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Goat-y Adventures in Normandy

Goat evening everyone!

Some may say that I’m a bit animal-mad. ¬†‘Tis true, especially when considering my crafty love of yarn, so what better than a little trip to a Goat Farm on my recent holiday in Normandy?

La Grange au Mohair is based near Bernesq, a few miles west of Bayeux.  Mum and I decided to visit these lovely creatures and were not disappointed!

 

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Above are some of the friends we made, Cheeky Nose and Baby Face McGinty. ¬†They look cute, but really they are megalomaniacs-in-waiting, planning world domination… ¬†Don’t trust them!

Mme Glaise, who runs the farm, was very welcoming and offered a fascinating tour in perfect English (we started off in French but had to relent in the end!)  They keep the goats very well and they are happy to live out their retirements there in peace.

 

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Above is Baa Baa White Goat, a rather talkative personality, as you can see. ¬†She’s a bit of a gossip so make sure you don’t share anything too important with her, otherwise it will be all over the farm by sundown…

Unlike the cheap mohair, scratchy jumpers we all wore in the 80s (oh go on, admit it!) this beautiful yarn is sorted and carded by Mme, and as she explains, the ‘grey’ hair within the mix is the itchy part which is discarded. ¬†The yarn is then sent to the south of France and mixed with silk, spun and dyed. ¬†As well as selling the yarn, Mme makes clothes out of it, unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of these, too busy with my goaty pals!

 

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So, more Normandy adventures to follow over the weekend, and the Etsy shop plans are back on track now I’m feeling a bit brighter!

To finish, here are a few more of the characters I met over this lovely trip! ¬†They’ve definitely had their Goatibix.

 

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Compare and contrast, above left are the demure, reticent female and young goaties, above right and below are the boys.  Leering over the barriers and sticking their goaty noses out for attention.  Quelle surprise!

 

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Happy goating!

 

Lou x

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Knitting and Stitching Show Madness!

Well, it’s a week since I went to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia in London.

My Mum was kind enough to come up with me and left me with a little present in the form of a nasty cold!

So I’ve been feeling a bit sorry for myself, what better way to cheer myself up other than having a gander at the lovely stash that I brought home with me!

I don’t think I’ve ever been to Olympia before, for the uninitiated, it’s an exhibition centre in Kensington, West London. ¬†I love this old photo – much has changed in the area, but Olympia remains pretty much¬†as it is here.

 

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I was a bit remiss in taking photos on the day – blame my yarn obsession for that! ¬†As we arrived we only just¬†had time to book into a needle-felting class which began immediately… ¬†We were making a bee – mine wasn’t quite finished and a bit, erm, shall we call it ‘rustic’ so I haven’t taken a picture of it to post here!

As well as the expected¬†suppliers and manufacturers, there were a few fun surprises. ¬†The lovely people at Toft had brought their crochet jungle with them (sadly I didn’t get a picture!) full of monkeys crocheted by newcomers and experts alike – with funds and awareness-raising of Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital and Noah’s Ark Hospice.

Another fun thing was the Knitted Farm – some of the work was quite remarkable.

 

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This was a competition organised by the Show and the winners can be found here.

I was thrilled to see a stall there by Cats Protection РI worked for them for several years before I moved down to Wiltshire.  I also met up with an old friend who was manning the stall Рshe arrived just at the same time as I found the stall Рwhat a happy coincidence!

So, onto the really fun bit – all of the wool / yarn… ¬†I did go a bit mad, I had a budget and only slightly blew it! ¬†But what I did get was¬†such lovely and unique pieces and yarns which I have never seen before as well as some bargains…

Firstly my bargain yarns РI got four balls of Sirdar Escape DK as well as three balls each of King Cole Galaxy Chunky Рall for £20 Рbargaintastic!

 

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Next up is some beautiful yarn by the Japanese firm Noro – a gorgeous mixture of 45% Silk, 45% Kid Mohair and 10% Lambswool. ¬†The overcast weather here in Wiltshire has dampened the colours of this – it is absolutely glorious. ¬†The colourway is a mixture of blues, green, purple and yellows. ¬†I’ve wanted to try Noro yarns for ages – I have a great respect for the craft skills of the Japanese people. ¬†One day I hope to go to Nippori¬†in¬†Tokyo – my dream craft destination!

 

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This Debbie Bliss Winter Garden is a tweedy mix chunky yarn made from 30% Llama, 30% Merino Wool, 20% Silk and 20% Linen.  The colours are gorgeous Рrich purple and a russety conker colour.  Makes me think more of Autumn than Winter!

 

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These next yarns are made from recycled Sari silk and are such beautiful, vibrant shades, unfortunately again my overcast weather doesn’t really show them at their best! ¬†I’m looking forward to working out what I can do with these…

 

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Further rummaging was needed to find the next ones – by this point Mum had given up and gone home. ¬†I couldn’t resist these¬†from the Little Knitting Company – 80% Cotton and 20% Cashmere, they have the most lovely feel to them.

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Finally I went a little mad at the last knockings, buying (left) Debonnaire Silk/Lurex mix in jewel colours (regular readers will notice a pattern here!) from Ehdknits¬†and last, but certainly not least, my most favourite stall was Watercolours & Lace¬†– (right) – such wonderful hand-painted and dyed natural fibres. ¬†I bought two and then went back for another one – I couldn’t resist! ¬†I bought Cashmere Silk lace in the softest purples and blue-greens, a Baby Alpaca/Silk mix in soft rose pinks and at the back a Merino Fine Lace in gorgeous blue-purple, reminding me very much of Delphiniums.

This is such a beautiful shop, I heartily encourage you to seek them out at a Fair or even buy online. ¬†I can’t think of a more gorgeous range of quality yarns.

 

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So that was the sum total of my first Knitting and Stitching show – lots of beautiful wools and yarns to be going on with.

When is the next one!?!

Happy crafting

 

Lou x

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