Yarnscape’s Last Stand

In two weeks’ time I will be preparing for the second day of trading at Textiles in Focus – the first place Yarnscape ever had a trading stall, and quite possibly the last.

Yarnscape's first stand
Yarnscape’s first stand

(Five years ago!  Wow, how things have changed.  And how they have not, too)

At the end of last year, I started dyeing for sale again – and quickly stopped.  I’ve realised that it’s not something that’s compatible with having a full-time job and also pursuing fibre-y things for fun.  There are only so many hours in the day, after all!

I’m definitely looking forwards to my stall at TiF – it’s a local venue, and one of my favourites.  But I’m really, really nervous about getting ready.  I never had the sense to make a checklist for this stuff when I was doing it regularly, so I’m just going to have to hope I don’t forget anything! It’s been over 2.5 years since I had a stall, and though I know I’ll enjoy it when I’m there, I’m feeling slightly sick/anxious at the ‘preparation’ part.  I’ve moved house three times since that very wet weekend at Fibre East; what if I can’t find everything?  What if I forget some important stuff?!

Which is why I’m going to get as much as possible done today!  Wish me luck; local folks, I hope like anything to see you there.


Happy New Year!

May you all get everything you need, and most of what you want (as a wise person said on Ravelry today.  I can’t remember who; sorry!)

Many, many thanks to everyone who played along in my week-long competition; the correct answers were ‘Footsie-HT’ and ‘Delphinium’.  A couple of people got both right – well done! – but the winner of the draw is Jelibe!  Congratulations; I think new yarn is the perfect way to start off the new year.

Or I would, except I clearly have too much of the fuzzy stuff already.  The end-of-year stash roundup is too scary to post next to a winning competition announcement, so I’ll save it for later.

Footsie-HT, Delphinium

Merry Christmas!

Just a really short fly-by post to wish all you lovely people a very merry Christmas indeed. I hope you get to spend quality time with whoever is important to you – or to indulge in blissful solitude, if that is what you prefer.

A special mystery draw giveaway to my faithfullest readers: I’m giving away a skein of my own, hand-dyed yarn, type and colour not yet specified! To enter, comment on this post before midnight (UK time) on December 31… …and keep an eye out for ‘hint’ posts between now and then, too. You will have the opportunity to comment on those for ‘bonus’ entries into the draw!

I love having a blog here, and every comment brightens my day, even if I am really quite bad at replying on occasion! So thank you, and have a wonderful festive season.


Dropping balls

I’ve been dropping balls all over the place this last week: I owe parcels to several people, the blog is sadly neglected, and I haven’t even announced the winner of last Saturday’s giveaway yet!

I can plead nothing except my own over-optimistic scheduling tendencies, plus perhaps a little bit of seasonal fatigue: I love autumn and winter, I really do, but the slow mornings and the nights drawing in are tough on the energy levels.  Speaking of which, here’s a little something I read about this morning:

Emma at Silverpebble and Mrs ThriftyHousehold are running this series of tutorials and other great stuff to celebrate winter and all its wonders (Mrs TH is already a fan; Emma, less so).  I think I’ll be joining in, if I can.

Oh, and the winner of the club yarn?  Naomi!  Congrats, Naomi: I’ll be on to you for your address shortly.

Club memberships now available through Etsy!

Just a quick heads-up to let you know that Wheel of the Year Club memberships are now available through Etsy as well as from my own site.

The price to you is exactly the same, so you can now select whichever purchasing portal you prefer!

The one thing I cannot do through Etsy is sell subscriptions (i.e. payment by installments).  If you want to do that.. you have to buy direct from me.


On Saturday, I was inspired to go for a wander through my stash, and have a good cull of the stuff that is no longer inspiring to me, or is no longer an object of desire.  I now have an 80L box of stuff waiting for further destash action.

Let’s be clear, here: this is great yarn.  And fibre.  And fabric.  The dross was eliminated in some long-ago purge.  So I don’t want to give this stuff to charity or (shudder) just toss it, like I did with some of the early destashes. (Let’s face it: if a yarn really is too grim for the charity shop, it has no place in my stash!)

I have a couple of destash strategies in mind: one is the return of the Saturday Giveaway posts.  These were a lot of fun for me to do, but I ran out of organisational energy with them quite quickly.  Yarn and fabric will be easier to destash this way: no need to write a review, for one thing!

Also…  I’ve been playing with ways to host an online shop here on my website.  It occurs to me that a Destash Sale would be a perfect way to test out a kind of ‘beta’ online shop! So, just as soon as I get my bottom into gear and photograph some of my liberated belongings, we will have the Yarnscape Shop Beta, hosting Alison’s Destash Sale!



Affinity Yarns

(Just a quickie, cos I have to finish packing so I can go teach!)

Hey, guys, check it out!  I am featured today on the Affinity Yarns blog!

I’m delighted to announce that Affinity Yarns are the newest suppliers of Yarnscape hand-dyed yarns.  They currently have a good stock of Footsie, Footsie-HT, Dance, Lissom and all the remaining skeins of Bunnylace (currently in very short supply: grab it whilst you can!).  I’ve met up with Vandy and her husband Marc a couple of times now, and I have to say they are the most amazing people.  As well as running a delightful UK-based online yarn store, they have monthly charity open days with tea and homemade cake in their beautiful garden (which just happens to contain the yarn house!)

As if that weren’t enough, Vandy produces the most amazing watercolour paintings.  I am particularly fond of her strong use of colour (what a surprise!) and the remarkable sense of freedom that comes in a lot of her work.

89) Welcome!

Welcome to the new Yarnscape blog, and the new home of Yarninmypocket!

I’m still moving in around here; boxes to unpack, decorating to be done.  You know how it is.  But all my old posts are here, and the pages, too (though they’re currently harder to find).  C’mon in, grab a cup of tea, and say hi!

64) Re-entry

This week has flown by; it has been busy, and tumultuous, and exciting in ways I really didn't expect.  The hounds were very happy to see me return from my very-long weekend; Kita was able to finally relax properly, instead of waiting for me on the front door mat:


My weekend away included a phone call, last Friday lunchtime, to offer me a new job.  A new *office* job, in the same field that I'm currently working in, but with more freedom, more responsibility, more creativity.  Fewer contracted hours, but possibly more time actually working – we'll see.

What this means, is, hopefully a more fulfilling day job, but also more focus on my day job.  Did I mention creativity and responsibility?  Whilst working for other people??  Scary.  I don't know whether I'll be able to keep freelancing for pattern writers; I will certainly keep dyeing.  It's also had my brain in a whirl, and this morning, I had the weirdest, almost vision-like epiphany-moment as I was driving to work.  It was so compelling, so worth my continued thought,
that I even turned off my audio book so I could ponder it more directly.  (This is major.)

It is weird, definitely.  And rambly.  And definitely qualifies this post for the 'navel lint' category.  Anyone who comes here for the wool, the garden or the dog photos is perfectly free to click away now.  Anyone who wants a glimpse inside my brain is welcome to keep reading.

So.  I suddenly saw myself as a being who is waking up, such as after a long
hibernation, or perhaps as one emerging from a chrysalis, which also
includes a sense of transformation.  An especially lovely bit of this
was a sense that the extra weight I'm still carrying (not loads, but
some) can be seen as fuel for the rest of the transformation, just like
a seed carries energy with it, or an egg.

The CFS that I've suffered for almost four years now has, in truth,
felt like a hibernation at times; it has slowed me; changed my habits,
my way of being, my thoughts, my metabolism.  I used to be such a
morning person; now, I'm more like an early bee than an early bird. 
You can get me out of bed early, but it takes me ages to get warmed up
and off the ground!

But over time, too, I've cocooned myself in a whole bunch of beliefs
and thoughts, some of which were and probably still are true, others
are self-lies, or self-deception, others pure fantasy.  Somewhere in
there, there's a childish belief that I'm going to somehow be whisked
away to a glamorous existence where work is unnecessary, and that
whatever I do to bring in a paycheck now is temporary.  There are all
kinds of beliefs there; about my 'right' to have as many hobbies as I
like, and an infinite amount of time to pursue them; about my 'duty' to
be the best at (or at least very good at) everything, always (or no-one will love me); and there's
a long, twisting thread of self-doubt, all knotted together with a
rather strange perception of how others see me, and a belittling
approach to my standing in the adult world.  As I write this, I'm
seeing that thread particularly clearly; it is dark brownish-red, and
shiny, and branched, with knotted lumps in it.  It's rather beautiful,
actually; forming a strong, supportive net around and right through my
chrysalis, but also restricting my growth, and threatening to cut into
me like a too-small tie around a tree. It is holding in that collection
of stale, papery beliefs.  And oddly, there is a marked contrast
between the thread and the papers.  The papers seem to represent a high
level of self-belief and arrogance, but in a child's world.  The thread
holds them in, keeping me warm, safe and asleep, and stops me breaking
into confidence in an adult world.  It's almost as if I'm waiting for
someone to hand me a
certificate stating that yes, I am now a grown-up, entitled to my

So this thread forms a structure for my chrysalis, my safe place, and now I'm
seeing how restricting my safe place is. Some of those beliefs actually
stop me from achieving happiness: one of them seems to be telling me
that I've 'sold out' if I'm happy in a 9-to-5 job.  Although, you know,
if I look deeper, I think that's really a well-disguised fear.  I'm
scared that I'm not actually any good at that sort of job, and if I try
hard, I'll just get my heart broken.  Wow, that's a strong phrase, eh?

Now that I've found my chrysalis, and I'm pretty sure I don't want to stay here, what do I do next?  No-one is going to hand me that certificate; I need to
go and write it for myself.  No-one opens a chrysalis to let the butterfly out, either, or provides an alarm clock for hibernating bears.  I need to struggle a bit: stick my neck out, take risks,
in order to break free and disassemble this chrysalis.  Some of those papers
are precious, though.  What do I do with them?  Well, maybe I can make
a scrapbook out of those precious pieces.  The rest of them… well, in
real life, I recycle paper I no longer need, and I shred any pieces
with dangerous information on them.  So maybe I need to find an
equivalent way of dealing with these old 'psychological' papers.  As
for that net, well, I did say that it looks strong and supportive.  I
wonder if I can refashion it into something strong and comforting
without being restricting?  A hammock, perhaps?

So very behind…

I am so very behind with my blogging.  I have SCA photos, knitting updates, the mystery crochet project, dyed yarn – you name it.

I've composed many, many blog posts in my head, but the time to actually type them seems to be lacking.  And – here's the thing – I hate photoless posts.  And I accidentally removed my photo editing software from my laptop in a fit of overzealous house-keeping a few months ago.

I didn't like it anyway.  But my camera takes dark photos, which are all but useless for my bloggy purposes.

I'm currently downloading The GIMP – which is **free!!** – just to see if I can get on with it.  So.  A pictureless blog post to tell you that I hate pictureless blog posts, but I'm downloading picture-software to fix the whole problem.

Right.  Bedtime.

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