Crochet blankets

Christine made this wonderful, crochet blanket for a special little person. It is a big, bold design which makes an unforgettable visual impact. Children love big and impressive. The Christmas penguin looks great. Patience and perseverance are needed for a blanket like this but the finished result is well worth it.

We watched Karin spin these lovely ocean colours. Her workspace was a sea of ocean colours as she patiently spun all the merino tops for the blanket she made. It is soothing and calming to look at, mid weight and such a lovely blanket to be able to use as part of home decor as well as for keeping warm. The colour play is so effective.

As we have said before, crochet blankets tend to be heavier than knitted ones. The weight can be reassuring as well as warming. Every home made blanket looks so different. They take time and effort but invariably go to use as soon as they are made.

crochetforyoublog has some good, free penguin patterns if you want to get into an arctic mood!

Crochet Christmas Stocking

Margaret’s colourful Christmas stocking caught our attention. Her inner hippie was shining with all those bright colours and it was a change from the traditional colours. Margaret had a pattern there she was following and this is still a work in progress, hence the loose ends and plenty of them because of the colour changes. It was so cheerful to look at so maybe , this year, we need to embrace colour and allow ourselves really fun things to look at.

Crochet Christmas stocking

Allfreecrochet has plenty of Christmas stockings for you to try.

You might also like this Christmas stocking made from grannie squares which you can follow on the video. Love naztazia’s nail polish!

Show and tell

Lovely, bright sunny day at the beach front but oh, so windy! We had a very helpful meeting full of good ideas and colour. It is those conversations and productive ideas which keep us going through this tricky year. We stay inspired and creative. Today there were some really good colour combinations and then Margaret’s hippy Christmas stocking which was a lot of fun and will soon be finished.

Show and tell

Cathy: one ball of spun fibres wool/sari silk mix in green, 1 skein of merino dyed orange with Tasmanian blue gum leaves.

Janette: one ball, one skein turquoise/white camel and merino.

Alexis: two beanies from her last year’s Christmas challenge fibre, three skeins of First Edition multi-coloured tops plied with black and black skein.

Marjorie: a skein of wine coloured Bendigo tops.

Sheila O: four plaited tops dyed with Gaywool dyes, tomato, ivy, Aster, cyclamen.

Peter :wearing dark brown sleeveless top in handspun alpaca and wool knitted by Marina with matching beanie also a small weaving for a home project.

Show and Tell

It was very blowy by the beach front today but such a beautiful ocean to look at with snow capped waves. Inside we were full of help and ideas and such reassuring natural colours and then a lovely array of rich, bold colour and then the softer, calming tones. So much inspiration and so much problem solving. It was a very rewarding day.

Show and Tell

Christine had crocheted a large rug with a penguin design as a feature.
Marina had woven all her spinning oddments into a lovely project bag for herself plus she shared two small balls of spun fibres,
Cathy had spun ball of wool in two blues.
Janette spun a ball turquoise/white.
Karin shared a large crochet blanket in variegated turquoise.
Alexis had spun a large wool skein dyed in cold water dye brown tones.
John made and shared a striped beanie made on his knitting machine and a pair of blue slippers.
Hilary had knitted a small pixie beanie in brown.
Maria had crocheted a small lavender pocket in Christmas colours.
Wendy was busy weaving a tea towel for the caravan.

Grandfathers know a lot.

Sonya, our roving reporter, has been doing the rounds again. This time she is asking us about our grandfathers. They play a unique role in the growth and development of a child. From our first stories you can see that is a powerful, indelible role since many of us are grandparents, great grandparents, even, and our memories of our grandfathers are clear and vivid.

Our grandfathers!


My grandfather was gassed in World War 1 but lived until he was 86! How’s that for a hardy individual Debby!


My grandfather had a fodder stall in Berri. When we used to visit him we (kids) used to walk down the drainage channel from his house to town. My cousins who lived in Berri also, had a channel flowing right through their orchard property . They used to catch yabbies in it. It sounds as if those channels were made to be enjoyed Margaret. They  sound much more fun than modern  underground drainage nowadays.


My stepfather was blind. I can remember him holding on to the long clothesline to get from the backdoor to the outdoor toilet.  No guide dogs back in those days! My other grandfather was the station master at the Adelaide railway station. He died in the signal box which is still there, by the jail, as you come into the railway station on the train.   My grandparents had a half  half acre property and used to grow flowers to sell. When the train came in from Melbourne they would pay to get on to the platform (1 penny) and sell flowers to the passengers as they arrived. After he died my grandmother took over the flower business. Remember to look out for that signal box next time you come in  to the Adelaide terminal and give Janette’s Grandfather a wave!


My grandfather was a painter (artistic) and had a vineyard.  In the school holidays we visited him in South West Germany and helped pick the grapes. We had baskets that reached down to the ground, hitched on our backs. He always wore those knickerbocker trousers. One day a bee got up  into his trousers and stung him. He was hopping around like anything. I thought it was hilarious and was laughing, but he did not!  So he gave me a good spanking ( but I still was laughing!)

He had a raspberry patch and I was supposed to shoot the sparrows with an air gun. But I didn’t like to shoot the birds so I shot the yellow plums instead. Then of course I had to eat them so Grandfather didn’t find out was I was up to. Dear little naughty you, Maria!

Addi Knitting Machine

addi knitting machine

John normally weaves on a big heddle loom or a big table top loom. Months ago, like most of us, he was looking to do something different while we were all in isolation. It was a good time to sort through things and use our skills in a different way. At the time, John also liked using round looms just for fun. He had ordered an Addi knitting machine and had to wait months for it to get here because of closed borders, changes to postal deliveries etc etc. We support being safe and what needs to be done to be safe, but it was a long wait! Finally , the machine was here and John could have fun. He has made slippers, ear warmers and hats. He showed us just how fast he could make a hat. This machine was fascinating. He has also mastered reversible knitting so you can turn the hat inside out and have a different one! The hats are neat and look good. They look machine knitted but they are well made and stylish.

Show and tell

The show and tell table was full of wonderful colours and interesting ideas. It was a warm day today and we were happy to sharing ideas and seeing what others are doing. There is still plenty of scrumptious natural coloured fleece being spun and it looks and feels good. The colours elsewhere in the room were nice to see too. John’s hat maker brought plenty of interest to today’s meeting.

Show and Tell

Janette had brought in some bunches of bay leaves for us to take.

Alexis also had a few more glasses wipe which are far superior to those in the cases.

John has been busy with his knitting machine and has churned out several beanies this afternoon, also a pair of multi coloured slippers and a grey head band.

Maria has copied crochet pattern that Margaret learnt at the Hills Retreat and cleverly made a beanie and added a few diamonds around the brim.

Karin has spun some grey alpaca which is beautifully soft.
Cathy shared a ball of wool from the brown fleece John brought in week and plied it with some soya fibre, noil silk and alpaca fleece and a ball of dyed wool plied with some rose fibre.

Marina had a small ball of the white fleece John brought in last week plied with cotton & a small ball of 2 commercial fibres plied together with the fleece.

Sheila brought in her all white spun wool from Jenny Gunson’s Finn X fleece which was very soft, Sheila rinse the skeins in an Epson salts solution.

Alexis shared her beautifully knitted wrap in multi blues colours with lacy insert rows.
Jan made a lovely variegated red skein plied with some woolly nylon in a contrast colour.
Hilary shared a small neck triangle scarf knitted in left over pinks.

Claire brought in some photos of her alpacas . Very cute.
Christine brought in a book which Margaret donated to our library.
Weaver Peter was busy with a piece of weaving for their home.

Seeing double

I am sure I didn’t ply two cakes of yarn! Both Cathy and Sheila O thought they’d had brain fade and somehow magically plied two cakes of yarn. Twin cakes of such similar colours they are so confusing! The yarn was spun quite differently. The photo shows how Sheila arrived at her yarn by plying two strands of different colours. Cathy had spun a wool plait which Alexis had dyed and then plied it with some English Leicester she had dyed with Earth Palette cold dye. And there you have it! Great minds think alike but the process is different for each individual. Cathy’s is on the left and Sheila O’s ,with a bit more pink is, on the right.

Dyeing speckled yarn

Jan E sent us a brilliant link to a host of speckled yarn dyeing links and more curated on Pinterest. So many choices. If you want some written instructions with pictures about using cake sprinkles to dye yarn The Impatient Dyer has clear instructions to follow.

We have included a YouTube video by Brea Kehr as well so you can see how to use granular dye powder to make sprinkle yarn. Great for using up the odd bits of powder you might have!

Show and tell

Another lovely spring day for our meeting. People were tending to spin natural colours and fleeces this week. Not everyone, but those natural colours can be in a league of their own. It was good to find out about a homegrown fibre artist too , thanks to Deb. We posted about Andrea Love yesterday. Most people are getting involved in new projects so not a lot on the show and tell table. Takes a while for the yarn and ideas to come together . It was a very productive, happy day.

Show and Tell

Claire brought along an old wooden shuttle used in the mills in Lancashire, and
a spool of her plied alpaca fibre.

Cathy: 2 Balls of spun wool, blue two/tone and mixed pastel colours.

Sheila O : Bendigo blue plied with mixed pink/lavender.

Marina: has bought a small square loom set complete with comb and booklet.
Sonya brought in some lovely lemon scented verbena to share. A lovely fragrance.

Exchange Day ,on the first Monday of each month, went pretty well again. People find things they could really use that others do not want, but we also talk a lot about the things which are being brought along to gift or exchange.

And now we spin and weave

Image: Educator Hotspot

Sonya, our roving reporter, has brought us more stories about what people in our group used to do. Lifelong learning means you learn and develop a lot of skills and so you are always growing and are always current, as they say. You create your own relevance because you have the experience to be able to do that. We all do it now through spinning and weaving. Over to Sonya:

Update for Maria who was  seconded for war work in wartime Germany.

Maria assures us that all the events in her previous report, took place during her apprenticeship!!!  What an amazing time it was for you, dear Maria!


I  used to love watching and learning from my Mum while she was doing her craft work. All her sewing, knitting, tapestry, embroidery, crochet etc, I learnt like that. That’s how I learned how to crochet granny squares, as a young thing. I guess Mum was a lot like me- quiet, reserved and a good listener. What a treasure of a mother you had, Jan. And they say a good apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!


I used to own an aeroplane, a motorbike and some 2nd hand cars. However I sold them all because I didn’t have room to store them!  I learnt how to fly the plane but didn’t have time to fly it ! I was flat out running my own motor car repair business.

John you’re still flat out coaching our weavers, repairing our spinning wheels, making improved parts for them and inventing ingenious parts and pieces to restore problem or ancient looms and wheels. Every spinning and weaving group should have a Mr Fixit like you. We are indeed fortunate to have you in our  midst.


I used to teach at  Tauhara  school on the edge of the town of Taupo, which is on the edge of the beautiful Lake Taupo NZ. When we walked around the school playground it sounded as if we were walking on top of a huge empty tank. Boom Boom every step we took.  On hot February afternoons  I remember taking my class of little tackers out into the bracken fern  scrub, finding a spot with some  shade and no steam coming out of the ground. And there I would read or tell them stories.  After several years all the floors of the classrooms rotted away with the warm moist steam from the ground below. It was a strange and wonderful place!

Cooking with wool

Andrea Love is a successful West Australian animator whom Deb introduced us to today. She is so ingenious and what better idea than to have a high fibre breakfast and be cooking with wool?

You can find Andrea on the net but she is also easy to find on social media. Such a good way to inspire yourself.

Cute chickens

Jan H has the knack of being able to make great character toys/friends. She just gets them to look the part. These brightly coloured chickens would have high toddler appeal but we loved them too. They would brighten up any day or space. Thinking about the colour combinations is where the success lies with these chickens and then getting the eyes right. Features are important when you spend time creating a textile friend.

The Crochet Dude has some great free crochet patterns for chickens with character of all shapes and sizes. Have fun!

We love to spin

We love spinning. We love a lot of other things too but the spinning and weaving brings in the colour, texture and the feel of fibre. This week we had three lovely examples of our spinning. Christine has already spun her kilo of wool tops from the Bendigo Woollen Mills. We did a bulk order. The colours are rich and the wool is very soft. Christine spun a kilo of the cobalt blue colour , Shoal, into a 12 ply yarn which may or may not end up as another fabulous jumper. Jan E has been spinning her Schiaparelli pink and we have loved watching it. One strand was pink, the other stand had variegated colours and it has turned into a very eye catching, balanced skein of yarn with a little skein to be its friend. Marjorie carded and spun fleece from Kath Lomann. She tied the fleece and then dyed it 14 different colours with Landscape dyes. now it is such a fun skein of yarn which may end up in socks. So colourful but good colours to look at.

Show and Tell

It was another lovely day today despite the wintry weather during the week. Everyone has been busy with new spinning, new projects and new ideas. So many good ideas! Most of us wish the days were longer. There were some really good colours again today and it really is the colours which spark your creative imagination.

Show and Tell

Jan E : spun skein of Brenda’s variegated pinks

Marina : knitted cotton vest homespun cotton plied with fine commercial cotton, an assortment of small square pin looms.
Jan E : spun skein of Brenda’s variegated pinks.
Cathy: a child’s fluffy beanie pink/white, spun ball of wool dyed with geraniums.
Marjorie : a very colourful skein tied dyed with 14 colours.
Margaret finished her crochet bag.
Sheila brought in her quilting weekend projects which were made into zip clear bags.

Top down crochet cardigan

crochet jacket

Margaret has taken her time to crochet this jacket/cardigan. It has been well worth it. She has completed a number of other projects and just carried her jacket through the year. It can be a good way of completing a big project without swamping yourself. It also gives you a chance to be creative in other ways. The dove grey is a lovely colour and the jacket is soft. The colour strands are from our fibre challenge earlier in the year. Margaret spun her colours as two strands – one red, one blue. The colours go well in her new jacket which will be lovely to wear next winter. The jacket is folded in this picture. It continues straight down and is a longish jacket not a waist length jacket.

The patterns for top down cardigans/jackets come about half way down these web pages so keep scrolling! Joy of Motion Crochet has a good long sleeved pattern. ChristaCoDesign has a nice short sleeved jacket pattern.

Lovely jumpers

Our winter is done. We are still having some cold days at the moment so a jumper is always handy and if you are the outdoor type, it is an essential. Homespun jumpers are very warm, cosy and good protection again the elements.

We have seen some lovely jumpers lately. Karin brought in the soft green and grey cable one she had been working on. It is a classic style and knitted so well. Janette’s jumper is brighter in colour choice but it is soft and warm and reflects the colours we see in our area , particularly at the beach front. Christine was knitting a big grey man’s jumper. She needed to know it was coming along properly in its shaping so John very kindly offered to be her live model so people in the club could see the jumper and offer comment or suggestions for perfect shaping. We loved this jumper. Classic style.

man's jumper

Lovely shawls

Two lovely shawls this week and the inky colours were all class. Dramatic, even. The shawls were soft and draped well. Christine has woven her shawl and it’s an open weave so that is drapes perfectly, however you choose to wear it, and it would be so warm and soft to wear. Alexis knitted a star shawl which hangs is soft folds at the bag and has very neat lines as it sits on your shoulders. Two beautiful, warm shawls which would give any outfit a lift.

woven scarf
star shawl

Stars are fun and we often forget to use them in our textile designs. Here are plenty of ideas for stars in your eyes and work from In the Loop Knitting.

Show and Tell

Beautiful , sunny day at the beach front and we were full of activity and ideas. Christine and Margaret had had a very inspiring, creative time at the textile retreat last week. There are some really good projects underway and the show and tell table was full of rich, inky colours and beautiful items.

Show and Tell

Margaret: a beautiful crochet cardigan with last year’s Christmas challenge as decoration around the neck. Plus her retreat projects.
Karin has knitted a lovely mottled green jumper with a cable insert, 2 soft skeins of spun alpaca/silk – one white ,one fawn/white.
Janette: a jumper in stripes of blue/white, fawn/white and turquoise/white.
Christine: a very soft woven large scarf in dark blue and turquoise and her retreat projects.
Marina: a small scarf made of small woven squares with a decorative clasp.
Alexis : a beautiful knitted shawl in multicolours of blue & pinks, plus a selection of dyed coloured plaits.

Make a project bag!

We see quite a few different bags during a year with our group and they are all unique and special. This week was no different.

Wendy, who became proficient at weaving during our working from home earlier in the year, has woven herself a bag for her weaving projects. It meant she could make it exactly the size she needed. This bag is strong and durable but it is very soft to the touch. We loved the autumn colours.

Cathy was making freeform needlepoint pictures with her bits and pieces of left over handspun yarn. She put one in the centre of this bag and then crocheted around it. The bag has a double crochet gusset which was crocheted onto the big squares she made. Very much an oddments project but she made it as a project bag for herself.

Knitted Leprechaun

knitted leprechaun

We loved Marjorie’s leprechaun and he was a welcome addition to our day. He has such a good personality and presence. These days a lot of people crochet their new friends or friends for family members. It was good to see a knitted character. This little leprechaun is a case in point because he has such a warm personality.

In the Loop Knitting has a number of free knitting patterns for St Patrick’s Day in March but has leprechauns as well. They can be for whenever you need one. CraftGossip has some leprechauns too.

Jean Greenhowe has some free patterns for other characters you might want to try.

Show and Tell

Beautiful spring day at the beach front today. We were noisy and very full of ideas, projects and colours. It was Exchange Day again which we have once a month. We bring along things we no longer have a use for and exchange them or sometimes just give them away. Sheila had brought pattern books and leaflets. Such an array! We enjoyed looking at all the things and some of us got some good patterns and ideas!

Show and Tell

Marjorie has knitted an Irish Leprechaun and shared two skeins of spun wool rainbow coloured and desert pea.
Alexis has trimmed her Bay tree and brought in some leaves.
Wendy has woven a bag for her loom from all her oddments of spun wool.
Marina knitted a scarf with a matching pin in goldy browns and shared a bag from an Adelaide Hills member who makes them out of old book covers.
Cathy knitted a fluffy beanie for her granddaughter in pinks, blues and white with a pompom , crocheted a large bag for all her projects.
Deb has finished her scarf in bright pink with lacy panels.
Jan B has spun two finely spun skeins – one plain turquoise, one mixed silk colours with turquoise.
Hilary a small ball of spun wool in natural moorit.

Crochet projects

lavemder sachet crochet jacket crochet bag

Doesn’t matter whether it is a big or little project, crochet is generally faster than knitting and it can be so rewarding and different in its look. Four projects here are decorative and functional. Maria’s pink and green flower is a lavender sachet and it smelled so beautiful! Perfect for drawers and wardrobes. Quick and easy and it looks nice. Margaret’s grey jacket has been a big undertaking but she has made other things to create a break and interest in her life. The blue and red is yarn challenge yarn from the beginning of the year. The jacket will be warm and cosy. Margaret also made a decorative 3D flower in purple. It looks lovely and we are wondering what she will be doing with that ? Great colour. Last, but not least is Marina’s crochet bag. She has the right finish and it has a classic soummer outfit look. Great accessory and beautifully made! It has been lined. 

Weaving wonders

pin loom bag
tabletop loom
woven scarves

Some lovely weaving recently. Top in a pin loom bag Maria brought along but she had cut the handles off because she liked it as a cushion! Looks good. Middle is Peter’s table top weaving and he has chosen some lovely autumn colours and you can just get lost in looking at them. He doesn’t know yet what this will be. Bottom are some of John’s lovely scarves. he likes to practise new patters and ideas and then make the colours work together. They are all nice for different reasons. 

What colour is red?

People know what they are talking about! They know what they mean. Sheila was telling us about someone who wanted her to spin some red for her. She spun a Pantone Rockin’ Red, or maybe fire engine red or pillar box red. A nice, bright red. There are so many reds, though. The person was actually thinking of a deep, rich red like in a wine – a claret or burgundy. What colour is your red? 

Knitted blankets

We love making blankets . They are a big undertaking but we see quite a few in a year and they are all so different and lovely. We were talking about how crochet blankets can be heavy which is good for the really cold weather but not always what you want. Knitted blankets are lighter and have more movement. We have seen three lovely blankets just recently. Karin make a lovely autumn colours chevron blanket in her homespun wool. 

Janette made a really nice thick blanket for her daughter’s birthday. It is knitted sideways and is soft and warm. 

Jan B used her Optimum merino wool to make and beautiful, soft, white baby blanket. So special. 

And now we spin and weave …


Sonya, our roving reporter has brought us some more fascinating stories of what people in our group used to do. It adds to us all. We are a rich blend of experiences.


I used to be assistant principal at a school and at the same time I was a disability consultant, teaching children with a variety of disabilities. I’ve worked in New South Wales, Queensland and in South Australia. Now that we’re here, I am tossing up about resuming work part time. I love travelling and I want to visit Norway as soon as the ‘gates’ open up again. Claire, I’m sort of hoping that you’ll be so involved in Spinning and all the attendant activities of Seaford Spinners and Weavers, that you’ll never want to go back to work again. You are certainly showing promise, with that spinning wheel!


I used to be a mainframe security analyst. It involved lots of late nights and early mornings- meeting up with airlines and motor vehicle makers, fixing up IT problems and restoring systems. I was part of a global team, with Skype meetings all over the world. Hey Sheila you could come and live with us and teach Ian and me how to operate our iphones and ipad… (Google will explain about mainframe).


I used to be a fitter and turner and a technical drawer. I spent half the day in the office and half the day in the workshop, making bombs !!! This was –

LuftfahrtforschungsanstaltHermannGoeringFlugzeugprüfstelletrauen. A short translation being Airforce Research. I was placed there after my apprentice years. I should explain that in those apprentice years I was the only female among the 25 males! We had to do road making, roofing and tiling, me and the men!) During this time I knew Hannah Reich an acclaimed test pilot for the Airforce Research. The first test pilot had to parachute out of his aeroplane with flames roaring out of the exhaust. Thereafter he was not willing to repeat the experience! Nor were any of the other pilots. But Hannah Reich, a petite size woman, was quite brave enough to test fly any machine!


When my workplace place was completely bombed by the Allies I was sent to Southern Germany where I worked for an engineer. I had to do the drawings for his design of Hitler’s underground bunker/bomb shelter. Interesting times…. And I just know you have many more stories Maria, there for the asking.


I used to love going to Morgan when I was a kid. My older sister had a property at Brenda Park. We had great times there. They had a speed boat so there was plenty of water skiing on the river, with campfires at night. I remember on one occasion I accidently dropped a bar of soap in the river. Shortly after, we could see the rows of bubbles flowing downstream. Quite spectacular that was. Then there was a log that we used to sit on, around the campfire. One night we needed more wood for the fire so we decided to roll the log into the fire and burn it up. While we were dragging it along , a snake slithered out of it That sent us scurrying! We took a motorbike up with us. How I loved zooming around on that. There were quite a lot of shops, including a variety shop, which we loved. But its all changed now and Morgan is no longer like that. Oh they were good memories though! Yes it’s a changing world Christine and not always for the better.



Pin Loom Weaving

pin loom weavingMarina has interested us with her pin loom weaving. She is using her homespun wool. She makes rolags of the colours she wants and then spins the small balls of yarn for the pin loom. She likes weaving and exploring weaving looms. This little loom can easily pack in a bag, weighs nothing and with a small ball of wool and a needle it becomes a very portable project. Most of us are incurable and like to be working on our projects no matter where we are.

We were fascinated with how the colours came together in the weaving. It becomes wool patchwork and you can make bags, cushion covers, jackets. You can stitch the patches together or crochet around the edges. It is easier if you use a needle with an upward tilt at the end. Pin looms come in a variety of designs and prices. Some are very cheap and some are expensive. You can make your own with wood and nails. Petlyn’s has a variety so you can see the sorts of sizes and shapes there are for pin looms . There is skill involved because of the small size and then how you want to add strength and structure to the woven piece. The handwoven site gives clear written instructions for using a pin loom.

Show and Tell

rolags  teddy bear tape measure cover teddy bear tape measure cover optimum baby blanket knitted fox chevron blanketwool batts



Show and Tell

Maria: small teddy and a teddy tape measure cover.
Jan B: beautiful white optimum large shawl in a shell pattern.
Karin: a large rug in stripes and chevron pattern.
Alexis: 9 beautiful coloured carded batts.
Marina: a basket of little rolags in assorted colours.


It was a beautiful spring day today and so it was good to be down by the ocean spinning. We had plenty to see and talk about. As you can see from the pictures, the colour immersion was a very rich experience. Next week is a public holiday so we won’t be spinning but we are all in the middle of projects and look forward to seeing them as they are completed.

Knitted chevron pattern

knitted chevron blanket knitted chevron pattern

We loved the knitted chevron blanket Alexis brought in a while ago. Cathy knitted one from her home spun wool while we were in isolation this year. She then used the pattern to make a scarf to match a short sleeved jumper she has knitted. It is a very versatile pattern . If you knit it on bigger needles it has a lace effect. There is only one pattern row. The other one is purl. If you use one colour you can get the lace effect and a better visual look than just plain stocking stitch. If you use more than one colour you will get the zig zag effect. Marina has used this stitch to good effect with her homespun yellow cotton and then with some of her homespun wool . You can learn the one pattern row relatively easily.

Show and Tell

homespun show and tell

It was windy to day and we watched the white crested waves roll into shore on a lovely blue ocean. Inside there was so much to do and talk about. Christine taught herself to hairpin crochet from a YouTube video on her phone with a gadget Marina had found in an op shop. That was fun. The show and tell table was not as busy as usual because people are now doing new spinning and knitting to get new projects up and running. So many lovely colours and ideas. John’s fingerless gloves on his round loom are looking good.

Show and Tell

Janette: a large square shawl/rug in red/blue and white with fringes, for her daughter’s 60th birthday.

Jan E: finished her scarf for her friend, who is moving to Tasmania.
Very easy pattern knit3, purl1 across even number of stitches.

Cathy: spun ball of wool blue/mauve & white.

Karin: a large skein of variegated green spun wool.

Colour your life

spinning wool

We could not live without colour. Every Monday we are surrounded by it and it woks its magic. You can watch someone with a pile of strips ready to spin and then marvel at how those colours change and then again when they are plied. You can watch others blend colours or mix in some silk and wow, what a difference and an eye opener.  We have colour moods. Sometimes they are natural colours. Other times they are bold, eye catching splashes of colour intensity. Sometimes they are soothing or calming. It is always interesting how people select colour combinations and colourways. We are all unique and our interplay with colour is individual.  Watching the colours can be healing and inspiring. We always learn from the way others use and shape their spinning colours.

Above is just a tiny selection of the colour feast we are offered each week. What would you do with the colours? What colours would you add to them? Which are your favourites? Which do you like least? Some colours instantly appeal. Others make you think. See the red and the white? Those are going to be plied together. The red is merino tops and the white is mulberry silk which will give a sheen to the yarn. What would you do with a skein of red and white yarn like that? Colours will always make you want to do something.

Inkle loom weaving

inkle loom pouch inkle loom weaving inkle loom battery pouch




Marina often weaves with her inkle loom and creates some interesting things. One of the things we were talking about in the group this week ,is how we can make exactly what we want for a specific purpose. Marina needed a battery cover for her little Eel wheel so she got out her inkle loom and made one! She created one section with a diamond pattern and then a plainer pattern for the rest of the weaving so the pouch would have a feature strip. Very effective and very functional.

Merino and silk laps

merino silk lapJan E brought along some wool and silk laps  by Lara Downs, on Etsy , to show us. You can purchase just silk ones, too. Jan was explaining how easy (!) it is to make a scarf with these and inlay silk fabric. You don’t have to separate the wool into tufts of fibre for felting. Nuno felting is actually an Australian idea from one of our NSW fibre artists, Polly Stirling. Laps can also be spun and will produce finely spun wool or silk.

The video below is just a lovely way to see how you can develop a silk scarf with wool fibre. With a lap it would be quicker to lay it all out before felting.

Fabulous felting

felted jacketwet felted jacket

felted slippers

felted slippersWe have had fun with felting this year. We have seen some lovely projects and are pleased with all the colour felting brings into our lives. This week Alexis shared a beautiful jacket she had made with silk rayon decorations. The colours and shapes just dance across that green in a visually pleasing way.
Cathy made some felted slippers and used the felted flower skills she had recently learned in our group to decorate them. These a naturally dyed colours.

Make a wet felted witch hat

How fun! Jan E, who is one of the people in the group who has really supported us learning to felt, sent a link to this witch hat video from Spry Whimsy Fiber Art. The advantage of this video is Peter walks you through the whole process so you can felt the hat as you follow the video. You can just watch the video , too. It is a fascinating process.

Show and Tell

chevron scarf crochet jacket  felted slippers weaving felted jacketwoven table mat

wool and silk lapsSpring starts here 1st September. Today was spring! A lovely 25C this morning and a lovely blue ocean. What a difference a warm day makes. We were cheerful, happy and very productive. We congratulate Claire on getting her first spun yarn onto a niddy noddy. We thank Atlas for being such a well behaved guest. He is Deb’s guide dog foster puppy. All cuteness and obedience. So many good ideas and so much activity. Spring  really has sprung. 

Show and Tell

Alexis: beautiful felted vest green with silk rayon patterns in pinks/red.

Maria : bright blue crochet vest.

Cathy : felted slippers with a felted flower as decoration in yellow/pink, a knitted scarf in green/yellow and fawn with a leather butterfly wooden spike fastener.

Wendy : a small woven mat blue/white and fawn.

Jan: brought in some silk/wool laps to show which are great for felting.

Peter: was busy with a small loom.

John: is also finished knitting a fingerless mitten on his round knitting loom.

And now we spin and weave…

I am better than I used to beSonya, our roving reporter, has brought us some more lovely stories about what people in our group used to do. Truth is, we have always been doing something and sometimes you do not realise how much it has contributed to you or how much it will inspire others until those experiences are shared. These stories are part of our shared experience as a group but we didn’t know until we read them! Everyone’s life is a fabric woven from so many individually spun strands.



I used to own a wool shop . I wish you still did, Jan! The world seems very short of them nowadays. Also I used to play all sorts of sports. I could water ski on a single ski. I even used to be married ! I think you’d have to be really brave to ski on a single ski. Or to be married, for that matter!


I used to ride a bike to school when I was a kid, but for the life of me I simply can’t remember any part of my school days, or my teachers. Too much world travel perhaps Hilary !


I used to ride a motor bike. I got my L plate when I was 58 and my P plate when I was 59. I did 10,000 k on my bike. I went down the South Australian coast, around to Meningie and back to Murray Bridge. I really loved it, especially going through the Adelaide Hills. It’s hard to imagine our Wendy who spins and knits fine lace patterns, being a bikie!


I used to work in London, right near Westminster Abbey. I lived at Watford, a city on the Edge of London, with a bigger population than Adelaide. For my commute to work, I jumped on the train to Euston and then took the Underground to Victoria Square. You’d be sightseeing every working day Pam!


I used to go dancing. My specialty was the Can-Can. I belonged to a dancing troupe. We did a lot of charity shows, going to schools, old folk in nursing homes and such. I wore a full length black dress with red frills under the skirt, and a black hat with flowers on it. Could you give us a demo Anne? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease?


I used to make jewellery. One of the rings I’m wearing today, with the onyx stone, is the first ring I ever made. I made Anne a pair of motorbike earrings because she used to be my pillion rider. She was always urging me to “go faster!” Oh the daredevil. You’d never guess when you are both spinning about your need for speed!


I used to travel a lot. They were good times. I’ve been through most of South East Asia, and Europe. I’ve lived in Beijing, Phnom Penh and Shanghai working as a maths and science teacher in International schools. Where do you store your magic carpet Debbie?


I used to live in Speed, a town in Somerset, well known for the makers of Clarks shoes. Clarks owned the whole village the houses, the shops, the swimming pool, everything. The kids in the town were all given school shoes to wear. This helped the local families financially. In order to test the shoes, they would drive up to the school, at the end of the day, in a big black car and take the chosen shoe wearer and treat us to afternoon tea. (That was the first time I ever saw sandwiches cut in dainty triangles!) They had some sort of box arrangement through which they could peer down at our foot in the shoe. If the shoes didn’t come up to their satisfaction, they would be taken away and we were given another pair. Then we’d be driven home.

The Clarks were a Quaker family and of course were Pacifists. For one of the wars ( I think it was WW1) they were commissioned to make boots for the soldiers. They did so, but made no profit on them, selling the boots at cost price. Such a lovely story Sheila, from someone who declared they had nothing of interest to share! Thanks Pam for dobbing her in.


Knitted balaclavas

knitted balaclavas

Anne’s balaclavas created a lot of conversation. We haven’t seen any in a while and they are really the very thing for the cold, windy weather.  They are not cowls. They fit snugly and so provide warmth, protection,  and keep your hair in place.  Priorities! The brown one is knitted in homespun wool and the other two are commercial wool. Not sure why they went out of fashion because they are so practical.

There are free balaclava patterns on Knitting Patterns Galore.  There are hoods and cowls too if you prefer those styles.

Show and tell

balaclavas beanies   mexican kiln weavingsocks, spun wool, felted purse

Cold again today but sunny. Inside the club it was a hive of activity and chat to the extent it took us quite some time to notice the wall clock was running half an hour slow . We were busily creative and full of ideas and plans.

Show and Tell

Sonya: brought in a woven kiln from Mexico tapestry which was very interesting.
Sheila: 3 beanies ready for next year Beanies Festival, one long tail, one bright orange and one brown.

Anne: 3 knitted balaclavas brown, black and blue.

Karin: 2 pairs socks. One in spun wool spiral design, 4 spun balls of mixed fibres, large ball in pale orange, one in brown,one grey  and one blue/white mix with silk.

Cathy: a small felted purse from the felting workshop.

Alexis: a large skein of dyed wool in various shades of blues & pink.

Knitted socks

childrens socks Russian socks

Two lovely pairs of socks this week. Janette’s Russian socks pattern ones are warm and cosy and in her spun wool they would be the very thing to keep your feet toastie warm in winter. They are thick but soft.

Marjorie’s children’s socks, knitted in her homespun wool, are so cheerful and the sort of colours children would love to have happy feet in winter. We often think of beanies and blankets for winter but there is also a need for nice, warm socks. KnittingforCharity has a selection of free socks patterns.

Show and Tell

We had a very productive and busy meeting this week. Everyone was full of their plans, projects and colours. The felting projects are still continuing so Jan E did a good job of enthusing us. Sonya made a beautiful felted flower this week with Jan’s help. Cathy and Marina are still perfecting their felting skills and, next week,  plan to make the slippers they could not get right when they were first felting with the club. The slippers got them going on the journey in a big way, though. Plenty of beautiful spinning colours and some nice weaving projects.

Show and Tell

dyed and spun wool felted flower felted hat and spun skeins knitted dog and felted flowerstar shawl round loom fingerless mittenswoven runner

Sonya: the beautiful flower finished complete with stem.
Marjorie :a lovely mini pair of socks and some odd skeins of pastel shade dyed wool.
Cathy: a revamped hat with last week’s felted flower as decoration
Sheila :2 balls of spun dyed wool one bright red the other a dark spun fleece dyed with grevillea.
Deb : a small knitted dog.
Alexis: a beautiful multi coloured star shawl in her own spun wool.
Janette: a pair of warm thick socks and a ball of spun wool brown/white.
Wendy: a lovely woven table runner.
John: is knitting on a knitting loom a pair of fingerless mittens.

Felting a flower

Jan E Has been carefully guiding us through the discipline and skill of felting flowers. We have become quite excited about it and soon you will see what we did this week. Meanwhile Jan has shared a Living Felt video about flower felting. It takes about an hour and is very chatty but an enjoyable way to learn how to felt a flower. You can sit there and felt along with the video! Not all of us can be with a group so  it is great to be able to share our skills and ideas online. Jan has made us very enthusiastic about creating different felted flowers and her encouragement is welcome in this challenging world.

Felting Workshop

We had a really creative, productive and happy time at our flower felting workshop run by Jan E. She had brought along a number of items she had made to help inspire us. Sheila brought some things to show us too and then Alexis helped out with her felting tips, tricks and experience. We were very busy and then finding our way through the process of making our flower. It was fun and really very inspiring. Below we are sharing a flower video which shows very clearly how to make a flower if you have never done it before. It will be nice to see our finished flowers this coming week.


And now I spin or weave…

I used to beSonya, our roving reporter, is bringing us group stories again. We always enjoy these and it would seem our followers do too. These first ones are based on a response to “I used to…” Great notion to think about because life is change and change is action. We are together as a group of spinners and weavers and people who love all things fibre. What we used to be and do has brought us to this point of working with texture, colour and fibre. Each one of us has different colour combinations in our fabric of life and the texture is different and that is what makes it possible for us to share: all these changes which have made us who we are today.  Enjoy:


I used to be very active in sport. I used to run 16 kilometres every single day for 10 years. I’ve been around the world twice on my legs! Perhaps we could see them in our next Show and Tell…


I used to cycle on a racing bike. Now I’m cycling on what is sometimes referred to as “Pensioners’ Harley”, which has a rechargeable battery. Cycle on, dear pensioner!


I used to breed Burmese cats and British Short Hair  cats and Angora goats. I gave that all away because after 22 years I’d had enough! The Burmese were very like a dog in their ways. Some would retrieve, if you threw something and they always wanted to be around us. The British were somewhat more stand-offish. Reserved, perhaps?


I used to look good in a bikini. I have crocheted my own and I can still fit into mine. Got any photos, Alexis? Or maybe a crochet pattern?


I used to be afraid of heights. So I did the sensible thing and joined a mountain-climbing club. I even climbed the Lion’s Head and Tabletop Mountain in Capetown, South Africa. Sounds like a cure or kill treatment Karin!


I used to be a dressmaker, making wedding dresses. I still make my husband’s shirts. That’s devotion, Marjorie!


I used to do Scottish country dancing. I really loved it. I can’t do it now because I have artificial knees. I was told not to do any contact sport, involving jumping, running, etc. Ah but, Janette, no need for running or leaping with those beautiful jumpers you spin and knit.


I used to be an actress! I started that in my high school days when I joined the repertory group. From there I went on to join the Salisbury Repertory group. Then as a teacher At Dover Gardens High, I was the mother in Bye-bye Birdie. Did you ever sign your name in lipstick, on any mirrors ,Cathy/ Just wondering

Jan B

I used to show alpacas. We’ve won over 90 championships in South Australia. Now I’m happily retired and the alpacas are a hobby. I do most of my spinning with my own alpaca fleeces. And what exquisite spinning, Jan.

Persian Poppy Waistcoat

kaffe fasset knitted jacketAlexis was wearing her Kaffe Fassett Persian poppies waistcoat on Monday. We had to feature it in show and tell. Marvellous piece of knitting by Alexis with a pattern from design legend Kaffe Fasset. We loved Alexis’ choice of colours. They make a statement and are visually striking. This is exactly what Kaffee Fassett does with textiles. He takes colour and pattern and makes it bold and visually very exciting .

We could not find the pattern online but Ravelry has information in the library about where you can source the pattern for the Persian Poppy Waistcoat. 


Show and Tell

crescent shawl kaffe fasset knitted jacket felted flower spun wool and felted  bag woven strap

We had a very energising day with the flower felting workshop run by Jan E. She made us all look good and others stepped in with their tips and tricks to ensure everyone making a flower achieved something impressive. It was a day of ideas and activity. 

Show and Tell

Alexis was wearing one of her knitted, beautiful vests from Kaffe Fassett pattern book.
Also a large skein of plied wool in multi colours.

Cathy: a felted bag a product from last weeks workshop, finished and ready to use plus 4 balls of
spun wool in various colours.

Hilary: a shawlette knitted from one of Brenda’s red plaits.

Marina: an inkle loom woven long strap in blue/grey.

Our guest produced a flower from today’s felting workshop.

Wet felting a flower

We are having another felting workshop to learn how to make felted Flowers which make attractive brooches and decorations/embellishments. Peter McMasters puts some good tutorials on YouTube . His fast speed felted flower is good to watch because it is quick, breathtaking and a good overview of the technique. It will only take 45 seconds of your time!


Doublesided knitting

double sided knittingPam was doing this really interesting knitting this week. It is double sided and the soft green and white squares are looking very effective. great way to make scarves and potholders.

There is a very helpful tutorial on studioknits . It has text and video explanations for you to follow. It is a matter of practice. Pinterest is then the goto site to find lots of patterns for double sided knitting. It’s niche knitting!

Knitted Dog

It was fun watching Deb put the finishing touches on her knitted dog. She has created quite the canine character with a good personality. It is nice to see the textile toys our members make for the young and the young at heart.

The WHOot  has some good free dog patterns and the page also offers a link to cat patterns for those of you who prefer feline friends.