Maryanne is a lady of many talents. She attends our Friday knitting group. At the moment she is working on this beautiful shawl. The shawl is all knitted and there is a fringe on the end. Looks fantastic. By Lyn.
Lyn is not often seen spinning at the cottage because she is always so busy helping others or doing things that need to be done. Here she is in her sunny apron spinning a beautiful pale blue wool with pale pink mohair accents which we mixed on our fibre preparation day recently. We called this combination ‘Moody Sky’ and this will be used in our rug project. Also on the day, our new spinner Vicki was spinning her own fleece and then learned how to ply. She is going very well. Our own VickiW was spinning some lovely blue-green tops. Olive was doing her solomon’s knot in a lavender colour, creating another one of her soft, luscious scarves, and MeganT was knitting some more of her tunic, which is nearing completion. Naomi got into a mess in the end with all the old girls playing (trying to be of assistance) with her extra length off the bobbin during plying. Funny to watch from a distance. By Lyn.
Bev decided that she wanted to handknit a poncho for her young granddaughter’s birthday. The pattern was inspired by a gorgeous child’s poncho that Lyn had knitted and brought in to show us. A lot of fibre would be needed, and it would have to be bright, so Bev had a mammoth dyeing day and ended up with an extremely large amount of bright orange fibre that was about 70% alpaca and 30% wool. Next, to put it all through the picker to mix the fibres evenly.
After going through the picker, the next job was to card all the fibre into batts ready for spinning into a mountain of yarn for the knitting phase of the project.
And voila! A beautiful poncho all tassled up and with pom-poms to boot. Of course her granddaughter loved it!
When I was living in England, we took a family holiday to the Outer Hebrides off the north-western coast of Scotland, the largest islands being Lewis and Harris (famous for its tweed). My husband bought me a large bag of handspun wool spun on the island from local sheep… Skip to seven years later and I have finally done something with it. The jumper didn’t really take that long to knit due to the thickness of the wool and the large size of the needles. I bought the pattern from a website called Patternfish, and the pattern was called ‘weekend neckdown pullover’ which I thought was rather ambitious but I guess you could knock it over in a weekend if you didn’t eat or sleep, or if you’re a really fast knitter. My husband helped me make the double pointed needles. I needed size 12mm which I didn’t have, so we bought some 12mm dowel from the hardware store, placed the orbital sander upside down in a vice and turned the ends over the sander once it was turned on. A little hand sanding at the end to make them nice and smooth and voila! They worked like a treat. I made the hat too, a few years ago. The main part of the hat was done with some wool from one of Rose’s sheep, called Patch. The yellow trim was wool that I dyed with Coreopsis flowers. This was my first foray into natural dyeing. I found the pattern for the ‘stockingette cap’ in one of the spin off magazines. I did search for it but couldn’t find it again, so I can’t tell you which one. Oh, well. I had a lot of fun doing both of these projects and that’s what really matters.
Well, the weather is starting to turn warm and that inspires us to get into the spring cleaning. Bev decided that it was time to oil up the wheels, so all of the cottage spinning wheels have had their wood polished and their metal parts lubricated and are looking very inviting under the bench. Ready for all our spinners to get treadling.
Lyn has been very busy as per usual. She has felted a beautiful sign for the Guild to display at events and it looked lovely hanging on the wall behind us at the Steiner School Fair recently. Thank you so much Lyn for all your hard work.
Here we have the lovely Raewyn at her sewing maching stitching patches of fabric together.
Here is Jenny spinning away on the drop spindle at an exhibition we had a while back. Once Jenny gets going she always ends up with a swarm of young children surrounding her, eyes glued to the twirling dance of the spindle working it’s magic in Jenny’s very capable hands.
Vicki is always knitting something – often squares for blankets with love if she doesn’t have another project going, or even stitching together other people’s squares. Vicki is trying to get through some of her handspun wool, so here is a square she is knitting from her own handspun wool, and she is thinking of doing some embroidery onto it afterwards. Sounds beautiful.
Everyone had such a lovely time at the Rudolf Steiner School Spring Fair on Sunday. We were really busy right from the start and barely had a moment to rest until mid afternoon. The children, and parents too, all loved our display and the carding, felting and spinning demonstrations. First the craft lovers lined up to see Jenny so they could choose some wool colours. Jenny would then card the wool for them and they could either go to Lyn or Bev to felt their batt, or to Naomi to have the wool spun and they could take home a chunky woollen bracelet. We had a line-up for the felting, and gave away around one hundred bracelets. Beth talked to a multitude of people about the Guild, looked after the sales and did some of her beautiful knitting. It was a gorgeous day and there was a wonderful atmosphere at the school. Definitely a worthwhile experience.