Summer Spinning Camp Frolics!

What do you get when you add a few women in their 50s, 60s, 70s and one in her 30s, a lot of spinning wheels, looms, fibre and wool and five days at Bribie Island?

You get a lot of laughing, fun, spinning, weaving, knitting, eating, drinking, sharing knowledge, renewing friendships and making new friendships 🙂

The Redlands Spinners & Weavers held their January camp at the House of Happiness, Woorim,  Bribie Island from 25-29 January. The weather was overcast at times, humid at times, with sun and also a bit of rain.

On the first morning I took a visit to the beach at around 5.30am and had a quick dip in the ocean, which I hadn’t done in many years 🙂 It was surprisingly warm and so quiet at that time of the day.

Bribie Surf BeachThere were about 22 of us with some day visitors as well. Our spinning room was lovely and large with plenty of space for all.

Spinning room 01I’m going to have to get back to my daily 5-7km walks as we were fed so well! Six meals a day!! Breakfast – morning tea – lunch – afternoon tea – cheese and biscuits – dinner!

We did some more solar dyeing and I elected to dye some sock blanks.

Solar Dyeing Melanie 02Solar Dyeing socksAs usual, we had some lovely raffle prizes. I was lucky enough to win this prize in the red and white bag.

Raffles 02And inside the bag was this gorgeous ram.

Raffle sheepPlus this gorgeous hand towel as well as many other bits and pieces.

Raffle hand towelCatherine, one of our more experienced weavers, was kind enough to guide me through the process of warping the Ashford SampleIt loom. I’m so glad I took these photos as they’ll guide me when I want to warp again 🙂

Weaving Melanie 01Weaving Melanie 02As I had already had some practise on the Inkle loom, it made the process that little bit easier. This is the scarf I made which I am quite proud of 🙂

Weaving Melanie 03Weaving Melanie 04Weaving Melanie 06Lindy, our wonderful Ashford agent also showed me how to make the twisted fringe 🙂

Weaving Melanie 05I also met Pam, one of the Redcliffe spinners, who has a collection of over 60 spindles. Pam brought along a handful for us to admire 🙂

Spindles 16Weaving was quite popular at this camp.

Weaving BettyWeaving Catherine 03Weaving Lindy 01Weaving Lindy 02The humidity has finally hit Brisbane and it’s awful! It’s a real battle for me to use the air conditioning as I hate it when my home is all closed up; I love the windows and doors open and the breeze coming through. I hope wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, you’re having fun!

Until next time…


My Inkle Weaving Progress

Since my very first inkle weaving lesson on 1 December I have become kind of hooked on ‘inkling’. I have also proven the adage that ‘practise makes perfect’….well in my case, not perfect, but definitely a marked improvement from my very first woven strap which is this two tone blue using Bendigo Woollen Mills Bamboo. As you can see I even misread the pattern!

First Inkle Weaving 01a-tileLook at those very rough selvedges! The left hand side of the strap was the start and the right hand side the finish. It’s gratifying to see I improved with my first project 🙂

First Inkle Weaving 01bBand # 2 is a two tone cream/beige Yatsal cotton and I’m pleased to see I am getting the hang of the selvedge tension, although nowhere near perfect!

Beige Mocha Inkle 01a# 3 project was slightly different. I tried making bookmarks using Moda Vera Gelato. My sewing leaves a lot to be desired. I will need to find a better way to finish them off if I make any more! However, at this stage I am still just in practise mode 🙂

Bookmarks# 4 woven strap was made with a variegated green and solid green Yatsal cotton. I’ve since learned that using variegated cotton is not ideal. As you can see, it makes a bit of a mish mash of the colours. All a huge learning curve at this stage!

Green variegated 01 Green variegated# 5 woven strap was certainly a lot better when it came to the selvedges. This time I used Milford Soft cotton which is a lot better quality than the other Yatsal cotton I had been using ($2.50 from the cheap shop). This pattern is one of Annie MacHale’s also known as ASpinnerWeaver. As you can see, I still couldn’t get the hang of reading the patterns so I emailed Annie and she very kindly got back to me very quickly with an easy explanation on how to interpret the patterns. Despite the fact the pattern is incorrect, I do love this strap!

04 BrownCoral 01 04 BrownCoral 02I’m actually using this strap on a project carrier.

04 BrownCoral 03I used some scarf pins to clip the strap to the carrier so it’s easily removed.

04 BrownCoral 06# 6 strap is a two colour one which is actually a pattern that I repeated to make the strap wider. It’s another pattern from ASpinnerWeaver which can be found here. If you look closely at the centre of the strap you can see the last heddled warp of the first pattern and the first heddled warp of the beginning of the pattern repeat. After I’d finished the strap I thought to myself it would have looked quite nice if both these warps were in the green. Again, another thing to consider in the future 🙂

05 Taupe n Green 01Those selvedges are gradually improving.

05 Taupe n Green 02# 7 is one of my favourite straps. I love the retro colours! This pattern can be found here.

07 Retro 0407 Retro 01# 8 strap has three different greens and I rather like the effect. This pattern can be found here.

08 Greens and Mocha 01a 08 Greens and Mocha 02# 9 is my current project. Again, I repeated the pattern to make a strap as wide as I could handle. This one took ages to warp (wrapping the cotton around the pegs). The warping does take a while and is the preparation time. Once the loom is warped and you start weaving the pattern magically appears and it’s a wonderful feeling knowing you’ve read the pattern correctly!

09 Green Red White Yellow 01And here’s a close up of those gorgeous colours and selvedges 🙂 Check out the middle two heddled warps. That’s the finish of the first pattern and the start of the repeat. Technically they should both be green but this time I changed the colour to create a bit more interest. This is what I was talking about earlier 🙂

09 Green Red White Yellow 02As you can gather, once I learn something new I tend to go overboard trying to perfect it 🙂

Next week I will be at the Redlands Spinners & Weavers’ January spinners camp. This camp is very laid back and informal and is usually only attended by our members with a few other special spinners 🙂 It’s a wonderful time to fully relax and do as you wish; whether it’s spinning, weaving, knitting, crocheting, reading, eating, shopping, chatting, swimming in the pool or the ocean or just sleeping! The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy each other’s company.

Until next time…


September Spinning Camp

This post is a bit late but it’s been a big weekend spent at the Redlands Spinners & Weavers September 2015 Camp at Bribie Island. This was my second camp and met every expectation as did last year’s camp. There is nothing more gratifying than spending the weekend with a bunch of like-minded women. We spun, knitted, laughed, ate, had a few drinks, stayed up late and generally made the most of the two days we had.  But I have to say the best part of the weekend was the generous swapping of knowledge between us and the perfect opportunity to ask questions and learn lots of new techniques and ideas.

Everyone was free to do their own thing; there were no ‘strict’ timelines except of course for meal times.

The Spinners room 05The Spinners room 09We could practise our carding if we wished.

Carding table 01There were classes available for those who wished to partake. We learned about solar dyeing, making silk paper and Japanese knitting using two Tunisian crochet hooks.

Solar dyeing 03Silk paper 02Silk paper 17We were tempted with lots of fibre goodness too!

Lindys fibre 01Lindys fibre 06Lindys fibre 05And of course there’s the opportunity to check out others’ wheels. This one is a gorgeous Nagy wheel.

The Spinners room 08And here’s a Carlina (apparently a ‘one-off’) on the left and a Wee Peggy on the right.

The Spinners room 03Bribie Island is renowned for its Opp shops so this year I visited a few during the weekend and managed to pick up some rather lovely sheepish bargains. You can never have too many sheep mugs.

Sheep mug 01-tileSheep mug 03Sheep mug 04Sheep mug 05This little sheep was hiding behind a door but I found her!

Stone SheepI was quite taken with these two rather unique little sheep that sit on the edge of a shelf.

Sheep sittingAnd lastly, this lovely little basket which will be perfect for knitting projects.

Basket 01-tileI also bought quite a bit of fibre too.

LB Alpaca 03-tileThese cute little sheep buttons couldn’t be left behind.

Sheep buttons 01And these two sheep brooches just had to be mine 🙂

Sheep brooch 01Sheep brooch 02My buy of the weekend is this lovely bag made using Weave-It squares. All those beautiful colours just captivated me.

Weave-It Bag 01And yes, I did do some spinning. I’ve filled one bobbin in this tangerine colour and have enough to fill another too. I also started a bobbin using some undyed merino so I can ply it with the tangerine.

Ashford Tangerine 04What a wonderful weekend. I am exhausted but am now looking forward to next year’s camp. My thanks must go to Jan, our Camp Convenor, who puts her heart and soul into making sure our camps run smoothly and everyone has a wonderful time. We would be lost without her commitment and generosity. Thank you Jan 🙂

Until next time…


My First Sensational Spinning Camp

Phew what a great weekend I’ve had! I attended my very first spinning camp with the Redlands Spinners and Weavers. The venue was the House of Happiness (even the name is appropriate!) at Woorim on the beautiful Bribie Island which is north of Brisbane, on the way to the Sunshine Coast.

Redlands SW Camp 2014 Welcome

I was very fortunate to get a lift with Shirley who picked me up at 2.30pm on Friday. We hit a couple of congested areas along the way but still made good time. There was a hive of activity at the venue as we arrived as everyone was unpacking and setting up their wheels and seating.

The group 01

Jan Sue Karin

Rona Gillian Tricia

We were also very fortunate to have two ‘shops’ at camp. Lindy (who is our Ashford agent) brought along lots of her goodies.

Lindy shop 01

Lindy Shop 02

And I finally got to meet Angela from Shorn Fibers as she brought along a wonderful selection of her fibre and yarn. If you’re a regular reader of my blog you’ll know I buy a lot of my yarn from Angela!!

Shorn Fibers 01

Shorn Fibers 02

Shorn Fibres 03

Two workshops were held on the weekend. On Saturday we were taught how to make these cute little sheep.

Sheep making 01

I think I need to perfect my technique somewhat…

Sheep 04

My little sheep is in the middle…

Shirley Mel Rona Sheep 02

And here is the flock of sheep!

Sheep all 04

Thank you Linda for teaching us to make these cute sheep!

Linda 01

In our second workshop Shirley showed us how to make these beautiful boxes…

Box 04

Box 02

The lid and base of each box was made with eight pieces of paper folded like this…

Box paper

Very intriguing and very clever I must say. That’s me holding my box.

Melanie box

My little sheep has found a home!

Box and sheep

One thing I did buy which was quite an investment was an Ashford Blending Board.

Blending Board 01

Blending Board 01a

You can blend fabulous fibres in your favourite colours and create beautiful rolags for spinning on the Ashford Blending board. The pack includes a large 30cm x 30cm (12’ x 12”) blending area, a blending brush and two dowels for easy drafting, rolling and removing the rolags, a removable, rotating adjustable keel, 108 point cloth, and a convenient carry handle. It has a lacquered finish too. Some of the girls on the camp went crazy using blending boards. Lindy brought along four to sell and they all went quite quickly!

Blended fibre

Here are just some of the rolags created on the weekend.

Poonies 02

Poonies 05

Poonies 03

Poonies 07

Tricia poonies

Poonies 09

I’ll experiment with my blending board over the next few weeks once I’ve packed away everything I bought at camp! I need to do some serious rearranging at my place to fit all my spinning gear in! I did, however, buy some fibre packs from Lindy so I can make a good start creating some colourful rolags on my blending board.

Blending Board 02

Blending fibre 02

We had a wonderful dinner on Saturday night and the tables were beautifully set by our wonderful camp convenor, Jan.

Table setting 01

Table setting 02

Jan and her husband made the Jazzy Jumbuck cut-outs plus the little gifts we were all presented with.

Table setting 03

Our personalised name tag, notebook gift plus our Jazzy Jumbuck theme for the weekend.

Jazzy Jumbucks

I also bought a couple of notebooks and bookmarks from Jan as well. Love them so much!


This is what the hall looked like at dinner time!

Dinner time 01

Empty! We were all very well fed I must say. As you can see, the most popular spinning wheel was the Ashford Joy obviously for its portability.

Dinner time 03

Dinner time 02

 I was lucky enough to win three of the raffle prizes so I donated two of them to my friends and kept this lovely sheep for myself. He does have feet but they’re a bit hard to see.

Raffle prize sheepI had the most wonderful weekend spent with wonderful crafty women who were so willing to share their company and knowledge. We had a lot of laughs and enjoyed ourselves immensely. Thanks must go to our camp convenor Jan who puts so much effort into making our camps so successful. I will DEFINITELY be back next year!

That’s me in the middle.

Melanie Shirley Judy

I didn’t get as much spinning and knitting done as I anticipated as I was much too busy talking, shopping, eating and having fun!

I’ll show you the yarn I bought in the not too distant future.

Until next time…