New Zealand Wool Haul!

I have finally managed to sort out all the wool I bought in New Zealand! Wow, did I buy that much??

Knit World in Dunedin is a must visit. The prices are very reasonable (and cheaper than some other shops in Dunedin) and the array is vast!

122-dunedin-knit-world-20161104 123-dunedin-knit-world-20161104 124-dunedin-knit-world-20161104 125-dunedin-knit-world-20161104 126-dunedin-knit-world-20161104 127-dunedin-knit-world-20161104 128-dunedin-knit-world-20161104I was quite tempted by these Touch Yarns Lace scarf kits using this 2ply blend of 80% alpaca / 20% merino.

touch-lace-2ply-kit-01 touch-lace-2ply-kit-02Four 50g balls of Happy Feet sock yarn never goes astray! I bought some of this yarn last year and it made a lovely pair of socks.

happy-feet-4ply-pink-blue happy-feet-4plyAnd another 100g ball of sock yarn; this time Nako Boho.nako-sock-yarnA visit to the Stuart Street Potters Co-operative in Dunedin is well worth it. As well as a huge array of pottery goods, they also sell some hand dyed yarn which I couldn’t resist. This is 200g of a 4ply Corriedale dyed in lovely shades of blue, green and plum.

4-ply-dyed-aThis 4ply blend of 15% alpaca / 55% merino / 20% nylon / 10% possum is called Roast Chestnuts🙂
alpaca-merino-nylon-possum-4ply-02The pottery was also quite stunning and I had to have this mug which had a sheep on one side and a sheep dog on the other🙂

130a-dunedin-20161104On arrival at The Octagon in Dunedin there were some markets setting up (I believe they set up whenever there’s a cruise ship in town). A quick look around and I found a stall run by Flagstaff Alpacas. I just couldn’t resist these 4 x 200g skeins of gorgeous hand dyed alpaca.
flagstaff-alpaca-4ply-01There were so many to pick from!

115-dunedin-20161104 117-dunedin-20161104In Wellington I, and one of my travelling companions, were very fortunate indeed as we spent the day with Mary Knox, who’s so knowledgeable when it comes to New Zealand spinning wheels and spinning in general. Mary took us to the Holland Road Yarn Company. What bliss it was to be in this shop!

99-holland-rd-yarn-co-wellington-20161102 100-holland-rd-yarn-co-wellington-20161102 101-holland-rd-yarn-co-wellington-20161102 102-holland-rd-yarn-co-wellington-20161102 103-holland-rd-yarn-co-wellington-20161102 104-holland-rd-yarn-co-wellington-20161102It was so hard to select yarns from the huge array but this is what I ended up buying. Six balls of Outlaw Yarn Bohemia Sport 5ply which is a 45% alpaca / 45% wool / 10% other very soft yarn indeed.

outlaw-yarnTwo 50g skeins of Malabrigo Lace baby merino.

malabrigo-lace-02I also visited a few other shops where I managed to pick up a few different balls of yarn. This is the very popular Opal Sweet & Spicy sock yarn.

opal-sock-greenAnother kit; this time a Touch Yarns 4ply pure merino.
touch-yarns-4ply-kitA visit to the Agrodome is a must if you’re into yarn! As well as the sheep show, there’s a large Woollen Mill shop which is filled to the brim of lovely yarn and yarn garments.

26-agrodome-2016103128c-agrodome-20161031All the beautiful wool!!
58-agrodome-20161031 59-agrodome-20161031 60-agrodome-20161031 62-agrodome-20161031I’ve never heard of this particular brand of yarn called Tree Children and I was told it would no longer be available so I bought these three balls of 4ply alpaca / merino.
tree-children-4plyI’m quite exhausted after looking at everything I’ve bought. Now I just need to find the right pattern to go with the yarn, in particular the Outlaw Bohemia and the Tree Children yarn. Any pattern suggestions??

Until next time…

Melanie

New Zealand Sheep Haul!

Let me first say how saddened I was to hear of the earthquakes in New Zealand this month. They occurred days after I returned home from a wonderful 14 day cruise around that beautiful country. I do wish everyone in those affected areas all the best Aussie luck I can send Please be safe!

Although my holiday was mainly a cruise, we did stop at six lovely cities and towns so of course, I managed to add to my collection of all things sheep!

This little alpaca caught my eye and he’s the first alpaca in my collection🙂

alpaca-toyAnd my first brown sheep!
brown-sheepWho could resist that cute face🙂
sheep-01Another apron to add to my collection.
sheep-apronI haven’t done any cross stitch for eons so I’m going to have to start so I can complete these cute little bookmarks.
sheep-book-marksThese cute plastic cups couldn’t be left behind!
sheep-kids-cupsAnd of course, I had to add to my sheep mug collection🙂
sheep-mug-01
sheep-mug-02This one is quite unusual.
sheep-mug-03
sheep-mug-04This little quartet of sheep is quite unusual and quite small so it was easy to pack (and buy!)
sheep-ornamentA rather unusual vinyl holdall with a zip top.
sheep-plastic-zip-caseI found these microwave/oven mitts at a market in The Octagon in Dunedin.
sheep-pot-holdersSalt and pepper shakers!
sheep-salt-and-pepper-shakers-01
sheep-salt-and-pepper-shakers-02A little All Blacks supporter🙂
all-blacks-sheepI picked up these salt and pepper shakers in a one day sale on board the Sea Princess. They were the only ones there so I literally grabbed them!
sheep-salt-and-pepper-shakers-03Sheep paper serviettes…..who’d have thought!!
sheep-serviettesAs if I need more socks!
sheep-socksMore goodies from the market in The Octagon in Dunedin.
sheep-towels-01I use these hanging hand towels in the kitchen every day!
sheep-towels-02Lots of souvenirs, some of which I kept and some were given to friends.
souvenirs-01
souvenirs-02
souvenirs-03I now have a huge collection of sheep tea towels.
tea-towel-01I’d love to make some project bags but I’m not the best at sewing.
tea-towel-02There was such a huge variety to select from.
tea-towel-03
tea-towel-04This one matches my new apron.
tea-towel-05
tea-towel-06
tea-towel-07Didn’t I get a great selection?
tea-towel-08
tea-towel-09And this is how I felt after each day’s shopping🙂
two-sleepy-sheepThe scary thing is this isn’t all I bought. There are more mugs and bits and pieces which I haven’t gotten around to photographing but the good news is that I’ve just about found a home for everything🙂

I think I need to ease up on sheep stuff for a while by keeping away from the second hand shops I normally visit.

I wonder how long those good intentions will last🙂

Until next time…

Melanie

Bobbin Storage Solution!

I’ve just returned home after a two week cruise around New Zealand, which I’ll tell you about in the next couple of weeks. One thing I can reveal is that I bought lots of sheepy stuff and yarn🙂 Before I left I had visited my woodturner with a request for a few things to be made for me and he’s come through with some great work.

The first was the basic threading hook. I have a few spinning wheels in my lounge/dining area and I’m always looking for a threading hook when I move from wheel to wheel so I bought five of the Ashford hooks and I took along an existing hook with a wooden handle to my woodturner and this is what he did for me🙂

threading-hooksNow I’ll be able to hang the hooks on different wheels so I don’t have to go searching!

The second idea I had was to create a functional bobbin storage solution so that I can store all my bobbins. I based it on the Ashford Lazy Kate and changed the dimensions so it could accommodate larger bobbins and each stand can hold 10 bobbins. I had two made and these are the bare holders. I also had the small bar along the top added to add stability. This timber is lovely and light so it’s easy to carry around (even when it’s filled with bobbins).

bobbin-storage-01I bought 20 small tent pegs from Bunnings for just over $10.

bobbin-storage-05The holders were made to exact specifications so that wide bobbins (like my Peacock spinning wheel ones) would fit. Here are the pegs on the holders.

bobbin-storage-02And finally, some of my bobbins neatly stored. I’m really happy with the result. What do you think?

bobbin-storage-03And for those of you who are wondering what types of bobbins I have on each holder, here is a breakdown:

Left hand side holder: 1-3 are from an unidentified upright spinning wheel which I believe Roy McKnight may have made; 4-8 Ashford Traditional double drive; 9-10 Peacock.

Right hand side holder: 1-6 George H Young; 7-9 Sickinger Kitty; 10 Peacock.

You don’t really need a woodturner to make these; any handyman could easily do this with the right tools. Because they’re tall and don’t take much floor space, I have, for the moment stored them between the end of a wall unit and a window.

bobbin-storage-06They’re tucked out of the way and I’ll keep them there for the time being. When you live in a townhouse you have to use every available bit of space, especially when you own a lot of spinning and yarn stuff!!

PS I didn’t get all my bobbins on the two holders but I do have another small bobbin holder which I am also using. Plus of course, I have three Ashford Lazy Kates🙂

New Bobbins 02I have also been busy rearranging some of my spinning wheels and furniture and have managed to create more space by some clever placement. Now to start on my two stash rooms to try and achieve the same outcome!

Until next time…

Melanie

More Eco Market Bags

At Knit and Knatter recently I received a number of positive comments about a market bag I’d made quite a while ago.

Large Bag 03I actually use it to store a cushion which I take along with me as the seats are so hard!! This immediately started me thinking about that pattern. As I’m not an expert crocheter this pattern was quite easy for me so I made lots of these bags. I put my thinking cap on and decided to make more and sell them at our Open Day in June next year.

I’d recently bought a bulk lot of Bendigo Woollen Mills’ 4ply cotton on a Facebook destash page.

fb-stashSo out came my crocheting hook and off I went!

market-bag-apricot-01 market-bag-blue-01 market-bag-green-01 market-bag-mauve-01What do you think? I think they came out pretty well. In fact, I got so carried away I went searching for other cottons and acrylics and made these ones.

market-bag-emerald-green-01 market-bag-lime-green-01 market-bag-naturals-multi-01 market-bag-orange-01And then I found some of the original very rustic wool and I’ve made more bags similar to this.

market-bag-jute-blue-yellow-flowers-01And those embellishments!! Thank you so much to my friend Pam for showing me how to use Weave-It looms at our September camp!! I am totally addicted now! These flowers were made using the 2″ and 3″ looms except for the bag above where I used the 3″ and 4″ looms because this bag is much larger and the larger flowers look much better.

I have since ordered the 6″, 6″ x 3″ and a loom to use handspun yarn from a supplier here in Queensland. Can’t wait for them to arrive. I can see all sorts of possibilities opening up for me when it comes to Weave-Its. Remember that bag I bought at camp last year?

Weave-It Bag 01Well, now I can make my own if I wish to!

Here’s some close up pictures of those gorgeous flowers. What a difference a contrasting button makes🙂

market-bag-blue-02 market-bag-emerald-green-02 market-bag-green-02 market-bag-jute-blue-yellow-flowers-02 market-bag-lime-green-02 market-bag-mauve-02 market-bag-naturals-multi-02 market-bag-orange-02They turned out beautifully and I’m so pleased with the end result. I have put these bags up for sale in my Melsnattyknits Facebook page shop and if any sell, I’ll just make more for the Open Day🙂

Now to some more exciting news; I’m cruising around New Zealand for 14 days again at the end of this month. I enjoyed the cruise so much in April 2015 that I more or less booked on the same cruise straight away but this time one of my neighbours is coming along plus two of my fibre friends and their hubbies. It’s going to be so much fun having company on board. I’ll be packing some crochet and knitting projects to keep me busy on those sea days.

19024610-cute-sheep-jumping-stock-vector-sheep-cartoon-lambI’ll also be spending the day in Wellington with Mary who kindly showed me around last year. She has prepared a lovely itinerary for us which involves all things wool🙂 Mary is the creator of the New Zealand Spinning Wheels website and has incredible knowledge when it comes to spinning and wheels🙂

I just love New Zealand and in particular its close proximity to Australia so there’s no such thing as jet lag🙂

My friends and I have booked a car for when we’re in Tauranga and we’ll visit the Agrodome to check out the sheep show (as I did last year) and all the woolly bits and pieces that are for sale🙂

Well, that’s all my news for now. I hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend.

Until next time…

Melanie

Thumbelina Now Spins

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to snaffle a Thumbelina Mark 2 (1978) spinning wheel. I particularly love little upright wheels as they don’t take up much room. I was a bit excited when this parcel arrived on my front step.

thumbelina-05The excitement grew as I started unwrapping it.

thumbelina-04Voila! my Thumbelina spinning wheel!

thumbelina-03Oh no! On closer inspection I could see the top of the front maiden had broken😦

thumbelina-broken-maidenWell that’s not the end of the world as I could glue it back on. But what about this???

thumbelina-01It’s a double drive wheel that’s missing its whorl! Without a whorl the wheel is really quite useless when it comes to spinning but does make a nice ornament which is not what I was after. I contacted the seller and mentioned the broken maiden and missing whorl and she graciously and quickly refunded in full so I was happy but still without a working wheel.

Luckily one of my dear friends also has the same model Thumbelina so she lent me her whorl and I was on a mission to try and find another nylon/plastic bushing the same as the one in the middle of her whorl. I travelled far and wide but to no avail so I visited my woodturner and suggested to him if he could make a ‘square circle’ in the middle of the whorl I would be happy. He did better than that!! He made a couple of nylon bushings exactly the same!

Voila! Rona’s whorl on the left and my two whorls on the right (an heir and a spare)🙂

thumbelina-06How lucky am I?

I think a previous owner might have tried to set the wheel up as a scotch tension as there’s a couple of hooks on the MOA.

thumbelina-02The whole wheel was very rickety so I tightened up the front maiden very carefully (after spraying some WD40 on the screw so I could turn the wing nut) and also tightened up the lazy kate. The wheel came with three bobbins so that was a bonus!

A couple of coats of my 50/50 boiled linseed oil and pure gum turps polish and she came up a treat. I can never understand why people selling wheels don’t take a bit of time to clean them up as they’d probably get a better price (if the wheel is complete of course).

Doesn’t she gleam now?

thumbelina-10 thumbelina-11 thumbelina-12I also gave her trial spin with some lovely fibre my friend Rona gave me. She knows my colours so well🙂

thumbelina-07 thumbelina-09The new whorl is working a treat and I now have a fully functional wheel.

thumbelina-13 thumbelina-14Rona also gave me a copy of the original assembly instructions for the Thumbelina which I have saved here for anyone interested in them🙂

By the way, this is wheel # 19 for me. I did originally have 19 wheels and actually sold two (Fenton Wind Wheel and Ashford Traveller) to try and just keep those wheels that I really used a bit, but now I’m back up to # 19! Will have to look to see whether I can sell another couple🙂

Until next time…

Melanie

More Sheep, Fibre, Yarn and a Wheel!

It’s been quite hectic in my world lately. Last weekend I spent a lovely three days at Bribie Island with some of the Redlands and Redcliffe Spinners & Weavers plus spinners from further afield. Of course, I left home early so I could have plenty of time to visit all the Opp Shops at Bribie Island🙂

I came away with some lovely bits and pieces including this sheep dressed in his Father Christmas outfit.

sheep-santa-01And this cute little sheep🙂

cute-sheep-01

I now have two sheep backpacks.

sheep-backpack-01

This is the most unusual little sheep ornament that sits on the edge of a shelf.

sitting-ceramic-sheepHow could I resist this little shepherd and his sheep?

boy-shepherd-and-sheepTwo more mugs to add to the collection!

two-sheep-mugs-01And another two!!

two-sheep-mugs-02I have a couple of these now; an heir and a spare🙂

blue-sheep-mugThese little lights were raffle prizes that were gifted to me by two of my friends🙂

two-sheep-lightsOn Saturday while I was at the QldBaysideYarnClub one of my friends dropped in. She’d been having a clean up and gifted me these lovely sheep; the little one is a pencil sharpener.

sheep-from-joI’ve also managed to buy quite a bit of yarn and fibre from a Facebook destash. The skeins in this picture were only $5 each (as there were no labels on them) and they’re lovely and soft. I’ve already started using the Bendigo Woollen Mills’ cotton in the front to make Market Bags ready to sell.

fb-stashLove the colours in the following fibre pics.

cat-and-sparrow tardis

heavenly-wool-green-blue-purple heavenly-wool-green-purpleCan’t wait to get these ones spun!

fb-destash-03 fb-destash-04Yesterday I drove over an hour away to pick up my 19th spinning wheel; a George H Young which is an Australian made wheel. I need to get a couple more bobbins made and fashion a tension knob as the original one is missing. I’m assuming it should be sitting under the MOA (mother of all). So tomorrow it’s off to the hardware to find a long screw that will do the job.

george-h-young-04The next big challenge is to work out where to put this wheel! There’ll be a bit of rearranging at my place so everything has its place🙂

Until next time..

Melanie

 

Don’t You Want Me Baby!

That’s the name of the fibre I spun to make this gorgeous wrap! And, of course, this is some of Ixchel Bunny Fibres‘ (aka Charly McCafferty) beautiful work! This particular blend is Magic Bunny Tops which is a blend of superfine merino, cashmere, angora bunny and rainbow dyed glitz.

raeleens-wrap-05The pattern is from the Ashford annual magazine ‘The Wheel‘ from 2015 and it’s called Raeleen’s Wrap. If you know of an Ashford agent, you should be able to get a copy of this magazine.

I plied the fibre with some lovely gold metallic thread. I actually ran out of the thread towards the end of the plying so I had to use a slightly thicker gold thread but it worked out well because that thread appeared on the triangular edging which gave it some pop!

raeleens-wrap-07I also added some beads at the end and on the tip of each triangle.

raeleens-wrap-08I can highly recommend Ixchel Bunny Fibres but you need to make sure you’re quick off the mark when Charly releases her blog every Friday night around 8pm (Australian eastern standard time) as it’s first in, first served. I’ve been quite lucky and managed to pick up quite a few beautiful blends.

raeleens-wrap-03This wrap will form part of the Redlands Spinners & Weavers 2017 Open Day fashion parade🙂

raeleens-wrap-04Here’s the wrap being blocked.

raeleens-wrap-01It’s always a massive sense of achievement once I’ve spun, plied, washed, skeined, balled and finally completed a finished garment. A few years ago I would never have thought I’d be capable of this. It just goes to show that practise is the key to getting better at anything!

I’ve just returned from the Redlands Spinners & Weavers Bribie Island camp and of course, I managed to visit quite a few second hand shops and picked up some bargains which I’ll show you later🙂

Until next time…

Melanie