Off The Shelf...

I try to maintain a blog, it doesn't come easily to me so I'm not that prolific!
Here I am at Off The Shelf - LoobyLou's Blog.

You can also find me at www.loobylouofftheshelf.blogspot.com

Daphne

Monday, October 23rd, 2017

This is a long one. We have had a bit of a traumatic time with the Alpacas lately, resulting in us losing our wonderful Daphne to heart disease .... One Saturday evening, having been fine all day, Daphne started heavy breathing with flared nostrils. Concerned, I sent a video to Emma (my Alpaca Guru) who thought that she may have been stressed by something, so the opinion was to leave her quiet and warm overnight and see what the morning would bring. Sure enough in the morning Daphne was up and about, fighting for the food, hay and attention as normal. Phew - I was relieved she was ok. But not so. Later that afternoon she started to breathe with difficulty, making…

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My first Etsy Sale - Yikes!

Thursday, July 6th, 2017

Yesterday I had my first sale on Etsy - a lady in America bought 4 skeins of my hand spun yarn, shown in the photos below. I am so happy that she liked it enough to buy it as I think it's beautiful, but I am so nervous about whether she will like it as much when she actually gets it! The reason I am so nervous is that to me, every skein I hand spin is quite a personal thing - so much goes into it from blending, carding, spinning, skeining, washing, drying, labelling and marketing that I love them all, but I am obviously biased because they are mine! I also know all the little imperfections, which to me…

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Debs Wool Shop and Llandeilo

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

When I moved to Wales, one of my first priorities was to find a good wool shop that was close by. Not that I need to buy more wool as a) I have massive stash and b) I have accounts with most of my favourite suppliers so I can get wool when ever I want it - but I wanted to see if I could find a wool shop that was much like the one I left behind. I think I had created a shop where people felt comfortable wandering about, could pop in for a chat and a cuppa and one where people wanted to go back to again because they liked it a lot. So I went to one…

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West Yorkshire Spinners

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

Just thought I'd post a little bit about my favourite yarn company, West Yorkshire Spinners. When I opened my wool shop back in 2012, I found this company and began to stock their products. Back then there was only a handful of yarns to choose from, but I loved their Bluefaced Leicester Roving and the Aire Valley Fusions Aran and always kept some on the shelf. Since then, WYS has gone from strength to strength and now produce a much wider range of yarns (I'm sure we are all aware of and have probably knitted with their fantastic Signature 4 ply). Everything is produced in their own factory in Yorkshire, with fibre sourced mainly from the UK - a huge plus…

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From Shearing to Shawl...

Monday, June 19th, 2017

Last year, I became the proud owner of three Alpacas and before I brought them home, I helped out with their shearing at Bird Farm Alpacas. I had great fun getting hands on with them, and to top it all I came away with their fleeces to process. I started with Daphne's fleece, and when I began to sort it, I found a fair amount of a lovely peachy beige fleece amongst the white - when she came to live with me I realised she had a golden patch on her back which had given me this lovely colour. So I picked it out and processed it separately, and ended up with a lovely big batt of honey coloured soft fluffy…

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Handspun yarns

Monday, March 27th, 2017

I've been spinning quite a bit lately, and the more I spin the more I love doing it. Its so rhythmic and gentle that you can't help relax and enjoy it. I can even watch a little bit of TV now, once I've got used to the feel of the fibre and how its spinning up. I just thought I'd share with you some of my latest creations. Probably two years ago I went to a show and bought a bag full of odds and ends of Merino - I had no idea what was inside the sealed bag but it was going fairly cheap and I couldn't leave it there. Since then it has sat on a shelf in…

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A new home for the fluffy ones...

Friday, March 10th, 2017

So my Alpacas came to live with me last August, in my own little field at the back of the house which was just amazing to be able to go down the path and be there with them. I really was living my dream! Unfortunately, the water board dug up the road in front of us and this seems to have changed the water drainage from the mountain and now my little piece of heaven is a flooded muddy brown slippery mess that is not capable of sustaining any sort of livestock on it. I had to move the Alpacas pretty quickly as I was concerned about them slipping and hurting themselves and so managed to get a field just…

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I've been spinning...

Monday, March 6th, 2017

At last things are beginning to settle down and I have found some time to spin. I've had a lovely stash of fibre just waiting for ages to be made into yarn, so I have been totally in my element making a dent in it - I'm about a quarter of the way through and am determined to get it all done before we get some dry weather, as then I will be making a start on my alpaca fleeces, and once I start on them I doubt I will have time for anything else for a while. I have decided through my choice of fibres to spin that I have quite a colourful taste - although a lot of them don't…

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Some Spinning....finally!

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

At last I have found some time to sit down and concentrate on some spinning. Its only when I actually get some serious spinning time in that I realise just how much I miss it when I'm not doing it! I had a beautiful batt of peacock blue fibre mixed with black, purple and sparkly that I have been looking at longingly since I bought it - and when I started spinning it I was delighted with the effect I was seeing on my bobbin. Sometimes you lose a lot of the vibrancy of the colours, but this one was spinning up beautifully. The finished item is just lovely. I don't profess to be an expert spinner and my yarns are…

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Autumn the Alpaca

Friday, February 17th, 2017

This is Autumn, my Alpaca. Autumn and Daphne came me to live with me last August from Bird Farm Alpacas in Lampeter. I have known Emma and Rodney for some time and when I moved to Wales, only an hour from where they live I visited regularly and decided I wanted some Alpacas of my own. After lots of thought, meeting and greeting and discussions with Emma, I chose these two ladies. Autumn has a skin condition where she loses hair on her ears, legs, nose and eyes and despite years of tests, treatment, trials and medicines by Emma she still had bald ears and puffy eyelids and a bald spot on her nose (see photos below - you can…

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