knitting Feed

On the needles once again.

The weather has cooled down and I am able to knit again.  You have no idea how I miss knitting. I have always worn glasses and as I get older I find that sewing at night time is just no good for my eyes.  I end up with blurred vision and headaches.  Not so with knitting.  I can do that by feel.

I have now finished the shrug I started back at the beginning of the month.  It isn't for now rather it's a Spring shrug.  I think it would have been better if I had had another ball of silk.  I would have liked the sleeves to be longer.  This often happens when you buy kits from Asia.  Asian women are a lot smaller than Western women.  Still it will be a great piece right up to about Xmas.  It took a bit of getting used to the 'lumps' in the yarn but they make a great effect.

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I have a bit of a 'quest' on at the moment trying out Australian Artisan wool yarns.  I have now started a shawl Called Nurmilintu by Heidi Alander.  (The name comes from an old Finnish lullaby.)  The pattern is a free download on Ravelry Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 7.55.28 pm
I am using a new yarn from the Australian Wool Store.   I bought the yarn from a show up at Toowoomba earlier this year and it is a hand dyed 50% merino and 50% silk and the colour is called 'faded roses'.   I can't see an equivalent on their website but there is one that is merino, silk and nylon blend for $32.  Mine cost me $40 for the hank.  There are some delicious colours available and I want them all.  But not yet.  (I still think that Bendigo Woollen Mills have the best priced wool for everyday knitting.)

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I had to make do with a couple of chairs to ball the wool because I couldn't find a spare pair of hands to help.

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I am finding it quite nice to knit but the spinning isn't consistent and that annoys me.  Still I will see what it looks like when I'm finished.

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  I also bought some yarn from Kaalund Yarns where I buy my silk thread .  They balled this one in the shop for me. That will be the project after this.  Then.......




The end of Tropical cyclone Debbie is coming our way.  The radar images just look a mess.  Let it be said there is lots of rain headed in our direction.  It is Thursday here and I thought I would get Friday's post written in case the power goes.  We are pretty exposed out here and the winds are expected to be over the 100k mark by this afternoon.  Our new Telstra tower is as yet untested.  All the schools are closed, people sent home from work and already there are limbs falling from the trees. 

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So what do you do when this kind of thing happens?  Well I have all the emergency stores ready.  I might have to put the smaller flower pots under the house.  We cleared all the gutters but already there is a lot of water on the ground.  We have checked that all the family is safe.  So now I sew while I still have power.  Lots of reverse stitching on my Assisi Sampler.  I miss counted that border.  When the power goes off I knit. 

I bought a small kit at the Stitches and Craft from Prudence Mapstone.  It is from 'The Loom' in Bangkok and is all silk.  It takes a bit of adjustment to knit with the yarn but I have unpulled it once and seem to have got the hang of it now. 

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The Loom have a shop in Bangkok which is on my list of places to visit.  For now we just sit it out.

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More Loot

On the road again and this time the destination was Toowoomba.  Always a good hunting ground. There are lots of interesting shops, artists, gardens and Op shops.

The Op shops were first on the list after I had attended to business.  I was looking for a small bar tin for baking.  My husband thought the other was old so he threw it out.  It was one like my Mother had and not easily replaced.  I found a tin but not the one I wanted but I also found lots of things I hadn't even thought about. Like these lovely little Japanese dolls.  All $2 each.

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And another bunch of things that I can't show because they are going into the Christmas draw.  But let me say that I spent another $20 on 5 presents!

Then I saw there was a sale on at Hana's, which is a family department store.  I only bought 2 shirts but I have noted lots of things for my next visit.  Out to the patchwork shops where there were sales but everything I liked was full price.  Some nice Moda fabric.

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Just some top ups on Shadowplay.

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Some nice 'boy' fabric, small scissors and thread.

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Then onto the craft show.  It was very hot by this time and I think I parked my car illegally under some trees at the University but I wasn't booked thank goodness.  Here I caught up with lots of people I knew and found some bits and pieces I have been looking for.  New blade for the rotary cutter and needles which I keep dropping and can never find again.  (I'm sure there is an imp that collects them.)

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Some Japanese thread I want to trial.

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A stand for my rulers.

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I think I could do with a second one of these as I have lots of templates still in packets!

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That was all stuff I needed.  The rest is, well I wanted it.  A lovely hand turned bowl in Campher Laurel.  The smell is divine.

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Finally I am starting to find some Australian wool producers.  With all the wool the country produces it is a crime that we have to buy from over seas.  I only bought the one hank of wool to trial.  We will see how it goes.

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Good thing I remembered to put the trolley in the car boot because I would never have got it home otherwise!

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I think I had better stay home for a while to let my wallet recover.


Small Knitting

I am still waiting for my wool to arrive from England to start knitting the girls the mice they requested so while waiting I thought I would start on their clothes. 

Why did I buy the wool in England and not here?  Well I wanted the same wool that was used in the original mice and it was cheaper to buy it on-line and have it sent to the other side of the world.  Work that one out!

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These little things are such fun to knit, BUT, I couldn't buy buttons small enough.  I ended up having to buy a bulk lot of 300 buttons from China.  They were only about $5 and they came freight free but that is a lot of buttons.  I think I will have to find some other uses for them and as Xmas is on the way I have some ideas.





I am not lost!

But I have been so busy.  This moving between houses is now at an end and we are back in our house.  One small problem.  They finished a month in advance of the finish date, which should have been mid June.  This is when all the furniture that I have bought will be delivered.  So the house is a bit empty at the moment.

But we are not there.  We are here babysitting the grand children whilst my daughter- in-law is interstate delivering a paper at a conference.  (I have worked out how to break into their internet.   Very obvious pass word!!)  Now that the children are all at school or day care I have managed to get to the computer.

I started by checking my favourite blogs and I found these by Julie Williams of Little Cotton Rabbits.

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I was lucky enough to be able to buy one of Julie's animals when I won a lottery draw a number of years ago.  I keep entering but have never won another.  But I just had to buy these patterns.

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Julie's knitting is just so beautiful.  I hope that I can replicate it now that I have bought all these patterns from her store. She has a book of jumpers for the animals which I had to get as well.  Don't you love her photos, so cute.

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I don't know when I will get to knit them.  It is still so hot here.  I will have to wait until they install the air-conditioning in my work room.  That is due to happen in the next few weeks but there is still all the unpacking to do.

Lollipop has a lot to answer for!!!

That donkey is evil.  She looks so innocent but she is evil.  She tries to steal the chicken food that I keep to feed Chookie.  She broke into the verandah area and ate a whole 20 ltre container so I moved the tub inside.  Then she proceeds to stand next to the air conditioning outlet because she likes the wind in her hair and maybe she can see where I am moving that chicken food to.  Lollipop can not be trusted.

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I  had to go out back to the other house to get something.  Whilst I was gone, which wasn't long, she worked out how to open the back door and when she got into the house she saw the fruit in the fruit bowl on the table.  All thought of the chicken food was forgotten.  She then proceeded to get up on the table eat all my fruit, spitting out the seeds from the stone fruit all over the floor.  I arrived just as she got her teeth into a parcel I had put on the table.  She got the plastic wrapper off and the contents onto the table

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and was about to get into the next plastic wrapping when I arrived on the scene.  She hardly turned a hair as I got her out of the house.  All I could say was "I have just washed this floor!!"  Then I spied the plastic wrappers.  This was knitting wool that arrived just that day from Scotland. 

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I am so glad she didn't get to chew the wool.

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image Kate Davies Designs

I am knitting this pattern, Braid Hills, by Kate Davies in the new wool, Buachaille that she is producing, for my daughter.  I think when it is finished it will not longer be called  Braid Hills  but The Wicked Donkey.

The start of the knitting season?

My husband is back in the land of the medical procedure as some other medical problems have surfaced and I am sitting in hospital waiting rooms, waiting.  After the first day I realised that these places are quite cool due to the air conditioning.  Great for knitting.  Back earlier this year I received a gift from friend Pammy that included a little knitting kit.  It was from Tasmania, where she had been traveling and included some wool, needles and pattern for a tea cosie. 


As all my other wool is packed up and they requires me to dig through boxes to find them and this kit was right in front of me, I choose it.  it was made by a small company called "Art viva".


It is the knitting needles that this company makes and they are just lovely to knit with.  I also see that they are stocked by a lot of shops around the world.


This little kit included wool from the Nundle Woollen Mill.

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  This mill can be found off the main highway, after a bit of a drive up a country road, in the small country town of NSW.


I have just about finished this tea cosie, I only have the teacup on top to finish.  I know two young girls who would like some mermaid tail rugs so I had better get myself organised and get started on those.  I think this means that Autumn is here, ( I keep reading words to that effect but I'm still feeling the heat ) and the knitting season has officially begun.



Busy doing nothing

That's how it seems at the moment.  Earlier in the year I lost my car keys and thought it would be a good idea to get a back up set cut.  All went fine until I had to have the security pin.  That was attached to the set of keys I lost.  That set of keys is at the bottom of the bay somewhere.  I spent a whole day trying to get the pin.  No joy at all.  I will have to take a trip into the car dealership to see if they can help me.  One whole day lost.

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Then we had a meet your neighbours lunch on Saturday.  I spent ages trying to prepare some food to take with me.  I am so slow with this hand.  What would normally take and hour  took 2  and a half hours.  I ended up so frustrated and when my husband said that the fruit an veg man was outside I yelled at him that he was no help at all.  We went to the lunch and stayed far too long.  You know my husband can talk, that was why we were there so long.  Then my daughter came to stay the night, which meant we had to go out for dinner.  Another day and no stitching.


Today, Sunday, we had to go out to breakfast with my daughter and her partner, morning gone.  Then I thought I would download a lesson I had bought from Craftsy.  Now I'm not sure if it is the company or if everyone is on the internet but I haven't had any joy downloading this.  I have watched the introduction over and over but can't get past that.  I think I will try again tomorrow.

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 I did finish my first knitted block.  That has taken 3 weeks nearly, because I am so slow.  I then moved on the the next block which is in purl and found a whole new group of muscles in my hand I have to exercise.    I also have a full hand compression glove which takes down the swelling and I can crochet, in wool any way.  I just couldn't put up with the disappointment I know I will feel when I get to a finer cotton.


So here I am with nothing much to show for my last few days.  I hope the week gets better.




Beautiful Things

I love beautiful tools to use for knitting and embroidery.  I would love to own one of those antique sewing sets you see in the auction catalogues.   I love old thimbles and have a small collection of Dorcas ones that I use all the time.  I also bought a hand made stiletto, made by Jenny Adin-Christie's father which fits the hand so perfectly.  In addition I have a number of good sets of knitting and crochet needles along with some I inherited from my husbands great aunt.


When I first started high school teaching an introduction to spinning and weaving was still part of the curriculum.   Every school in Queensland had an Ashmore spinning wheel, (along with it's personality) some hand spindles, a Backstrap loom an Inkle loom and sometimes a selection of table and floor looms.  I think you will still find these hidden away in the Art Department's store rooms of some schools

We never had enough time to really use this equipment.  I would demonstrate how to spin fibre into yarn and weave small pieces on the loom.  The floor looms required 2 or 3 people to warp them up and people who knew how to do this just weren't there.   So gradually these skills just weren't taught in schools anymore. For myself, I found it difficult to source fibres and when I did, working with animal fibres made my hands sweaty (no air conditioners back then).  So I sold my spinning wheel and loom and kept on embroidering. But I never lost my love of these beautiful tools.

Fast forward to 2015.   I was looking for some information about back-strap weaving and chanced upon Laverne Waddington's site.  ( If you like weaving this is a fantastic resource.)  I don't know why but I went back into her archives and chanced on a photo of the most beautiful spinning wheel and chair that I have ever seen.

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Following the links I found the maker Thomas Golding.  What a treasure trove.  The most beautiful things created by Thomas and his sons.

Spinning Wheels to die for.  I like this dragon wheel, but there are lots of others to droll over.

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They are pricey but if you were a spinner I think price wouldn't matter, they are so beautiful.  His wife is a spinner and weaver and it is for her that he first began to make the wheels.  I was tempted by the knitting needles but I already have some beautiful sets.  Then I saw the Lucets.  I would love this one.

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But with the exchange rate on the Ausi $ sitting so low I think I will have to settle for one of these, which are still beautiful.

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A hat for me

This was a funny hat to knit.  I used Bendigo Woollen Mills 8ply wool, which is my preference, but this time I don't think the wool had been properly wash when they were preparing it.  It smelt strongly of lanolin, which isn't a nasty smell, but it was there all the time.  I soaked the hat in water to block it and the water was very cloudy and the smell dissipated.


I think that I would increase the number of stitches in the head band next time.  It still pulls on alright and the 80 stitches stipulated do work well when you do the increase rows but it is just a bit tight.  But then I think that my knitting is a bit tight maybe I could use the next needle size up.

The pattern is Cable Rouge by Marisa Hernandez and is a free Ravelry Download.