Sunday, 29 April 2007

I've Been Spinning!!

It's been a very busy Burton Manor weekend and as expected, this course was a million times better than last weeks so I shall mention it no more ( unless I get some sort of refund!).

Anne, the tutor, had been having a think since she gave Burton Manor the brief and decided to do silk with a twist! I didn't TOUCH silk cap the whole time I was there! It was FABULOUS!!!!!

I actually spun everything in the picture below, I HAVE been a very busy girl, but who could blame me with all the luscious colours on show! We started by spinning a plied yarn where all the colours in the roving were meant to match up when they were plied. I did have partial success, about an inch of the same colour every once in a while, but mostly just produced a pretty yarn, it's the autumnal one in the bottom left hand corner, unfortunately, It hasn't come out too well, but you get the idea!

The next one up is Silk lap that sort of comes in a giant fluffy sheet, it's impossible to spin smooth and for this one, the more lumpy the better ( even though I felt mine was a little wild!). It then got spun with a pink, slubby commercial silk yarn which peeks thru the fluff ( if you saw it in the flesh).

Then I used Tussah Silk lap which had loads more twigs and rubbish in it but somehow was easier to pull apart and spin more controlledly. That got plied with a grey linen/silk mix commercial yarn.

The top left is our Friend Giotto (yes, Colinette!) plied with a linen/silk noil lap that was a true b****r to spin as it was very short, I didn't s[in any more of it after that! The Giotto curls round your spun single and produces a really interesting textural yarn ( and I love the colours!)

On the right hand side, there's a luscious Silk/Cashmere mix that was SO soft to spin. Anne ( the tutor) wanted us to ply it with more silk lap but I thought it didn't deserve that (too crisp), so used a very fine silk commercial yarn instead. It has a gorgeous halo, it's sitting beside me as I type, shimmering at me.

The one above is my first foray into beaded yarn, albeit the easy way. Again, I got to dip into the tops selection ( kiddie in a candy store!) to spin more silk and threaded beads onto that same fine silk yarn to ply with it. I was a bit stingy with my beads at first so they're a little unevenly spaced ( to say the least!) but they give little accents, I'd love to see it knitted up!

The top right and last yarn is meant to be cabled with beads but it's gone a bit weirde, cable yarn was never my strong point. Still, it looks pretty, has loads more and bigger beads and I also tried the colour matching thing from the first sample and on the whole, it worked!

I had a wonderful time, the food was great, the room lovely but unfortunately there were only four of us there! It's a great shame because if the numbers don't improve, there may not be another course and that would be a great shame. There are very few spinning classes that are accessible for me and whilst I do have to save my pennies for a weekend like this one, It is truly special. So, do me a favour, give Burton Manor a ring, ask them when the next spinning class will be, if there are enough enquiries, maybe, just maybe there'll be another course in six months or so, they don't do enough advertising so we few have to!

By the way, Romelda...

... this one's been handspun for you! If you want it ( to pet, put in a bowl, knit or whatever), you know what to do! Fingers crossed that things will turn a corner soon but it sounds like you have people around you who care which is great. I'll keep sending Reiki your way, maybe it's giving you some strength in the meanwhile.

And as for Anne, still fighting off a cold, you know I'll say " you need to slow down a bit" and you'll just take it with a pinch of salt and carry on as normal so we'll take that one as read eh! Still thinking of ya and I'll get round to a real live e-mail or phone call soon, I promise!

Ah well, time's up, I've got 23 items finishing on Ebay later, only 4 of them bid on so far so I'm not holding out any hopes of making my millions! For anyone who's curious, I'm chris_cheats.

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

WARNING!! Yarn Pr0n Ahead! Plus swatches, samples and WIP's

Well, It's midweek again so time for another post. Unfortunately, it's normally five minutes after I think this I realize there's no pics for me to post so hence the less than salubrious lighting conditions. It also has the knock-on effect where I have to photograph EVERYTHING, right now! So apologies for the number of photos ( for those what don't have broadband), I'm insatiable!

I've been a busy bee spinning every spare minute I've had and have already spun two more skeins! They're not anything like as lary as the photo, I just couldn't get the pic. right!

Next is my two latest spends at posh yarns, I was chuffed to get 2 skeins of laceweight cashmere/silk mix and one 55g skein of 4ply in the same mix. The pink one I got on my first splurge, the others I recieved today. I'm going to use both colours of laceweight in the same project, or at least that's the plan at the mo., but I haven't found the ultimate pattern to deserve it yet! They're too dark but all the others were too fuzzy, but you get the idea!

This is one of my swatches that I produced at "that course" when I decided the tutor didn't know what she was talking about. Aint it pretty?

It's double eyelet lace and I'm designing something like This but to my shape and perhaps a different neckline, I'm still at the thinking about stage at the moment so it's definitely a PIP (Planning In Progress). I also knitted this sample in the FDC but somehow can't find it so I'll have to knit another so I've got specs for my pattern! Bummer!

This is my pattern going round the edges, It's from the first Barbara Walker Treasury and it's vine lace. Not sure if it's anything like the Krista Pattern but I just thought it was kinda groovy!

This is what I'll be knitting it in, Filiatura De Crosa Mohair Multi. It's DK Weight, 60% mohair and lovely and soft so I'm chuffed to be designing something especially for it. Unfortunately, I took my sample to the knitting group last night and now everyone wants to snap up some! They can't, it's mine, ALL MINE!!!!!! ( just not quite yet!)

And this.....

...Is my latest forage into my LYS. She's been doing some Rowan yarns at half price so I snapped up a pack of 4ply soft, ( it really is!), some felted tweed to add to my stash and some 4ply from the bargain bin.

The Yoyo coaty Jackety thing continues apace, I've completed one half of the front and am on the other side. Unfortunately, when I came to pick up the knitting to photograph it, most of the stitches flew of the needle so it'll be a pick up job directly after I post this.

Still, looking shapely!

I had to put this one in one in, this was my "cloud" sample from "that course" ( before I strode off in My own direction). Intarsia is NOT my strong point and I couldn't even follow my own chart properly!

In other news, I e-mailled a letter of complaint to Burton Manor this morning; I was so worked up about the whole thing I was up 2 hours earlier than normal composing it! Donna aparrently did likewise ( but through the post today) so it won't look like I'm just being vindictive, I just hope some of the others do too!

It occurred to me that I haven't posted any poochie piccies since easter so here's a couple more..

Floppy in his favourite position...

...And Biscuit waiting to be fed!

In final news, I was told this afternoon that the Singer Shop in Birkenhead is also closing down. It's getting like buses 'round here! So there's no doubt bargains to be had but not sure if I'll get there in the near future, have to wait and see...

Sunday, 22 April 2007

I'm in Looooove!!!!!

....With the dyepot!

Remember s****y fleece? So rubbish, it wasn't exactly selling itself, its only redeeming feature its softness? In hindsight, I reckon it's a shearling, but I decided, if it still looked rubbish after the bath of hell (to my back), the only answer was to dye it.

And dye it I did, 1,2,3,4,5..6 shades! Started around 10am the day after I washed it, finished about 6pm that evening. But the joy is, you don't have to stand over it, you reuse the water again and again (as every bath dyes to exhaust) and the "cooking" times weren't all that long 'cos I mostly just let it cook in its own heat.

So, this is what I was left with, impressive, n'est ce pas?

...Okay, maybe I am blowing my own trumpet but I just had to spin it straightaway the following day, then navajo it Saturday morning, then wind it, then skein it, then admire it, then rewind it 'cos I just had to knit it!

I love the way that because I've spun from the locks, you get variations in the colours, if I'd carded it that would have smoothed all that out. I was worried that it might look a bit like an explosion in a paint factory which was why I knitted this somewhat ample tension square. It actually reminds me of Noro a bit so I've altered my approach spinning the next bobbin to make it a bit fatter- what d'you reckon, Poppy? plus, the original was spun quite tight so I'm easing off the treadle to keep the softness this time.

Well, this blog is a little later than usual 'cos I've been at Burton Manor on a " Designer Fashion Knitting" course. I state the title properly as it has been used as an excuse for a poorly concieved, not particularly well executed course that left most of us bewildered or frankly annoyed. It was described as equipping us with the tools to design your own knitwear. What actually transpired was half a day knitting totally unnecessary intarsia tension samples, a teensy bit of information in the afternoon then in the last 3/4 hour, her writing down the steps to creating your own knitwear, no practical measuring, modelling or basic structure whatsoever!

It was pointed out to me that I could probably take a better course as I found myself trying to provide practical help and demonstrating some fun new techniques! I'm not blowing my own trumpet 'cos I know it's hard work to design a course but I seriously think I could have injected some desperately needed structure into it all! With the able assistance of my colleague to my right, we'd make a winning team!

Still, I got to meet a fab gal and a fellow blogger, thanks for the comment, Donna, I will get round to your blog soon, I promise! Plus, for the first time in a hopeless course, I actually stood up for myself, told the teacher ( In the nicest way) that I wouldn't be creating an intarsia leaf ( for no purpose whatsoever), I'd actually knit a lace tension square for a purpose towards a garment I WANTED to design!

Obviously put her back up and lost a few brownie points, but frankly, I couldn't care less! Thankfully, this brought up the conversation that she'd considered doing larger motifs eg. a name across the front of a sweater! It gave the group as a whole a chance to point out that NOBODY WANTED TO DO THAT AND WE'D ACTUALLY LIKE TO DO SOMETHING USEFUL INSTEAD!

Anyway, I've come away with a fab idea using my fave FDC Mohair multi and mostly finished the tension squares that will be my roadmaps PLUS I know what I've been doing is absolutely right which does my confidence no end of good AND I did it all myself!

I'm back there next weekend for a spinning full weekend! should be a blast but I've decided I hate silk cap/silk hankies 'cos they cut my hands to ribbons ( and it's a course all about silk!) so it may be a mixed affair!

Until next time!

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Back to Business as usual? SP10 goss too

Yaaay!!! Finally finished all my knitted stuff I'd planned for my secret pal, ahead of time too!!

So now I can sit back and relax for a bit and send off my final weeny parcel towards the end of the month so it'll get there for the end of SP10. I've had a real ball planning everything out, it's cost me a fortune in postage but at least I know I went all out to make someone's day!

So, back to business as usual, my first tentative forays into self-designed garments...

This is how that YOYO coaty thing SHOULD look, even if it was taken at a less than flattering angle! It now has a short rib to the bottom to save it from rolling up, a split up the back for ease of movement ( I'll pick up along the split and do an inch or so of rib to neaten it off), appropriate shaping to take into consideration my pear-shaped physique and actually give me a waist! Plus, the original had dropped sleeves so obviously, mine had to be basic fitted. Because there's so fewer stitches on the needle, it only took the weekend to knit.

I'm working my way up the front at the mo, but my hands have been giving me gyp and I've had to LIMIT MY KNITTING!!!!!!! (you can tell it's bad when that happens). Not that I've been idle, no sirree, I've knackered my back and legs traipsing up and down the stairs yesterday finding yarn to list on ebay ( which unsurprisingly is considerable!), and helping water run gently down the plughole at half hour intervals!

Watching paint dry is more fun, but unfortunately, the plughole in question belonged to the bath and a rather butchered fleece was residing in it getting a long overdue wash. Also unfortunately, this fleece had so many second cuts' I'm now planning to collect them up and offer the coloured ones to felters to add polkadots to their work!

Before they hit the dyepot however, they were trying fervently to escape down said plughole and serously jam up the works as I can only let the water out a little at a time or it overflows the hopper outside and cascades all over the flat roof out the back, a situation that has happened for many years but only recently been discovered. Hence, I had to keep clearing it every 30 seconds and by the fourth bathful, it'd also taken its toll on my poor back.

Not to be downhearted, however, as postie arrived same day with my latest spoils...

...2 balls Rowan Calmer and numerous skeins rowan 4ply all from cucumberpatch and v. good value. There was a second pic but apparently it's lost its way so I'll save it 'till next time.

Meanwhile, in the land of LYS...

Wendy Sheepskin DK 75p per ball and a little Rowan 4ply soft to add to the stash!

Unexpected find of the week was of all places, at a car boot sale!

A stall selling yarn, sewing patterns and other crafty pursuits, I picked up this pack of Filati Ornaghi ( they advertise in Vogue) for a mere fiver! 50% wool plus a little Alpaca and pretty colours to boot, knits on a 6-7mm needle so I'll have to find the perfect project for it!

I took the opportunity to snap my own li'l crab apple, we only have a yard with a small raised plot which the snails and slugs ravage but thankfully, they've left this pot alone. So' I do have some blossom in my garden!

I've definitely been getting into the delights of stovetop dyeing with my fabbo cheapy stockpot.
I started by dyeing some Portland fleece in 3 different shades so it's ready for listing on ebay, then I decided to wash aforementioned fleece which is an Ubersoft Shropshire with a view to selling it but it looked so awful after it had been washed plus the second cut thing, I might as well spin it myself. At least It'll give me experience of long and short lengths....

Today, in between knitting, shopping cooking etc, I have dyed 6 separate shades of fleece, I even found a brown shade I'd not mixed up (though results weren't good) and a navy to play with. pictures to follow, half of it's still in the pillowcase in the washing machine after being spun dry(er). I shall take appropriate piccies in a couple of days when it's all dry.

Muchas computer time tomorrow preparing for listings, probably tomorrow evening or Friday to finish a week Sunday/Monday as that's my spinning weekend. Fingers crossed for some holiday spends?

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Flash Your Stash 2007 (Part 2) + a little touch of springtime

Now, ordinarily, I'd be blogging on a Sunday whilst himself's at his playmates so I've got the room to myself and can post whatever I like! However, we're trolling down to big Bro's tomorrow so we can also take in the car boot sale and besides which himself considers it too hot up here at present ( well, we are south facing) so he's ensconced downstairs and I can show you more of my illegal cache!

Warning!! There is more yet to come! It may be a while however 'cos it's all crammed
into a corner in the back room and would take some shifting!

Until then, there's the stash from the living room (most of) and the minor bedroom stash.

From the top we have 1kg Colinette Skye in JAy (I think) one day destined to be Vogue's Twisted Float Cardi, about 1 kg? v thick (mega chunky) singles pure wool in one giant hank that's lovely autumnal colours and I had to have but haven't a clue what to do with!; my sock yarn box including a few gems from Posh Yarns and The Knitting Goddess on ebay; Twilleys freedom spirit in Fire and Air, 2 balls Sirdar YOYO, my Rowanspun 4 ply bag ( it's big!); Denim ultra in various shades and Debbie Bliss Alpaca silk in various shades (plus loads of other odds and ends).....

My huge wheelie box with too many different bargains to mention with some pure merino DK and 4ply Kid mohair mix from Yarn Paradise via Ebay on top....

More Denim Ultra (10 balls); 500g pure wool in greens and blues, more Alpaca silk and a full pack Kidsilk haze; plus 500g 80% kid mohair DK waiting for dyeing at the side there. Then there's the not quite so huge box with Wendy Fusion, Zanzibar, 3 different shades of 4ply mohair, Foxy and Foxy lady and loads more underneath...

This basically filled the stairs so I had to put all my stuff back into its proper places and start again...

...So here we have one of 2 storage devices ( didn't have it on me to shift the other one!) filled with non moth attracting yarns, eyelash and funky...

PLus... 1kg undyed Bluefaced Leicester aran ready for the dyepot, 1kg orange and yellows thick and thin aran wt pure wool, overflow sock wool, cones of cashmere and cash/merino mix

My other 2 balls of Yoyo currently on the needles, more denim and FDC mohair multi overflow and so on...

Do I really need to drag the rest out or will you all take it as read that I'm a yarn junkie?

Anyway, hopefully I've got you all heartily sick of yarns by now so as a little light relief, here's some nature...

I like a lot of flowers but for me there's something special about blossom. Maybe it's because it's so delicate, so transitory, one big gust of wind or downpour and it'll look forlorn and bedraggled. If I can manage to get it right, the close where my parents live is the site of an old orchard and in nary a week or so it'll erupt in a symphony of pinks. However, as this'll coincide with them getting a new kitchen fitted you might not get that picture this day maybe?

So that's all for now folks, hope the weather's good wherever you are and if you can; enjoy it!

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Flash Your Stash 2007 (Part 1)

So, I've been trolling other SP10'ers blogs, nosy to see what others have been doing and getting; and I came across "Flash Your Stash."

Well, I had to really, didn't I? Thing is it has to be done whilst himself's at work as there's a fair amount of shifting and shuftying to get everything together (plus it also exposes the magnitude of it all...) Hence, I could only post today!

Now, as you can imagine, the poor arms aren't up to much in the carrying department, so apologies for the shaky photos, but at least you get a rough idea of what's there. i also haven't done much in the way of close-up's 'cos then there'd have been 200 pics which might have got a tad boring....

Anyway, here we are, 1a)Upstairs part one ( there's a bit more but I wouldn't have been able to fit it all on the landing!)

Roughly we have; the cone box ( no moth danger); mohair box1 and 2 with a little pure wool; Lopi box; handspun and odds box...

...Colinette Bin; Cashmere and Precious things suitcase; giant box of odds and sods that have no other home with my 80% angora cones on top (must get to dyeing those) plus odd packets of things including Nova and Curly Wurly.

My Downstairs Hall Stash, otherwise known as you can fit a lot into a weeny triangular cubby where the gas pipe from the house used to be (when it had gas lighting)

So, packs, and packs....

And boxes, and packs...

And boxes and packs....

And packs and more packs! There's cheap 'n' cheerful, bargain buys, nestling amongst Noro and Jaeger and Denim and Twilleys and Mardigras and eyelash get the picture?

Now I need a couple of days to recover from all that lugging! But I do promise Stash part 2!
I'll be more than happy to be knitting from my stash once the local temptation's gone. So, roll on Woolfest 'cos there'll be some serious stash reduction afterwards!

Sunday, 8 April 2007

Happy Easter! From....

...Biscuit and Floppy...Well, I did tell you the camera was slow!

This was the best I could get of madam, not quite bunny ears, more like bunny neckbrace, still, brownie points for trying?

Just in case I got really awful pictures, here's one I bribed earlier...

And now....A new face on the block....

Ain't she cute? Her name's Katie and she's my parents dog. They got her from an animal rescue centre a few years back now, a real nasty case of animal starvation and yet she's the nicest dog you'd ever meet (for that read gets away with murder- well, they all learn sooner or later how to manipulate you to their way of thinking!)

We visited them over the weekend, after first doing the businessmen's lunch thing at the Maharajah in Liverpool, nummy!!!!

I just had to photograph this sign, for all the world it looks like it's broken free from it's moorings and is desperately trying to run away! I kept trying to think of a snappy caption to go with it, maybe "I want to Break Free?". I guess it could be a bit boring facing a brick wall all of your life, don't blame it, poor thing...ahh, the life of a signpost...

Normal(ish) service will resume shortly, for those only interested in the yarn ( gimme the yarn pics now!!!!!); here is the latest in my dyeing endeavours . Pure cashmere, laceweight singles, oodles of yards ( I forgot to count!). Total 14og, I took a pic off the ballwinder as well this time as I reckon it looks so different.

And finally, the 3 skeins, all neat and pretty. I tend to wind the giant skein into a ball then into reasonable skeins as they store more prettily ( and it wasn't exaclty dry as I was too impatient to wait so it needed extra airing!)

NO doubt it'll transform into something lacy one of these days but I've no immediate plans so it can just be pretty things for now.

I did also indulge in minor Abakhan shopping that day in Liverpool so I now have an extra 3 balls to add to the mountain- it's now screaming to be knit so expect something new on the needles over the space of this week....I hope!

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

A Cautionary tale plus Dyepot Dilemma

Okay, so I've been going overboard, knitting for this 'ere SP thing...which I can't post...yet. Still, only the one thing still to be knitted which gives me time for other dalliances.

But first, a the title says, a cautionary tale. I bought, at a reasonable price, two big 400g balls in order to knit the jackety coaty thing below, so seduced was I by the big ribby things and the giant collary thing on the front.

BEWARE: this pattern is fundamentally flawed...

This is the back, or at least as much of the back that I knitted before it visited the great frog pond in the sky which is a major problem with this particular yarn as A) it's a boucle loopy yarn and as such a b***er to frog and b) it comes in a giant ball which you have to knit from the centre of (and you can't put it back once you've knitted it).

The beige rectangle is actualy a 12" ruler I put there to emphasise a point...namely, the pattern dimensions are plain WRONG! I have already knitted 2 other garments in this yarn so foolishly dispensed with the tension square ( as I already knew to knit a size smaller and it'd be fine) and TRUSTED the pattern. Okay, my tension was 13 sts to 4" whereas it should have been 15sts, BUT my back measured 25 1/2" ; on a size that should have come out as a 39" all around the maths appeared to be a bit flawed even with the slight difference in tension, I still couldn't multiply 39" to 51" (which it would be if the front measured the same), so I investigated further.

The back said to cast on 90 sts for the smallest size, basic maths told me that 90 goes into 15 (sts) 6 times and 6 times 4 (inches) = 24" Just for the back; add the stitches for the front and the damn thing was 48-56" wide depending on the rib overlap, I couldn't believe they'd been so careless on a simple thing like that, I'm crap at maths and if I can see it's wrong, it must be glaringly obvious!

So, I'm left with a half frogged giant ball of yarn and a pattern I'm going to have to design myself 'cos they obviously can't be bothered to check their patterns. It'll take a while but I'm planning adding a dart or split at the back (to make room for my burgeoning bottom!) and some sort of shaping at the sides which Sirdar rarely seem to do in patterns these days (or am I being biased?) Whatever, really, not what I expected or wanted.

On to brighter news and a bit of a conundrum. I spent 3 hours yesterday doing the hall conga again this time with a cone of 1/14 singles pure cashmere (pushing boundaries, me) for the purposes of dyeing. Was a little generous with the filling of my dyepots so left with some leftover dye which I hurriedly applied to those pesky skeins I've been moaning about 'cos they're too damn pale and insipid!

Anyway, the results for the cashmere, washed then soaked from the night before with vinegar v. good despite my trying to go for an autumnal theme (anyone TRIED to mix brown from other dye colours?). The other skeins just look exactly what they were, rushed, and the leftover colours have added to the overall effect, some better than others.

My dilemma is...Do I dunk them all in my big pot and overdye AGAIN with a single colour, say blue? it just seems a mishmash at the moment.

On a more positive note, in my colour mixing phase, I chanced upon an interesting effect, I mixed a bluey green with magenta (thinking at least the blues would match), it looked indigo, deep and mysterious, which surprised me. What surprised me more was as I was syringing the dye out, the two colours seperated as you can see in the pic above producing a most unusual green/lilac mottle, not what I was after but pretty all the same!

I went for a real random blobby effect this time to get lots of variation- I actually WANTED it patchy, so there! Can't wait for it to dry so I can wind then skein it to see what it's like in a more reasonable length!

Have started Little red riding hoodie but unsure if I will frog that too, I'm a bit of a loss as to what to do next...pick up one of many UFO's that I've already put down because of a problem (or boredom) a giant sewing up session (which I hate)...or start something spanking new (but that could be Startitis), aaaaaaarghhhh!!!!!!!

Monday, 2 April 2007

Sorry, No yarn pics.....

...However, I will get something yarn related posted by the end of this week as I have been a very hardworking young lady and got ahead of schedule with my sp10 Knits so normal service will resume shortly.

In the meanwhile, we took advantage of the Spring sunshine to take a walk along the Wirral Way, the site of an old abandoned railway line now turned into a country park. Rather than driving as usual to West Kirby, we parked at Caldy and walked there and back, only a mile or so in either direction so not too strenuous. We took this shot only a short way along as the vista was so pretty across the Dee. The little white specs in the distance are boats at the far end of West Kirby's Promenade and the lump in the distance could be New Brighton ( or at least heading that way).

We crossed through Ashton Park which was a hive of activity ( I had to wait a while to get this shot!) The Wirral way runs straight through it and there's a cute little friends of the park stand that sells Tea and Coffee (with a biscuit) for around 50p!

Now, I could have turned this pic round but A) I didn't plan to put it in then decided it'd be fun, my own ireverrent humour coming to the surface and b) once it was in, I couldn't get rid of it without deleting all the other photos so go figure! it'd be nice if you had some sort of basic rotate function in Blogger, as I'm sure I'm not the only one to forget to do it in advance! Anyway, I'm on the Wirral Way, return Voyage ( hence bulging bag!)

Himself with Church Road Bridge in the distance ( well, I did tell you it used to be a railway!), there's an old platform and buildings been restored at Willaston, V. cute.

It also shows the Wendy Fusion Jumper in natural light for a change. He did want to wear the green Aran (cycling cardi) but as I pointed out it would be a bit clashy with the red T Shirt!

Now, I don't usually bother with flower pics but I couldn't do a photo gallery of this area without a bit of Gorse. It's so synonymous with the area, it's a kind of regional flower!

In the quest to get the perfect shot, I kept my camera by me in the front room, ready to snap the poochies napping. Unfortunately, sharp ears here heard the motor whirr as it powered up!

Roughly 70% of photos taken of him have his eyes screwed shut 'cos he knows that damn flash's likely to go off again.

Coming soon, Easter Bunny Flopppy on Easter Day!