Show and tell

We had a really productive day and had plenty of ideas to share which was really good because it was cold, wet and windy outside.

Marina: Jumper in blues, maroon, gun metal grey and other flecked colours. Mostly hand spun wool with some commercial wool. Scumbled stress ball in light blue.

 Margaret: 3 Christmas decorations. One she bought with the little metal Christmas tree and she made the others herself in white with various colours.

 Alexis: A really big skein of hand dyed wool she had spun in perigord and lilac Jacquard dyes.

 Cathy: Knitted beanie decorated with freeform puff stitch crochet in  navy, green grey and purple. Spun blue merino tops plied with Alex’ hand dyed alpaca in soft lavender and blue. 

 John was weaving a pink mohair scarf.

 Sheila:Two beautifully sewn story books and then padded number squares which she had made for her granddaughter.


Weaving wonders

Our weavers always keep us inspired and intrigued. They have some clever ideas. Top left is John’s new jacket in such a lovely blue/grey colour . He is using his table top loom which is very compact and solid. He is going to be adding other colours and we look forward to seeing how this project develops. Next in is his woven mat/runner/cloth. You could use it anywhere. It is sturdy but soft and would look nice on a table but it would look nice across a bed or on a settee too. It is beautifully made.

The next two top pictures are the jacket Marjorie made from cloth made from a former member of the club. It is a houndstooth weave and Marjorie has tailored the jacket beautifully. Very Coco Chanel.

Bottom left are Marina’s laptop looms. One is small for little projects and the other one is a converted needlepoint or embroidery frame which is handy to carry around and easy to work with. To the right is her woven bag. Her husband, Peter, made the fabric and Marina sewed it into a project bag for weaving accessories with string handles and a zip. It really plays its part well.

Pantone colour of the year 2020

The Pantone colour of the year 2020 is timeless

19-4052 Classic Blue

Great colour for us because we spin by the sea. We have ocean views and the classic blue is often there before our very eyes. It is a colour we spin and then we like the turquoises too. Blue is a good, classic colour.

According to Color Wheel Pro :

Blue is the color of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven.

You can read more about blue on their website.


Russian socks pattern


Janette shared this pattern with us yesterday because she thought they were good socks and so easy to make because you use two needles. You do need to watch the video so you know how to fold them when you stitch them. Once mastered , you would be able to make all sorts of lovely socks with this pattern.

You can get written instructions here:

Live link

The page is in Russian and at the top of the page are the Russian instructions. Scroll down a bit and the instructions are there in English. The video is also in Russian but you can turn the sound down and just watch so you can see how the socks are assembled.


Show and tell

It was a good start to the new year. We were all happy and productive and the weather was not as hot as it has been. There were some really lovely colours and some great things to look at.

 Marina and Peter: woven project bag in fawns and other understated colours. Peter wove the fabric and Marina sewed it into a bag with string handles and zip.

 Marina: Colourful woven bag with a solid bottom; green crocheted hat where Marina tried to remember the pattern without consulting it; colourful striped crochet beanie with furry pom pom; oddments beanie to use up all the bits and pieces of spun wool in her basket, mix of soft colours in stripes.

 Maria: four homespun, knitted beanies , two in coffee colours, one in white and rust, one in pinks and purples; sheep appliqué on hessian bag – part fabric , part knitted

 Janette: rainbow coloured blanket with fringe in garter stitch; cake of spun alpaca plied with Brenda’s dyed wool tops

 Wendy: handspun, hand dyed, hand knitted lace dress and underwear for Barbara, her doll since she was a girl.

 John brought along one of his other looms and is weaving fabric for a jacket.


Woven bowls

Deb’s woven bowls are very colourful. They are made carefully and with a lot of patience. Woven bowls are used in a number of cultures. They are good for using up oddments, for the environment and sustainability and you can make them in various sizes. These bowls of Debs have colour and texture so visually they are appealing. Sheila also makes woven fibre baskets to use up her oddments. These are always good projects to watch. You can see the bowl develop a life and character as it is made.

This video is without sound but it shows you how you can make a woven bowl:

Blog stats

countries which visit our blogOur blog started towards the end of 2017. We had 406 visitors by the end of the year.  In 2018 we had 2569 visitors . Last year we did even better with 3884 visitors. That is really nice to know. Most of our visitors come from Australia but we continue to be popular with people in other countries . We have only posted a picture of the top countries. It is a good mix.

We have 252 followers now and have had 15,602 hits. That’s a good achievement and a nice way to start the new year.




We now get thousands of hits from search engines and that was always the aim. people are now landing on our blog from the things they search. The WordPress reader continnues to bring us plenty of visitors and then things like Fcebook and Instagram…even dear Twitter which is not very good on textile arts and crafts.





posts and pages

Christine’s Celtic knot scarf was the top post of the year. Congratulations!! Her rust colloured crescent shawl was the second most popular post for the year 🙂 Talented lady.

Maria’s crochet Alpine stitich was very popular as was Alexis’ idea for poppies for Remembrance Day in 2018.

Glad to see theat the post we put up about knitting not just being a hobby went so well. it is NOT busy work!

Then there was Marina’s idea for the fidget muffs.

So it was mainly knitting and a bit of crochet which won the day for us last year but we would not get he numers or commitment from visitors without all the other things we do.


Instagram Top Nine

Instagram Top Nine

About half way through the year Instagram changed its algorithm (coded way of doing things) and made it impossible for people to see likes. It was supposed to encourage better interaction with pictures. Not for us. We often get good interaction on our pictures and the likes halved after that. It is therefore so pleasing to see we have had 6000 likes this year with an average of twenty six per picture. Before we regularly got 40 or 50.

The top 9 pictures are a good selection but where is the weaving? Where is the felting? We have had some magnificent weaving this year and some fabulous felting. These pictures , however, do represent our willingness to learn , experiment and teach others. We give ourselves challenges and we love it when new people arrive and they become as absorbed as we are in what we are doing. The fine knitting and Fair Isle are there and the stunning colours. And who could resist the cria? We are lucky we have Jan B with her alpaca farm so we get cute pictures to put up.

Does this sum up our year? We had the dyeing workshop we loved and we have done plenty of other things. This is what Instagram values and it certainly values effort.

Show and tell

It was a really lovely day down at the beachfront and a few of us joined together again this week to have a bit of an extra yarn time before Christmas. It was a really productive day. Most of us were spinning but Peter was working on his new loom to get to know it.

Show and tell 

Karin: had a bag of alpaca which had dyed in the blues/aqua colours & was busy spinning it as well

Jan: a skein of Brenda’s variegated blue tops & plied it with some  silk

Hilary: spun plait of green origin unknown with some silk hankies

Cathy: resurrected her early chunky spinning & knitted a beautiful ribbed felted cap

Deb: WIP – her very colourful troll doll which kept us all amused.

Peter’s last weaving which was a roll of mixed fibres & textures, plus a thank you card from a group of students who were trying their hand at weaving with a couple of members from the Adelaide Hills Guild.


Show and tell

Our Christmas break up was an animated, cheerful, creative  , well catered to,  noisy affair. We certainly ended the year with a flourish…and plenty of lovely food which we brought along and shared. In addition, we have a great Christmas fibre challenge! Alexis brought in the 100gm samples from the 10 members who have taken up the challenge to
participate in the Christmas fibre exchange. A date for the finished spinning will be announced at a later time. We should like to thank Alexis for making this all happen for us. All we had to do was bring along fibre! We also did some fundraising for research into Alzheimers. It was a satisfying end to a very productive year for us . A few will sneak back next week for an unofficial pre Christmas spin.

Show and tell

Janette: 3 balls of spun wool pink/grey.

Marina: Fingerless gloves, beanie with a cable design and a shawl all in mohair pink,
blue & brown and a ball of sari silk.

Cathy: a ribbed beanie blue/grey, 2 balls of spun yarn, 1 blue wool, 1 dark brown alpaca and a felted knitted bag in Fair Isle design with the pattern book.

Hilary: a skein of Navajo plied tops and a short knitted jacket in light brown with
dark brown stripes.

Clever ideas

Maria had nearly finished her vintage jug potholder when she arrived this morning and completed it during the day. It is double sided , cotton and the colours are great. It is a clever idea. It is a bit different and it looks really good.

There are free patterns for a jug and sugar bowl potholders on antique crochet patterns.

While Marina was away she was finding ways to keep up her weaving. One idea was to use an embroidery frame, warp it up and then use yarn oddments to create a nice woven fabric.  The mini loom was a chance find in an op shop. It is so small but very handy . Marina had to repair it and that was all part of the mini weaving adventure while she was away. It really is a clever little loom. She made the fabric for the needle holder on it. This little loom is totally portable and a weave anywhere kind of loom.

Tasmanian Devils

Alan has patiently worked on this Tasmanian Devils picture over a number of weeks. We have watched it change and develop and we saw each of the devils being created. We were surprised and delighted with how the finished picture looked. A lot of thought has gone into the creation and presentation of these devils. They are needlefelted so it is a lot of painstaking work. Well worth it.

Passion for purple

Ultraviolet was Pantone’s colour of the year last year. With good reason. It is a strong, powerful colour which historically has always played a role in the robes of important people in different cultures. It’s an inspirational colour whcih never fails to get you thinking.

Bourne creative goes into the detail of the meaning of purple but, in a nutshell:

“Purple combines the calm stability of blue and the fierce energy of red. The color purple is often associated with royalty, nobility, luxury, power, and ambition. Purple also represents meanings of wealth, extravagance, creativity, wisdom, dignity, grandeur, devotion, peace, pride, mystery, independence, and magic.”

We love purple and we go through phases of producing and using it because it is such a vibrant colour. It’s bold and makes a strong statement. Top right is Bill’s purple spinning. Alexis dyed the colour and it has such a sheen and is a colour which draws comment. Truth is , though, we love all these purples.

Rainbow owls

Christine shared a link  from Crochet Maze to these cute owls which could be made in any colour. You can find the pattern on MojiMojiDesign.

Terms of use have been made clear on the MojiMoji Design site:

“Have fun with this pattern but please don’t re-publish it in any way. I am happy for you to make and sell the finished articles from both my free and paid for patterns. A credit for Moji-Moji Design as the pattern creator would make me very happy and a link to my blog or my Ravelry shop (listed in the sidebar >) would be much appreciated! In order to keep the handmade love going please note that wholesale manufacturing of items from any of my patterns is not permitted. Thank you 🙂”

Stitch Stitch Boom has a good Pudgy Little Owl on YouTube:

Woven scarves

woven scarves Christinewoven scarves KarinIt has been great seeing the woven scarves Christine and Karin have made from their spun wool. The colours are good but there is a lovely softness  and warmth to them. John has constantly encouraged us to get back to weaving if we have those skills but he also tries to inspire us with simple ideas if we don’t have the skills. He turns out all sorts of lovely scarves which we have featured and made us enthusiastic about woven scarves.

Both Christine and Karin have finished their scarves off neatly with a fringe and it really makes a difference to the look. These are lovely fashion items and the well chosen colours mean they would dress up any outfit.

This table top scarf which, we have featured before, is a good way to get started on a woven scarf. The yarn will determine the look! It is in your hands.

Crochet Christmas Fingerless Gloves

Want something a bit different for the children at Christmas or for the young at heart? We live in a hot climate so might not be a good idea for us but you could make them in cotton or acrylic to be bath mitts for littlies. These fingerless gloves are just a bit of Christmas fun.

Show and tell

show and tell 2nd decemberWinter’s day today even though we are into summer. Cold, windy, wet but then the sun came out! We were spinning all the colours and hues of summer so maybe it was our influence. It was such a cheerful day inside despite the blowy conditions outside.

Show and Tell

Janette: hand spun knitted vest blue/white.

Margaret: crocheted knee rug in bright colours with a black border.

Jan E: crocheted pixie & hedgehog, 2 crocheted granny squares, skein of purple
alpaca fleece & 2  beautiful felted flowers, 1 blue and 1 purple.

Marjorie: bright multi coloured socks.

Maria: 8 colourful beanies some knitted with a fair isle pattern, some crocheted in stripes.

Karin: a beautiful woven scarf in autumn colours.

Alan: has finished his needle felted Tassie Devil picture which is very impressive.

Post stitch hats

Maria brought in two hats the other week. One was hand spun and looked like it had woven colours. The other was a lovely ice blue which others don’t usually think about as a colour for a hat. The hats caught our attention and we had lots of conversations. The hand spun one gets the woven effect by using post stitch crochet and the pictures can’t do it justice. It is very clever visually. Maria has edged it in crab stitch. The blue one in post stitch has that magical winter look of frost and ice. The video explains how to do post stitch. Something worth adding to your knowledge bank.

Show and Tell

Lots of cheerful chat and ideas today and some great things to look at . Plenty of colour and plenty of very special projects either underway or finished. Quite an inspirational meeting today but surprising to learn we have only two weeks left before our break up !

Show and Tell

Alexis: felted silk tunic in red silk & carded wool, a small , knitted coin purse which is a gift from an ex member, Ruth.

Janette: a ball of spun wool in blue/grey.

Chris: has woven 2 lovely scarves from her spun wool one blue/grey, one green/yellow.

Jan H: 3 delightful crocheted baby rattles.

Hilary : 2 spun skeins of citrus coloured tops.

Equipment Day

What a stark contrast yesterday was to the day before. On Thursday it had been 42 degrees with catastrophic heat conditions forecast and then, when we were waiting for the bus Friday morning, the ocean had massive waves and it was blowing a really cold wind. We were so glad to get on the bus. Undeterred, we talked all the way up to the Adelaide Hills’ group Equipment Day in Littlehampton, we talked all our way around the venue, all our way to The Felting Ewe at Lenswood, all our way around the She Cave and then all our way back home on the bus. We love a good yarn!

We were warmly welcomed to the Adelaide Hills’ group and we spent a lovely time mixing with all the fibre people and looking at what was there. We were offered a nice morning tea and a beautiful lunch. We came away with books and magazines, bags of fibre, wool tops and bags of fleece and crochet hooks! It was an extremely sociable event where everyone was happy to share their skills and knowledge in a friendly way.

At the Felting Ewe we could see how much time and effort had gone into the impressive gardens and then we enjoyed looking at the feast of colours and fibres in the She Cave. We loved the colours and then the examples of Brenda’s felting. It was such a lovely place to be and we bought wool tops, silks, bits for needle felting and bits for the  tiny Eel spinning wheels.

Everyone was happy and it was a good way to get away from the feeling of the oppressive heat the day before. We can’t wait to see what everyone makes with their purchases.

Show and tell

What’s not to love about a beautiful view of the ocean on a day in the low 30s when we have frozen all winter? We were chatty, cheerful and full of good help and ideas today.

Show and tell

Marjorie: brought in a woven Jacket made by her but woven by one of our previous members, who passed it on to another previous member who then gave it to Marjorie to
make something with the material and the impressive jacket is the end result. Also a skein of purple wool.

Jan B: a basket of alpaca fleece dyed with silverdollar leaves from Alexis trees.

Maria: a beanie from natural grey handspun wool crocheted with insert of coloured handspun yarn with a coral band, also another beanie in progress, pale blue in the same pattern.

Cathy: a grey & blue child’s Ravenclaw beanie in Fair Isle the same design to match the adult jumper Cathy made a few weeks ago.

Janette: brought in some bay leaves – good when dried to go into stews & casseroles.

 Alexis: brought in some lemons.

Christies Beach
Christies Beach

Felting inspiration

Alan can do wet felting and needle felting and has helped others to learn these two forms of felting too. He brought along the lovely poppies picture he had wet felted because it was Remembrance Day when we had our meeting this week. It’s classic , simple lines are what impress. Less is more and it makes a statement in a very clear way. Just lovely.

His Tasmanian Devils are needlefelted and finished now. He has made three of them to frame as one picture and it will look good. Something a bit different and destined to be a gift. He is able to use oddments from his wool tops to make these pictures. He spins as well so the fibre and wool are all used creatively. Takes a lot of patience to needlefelt and a lot of stabbing!

Amigurumi snails

Jan H’s sleepy snails were so cute. The faces make them adorable. Great toys for little ones who can create snail adventures too. Snoozy snail adventures with these ones. We loved them and thought they were beautifully made.

The WHOot has some good crochet snail patterns and a lot of helpful information about snails and snail things so you can create a whole information event around your crochet snails!  Like Jan’s snails these ones appeal to the imagination too.

Show and Tell

It was a beautiful day at the beach front . 26 degrees and not windy like it was further  back towards the hills. We had a very chatty, creative day.

Show and Tell

Alan: a very dramatic picture of the poppies on a plain white canvas, 3 needle felted Tassie devils.
Jan H: 3 very handsome crocheted snails.
John: finished throw rug.  Very impressive.
Maria: a hand spun knitted cap in natural white.
Debbie: has finished another woven basket.
Hilary: a  delightful child’s pixie hat from the left over spun tops.

christies beach nov 11 2019

Spinning silk hankies

Jan E had brought along a skein of yarn last week where she had plied wool with silk hankies. It looks beautiful. She explained that using the silk hankies had been a bit hard but she loved how the skein of yarn turned out. Jan is an excellent, experienced spinner but silk hankies are not easy spin fibre.  What this has done is make others want to try. We like a challenge! We like to see if we can do it. We loved the yarn. This week, Hilary started spinning silk hankies. You can purchases them in a bundle. The video below explains clearly how you manage this to get a spun fibre. It was extraordinary to watch. The silk hankies have a lovely sheen. As you separate the layers it looks like very colourful cobwebs. You then have to spin this. That’s the hard bit. The cobwebs don’t draft easily and it takes a while to get yourself into a spinning rhythm. Hilary was mastering it pretty quickly and her spool was filling quite quickly. It has the loveliest shine to it and then such a range of complementary colours from the silk. We are looking forward to seeing how the finished skein of yarn turns out.

Where did you get that hat?

We have had some lovely hats over recent meetings.

Alexis had knitted and felted two very stylish hats. We loved the lime green colour of the top middle but the oatmeal one drew a lot of attention too because it just looked so good and was a perfect hat for a smart winter outfit. Middle bottom are Anne’s ribbed beanies. She spun the wool and the colours are striking and interesting. Good colours to cheer up winter! Top left is Hilary’s beret . So colourful and cheery. She spun leftover tops and don’t they look effective as they have been knitted up? Far left are Maria’s beanies from her spun wool. The purple and yellow looks good . It’s a visually interesting pattern. At the bottom she is making a gelati coloured beanie. Such a fun look with those colours. Winter does not have to be dull.

Crochet Shaun the Sheep

We showed you the partially finished Shaun the Sheep  the other week. He is finished now and really looks the part. Margaret  has got the features, especially the eyes, just right. She made him a little teddy friend too, which is just perfect for a baby. Such a cute little amigurumi teddy. 


thesprucecrafts has some lovely, free crochet teddy patterns of all sizes. All with cute faces 🙂

Show and Tell

Show and Tell

Cathy made a huge slouch beanie ideal for those with dread locks in dark brown spun alpaca and wool with coloured flecks, 2 spun balls of matching yarn from wool oddments and alpaca.
Anne: 2 beanies in rib & cable patterns light green & purple.
Margaret: Shaun the sheep crochet doll and a yellow teddy.
Jan H : a skein of green spun alpaca and wool dyed with green food colouring.
Jan E : 3 skeins – 1 Brenda’s plait in aqua/purple & blue, 2 aqua skeins plied with silk hankies.
Hilary: a beanie from the spun oddments of tops.
Maria: a rosette for the Best Exhibit for handspinning from the Clare Show. Congratulations, Maria!
John: latest progress on his weaving.

Crochet blankets

Maria is in a league of her own and it is a pretty impressive league. Her two blankets won second prizes at the Clare show. We absolutely loved them. They are very striking visually and beautifully made. Colour is at the heart of their impact but the lacey crochet floral designs are just wonderful. A lot of patience has gone into these blankets.

The Spruce Crafts has some lovely free patterns for crochet squares which would help you make your own colourful blanket. The video shows you how to make lace joins.

Beautiful berets

Marjorie and Hilary used the same pattern to knit a cable beret. The choice of colour has made a difference. Both are knitted from the wool they have spun. Marjorie’s is a classic cream beret and looks beautiful. Hilary’s is a soft green and fawn. Gentle forest colours and it looks lovely. Goes to show how colour choices make a difference. Cables make a difference too. They add that touch of class and visual interest.

There are some nice free beret patterns on Knitting Bee. Some of them have matching accessories.

Health benefits of yarn arts and crafts


There is a lot of information about the cognitive and wellbeing benefits of yarn arts and crafts now. The research is there and the world is starting to take notice and put it into practice. The Craft Yarn Council is one of those organisation which keeps tabs on the health and well being benefits of stitching. The results of 2019 go to a 404 Not Found page but there is a form you can fill out about the benefits for you. It is all about data. The more information the better. It is also a site which produces regular videos so you can learn to knit or crochet and develop those skills. The site is well worth exploring because there is just so much information. There is also a CYC You Tube interview with Dr. Perri Klass, Professor of Journalism and Pediatrics at New York University, who writes  about medicine, children, literacy and knitting in American publications like The New York Times and knitting magazines.

Allfreecrochet also takes an interest in the health and wellbeing benefits of crochet and keeps their research and information up to date about the benefits of crocheting. It is good for anxiety, keeping control of your thoughts and life, self esteem and good cognitive function.

knitting memeThere is also extensive information now about the social and psychological benefits for men if they knit. There are men featured now on Instagram and there are plenty of men who now knit in public and who are trying to get the message across. They are also using knitting to help brain injuries and concussion injuries because it creates mindfulness and it is something they have found men respond to well.That follows on from how they rehabilitated some men with knitting after World War II. The Huffington Post gives a bit of a run down of the history of men and knitting and where we are currently placed with men knitting. Knitting is the new yoga for men. Very therapeutic.

So…get stitching! It is so good for you.


Show and Tell

We had a lovely, relaxing day today. The ocean and sky were blue and the temperature was just right. People seemed to be keen to just get on with their spinning , knitting or crochet. They just wanted to be doing and then sharing their ideas and thoughts. This was our view:

Christies Beach October 28th

Show and Tell

Cathy has made her daughter a beautiful  Ravenclaw Harry Potter jumper knitted in Bendigo wool , 2 balls of art yarn mixed fibres & colours.
Marjorie: a cream knitted beret.
Jan E:  3 skeins red, purple & a blue mixed fibres of wool & sari silk.
Hilary: beret green/pink with a cable top.
Alexis: beautiful blue plaited tops with the name of Spruce.
John: latest weaving project has lots of glitter.

The berets are made from the same pattern but show just how different you can make something look by choosing your colours.

We are also sharing Maria’s crochet blanket which won second prize at the Clare Show. Just so colourful.

Fine lace shawl

We have some people in the group who can produce very fine spinning , fine knitting and crochet and some who can do both. Jan B can produce very fine spinning and she can knit very finely too. This shawl is made from commercial alpaca but Jan is capable of spinning her own alpaca just as finely . She is very passionate about alpacas and their yarn and so she likes to support alpaca yarn producers too. Patience is a virtue when it comes to fine knitting. You also need the right needles and then plenty of stitch markers so you keep control of the pattern across what can become a huge number of stitches. This is the work of someone who knows how to do things very carefully and methodically. It is a superb shawl and we loved the burgundy colour of it. So rich.

Kristin Omdahl has some lovely lace shawls on her site. They are not all complicated. Where it says to click here , you need to click on the picture above and it will take you to the pattern. Kristin loves lacework and it shows.


Crochet Shaun the Sheep

shaun the sheepMargaret crochets great sheep! Her heart is in it and it shows. Currently she is making a Shaun the Sheep and she has got it just right with those eyes. We can’t wait to see it finished. We recommend if the sheep is for little children to make sure the eyes are crocheted and sewn too.

There’s a free Shaun the Sheep crochet pattern on purplelindacrafts and another one on crochetkingdom. Have fun!

Show and Tell

It was a beautiful sunny day today and it certainly reflected in our cheerful mood. Such a lot to see and do today and so many great ideas and beautiful colours. First, enjoy our view:

Christies Beach October 21st 2019

Show and Tell 

Alexis: 2 knitted felted hats, very striking,  one in pale yellow and one light grey.

Margaret :One pair socks brown and tan, skein of green wool.

Jan B: a finely knitted beautiful lacy shawl in a deep wine colour. Alpaca yarn.

John: a small rug woven in carpet wool lime green/tan on a cream warp, a piece of weaving in blue/red and grey which is going to be part of a jacket.

Hilary: a small skein of multi coloured tops.

Marina: is trying knitted scumbling with different techniques.

The Australian Fibre Collective

Australian Fibre CollectiveChristine shared a link to this article on the abc news site this week because, as a group, we like to support Australian made and Australian businesses. It is not that we don’t use fibre from elsewhere, but our stance is we want our wool and fibre industry to stay strong. Our economy was built on the back of wool and when mines threatened that back in the 1800s the wool growers and farms fought back and our merino wool, in particular, is world class and world standard. Mining and drought are still making it hard for our wool growers. This article about small scale wool growers fighting the good fight for Australian Made makes it clear that  the green and gold label can no longer assure you it is 100% Australian made. There is a video worth watching and then seeing and reading about the wool people working for this rebranding of Australian Made makes you understand they are putting their heart and soul into this to keep something strong which is very much a part of our nation:

“It’s not easy growing wool; I think in this industry, it’s the hardest part of the whole process,” Ms Bilaniwskyj-Zarins said. “It takes years to develop beautiful wool, particularly as we’ve seen so many dry years here.

“You’ve got to make your own opportunities too, and that’s what I’m passionate about.

“If we stick together — growers, processors, craftspeople, niche businesses, we can keep this industry alive, we can grow this industry.”

Colour your world

Marjorie dazzled us with a riot of colour this week for show and tell. It was so uplifting.

The beret is beautifully made and looks good and the cables set off those bright colours nicely. Marjorie dyed the wool herself. The first ball took the colours strongly but the second ball, which was exactly the same fleece, gave them a hint of pastel in the shade. Such is life and fleece. Marjorie has used it all to very good effect though. There are some really stylish paid beret patterns on Woolly Wormhead if you want to have a look. There are some really nice free beret patterns on Knitting Bee.

Marjorie has also knitted a fireman friend of hers another pair of socks. He can never lose her socks, they dry on the truck engine, they are durable and they keep his feet safe because they are natural fibre. He probably has the coolest socks in the brigade.


Knitted sleeveless jackets

We love sleeveless jackets  and they are appearing on a regular basis this year. They are warm, great fashion items and can be contrasted in colour with other clothing items. Your arms are free to move and there are no bulky sleeves getting in the way.

Hilary’s knitted sleeveless jacket (left), has an interesting stripe pattern which becomes geometric because of the way the jacket is knitted. Bit op arty and in black and white it definitely would be. Hilary’s is handspun, hand dyed wool as is Marina’s (right). Marin’es jacket is an interesting rib pattern with garter stitch edging. Both jackets are snuggly feeling and would add a good layer of warmth. The blues and greys are different in each jacket but the colourways are restful.

If you are interested, there’s a long  jacket with capped sleeves on ausyarnco. 

Show and tell

Lovely day today. Sunny and bright and we were sunny and bright with it. So much to see and talk about after a week off!

Show and Tell

Alexis has been very busy over the weekend break dying wool tops with beautiful colours to tempt us. Each one is 100 grams @ $11. A bargain.

Marina :sleeveless jacket in a twisted rib pattern with a shawl collar in Alexis’ blue mix dyed tops, jacket in brown goat/cotton mix, scarf made from Susie Horn mixed fleece.
Marjorie: 2 spun dyed tops ball, beret made from some of the tops & a pair of multi-coloured socks in thick wool for a fireman friend.
Cathy: a ball of mixed spun fibres. Caramel, cream and blues, pinks and greys.
Jan1 : 3 children beanies 2 in commercial fibres with twisted tails & a pompom,1 hand dyed spun wool tops in blue/pale pink with pompom.
Hilary: sleeveless top stripes 2 tone blues/white plus pattern, skein of spun mixed fibres from Luba collection in purples.
There were some lemons from Cathy & limes from Janette

John gave a report on the Yankalilla Country Show, which was very well supported this year with record crowds. Our own members did very well. Peter & Marina awarded 1st & 2nd prizes for weaving and Karin a highly recommended prize for her beautiful felted slipper boots.

Show and Tell October 14th

We love spinning

We do. We do love spinning and the wheels and looms never stop. The colours encourage and inspire us and we just love that rhythm of the wheels. We like to make wool batts and spin those but we like the colourways of tops and then we have been interested in experimenting with different fibres. Mostly it is merino and alpaca in our group but we’ll try dog hair, camel, cotton , plant fibres and rare breeds. We do it to see and then we do it because each fibre feels different. The colours can be outrageously bold or very soft and subtle. Sometimes it is just natural fleece colours and other times we like to play with natural and chemical dyes to see what happens. Our wheels are all different too. Some members are more than happy with their electric wheels and others like to play with their manual wheels. Electric wheels are obviously more transportable because of the size. The latest passion for some of the members, thanks to Christine, are the little 3D printed Eel Wheels. You need to be patient setting them up but they really are a bonus for quick and easy small scale spinning.

Cable wrist fingerless gloves

fingerless gloves cabled cuffsWrist warmers and fingerless gloves have been increasingly popular. No secret there. They make a difference and you can still use your hands without difficulty. They can cheer up a winter outfit, keep you suitably cosy , can be very stylish and be a good accessory. Jan 3’s gloves were lovely. We really liked the natural colour of the homespun fleece and then the cable wrists made her gloves look so special.

There are lots of patterns on intheloopknitting so you are bound to find some fingerless gloves or wristwarmers which would suit you. If you can’s find any there then knitpicks also offers an extensive choice of fingerless gloves. It is amazing how different all these gloves are. We have some clever creators in the world.

Yankalilla Show

The Yankalilla Show was well attended and very popular and there was plenty to see. We’d like to congratulate Peter for his second prize for the woven shepherd’s coat. Marina won a first prize for her  homespun mohair and cotton sleeveless jacket and they both won a first prize for the bag which Peter had woven and Marina had crocheted the sides for and put together with a lovely strap.

We are currently on a break because of the long weekend. There may well be more news about the show when we meet next week. Always nice to see our members shining.

Where did you get that that?

hatsWe are always making hats, beanies and berets. Everyone loves a good hat or beanie. We make them for ourselves, our friends, family , for competitions and sale. We make them for charity and then just for fun. They always find their home and head! We like trying  new patterns or making up our own. The ones featured give you (and us) ideas. You can use up scraps and make fair isle or striped beanies. You can mix yarns and use something fancy like spun camel hair and silk or a really nice alpaca. You can make a difference with crochet or knitting the edge . You can do something as simple as a purl row after a number of stocking stitch rows. You can crochet the top of a beret and finish it off with knitting. You can make a nice little scarf or cowl to go with your hat. What you need is a good, basic pattern and then you can vary it with fancy stitches or a mix of crochet and knitting or you can vary the colours and yarns. It’s all up to you and your imagination.

There’s a good, basic beanie pattern on allfreeknitting.

Crochet neck wrap

Depending on the weather or climate you may just need a bit of warmth around your neck. You don’t want a big , thick scarf or cowl. Just something easy and light. Smaller cowls and neck wraps can be fun to make and if you crochet them they are really quick. Good way to use up oddments, too. Christine made a lovely, lavender neck wrap and it looks visually appealing. It’s the colour and then the lacy effect. She made it up herself. Why not? Just get your hook and yarn out and crochet whatever you want and the way you feel like it. It’s a nice creative exercise and also a way of freeing up your mind. No pressure.

Marina crocheted a  cowl  from her spun fleece which Alexis had dyed. She added some beads and a lacy edge. That’s another thing you can play around with when you are making a smaller neck wrap. Look at ways of edging or embellishing it. You get to see the effect without committing yourself to a big project.

The Happy Unraveller shows you how to make an easy cowl and then you can use your skills and ideas to make it visually more interesting if you want to.

Macramé owl

macrame owlOne of the benefits of going to camps and workshops is you learn new skills, you revisit old skills and you look at your competencies differently. Margaret and Christine have been to a textile camp and one of the items Margaret shared with us this week was her macramé owl. It’s rather stylish. It will make a good wall hanging of the understated variety. It’s nice to see macramé coming back into vogue. It is something which can be calming to do but it produces some lovely items to decorate your home.

The video below shows you how to make a keychain. You could use different colours and yarns and some impressive beads. Nice way to be creative and with Christmas coming …Nattalee takes you through it one thread at a time.

Willow pattern jumper

Stunning, isn’t it? It’s a 1940s pattern knitted by Jan B’s father. What an achievement and what a stylish item for your wardrobe. Looks beautiful in the blue and white Dresden colours. We have featured the original pattern. You can find it on Etsy and on Ravelry, but we are sure there must be originals around in people’s cupboards and boxes. This jumper is unique. We just loved seeing it.

Show and Tell

Lovely , sunny day today and some beautiful projects on the table . It was especially nice  to see Jan B’s father’s Dresden Fair Isle knitting. Those blue and white colours are so striking.

*There is no meeting next week. it is a public holiday.*

show and tell 30th September

Show and Tell

Hilary: a striped vest in blue’s/white

Marjorie: a large man size jumper in natural grey wool, a large skein wool blue/light green.

Margaret :project from the week camp. A macramé owl, Tunisian crochet square & a
soap pouch, broomstick knitted cover for a small packet of tissues and a pair of fingerless mittens in alpaca & possum. Pinky-red colour.

Marina : a bag in cream woven material that Peter wove with granny squares inserts on
the end & a plaited strap for a handle.

Jan B brought in a beautiful jumper knitted in a blue/white Fair Isle pattern by her father.
Alan’s needle felting projects – the little Tasmanian Devils.

DIY electric carder

Peter and Marina had a Ron Doley carder which they had purchased a while back. They have been thinking of turning it into an electric carder. John, one of our top weavers, liked the idea of this challenge and so he and Peter have been working together for a number of weeks now to try and turn the carder into an electric one. It has required thought, testing, more thought and more testing. It has been a good brain challenge. It is great when you look at people around you setting themselves a puzzle to solve and then using skills and expertise to arrive at a good solution.

This week the carder was finally finished. John (left) and Peter (right) are justifiably proud of this achievement. Sandy, one of the Adelaide Hills spinners and weavers , was more than happy to test the carder and give it a trial run. By the way, doesn’t John look good in the Fair Isle vest Christine knitted? Suits him so well.

Challenges like the carder can be frustrating , at times, along the way but such a thrill when you achieve your goal. Peter and Marina now have an electric carder which runs beautifully off a sewing machine motor.

Below is another example of creative thinking. Katharine Jolda is demonstrating her Cyclocarder. Great way to card and keep fit and a bonus if there is a blackout!

Where did you get that hat?

Maria has been busy. Yesterday we featured the grannie squares she’d sorted out at home and she  is making her flower ones now. She has knitted three lovely beanies as well in her handspun wool. The white and autumn coloured one is very soft and looks interesting. The Fair Isle one is a classic in classic wool colours and would keep your head nice and warm. We loved that one because it looked stylish. We also fell in love with the green beanie in hand spun wool with the loose pom pom at the top. it was a great colour but a fun hat.

Jan 1 had used her homespun wool to make a lovely child’s hat. Beautifully knitted and cheerful colours. The stitches were so even but the handdyed wool had created an interesting swirl pattern as she knitted so the beanie is stylish but nice and comfortable for a child to wear.

Grannie squares galore

Maria never fails to inspire and teach us. She knows many of us have been excited by making different sorts of grannie squares this year. She had had a big sort through her things and came on Monday with a bag of grannie squares which she had left over from different blankets she had made. True to form she was making a whole heap of flower grannie squares on Monday and we are looking forward to seeing how they turn out and what they look like. We were thinking she could put all these grannie squares together to make another blanket. Maria is not so sure. She is full of creative surprises so we’ll see. Meanwhile we just loved looking at all these colours, combinations and creative grannie squares. We loved the owl and the butterflies but we loved the flower ones too.