silk Lace in “Cold evening glow” and Mulberry Silk Lace in “Wild night sky”

We also have a gorgeous and luxurious new yarn base – a fingering yarn which is 70% cashmere and 30% silk. Please note that this base comes in 50g skeins, rather than 100g! Beautifully soft with a silky sheen, the three skeins here are a matching set in a mother of pearl silvery-pink:

Cashmere/Silk Fingering in “Another song of February”

In case it was all getting a bit too chilly with the ‘February Skies’ theme, there are bold, rich reds and purples for Valentine’s Day! The colours below are also available in Tussah Silk Lace.

From top: Both Mulberry Silk Lace in “Look in thy heart” and “Red red rose”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So with spring just around the corner, let’s celebrate February’s colours before they fade – see you Thursday!

 

 

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Gossamer threads

I can’t say that I’ve ever been intimidated by yarn before, but this one certainly is pretty scary…

This is Phoenix by The Gossamer Web, a lovely Etsy shop that sells beautiful hand dyed ultra-thin lace yarns. To show you just how fine it is, here’s a pic with a penny to show the scale. The Phoenix is a gorgeous rich blue with flashes of green.

The Gossamer Web Phoenix 2/52 in ‘Lapis’

The pale silvery lilac yarn next to it is Fleece Cottage Yarns Mulberry Silk, a mere 900m per 100g. The Phoenix is 2600m per 100g – almost 3 times finer… There aren’t that many sources of gossamer yarn in the UK and it’s not one I’m planning on adding to the Fleece Cottage repertoire (!) so I’m very pleased to have tracked this skein down. It’s a blend of merino, silk and cashmere, so hopefully it will have the elasticity needed for Shetland lace but will still hold the blocking nicely due to the silk. I’m going to try it with 2mm needles, but may have to go down to 1.75mm.

The pattern I have in mind for this is Sharon Miller’s Love Darg Prize Shawl, which will be my first gossamer Shetland project (a big tick for the New Year’s resolutions list!). A darg is an old Scottish word for the work produced over a day and ‘love darg’ became the name of the craft competition run by early 1900s magazine, The People’s Friend (the source of this pattern).

My first challenge is try and stop reading the pattern title as ‘Love Dawg’….

Taking a deep breath and off to try and wind the Phoenix – let’s see how I get on…

 

 

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Fleece Cottage Yarns Finished Projects: Hang-head bluebell shawl

I just had to show you this exquisite Estonian lace shawl that Dagmara of DagnyKnits has made in Fleece Cottage Yarns Merino/Silk Lace.
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The colourway is ‘Hang-head bluebell’ and I think the subtle colour really complements the intricate design.

This beautifully knitted shawl features traditional Estonian blossom lace patterns and star stitch lace. Dagmara has a whole selection of wonderful lace work in her Etsy shop – go and check her out!

Fleece Cottage Yarns is completely sold out of Merino/Silk Lace yarns at the moment, but more will be coming into stock very soon (update day will be announced on the shop’s webpage), or you can always request a custom order!

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Update day coming soon: Ready, steady…

It’s nearly update day for the Fleece Cottage Yarns Etsy shop! Lots of silk laceweights (mulberry and Tussah) are currently being wound and will be landing on the shelves at 8pm on Wednesday 29th January (UK time).

But first, a little sneak preview before they go off for their beauty shots…

Partway through reskeining…

Here are the mulberry silks:

Left to right: Glowing ruby (actually a merino/silk lace skein that’s sneaked into the update!); A swarm of golden bees; Cold northern moon; Messenger at midnight; A girdle of pearl; The approach of twilight

And the Tussah silks:

Clockwise from bottom: Snow and roses; First faint winter’s dawn; Rosy-fingered dawn; East through the wintry sea; Been inside a river for quite a long time

There’ll be a couple more to join them once they’ve finished drying off.

At this point I should mention that there is going to be a slight increase in the prices of the yarns in shop. The silk laceweights will go up from £13 to £15. As demand for the yarns has really taken off, I’m spending a lot more time on the shop and have to take into account the associated running costs – I hope you understand!

Instead of fiddling with the prices bit by bit over the next few months, I thought it would be best to do the increase in one go so it’s out of the way and everyone knows where they are.

In return, I’m going to be doing some promotions and giveaways over the next few months so there’s lots to look forward to!

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New toy

We’re gonna need a bigger boat dyepot…

Say hello to my new toy! The yarn has been flying off the virtual shelves in the shop, so we’re scaling things up!

Big beast of a dyepot

At the moment I’ve been rather limited in the number of skeins I can dye at any one time by the size of the pan – but this big beast will definitely increase the batch size. It holds just over 15 litres so I’m hoping I’ll be able to fit sweater quantities of yarn in there, as well as doing bigger batches of the laceweights too.

I’m working on the February update at the moment and it’s going to be jam-packed with silk laceweights.

First though, I’m working on a custom dye job for my chum The Button Ship (check out her cute crochet patterns!), testing out some merino DK. I’ve been messing around with some cobweb and gossamer yarn, and now DK seems satisfyingly chunky!

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