Thursday, December 21, 2006

Knitting Accessories

Back from family holidays with just one holiday snap - knitting essentials for the car. The Cadbury choc is just as important as the yarn and needles... (Sock number 2 - or part thereof -absorbing chocolate by osmosis)

And one more knitting "accessory" - Breville are now producing an ALMIGHTY sized crockpot which can cook multiple nights worth of wholesome meals for table and freezer - FREEING UP UNTOLD HOURS OF KNITTING/SPINNING/FIBRE FUN TIME!! Woo hoo!!!

Have a happy and healthful Christmas everyone. See you in the new year.

Friday, December 08, 2006

!! Spins and Needles Issue 3 Now Available !!

Well, issue 3 of our free online magazine "Spins and Needles" is now available on our website. Scroll down the webstore home page and click on the link to download the magazine.
Our web store will be closed for one week while we take a break with the family. Any orders received while we are away will be filled from 19 December.
Enjoy the magazine!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Mood Swings

I've managed to squeeze some spinning time into this busy time of year. Rainbow sprinkles is now plied - handpainted pure finn.

I also spun the "Smokey Rose" merino top I dyed a while ago. This was spun in a slubby style and plied with a lovely shiny pink embroidery thread.

Then I latched on to some cashmere/finn top I had handpainted with some left over dyes a while back - unfortunately I didn't write down the dye recipe!! I LOVE IT!! It's called it "Mood Swings" due to the battering it took at the wheel during the "Great Kitchen Renovation Disaster of 2006" that has been going on at our house.

These yarns have been popped on to the webstore and etsy store. I'm thinking of taking off with Mood Swings myself...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

*** Rainbow Sprinkles ***

Another scorching day in Sydney - perfect weather to be plying pure wool yarn for winter woollies!!! (???)

I had dyed some pure finn combed top a while ago, and today spun a single on to my *#%&? Majacraft plying bobbin. I then wound the single into a ball before plying from both ends of the ball, holding the ball in my left hand and guiding the plying with my right hand. I'm happy with the results and the technique, which I hadn't tried before.

Lots of lolly colours - artificial colours and flavours? It is "Rainbow Sprinkles" Handspun Yarn.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Knitting for Sanity

I have finally been diagnosed!

I have worked out that I have contracted a serious condition, known now as CPCS "Compulsive Project Commencement Syndrome" - I've begun three knitting projects and two handspun yarn projects just this week alone.
No, I haven't finished my socks from a month ago.
No, I haven't finished spinning all of the merino/silk yarn I've been working on. They are all on the "To Do" list. So many ideas, so little time!

This beanie I started is being knitted with some handspun slubby that a little puppy got stuck into (the yarn was resting on the bobbin overnight), and I have tried to salvage some of it. There were patches of yarn that went to the yarn retirement centre in the sky, never to be used again. I'm not too into maths, but I worked out this equation: Puppy + Handspun Yarn = Time Wasted.

This week we have had tradesmen in renovating our kitchen. The front screen door was constantly left open as they went in and out of the house, and I have developed another obsessive habit of running around with a flyswat squishing many, many blowflies (sorry to my readers, I am not a blowfly liberationist). I did try to get the door to be left closed by stating to the tradies that if a black or brown snake came in the front door, they would be catching it, not me. The door then stayed closed for all of fifteen minutes. So it was back to power tools and blowflies. All while it was 40 degrees celsius outside (and pretty close to that inside!). ("You were knitting a beanie?" I hear you ask!!!)
Hence, knitting for sanity.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Spins & Needles Issue 3 Coming Soon!!

Things are a little busy around here, working hard on issue 3 of our free online magazine, Spins & Needles. It will be available on our website early December, and if you haven't seen issue 1 or 2, scroll down our homepage and click on the cover photo to get to the link. The back issues are always available as well for new readers.

I spent last Saturday stabbing evil felting needles into fibre at a needlefelting workshop; I met some lovely people there and had a great time. There is still quite a bit of work needed to finish off my gnome head, which was the set project for the workshop. Needlefelting a sculptural piece is quite like sculpting with clay in the way you shape areas, but of course is somewhat less messy and there is no kiln needed!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Festive flavour

Yes, although it is again late into the night, I couldn't resist skeining up this yarn I finished tonight.
"Festive", merino plied with a nice gold metallic thread. Brings up memories of Bing Crosby crooning Christmas songs (I think that's a good thing...) It is for sale on our etsy store and webstore. Now for some shut-eye!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Bobbin Dancing

Another cool find from our moving boxes - some merino top I had dyed a while ago in our Dancing Queen colourway. Vibrant and motivating, these colours! It has now been whipped up on Elspeth into a slubby yarn. I prefer spinning the smooth yarns, rather than thick and thin. Anyhoo, the yarn is for sale in our webstore and etsy store (having some troubles with etsy links after the etsy v2 launch).
Struggling to concentrate on the sock I have been knitting in the Country Fair colourway. Happy with the way the yarn is knitting up, but the brain is not getting it together, so it has been popped back on the "to do" list until I get some sleep!!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Feeling festive?

What a great weekend! Mostly spent outside doing heavy duty gardening with the kids playing in the backyard, and picking the ripe boysenberries from the bush. Those are some of my favourite memories of childhood, and I hope it will be for my kids too.
Squeezed some time in for a quick dye and spin (a true fibre addict!). Merino top, dyed with red and greens, which I plan to ply with metallic gold thread. To be known as "Festive" in its future life. Pics of the finished yarn coming soon.
Still not happy with the Majacraft plying bobbin after replacing the yarn guide clip. Mine makes a distracting whooshing noise, which the standard bobbins don't (they are beautifully silent, perfect for spinning while watching those great movies from the 1940's with lightning-fast dialogue). Back again to sort that problem out (hopefully).

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Berries & Chocolate

Berries & Chocolate is off the wheel and on the market! I really like this colour combination - rich and calming. It is up on our webstore and etsy store.

Issue 3 of our free online magazine, Spins & Needles, is due for online publication in December on our website at We are always interested in article submissions, so if you have something inspiring to share about your fibre exploits, don't be shy, contact us!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

It's finished!!!

It's finished! Happy birthday present, Aphrodite, she of the yellow rose! Looking forward to your visit!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Fast Week ! Woooh !

Where has this week gone? It passed by in a blur as I grabbed the opportunity for some Christmas shopping without little ones in tow (such a feeling of liberation while other mothers were juggling strollers, hungry newborns, screaming toddlers and then the shopping!), also filling in orders for handspun yarn and other items.

Sadly our sheep ended up at the saleyards (sniff!) including the gorgeous coloured ewe lamb I liked so much. At the moment we are on a smaller block and are not needing to be so tied down to animals. Perhaps in the future we can go down that road again.

I've managed to get in just a little sock knitting and have started spinning this Berries & Chocolate merino top - such a nice colour combination. The smokey purple is a very similar shade to the blue moon rose in my garden at the moment. Good therapy!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Keen on Green

I opened a tub in my studio in which I had crammed some items before we moved house. Out spilled wafts of colourful fibre I had dyed, then squished into that tub and forgotten about while we were so busy. Just like an early Christmas present!!

I got busy spinning straight away, so here is "Parsley" Handspun Yarn Accent Kit. If you would like some Parsley to garnish your next knitting project, it is available on our webstore, or etsy store.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

!! In a Fibre Frenzy !!

I'm LOVING my new Majacraft wheel (introduced in a previous blog entry as "Elspeth"). Sleep seems to have gone out the window, with so many hours spent dyeing, spinning and knitting lately. When the inspiration comes, I go with it!!

NOT happy with the Majacraft plying bobbin set, though. In fact, I'm not using it due to the high irritation factor (doesn't creating irritation defeat the purpose of spinning??) and will take it back to be checked out. Too much slipping and sliding around of various bits, catching the yarn on the hooks...NOT HAPPY!

I've just listed this late night yarn in our etsy store and on our website. It is a Handspun Yarn Accent Kit, in Lavender & Rust colourway. Great for a knitted cap/beanie!!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Sock day

Today is a sock day! I picked up a skein of our 4 ply handpainted yarn in the "Country Fair" colourway, turned the brain power down to low, and started to knit a pair of very basic socks, making the pattern up as I go. I won't lose this knitting project around the house in a hurry - the colours call out for attention.

Lots of dyepot dabbling for customers too - What a great job, playing with colours every day! We use great quality colourfast dyes especially designed for wool and silk.

Australian customers who have been unable to get Kool Aid packets for their own dyepot adventures will be interested to know we have some in stock. Highly recommended for dyeing wool, highly UNRECOMMENDED (?) for drinking (personal opinion only, shudder...)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Slubby yarns and soft scarves...

I've been knitting up some of my handspun yarn into a scarf for my youngest, who NEVER likes to miss out on anything. It is not quite scarf weather outside, but always scarf weather inside at dressing up time!

I've had some enquiries from nervous new knitters who are unsure about knitting with single slubby handspun yarns, so I have popped a pattern up on our store pattern page, and it could find itself into the next issue of our free magazine "Spins & Needles" (available on our store website) to help new knitters along. Only around 100g of handspun yarn is needed; very easy, nothing to be scared of... These soft scarves won't hurt you!

This colourway is "Vintage" and was inspired by the literary tour of England I was so very lucky to be able to go on a while ago. The colours remind me of all of those centuries-old faded fabrics in the stately homes dotted everywhere around England. Gorgeous!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

New Accent Kits!!

"Boysenberries and Lime" has now begun life as a yarn!

These new yarn combinations are the latest to join our line of handspun yarns. The accent kits will include a skein of our so, so soft handpainted and handspun yarn, along with one skein of our "accent" handspun yarn, which has sari silk or other special highlights to increase the "bling"content in your knitting or fibre projects!

These accent kits are just what you knitters need to create unique Christmas gifts for the special people in your life, wouldn't you agree??

Perhaps a striking knitted cap or beanie, or a soft and sensuous scarf...Mmmm.

Boysenberries and Lime is on sale now in our etsy store. Keep your eyes peeled - more colourways and kits to come soon!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Boysenberries and lime

I've been sewing this gorgeous fabric into a few items for a lovely customer, and got thinking..."What about some yarn to match?" Pull out your sunglasses, folks, here is... Boysenberries and Lime! I'll post up some pics of the yarn once it comes off the wheel.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Of houses and grandmothers...

Did I mention that I LOVE our new/old house?

It is a grandmother's sort of house, very old, rambling, creaky and homey. Not flash and new, so that we can live without anxiety about ruining carpets or dinging woodwork.

I have been granted a "studio" in this big old house - my husband's idea. LUCKY, LUCKY ME!!!!! Or perhaps lucky, lucky husband, as he now can move from room to room without jumping/tripping/wading over/around/through fibre, spinning wheels, art easels, knitting needles, dyepots, get the idea. I have a talent in that I can cover low, mid and high level horizontal surfaces with craft materials in world record time. It's all useful stuff, though.

Some of the projects on the to-do list, hidden away in the studio. Two antique chairs for recovering - after we bought this "grandmother's house" I popped on to eBay for some "grandmother's chairs". One is destined to be my new/old spinning chair. Note the old carpet - my house as a child had this style of carpet (didn't everyone's?) and we used to jump from flower to flower.

Some of my oil paintings-in-progress. Short attention span means many partly completed paintings and/or other projects. So many great things to do before we leave this earth. A woman can never have enough hobbies!!!!

Friday, October 13, 2006


Lots of late night dabbling in the dyepot!

"Smokey Rose" merino top (ooh, I like it!) and "Rainforest Floor," which has been handspun for a lovely customer.

Here is a little pic of "Elspeth" doing her thing!

and soaking the yarn to set the twist.

Very hot today at 37 degrees C, with tomorrow predicted to be hotter! Spring only lasted 10 minutes and we're straight into summer! So to end the school holidays, I've been helping my daughter learn how to spin on an old Ashford Traditional wheel. She's just starting to get the knack of it, and her first skein is soaking ready to set the twist, and then take to school on Monday for news!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Silk and Roses

We recently moved house and have inherited a GORGEOUS garden. The scent of roses fills the air and flows through open windows into our house. Aaah, spring!

I've been spinning full pelt on my new Majacraft Susie wheel, which has been affectionately named "Elspeth". Elspeth and I will treadle many miles in the years to come, and I love her. We are getting on like a house on fire.

The first yarn to come off Elspeth is this merino/silk plied yarn using 22 micron merino top and silk cap. The silk fibre in these caps is so STRONG. Amazing little creatures, the silkworm caterpillars. Who would have thought...

This yarn is so, so soft and drapes beautifully. I have taken a close up so you can see the shine of the silk. I have plans to dye it, but want to put some thought in to it first, and think I'll spin about 400g - this skein weighs 100g. Perhaps I'll use the rose garden as inspiration for the colourway...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Blogging on...

Blogging on...

Welcome to the first entry for That Spinning Place in blogland.

We've been busy starting our webstore, publishing two issues of our FREE online magazine available through our webstore and...moving house! Time now to put feet to the double treadle and spin some lovely inspiring yarns.

Spring has certainly arrived here in Sydney, so we're listing our "Spring Silk" handspun yarn made with so, so soft Australian merino wool, and luscious and lustrous tussah silk. Available from HERE or our etsy store.

Now, back to the wheel...