Where did you get that hat?

It is coming up to winter in Adelaide and the weather is much cooler and colder. Always comes as a shock because we love our sunshiney days. There are also two beanie festivals coming up. Lots of us are knitting beanies for friends, family and festivals. We also have people who knit beanies for the homeless. Adelaide does make an effort to ensure the homeless have access to warm winter clothing and blankets.

This week we saw some lovely beanies and berets:

Fay felted her pink beret with the mohair embellishments in the session on Monday. Quite an achievement. The pink is very appealing and the colourful mohair makes the landscape of the beret more interesting to look at.

Karin”s handspun nordic beanie is very soft and warm. We liked the coral colour. The shape is one which is currently very popular here. People are particular about how their beanies look.

Hilary is great at making pixie beanies for children. This handspun green one has some other nice colours in it for visual interest. Really cheerful colour for children.

Pam was using acrylic variegated yarn to knit a soft, cosy beanie for those who don’t like handwashing beanies. Wool ones have to be handwashed and take time to dry. An acrylic one goes in the wash and can be dried in a dryer.

Hilary’s beret was soft. She had spun and dyed the white locks from Lily, the sheep. It is always nice when we know the name of the sheep whose wool we are spinning and Lily is lovely. Her fleece is as white as snow and has such a soft feel to it.

Show and tell

Certainly a cold, wet , wintery day today. It did not dampen our spirits or our capacity to have good ideas and to be productive. A good day for sharing projects and what we have been up to.

Show and tell

Fay:  Felted beret in soft pink merino tops decorated with colourful strands of mohair. She made it in today’s session!

Karin:  Nordic influenced beanie in handspun coral and white. Merino and silk  and alpaca and merino. Skein of spun wool : Bendigo green tops plied with merino tops dyed by Alexis.

Marjorie: Skein of Bendigo graphite tops  . Spun on her Eel wheel.

Hilary: Handspun pixie beanie in greens and blues. Beautiful , soft beret made in handspun white fleece and gentle pastel colours. The sheep was called Lily.

John: Woven man’s scarf in mustard and brown colours.

Marina: Handfelted slippers in purples and pinks with handmade braid.

Anthea: Spun tops in one of Brenda’s colourways. Pink, purple and green.

Felted crochet bag

Sheila Mc has been putting all her spinning to good use. She spun a lot of wool then dyed it. She has made bags and beanies and the colours are eyecatching. This is one of her knitted and felted bags. We have featured knitted felted bags before . If you use the search bar you will find other ideas and videos. Homespun wool felts well and you can just put it into the washing machine on a long wash cycle. The colours blend and mix and come out looking good. Sheila has chosen bright, cheerful colours. Knitted felted bags are strong, durable and fun! Once you get a good basic pattern you like, you make bags for yourself and then as presents!

You can also crochet and felt bags. Here’s how:

Easy crochet baby beanie

It is beanie season in Adelaide. 1st June will be the first day of winter so it is starting to get cooler and wetter. We all wear beanies in winter so it is a good time to start now to get some beanies done. This one is for those who crochet. You may not know how to do crochet ribbing. It is truly a piece of cake and super simple . Looks good and these baby beanies are quick to make so there is the short term quick reward aspect of this project. Craft & Crochet explains it really well.

Crochet rose

Margaret had been to a workshop to learn how to crochet the rose she brought along. It is lovely. Crochet flowers can make 3D blankets or scarves. They can be used for decorations on bags or hats. They can be brooches. Learning how to do some crochet flowers increases your choices when it comes to making and embellishing projects. Margaret also made a poppy which Alexis first got us involved in when we were asked to crochet poppies for a local Anzac Day ceremony. Instructions for poppies are on the Lincraft site.

There is an easy crochet rose to make on this Bag-o-Day YouTube clip.

Show and tell

Such a happy , productive day today full of activity and discussions. We have beanies to make, skills to learn, news to share. The weather was overcast then sunny then overcast. it was a great weather watching day.

Show and tell.

Sonya: Crocheted blue beret from her daughter from another culture.

Margaret:  Brown beanie with a vivid red poppy and a crocheted rose in maroon and white.

Cathy: Handspun green beanie and feather yarn and wool red and black beanie.

Janette: Blue and green solar dyed fleece.

Karin: Pastel coloured solar dyed skein of wool.

Marina: Kees hound spun wool being knitted into a vest. WIP. A macramé teddy she had got in Goolwa.

Sheila Mc: Knitted and felted bag with bright colours toned with fawn , 2 turquoise, handspun knitted beanies, one hanspun red and orange beret with felted pompoms, handspun Fair Isle beanie in reds and purples, longtail beanie with felted pompoms in fawn and turquoise. All handdyed.

Faye: Felted panel in fawns and greens .

Sue: Dark felted panel with splashes of bright colour.

Knitted doll

We featured Nina’s doll with some free doll knitting patterns in a recent post. Marjorie has made her own doll for her granddaughter. It features the Adelaide Crows colours , one of our AFL football teams. When you have been knitting for a while and have experience, you get to be like Marjorie and make up your own doll. Marjorie has made sure the clothes are attached to the doll so they cannot come off and be lost. Grandma skills. The features are always important because they make or break your doll and give it personality along with the clothes you choose. This is a great little doll. Perfect for in a backpack or easily carried around.

knitting-bee has some lovely free doll patterns. Please check out the reversible dolls and the lavender sachet dolls with personality.

Crochet graphghan

Christine is very good at graphghans. She has worked on the technique. She has the patience and capacity to keep going until she knows how to do something. We loved her Mario Kart graphghan. It was big, bold and very well made. Just perfect for her grandson.

Obviously, when you are trying to master something like a graphghan you need to start with something like a heart, circle or square. Don’t try to be too clever. You can then try letters of the alphabet. Master the basic techniques.

Then try this video from My Hobby is Crochet and make yourself a lovely giraffe which could be a bag or a cushion.

Bag challenge

Here we are at the end of the challenge bags. It was an interesting and fun challenge and one we all appreciated on the day. So many bags. So many ideas. So many thoughts. This year’s challenge will also be good. We have to make a doll from one of the magazines Marjorie (president) brought along. We will have 100gm of white tops to spin and then we have to dye them the colours we need for the doll(s) we want to make . Hm…we shall have to use our spinning/weaving skills and brains!

Left is Maria’s lovely elephant bag. Bit of glitter in the maroon main colour. The little elephants add charm.

Middle is Marjorie’s retro upcycled jeans bag. It has the right amount of coolness and a good reminder to waste not want not.

Right is Sheila O’s bold red bag and it certainly knows how to make a statement!

Hope you have enjoyed seeing our bags as much as we enjoyed seeing them.

Bag challenge

All the bags were different. All were appealing in their own way . Homemade bags look good but they are strong and very functional. It was really good to see all these bags. Peter’s woven bag got second prize. The colours were lovely and the round shape really interesting because it was all woven.

Top left is Margaret’s handspun pastel coloured shopping bag. Nice, soft colours.

Next is Peter’s woven round bag . Great carry bag.

Sheila Mc’s little felted bag was embellished with sashiko embroidery.

Sheila also made a big , sturdy knitted felted bag and we loved the colours.

One more lot of bags to come next post. have you seen one you liked? What would you make as a bag for yourself?

Bag challenge

When we set the bag challenge last year, there were no restrictions as to how the bag would be made. We might be a spinners and weavers group but our members possess a lot of skills and we like to let them share those skills. Skills can help grow ideas in other areas and when you work with fibre and textiles then you need to keep those ideas coming.

Top right is Anthea’s winning stumpword embroidered bag. Beautiful made and so much time and patience went into this. Top left is the patchwork bag she made for her electronic spinning wheel.

Bottom left is Cathy’s homespun felted, knitted and crocheted bag Lovely autumn colours.

Middle bottom is Marina’s woven on a box bag which turned out so well and is very colourful .

Bottom right is Maxin’s beetroot stained fabric bag which she decorated well with fabric paints.

So many good bags which are all different but all designed to fulfil a good role in life.

Bag challenge

Every year at the AGM we set a challenge and the item has to be ready for the next year. There is no compulsion to participate. Members are invited to take part in the challenge. This year it was a bag challenge and when we saw the bags we were so excited! There were so many of them and they were all different and well made. So many conversations to be had and so much inspiration. We are going to feature them on the blog so you can see them all close up!

From the left : Alexis’ bag has strong, classic lines and well chosen block colours. She really loved sewing the beads onto it 🙂

Deb has been learning to spin and she spun the wool for her market string bag and decorated it with some colourful crochet flowers. Very handy.

Hilary’s bag has some good contrast colours and the blue and orange really give the bag a colour lift. The rosette is how it fastens.

We loved Janette’s colourful sheep bag. Such a cheerful bag with personality. The sheep buttons really set it off.

As you can see , each bag is given a number and we just vote for our favourites. It is that simple and our challenges are always an uplifting event.

Show and tell

It was a marvellous day at our spinning group today. All the bags for the bag challenge this year were fascinating and well made. More about this in coming posts.

We heartily congratulate Anthea for her white embroidered stumpwork bag wining first prize.

Peter’s round , woven bag won second prize. Congratulations to him.

So much to look at and appreciate. We had a few really good show and tell items too. It was a really happy way to start our new year officially. This time last year we were in national isolation and could not have our meeting so this was a big positive for us too.

Show and tell

Sheila Mc:  Handdyed skeins from onion skins then commercial dye colours in fuchsia, mossfern and opal.

Sheila O: Spun merino and silk from Brenda in grey and white.

Marjorie:  Cute crochet doll in AFL Crows colours. Ball of spun wool which was blue overdyed with some Landscape colours to give it a better visual effect.

JanH: Crochet elephant puzzle ball in grey.

Christine:Crochet Mario Kart blanket.

Crochet lace scarf

A lightweight lace scarf is a good addition to an outfit on a cooler day. Maria’s crochet lace scarf is a lovely scarf. The colour is interesting , a bit different and a bold colour choice so the scarf would provide a good visual focus for an outfit. She has crocheted a band to thread the scarf through so that it sits neatly at the neckline and the flower lace pattern looks really nice. She has used a lightweight yarn. It makes the scarf look dressier. Something like sock weight yarn. You can use glitter yarns too and make a stylish scarf with a bit of a shimmer. Up to you and your imagination.

The spruce Crafts has 10 lovely crochet lace scarfs to choose from.

This tutorial from Yarnspirations walks you through a lace scarf pattern.

Clever ideas

Hilary’s swirled hat is very fetching. It’s different, it puts her spun wool into focus and the colourplay is interesting. It is just a good hat which would also be very warm because you would trap more air in the swirls. Great pattern to play with to get some good colour effects. You can find a swirl ski hat pattern on the Craft Yarn Council website. There are some other swirl patterns to choose from on In The Loop Knitting.

Marjorie does clever things with her knitting. She is very good at reversible garments of all sorts. To master this you first need to be familiar with reversible stitches. You need to start with something small first so that you understand how it works, then you can apply it to whatever you want. Patience and application! There are more reversible patterns for you to try on allfreeknitting. There is a reversible brioche sweater on ABC Knitting.

Marjorie and Hilary both spun their yarn on electric spinning wheels. Marjorie used her little Eel wheel and showed just how useful these little wheels can be.

Frozen inspiration!

We love how Alexis can sing the Frozen songs! We have all been there with our children and/or grandchildren. The colours are inspiring for spinning and making woolbatts. But who could resist Hilary’s Olaf? It’s a pattern by Knit Guru if you scroll down on the InTheLoopKnitting site where you will find some other lovely Frozen ideas to knit too 🙂

Cathy spun the colours of Princess Elsa and made a little jacket for her two year old granddaughter who adores Frozen and always feels the cold. It is a nice knit because it is made in one piece with no sewing except buttons! You can find the free pattern on Marianna Mel’s Ravelry site and on her website, where you can see her other lovely patterns. She supports copyright strongly so please read what her conditions are and they are not hard to meet at all.

Show and tell

Great day with the group today. A table laden with lovely show and tell projects. Plenty of colour and colourful ideas around the room and a positive sharing of skills and ideas. Next week is our AGM and our bag challenge so there was some anticipation of the fun that would bring. The weather was nice, the sea was blue so all in all a good day.

Show and tell

Marjorie brought in a scarf knitted and members were asked to guess what the fibre was, which was 50% baby camel 50% silk with a little Suri Alpaca, cream colour.

Cathy : a ball of spun wool green/natural fawn, beanie black with a crown of multi coloured Panda rockery fun fibre with a furry pompom, coat in blue in white in Princess Elsa colours from the film Frozen.

Karin: a plait of solar dyed tops pale yellow, pink and aqua.

Alexis: Three skeins: one multi coloured dyed BFL (Blue-faced Leicester) plied with black, two dark red/dark orange and three Shetland dark brown wool plied with silk. A skein of wool dyed with opal by Sheila O.

Janette: a ball spun wool blue/white.

Anthea: four skeins- two pale aqua and two pale rose pink.

Maxine : a lovely pale green magic square blanket lined with patterned cotton.

Hilary: spiral beanie in various shades of orange and Olaf from Frozen.

The Felting Ewe

Brenda, from The Felting Ewe is someone we like to keep in regular contact with. We like to support local and ordinarily we visit her on Equipment Day which is our annual visit in November to the Adelaide Hills Spinning Group. Last year was no ordinary year and we were all set to go and there was a sudden and swift lockdown in Adelaide. Better safe than sorry, health first and keep ourselves safe. The lockdown worked but we were sad not to have had our visit. With the easing of restrictions we decided to invite her to the club. We were not disappointed. All those lovely colours of hers. All the colourways. All the fibres and ideas. It was just so satisfying to feast our eyes on all these things. As soon as you look at Brenda’s colours you want to make things and the coloured plaits can be supported by the solid colours and additional fibres so that you can make something really interesting. Hopefully we shall be able to see her again in November this year. Meanwhile, we have had a really good colour fix and thank Brenda for taking the time to visit us.

Knitted doll

Our new member, Nina, has finished her doll. She started knitting about 18 months ago and so this doll represents quite an achievement in her skills. She made it bigger than the pattern because she read inches instead of centimetres. We loved the big doll with personality. It will make a good friend. She has started to knit a smaller one now . Nina reminded us that it is good to learn new things, set yourself a challenge and then ask for help when you need it.

If you want to knit yourself or someone else a friend there are some good dolls on My Filing Cabinet.

Clever idea

Don’t you hate it when you know there is ink in the printer cartridges but your printer won’t print because it has decided the cartridges are spent? Christine put the spent cartridges to work and dyed some fleece and the results are impressive. Lovely Easter colours as it turns out. As a guide the grey one is about 220g of tops. The other colours are about 125g to 150g of tops. Great way to use those old cartridges.

HomespunTools on YouTube explains how to use ink cartridges to dye wool .

Show and tell

Such an animated and colourful day with the group today. It was good to see all of Brenda’s ( The Felting Ewe ) interesting colourways and her display had so many enticing colours. Show and tell was small but very interesting. Everyone was busy and productive and , our new member, Nina, finished her first knitted doll. The weather was lovely and the ocean looked so blue and calm.

Show and tell

Chris brought in some of her dyed tops using computer ink from the used cartridges pink, yellow, blue and grey from the black cartridge.

Cathy : a jar of wool fleece dyed with lavender flowers and leaves some golden fawn, some lovely deep violet pink .

Nina has finished her beautiful doll.

Maxine has spun two balls of fleece in natural fawn colour on her new electric spinning wheel.

Knitted square shawl

Some people are clever. Knitting a square shawl is usually done edge to edge or diagonally. Knitting a square shawl from the centre out means you have to keep track of it on round needles with a lot of stitches! Alexis hand dyed commercial yarn for this shawl so it would be a custom colour. It is a beautiful, striking green. To tone in some other colours makes the shawl more visually appealing and gives it interest. She used a fine wool. When we first saw it , some of us thought she was knitting a bag. No, it was a beautiful square shawl.

You can find instructions for conventional shawls on knitting.today. The site also provides instructions for knitting a centre out shawl so you can challenge yourself.

Chanel inspired hats

Why not do a Maria and produce a Chanel inspired hat for this winter? You could do worse. Maria’s crochet hat is crocheted in thick wool and looks like Chanel tweed fabric. Such a stylish hat. Coco Chanel beanies are often black single rib with the Chanel logo. CrochetKnitUnlimited shows a whole array of Chanel knit caps which are knitted and crocheted and which might serve to inspire you. You can also look at this YouTube video and learn to make a crochet Chanel inspired bucket hat. Just have fun with your beanies this winter. Be like Maria. Do it with style.

Show and tell

Lovely, sunny autumn day at the beach front today. We enjoyed another show and tell table laden with woolly goodness. There was so much chat and sharing of ideas. We like to make sure everyone is doing their best and can keep doing what they want to so much of the day was spent with us facilitating each other with ideas and practical help.

Show and tell

Jan H: brought in a beautiful crochet donkey cover for a stool and two crochet puzzle friends
Marjorie: a lovely reversible ribbed jumper in Bendigo blue.
Maria: a lovely small light weight crochet scarf in deep red with tassel ties, a crochet beanie two tone pinks, two pram covers in pale pastel colours.
Alexis: soft knitted square shawl in dyed green commercial wool.
Maxine: two balls of spun wool in natural fawn.
Cathy: two balls of spun wool one in pinkish tones, one fawn and pale green.
Deb: solar dyed spun skein in blues and purple, one spun skein of natural silver grey.
Karin: two skeins one silk and alpaca, one over dyed solar dyed in coral pink.
Marina: one skein alpaca/wool dark brown plied with sparkle thread.
two plaits dyed by Alexis in citrus lime green, one with colourful patches.
Hilary: one skein of solar dyed spun wool in pastel shades of aqua/pink and blue.

Fractal spinning

Fractal spinning produces gorgeous yarns and colours and the distribution of the colours as you knit or crochet them is very pleasing! It makes you feel very clever and creative. Christine brought along some impressive fractal yarn she had spun using colour plaits from The Felting Ewe. Lovely bold, vibrant , cheerful yarn. Fractal spinning requires some preparation of the tops and a bit of planning. It isn’t hard to learn.

The YouTube clip below gives you a quick rundown on fractal spinning. You can do it. There are other longer YouTube clips which walk you through the process. You can also follow written instructions from Roving Crafters.

Chevron blanket

Alexis brought in the new chevron blanket she had made. We loved the look and feel of it. Soft and cosy. She had dyed the wool but plied it in such a way that the colour gradations blended in seamlessly with each other. It really is a nice blanket to look at. Colour is everything and how you play with colour! The chevron stitch lends itself well to colour change and creating a mood with colour.

There are some lovely knitted chevron stitch patterns on allfreeknitting and some good ideas as to how to use chevron stitch.

Show and tell

The weather was pleasant and mild. The show and tell table was full of woolly goodness . There was plenty of chat and ideas. We also need to get ourselves going for beanie season coming up in June. Such a happy, productive day.

Show and tell

Marina: two balls of spun wool/plied with cotton and a bag made from small samples of weaving.
Cathy: a long Mobius in royal blue/pink/ black plied with pale blue.
Margaret: two skeins of dyed wool blue and lavender.
Janette: two balls of spun wool pink/white, a shawl in turquoise/white with flower motifs.
Chris has spun a plait of Brenda’s Fruit tingles colours which looks beautiful.
Alexis: a skein of pale mauve mixed colours, and a beautiful knitted rug in rainbow colours.
Anthea: has made a quilted bag for her electric spinner which is a lovely creation also crocheted a beret in the wool which she solar dyed.
Hilary: a small skein of solar dyed fleece spun and dyed with various colours which mixed to make tan orange and grey – a lesson to be learnt.

Pin loom weaving

Marina has mastered the art of pin loom weaving and was weaving little squares from homespun wool so she would be able to create projects with them. Now we are starting to see them. These little bags are for carry around projects. The bag is lined and sturdy and so projects are well protected when they go out and about. There is a large press stud sewn in the middle of the top opening to keep the bag closed. The woven fabric is sturdy and so that is all it needs.

This tutorial gives you the basics on pin loom weaving. You can buy kits, make your own, upcycle wooden frames. Marina’s pin looms were smaller than this and you need to train yourself to be able to weve that small. This is a good way to start.

Colour combinations

We are lucky. We are immersed in colour each time we meet. It is not only good therapy, it is inspirational. It makes you think. You look at colours and think to yourself about them. What would you do with them? You just love them. You want a lighter version of that one. Good colour, but you wouldn’t use it. That one would make a great scarf! You play with the impact of the colours on you and engage in your own creativity. We like making our own colour blends and dyeing colours. It is always fun to do that. We have our favourite colours but we draw colour choices from nature , paintings, pictures and plants.

If you don’t have access to a club or you find yourself in lockdown then YouTube has good colour videos like this one from Interweave Craft. Seven minutes well spent.

Apache Tears Scarf

Maria brought along a lovely Apache Tears crochet scarf she had made. It’s a good pattern to master. Colour choices can give it a very different look and Maria had gone for strong, bold colours which made her scarf look very striking.

You can get some great ideas as to how to use this pattern to good effect on yourcrochet which is a lovely site to keep you inspired.

The Bella Coco video walks you through how to do this pattern:

Short sleeved jacket

Deb brought in the new short sleeved jacket she had knitted from the wool Hilary had spun. The colours are beautiful and visually very pleasing. The colour pattern made itself from the spun tops. Such lovely colours to cheer you up on a cool day and short sleeved jackets are so handy and not as bulky as a jumper.

There are some good free short sleeved jacket patters on knitting bee.

Big chickens

Maxine has been knitting big chickens! We fall in love with them every time we see them. Hers are weighted chickens destined for a school where students get to cuddle them to help them focus. Such a clever idea. Little things make a difference and big chickens can bring comfort. Maxine’s chickens are based on the paid Henrietta pattern. There are some free knitting and crochet patterns for chickens on grandmother’s pattern book. There is a free crochet chicken pattern on free vintage crochet. Choice of colour makes a difference to the look of the chickens but so would the type of yarn. You can have some really creative fun with these!

P.S. Easter is coming!

Show and tell

Beautiful day at the beach front for the first day of autumn. Inside we had our exchange day table and then our show and tell table was bursting with goodness and colour. Such a good day and so many colours to enjoy. It was so lovely to see how the solar dyeing had turned out from our workshop led last week by Hilary. It gave us a real burst of creativity.

Show and tell

Deb knitted a sleeveless vest from one of Brenda’s plaits spun by Hilary.
Sheila O. knitted a beautiful scarf in a mixture patterns and stripes of many colours.
Maria crochet a multi coloured scarf in an Apache Tears pattern.
Maxine has made another couple of chickens for Janette’s daughter’s school.
Marina has woven a lovely bag in stripes of browns/reds between 2 rods which meant the only seams were on the side, and crochet a handle to match.
Hilary spun/dyed 150 grams of Polwarth fleece as part of the international scarf exchange and knitted into a shawl, 2 skeins of spun tops turquoise and silk mix.
Karin a ball of spun wool dyed with the herb rosemary, which was a pale yellow.

Solar dyeing workshop

Janette: three balls of the fleece she dyed pale pink, blue and cream with a hint of colour.
Sheila O: a ball of spun wool dyed with yellows & green.
Marina: two skeins of wine red with a hint of pink.
Margaret had several skeins which were bright purple/blue & pink.
Hilary: skein of many pinks with a hint of yellow.
Jan E: two skeins of blue/purple with a hint of opal.
Anthea: a ball & a small piece of crochet in pale blue.
Maxine: a skein of various blues with a hint of opal.
Deb dyed a skein with blues, opal & yellow then knitted it into a mobius cowl.
Cathy: one skein of multi colours of yellow/pinks & green and a ball of spun wool in greens & pinks.
Sonya dyed some fleece which was pale blue.
Christine decided to do some at home with a cold water dyes.Her skeins were bright salmon pink, a pale pink, green/pink, pale blue & opal/fawn & natural white.

Solar dyeing

Hilary led our solar dyeing workshop this week and it was a lot of fun. Others supported with their enthusiasm and big, empty glass jars. Ten of us participated in the workshop and the time went so quickly. Even before we left the jars were starting to change colour so it will be interesting to see how all these dyed skeins and fleece turn out. It is a good way to take advantage of the naturally warm weather. We were using acid powder dyes.

ChemKnits has a video to encourage you to try this but there are other videos on YouTube which you might want to take a look at.

Show and tell

Blowy down at the beach front but beautiful , clear colours and snow capped waves. Inside was plenty of colour too. We had our solar dyeing workshop which we thank Hilary for leading . It was fun and interesting. There were plenty of projects to look at too so the whole day was a good one for getting new ideas and refreshing our ideas.

Show and tell

Sonya brought along a selection of small, colourful crocheted items given to her by her Persian daughter .Sonya is not sure what to do with them but they need to be displayed.

Anthea brought along a stunning piece of Hardanger embroidery she had made.

Maxine made two huge chickens stuff and weighted for young children with concentration problems and Janette is going to give them to her daughter for some of her pupils.

Janette: a ball of spun wool green/brown mix.

Cathy: a ball of spun wool brown/cream.

Deb: beanie made from her first spinning, natural dark brown wool.

Maria: a large rug made from 238 small colourful crotchet flower motifs with a black border.

Peter: has started a tapestry piece for a change he has designed the picture himself.

Alexis and Janette brought in limes & lemons.

Crochet a daisy square

Soon you will see Maria’s flower blanket and it is impressive. It makes such a change from regular grannie squares and has a completely different look .She has chosen primary colours and edged them in black then used stripes around the border. Your choice of colours would change the look of the blanket. The video above shows you how to make a daisy square which would work well in this blanket. Maria used 8 ply wool but you could use 5 ply and get a really dainty look. Such a handy project because it is portable. Mind you, Maria had to crochet 278 flowers! When you see her blanket you will see it has a more open look and that is why it is so effective.

Embroidering mouths and noses

When you make knitted and crocheted friends it is always important to get the features right. Some people seem to be able to just do it. They know how to put the stitches in the right place. Jan E sent a link to a video which shows very clearly how to get a mouth right. 🙂 We like smiling friends in our group. If you want to follow up, you can go to lilliliis site.

The other thing which will often come up is a teddy nose and mouth. There are clear instructions for this on the engsidrun site.

Crochet friends

Jan E often makes beautiful, cute pixie friends . We like watching her characters develop. For her, it is a break from spinning and often to help others in need. This time she is changing how she makes it and giving herself a mental challenge too. These friends can be for charities, hospitals, family…even yourself! The site she has used for this pixie, which she plans to alter a bit to make it more original, is Creativities. There are not only lovely crochet patterns there but a lot of other things you might want to make!

Dyeing with food colouring

On our show and tell table this week we had yarns dyed with food colouring. You would have seen that on a regular basis on our blog. Group members also use chemical and plant dyes. It is about the colour adventure, the colours and then the fun of creating your own colours and colourways. If you have not dyed fleece or tops before then using food colouring is an easy and quick way to get you to a point where you feel like you can dye successfully. You can then try cold dyes, hot water dyes and the amazing journey of plant dyes.

In the video Happy’ CHick shows you in five minutes how to colour fleece with food dye. She also uses lemon juice in preference to vinegar which is interesting. She finds the lemon juice gives a better effect. Great way to use up the over supply of lemons we sometimes get here!

Show and tell

Beautiful sunny day and the beach front today. Inside was full of colour and conversations, problem solving and getting our ideas straightened out. We had a visit from Marie Pfeiffer and her lovely fleeces so some of us have added to our stash. It was really good to see people focusing on colour and dyeing as we prepare for our solar dyeing workshop next week. Our show and tell table reflected our interest in dyeing. Even something as simple as food colouring makes a lovely adventure in colour.

Show and tell

Marina: a large woven box which was very impressive with lots of advice on how to keep the shape once the box has been removed, plus two balls of spun wool dyed with a mixture of green herbs dye and food colouring.
Maxine: pale blue scarf worked in a cross over stitch pattern, and a beautiful salmon pink jumper in chunky wool, worked with two balls of 10 ply.
Alexis: spun wool skein dyed with Coreopsis flowers in a lovely yellow.
Cathy: a ball of spun wool dyed with food colouring and tea and Tasmanian bluegum leaves and tea.
Sheila Mc: two balls spun brown fleece over dyed with dark green, two balls of spun brown wool dyed with food colouring in dark red.
Marjorie : a large ball of spun pre-dyed mixed fleece.
Alexis brought in lemons, Janette brought in apples.

Triangular scarf

Triangular scarfs can make a fashion statement because you can wear them different ways and pin them with brooches , pins or flowers. If, like Hilary, you pick unusual colours then you will lift an outfit to a new level just by wearing the scarf. The greens she has chosen are no ordinary greens and the other colours blended in provide interest and a broader colour palette to work with when you are putting together an outift. In any case , they would dress up black or denim!

There are free triangular scarf patterns on The Funky Stitch. Keep knitting and you will have a shawl! Small triangular scarves are sometimes all you need to keep the draughts of your neck.

Would you rather crochet a scarf? Here you go:

Crochet flower rug

Both Maria and Pam are stash busting and crocheting flower motifs to make a rug or blanket. We shall see. it makes a change from traditional grannie squares. Maria mass produces hers and keeps them organised on a long round needle so she can do things in stages. Pam is making and joining hers to keep them under control She will be blocking her big flowers so they take on a good shape. Both the designs are good and will look effective when they are finished.

GoldenLucyCrafts has an interesting flower rug to make which would make a good mat if you used the T Shirt or spaghetti yarn.

Show and tell

Lovely day at the beach front and so nice to see the sunshine and blue ocean after our cold, wet spell. We were noisy and full of discussions and spent the day exploring ideas and encouraging each other. Jan B, who owns an alpaca farm, gave us a really helpful, worthwhile talk about how to spin alpaca, particularly suri alpaca and how to skirt an alpaca fleece and how to buy quality alpaca fleece for spinning.

Show and tell

Wendy: a selection of hand woven hand towels. She used cotton.
Janette: a ball of spun alpaca Suri/blue wool.
Jan E: skein of mixed reds plied woolly nylon.
Karin: a skein of beautifully spun Bendigo wool in green.
Marjorie: a skein of Brenda’s wool fibres in green/purple.
Peter: a woven wall hanging mixed dark colours on a black commercial weft.
Hilary: a small triangular scarf in lime green wool plied with silk.
Pam: was busy making flower crochet motifs for a rug.

Sheila O brought along some fresh vegetables from the garden.

Alexis: brought along some lemons.

Amamani Puzzle Ball

Most of you will know amigurmi crochet. Amamani is amigurmi Amish puzzles which you crochet. Some will know the puzzle balls as Montessori balls. They help babies and little children learn. There are some free patterns on Stitch and Unwind. Christine has introduced us to Annie’s craft and design. This takes Amamani puzzle balls to a whole new level. It has been a commercial enterprise since 1975 so there are fees for what they do. Reasonable prices, though. The free ones on Stitch and Unwind are all good to try and the video walks you through how to make a puzzle ball. Something different and worthwhile for the littlies.

Box weaving

We loved watching Christine(left) and Marina(right) weaving on their boxes. They have taken on a big projects with box weaving and the colours are looking really good . It is a great project to use up odds and ends of yarn. It is an easily stored project and doesn’t require an expensive outlay in order to achieve something which looks good. In time we shall see what Marina and Christine plan to do with their box weaving. You do need a plan for tidying up the yarn ends neatly.

If you want to know how to weave a bag on a box then A Field Guide to Needlework has a delightful guide.

A number of members remarked what a great project this would be for children when they were having to stay inside for whatever reason. They thought it would be something they would enjoy and they would be able to produce something they could be proud of. They could use a small box so their patience isn’t tested too much.

Loony Loomworks has a good video to show children how to weave on a box.

Colour your life

We are always immersed in colour and we absorb it. It is colour medicine and inspiration. We look at so many colours but we never tire of it. I tis always interesting. This week’s colours were a good mix. Top left are Cathy’s natural colours – lamb’s wool, suri alpaca , Finn X dyed with Tasmanian bluegum leaves and a bit of gold sparkle. Top right are Marina’s colours. Blue from tops Alexis dyed and then suri alpaca natural colour. Middle right are Jeanettes colours. White a grey fleece plied with solid colours from Felting Ewe. Bottom are Hilary’s solar dyed colours which she brought in jars last week. Don’t those skeins look pretty?

Stephen West Shawls

Christine’s and Marina’s shawls were stunning! Just such a visual feast and impressive work. They came about from a Stephen West challenge last year. He was born in Oklahoma, has worked in Amsterdam and has started his West Wool brand. He is an inspired knitter and designer who likes to lift others up in their knitting. If you want to see more shawls then look for the hashtag #westknits on Instagram. His own Instagram account is @westknits. His website is Westknits.

Marina’s and Christine’s shawls were a labour of love, commitment and skill. They ended up with 960 stitches on their needles and so it becomes a big knit at the end and challenging. The shawls really were a challenge. They are so beautiful. Well worth every minute of time put into them.

Show and tell

It was windy down at the beach front this morning. It turned into a spectacular day by the afternoon but the wind kept up. We were in full voice so we enjoyed the changing sea colours and the equally vibrant conversations. So many things to look at, help each other with and so much about colour and design today. We loved Marina’s and Christine’s shawls which they had knitted for the Stephen West challenge. More about that later 🙂

Show and tell

Karin: a beautiful pair of hand spun wool socks in multi stripes.
Marina: a ball of alpaca/wool
Janette : two spun balls blue/white & aqua/white.
Cathy : a ball of spun alpaca & lamb’s wool with glitter.
Sheila: a very large knitted bag ready for felting in the washing machine.

Anne: has dyed some white fleece with a mixed cold water dyes.
Margaret: two balls of spun mixed alpaca/wool.
Hilary: two skeins of the solar dyed wool in the bottles from last week.
Marina and Christine entered a challenge to make a beautiful elaborate shawl; Marina’s was in spun wool and Christine used commercial fibres.

Solar dyeing

Hilary got us off to a good start because some of us are going to learn solar dyeing soon. Like everything else it is a process which you have to learn. The first step in that in knowing where you will end up and to have some idea of what the process looks like. Enter Hilar, with her two beautiful solar dyed skeins for us to look at. The colours are like opals. They are very attractive. She made it something we now want to do. She also brought along some of her notes and a website – lacreativemama – for us to look at. Those of us who don’t know what we are doing will now have a better idea. You can solar dye hand spun yarn , roving, fleece, commercial yarn and fabric. You can use chemical or natural dyes. It is a great use of warm weather.

We are including this nice video on solar dyeing too because we value and support the efforts from people in lockdown. Keeps us all strong.

Fun for children

Jan H has a lot of grandchildren and engages with them to her and their benefit. She comes up with such fun things for her grandchildren and all with a bit of flair and colour. Her donkey is such a character. You feel like you could talk to him. The bright unicorn jacket will be worn with pride. So colourful and cheery. The baby hat is hilarious with that shock of pink hair! It is always fun to see what Jan has been making for the grandchildren.

There is nice fluted crochet jacket pattern which you could adapt to your own child on the crochet space.