A Rave of Rovings

I love the English language, love reading and love words. In particular, I love collective nouns; you know, those strange words that describe a group of things: a parliament of owls, a host of sparrows, a murder of crows, an exaltation of larks, a muster of peacocks, a route of wolves, a skulk of foxes and so on.

I’ve even thought of a few of my own: a click of knitters, a hook of crocheters plus this one….a rave of rovings, which is the perfect segue to my latest post!

Yesterday at my place it was like waiting for Father Christmas to arrive as I knew there would be a delivery of a large number of rovings that I’d just ordered. Thanks to online parcel tracking I was expecting them to arrive any minute….the wonders of the internet!

As the buzzer went in my townhouse, I rushed to unlock the door and took possession of a huge parcel!

I immediately unpacked the rovings and started photographing them straight away so I could share all the fibre goodness with you. Here they are in all their colourful gloriousness……..

Anemone 01

Anemone…beautiful shades of purply blue and yellow…

Anemone 02

Apple Fresh 01

Apple Fresh….scrummy shades of greens…

Apple Fresh 02

Froggie 01

Froggie….shades of green, aqua and mustard…

Froggie 02

Great Barrier Reef 01

Great Barrier Reef…vibrant shades of the sea…

Great Barrier Reef 02

Peacock 01

Peacock…rich colours of purple and aqua…

Peacock 02

Desert 01

Desert…my favourite shades of sand, yellow and orange…

Desert 02

Grass 01

Grass….the rich green colour of a luscious lawn…

Grass 02

Natural White 01

Natural White…these two rovings are to use as practise spinning on the spinning wheels I don’t use as much. I would hate to ‘waste’ a hand-dyed roving just for practise.

Natural White 02

Kangaroo Paw 01

Kangaroo Paw…the ubiquitous Western Australia flower…

Kangaroo Paw 02

Rainbow # 2 01

Rainbow # 2..a vibrant mix of bright colours…

Rainbow # 2 02

Red Gum 01

And finally, Red Gum…my favourite autumn shades…

Red Gum 02

Aren’t they spectacularly beautiful colours? I just want to spin them all at once!!

If you’re wondering where I found these rovings, I’ll let you know. I stumbled upon this Aussie supplier when I was surfing the net. Julie Duke from Melbourne, Victoria runs an Etsy shop called Jumbuck Julie and she sells soooo many different hand-dyed rovings that you’ll have a hard time trying to make up your mind which ones to buy as I did!

My main criteria when purchasing online is to get quality, value and maximise postage. A large Australia Post expandable tough bag held these 22 rovings and cost only $15.20 postage which means each roving cost just under 70c postage.

The rovings are 100g each, 100% merino and 22 micron and cost $11.50 each except for the natural white which cost $7.50 each.

Now I just need to start spinning and to plan what to knit with each one!!!

We are so lucky here in Australia to have access to so many fine yarn and fibre artisans.

Now, for something totally different, I just wanted to show you this cute little sheep bag that I bought from Spotlight for just over $11. One of my friends from my spinning group showed it to me so of course I had to have one (or two) for myself. They are so soft and cuddly!

Sheep Bag 01

They’ll come in handy for small projects or just to hang around…

Sheep Bag 02

This one is hanging on one of my spinning wheels…

Sheep Bag 04

Very cute and whimsical don’t you think?

Until next time…



Two Handspun Woolly Neck Knits

Another handspun garment has flown off the needles! I am particularly happy with this ‘Forest’ Handspun Scarf. The spinning is getting to be quite consistent and the colours are simply wonderful.

From this…

Forest roving 02

To this…

Forest Handspun 02

To this luscious skein…

Forest Handspun 05

To this beautiful scarf…

Forest Handspun Scarf 01

Isn’t the striping effect gorgeous?

Forest Handspun Scarf 03

The pattern is called One Row Handspun Scarf from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka The Yarn Harlot and it can be found on Ravelry. It is soooo easy to knit and is reversible which is what I like in a scarf.

I added a lovely fringe to make it look like the scarves I used to wear when I was a little girl and my family lived in the UK for a year.

Forest Handspun Scarf 06

Forest Handspun Scarf 07

I bought the two x 100g rovings from Kathy’s Fibres. They are lovely to spin from and Kathy’s colours are amazing.

Forest Handspun Scarf 08

The scarf is 100% merino wool.

Forest Handspun Scarf 11

Forest Handspun Scarf 13

The second handspun garment is a 50/50 kid mohair/merino cowl. It was challenging trying to spin this yarn and it became a very thick and thin textured labour of love.

The original fibre was very soft and fluffy…

Kid Mohair 01

As you can see it is very thick and thin…

Kid Mohair 04

The colourway is called ‘Autumn’ and it has lovely bits of blue and orange throughout it…

Kid Mohair 06

The two skeins have a real ‘chunky’ look about them…

Kid Mohair 08

But as I learn every day, there are no mistakes in spinning. The thick and thin look is actually what some spinners aim to achieve and here I am doing it without even trying!!

I only had enough yarn to make this very warm and incredibly soft cowl…

Kid Mohair Cowl 01

Not bad for a spinning ‘disaster’ is it?

Kid Mohair Cowl 02

This is also the same One Row Handspun Scarf except I joined the ends to make a cowl.

Kid Mohair Cowl 03

I love all those muted colours.

Kid Mohair Cowl 04

Only a small cowl but very big on warmth and character I must say!

Kid Mohair Cowl 06

You could say I am very happy with my handspun achievements to date. Plus I am going to have the warmest neck in the whole world next winter 🙂

Before I go I must let you know that I have subscribed to Dyed By Hand Yarns’ 2014 Simply Sock Club and the first instalment is released next week! I can’t wait!

The theme for 2014 is Australia II – colours inspired by the ocean, sea, sails and coastlines. This is a six month sock yarn only club and you receive:

Two skeins of sock yarn posted out in the last week in March, May and July. Yarns included are 2 x Tough Stocking, 1 x Mother’s Love, 1 x Big Blue Stocking, 1 x Silk Stocking and 1 x Blue Chip Stocking.

Each skein of yarn is dyed in a colour inspired by something Australian. These colours are exclusive to yarn club members for 12 months. Plus custom dyeing of these colours on any yarn base may be ordered by yarn club members for the duration of the club.

Now as I have mentioned, I have no financial or other affiliation with Dyed By Hand Yarns. I simply love to promote fantastic Aussie artisan hand-dyed yarns and fibres as they are spectacular. Here’s my story about the 2013 Simply Sock Club with pictures of all the yarns. And remember, you don’t necessarily have to knit socks with the yarns….you can also knit some beautiful scarves and shawls.

One more pic of my scrumptious Forest Handspun Scarf…

Forest Handspun Scarf 04

That’s all for now. Until next time…


My First Knitted Handspun Garments!!

I’m sooo excited as I’ve finally managed to knit my first two garments from my own handspun yarn. I didn’t think this would ever happen.

It’s gone from this…

Citrus roving 02

To this…

Citrus Handspun 01

Then this…

Citrus Handspun 19

To finally….this gorgeous hat…

Citrus Hspun Hat 01

I love this beautiful pattern…

Citrus Hspun Hat 04

I found the pattern in the Knitting: 100+ Patterns Throughout the Year: 2012 Day-to-Day Calendar and it’s called Heart Vines.

Aren’t those colours simply stunning!

Citrus Hspun Hat 10

But wait, there’s more. I also made this lovely cowl too…

Citrus Hspun Cowl 01

It’s the very popular Honey Cowl….over 15,000 have been made and are featured on Ravelry.

Both my head and my neck are going to be toasty warm this winter. The pattern gives you a lovely textured and thick cowl.

Citrus Hspun Cowl 05

Depending on how much yarn you have you can make the smaller version like I did. There’s also a longer version.

Citrus Hspun Cowl 07

Here’s a picture of that beautiful textured stitch definition which is simply alternate rows of garter stitch and slip 1 wyif, purl 1 repeated.

Citrus Hspun Cowl 10

I’ve also started knitting my third garment with my second lot of handspun and have also got the third lot of handspun on my Ettrick wheel. It’s called ‘Envy’ and it’s one of the many rovings I bought from Kathy’s Fibres.

Envy roving 02

Busy, busy, busy…that’s what I am.

Citrus Hspun Hat 09

Citrus Hspun Hat 06

I hope you’re having a wonderful yarnie weekend too!

Until next time…


‘Forest’ Handspun Yarn

I’m on a bit of a roll when it comes to my spinning. Now that I’ve settled into using my Ettrick spinning wheel and loving how it works, I can’t get away from it! I even missed eating my dinner last Friday night as I was so engrossed in plying this yarn!

Forest Handspun 01

This is part of the large number of rovings I purchased from Kathy’s Fibres last year for only $11 each. This particular colourway is called ‘Forest’.

Forest roving 02

I love all these ‘earthy’ colours…

Forest Handspun 02

The plied and skeined wool came out a treat…

Forest Handspun 05

I am finally managing to retain some consistent thickness with my spinning. I didn’t think it would ever happen!

Forest Handspun 06

I couldn’t get all the yarn onto the one bobbin so I’ve ended up with a large ball weighing 166g and a smaller one weighing 32g.

Forest Handspun 07

I’ve even found a pattern I may use. It’s The Yarn Harlot’s One Row Handspun Scarf. I think it’ll look lovely in this yarn.

Forest Handspun 17

We found a new venue for our Knit and Knatter twice monthly gatherings which we visited yesterday. It’s the Hoya Garden Plaza and it’s perfect for our needs. There’s so much seating room that’s all under cover and it could even cater for multitude spinning wheels. Their coffee and cakes were wonderful and it was so peaceful overlooking all the plants.

One of my lovely friends lent me these two books to read. I am quite in love with both of them so of course I’ve sourced them on the internet and bought them from Abebooks!

The first is Elizabeth’s Zimmerman’s Knitting Around.

Knitting Around

There’s a great book review that can be found here.

And the second book is Amy King’s Spin Control, perfect for a newby spinner like me who’s still experimenting with lots of things.

Spin Control

Spin Control teaches you to make handspun yarns that may include the best traits of commercial yarns but always have their own personal touches. From soft, bulky singles to durable cabled yarns with terrific stitch definition and from tweedy yarns with rich texture and color to serviceable 3-ply that holds up to heavy use, the sky is the limit with this book.

Teacher, store owner, and fiber source Amy King of Spunky Eclectic shares her time-tested techniques for success in Spin Control, which include:

How to adjust spinning wheels for best results with the least effort How to combine techniques to create beautiful yarns. Instructions and brilliant photography on core spinning and other less traditional techniques And, Amy even takes you off the beaten path and shows you the exciting opportunities of novelty yarns. So you can explore the types of yarn and create beautiful, functional handspun to meet your fibre needs. From skinny 2-ply lace yarns to sturdy cabled yarns, Spin Control has the fundamentals you need for one-of-a-kind yarns.

There’s a great book review than can be found here.

One more look at my handspun yarn…

Forest Handspun 13

Forest Handspun 14

Hope you’re all enjoying your weekend! Until next time…


My Socksie Slippers

Now that summer is officially over here in Australia and we’re into autumn, I can really start planning some cold (okay cool) weather knitting. Last winter I experimented making some slippers to scuff around in my home. This is my first attempt.

Socksie Slippers 01

As you can see, they weren’t quite snug enough around the ankle so out came the crochet hook and a few rows of crocheting did the trick.

Socksie Slippers 11

A different coloured cuff for each slipper. The slippers are made using two strands/balls of Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash which is a 10ply (worsted) 100% wool. The result is a pair of very soft and comfy socksie slippers which I’ve called ‘Autumn’.

Socksie Slippers 12

This is my second attempt using yellow and brown Ashford Tekapo 8ply 100% wool.

OMG it looks like I have the feet of a hobbit!!

Socksie Slippers Tiger 03

Because this wool is a bit sturdier the slippers sit nicely on their soles which I made a bit wider to cater for my wide foot. I’ve named these slippers ‘Tiger’.

Socksie Slippers Tiger 02

Both pairs of socksie slippers were made using size 6mm needles.

Socksie Slippers Tiger 07

Unfortunately I didn’t write the pattern down straight away and now my notes don’t all make sense. So this means I’ll have to make another pair and write the pattern a bit more clearly as I go so I can share it with you.

Now I just need to wait patiently for winter which isn’t due for another three months 😦 I love winter here in Brisbane.

Before I go I’d like to share my little ‘invention’ with you. I’ve been knitting a scarf from Bambu 7 (purchased from BB Yarn Supplies in Brisbane) which is on a spool. It was very fiddly trying to wind off the bamboo yarn as the spool went everywhere so this is what I came up with!

Spool Caddy 01

A nifty use of a cheap plastic basket that I bought from one of those discount stores.

Spool Caddy 02

All I did was grab three bamboo skewers, cut off the sharp points, taped the ends together, fed the skewers through the very conveniently placed hole, slipped on the spool, fed the skewers through the other side and then secured each end with a clothes peg. Voila! the spool winds effortlessly and does not go all over the place.

Spool Caddy 03

I  can also slip the pattern, knitting, notebook and pencil into the basket and I have  another knitting caddy! I surprise myself at times with my good ideas 🙂 I hope you can also make use of this idea.

Spool Caddy 04

Until next time…