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Tuesday, 1 April 2014


 The crocheted spring flowers workshop was a brilliant way to wave goodbye to winter and welcome the longer days and warmer weather to Alder Carr Farm! We put the clocks forward Saturday night and when I came to work at the shop on Sunday this cheery floral garland greeted me, thank you Joanne!
 As we tidied up after the workshops Joanne told me that this flower pattern was the first one she had written, it looks beautiful hanging outside HH HQ! Joanne is back on the afternoon of Saturday 12th April to do some Vintage Style Lacy Edgings, she talks a bit about vintage lace here on her blog Not So Granny...if there is enough call for it she will also do a beginners class that morning - crochet is a lovely way to add detail to handmade and ready made items!

We used the gorgeous hand dyed yarns below with the shades coming from both plant dyes and chalk paint! Chalk paint dyeing is a bit of a new venture as usually we pick seasonal plants like the reeds and use those to dye both silk and yarn but my friend Julie of Sweetpea and Vintagen Needham Market High Street uses these paints on furniture and recently dyed a tablecloth with some so...intrigued I had to give it a try!
 I will be doing some more as the colours are so pretty, it's not messy at all and colour fast - you don't even need much paint! Watch out for additions to the natural dyeing workshops later in the year!
Much more messy but soooo satisfying was the Bathbombs and Balms Workshop - again plants from the allotment played their part with dried cornflowers, marigold petals and lavender buds adorning the fragrant concoctions!
 We're still sock knitting even as the weather gets better, even Jenny now that we've tempted her with the new in stock West Yorkshire Spinners yarns! With great names like Wood Pigeon and Butterscotch and 75% British wool content they are FAB to knit with and will feature in our sock knitting course on three Sundays in June 6th, 13th and 20th 11-3 and £60 for the three sessions, yarn and needles included along with the needles!
 Nothing is wasted...Joanne suggested I hang the waste scraps of yarn amongst the trees so that the birds can make good use of them - watch out for some colourfiul nests around!
 When life gets stupid busy and I struggle to deal with the effects of either Rheumatoid/Psoriatic Arthritis and/or the side effects of the treatment for the disease (today I'm deaf and yesterday I was sick and dog tired...) I find that the twice daily visits to the allotment help and this year the winter has been so mild that everything is blooming already!

 Plants will grow anywhere...even with my random planting, weeding and watering manner the Woad plants have survived the Cabbage White invasion of last year and are now in flower - looking good for harvesting some seeds! Looking forward to to doing some dyeing workshops with these this year...
 I met a lovely lady recently whilst wandering around the Country Living Spring Fair, Pam is in Wales and uses plants in her artwork - dyeing with them, spinning yarn from nettles, making cakes and finding inspiration from nature, her work is beautiful and I may just have had to purchase some fleece from her....*ahem* as if there isn't enough round here already!

While we're on fleece...

Some of the creations from Jenny's Needle Felting Workshop - another one is on this Saturday, let's see what we come up with there!

Up to date workshop list.

Saturday 5th April Needle Felting 11-3 £35 - three spaces left

Saturday 12th April Crochet Vintage Style Lacy edgings 11-3 £35 - four spaces left

Sunday 13th April Indigo Dyeing including Batik 11-3 £35 - four spaces left

Easter Sunday Free Motion Machine Embroidery 11-3 £35 - two spaces left

Saturday 26th April Needle Felted Garland 11-3 £35 - four spaces left

Sunday 4th May 11-3 £35 Indigo, Batik £35 - three spaces left

Saturday 3rd May Knitting in the round with double pointed needles 11-3 £35 - three spaces left

Friday 16th May as above

Sunday 18th May Fabric printing 11-3 £35 three spaces left

Friday 23rd May Needle Felting - Bunny 11-3 £35

Sunday 25th May Invitation/memo boards 11-3 £35

Sunday 8th June Natural Dyeing, all about mordants 11-3 £35

Sunday 15th Needle Felting - Beach huts 11-3 £35

Friday 18th July Needle Felting Advanced Level - The Green Man 11-3 £35

More to come soon and please do book in the usual ways, check availability on 01449 721123, 07887511081 or drop by HH HQ Tuesday-Sunday 10-4 - we look forward to seeing you!