February 2017

Are you an emotional person, with lots of ups and downs, or do you enjoy a calm, placid existence as you sail through life?
A rather unique way of recording your moods and reflecting on what is making you happy (so you can do more of it) is to create a ‘moody blanket’.

The Moody Blanket pattern has been designed by the inspiring Jem Weston, enabling you to create a unique visual diary of your emotional life for six months or a year- all using gorgeous Almerino DK yarn by Rooster! Every week you will knit one square, and every day you’ll choose a colour based on your mood, so some squares will be stripey and some may be plain; what an intriguing concept!

You can knit a small blanket made from 24 squares in six months, or a large one with 48 squares over the course of a year. And either way, you get a beautifully cosy blanket at the end of it. I got really enthusiastic and stocked up on 14 lovely shades, so do pop into the Coco Alpacas shop and join in the project!
There are two colourways to choose from – Moody Blues or Purple Haze, and each has five shades to represent different moods. Almerino DK is a super-soft, toasty-warm blend of Alpaca and Merino wool- what could be more luxurious? It’s an enjoyable way to forget the winter blues and treat yourself to something extra-special.

The shop has been predictably quiet during January, but there’s always plenty to do on the animal husbandry side. All the alpacas have acquired wonderfully thick fleeces now and are very happy whenever the weather is crisp and cold.
Compared to the mild, wet weather of last year, this winter has been very dry. The herd are munching through a couple of bales of hay every day, so I’m waiting for Spring when the grass starts to grow and my bank balance can make a comeback!

I’ve acquired two rescue ponies from Bransby Horse Rescue centre, near Leominster in Herefordshire. They are Welsh Mountain ponies called Charlie and Tinka and their role is to eat the long grass and the rough stuff which the alpacas won’t eat. Charlie and Tinka are very sweet and have settled into their new surroundings very well.

A busy time looms ahead: I’ve got a slot booked with Border Mill, who process my fleeces, so I need to get a batch ready in the next few weeks. This is not an enviable job. It has to be done outside so that I can shake any debris out of the fleeces – it’s definitely a day to parade around in my alpaca wool garments and accessories!

Due to illness, we had to cancel the drop spindle workshop on January 25 and it’s now been moved to Wednesday, February 22 (instead of the weaving workshop). We will reschedule the weaving workshop to a later date.

If you’d like to catch me at Ludlow or Shrewsbury markets, I’ll be starting at Ludlow Farmer’s Market this coming Thursday, February 9, and will be doing the second Thursday each month from now on. I’ll also be at Shrewsbury market on the first Friday of the month.

Dates for February

Thursday, February 9 – Ludlow Farmer’s Market, 9am – 2pm

Wednesday, February 22 – Drop Spindle workshop with Fiona Nisbet, 10.30am – 2.30 pm

Every Tuesday 4.30 – 6.30 pm – Knit & Natter at the shop.
As well as knit & Natter there is help available if you have any problems or questions about your projects or advice on starting something new.

Keep warm until next time!
Best wishes,