February Frolics

It might be a short month but February seems to have been a busy one! It was book-ended with snow and storms but was also quite productive here at Moulin Yarns.

A little bit of snow in the garden

A fair bit of DIY happened this month. So did lots of seed sowing and pricking out of seedlings in the greenhouse, looks like I will be eating lots of vegetables this year! Tomatoes, Brussel sprouts and Cauliflower in abundance, as well as herbs and salad leaves.

I had a lovely message from someone in Somerset who had knitted a scarf using some of my yarn during the month, the first thing they wanted to know was if there was anything special they needed to do when blocking because it was hand-dyed yarn. But the really nice thing was it was yarn she had received as a Christmas present and they were so happy with the way it turned out. The yarn in question is called ‘Remember, Remember’ and is the colours you would find in a bonfire, with yellows, oranges and reds with black for the ash. And it sparkles!!

Shawl knitted from ‘Remember, remember’ by Louise from Somerset

In the middle of the month I was contacted by a former work colleague who is nanny to twin girls. One of them has started to crochet and she wondered if I would show her a bit of spinning and dyeing, so we arranged a date. They came, spent about 3 hours and went away with some mini-skeins that she had dyed herself. First of all she chose some colours and we dyed a nice tonal fuschia pink together. We then tried speckled yarn which she was happy to do almost all on her own. I liked the results myself and may even reproduce it as colourway named after her – Paige turner!!

Applying sprinkles to yarn
Happy with the finished rusults
The Paige turner colourways

Of course, once I had shown her my dyeing techniques she wanted to see how yarn is spun, so over coffee and biscuits I explained the process, something that they will get the chance to try the next time they visit.

Because I had the dyes out anyway I dyed up some of the yarn stock for myself, some mohair silk-weight which will match other yarns in my stock when the shop reopens in spring, in time for Easter.

Mohair silk coming to the shop soon.

In other news, unfortunately there won’t be any Perthshire Open Studios this year as they couldn’t find enough people willing to step up to run it after the current committee were retiring, but it isn’t all bad news, we will be at craft fairs again this year!! The Aberfeldy Arts and Crafts Market will be happening along with the Farmers market on the first Sunday of the months from April to October. On those days the studio will be closed but I’ll keep you up to date with the dates on the website.

Until next month, happy crafting.

A New Year, New Yarns

A belated happy new year to you. The newsletter is a bit sparse this time because, you know, Covid! We have managed to escape the virus (touch wood) up here at Moulin Yarns Towers and life went along at a slow pace over the last few months.

2021 saw the opening of Moulin Yarns Studio Shop at Kinnaird near Pitlochry. It was not what I’d planned, but with very few Yarn Shows happening it was a worthwhile decision to open the studio to customers last summer. Autumn and winter naturally reduced the number of visitors so the shop went into hibernation at the end of October. Now, at the beginning of 2022, I am planning to provide some new yarns, including mohair, something that seems to be very popular at the moment, (often held together with another yarn).

The plan is to open the studio again when it gets warmer in April, in time for Easter, and the new yarns will be available then. Meanwhile I will be busy looking for inspiration and dyeing yarn. Something I am thinking of doing is using some more natural dyes, using things found in the garden. I have walnuts, nettles, tansy, mahonia and cherry wood, the latter as a result of Storm Arwen!! That will be dark brown, green, yellow and orange I think, but as they are natural materials they will be available in limited editions. What do you think?

I mentioned Storm Arwen, well it brought down a large Gean tree (Prunus avium) and parts of an Oak and a Purple leaved plum tree in the garden as well as damaging a couple of apple trees. It has kept me busy the past few weeks clearing the branches and sawing logs. Not that I feel much fitter after all that exercise, but my joints certainly complained!!

Storm Arwen damage

I’m knitting a sweater just now, the pattern is called Sjobris by Drops Design (https://www.garnstudio.com/pattern.php?id=10266&cid=19) . It is an enjoyable knit with a simple pattern of knit all stitches on one row and alternate knit and purl stitches on the next row. A simple pattern that is creating a nice texture. (I think it’s called a broken rib pattern). As you can see It has broad stripes of light grey and teal.

Sjobris Sweater

I treated myself to an advent calendar of fibres for spinning from World of Wool https://www.worldofwool.co.uk/ and intend to try different spinning techniques, although it is difficult to train your hands to do something other than a consistent short draw which is my main go-to spinning method. There are some lovely fibres to spin so I’m looking forward to more spinning in the year ahead. Pop into the studio for spinning demonstrations if you can.

Floof Advent Calendar

In other news, I have helped with a kickstarter for a fellow yarn dyer, Katie Seal who runs Sealy MacWheely https://sealymacwheely.com/ to help her get her bricks and mortar shop of the ground in Kirkintilloch. The reward for the kickstarter was two lovely zodiac inspired skeins of yarn and a pin badge.

Sealy MacWheely Zodiac Yarn

We did manage two holidays at the end of 2021, Ironbridge in Shropshire, with a visit to Shrewsbury and Wool@J13 among the highlights, and Bellingham in Northumberland for a New Year getaway.

Ironbridge

I hope to post towards the end of every month, but I’m not going to make any promises. So until next month, happy crafting.

Kinnaird Farmhouse, Pitlochry, Perthshire, PH16 5JL 07756797411 davidw.kinnaird@btopenworld.com April and May: Open to visitors, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11am to 3pm. June to September: Open to visitors, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11am to 3pm. except when there are craft fairs (see Events listings) or by appointment. See events listing for other locations where we will be selling. Closed October to March.