Thursday, 22 November 2007

So much to tell you!

WARNING: Very long and overdue post follows...

Well... I'm still alive, and have been up to lots of stuff... but just a bit behind in posting about it!

Since I last wrote, I've had a birthday. My first birthday present was D & E having their bub on my birthday!! (thanx guys, that was sweet). She is a beautiful, perfect little bundle of joy! And I think she likes her new bunny 'Herm', who I can now finally post photos of. Yay!!
He was crocheted from a pattern in the US magazine Knit Simple.

In other finished items news, I made Mr Purl a stubby holder! My first colour work... (It says 'Nancy' which is his Rat Patrol name...)

And, speaking of Mr Purl, the wonderful man got me a spindle for my birthday!!!! (and he hasn't seen me much since!!) He got it made by Pete Filmer at the OBD Markets... not sure at this stage what type of wood it's made of, as Mr Purl didn't retain that information... but I will find out. It's absolutely gorgeous!!

And that purple roving I got from Helen now looks like this:

Two little balls of plied yarn, and one ball of singles yet-to-be-plied. You can certainly tell what order I spun them in... I'm getting less uneven (although some people say that unevenness is a desirable feature). I'm a little over half way through the 50g of roving... and thoroughly enjoying the process! (so much so that I've done very little knitting since I got the spindle!!) I also really like how the slightly different hues of purple are all showing up when it's spun :)

And in other birthday goodness, my beautiful friends were very generous... including a gift voucher for Stitch 'n Time in Mawson, and some homemade goodies! Pol made me this gorgeous bag... which happens to be just the right size for my spindle and roving!

H. made me this stunning knitting needle roll. She's a talented lady!! (and sweet too).

I got great enjoyment out of deciding where to slot in each pair of needles!!

I've also been playing with some alpaca fleece which some of mum and dad's mates generously gave me (thanks also goes to the alpacas Monty and Ruben!). On my way down to mum and dad's last time I stopped in at Ashford and dropped a substantial amount of money on some stuff... including carders (which, incidentally were way more expensive than I expected).
Carding takes a long time. And is dirty. But still kind of fun. I did quite a bit of it in the evenings at mum and dad's, sitting in front of the telly.

And I spun up one little ball of Monty's fleece just to see what it looked like:

Other things I've been up to include my first picot edge - performed on the sock I'm making out of my first ball of home dyed wool :) (oh, and in other dyeing news... the mulberries are out... soon to be made into a dye bath!)

And this... (no, not me, but a dear friend who got hitched on the weekend).

Right... that's all. As you were.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Roll you sweet rain

On my lovely long weekend with my folks, mum and I attended a sculpture course near Cobargo. Gorgeous setting, gorgeous company and gorgeous rain!

Mum hacking into her limestone block.

This is the soapstone block that I was originally making my sculpture out of. See that big crack down the middle of it? Yeah.

Mum's finished 'reclining goddess'

My finished sculpture. Namaste.

On the main street in Cobargo.

On the way there I stopped a Ashford in Cooma and bought some carders (amongst other things) to card the Alpaca fleece that mum had acquired for me. Carding is hard work!! But strangely therapeutic! After 1 1/2 evenings, I ended up with about 35 grams of rolags ready to spin. *sigh* this jumper is going to take a long time!!! :)

The kids were wild today. It's not a full moon is it? Or perhaps they found some magic mushrooms in the garden. It's funny how all 20 of them manage to have collective moods.

Thursday, 1 November 2007


I was wondering in my last post what Wensleydale sheep looked like. I found out!! (photo from

I want one!

Hook, line and spindle

Ooh ooh ooh! What an incredible day was had last Saturday (don't let my tardiness in posting about it reflect how I felt about the day... I think it's just taken me this long to come down off the high!!). I forgot my camera, but check out Taph and Spidey's photos of the day.

A bunch of Stitch n B!tch-ers (and Knit n Talk Sh!t-ers) went to play at the Waratah Fibres Studio in the home of Helen Rippin in Bundanoon. Helen's home is fibre heaven... she has a whole room at the back of her lounge room where the walls are lined with scrumptious hand dyed yarns and fibres!
After much drooling, fondling and hoarding, we settled in for a drop spindling lesson. As I think I have mentioned a couple of times, I have been super keen to learn how to spindle (is 'spindle' a verb?). Helen made it look so easy. It wasn't. But it was tonnes of fun, and very relaxing once you got into the groove. But most of all it was highly addictive. On Sunday I went straight out to order my new spindle! This whole week I've found myself daydreaming about all the beautiful spin-able things you can buy at Ewe Give Me the Knits (thanks George!)... and trying to convince myself that I don't really need them, seeing as I have copious amounts of alpaca coming my way! But they're so pretty... Anyway... moving along!

After a lunch of gourmet pizza and salad (did I mention that we were completely spoilt?) we headed outside for a lesson in dyeing. We learnt how to make 9 different shades of colour from two original colours, and we all ended up with little sample cards to take home. Seems like a great technique so that later when dyeing up a batch of yarn, you can choose which colours you like together etc and reproduce them exactly.

So of course, although I tried to be restrained, (don't roll your eyes Mr Purl!) I came home with lots of gorgeous goodies... wanna see?? :)

Most excitingly... my very first spinning attempt knitted up into a tiny square.

And fibre (is it roving? is it sliver? is it tops? who knows! I'm sorry, I know a few people did try to explain the difference to me!). Hand painted Wensleydale in 'parakeets' colourway. If this doesn't inspire you to spin, nothing would!

This is some beautiful merino which I think was dyed by a friend of Helens. It somehow ended up on the pile of stuff I was buying because someone thought that for some reason I might like it (I can't imagine why! :) Thanks Spidey!). It really is lovely. There are about 5 different colours of purple in it... less blue looking than in the photo... I'm really having trouble getting true colours from my camera. I think this will be the first thing I spin.
And some very prurdy lace weight in Jacaranda and Outback Sunset colourways. (I'll let you figure out which is which!)

This may be the most lovely of all... Polwarth/silk blend which Helen dyed over grey fibre, giving these incredibly gorgeous muted purples and pinks and greens. Stunning! And it's so incredibly soft. Not soft like alpaca... but a different kind of sturdier feeling softness... mmm...

Some very fun 8 ply in 'Tropical Birds' colourway.

And this is just something that, inexplicably had to come home with me. Gorgeous curls of Wensleydale... dyed in my favourite colours... and they're really soft and pretty... and I couldn't stop fondling them... and they just made their way into my shopping bundle. I'm seriously considering not doing anything at all with them except fondling... but they would also be really cool thrummed (my new word for the week!) into a scarf or something! (I can't spin them... because then they would lose their cool curlyness!) I can't believe that there's a sheep that actually has these cool curls. I have to go check some of them out!

These are the sample cards that we came home with. All of those combinations out of three original colours - 'Raspberry', 'Mulberry' and 'Daisy'.

So huge thanks to Helen and the ladies from the local spinning guild for hosting us, and to Taph and Spidey for setting-up this awesome opportunity, and to Emma for driving us there!!