Friday, February 27, 2009

I'm on a dye-it......

It's been a busy week here at the chook yard. I'm a real homebody and I have had a few huge days out and about. On one of those days I had a lovely couple of hours scavenging the op-shops, and came home with some fantastic buys. Much of it was yarn, including some Rowan Tweed and gorgeous alpaca, as well as some great vintage yarns like Patons Bluebell crepe. I picked up a vintage ball winder which works a treat, I wish I'd found it before I handed over $55 for a new one! And I got a Speedie electric jug, which I absolutely love, I kill modern kettles with our bore water and my little Speedie is just a tad small so I was thrilled with this find.My order from The Knittery arrived, it was my first order from them and I would highly recommend them. Great price and great service, what more could you ask for? I ordered 500 grams of their 50% silk 50% merino in 8 ply and OMG it is divine. It's a single ply, similar in style and content to Noro silk garden. I can't wait to dye it up and make it into something special. I did some dyeing this week, some pure wool I acquired in a swap. It came out great, not my usual colours, but I think the person I dyed it for will like it.I also received some scrumptious fibre in another Ravelry swap from MelM. Mel sent me some beautifully dyed top and some lovely sparkly fibre to add to it.
I feel very spoilt, can't wait to see it spun up, now I just have to decide how I want to spin it. I sent some of this to Mooska, along with some mohair locks in co-ordinating colours. I loooove swaps!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Silky S.E.X. and the Clap ...... my trip to Sydney

Ok, now I have your attention! Many knitters would know what I mean by S.E.X. Of course I'm referring to a Stash Enhancement eXpedition. What did you think I was referring to? I had the opportunity to visit Morris and Sons whilst in Sydney for DH's knee op this week. Now as you would know, I tend to either recycle, swap or make my own yarn. Actually going out and buying new yarn is not my usual practice. This is partially due to financial constraints, but I also get a huge amount of satisfaction from making old yarn look new and creating my own hand spun. And of course it is also much better for the planet. So it was with a tinge of guilt I splashed out on....... wait for it ........ not one, but two skeins of Noro! Yep, I have jumped on the Noro bandwagon, I bought imported, expensive and truly magnificent yarn. I guess most people would think I was very restrained, but to tell you the truth it wasn't that hard. I looked around at all the gorgeous yarn and pictured the yarns I could make using the fibre from my goats and sheep. Now if I had silkworms I may even have attempted to make these yarns........
Noro Silk Garden sock yarn. Which may or may not become socks. There are quite a few projects on Ravelry using this yarn that are decidedly un-sock-like.
And Noro Silk Garden. Perhaps some fingerless mitts? Have to wait and see, may be a hat yet. Or maybe I'll just caress these little lovelies for a while...... Speaking of caressing I nearly forgot the Clap! Another bandwagon moment I couldn't resist. This is the beginnings of my Clapotis, a French style wrap which apparently every knitter except me has made at least a million times. I am using the recycled wool/silk blend I showed you in a previous post. It's scrumptious to knit with. I'm loving using these pretty stitchmarkers too, aren't they beautiful? Forgot to mention the lovely Knitpicks Harmony circs I picked up at M&S too, in just a couple of different sizes. Perhaps I wasn't that angelic after all!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Twilight socks are done!

Yep, finished, finito, done and dusted. I must say I am loving this finishing both at once thing. Very happy with how they turned out!Now for some baby hats for a fundraiser, and of course one for my nephew-to-be. Bought some yarn online the other day, some to be for the fundraiser and I think I may have a little bit left. A kilo of undyed 12ply and 700 grams of rainbow dyed 4ply. I bought it direct from the Wangaratta Mill, for a ridiculously low price. Should get a few hats from that lot!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bushfire appeal, how you can help

We're all aware of the dreadful devastation caused by the terrible bush fires in country Victoria. The wonderful thing about horrific events like this is the way that our community rallies to help those who've lost so much. Our central school’s student representative council is organising collection of goods to be sent down on a local transport company’s truck on Thursday. All the kids have been asked to donate something, toys, blankets, clothes, toiletries, anything except perishables. My town is small, only 1600 people, and none of us are rich but we are fantastic in a crisis! Over the past 5 years we have been through a major flood and raised money for so many locals that have been through accidents or illness. Every year we have a community theatre written and performed by locals to raise funds for local community groups. Makes me proud to live here.

There are so many groups collecting funds for the bushfire survivors, here's some links where you can donate.

If you shop at Coles supermarkets on Friday 13th Feb the profits are to be passed on to Bushfire relief fund.

Jaqueline from the blog Serendipity has a great raffle organised " Basically how it works is you need to go to the Australian Red Cross Website and make a donation of AUD$10 or above to the Victorian bushfire appeal. For every $10 you donate you will go into the draw for a knitting/fibre related prize. " She has some gorgeous prizes to win, there's even some Cashmere, so make sure you email a copy of your receipt to her!

Beyond pink and blue are "putting together bags of goodies for the kids / babies who have been affected by the bush fires. These bags will be given to the Emergency Relief Centers around Victoria.The aim is to provide some comfort and distraction while parents are dealing with what it is they need to face in the aftermath of their own tragedy."

Knitters on Ravelry have banded together to make blankets and soft toys for those affected and to knit socks as a thankyou to the Country Fire Authority workers. The support for these projects is simply inspirational.

To all those affected, my heart goes out to you. Hopefully we can get lots of help headed your way!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Watcha gunna do?

Watcha gunna do when it's 40 degrees Celsius (that's 104 degrees Fahrenheit)? Light the gas stove and dye some fibre! Well that's if you're silly like me..... I am at the end of my wool tops, this effort is my last for this lot. I may have to splurge on a 10kg bump, don't know if I can justify it considering my fibre stash that's cavorting in the paddock. It's just so much fun to see the colours develop and how they turn out when they're plaited up. I used food colouring for this batch, and with the remaining dye I decided to tart up some reclaimed yarn. This yarn came from an op-shop and was a very wishy-washy blue.
Not for long! This is my gorgeous "new" leprechaun yarn, destined for a new and vibrant life, probably as a pair of socks.Delicious.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

New fibre friends......

I have been enjoying a visit from my Mum and also been looking after some new fibre friends! A local bloke was disposing of 5 Angora does and asked if we'd like to take them. Of course we said yes and so I have been busily researching breeding programs and nutrition etc We've had the vet out to vaccinate and drench them for internal parasites. According to him the goats are around 6 to 8 years old and should kid for us without any difficulties. You can see the one in the pic above with the blue bandage on it's head, poor darlin' broke a horn when we were unloading her, so she's been getting lots of TLC.Their coats are pretty course and don't have much crimp, but their babies should be wonderful. I can't wait to have goatlings, and the Australian National Mohair Pool is only 20 mins drive away, so any fleeces I get can be sold to them. Of course I'll keep some mohair for myself, mmmmmm......yummy........