A warm knitted vest like this is the best thing in winter. It can be worn under a jacket, if necessary, and really protects against the cold. Marjorie spun the wool for this and it is all natural colour and then she knitted it. It has a country look and would just as nice with a skirt as pants and a warm scarf would complete the outfit. We likes it because it was so soft. We don’t like scratchy wool and we don’t like the feel of harsh fibres which is why we often spin alpaca. Spinning the wool means you can select the right fleece so you get a really soft texture into the wool you spin. Marjorie’s vest is a classic piece and we loved it.
John and Peter are very productive and are always creating something interesting on their looms. Peter has really only just begun to weave but he loves it so he is learning quickly. John has a lot of experience and has been very helpful to Peter. We like seeing what they are doing and are always amazed with the level of skill and then the patience setting up the looms and making the cloth. Peter’s new pattern is coming along nicely and it is destined to be a rucksack. John is currently working on an American Colonial pattern. Those patterns favoured red and white and blue and white. Originally people were not allowed to weave in America. They had to send the raw fibres to Britain and then bring it back as woven cloth. You cannot stop people , though. Weaving cotton, linen and wool was popular. John’s red and white piece is looking lovely and such a good design.
Cathy dyed some English Leiceister fleece with pomegranate seeds and skins. The fleece was white but after being in the pot for hours it became, well, sheep coloured. A creamy, yellowish colour like wheat. Pomegranates are high in tannic acid so you do not need a mordant. The net bag got eaten through though ,which was a first for her when using natural dyes. It wasn’t a problem…big sieves work well.
She carded it and is now mixing that to make wool batts which include a bit of sage green merino tops and some gold thread. All of that looks good together and we look forward to seeing how it spins up.
The yarn on the right has been dyed with onion skins and then there is some yellow merino tops and white alpaca mixed in.
Recently we showed Christine spinning the husky fur she had. She turned the spun yarn into a woven scarf and it looks different. Good different. It has a substantial texture without being thick. It has a real warmth and cosiness. The slightly open weave allows an appreciation of the fibre but creates air pockets for extra warmth. The fringe is a good idea because it allows you to appreciate the husky fur. This is no ordinary scarf and it’s a great addition to a winter wardrobe.
This grannie square is about 30cm square and Maria learnt how to do it on a craft camp the week before last . It is not the sort of grannie square you can just do but the visual impact of it is striking and different colour combinations would produce such an interesting effect. As usual, Maria’s workspace was fun and interesting and yes, it just happened to be her birthday recently. We celebrated it just before the camp and she celebrated it at the camp. She had found this grannie square quite challenging and , given her high skills level, it was good that she could find something which would help build her creative ideas.
We had some lovely hats again this week and ones which made us think . Top left is Marina’s spun wool beanie which was cosy and warm . She’d actually used the pattern from Christine’s tubular socks because she thought it would work well on a beanie and it does. It makes it warmer than if you knitted it flat and it also gives it a bit of a life visually. She then made another beanie, on the right, using the same pattern but using her spun wool batts plied with cotton. It looks quite different from the other one even though it is the same pattern. Both of the beanies look comfortable.
Underneath are Hilary’s two berets from her spun wool. The first one , to the left, has some soft green at the edge and then the bright colours in the middle. The second one is just such a glorious riot of green and other colours. Like Marjories’ beret last week it is a celebration of colour. Both of these berets are cheerful and guaranteed to beat the winter blues. Colour therapy works.
Margaret had white crochet things on her workspace. We were trying to think what they were. A big white doily and a smaller circle…hmm. As is turns out it is going to be a sheep. There is a black face to go on this and it is supposed to be for a baby blanket. This is Australia. Margaret was thinking about this sheep. She was thinking it would be too hot and heavy for a baby blanket in Australia. She really liked the sheep she was making but decided it would probably look better on a bag or an adult blanket. We are now looking forward to seeing this sheep and what Margaret does with it. Creativity is a journey and Margaret constantly teaches us to think things out , to do what we want and to use our judgement to make our own creative decisions.
While we are on the subject of sheep, because Margaret made us think about them, there is the cutest little sheep drawstring bag on RepeatCrafterMe. Great pattern and great name for a site 🙂
Marina : 2 balls of spun yarn in muted pastel shades of blue, 1 yellow/cream mix, 2 beanies in a spiral rib orange/cream, 1 ribbed in a blue mixture.
Cathy :2 carded batts yellow with muted green & gold thread carded through. Pomegranate natural dye.
Sheila: showed us the finished jumper she was working on last week in a photo on her phone:Granddaughter wearing the jumper.
Hilary :2 berets in very bright multi-coloured greens, 1 skein of spun Ashford wool/silk mix.
John : the weaver has started a new project weave a heritage pattern for a table runner.
Peter ,John’s apprentice, is working on his ruck sack.
Maria : a sample of a colourful crazy crotchet square.
Maria brought along some pieces she had been knitting to show us how to get some good visual effects in knitting without having to break your head or your patience. The dimple stitch (right) easy and a good way to create some interest in a knitted garment without having to test your memory or level of concentration. Maria can do really complicated things but she constantly reminds us there is a time and a place for easy and fun too and when you are leading a busy life. Sometimes you want to be able to do something a bit different but achieve it with a sense of being in control while your mind is on other things.
There were some nice hats this week. You would never be lost in Hilary’s luminescent green beanie. Beautifully spun, eye catching green which would make you a stand out. the cables on the hat give it visual interest and a professional finish. Jan’s autumn colours slouch beanie is lovely. It is cosy. The colours are rich and warm and it just makes you want to wear it. The double , folded edge at the boarder makes it looks really neat. Then there’s Marjorie’es psychedelic beret. She bought the unspun colourway in Nimbin and has since spun and now knitted it up. The loud colours are fun and this would be a very cheerful beret to wear on a cold winter’s day. Sometimes you jsut have to make a colour statement with your accessories.
We were talking about whether you could felt with dog fur or not when Christine brought the husky fur along to spin. You can. Alan tells us there is no shrinkage so you wetfelt to size . Don’t expect to go through the process where the item becomes smaller as you felt. The woman in the video explains and shows how she felts dog fur. There are not many videos around so we appreciate this one is there. The wet felting process is the same and experience is going to be a great teacher.
Winter is coming so hats, beanies and berets will be on our needles , hooks and minds now. Cathy knitted her first beret in her own spun wool and alpaca and is really pleased with the result even though it had started out badly. The pattern she used just looked and felt all wrong and so she took a leaf out of Maria’s book and just unpicked what she didn’t like. That left her with the band. She then looked at various beret patterns and worked out a way of increasing and decreasing. She was knitting and purling as she felt like it so you can do the same. This is what she did:
Round needles/dpns 3.75 and 5.00
8 ply or equivalent yarn
Using 3.75 needles cast on 102 stitches.
Purl 3 , knit one for the next rounds until you have knitted 5cm. Last stitch should be knit. Make sure you mark the first stitch.
Change to 5.00 needles and continue with the purl 3 knit one pattern for another 5cm.
The band is now 10cm wide.
Decide whether you want to knit or purl the next round. Cathy purled it.
Increase round:Knit or purl 5 stitches, increase into the next one. Knit or purl 5 stitches , increase into the next one. Continue like this until the end of the round.
Knit or purl the next row.
Now do the opposite. If it was a knit row then purl it. If it was a purl row then knit it.
Repeat the increase round.
Now you can carry on as you please until your work measures 18cm.
Decrease row: K2 tog , knit 10 stitches, slip one stitch, knit one. Pass slip stitch over. Continue with this until the end of the round.
Purl or knit next round
K2 tog , knit 9 stitches, slip one stitch, knit one. Pass slip stitch over. Continue with this until the end of the round.
Purl or knit next round
K2 tog , knit 8 stitches, slip one stitch, knit one. Pass slip stitch over. Continue with this until the end of the round.
Do this decreasing until you get to knit two stitches before the slip stitch.
Knit or purl one row . Break yarn but leave a tail. Thread a needle though with the tail of wool and pull stit
ches tight and sew securely for the top of the beret.
Marjorie: a very colourful beret.
Jan 1: a beanie in autumn colours
Marina :1. Spun ball of purple/multi coloured tops, 1. Ball of dark brown spun with orange/pinks, a cotton knitted/crotched square.
Marina also purchased 2 small toys from the hospital craft shop.
Hilary: a lime green beanie in cable stitch
Sheila: a baby quilt for her new 10 week old granddaughter & a nursing apron for her daughter-in-law.
Peter: working on his ruck sack
John: working on his second strap for his shopping bag.
The ocean looked stunning but it was very blowy down on the beach front. it was lucky we were inside with all our chat and ideas. We could value the great view without getting blown away.
Christine was spinning husky yarn today and it looked like fun. It was white and fluffy and looked like rabbit’s fur. She had brought along plenty of bags of it so that if anyone else wanted to try it they could. There were takers because it is a nice challenge. We were wondering if you could felt it but dog fur doesn’t usually felt. It can matt so we were wondering if you could card it in with other felting fibres. Our idea was to make husky slippers. They’d be so soft and warm. We also thought it would be good to card the husky fur in with wool and alpaca before spinning. What Christine was spinning , though, looked really nice and we look forward to seeing the finished yarn.
This week Sonya, our roving reporter, brings you Christine ‘s story. Her crescent shawl continues to be one of our top posts. She has mentored new members in spinning and weaving . She supports them strongly at the start and then gives them so many ideas and pushes them to fly and believe in themselves. She is confidence-inspiring with yarn arts because she is so passionate about them:
Christine is a most gifted and creative person you could ever come across. And laced with such kindness of heart. She willingly teaches newbies how to spin, weave, do complex knitting, or manoeuvre their way into a puzzling spinning wheel., spin chunky yarn, use an obscure sock loom etc etc. Can’t do something? Need the shelves of patterns sorted? Take you to the airport? Do a stint at the Royal Adelaide Show? Just ask dear Christine. Oh it’s too late! She’s already offered before being asked. Every club should have a Christine. Here is her story which she assured me there was nothing about her, to write.
I’ve knitted for as long as I can remember. My mother was pleased she could teach me because my two sisters just didn’t cotton on to knitting. But for all that there was a lot of skill in my family. One of my brothers and his son built their entire house. Another brother has renovated and redecorated his house. One of my sisters is brilliant at sewing, making curtains and such, and so clever with macramé. And the other sister is just so socially gifted.
I was sixteen when I knitted my first cardigan. When my children were young I remember knitting seven jumpers for them in seven months. My wrists were so sore that I threw out my needles and the rest of my wool, vowing never to knit again.
After that I don’t think I picked up my knitting needles for some years. Then a friend gave me a cross stitch tapestry, a white work project and a long stitch tapestry. That all got me going again. I decided I would make hardanger embroidery my specialty.
When my neighbour and friend Beryl showed me her spinning wheel and told me about the process of washing, carding, spinning and then knitting, I thought to myself –what fool would go through all of that?
I started coming along with Beryl to Seaford Spinners and Weavers because I decided I wanted to learn how to spin. However I had no intention of joining up. I learnt to spin on the wheel I borrowed from my sister who keeps it as an ornament and is not interested in using it. I took to spinning and loved it. I still find it relaxing and I feel kind of secure, behind a spinning wheel.
Marjorie brought along some dyed wool. Things do not always go according to plan when you are dyeing. The dark blue of the bottom skein was supposed to be purple. The skein itself looks good with the dark blue , orange and green. Marjorie is an experienced wool dyer. She just could not get the purple colour. In the end she got a lovely amethyst colour which is at the top. The was extra green so she dyed the green skein and that is very vibrant. These were Landscape dyes. It will be interesting to see how Marjorie spins these colours and what she makes with them. Sometimes when things don’t go as planned it will challenge you to think differently or create differently. We are certain Marjorie will use her skeins of wool to good effect.
Both Maria and Margaret are working on Tunisian crochet pieces and both have something to teach us. Maria is working on a blanket. To enhance the visual effect of the blanket , she is adding little embroidered flowers. She also says she will be unpicking some of it because some of the wool is thicker than the other and so parts of the blanket are not right in her opinion. For her, this is not an issue. If she doesn’t like something, Maria will unpick it and redo it to her liking. No fuss. No bother. Just do it because she wants her work to look as good as she wants it to look. Margaret is working on squares. The windmill pattern is a bit trickier to do so Margaret decided to make it easier on herself by changing colours so she could see exactly what she was doing and would know if something was going wrong. Contrasting the colours means the wrong moves are picked up very quickly and so less time is spent on that and more time on mastering the pattern technique.
The weather was beautiful on Monday and our ocean view was quite spectaular. it may have been April Fool’s Day but no fools were present. Just plenty of enthusiastic peopel with great colours and good ideas.
Marjorie: 3 skeins 1, multi coloured blue, green & red, purple & green & a spun wool vest in brown with white flecks.
Janette: ball of spun wool in grey & turquoise.
Cathy: Beret in dark brown, blue & red, ball of spun wool dark brown alpaca/pink corriedale.
Marina: large rug crocheted pattern from corner to corner in various shades of brown, fawn & cream. Small beanie with a fur pom pom.
Karin: a crescent scarf spun from wool dyed at our work shop.
Jan 1: 3 beanies knitted from commercial fibres in various colours, turquoise fluffy/blue, various reds with stripes of blue & black, mainly greens with stripes of blue & violet.
Peter: weaving a piece for a ruck sack,
John is weaving his straps for the latest shopping bag.
Peter and John were both doing some good weaving this week with interesting colour palettes. John was using his inkle loom and making a bag strap with dark colours. Peter was mastering a new pattern and had chosen some lovely bright colours which go well together and show up the new pattern to good effect.
Socks are very much the in thing with us at the moment because winter is coming! Hand knitted socks are special, colourful and very comfortable and warm. Perfect for inside sneakers and boots but also just nice to pad around home in.
Sonya’s socks on the left are nice autumn colours and the self patterning wool is impressive. We liked the idea of the purl stitch inserts because when you roll the sock tops down it becomes stocking stitch and would create very nice boot cuffs! Karin’s socks are ocean colours and so soothing. They are cheerful but the ocean colours are so nice to look at. Margaret is still finishing her woodland socks and then has some other very colourful socks on the go.
The weather has cooled down so it’s a pleasant activity to knit socks. Here are some easy socks to knit on shiny, happy world.
Deb brought along her raw fleeces on Monday but she also brought along Sally, her German exchange student. It was a good day for Sally to be there with all the fleece and fibre around. We run all sorts of different wheels plus the looms and carders and then people are knitting or crocheting. There was plenty for Sally to see…including a spectacular view of one of the best beaches in the world!
Alexis got Sally spinning on her electronic spinner. Sally took to it like a duck to water and was applying herself to her newly learned skills with a lot of concentration. She was just delighted to be spinning and have the change to make her own yarn from the beautiful colours Alexis was spinning. She really was good at it and,for a beginner, was showing the enthusiasm and commitment you need to be a good textiles person. Luckily her host mother is a very good spinner too with a lot of experience so the next generation of spinners is up and running!
While some are drowning the world in plastic and we are trying to find ways of cleaning it from our rivers and oceans because it is contaminating the environment , there are other people on the other end of the scale who are very passionate about rediscovering sustainable living. We are not all going to be sitting on the forest floor stripping bark and weaving it. We just aren’t. What we’ll do , though, is watch something like this and know for a fact that we can do better and we can get back to living in a way which will stop piling trash of all sorts of descriptions all over our home. It’s actually fascinating to watch this man weave bark. We have a lot of gum tree bark which peels of the trees here. Maybe we could put it to better use?
We thank Marina for sharing this video link with us.
We had such a good time on Monday. Deb Hopton brought us fleeces from her farm and we had Jon and Luba bringing all their lovely rare fibre to tempt us. We had fun looking at all the fleeces and fibres and then talking about what we’d make or how we’d spin them . We could talk about the colours and dyeing too. It was good to be saturated in so many sorts of fleeces and fibres. Jon and Luba are the people we visited on Equipment Day last year and we had loved seeing what they had for sale. Their website is well organised and they are very efficient at explaining their fibres and helping you find the right one for your needs. The combination of raw fleece and prepared fleece was good. It meant our thinking was more comprehensive and our conversations were richer because of it. We all went home with our stashes increased. How nice.
Sonya , our roving reporter, is bringing you John’s story this week. It has been great to have weaving looms up and running again. As someone who is self taught he has shown us the value of methodical, regular and planned learning.
You’ve only been with us a month or two but you are quite indispensable! Such a tall strong and muscled up man, (and handsome!) you single handed set up our heavy trestle tables and dismantle them again at the end of our day. And you have given validity to our name Spinners and Weavers. After a lapse of some years we have a weaving group! You have inspired and taught Peter and Marina the ancient and seemingly complicated art of threading up and working their loom. Peter’s outstanding weaving has quickly materialised, impressing us all. What a tribute to your teaching, John.
Here is his story.
When I was pensioned off from the mining industry someone asked me to make some weaving tools, which I did. From that time I started repairing weaving looms .It then occurred to me that I should actually know how to use weaving looms, so that I would know better how to repair them or make parts for them.
I went to the Weavers’ Guild and was told that Bev Bills, one of their members, had been weaving for many years. I learned the basics from Bev and then plodded along on my own. I read a lot of weaving books!
I’ve now got 4 shaft, 6 shaft and 8 shaft looms. I also have three Inkle looms (they are used for making bands, belts, handles etc.)
What used to be our lounge is now my weaving room! Fortunately my dear wife doesn’t object to that. She does bobbin lace making, but as yet isn’t into weaving. I buy my yarn from various sources. I got some from the Hills group at Littlehampton and it was there that I met Peter and Marina. They said ‘why not come to Seaford Spinners and Weavers.’ Good promo thanks Peter and Marina! Heard of that group but didn’t know where it was. Now, thanks to them, I found where it was and here I am. Currently I am using a loom that used to belong to this group. I fixed it up a bit and now it’s done the full circle.
Peter: Woven fabric in purple, orange and green commercial wool which may become a ruck sack.
Marina: UFO hat done and dusted in blue and grey with tomboy neck ties and top knt. .
Cathy: Fingerless gloves form Margaret’s idea in her own spun wool. Blues, corals and browns. Alpaca and wool.
Jan2: Dark fawn cria born at 12 noon today when we started our meeting. So cute.
Christine brought along her crochet blanket kit on Monday. We just loved it. We loved the mandalas, the grannie squares, the colours , the look. It is vibrant and has such a high visual appeal. It is painstaking work and is taking time but Christine likes that sort of a challenge. This will be a stunning blanket when it is finished. It is already impressive.
We featured Maria’s classic , one piece child’s jumper last week. This week she brought along the toys she had knitted and crocheted for the jumper. It is turning something simple into such a fun event for a child. Maria has made an occasion of her little jumper because she has take the time to create some little characters to go with the jumper. Children should have fun! Anything can be an event! it takes a bit of time and imagination. We all loved the little toys and each of us had our favourite. We wonder what yours is.
Cathy made a beanie and matching neck scarf for her little grandson. No point in making him a scarf. He is a very active 19mth old child and he would keep a scarf on. Both hte beanie and scarf are made from merino tops, dark alpaca fleece , hand dyed corriedale and camel hair and silk. Both beanie and neck scarf are very soft and warm. Little grandson likes his new neck scarf and was happy to put it on for a photo. Marina modelled it as well on Monday to show us that the neck scarf would be a good adult accessory too.
Peter’s weaving has come into its own. He wove thus lovely shades of purple cloth. His wife, Marina turned it into a fully lined bag. The wooden handles are very attractive.
It was a lovely day down by the beach…and then it got a bit warm again! Luckily , we were just about ready to go home by then. There were so many good things to look at this week and so many great ideas to share.
Jan Bentley : a skein of finely spun alpaca in light fawn.
Wendy : 2 balls of finely spun baby camel/wool in pale cream
Cathy: a ball of spun wool dyed with a bottle of Cabernet Shiraz, a small kerchief for her grandson plus a Fair Isle beanie to match,
Marina: 2 pairs of spiral knitted socks, in dark red & green, the other brown mixed with a beanie to match.
Maria : a small jumper in fawn with strips of red & green, small knitted toys for girls with a lacy dress, a man with a hat, sheep, penguin & a fish.
Peter: a piece of weaving made in to lovely bag by Marina.
John: a piece of weaving ready for his next shopping bag,
Sonya: brought in a huge bag of lemon scented Verbena,
Janette: a bag of lemons.
Christine: a bucket full of grapes.
Christine had crocheted a bear caddy to hold the things she needs for any current project. She said she had found he pattern in a magazine. It is so cute, has its own little box to travel around in and stores everything so efficiently so that you are in no danger of losing the crucial equipment you need for your current needs. We loved the bear. The bear, however, found the little cat comforter Marina had found and purchased . it was a fund raiser for an organisation which supports cancer research.The cat seems especially pleased to have met her bear friend!
These are pretty and would look nice in a handmade woven, felted or crochet basket. The explanations are clear and easy to follow and once you have the hang of it , you can become more creative in your approach. Great way to use up oddments!
Our colour palette has changed with the change of season. March 1st is the beginning of our autumn in Australia. It is still warm and we are very dry. Different areas become different colours and some are just the dried up brown look of summer with the splotches of green from the evergreens. The one thing members noticed last year as they travelled was how different the colours were in each spinning group they visited. We tend to change with the seasons and we certainly are influenced by the ocean we look at every time we meet.
This week we had burnt orange from Karen, a soft green from Anne and the oranges and browns of Cathy’s spun wool batts. We have gone into the softer, autumn colours colours.
A while back , Hilary brought in two pairs of knitted slippers and their patterns. Sonya has started one of the patterns for the little slippers which will make lovely colourful footwarmers in the winter. They fit like ballet slippers and stretch over your feet.
There is a nice free pattern for knitted slippers by Bernat Design Studio on Ravelry. Great way to use oddments!
Maria is knitting another one piece baby jumper. It’s a take anywhere project . What we liked were the colours and the uncomplicated design choices. Those slipped stitches add texture and an interesting visual effect. The blocks of colour are understated. It will make for a stylish baby jumper. The colours are soothing. It is also a good jumper for under a jacket and is practical from that point of view. Babies can overheat quite quickly so layers are often the way to go.
Cathy used crocheted grannie squares to create a baby poncho. There is a round of edging and several extra rows for the neck. The squares are based on the African flower motif – three for front and back and two for the shoulders. The pink is mohair. There is cream and merino and some naturally dyed Border Leicester cross. The crocheted neck tie has a hand made pom pom on one end and then a tiny giraffe on the other. Nice, woodland colours.
Isn’t Karin’s shawl so lovely? Don’t you like those confetti colours? Karin always dyes interesting skeins of wool which look so attractive as she knits the balls of wool. This is hand spun alpaca, actually. It’s interesting how we often call any yarn in a ball “wool”. Karin likes to spin and dye alpaca because it is so soft to wear. Her crescent shawl is looking good. The garter stitch provides warmth and the edge pattern provides some visual interest and style. There is a nice free pattern for a garter stitch lace shawl by by Shirle Bedient on Ravelry.
Margaret had purchased a beanie kit she’d seen in Big W. We try anything and are basically yarn addicts. Doesn’t matter if we spin it ourselves or see it in the shop. We just want to use yarn and beanies are great for winter. This one is for a friend on a farm. It’s on size 10 needles but Margaret had to use longer ones than the ones which came with the kit. The beanie has a seam down the back so it’s a very quick, easy knit and the grey is a good colour . At the bottom of the first picture you can see Margaret has her bamboo needles and sock wool out! We are preparing for winter.
Maria uses ALL her yarn. She gathers the leftovers of different balls and then saves them for great projects. This is one of them. She has started making little grannie squares and then they grew…She had an assortment of small balls of yarn in bags so she could make the squares. What makes this blanket a stand out , though, are the colourful edging and the rounded corners. Suddenly it’s not just a grannie square blanket. it has some class and style. It’s the attention to detail which lifts Maria’s work out of the ordinary. That and her wonderful sense of fun and colour. It’s a warm, cheerful blanket.
After the extreme heat at the weekend it was nice to gather by the ocean on a lovely day to spin. It then started to get humid again! We had had a productive , happy day , though.
Maria for a beautiful crotcheted granny square rug in lovely vibrant colours
Marina: a rug made up of small left over fibres in multi shades of autumn, small skein of pink & white spun wool.
Cathy: a small poncho for her baby granddaughter in granny squares & autumn shades, a knitted felted beanie in browns, 2 balls spun wool in orange & browns,
Hilary: a child’s rabbit blanket knitted in white chenille.
Peter: finished Sheppard’s coat.
John : working on another shopping bag straps from the warp last week.
The Bothwell spin in was held last weekend in Tasmania and you might be interested in the results of the_longest_thread_2019. The Alice Springs Beanie festival is already receiving entries for this year and you can catch up with information and details on their site. The information form is the_longest_thread_2019. The Port Noarlunga Arts Centre Beanies to Berets festival will be coming in June. The Craft and Quilt Show is on at the Adelaide Convention Centre 21st-24th March and the Mount Barker show is Friday 15th March. This first half of the year is busy!
Nothing beats spun yarn. It has a life and texture of its own. It is very much a tactile experience. As a spinner you can spin whatever you want. You can dye your own fleece . You can buy ready dyed tops . We practise and extend our own skills and then like to support local people who are involved in producing hand dyed fibre and who sell fleeces. Each fibre and fleece feels different. If it is dyed it tends to feel dry. All of this is an experience which is far richer than working with commercial wool. Commercial wool feels odd when you work with it after you have worked with hand spun yarn. We can ply our spun fibre with cotton or acrylic fibre or a commercial yarn. That always ends up interesting . That’s the thing. There can never be enough texture or choice!
Anne has finished knitting a pair of tubular socks in woodland colours. She has used dyed sock wool and the pattern form the colours is very effective. She used a pattern from our original tubular socks post for 2 ply wool . She went down to 6 stitches for the toes and that has made them incredibly neat. One by one , Christine’s tubular socks have been inspiring us to make a pair.
This is a lovely idea. It’s soft and warm and the colours are a good , soothing choice. Marina wove some fabric using chenille yarn. She then used the ten stitch blanket principle to create a nice , grey border. The blanket looks neat, well thought out and is stylish. An original idea done well using a combination of yarn skills.
Marjorie came up with another great beret this week full of vibrant , autumn colours from a colourway by Brenda Coulter of the Felting Ewe . Marjorie Navajo plied the tops to ensure colour separation and to increase the richness of the colour blend. The beret looks just great and Peter did a lovely job of modelling it for us! Just the very thing to keep stylishly warm in winter.
Plenty of lovely, well made , colourful stuff on our show and tell table this week.
John’s woven shopping bag is finished and he is working on the next one.
Wendy produced a beautifully finely spun ball of lavender tops dyed at the work shop.
Peter: the blue weaving from last week made into a large rug by Marina, and a skein warp of brightly coloured yarn ready for the next project.
Jan 3: her very finely spun cream crochet scarf finished with a lovely pearl beads edging.
Marjorie: a beret in Autumn colours, Navaho plied tops from Brenda, 2 Bionic bags in readiness for the challenge winner…
Hilary: 3 woven straps in bright cotton from the mountain Hills Tribe community in Thailand.
We asked Jan 3 what she was crocheting. She replied , “Just a scarf. ” This is not just a scarf and some of our members were looking at it more closely. It drapes lightly around the neck and is made from a lace pattern rectangle with half diamond crochet edging. It sits well and looks very stylish. Lace crochet patterns are generally quite quick to make up but this one was in crochet cotton and so would have taken longer.
There are some nice crochet lace scarf patterns on In the Loop Knitting. The Streusel scarf sits nicely like Jan 3’s.
We really liked Marjorie’s beret. The colour combination and the softness made it really appealing. We all love making beanies but a beret tends to give a less casual and more stylish look in winter and the colours and cables can make all the difference. Unlike a beanie , a beret can be changed to suit different hairstyles and looks as you sit it on your head. From that point of view a beret is a more versatile accessory. Marjorie’s beret is made from her own hand dyed , handspun wool .
The are some free beret patterns on In the Loop Knitting.
Janette: 2 balls of spun fibres blue mix & green mix.
Marina: a large rug in rust colour with a multi coloured border.
Hilary: 2 children’s pixie beanies from the workshop dying, 1 skein of redyed wool from the workshop dye day.
Our master weaver John & his apprentice, Peter ,are going really well.
We had been knitting tiny teddies as a call to action for comfort friends for little children. Margaret has found a pattern for a crochet one and it’s so cute. We all loved her cheerful yellow one with the friendly face. It is crocheted in one piece.
You can find the free pattern by Raphaela Blumenbunt on Ravelry.