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Thursday, 24 February 2011

Fluffy Thursday

Boxes of beyond soft fur scarves, teddies & slippers are now all labelled & ready for new homes.

With all these fluffy items about the office, adventure dog Harvey, who is in dyer need of a hair cut, was on his guard in case he ended up being labelled too.

Gorgeous day at Toft today. Felt workshop office jolly tomorrow, is it Friday again already?!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Un Grand Grand Button!

There was an excited office atmosphere today as the huge button Kerry had commissioned from Albert arrived on our doorstep. Here it is expertly modelled, points if you can guess who by...

Apparently this piece of Horse Chestnut was admired & stroked by the Queen herself at the first ever Royal Show. She was alleged to say it was the most beautiful example of Horse Chestnut she'd ever seen. Well who knows if this really occurred or indeed how many other examples of this wood type the Queen had seen on order to form this opinion!! Hell who cares, what a great story!

Monday, 21 February 2011

Not going outside.

It's quite a wet and gloomy day here at the farm, so these two photos were not taken today, mainly because we don't want to get wet and cold outside!  The first is a shot from the recent Toft Manor/Toft Alpacas photoshoot.  As part of which Rob, Kerry and Shirley were asked to pose with three handsome male alpacas in the courtyard of the Manor.  You can read more about these three 'pet' boys on Toft Alpaca Stud Posterous blog. The full shoot and 4 page article will appear in Warwickshire's Image magazine soon.

Harvey Spandangles, show stand adventure dog, has been telling us all about his new pad, however he was far too mucky after an adventurous walk this morning in the rain and mud to pose for a photo, so this one will suffice.  Taken in the late summer he's modelling, rather superbly I think you'll agree, a pixie style hat.  They've not quite taken off as successfully as dog-coats this year but it's only a matter of time apparently!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Another chaotic day on farm

Download now or watch on posterous (8759 KB)

With visits from Cheryl, Elizabeth and Pauline today our Toft office was full of knitters and their knitting. As we are working on new designs at the moment we have hot and cold running samples overflowing out the doors.

Amongst dozens of new socks, scarf and adult and baby garment designs for winter 2011 we also have a GIANT button sign (and we mean giant- over 50cm diameter!) and we have cast on a big union jack project in our natural colours.

Tomorrow morning we have a journalist and photographer from Image magazine coming for an 'at home with the Bettinsons' feature. Followed by visit from Kate with some new mitten patterns, another 150 buttons from Albert and then finally the arrival of our design samples for 2012!

In between everything else we are catching up on lots of sewing up and felting...but not a show in sight this weekend. Just enough time to walk the dogs and grab this video of the views across the top of Toft overlooking Draycote Water.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Great to be back on farm on a glorious day.

Time to kick back a little bit and get creative. The next few weeks we have a rare gap before commencing the next series of shows in London. Some well needed time for new designs and workshop planning 2011. Announcements to follow shortly on our Toft Birthday Party this summer...And our first pattern book!

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

And we are back in Blighty.

After what we can only describe as one of the most professional pack-downs of our careers as window dressers we wheel span out of the Grande Halle and back into the maze of a carpark next door.

It was a 'three nutella' morning as we fed ourselves up on our final round of baguettes before heading off to our tourist thang.

We got back on the Chunnel and headed into London late Monday. It seems very odd to be sitting back behind a desk with no 'parce que', 'avec' or 'alpaga' to explain.

The full story of Paris to follow shortly, complete with speed knitting videos, metro adventures and an abundance of lace creation images.

A bientot Paris!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Whilst the cats are away, the mice are...

... teaching 12 newbies to recognise their knitting from their purling.

It was a stunningly crisp and bright day at Toft Manor on Saturday, just perfect for a tour of the farm with the newest alpaca enthusiasts! Helen was a great help to Carrie, who would have needed wings to fly around the table of mild knitting catastrophes! Everyone managed at least one ball for their knitted necklace, but most of all we all had a really fun day!

The next intro to knitting workshop is set for 1st April, book your places soon!

Proving to be nothing but a good snack.

The final chance to buy Toft yarn without postage to France today. All patterns in French, and sone great SALE offers on a couple of old designs.

Already 'big' buttons are sold out, and the chunky yarn in dangerously low.

Next year we will be making limited edition buttons avec le nom de bois en francais for this show. One hundred if each size and when they go they're gone.

We will need quite the specialist dictionary for this one...or answers on a postcard!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

And to prove we are working...

Once again big crowds for the speed knitting at Le Grande Halle (videos to follow).

Perhaps we should host our own competition in 2011...

Meanwhile plenty of couples getting 'valentined' in the city of love this evening.

A romantic day back on B3.5 planned for us ...the final day squeezing out long-forgotten verb declensions for another year.

To prove we're not just in the NEC carpark...

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, 4 February 2011

Team Toft at large in Manchester

Thursday at Stitch & Craft Manchester was a good, if a tiny bit quiet towards the end kinda day. The knitting workshops were popular & afterwards the space doubled up as a place to leave the hubby to snooze whilst you tried on a multitude of Toft hats & scarves.

We had some very trendy visitors to stand B6 & Carrie took the opportunity to snap this unusual wooden brooch.

So after a good day's work we went back to the hotel dodging the rain & marvelled again at the crazily long chandelier chain in the foyer. Supper was delicious, the service & location at The Restaurant on John Dalton St was so good! We finished off the night in the trendy Panacea with a glass of fizz & a taxi back, lovely!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Star spotting in Manchester

Since we arrived last night we've been literally falling over A-listers! Okay so Johnny Vegas & Simon from the Gadget Show aren't quite A-listers but still, it's left us wondering who's next! I managed a photo of the back of his head.

The stand looks great even if we do say ourselves & people are already booked onto our workshops- can't wait!

Supper was scrummy by the way & we inadvertently celebrated Chinese Luna New Year in China Town, Happy New Year!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Thank goodness for the window!

We've arrived in Manchester & had a busy afternoon setting up the stand which is looking great, photos to follow. We'll be running intro to knitting, knitted necklace workshops at 11.30am & 2.30pm at our stand B6. Just checked in to the hotel & thank goodness we booked a room with a window (yes, windowless ones are available!) because we would have missed out on this view! Not to mention these masterpieces. Off to China town for supper now, yum!