Monday, 21 September 2009

The x-factor team wins!

Sarah, Jen and I competed in the Sheep to Shawl competition held yesterday at the Royal Melbourne Show, and we won, in a time of 3 hours and 15 minutes, setting a new record and being the first winners of the Crossfibres Perpetual Trophy. What a day.

The aim of the event was to spin enough yarn (we spun too much!) ply it, and knit it into a simple shawl. We were provided with a beautiful fleece from the Black and Coloured Sheep Association, and was a beautiful grey from Helen Wright. It was a lovely fleece to spin from.
Everyone had the same pattern, which consisted on three triangles and 3 diamonds, which we could lace together.
In the end we won by 1 minute.
We all went home tired and happy and planning to compete next year!

Friday, 18 September 2009

A busy weekend

Yes, it's going to be a busy weekend. Saturday is the Ivanhoe Makers Market, new name, bright new logo and hopefully a busy day to celebrate the end of Winter and the start of Spring. I'm going to have a 20% off everything sale, to celebrate. I hope that everyone comes and says hello.

These are the latest neckwarmers that I've been working on. Handspun, dyed, knit and finished with a button (of course).

And a few more fingerless mittens.

Then on Sunday, I'm part of a team that will be competing in the Sheep to Shawl competition at the Royal Melbourne Show. The competition starts around 10.30am and finishes when all the teams have spun and knit a shawl, however long that takes.

I've always wanted to have a go at competing, should be fun. It would be nice to have a cheer squad?

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Snb dyeing

Last Friday, a few of the members of our Snb group came over to my house and we did a little random dyeing, by way of introduction for them. It was alot of fun and some ordinary yarns were transformed into a myriad of colours.

The basic rule for random dyeing is to minimise, as much as possible, the amount of water in the dyepot to reduce the amount of movement the dye particles can make. Dyes are sprinkled on in varying levels of randomness. (I know, it's either random or not.....but bear with me!) You then continue dyeing as usual, with some housekeeping (read 'poking') throughout to ensure that all parts of the yarn has some dye.

I did my dyeing after they'd all left, trying to get a good red. Again, I did succeed but couldn't help adding a little green. I love the yarn and am ready to knit it up! (Apologies for the picture....I'm recharging my battery....)

I have been determined to use the travelling vine pattern. You know how something gets into your head and won't go away, well....

I've rewritten the pattern adding four more rows to the pattern to give bigger blocks of colour, and, changed needle sizes several times.....back to 4mm needles, sometimes the right size IS the right size.

I'm happy....hope I can finish this by the next market.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

I do love stitch patterns

Two projects this month have given me the joy of having to find an appropriate stitch pattern to highlight the yarn. As you may have gathered, I do love stitch dictionaries. I can walk past many a pattern book, but will walk over hot coals to get to a new stitch pattern book.

The first yarn was bought from Wendy Dennis at this years sheep and wool show. I had no idea what sort of pattern might suffice.

I have a lovely book: 'Traditional Knitting Patterns from Scandinavia, the British Isles, France, Italy and other European Countries' by James Norbury, which I do love. I found a pattern called 'Mrs Hunters pattern. It's a lovely simple four row pattern and it worked. However, it did skew to the left and would need a little blocking when finished.......This is where I made my mistake.

I decided, in my folly....I had found the perfect try and find another. Of course none worked and eventually, giving in to common sense, went back to Mrs Hunter.

It only needed light blocking and is just gorgeous. Lots of movement and of course the yarn is just gorgeous, as you would expect from Wendy Dennis. The joy of knitting is every single length of a beautiful yarn passes gently through your fingers as you watch it grow.

The next yarn is my fine fractal yarn. If you recall (I think I blogged about it?) I was a bit disappointed with the result. However, I now have a request that I knit the yarn up, if the person requesting can have first choice. I am very happy to do this.

The journey for this yarn was a little different. I knew exactly what I wanted and explaining to a friend, found it in a Barbara Walker book (which I don't have, but will one day....), but I then was able to find it in my Traditional knitting book. Hooray! I just love the way the fabric moves, it will work perfectly.....

No, it didn' needed larger areas of colour, so I went in search about this one?

Yep, I think I like it!

aaaagh, knitting.................