A Day out at Mwnt

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After weeks of rain – or so it seems – the last week has been glorious in S Wales – so we took advantage of it and had a day out around the Cardigan coast in West Wales – and I thought I’d share with you a few of the pictures I took.  Time Out from the usual stuff – smile!

I first visited the tiny Church at MWNT, yes it’s the Welsh name,  (pronounced “Munt” with a short ‘U’ – rhymes with “grunt”) nearly 30 years ago with my sister – and I’ve never forgotten it!

The Church of the Holy Cross (Welsh: Eglwys y Grog) - A small medieval stone Church by the sea

The Church of the Holy Cross (Welsh: Eglwys y Grog) – A small medieval stone Church by the sea

Mwnt is a very small community and ancient parish in south CeredigionWales, on the West Wales coast about 4.5 miles (7.2 km) from Cardigan. It lies on the Ceredigion Coast Path.

It gets its name from the prominent steep conical hill (Foel y Mwnt), a landmark from much of Cardigan Bay, that rises above the beach, and was formerly anglicised as Mount. (wikipedia)

You can walk for miles along the coastal path, but you can also approach it along a narrow country lane – watch out for tractors – by car, and there is a National Trust Car Park and a lovely beach just to the side of the Church. (There is also a caravan site just a little further along, but at least it doesn’t intrude on the feeling of isolation!)

the beach at Mwnt - its a long way down those steps

the beach at Mwnt – its a long way down those steps

I can’t remember there being such easy access to the beach, or the car park being so close, 30 years ago – so maybe they have been added since then, or maybe I just remember it as being a very special place that was miles away from anywhere!  I am sure, however, that the caravan park wasn’t there at the time!

The information board in the Church, which is free to visit, and cleaned by a very cheerful lady who I met just coming out of the door, says that there was a Church of some kind there since the 5th Century, and it was a burial place for Saints.  The current building dates back to the 14th Century, with an even older stone font, which I forgot to photograph!

Inside the Church

Inside the Church

The history of the area has not always been peaceful.  Mwnt was the site of an unsuccessful invasion by Flemings in 1155, and its defeat was long afterwards celebrated on the first Sunday in January as “Sul Coch y Mwnt”. The name (Red Sunday) was given in consequence of the blood shed on that day.[5] It is reputed that the bones of the defeated invaders would occasionally be visible under the sand when uncovered by windy conditions in the early 20th century.[6]

There is no way of telling whose grave this is, but it tells its own story nevertheless..

There is no way of telling whose grave this is, but it tells its own story nevertheless..

And just outside is an interesting use of the local stone to create a drainage ditch – the National Trust have copied this on the walls of the car park!

a fishing boat setting out from Cardigan

a fishing boat setting out from Cardigan Bay

Next time we manage to get there, I’m hoping to take a boat trip around the coast – its an area where, if you are lucky, you might see some dolphins!   Hope you enjoyed the day out as much as I did – smile!  (And yes, this is a blatant advert for Wales!)

Christmas Fabrics are now in stock and listed on ebay & etsy

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Harking back to my post of 21 August when I first mentioned the word CHRISTMAS for the first time this year – I have now taken delivery of the first orders of all the Christmas & Seasonal Fabrics I chose with great care – smile!

Christmas is still a good couple of months away, and altho’ thank goodness, the hype hasn’t yet started on the media, as at least some of you will be thinking of making your own personally styled gifts,  this is the time to start planning what you want to make.

I hope what I have chosen suits your tastes as well as mine!

So this is the range – they are all 100% cotton, some are a little wider than the general 45″/110 cm, and they are available by the metre, half metre and fat quarters.  I have also created a special variation to allow you to get a 6″ strip of the full width to use as a matching embellishment for say, christmas stockings, and other small gifts.

You can find them, and the quilting kits below, in the fabrics section of my etsy shop – HERE, and the fabrics section of julzcraftsupplies on ebay – HERE.

Also new in are three designs of these quality quilting kits – buy them to make yourself – or give as gifts!

3 popular quilting kits

3 popular quilting kits

Sheep Dyed Yellow!

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I went to Sennybridge Agricultural Show today, and among other things I saw something quite bizarre – sheep with their fleeces dyed yellow!

suffolk sheep dyed yellow

suffolk sheep dyed yellow

close up of a suffolk sheep dyed yellow

close up of a suffolk sheep dyed yellow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I did ask someone what is was about – he reckoned it was just cosmetic – to catch the judges eye.

I was wondering if anyone knows whether this is done regularly at shows now – its a while since I’ve been to an Agricultural Show – AND what dye is used, is it temporary or permanent?

Or maybe, just maybe, its an ingenious way to dye the wool BEFORE its shorn, and sell it as a pre-dyed fibre???

These are some undyed Suffolks for comparison.

Suffolk Sheep 'au naturel'!

Suffolk Sheep ‘au naturel’!

I took loads of photos at the Show, and will be putting some more up soon!

To see the very charming young riders Fancy Dress Parade – click here.

The 40 kilo/ 88 lb merino fleece – yes they sheared the sheep!

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Yesterday, I told you about the unsheared merino sheep in Australia, well here is the follow up – and how they sheared it!  Again, copied from the BBC News website.

If you’re not familiar with how the merino sheep normally looks, or what its wool looks like when prepared for spinning – it is the most popular fibre for hand spinners – have a look at my post on Merino Wool HERE

Overgrown Australian sheep Chris ‘breaks world record’

  • 3 September 2015
  • From the section Australia

An overgrown Australian sheep affectionately named Chris has set a new unofficial world record following a hair cut from five shearers.

Welfare crews warned it risked death because it was so woolly from living in the wild for several years.

More than 40kg (88lb) of wool was removed in what the RSPCA says is the heaviest wool haul from one shearing.

National shearing champion Ian Elkins was urgently called in on Wednesday to tackle the mammoth merino.

A heavily overgrown sheep near CanberraImage copyrightRSPCA
Image captionChris the sheep was spotted outside of Canberra on Australia’s second day of Spring
Kangaroos look at the camera behind one of the woolliest sheep in the worldImage copyrightRSPCA
Image captionKangaroos outside Canberra are dwarfed by the woolliest sheep in the world

 

Mr Elkins described Thursday’s marathon sheering session as one of his biggest challenges, saying he had never seen anything like it in 35 years of work.

Chris the sheep on his back as Australian shearers remove wool which has apparently broken a world recordImage copyrightRSPCA
Image captionChris’s hooves appear damaged after coping with the excess wool weight

Chris the sheep had to be sedated during the very delicate operation.

Chris the sheep had is sedated during the very delicate operation.Image copyrightRSCPA
Image captionThe difference a day makes: Removing the excess wool cut Chris’s weight in half

Mr Elkins said he was proud Australia had claimed the title from New Zealand, likening it to “the rivalry on the rugby field”.

Weighing the world's biggest wool haulImage copyrightRSCPA
Image captionSpring clean: Chris’s world-record breaking wool is weighed

The massive bundle of fleece tipped the scales at more than 42kg (92lb), but was revised down to 40kg (88lb) to counter the weight of the bag.

New do: Australian sheep 'Chris' shows off a lighter look, complete with pink antiseptic stainsImage copyrightRSPCA
Image captionNew do: Australian sheep Chris shows off a lighter look, complete with pink antiseptic stains

Animal welfare officials said Chris was “four-to-five times its normal size” before going under the knife.

The huge haul of wool removed from Chris the sheep's tiny frameImage copyrightRSPCA
Image captionLightening the load: More than 40kg of wool was cut from Chris’s tiny frame

Ever wondered what a Merino Sheep would look like if it wasn’t sheared?

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Found this on the BBC website this morning after seeing a piece about it on the news!  Oddly enough I’d also saved the piece about Shrek yesterday, another sheep in New Zealand that hid for years and was discovered and finally sheared about 10 years ago – link to that article below!

Australia urgent plea to shear overgrown sheep

  • 2 September 2015
  • From the section Australia
A heavily overgrown sheep near CanberraImage copyrightAFP
Image captionThe merino sheep is “four-to-five times its normal size”, animal welfare officials say

Australia’s national shearing champion has been urgently called in to help after a heavily overgrown sheep was found near the capital Canberra.

Ian Elkins responded after animal welfare officials warned the life of the merino sheep could be in danger because it was so woolly.

Sheep can develop serious health issues if they are not regularly shorn.

The animal – believed to be male – was “four-to-five times its normal size,” welfare official Tammy Ven Dange said.

“It’s definitely one of the biggest sheep we’ve ever seen,” Ms Ven Dange, head of the RSPCA in the Australian Capital Territory, was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

She added that the animal was “pretty stressed out” around human beings after what was probably years of solitude.

A heavily overgrown sheep near CanberraImage copyrightAFP
Image captionThe animal is believed to have spent a number of years on the loose

RSPCA officials had initially wanted to shear the animal themselves, but later decided to wait for an expert.

Mr Elkins, a four-time Australian Shearing Championship winner, said removing the fleece “could be one of my biggest challenges yet”.

In 2004, Shrek the New Zealand sheep was found after six years on the loose.

The animal – also a merino – later lost his giant 27kg (60lb) fleece in a televised shearing broadcast live around the world.

The country’s most famous sheep died in June 2011.

See also my earlier post on Merino Sheep.

Winding Yarn into balls by hand – with or without a Nostepinne

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This is a very useful tutorial I found via Sheila Dixon’s Hand Spinning News, which has a video that takes the mystique out of how to use a Nostepinne, or any useful stick, to allow you to wind hand spun yarn, or just oddments of wool into tidy balls, manually.

It is copied directly from Roving Crafters – she calls them “cakes” – and she says on her blog that it can be freely copied – so I have!  I will be adding this to the i/sheet page so that you can always find it easily.


 

How to Hand Wind Yarn Into a Cake

Winding warn cakes

Confession #1: I like to wind yarn.

Its fun. Its an excuse to play with my yarn and when I wind up other knitters’ and crocheters’ yarn (I’ve been known to do that) I get to play with their yarn too. But its more than just play time. A nicely wound yarn cake will save you headache and frustration and make for a more pleasant knitting and crocheting experience.

A yarn cake sits flat on the table. It has a nice easy end to draw out of the center. If its done right, the yarn won’t tangle up and the cake won’t flop or bounce around. A yarn cake as a great and wonderful thing and nearly every yarn shop in the world will wind up your yarn into a cake with their ball winder.

But you don’t need a ball winder to make a yarn cake. You just need a stick. A dowel will work. So will a broom handle, a fat knitting needle, or the empty tube from your next roll of toilet paper. If you want to be fancy-pants about hand winding yarn, you can get a nostepinne. But only really hopeless yarn-geeks bother with those.

Confession #2: I own three nostepinnes.

small cake
I also own a ball winder but sometimes I make yarn cakes by hand and not just for fun. If I only have a small amount of yarn, say 50 yards or less, I wind it into a little cake using a small nostepinne thin stick. That works out much better.

 

 

 

 

Winding Yarn Into a Cake By Hand

 


 

Give it a try because it super easy. You’ll be making yarn cakes in no time at all and believe me, they are worth it. And grab yourself a copy of that yarn cake cozy pattern. Its a freebie and you’ll need something to carry your cakes in right? Right.

Also, if you like free stuff check out:

Enjoy!