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Thursday, 31 March 2011

TOFT get the cover of April Image Magazine


Sitting down to a rare nugget of time off in the hairdressers...not so lucky. Delivered straight to me is the latest copy of Image magazine, a property and lifestyle mag based in Warwickshire- and we are the 'best of british' cover article. It is a full write up on Toft Alpacas and the Bettinson clan, with some slightly dubious closeups!

Pick up a copy of this free mag in a hairdressers, restaurant or newsagents in Warwickshire and enjoy four pages of Tofty goodness. Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, 24 March 2011

One Country Living day down and four to go!

If you're in London this week and haven't begun to contemplate mother's day, then Country Living Spring Fair us well worth a visit. We are in the business design centre until 3pm on Sundays on stand e24. Yesterday was filled with lots of old friends including Amy from Mooreland and Mansions, Carrie's mum and a very welcome visit from a Toft-clad Guru Kaur (with some fantastic jam for us). Today Carrie will be joining me in London from the midlands and Helen will be in the shop and office.

It is another gorgeous spring day down here, and pretty guaranteed to be a good one at the Country Living Spring Fair 2011. Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Bright knits at the final day of Stitch and Craft...

We've had another good weekend in Olympia despite not seeing a peep of the sunshine as the tradestand is underground on the newly created knitting floor. Just enough time to change our socks at home this evening and then we're back at the business design centre in Islington for the Country Living Spring Fair from Wednesday. We have got a big stand at this event so be sure to come and see us- we will be taking final product in with us. If you ever want to check which shows you'll be able to catch up with us at check our website for full details.

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, 18 March 2011

Olympia Stitch and Craft 2011

You will find Toft at stand LG14 until Sunday at this year's Stitch and Craft 2011. Brought to you by Twisted Thread, the organisers of the Knitting and Stitching Shows, this event also incorporates Papercraft.

This year the organisers together with the magazine sponsors (simply knitting and the knitter) have created a lower ground area dedicated to knitting.  In previous years this show has had little to show in the way of smaller yarn companies, but they have created a 'knitting boutique' to let them in.  All in all far more 'knitting' than there usually is- hopefully this will continue to grow for next year.

I spent the first half hour of the morning raiding Ingrid Wagner's Big Knitting Studio to buy gorgeous cashmere blanket balls to knit up her new slipper boot knitting kit. Complete with pre-punctured and lined soles, I'm pretty sure they will be a big hit for her (I bought four sets!!). 

I can hardly avoid mentioning that the knitted wedding is here in all its glory!  I'm glad I got to see it in the 'flesh' because the past couple of weeks I have read about it everywhere- way beyond the knitting magazines.

There's some great work on show, and all together looks like it is on the way to becoming more of a noteworthy knitting event, rather than one for general crafters that can turn their hands to everything.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

A desk based day...


With Kerry enjoying her first day at Olympia (!) Harvey, Ace and Carrie have had mainly a desk based day catching up on lots of website bits and bobs, as you can see it’s been taxing.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Albert's Arrival!

Now, when you think of Toft Alpaca Shop you probably think of luscious Alpaca yarns, gorgeous Toft Bulb Bags and of course Toft's hand-turned wooden buttons.  Well the man responsible for producing these beauties in all their sizes and varieties is one Albert Bick, local wood hand-turner extraordinaire and here he is.

Albert doesn't often visit because herdswoman Linda is his next door neighbour and she tends to bring in fresh button deliveries to us, but since he was bringing the mother-load to us before his lengthy holiday to source new woods, he thought he'd pop in.

As well as another massive Toft button made of Oak (nuzzled by one of the Queen's Corgi's perhaps? Ref. previous blog post about our massive Horse Chestnut button) Albert brought an array of fabulous buttons and toggles ready for lucky customers at Olympia and Country Living.  The stunning dark wood buttons with black burrs are Jarrah Burr wood and Kerry has already nabbed the Giant one for herself, perhaps not for her Bulb bag but just to look at and stroke fondly - we're all a bit weird about our buttons here, but we know we're not alone!


Saturday, 12 March 2011

Day two at the British Alpaca Futurity 2011

After an early start chatting about alpacas on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire at 7am this morning we are back in tradestand 15 (by the coffee!) in hall 2 at stoneleigh park. With over 400 alpacas here it's a great spectacle to see. We have lots of alpaca goodies to keep you warm in the somewhat 'cool' hall. Getting ready for this evening's fashion show this to follow!

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Fun & Fashion at Futurity 2011

For those of you who aren’t in the Alpaca-know, British Alpaca Futurity is a yearly Alpaca enthusiasts event which usually takes place (as it is this year) at Stoneleigh Park Conference Centre, near Coventry.  It’s a great event for owners, breeders, enthusiasts and designers from around the world.  As well as stands of alpaca knitwear etc, lectures for the die-hards there’s always lots going on in the central ring.

Last year Kerry had a great time catching up with old friends in the alpaca world and making new contacts, from breeders to avid alpaca only knitters.  One of the highlights of the show is the Fashion Show on Saturday night and Toft Alpaca Shop will again being sending several models down the catwalk with some of our new 2011/12 designs during the showcase of UK designers.  Here are some photos of the catwalk show last year – we had to count all the Bulb Bags back in carefully because the models loved them so much! 

If you live in the Warwickshire area it’s really worth a look in and to whet your appetite BBC Coventry & Warwickshire will be featuring live interviews tomorrow morning with the Futurity organisers and Saturday morning with Toft Alpaca Shop’s own Kerry talking about all the goings on!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Toft Alpaca Shop are feeling felt-tastic!

It's been a couple of days since our last post which is quite unlike us, but it's because we've been busy felting everything in sight after our training with Jamie Lewis (  Kerry & Carrie finished their felt mice in unique ways and I think you'll agree they look rather life like (!) in this line-up.

The felt demo box is out from the depths of the fleece store ready for this Friday's Introduction to Felt workshop at Toft Alpacas.  This box contains a few horrors including a biological detergent washed bulb bag and plait hat, a shrunken jumper that doesn't even fit the Adventure Dog, and some fleece in various stages of carding/spinning process. 

The Toft Felt Workshop day will consist of a lovely farm walk in the sunshine that we've ordered, then some 'expert' felt making tuition using various techniques including wet felting and needle felting.  Carrie is looking forward to practising her new found love of wet felting again after last Friday and sharing the satisfaction of creating your first pieces of wet felt artistry! 

There are still a couple of places left if you want to book but be quick, last orders is tomorrow (Thursday 3rd) before Shirley goes shopping for the wonderful lunches that the workshops are also becoming known for!