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Sunday, 13 April 2014

Gearing up for another Open Day Easter Monday.

Toft Open Days have become somewhat legendary. Every year we open up our doors for knitters and non-knitters alike to come and give the alpacas a hug on Easter Monday, the first Saturday in August and the last Saturday before Christmas. 

Ordinarily our workshop programme isn't geared towards families and children (but this may be about to change-more later), so our farm Open Days are the only real chance to come and get hands-on with our herd on the obstacle course and we offer drop-in craft sessions for children all day. The days are designed for everyone to get involved with what we do here at Toft and learn to speak 'alpaca' and perhaps learn a new skill in knitting or crochet. 

This Easter Open Day 2014 is a particularly special one as for the first time our Studio will be hosting The Cornflower pop-up cafe, which will then return every Thursday- Saturday through May, June, July and August. The ladies behind this new venture are extremely talented bakers, baristas and hostesses, and this we are guaranteed to get a but fatter this summer as we enjoy cream teas and rocky roads all round! 

So next Monday 21st April we will be open 10am-4pm for you to come and get at taste of Toft Alpaca at its best. Hope to see you there and bring the sunshine with you!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Edward's Menagerie: big thanks to the little man but a plea for some time to crochet.

It's been a shockingly long time since I posted. That is in part due to life at Toft being chaotically busy at the moment as the business goes through another period of growth and transformation, and in part down to being Edward's mum. 

Now I can't thank him enough for all the inspiration he provides, but the growing success of Edward's Menagerie has oddly left me with less and less spare time to crochet anything at all. I miss crocheting. 

It's shaping up to be another very big year for Toft and for me, 'Kerry Lord', as the Edward's Menagerie book is signed off and goes to print. It looks like I'll no longer be able to hide so far behind the 'toft' banner, and instead 2014 will see me have to take the mic and step into the spotlight a bit more. Let's hope my skills are up to it! 

Teaching, publishing and TV demonstrating weren't things that I thought I'd be doing in the first two years of Edward's life- but then until the last week of pregnancy I could crochet either, so what did I know? 

As the next few months unfold and I start to see the true size of the wheel I've started rolling I sincerely hope I can find a bit more time with my hook (and to post at least once before Christmas!).


Sunday, 20 October 2013

Celebrating Toft's first official Wool Week

This Wool Week I have enjoyed joining forces with The Campaign for Wool and John Lewis to take part in a 'live' yarn bombing of an Oxford Street window display. 

On day one we began with a blank canvas and gradually as a team covered the furniture within the space. My responsibility was the sofa, a giant ram's head trophy for the wall- and then a whole flock of sheep were thrown in at the end! 

I cannot take the credit for the 322 grant squares on that sofa. I was backed up by a brilliant team and would like to thank Emma Brown, Coral who is currently interning with us, Anja of 'I am snowfox' blog and...  last but not least my mother in law. 

I met some fabulous people and although it was hard work I thoroughly enjoyed the commute to the sofa behind the window. Ed even got the chance to join me for a quick snap. 

So why all this effort for Wool Week 2013?

Alpacas are not sheep, and therefore the fibre they grow on their backs is not wool. Well now that's all clear it's time to explain that very soon Toft will be announcing our first 'non-alpaca' yarn range. 

It's been a long time in development to get the yarn perfect, and sadly this is why we missed our Wool Week delivery deadline by a week. It would have been brilliant to have launched this yarn at our Wool Party, but oh well- there's a good excuse for another one! 

In the meantime I have been kept pretty focused on Toft's wool projects with these ten crochet dudes (I am officially a sheep geek). You can get the patterns here: