River Song Socks – Pair # 48

Happy Easter everyone! I hope the Easter Bunny has been kind to you ๐Ÿ™‚

Animated_bunny_hopping_aroundI’ve just finished the second sock to this sock test pattern knit. Another beautiful pattern from Dana Gervais. This one is called River Song and requires quite a bit of cable twisting to recreate this beautiful pattern.

River Sock Socks 02River Sock Socks 04The yarn I used is Sweet Georgia BFL Sock in this lovely shade of aqua which I thought was quite appropriate for the name of the pattern ๐Ÿ™‚

Sweet Georgia 4ply Blue 01I have rather enjoyed these pattern test knits, especially those that only require you to complete one sock. The only problem is I have all these ‘single ladies’ that I need to finish to make a pair ๐Ÿ™‚

River Sock Socks 06This pattern called for 2.25mm needles which makes a nice dense knit and shows off the pattern beautifully.

River Sock Socks 03River Sock Socks 09Doesn’t that pattern look quite spectacular? Heaven knows how these clever people come up with them! I’m more of a knitter than a pattern writer I have to confess.

River Sock Socks 11 River Sock Socks 12I was very lucky last week to receive a bundle of vintage books from a dear friend whose Dad was an avid spinner back in the 70s and 80s. I’ll enjoy reading these…

Cathy Books 01 Cathy Books 02 Cathy Books 03 Cathy Books 04I’ve also been having lots of fun spinning on my latest wheel – Genesis Arnon. I did some stash diving and found this very colourful rainbow roving.

Rainbow 01One more look at those lovely socks ๐Ÿ™‚

River Sock Socks 13That’s my news for now. Hope you’re having a fun-filled Easter weekend.

Until next time…

Melanie

# 17 Genesis ‘Arnon’ Spinning Wheel from New Zealand

I am soooo lucky!!! The stars aligned for me again yesterday ๐Ÿ™‚ I was at the QldBaysideYarnClub‘s monthly yarn gathering when one of our members arrived and told us she’d been to a number of garage sales that morning and had spotted a spinning wheel. She very kindly took the phone number of the seller and showed us all a picture of the wheel. Of course, my interest was immediately piqued ๐Ÿ™‚ I rang the seller to ascertain if the wheel was still available (as it was then later in the afternoon). It was, so I left the group a little earlier than usual to view the wheel. Luckily, it was only about a 10 minute drive too. This is what I found…

Genesis Arnon Spinning Wheel 01Swoon!! Seven bobbins too!! The original price was $150 and my friend told me the seller would probably take $120 but I cheekily asked whether she’d take $100 and she agreed. It was late in the afternoon and I think she just wanted most of her items sold. Apparently the wheel was bought in New Zealand around 30 years ago. It hadn’t been used in years as was evidenced by the squeaky noises coming from her when I turned the wheel.

She’s a little Genesis ‘Arnon’ wheel. Genesis wheels were made by Hans Schouten of Hokitika, on the West Coast of the South Island. The first one was made in 1980 from macrocarpa and Southland beech. He made many more after this, improving on the original. Genesis wheels came in two varieties. The ‘Justus’, which is carved into the front of the table.The other Genesis model is ‘Arnon’. Like ‘Justus’ it is carved with its name and a motif, but the table is a more rounded shape and there are holders for more bobbins.

Thank you to Mary Knox who administers the New Zealand Spinning Wheels site for this information. This information is also contained in Mary’s book New Zealand Spinning Wheels and Their Makers which she has provided free for those of us who love our spinning wheels and wish to find out more about them.

Mary states you are welcome to make and share copies, but please do not useย anything in themย for any commercial purpose. You may quote from themย but please mention where the quotation comes from.

This is written under the table of my Arnon.

Genesis Arnon Spinning Wheel 17 I believe this is what it says 18/3/86 Hand crafted by Hans Schouten – Genesis Creation –ย Hokitika.ย Did you notice the date? I bought it yesterday which was 19/3/16 which means this little wheel was 30 years and one day old when I bought her! Genesis Arnon Spinning Wheel 18This morning I quickly took her apart to start the job of cleaning and oiling as she was a bit stiff and creaky. All the usual gear came out! The Lazy Kate rods were a bit rusty but I managed to get a lot of the rust off using steel wool and WD40. I smeared some spinning wheel oil on each one before returning the bobbins onto them.

Genesis Arnon Spinning Wheel 06She’s looking better already!

Genesis Arnon Spinning Wheel 07Voila! Look at that shine!

Genesis Arnon Spinning Wheel 08Look at that beautiful carving on the table ๐Ÿ™‚ And the very handy inbuilt Lazy Kates.

Genesis Arnon Spinning Wheel 10And there’s Arnon engraved on the front of the table.

Genesis Arnon Spinning Wheel 09Genesis Arnon Spinning Wheel 14This aspect reminds me a little of the Wee Peggy – there is no front maiden upright. This makes lifting the flyer off so much easier.

Genesis Arnon Spinning Wheel 11If you look carefully you can see the original threading hook hanging upside down. It’s always a bonus to have an original threading hook as they’re so easily lost.

Genesis Arnon Spinning Wheel 13I can’t wait to start spinning on this little baby but I have to wait for the oil to dry completely. I used my usual concoction.

Genesis Arnon Spinning Wheel 15Happy dance ๐Ÿ™‚dancing-snoopy-happy-dance-1542582yipeeee_snoopyOne more picture of this beautiful spinning wheel.

Genesis Arnon Spinning Wheel 12So, I am now the owner of 17 gorgeous spinning wheels ๐Ÿ™‚

Until next time…

Melanie

 

The Four Seasons Summer Socks – Pair # 47

You’re getting to see these socks before the pattern has even been released! This is one of the three pattern test knits I’ve been busily completing over the last month. For this test, I had to complete both the socks as they’re a mirror image of each other. What do you think?

Summer Socks 12Surprisingly, I actually followed the chart rather than the written instructions which is not usually how I knit. Because the pattern chart didn’t look too ‘busy’ it was easy to follow and I soon got into a rhythm.

Summer Socks 02Such beautiful detail in this pattern. It’s a six stitch cable and looks lovely.

Summer Socks 10I love the pattern in between each cable. It amazes me how pattern writers come up with these fantastic pattern ideas.

Summer Socks 05The yarn I used is Shorn Fibers MCN Sock in the colourway Kelp. Beautiful and soft and a pleasure to knit with; must be that bit of cashmere ๐Ÿ™‚

Shorn Fibers Kelp 01A beautifully turned heel even if I say so myself ๐Ÿ™‚

Summer Socks 03Summer Socks 04Last night I started the second sock of another test knit which means I have only that sock to finish and the second sock for another test knit. Alas, when I checked my emails this morning, one of those pattern writers has already released another sock pattern for test knitting and has earburned me so I’ve committed to another one!! Luckily, I only need to finish the one sock ๐Ÿ™‚

Summer Socks 16Summer Socks 17Yesterday I finished another scarf on my 30cm Ashford Knitters Loom and today I want to warp up another one so that I can do a little every day.

Tomorrow I’m off on a bus trip to Noosa which includes a cruise on the Noosa River which I am really looking forward to. I’ll take some knitting on the bus with me as it’ll take a couple of hours to get there. Can’t waste a precious minute ๐Ÿ™‚

So much to do and so little time to do it in ๐Ÿ™‚

Until next time…

Melanie

Weaving Tales

Weaving was always something I wanted to learn but I thought I’d put it on the backburner until I was fully retired and had the time to devote to another craft. Things changed when the stars aligned and I managed to pick up a new Schacht Inkle Loom and then my dear friend Rona offered to show me how to use it. The warping was lengthy and boring at times, however, once I started pushing that weft through the warps these amazing patterns emerged and I was captivated and hooked!

Brown reddish 01-tileAt our January spinning camp, another friend of mine, Catherine, offered to show me how to use the Ashford SampleIt loom which I jumped at enthusiastically. Again, the warping seemed to take forever but once I sat down and started weaving I was immediately drawn to the pattern that emerged.

Uh oh! This wasn’t supposed to happen until a couple of years down the track!! Needless to say, I started looking into the Ashford Knitters’ loom and absorbing myself into all things weaving! I particularly liked the idea that it was a rigid heddle loom and yet it could be folded in half even if you still have a project on it. So it was a quick email to Lindy, who’s an Ashford agent and also a member of my spinning group. At our next meeting I was the proud owner of a new 50cm Ashford Knitters’ loom, the stand and carry bag.

Meanwhile while on one of my many visits to Facebook I found someone who was selling a 30cm Ashford Knitters’ loom plus four reeds for a bargain price that included postage so I quickly snapped it up. This loom will be so easy to take to Knit and Knatter if I so desire.

30cm Knitters Loom 01 The very first project I wove at camp was this scarf made with Ashford Tekapo 8ply.

Weaving Melanie 03Once I had my 50cm loom I wove this project. It’s made from some very old wool that I had dyed with Queen food colours as a first dyeing experiment.

Queen dyed old wool 16I’m so pleased with the end result! I can’t wear it as a shawl as it’s a bit scratchy but I’m sure I can use it as a table runner.

Queen dyed old wool 18My sister gave me a stack of acrylic to make some beanies for charity and I found these three colours which I rather liked so they became more practise on the 30cm loom.

DSC08946Very pretty don’t you think?

DSC08948I was on a roll! My next project was made from my huge stash of sock yarn left overs.

Sock Yarn Left Overs 03In hindsight I shouldn’t have used all cream as the weft as it’s washed out the colours a bit but on the positive side, it is incredibly soft!

Sock Yarn Left Overs 04My final project was woven on the 50cm loom using some early handspun of mine: the grey is alpaca plied with rayon and the purple/blue is merino plied with rayon. The black is Patons Embrace 2ply. The warping was ‘lots of fun’ as I have limited space in myย  home.

Grey Purple Black Warping 01Grey Purple Black Warping 08The end result was so worth it!

Grey Purple Black 03This time I used three weft colours which has made it so much more interesting to look at. It was a bit tedious at times as I was using one 50cm shuttle and two 30cm shuttles on a 50cm loom. Need to invest in a couple more 50cm shuttles methinks.

Grey Purple Black 04I had to quickly work out how to add a new warp as the alpaca from one of the warps simply wore off the rayon. As I mentioned, it’s my earlier handspun when I was still learning and it probably didn’t have enough twist in it. I have since heard that if you use hair mousse on the alpaca warp it helps to prevent the ‘fluffing’ tendency and then once it’s washed the alpaca blooms nicely.

Grey Purple Black 05 I really love the colours and am so pleased I’ve been able to use this handspun. My only fear is that I don’t snag it on anything as it’s so delicate.

Grey Purple Black 06Grey Purple Black 07 Grey Purple Black 08I also used my Ashford Fringe Twister. It’s so easy and a saves all that finger twisting.

Fringe twisterMy next projects will probably be using the same grey alpaca with the black Patons Embrace on the 30cm loom to make a long narrow scarf and then maybe the same with the purple/blue too. I’ve stacks of this handspun and this is the ideal way to use it up.

I am still going to attend the two day beginner/advanced weaving workshops in mid April so that I can pick up some more useful tips and techniques ๐Ÿ™‚

More sheep joined my flock in the last couple of weeks. I found this huge sheep in my local Woolies (thanks Lindy for the heads up). You can see the size by simply comparing her to the chair and surrounds. The little sheep next to her used to be my largest sheep!

Huge sheep 01And when I was grocery shopping in Coles yesterday, I found these sheep in the Easter section. I succumbed but I only bought one of them!

Coles sheepUntil next time…

Melanie