Monthly Archives: July 2005

Some more wool and an Art Quilt Apology

Unlike the turd below 🙁

And onto the apology. I really want to make art quilts, I want to lock myself into my sewing room and CREATE. But this wool is calling me, the knitting wont let me go. I’m starting to get worried that the urge to quilt has left me for good :-(. Should I resign from the Artful Quilters Webring until the muse returns?

And to make matters worse, I have this bloody King Sized wedding quilt to finish… I hate hate hate it. So boring (blue and white Jacobs ladder, blah) and I’m worried that the blue fabric will run into the white fabric in the first wash and all that work will be wasted. I’m such a whiner, I should get over myself. (Monica, if you read this, take it with a grain of salt) Continue reading

Posted in Printing | 4 Comments

Purple Beanie

I tried dyeing some wool yesterday with some fibre reactive dyes (Procion), but I mustn’t have used enough vinegar as a most promising orange and green mix ended up a washed out yellow and pale green 🙁 I’m going to overdye.

In fact I was going to do it tonight, but I’ve been watching a DVD of an old (1967) TV show called The Prisoner. I’d never heard of it before, but I’ve been sucked in good and proper (thanks Frank!). Continue reading

Posted in Photography | 8 Comments

Eat Local Challenge

Riscy and I have decided to accept the Eat Local challenge. It is mid winter here, so I think we will need to be fairly creative this August 🙂

My definition of local is Gippsland and the Greater Melbourne area.

My personal committment to this challenge is that I will try to source everything from a local producer, if I can’t establish if an item is local, I will either go without or buy the item from small, local family owned businesses.

Ok, being realistic here: Our goal is to eat greater than 80% local foods. There are some things which aren’t grown locally like Tea and Coffee and perhaps some things I will have to assume is local, like milk.

Why am I doing this? I hate that animals are battery farmed. Until recently, we had a little double standard going, we’d buy free range eggs, but ignored the source of our chicken meat. Then I was startled to find out that even the red meat we buy from the supermarket is most probably battery grown. It makes my stomach heave just thinking about it.

How did I become so dissassociated from my food that I would ignore my own participation in something I am totally opposed to. It is just plain laziness. This August I commmit to THINKING about the source of my food and ACTING on this committment by eating local.

Our farmers market is only once a month, so on Monday morning I will contact the market coordinator so I can find growers in my area.

Mary from Knitting Notes posted some lovely buttons for this challenge and also mentioned a book which I totally enjoyed called Prodigal Summer by Barbera Kingsolver. One of the characters has really stuck with me as she refused to plant the monocrop of her area (tobacco) and made her own way as a primary producer (goats). This story tapped into my old university escape fantasy of becoming a goat farmer and cheese producer. LOL not lottery win dreams for me back then! Continue reading


To market, to market…

A trip to my local, once a month, farmers market today resulted in the following:

I enjoy shopping like this, but, like my resolution to also buy meat at the butcher rather than the supermarket, I am generally not organised or motivated enough to make it happen.

A few years ago we tried shopping almost exclusively at the local organic shop, but found that we were spending way too much. So we stopped.

Today I spoke to the butcher about the possiblity of phoning in orders so I can just pop in and pick up my meat after work once a week. I need to ask him about the source of his meat. I’m not too concerned about organic etc, but I hate battery/feedlot practices and it’s time I took an active intererst in where my food comes from, ignorance is not an excuse for me anymore. Continue reading

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Ear Warmers

The navajo plied, continental knitted ear warmers are finished ready for my snowfield adventures in a few weekends.

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but damn, it’s hard to get a good photo of a hat on your own head.

The navajo plyed wool was wonderful. I’m going to ply this way for the big jumper (sweater) project. I’ve gotta start dyeing some wool so I can start spinning.

Continental knitting started off slowly but got faster the more I knitted. I’m not sure if its faster than my conventional knitting technique though. I’ll definitely practice more. The main thing I noticed is that I have a lot of trouble keeping tension with my left hand.

When knitting right handed I wrap the yarn once around my little finger and carry it over my index finger. This doesn’t work with my left hand, the little finger wont cooperate and the yarn is too loose, especially when purling. I’ve settled on a wrap around the hand then a wrap around the little finger, but it’s a bit too tight and my hand gets sore from flexing to let the yarn through.

Last night I had an interesting sewing experience. A lady at work is going to the Darwin Races next week and a big group of her friends are going to wear the same loud, tropical style shirt. It was very unflattering on her. Well, I seem to be the resident expert in all things fabric and even though I don’t know much about sewing clothes I was roped into reconstructing the shirt. I worked completely freestyle, just pinning darts while she wore the shirt and sewing them up freehand. And holy cow, it worked. I had that thing fitting like a glove by the end of the night. LOL

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Little Fish Shop

I’m thinking of setting up a little ‘Little Fish Shop’ on my blog. I’ve noticed quite a few members of The Spinning Wheel blog ring are doing or have done the same thing.

I don’t think I’d have a large volume of stuff for sale, but I would like to sell handspun wool. Perhaps some hand dyed superfine merino tops, and maybe some of my handdyed/printed fabric, art and jewellery too.

It would be great if there was a central web location for us to sell our stuff, The Spinning Wheel Co-op, or something. A page that links to our individual blog shops or perhaps a website like a mall with our individual shops selling our cool stuff.

The advantage of this would be that people who would like to purchase handspun yarns and related stuff would have a central place to look, and hopefully lots of goodies to look at. Thus enhancing the chance of us actually selling the occasional skein LOL.

I’ve asked Riscy if this is possible and he reckons it could be done fairly simply using the blog software we currently use and a bit of tweaking.

If anyone is interested in trying this out, email me or leave a comment.


On another note, I’ve been knitting continental style. It was very slow at first, but it is getting faster. I’m knitting a 2×2 rib ear warmer/headband/neckwarmer in preparation for our ski trip in August.

The Wave and Shell Scarf is growing very nicely 🙂 I’m almost through the first skein and I’m not looking forward to winding all that thin yarn into a ball by hand… that’s why I want to set up a shop, so I can try and finance my fibre needs, like a ball winder. I wonder if I would make enough to pay for a loom… Hmmm

We saw Sin City at the cinema tonight. It was very good with the classic Tarantino influence of a time loop and parallel, intertwining stories, it was also so violent that I spent a fair portion of the movie with my eyes closed, I don’t have the stomach for it like I used to. It looked like no film I’d ever seen before, all dark and stylised. Well worth a trip to the movies on Tight Arse Tuesday as long as you are prepared to see more gore than you can really take. Continue reading

Posted in Linocut | 3 Comments

The Wool Show

Before I launch into the goodies I bought at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show in Bendigo, I want to show you what came off my wheel tonight.

Just as I arrived at the show a very heavy rain started and the woolcraft pavilions didn’t have any electricity, a bit difficult to see anything 🙁 But I went back later to admire the woolcraft entries and winners. I’m thinking I might enter something next year since I’m being coerced into entering some stuff into the local agricultural show this year LOL.

I spent a lot of time wandering through the big tents full of sheep in pens and watching judging of different breeds and classes. The breeds all had their own areas. I didn’t find the merinos though, I would have thought they would be everywhere, but I missed them somehow. There were also goats and alpaca classes so it was all very interesting.

I must admit that I wasn’t a systematic about my mission (finding suppliers) as I should have been and there were more than a few vendors that I missed, but I did get a few goodies to try.

I struck up a conversation with a breeder of Border Leicsters and he gave me a bag full of lambs fleece. It has a lovely luster, but its very dirty and smelly at the moment. I don’t know what I’ll do with it since it is a rather coarse wool. I’ll ask at my guild meeting on Wednesday, someone might have some suggestions.

I also sat next to a sheep farmer at the Poll Dorset Pavilion while some judging was happening. Poll Dorsets are a meat breed, but they sell the wool to the carpet industry. He said that the the wool sales just cover the cost of shearing.
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Posted in Linocut | 2 Comments

Weekend Away

We are off to Bendigo for the Australian Sheep and Wool Show tommorow. I’ll be back blogging on Monday 🙂 Continue reading

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Some Linky Goodness

Crochet and Spinning
We caught a documentary on telly the other day. Webcam Girls, was about women who have who have webcams. One of the subjects, had a life outside her webcam which caught my attention and I looked her up on the net to find out more.

Ana Voog spins fibre and freeform crochets, check out her blog and her hat site. She also has a journal for her photographic works, there is a fair bit of nudity, but don’t get squeamish, It really is good stuff.

Embroidery, quilting, felting…
Ana had a link to a textile artist called Anna Torma. Take some time to browse her works. I particularly enjoyed her large scale embroideries and quilts.


I’ve occasionally come across mention of continential knitting in my return to knitting this year. The diagrams I’ve seen are a bit confusing BUT I have hit upon a site which clears all this up, Knitting Videos by Grumperina. YAY!!

I’m gonna try it out because, well, continental does look like it would be faster (Just like Elizabeth Zimmerman wrote in Knitting Without Tears, I just didn’t believe her)

More diagrams can be found at Annie Modesitt’s site. This is something she calls combined knitting, as I haven’t actually tried this with needles and yarn in my hands. I’m a bit fuzzy on the distinction between the two… but all will become clear when I try it out.

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On the Wheel

Some Spinning Content 🙂

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Posted in Linocut | 3 Comments