Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Cardigan Bay

On Sunday I had an afternoon off and went for a stroll along the Cardigan Bay Coastal Path. Well - it was going to be a stroll, but we forgot the map. Having decided not to go back for it - after all, this path is well promoted and therefore bound to be well signed - we carried on into Newquay. Fortunately, we had a hunch where the access point is to the path as there wasn't much signage going on. Once above the little town, there is a fantastic view back towards Aberaeron, and to Snowdonia on a clear day.

The path is quite steep in places, but very well maintained. There's a mass of wild flowers and butterflies, and the willowherb against the blue sky was quite stunning. Further on around a corner, the bay stretches off towards Cardigan with a beautiful coastline of cliffs and coves.

We had planned a short walk, but got completely distracted by a half hidden path appearing to lead down to a little cove. Of course, we had to investigate. It was quite a steep descent, and involved much growling at my Cocker spaniel to not rush on at the end of her long lead! I wasn't going to let her off - anyone who knows spaniels will know how they can disappear when they get a scent of adventure.....so just had to hope for the best.

Fortunately the tide was well out so we had lots of time to explore the rocks - and the geology is fascinating (not that I know anything about it, but I just love the patterns and evidence of all that upheaval; some of it seems quite violent!) the area at the base of the cliffs is smooth rounded pebbles, quite large, but not a patch on the rocks a few yards further on - massive boulders. Rock pools abound with baby lobsters trying to be threatening if you looked at them. And where streams form waterfalls down the cliff face and filter into the pools, rusty deposits colour the pebbles. Beautiful colours here! Just as we like at Llynfi - all those natural shades with sparks of rusts and acid yellows and greeny- olivey- greys.

So if you ever venture along the Coast Path - take a map! The path is signed, the exit points across the fields are a bit hit and miss. Our 2 1/2 mile walk ended up at over 5. Not that we minded. And it tired the dog out. No mean feat with a Spaniel...

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Show Dates

Our next event will be Ludlow Green Fair on August Bank Holiday Sunday. We had a great time last year - the market place is choc full of stalls selling everything from veggie seeds to excellent coffee, t-shirts to recycled clothing, cycling to looking after churchyards - all with fair-trade and / or organic credentials. For more info see


Then in September, 17th - 19th, it's the Big Skill at the Penpont Estate, nr Brecon. It's the first year for this and it's going to be held over 3 days, with camping, music, comedy and a whole range of rural skills talks and workshops, plus exhibits by rural businesses. As well as our show stand with a selection of Llynfi knit and sewn clothing and accessories, we're going to be taking along one or two of our Angora rabbits, and will be holding a 'show and tell' about keeping them and using their lovely soft wool. The Penpont Estate is a lovely place down by the River Usk. Find out more:


and have a peep at the Penpont website too:


Friday, 9 July 2010

The Importance of a Garden

Knitting, apparently, is one of the less wise occupations to follow when you have a bit of a crooked back. The osteopath wags a finger and reiterates " no more than 20 minutes sitting at a time!". In practice it depends on what's being knitted ( I find). Hand knitting isn't so bad - a good seat that supports one's position, and concentrating on relaxing, rather than tensing every muscle in order to get the job done - and an hour can pass quite happily. Knitting at the machine is a different kettle of fish. It rather depends on the item. Small things, like mittens, aren't too bad, but get a wider piece on there and the trouble starts. You'd think it would be good exercise - all that side to side, waist whittling movement. But no...even the 20 minutes allowed seems too long. And that's where my garden comes in.

The garden is up a flight of steps, curving among ferns, primrose and London Pride, shaded by a sycamore tree. So that's the first bit of exercise, the first change of movement. Then a short slope continuing upwards, past the mill pond and through an old gateway. And into the garden proper. A brisk walk around soon puts things in order - but then......what a time waster! How hard to get back to the machine when William Lobb beckons with seductive shades of magenta and lilac and grey?

And Cornelia and Penelope vie for attention with their distinctive perfumes? And is that little day lily open yet? And you can't help but look into the huge poppy that has just unfolded, with still crinkled skirts round the frills of it's centre.

There's been some rain - poor Smarty, drooping in the damp like little hankies hung out to dry, hiding amongst the blue campanulas. But what a sweet scent, filling the air.

And then there's the beans to check - have they been safe from the slugs? - and the necessary Japanese Knotweed patrol. Our current approach is to not let it have any leaves, but it takes diligence! The slugs seem to like to graze on it, an unexpected observation, and it means we have to have a love/hate relationship with them, forgiving the ravaging of some more favoured plants.

Where was I? Oh - the knitting. See what a distraction the garden is??

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

New beginnings, sorting out and catching up

Well - here we are. After two years of planning and and weekend works and a winter of builders, half of the Llynfi team is now moved into Felin, Mydroilyn. Felin = mill in Welsh. Corn mill to be precise. And this is just plain 'Felin'. No qualification of Old or Upper or Lower or statement of place. Just 'Mill'. The situation is just right for us, being just on the edge of a pretty little village in a valley, 5 miles from Newquay. The Mill building still has all its machinery, and the water wheel is still attached to the side. But - it's all a long, long way from running again.

The Llynfi knit studio will eventually be contained in part of the old dairy attached to the side of the house. However, this still needs some glass in the windows, a proper floor putting down, and maybe some plaster on the walls would be nice. So in the meantime, I am working from the small parlour room. But it's so lovely to have a garden again, to wander in and see the seasons change.

Moving house is always a bit traumatic. All those boxes...and all those boxes from previous moves, stashed in the attic until a place is found for those precious belongings. Memories, attachments, things that make you who you are. Add in a studio move and lo! there's even more boxes of stuff. Projects and samples that never quite worked out. Experiments and ends of batches of yarns. Odd colours and blends. A mystery tool, some odd knitting needles. Time to be bold methinks! But then again....