Baa-me Kniits

Hello and thank you for visiting.....

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mystery Wool Dying



This weekend was our annual get together for our Fibreartists Group 'The Coffee Drop Crafters'.  We stay at one of our members houses on her Goat Stud and spend a bit more time than we usually do mingling,  chatting, spinning, sharing ideas and having a meal together.  When we meet fortnightly at Lake Eacham we often miss all of the members as many just come for a few hours either in the morning or the afternoon.  This weekend is a great time to catch up for us all.




This year our lovely Ali offered to show us how she does her Rainbow Dying.   Boy did we have some fun....


Rainbow Dying is a method of dying wool all in the one pot and ending up with a mix of colours like a rainbow.  By playing around with the colour mixes you are able to produce a wide variety of colour combinations.   Its a lot of fun because every time is different and its a bit of a mystery as to what will come out of the pot.


Preparing the wool for dying....




This was not a method I have tried before and it involves damp wool and hardly any water.  I usually dye in a deep pot with a lot of liquid or I handpaint my wool so I was a bit nervous about burning my wool.


After getting the pot up to heat it is left to sit and cool down and for the dye to soak into the wool, then it is rinsed....






Awesome Colours Ali!! ....




We use a lot of dye for this method but none of it is wasted.  After the first batch of wool is taken out another lot is added to the same dye bath and it is heated up again.  If any colour is still in the pot after that another batch of wool can be added.  Look at the colours that were made from three different batches of wool in the same dye bath.  First the Rainbow, then the Blue and finally the Lavender colour.  What fun! ....




This is the wool that I dyed this weekend....




A commercial wool in a natural white colour that took up more dye than any of our fleeces or tops.  Look how dark it is! ....




Some plaited roving.  The one on the left was at the bottom of the pot so the colours are deeper while the one on the right was placed on top of the first skein and does not take up as much of the dye so it is lighter in shades....




This roving was on top of my commercial wool and look how light this has turned out.  Its amazing how different wool takes up the colours....






These are a mixture of sheep fleece (the really crimpy stuff) and Angora Goat  fleece.  Look how shiny that looks with the colour!  Blue/Green....




Yellow/Red....




I added some of my own spun yarn to a pot of my friend which was all yellow and red, she wanted to try for some tomato red hopefully?  My yarn was on the top and I got amazing colours!   How nice is this....can't wait to make something out of these colours.  Not a very big skein though so not sure what it will end up being? ....




I took this photo at the end of Sunday and it made me laugh because it looks like 'Fire in my Belly', doing this workshop certainly gave me some new ideas for my dying and it was such fun to spend the weekend with my friends instead of just a few hours once a fortnight. It certainly inspired us all....




Finally these are the colours I was playing around with during the week with hot and cold dyes.  A sorbet!  I certainly have enough spinning to get on with now   :-)




I hope you all had a lovely weekend, I certainly did!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Knitting Challenge....


Linda from The Wool Box has issued a challenge....








I think the Bar has been set pretty high but all are welcome to give it a go. I think I will be keeping my feet firmly planted on the ground, what about you??





Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Creative Space


A Sneak Peek.....






More creativity over here....



Sunday, August 14, 2011

Oh JOY!


Here she is 'Felicity'....



After a year of struggling with my older model I bit the bullet and bought a brand new spinning wheel!

A bit of research and quizzing of friends' and I purchased a MAJACRAFT AURA from New Zealand.

It was the one wheel that could spin from laceweight to artyarn without having to change attachments. She is a joy and so easy to spin with. Isn't she beautiful!....




Its like driving a Cadillac after the old paddock ute!! So smooth, and Fast, a dream come true....





Look here is Clover introducing her calf to the rest of the menagerie. The horses are fascinated by the new edition. Young man is taking it all in his stride. We have a name, after much deliberation by the family we have decided to name him 'Seamus'. (Thanks Linda)

His Dad's name is Douglas so it fitted right in. We had lots of lovely suggestions for his name and it was funny to see that my local friends and other Aussies came up with names that should have been on a dinner plate and the overseas friends all thought of nice Regal Bull names.

Unfortunately we can only keep him until he is 6 mths old because after that his dad will fight him. He will go and live with my friend who will raise him until he is 2yrs old and then yes, he will be in the freezer. I can't do it but my friend can!

So he has a double barrelled name. The boys wanted to extend his name so he is to be 'Seamus Meatballs'.... he will always be Seamus to me though!

I have spent half the day in my Pyjamas spinning and making yarn with 'Felicity', want to see who else is being crafty today?
Pop over to SunshineParadise and see and have a great Sunday.









The Lambeth Walk



This is a little trubute to my Mum and Dad....




Mum and Dad have just celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary! Woo Hoo! Medals all round!

They went to Fortnum and Mason for a truly scrumptious afternoon tea and then to the Globe Theatre for a show. Mum said they were tempted to do the Lambeth Walk across the Millennium Bridge but refrained and caught the bus instead......They are on a promise to do it on their 60th!!

Happy Anniversary Mum and Dad and many more happy years to come,

Love from all your progeny as my brother lovingly put it,






Wednesday, August 10, 2011

FINALLY!



Yes Clover has finally given birth to her calf....



Totally adorable of course....


And Tiny! This picture gives you an idea of how small he really is. He is about the size of a Medium Poodle....


Look at those eyelashes, he's won me!

Now he doesn't have a name, want to give him one? I will pick his name after the weekend when everyone has commented. If Blogger lets you! Just email me if you can't OK.

Amazingly he was born on the same day that Clover had her first calf last year, at least this time it wasn't in the middle of the night and she had the sense to go into the shed out of the midday sun. He will be safe from Dingo's in there and out of the cold wind.

Hooray I can finally get a good nights sleep! :-)







Sunday, August 7, 2011

Clover the COW...



I have hardly slept for over a week now as my cow Clover is due to have her second baby any minute.  Well I thought it was any minute?  For two weeks now I have been haunting her every move and she is just getting fatter and fatter, I don't know how she is able to walk?  She is only a miniature cow and she has short legs so at the moment she is as wide as she is tall....




This is her two weeks ago!  She seems to be wondering what is going on in her belly?  So am I!....




This is today.  Look at the look she is giving me, its like she is saying "Not you again!"  I have been going out in the cold and the drizzle last thing at night (not to mention all the times during the day I go and check her) with a pathetic little torch to find her in the paddock to make sure she is OK before I go to bed.  She is fine, I'm the one who is getting cold and wet and sleep deprived!






No one seems 
particularly perturbed do they!


Clover just wants more food but for her that is not so unusual.  Her and her sister just RAN down the hill and around the corner to the feed trough, to see if I was filling it up, without a care in the world.  I am sure bubby will arrive when she/he is good and ready.  Clover had no problems last time so I am sure she will be fine, I'm just being a typical worried mother.  I hope it's not too much longer, I'd like a good night sleep!   :-)


I have been following along with Kiwiyarns current obsession with Alpaca and admiring her gorgous knits that she has been creating.  Last week Kiwiyarns released the pattern for her Annabella hat.  Totally Gorgeous!


I love the softness of Alpaca (who wouldn't) and this hat has the most lovely stitch design around the brim.  I do have a few hats to tuck my hair into so I have modified her pattern just a little bit.  I wanted a hat that would grow with my hair so to speak.  Also living in the tropics and suffering hormonally at the moment means that any hat is constantly being removed to let out steam!  So I came up with this....




Is it a hat or is it a headband?....






It is lovely and soft and I love that trellis pattern.  It is also in my favourite colours.     :-)


Now I had better go outside and check on Clover AND wash this naughty little pony who must have heard me say I was going for a ride, he was white half an hour ago.....












Friday, August 5, 2011

Favourite Things Friday



Hooray its Friday again....


This week I am joining in with Shay at Quilting in my Pyjamas for her Favourite Things Friday.  I don't join in every week because I sometimes lack the time to go and check out everyone else's Favourite Things but this week I have finished the bookwork so I can play all weekend on my computer....




This week is an extra special Favourite Thing.  A few years ago I was researching patterns for knitted toys and  I discovered this blog  Little Cotton Rabbits.  Lovely posts, beautiful photos, and the little Rabbits....




Well I fell in love!  Who woudn't?  




Julie once commented on how 'knitting was her sanity' and I thought to myself, I used to knit all the time, why don't I now?  I picked up the needles again and the rest as they say is history.  So you can see for me Julie's blog and her friendship are very special.  I guess I see her as a mentor and an inspiration.  Through Julie's blog I have rediscovered the joy of creating.  I was introduced to blogland and have honed up my knitting skills, I have learnt to crochet, I started a blog of my own and best of all have met so many wonderful people who bring cheer and joy into my world.


Recently I was lucky enough to win a chance to purchase one of Julie's Little Cotton Rabbits....Oh JOY!   I have been trying for 2 1/2 years to purchase one of her rabbits.  They are absolutely divine and so the demand is high, it seems hundreds of people all over the world also love Little Cotton Rabbits.


Want to see her??


'Clover' arrived this week to come and live at my house, she is adorable....




How sweet is she!   Exquisitely knitted in a merino/angora blend and all her clothes are gorgeous cotton.  Look at her little shoes!


Everything about 'Clover' was divine.  The packaging (I didn't want to remove it),  the little cards, she was beautifully wrapped, and of course Clover herself....




This week I am one happy camper....


My Favourite thing this week is Julie .  
Followed closely by 'Clover'because  to me they are one and the same, Clover will always remind me of Julie,
  :-)


Thank you so much Julie for helping me rediscover my creativity and bringing such joy into my world.












Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Lutt-Witt aka 'Hoodie'



Here is the sweater that I have been knitting....



It is a Berroco Pattern called Lutt-Witt which is published in pattern book #301 Berroco Campus. The wool is Berroco Campus and it is a lovely wool/alpaca/acrylic mix. So soft and plied in an uneven thickness so although it is classified as a chunky yarn in spots it is quite fine.

I knitted it on 6.5mm straight needles.....



I also did a few modifications to the pattern to make the hoodie more to my taste.
I have widened the cuffs of the sleeves so they are more bell shaped and lengthened the sleeves as I always pull sweaters down over my fingers and figured if it was already there I wouldn't be stretching it.
Handy for yoga when I am doing relaxation on the floor. In winter the cold floor is not nice on the backs of my wrists so the longer sleeve solves this problem......





In the pattern the bobble pattern stops at the neckline and the ribbing continues in a narrower band up around the hood.
I love the bobble pattern it is the reason I chose this Hoodie.
I continued the bobbles up over the hood to give it a wider band around the face and a shorter hood. It now doesn't drag down my back and sits almost like a collar around my neck, very cosy.....




I didn't cast off the stitches around the neckline because I didn't want a hard edge pulling on my neck with the weight of the hood and I would have just had to repick up the stitches anyway. The pattern has a nice ribbing around the start of the neckline which pulls the shoulders into shape very nicely. I liked this little touch, you can just see the ribbing on the neckline in the right hand bottom corner of the photo above.

My Hoodie is lovely and light although it looks quite chunky and heavy, just perfect for a tropical winter. I now just have to block the hood and I'm waiting for some nice wooden buttons that I purchased of Etsy :-)