Thursday, January 26, 2012

In Australia Day Mode

So how did your Australia Day go? It was one of those sloooow mornings that take time getting going, with the compulsory bacon and egg for brekky. Plus a coffee.

After that, I carried on re-vamping my blog, so my head was buried for most of the day. When I did come up for air, I noticed the weather wasn't the best - overcast with added rain. At least down on the south coast we didn't have the heavy rain that Sydney received. My granddaughter and the cat took it all in their stride; the former playing either on the computer or with her iTouch, the latter in usual mode - flat out, as cats usually are during the day.

Yesterday, Jassie was in lizard mode and decided to catch a lovely black one - no idea what it was, but it certainly wasn't one I have seen here before. Much to his disgust, it escaped him. I noticed him trying to clamber up the towels hanging on the clothes airer. Wondering what he was up to, I decided to investigate. I found the lizard tucked up in a towel and rescued it.

In the meantime, we have one very confused cat...

Where did that Lizard go?

Still sniffing...

We are not impressed!

Pity I wasn't quicker and took pics of him dragging the towels off the airer, it was quite amusing. A happy ending, I let the lizard loose into the bushes and quite safe from Le Cat.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Winter Warmer Handspun Scarf

Brrrrrr... With the cooler weather in the northern hemisphere already set in, and starting to think about it in the southern climes, the time is nigh to set the wheels in motion for making sure that keeping warm this winter will be a comfortable affair, so knitting has commenced!

The first 'knit off the block' is a handspun, scarf with the addition of colourful flecks to enhance that winter coat or sweater.

I decided to be cheeky and add a teaser. This scarf is a chunky weight and will be medium length. It's still in its early stages - I knitted as I was watching Santos Tour Down Under, though I did more watching than knitting. Weeell, I have to get into practice for Le Tour in July, don't I? ...

Knitted on chunky needles, the scarf gives a rustic effect. The red flecks enhance the natural brown of the handspun yarn.

I'm working frantically to add more Winter Warmers to my store. There are other goodies in the pipeline too.

What?     Aaaah, that would be telling...

The new Winter Warmers will be in my  Etsy Store
The Woolly Mother and available for you to add to your winter wardrobe as they come off the production line.

Now - back to the knitting...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Spinning for Winter

Now that Christmas is out of the way, I've been trying to finish off some knitting, and start spinning for the coming winter - in plenty of time this year, I hope! Usually, I leave it too late and the 'winter woollies' are not ready in time. Although so far it seems to be a cool summer, it does give me chance to keep knitting instead of having to put it away until autumn.

The corridale/alpaca cardi is coming along nicely, with the back now complete and one front piece. The plan for this is to have it finished by end of January. It's knitting up very nicely and much quicker than I expected.

When worn, the ribbing is stretched out and gives a flatter look, with the bottom piece when attached dangling at the front in the modern fashion.

It's good when something turns out well. I started spinning the East Friesian thinking it would be too coarse for a jacket. Now, after it's plyed and washed, it might be a good yarn for the job. It will be a hard-wearing and warm yarn.

The fleece spins smoothly, although it is rather greasy. It was fairly easy to achieve an even yarn. I'm not used to spinning a thicker yarn and it did prove a challenge. After spinning the fine yarn during Le Tour, its tricky to start spinning a thicker yarn.

This is the fleece still on the bobbins in its greasy state.

Once it was plyed and washed, it turned out alright. It's not a brilliant while as with some downy type fleece, but nevertheless its attractive in its natural state and I'm still undecided as to whether I will dye the yarn or not.

The final photos are of my current project, which I have decided will be my winter jacket. It came washed and pre-carded, although lumpy as the carding did not smooth all the noils. Its a mix of fawn and cream, giving a very light brown-ish colour. Again, this fleece has a downy texture, though is softer and slightly finer than the East Friesian. I have no idea as to the source, not having seen the sheep or the fleece in its natural state.

As you can see from the photo, the sliver is quite lumpy and textured. It is softer than it looks but the blend of colour is quite different.

On the bobbin. I'm spinning a medium yarn, that will fluff out when plyed and re-washed. The down charactistics ought to create a hard-wearing garment that will see through a few winters.

The next project is already on the drawing board. You guessed it  - SOCKS!