Greasy Wool

Bev with fleece

Bev really enjoys spinning with greasy wool.  She was given this lovely grey fleece and the fibres have lots of crimp.  We think it’s from quite a young sheep.  There is lots of preparation to be done although the wool is pretty clean.  Just lots of combing, but the finished yarn will be lovely and soft.  Looking forward to seeing what this will morph into.

International Scarf Exchange

West Wyalong is hosting the International Scarf Exchange this year.  Entries have closed unfortunately but maybe we could keep a lookout for next year. I had never heard of this before and it looks like there are a couple of different variations, but the Australian one appears to be of the following format – you send along 150g of fibre to the hosts, along with an entry fee.  They wait until the closing date which was 18th March for this year.  They then send you someone else’s fibre to make something out of.  On your entry form you specify what you are happy for them to make, such as a hat, scarf, shawl, beanie or bag, whether they can dye it or not, and whether embellishments are ok.  You get your fibre within a month and then you have five months to make your item and send it back.  In October this year they will be having an exhibition of all of the finished items.  Then you get your own fibre back which has been made into something just for you.  This is such a fun idea.

Lesley Weaving

Lesley weaving

Here is our new member, Lesley, busily weaving her first ever item, a scarf.  She is making it for herself, of course, because everyone should keep their first creation.

New Equipment

We have some new equipment coming to The Cottage.  The following equipment has been ordered for all to use:

Jumbo flyer and bobbins which are now popular with our spinners. To be used at The Cottage only.

The Fringe Twister is a small item (which would not be taken from the Cottage and for use in the cottage only.)  This twists the fringes on all items with a fringe.  This is great for finishing off your woven articles and will twist 4 at a time.

SampleIt Looms with the double heddle option. These are a very compact loom, (a classroom in a box) which is only 10” or 25cm of weaving width.  This is the ideal loom for anyone interested in having a go and being able to sit at the table and try their hand at weaving.  Weaving is again becoming popular and can be trialed with this little loom.  It is easy to warp and get going.  It can do almost anything that the big Saori or other looms can do, with your imagination. If taken home, it must only be on a one week basis for the first month. The waiting list for the looms is on the desk in the book.  If no one is waiting, you may use again, however if you could continue to monitor the book for waiting members it would be most appreciated. Don’t forget to put your name in the book to borrow this amazing little loom.


We have one Vari Dent Reed and this is ideal to warp up with interesting textures.

Our wonderful weaver, Gay Brown is familiar with these looms.  (Lyn has one on the boat.)

If you would like to see this little loom in action, please look at the following youtube clip and you will see how easy it is.

This loom is able to be used as a single or double heddle and can produce all types of patterns.


Click here to read information about this loom from the Ashford Website.

We hope you all enjoy these items and you do not have to be a weaver to do so.  Very simple to use and is for everyone to experiment with.
Lyn has one on the boat and will now demonstrate to you on what is best not to do.
(As Below) I used the 7.5 reed and used all types of yarns to warp it up with.  I found to do this, you really need to use the Vari-Dent reed as it is meant for this variety of threads.  I found my mohair stuck together as when you pull the reed back and forth, it wears the mohair in particular and clogs up the hole in the reed.  Great reeds for normal or thinner warps.


sampleit1 sampleit2 sampleit3

I also purchased the shuttle and the bobbin winder to use, as I found it so much better than the stick shuttle.  I love the little loom and you can produce much with your imagination. Above are 2 of my finished scarves.  Now it is time to warp up again for my 3rd time.  I warp up enough for 2 scarves at a time and they measure 2m and 1.85m and this is the right size for me to warp on the boat from the back table to the wheel.  My first was easier as I used the same reed and a one thickness wool for the warp.  Happy weaving everyone and I will look forward to seeing your creations on my return.   By Lyn A.

Some Good Old Knits


Check this out ladies.  A blast from the past, this photo is from a McCall’s Accessories to Knit and Crochet magazine from the 1970s.  The title of the pattern is ‘Hat, Scarf and Muff’.  The hat and scarf are pretty classic designs that would stand the test of time.  I can see people nowadays wearing these.  The muff looks like a shoulder bag to me so I guess that must be the somewhat unfortunate name given to such a style of bag in the 70s.  The yarn was called Chanteleine Naturelle which sounds quite French.  Ooh la la!  The 1970s really did use a lot of brown and beige didn’t they?

Royal Baby Beanies

Baby Beanie

I was looking through the Summer 2013 Spin Off magazine and spotted an article about a woman called Margaret Stove from New Zealand who was commissioned to spin and knit a lace shawl from a prize winning local merino fleece.  The shawl was given as a gift to Prince William when he was born.   When William and Kate were expecting, Margaret designed a couple of baby beanies using design elements from the original shawl.  They are gorgeous.  I can see Linda B knitting these (or one of our other amazing knitters).  The photo was taken from Spin Off.

Spinner’s Party Tool


I was looking on Etsy the other day and spotted this nifty little tool which would appeal to spinners.  It measures wraps per inch, the twist angle, and it opens bottles too.  I’m more partial to a red wine than a beer, or anything else that requires a bottle opener to get into, but each to their own and it really does look the part.