Blog

Spring has Sprung

Hi again. Another month goes by and it’s time for me to put on my thinking cap and try to remember what has been going on in the life of Moulin Yarns.

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Last month it was all about the icy weather, this month there is a bit more colour in the world as first the snowdrops, then crocus and finally daffodils all burst open. Lovely big queen bumblebees are buzzing about finding food and places to build their nests. The birds are also active with nest building, blue tits and sparrows are making homes in the nest boxes, and all the birds are eating me out of house and home!!

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Other signs of life in the garden that I came across were a couple of amorous amphibians who were bound together for at least three days in the pond, although there is no frog spawn left behind!

May be an image of nature

The vegetable patches are dug over and weeded ready for planting, potatoes are chitting and seeds are germinating in the greenhouse. The garden furniture has all had a lick of paint or teak oil as necessary and my neighbour’s gardenenr actually cut their grass this week!!! Spring has definitely arrived. Which reminds me, the clocks go forward this weekend. YAY! one less hour in bed!

On the yarn front I’m glad to confirm that Perthshire Open Studios will be a physical event from 4th to 12th September and I will be in my studio ready to welcome customers and other visitors over that week, all within Covid guidance of course. I also hear that some other physical events, such as music festivals are planned to go ahead in September, so fingers crossed that we are getting back to some kind of normal.

Before Perthshire Open Studios I will be trial opening the studio a few days a week to see how things work and give me time to sort out any glitches. More information will appear here, and on my events page in the near future, with non-essential shops being opened from 26th April I am aiming to welcom customers from May.

https://www.perthshireopenstudios.com/

In other news, the Pitlochry and Moulin Heritage Trust that runs a small local museum will also open from the end of June, and I can be found there most Monday afternoons giving spinning demonstrations. Moulin had a busy linen industry back in the day.

https://www.pitlochryandmoulinheritagecentre.co.uk/?fbclid=IwAR0ACy10d8P4LDaqIIw3o6EYved-w72AVMZLI8VeQNPGvmYjz2NlkiLLE8s

As I write this the snow has started!! So I will sign off with the news that I will extend the offer of 15% discount in my online shop until April 26th, the date that shops can reopen, to allow you to grab a bargain.

Until next month and my next ramblings,

Happy crafting,

David

February, almost a Month of Snow!

Hello there Yarny people, how was February for you? We are still in Coronovirus lockdown here in Highland Perthshire, like most of the country, Europe and the world! The weather has been a bit crazy this past month with freezing temperatures for almost a whole month, with a fair bit of snow thrown in. Loch Faskally was frozen, something that doesn’t happen very often. We got a delivery of logs which was very welcome but it takes a good few hours to move and stack 3 cubic metres of logs!!

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A Frozen Loch Faskally, Pitlochry

Now, at the end of February the weather is decidedly springlike, with bulbs starting to flower and the birds singing and begininning to build nests. I have been able to keep busy in the garden pruning, digging over the veg patch and cleaning and preparing the greenhouse for the season ahead. A new wildflower meadow has been prepared and sown where there was previously a scrubby patch of ground. I’m looking forward to it flowering later in the year.

Filling the bird feeders has been an almost daily task, house sparrows are in abundance, but there are also robins, bluetits, greenfinches and goldfinches constantly emptying the various feeders.

In crafty news I’ve been mainly knitting, with a bit of tapestry thrown in, and finished several projects over the past year, learning new techniques along the way. I particularly enjoyed knitting a shawl and hat that both used German Short Row Shaping in them. The shawl is ‘Ropedance’ by Melanie Berg and the hat is Azula by Wooly Wormhead.

Now, at the end of February the weather is decidedly springlike, with bulbs starting to flower and the birds singing and begininning to build nests. I have been able to keep busy in the garden pruning, digging over the veg patch and cleaning and preparing the greenhouse for the season ahead. A new wildflower meadow has been prepared and sown where there was previously a scrubby patch of ground. I’m looking forward to it flowering later in the year.

Filling the bird feeders has been an almost daily task, house sparrows are in abundance, but there are also robins, bluetits, greenfinches and goldfinches constantly emptying the various feeders.

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Ropedance Shawl, pattern by Melanie Berg.
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Azula hat, pattern by Wooly Wormhead

My current project is a colourwork sweater by Isabell Kraemer which is coming along fairly quickly, and with a few rainy days to stop me getting in the garden I will hopefully have it finished to show you the next time I talk to you. KnittingMayhem keeps nagging me to do some more spinning to reduce my stash of fibre, but to be honest there are unlikely to be any physical events before summer, although the good news is Perthshire Open Studios will be going ahead from 4th to 12th September where you will be able to visit me (and lots of other crafters) in our studios. In the meantime, if anyone is wanting to give me an excuse to do more spinning and dyeing I will be offering a discount of 15% of all purchases during the month of March from the online shop by using the code BLOG15 at the checkout.

Finally, I am pleased to announce that a small selection of yarn is now available at Handam Refill Station in Pitlochry and Aberfeldy.

Until next time at the end of March, whatever your particluar craft is,

Happy Crafting,

David

2020 – What a Year That Wasn’t

I thought I would try and write a blog every month, and this first one is going to look back on the last year.

At the end of 2019 I took delivery of a custom spun yarn produced from fleece aquired around Perthshire and thought, properly marketed, this would do well selling to tourists visiting Perthshire. Little did any of us know what 2020 would bring.

I was lookin forward to participating at a number of yarn shows, as in previous years I registered for Aberdeen Yarn Fest and Loch Ness Knit Fest along with a first time at Wool@Portsoy and Woolness. First off, Aberdeen Yarn Fest was cancelled due to a problem with the venue being sold, then Loch Ness Knit Fest was cancelled as they lost a major sponsor. Oh well, that still left Woolness and Portsoy. Wolloness became the next victim, I think due to personal issues. All of this happened at the very beginning of 2020 but there were still regular monthly craft fairs to look forward to, Dundee Ministry of Craft, Aberfeldy Arts and Crafts, Dunkeld Craft Collective and Logierait Farmers Market. Aye right! Logierait decided to cancel due to some problems that occurred in 2019. Instead I applied to the Pitlochry Outdoor Market.

That should keep me busy at least, but before that there was a short break to be had in Argyll at the end of March, 23rd to be precise. During March there was a lot of talk of a virus that had come to light in China at the end of 2019, and it was appearing in the north of Italy. The first cases started to appear in the UK and the governments began closing things down, schools, and gatherings then the announcement on the 23rd of March that the country would go into lockdown for a mininimum of 3 weeks. That put any ideas of going to Argyll on the back burner.

Fortunately we were enjoying a period of good weather and we were allowed, and actually encouraged, to go out and get some excercise, the road past the house has never seen so many people walking . The good weather encouraged me to get out and about and get into the garden and big plans were hatched to build a studio. Lockdown was extended at 3 week intervals with eventual easing at the beginning of July, a full 3 months after it started. In that time a pond was emptied and relocated, the old pond filled in, and area cleared of shrubs, leveled and prepared for the studio. The studio arrived in kit form, a log cabin construction and I built it over a period of 4 days, in June when the temperatures soared into the mid 30 degrees celcius. If anyone wants to lose weight, just saying!

With no events happening in the first half of 2020 there was little dyeing taking place, the only new thing was sets of rainbow mini skeins. These proved to be popular once markets started and I participated at the Pitlochry Open Market.

Colourwork sweater using rainbow mini set (Knitted by Lindsay Robertson)
Colourwork cowl using rainbow mini set (Knitted by Lindsay Robertson)

I hope that you have enjoyed this first blog and I look forward to bringing you more musings in the coming months.

Bye for now,

David

Kinnaird Farmhouse, Pitlochry, Perthshire, PH16 5JL 07756797411 davidw.kinnaird@btopenworld.com Not open to visitors. See list of events to find where we will be selling
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