Citrus Handspun Goodness

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll have noticed that I’ve been knitting lots but not doing much in the way of spinning. Since I was first taught how to spin about 18 months ago I haven’t practised as much as I should have! But that has all changed since I started using my Ettrick Standard spinning wheel that I bought not long ago. I love it! Maybe I’m more suited to the double drive. What I really love is how the Ettrick gently but firmly pulls the wool from the roving and I just have to guide it through the orifice. It’s very effortless for me which is what I love.

This particular handspun 100% merino that I purchased at the Redland Spinners and Weavers open day in June 2012 was actually spun on my Ashford Traveller. It sat on the bobbins for ages before I plied, niddy-noddied, washed and skeined it last week.

I quickly grabbed a picture of the last bit of the roving so you can see the original colourway.

Colourwheel Spun 06

And here are the two full bobbins…

Colourwheel Spun 05

Still not a perfectly consistent spun yarn but I am getting there compared to my first attempt!

Colourwheel Spun 04

Lots of interesting colours in this colourway so I have called it ‘Colourwheel’…

Colourwheel Spun 03

Now this is what I have spun on my Ettrick wheel…

Citrus Handspun 01

I purchased this roving from Kathy’s Fibres. In fact, I actually purchased 2 x 100g rovings of seven colours to maximise the postage costs. Remember, I believe in spending money to save money! These 100g rovings only cost AU$11 each which is a fantastic price.

This colourway is called ‘Citrus’…

Citrus roving 02

Beautiful, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, this photo is a bit overexposed but it does show two full bobbins…

Citrus Handspun 02

Rather than use the inbuilt Lazy Kate on the Ettrick, I used the one on my newly acquired Fomotor Peacock spinning wheel (which I will blog about in the near future once I have taken more photos). The reason I did this is because I like to have the yarn behind and to the right of me rather than in front of me plus the weight of the Peacock wheel really anchored the bobbins quite nicely.

Citrus Handspun 04

Two niddy noddies full of scrumptious handspun yarnie goodness…

Citrus Handspun 05

I am loving those citrusy shades….

Citrus Handspun 07

I am so excited as I spun each 100g so consistently there was only a very, very small amount left on one bobbin after plying….enough to use as ties on each skein.

Citrus Handspun 08

Yarn goodness drying in the hot sun…

Citrus Handspun 10

Citrus Handspun 13

Dried and skeined…

Citrus Handspun 14

Beautiful crisp citrus shades…

Citrus Handspun 19

Time to be wound into a ball on the squirrel cage swift…

Citrus Handspun 21

The consistency isn’t looking too bad at all!

Citrus Handspun 23

Two wound balls of handspun…one 89g and the other 109g…

Citrus Handspun 24

Now the big question is what to make???? A scarf? a hat? I need a pattern that will really show off all these lovely colours.

Citrus Handspun 28

Love it, love it, love it!

Citrus Handspun 29

Anyone would think I’m the only person who’s spun yarn in the whole world! I guess what it all boils down to is a sense of achievement when you finish a job, no matter what it is. Now all I need is another set of hands….one set to spin and the other to knit!!

Until next time…


BTW, On the right hand side of the home page of my blog there are lots of interesting links. I’m not sure when you receive my weekly posts whether you see these links. If not, what you can do is click on the Home button which is at the top left hand side of the page. This will take you to the home page where you can view all the links plus the most recent post. One link also takes you directly to my Ravelry home page.

Mel’s Marvellous Mauve Upstairs Shawl

A while ago I told you about the 10 spools of Bambu 7 yarn that I purchased from BB Yarns Supply. Well I’ve completed my first project using a beautiful shade of mauve.

Bambu 7 02

The Upstairs Shawl is a free knitting pattern on Ravelry.

Upstairs Mauve 01

The pattern consisted of nine repeats across the width of the shawl. In hindsight I should have probably only knitted six as the 100g of yarn on the spool was not quite enough to make the shawl long enough.

Upstairs Mauve 07

At times I tend to get a bit gung-ho rather than looking at the pattern and doing a bit of basic maths to work out whether there’ll be enough yarn. Oh well, you’re never too old to learn from your mistakes are you? Not to worry as the shawl makes quite a nice little scarf!

Upstairs Mauve 03

So it’s not really a mistake; it’s just a matter of rethinking what to use the shawl for!

Upstairs Mauve 04

I’ve got another one on the needles at the moment in red. This time I’m only knitting six repeats across the width so the shawl will be much longer. It certainly looks lovely from behind.

Upstairs Mauve 02

It’s a beautiful pattern and quite easy to get into the rhythm once you’ve done a few rows. But don’t do what I did and take it to scrabble with your friends and forget to knit a K2tog and end up with one extra stitch in a repeat thereby necessitating knitting back two rows. Ggggrrrrrr!!!

Upstairs Mauve 08

Perfect little lacy circles….

Upstairs Mauve 09

I can’t wait to show you the red shawl. Suffice it to say I’m not sure when this will be as I also have another lacy scarf on the go! Never let it be said that I sit idle in my spare time!

Upstairs Mauve 05

Bamboo yarn certainly drapes beautifully and is so light and airy too. Perfect summer knitting yarn. Now I just need to think what to knit with the other eight spools! One thing I am sure of and that is I am going to experiment with knitting with beads as I’ve never done this before. Can anyone recommend a good shawl/scarf pattern with beads for a beginner ‘bead knitter’?

Upstairs Mauve 06

That’s my news for now. What have you been up to this weekend? Oh, I’ve also been plying some wool that I finally finished spinning. I’m now spinning some more on my Ettrick spinning wheel. My plied wool is currently hanging on the clothes line in the sun drying off. If it looks presentable once I’ve ‘niddy noddied’ it, I’ll show you!

Until next time…


Glitz at the Ritz Shawl

One of my friends made this shawl and it looked lovely so I decided to try it as well. The pattern, called Glitz at Ritz, is a free knitting pattern from

Glitz at the Ritz 01

In hindsight I should have used size 4.5mm needles rather than the 3.75mm ones as it would have appeared more ‘open’ like the original. As it is, I completed 30 extra rows of the bottom section (star lace pattern) so without that it would have been quite narrow.

Glitz at the Ritz 02

The yarn I used is Moda Vera Taylor which is a 56% polyester / 44% wool, 5ply / sport yarn. Each ball weighs 50g and I used just slightly under four balls. The yarn has a metallic thread throughout it so I didn’t add any beads as suggested by the pattern.

Moda Vera Taylor 01

The pattern is really quite lovely…

Glitz at the Ritz 04

And there’s a lovely picot edge too…

Glitz at the Ritz 07

Even though I blocked the scarf there was still some puckering in the middle.

Glitz at the Ritz 12

The next time I knit this scarf I’ll be sure to use 4 ply / fingering yarn and 4mm needles so it has more of an open weave effect.

Glitz at the Ritz 09

Some news to share with you….I was approached not long ago by knitsforklipskaap who blogs at yarnandpointysticks as she wished to feature a picture of one of my finished projects….the Garrowby Hill Scarf. It’s a very interesting post called ‘Love in a Variegated Skein’ and contains lots of lovely knitting pattern ideas!

Garrowby Hill Scarf 01

Another bit of news is that I’ve been asked to be the Editor of my local spinners and weavers newsletter so I will need to get my creative juices flowing!

Glitz at the Ritz 05

I hope you’re all having a lovely yarnie weekend as I am. Until next time…


A Stash of Seven Spinning Wheels

Yikes I’ve bought two more spinning wheels within the last week! I’ve actually bought three within the last couple of months but I sold one of them. In December I found this lovely Little Peggy spinning wheel for sale on Ebay and I won the bidding at $101.

Little Peggy 1

It had been nicely restored and was a good find. As I already have a Little Peggy I decided to sell this one and managed to get $200 for it. This little one even came with the original threading hook which I didn’t have so I kept her!

Last Saturday I bought this Ettrick Standard on Gumtree for $100.

Ettrick Wheel 04

I used my magic concoction of 50% boiled linseed oil and 50% pure gum turps to give her a quick clean and polish and she looks beautiful now!

Ettrick Wheel 05

That little hole is for the threading hook which I have got…just forgot to put it back before I took the photo!

Ettrick Wheel 07

Here it is!

Ettrick Wheel 19

The treadle/footman had a bit of dodgy string so I’ve since used some leather to fix it up.

Ettrick Treadle Footman join

And today I picked up this Ashford Traditional plus some accessories that I won on Ebay for $51.

Ebay pic

A bargain considering it includes two hand carders plus the Lazy Kate (and four bobbins). There was also the original user manual plus some other printed spinning literature.

Ebay pic 02

As soon as I got home I gave her a nice coating of my magic concoction and she came up a treat.

Ashford Traditional No 2 01

The leather piece that joins the footman and treadle had completely broken however the previous owner had also given me some pieces of leather so I fashioned a new one and voila!

Ashford Traditional No 2 05

Luckily I had an Ashford maintenance kit as I had to replace all the hooks, spring, drive belt and I also have a nice new threading hook too!

Ashford Traditional No 2 02

I was going to on-sell this little wheel as I already have an Ashford Traditional however I’m quite smitten with the colour of this one so I’ll hang on to her for a while I think.

Ashford Traditional No 2 06

I’m quite happy with these two bargains within the last week.

Ashford Traditional No 2 09

I now have two Ashford Traditionals, one Ashford Traveller, one Little Peggy, one Wee Peggy, one Tarra Carousel and one Ettrick Standard. Seven spinning wheels you’re no doubt thinking. I know! I know! I’m crazy aren’t I? I mean you can only use one at a time can’t you?

L to R: Spinning chair, Ashford Traveller and Tarra Carousel.

7 Wheels 01

L to R: Little Peggy, Wee Peggy, Ettrick Standard, new Ashford Traditional, my first ever spinning wheel – Ashford Traditional.

7 Wheels 02

L to R: Ettrick Standard and two Ashford Traditionals.

7 Wheels 03

L to R: Little Peggy, Wee Peggy and Ettrick Standard.

7 Wheels 04

Now I need to get cracking and start using them all. I know I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again….there are just not enough hours in the day.

I think my new mantra should be “I will not look at Ebay and Gumtree, I will not look at Ebay and Gumtree…..” What do you think?

Until next time…