Thursday, 26 June 2008

A new SnB Melbourne at Rosanna

Yes, we have a SnB group at Jenny's Fruit Supply. It is my local coffee shop, walking distance. My friend Mary and I started a new group and we had five attendees, all together, at our first meeting. It was excellent and we hope to make it a regular thing. It's great drawcard is Woolybutt is three doors down, so you can add to your stash.

I didn't have any photos of the group, however, as we've had some wet weather (Hooray!) my very shady garden is sprouting mushrooms. What beautiful things they are, so ephemeral and so surprising. The yellow mushroom/toadstool (I'm no expert) was an even brighter yellow the day before.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Guild meeting bliss

Attending HWSG monthly meetings isn't always an event which inspires enthusiasm. As I give my group reports, I'm sort of obliged to go. However, having said that, I'm always eager to go for the many gifts I receive, some anticipated, some complete surprises.
The gift of friendship is the most important. Good friends and guild friends, people I only see at these meetings, all are a delight. Fun, laughter and, of course, communing about all things fibre related. I'm not sure people realise how much this is appreciated and lifts my spirits. Yesterday was no exception.
The gift of learning. There is always a small workshop/gathering, and this month we were offered the delight of learning Tunisian crochet. Having never attempted this before, I purchased my needle, a cross between a crochet hook and knitting needle, from Lorraine at Woolybutt. Arriving a little late, I eventually go so caught up in this lovely, addictive craft, I spent the formal part of the meeting, starting over again and getting it right. Well, almost right, I kept forgetting to chain 3 at the beginning of the return row, so the sample is slightly lopsided.
My 'Complete Encyclopedia of Needlework' by Th. de Dillmont (always a wealth of knowledge on all the ancient arts!) says of Tunisian crochet that it 'has more resemblance to knitting than any other kind of crochet"......"stitches are all worked on the right side, and produce a soft and elastic fabric". It give a couple of stitches and patterns. I'm intrigued by it all.
The last gift was an actual gift from Peter. He's always at guild meetings, spinning away. (He's also part of the legendary mailout team for the guild). Anyway, he's give me this gorgeous and very sturdy small picnic basket filled with a little coloured fleece and a very big bag of what we think is cashmere. These all belonged to his sister who can no longer make use of them. So, very generously, he's given them to me.
The basket is gorgeous and I'll use it as a travel bag, with spinning goodies in it. The fibre has to be spun up, but what about all that cashmere. Peter is so generous with his spinning and knitting, he gives away most of what he does, that I feel the need to do something special. It will need thinking and suggestions......
However, for the moment, I'm frantically busy...well not quite.......yet.....making various pieces for our Sheep and Wool show entry. What a mystery it all is.....what fun!

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Workshop in Bendigo

Yesterday I went to Bendigo to give a workshop. I called the workshop 'Chasing the rainbow' and we created some amazing yarns from multi-coloured fleece and tops.
I finished this scarf as an example of how these yarns look when they're used. They were a lovely small group and they provided lunch, including two beautiful soups. Lovely in Winter.
The drive up through Heathcote was lovely, it was a beautiful day, including a spectacular sunrise. There's a few places to stop along the way for some wonderful views and photographs. I might try and stop at a few when I go up for the Sheep and Wool Show in July.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Recycling business shirts

Yesterday was our 3D5S meeting, where we explored recycling fabrics. This was inspired by our trip to Ceres in Brunswick. We had fun cutting up fabric, running it through the spinning wheel and knitting to create some really interesting fabrics. Good rugs, bags are in the making.

My partner's old business shirts were sacrificed to the cause....he now has a reason to buy those bargain priced good quality shirts he's spotted....I didn't get as far as knitting, but I'll get there!

The Australian Sheep and Wool show project is progressing well and slowly coming together. The next few weeks will be a flurry of activity to get pieces made. All very exciting and pictures will be posted after the judging takes place.

Friday, 13 June 2008

Plants and Music

Sometimes you see something that you weren't interested in and it absolutely grabs your imagination. This happened to me when I dropped into Craft Victoria and had a look at the current exhibitions.

In the main galery is Dylan Martorell with "Umbel Ballits". It's more like a workshop with drawings, machines, experiments and growing potatoes. And it's all about music!

Dylan is a musician who has created music based on plants. The drawings are music scores, detailing both notes and frequencies, the like of which I've never seen before. You can read the notes and how they change, where they start and finish. The drawings, on graph paper are beautifully mathematical in themselves and we can see them working during the exhibition. He's going to do some performances, as well.

It's completely fascinating and reminds me of the weaver who wrote an article in Handwoven about creating a weaving draft from music. I didn't understand alot of the more technical side of the music, but it has grabbed my interest and imagination, and I'm left wondering about it all.

The exhibition runs till the 28th June. (

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Felting ping-pong balls

Continuing the scarf, now a mini-saga. I've successfully felted the scarf and and pleased with the result, including the areas that didn't take colour.
However, it's not big enough, so I'll have to make another. I'll continue working on this one and make a nice little neck warmer. More buttons are required, but I don't think I can 'find' the right buttons, will have to make a serious purchase of buttons!

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

What a difference a day makes!

Yes, what a difference a day makes. I had the best day since I've been there....that's right, the best. What was really good was that a bit of everything sold. Except hats! They're supposed to be what is selling, oh well. I did sell some wall hangings, scarves, a little yarn and my fingerless mittens, again. It was fairly quiet, having fallen on the Queen's birthday weekend, so even better. I do hope this continues.

As a result of the boost in confidence and thanks to the long weekend, I had a flurry of activity. I've two 'commissions', one from the weekend, a pair of wrist warmers, and one that I've had for awhile that I've been putting off.

The wrist warmers are knit in some handspun that was slightly felted. I'm not sure how it is working out, but they've given me some more ideas for wrist warmers that are a smaller version of the fingerless mittens. Need to find more buttons! (Apologies, problem with the pictures)

The scarf is machine knit with ping-pong balls tied in. I'm trying to felt it, yes it will felt! but had to abandon the dyeing in favour of feeding my family. I'll boil it to death, take out the ping-pong balls and add buttons to make the resulting ball shape more of a floral shape.

I've then made my first totem. I like it, however, I don't think I'll use toilet rolls as a basis. They just don't have the right look of authority.

Finally, I've started knitting a tri-scarf (must think of a better name) with wool that I spun for the workshop in Bendigo. I wanted to finish this so they could see how the yarns they're going to create look when they are knit up.

It's amazing what a boost of confidence can do!

Friday, 6 June 2008

Some of my favourites

I don't seem to have very much to report, which is always a worry a few days out of a market.....I should be frantically busy! Anyway, I thought I'd tell you about a couple of blogs I really like, so at least you have something to read.

These are both Australian and have all sorts of wonderful information about artists, places to go, and all sorts of interesting things.

Hope you enjoy them.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Fingerless mittens galore

Off to Incube8tr with some more buttoned fingerless mittens. I am very keen to make as many as I can before Sunday as well. I haven't seen anything like this anywhere, and I have this interesting feeling that I might have hit on something.
Looking over what I have sold, there are probably three products that have sold well(ish!) and that are also unique designs: these Fingerless mittens, the silk scarves and the tri-scarf. I think I might concentrate on these for the rest of the winter and see what happens.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Spinning for a friend

I've finished the yarn I was spinning for a friend. Unfortunately, the colour in the photo is not good. It's the First Editions top "Rosella" which is more a crimson. Anyway, I added the little bit of mohair and I'm quite happy with the resulting yarn.

I'm not sure it's what she wanted, though she did pick the colour. If I can find her address, it's somewhere in the house, I'll send it off. I've got another 100gms, so I'll do something else when I hear from her about this.

On a more interesting note: isn't mother nature and her creatures wonderful. A frosty morning reveals all sorts of beautiful things. I'm hoping the hole is the result of a successful catch.