WeavingFail!!!

Just had a rare epic crafting fail. I had some old discontinued wool in a cream and brown – not the softest wool, but smooshy with an unexpected kind of striping pattern. I thought i would weave it into a scarf for my cousin who is fond of natural colours.

Well, I chose the 10dpi reed (it was a 10 ply yarn should have been tight, but ok) but didn’t take into account the nature of the yarn – it was a smooshy single, spun around a strong core (thank goodness or it would have TRULY been an epic fail) and as the heddle moved up and down it pushed the smooshy single wooly bit into lovely little coils – ie, it wouldn’t let the full yarn through the gaps!

This was compounded by the truly felty nature of the wool – the warp ends would stick to each other, it fluffed all over the place – completely horrible!

Eventually i gave up, cut the weaving off and assessed how much warp i had left. I should have quit earlier!! I guessed i might have enough warp left to make a short scarf (and my cousin is not overly tall) so i switched to the 7.5dpi reed, restrung the warp and tried again.

Results were better when it came to the actual weaving – much less pushing of the yarn, though it still did occur, leaving ugly fluffy bits and all sorts of other imperfections – But the final product is just (I think) too short. It looks lovely, feels blah and doesn’t really wrap – which i like to at least have the option of doing in scarves i give to people.

I will take a photo of it when it dries and i’ve run over it with the lint shaver to remove some of the excess fluff, but not sure i can really give it away (at least not to someone i like!!)

I have one ball left of the yarn – might consider knitting something like fetching in it, but to be honest, I kinda never want to look at it again!!

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Show us your Map of Tassie!

Hi all, as promised, here is a quick run down of Katie’s and my trip to Tasmania! We really really enjoyed everything (except for getting seasick on the way over in 40knot winds and swells of over 10m) and we even managed to find some very lovely yarn to bring home!

We took the ferry over and no more shall be said about THAT trip, and arrived at 6.30am and very bleary eyed began the drive down to Hobart. We took a little detour through Oatlands to see the windmill – lured by the promise of an Australian Wool Outlet which was sadly closed and appeared to have knits straight out of the 80s in the windows.

Arriving in Devenport - deceptively calm!

The Oatlands Windmill

The Oatlands Windmill

We arrived in Hobart in time to go to Salamanca markets – we actually enjoyed WALKING we were so over this travelling business already! We started the stocking up of jams and preserves (soo much foodie goodness in Tas) Found Wursthaus, which is a must go to deli for ANYONE in hobart – delicious ready made and ready to cook foods – and picked up dinner for the next night. We had elderflower drinks and strawberries, and tasted Tassie chocolate and bought berry based fortified wines and generally had a lovely time whilst avoiding the vast amounts of fun fur. FOR SERIOUS.

We were staying in Seven Mile Beach which is about 30 minutes out of hobart to the east. LOVELY!  very quiet resort, nice and relaxing. just wonderful. It was quite cool which suited Katie just fine 🙂 (we actually had the heating on) We relaxed a lot, with knitting and Dr Who 🙂 Over the week, Katie worked through a large portion of her hap blanket and i managed to finish a pair of size 13 socks in 5 days. not even joking.

ENORMO SOCKS go faster in DK weight sock yarn!

ENORMO SOCKS go faster in DK weight sock yarn!

 

It wasn’t until Tuesday that we made our way to Yarn stores! 🙂  There’s a very good one in Moonah, just north of Hobart (on the way to the Cadbury factory, or on the way BACK in our case!!). They stock a lot of great quality yarns, readily available around the place, but we got a little Tassie-specific yarn – namely some locally grown and spun undyed English Leicester. We both got a LARGE skein (about 500m DK weight) and intend to dye them when we FINALLY get round to having a dyeing day here! We’re thinking we might make cushions from it 🙂

Lovely English Leicester

Then we popped back to Salamanca Place (AGAIN!) to go to Spindle Tree – a very well known little place and rightly so. They have a lot of handdyed and handspun yarn plus handknits and accessories. I chose some beautifully dyed mohair – will make a very simple garter stitch scarf on big needles from it – and a skein of sock yarn in colours that are very very familiar… (we also stopped back into Wursthaus for more food, because YUM!)

All named after Tasmanian Towns, this colourway is 'Oyster Cove'

Handdyed Sock Yarn - the colour of crushed blueberries!

We spent the Monday (sorry to go backwards here!) in Richmond, a historic town, in honour of our Richmond (Melbourne) knitting group. It’s a BEAUTIFUL town. We went through the maze and looked in all the little shops (one charging exorbitant priced for handdyed fibre and yarn) and took some photos of the bridge which is older than Adelaide and Perth – 1832!

Richmond Mazes!

Photo of the RIchmond Bridge, with Ducks

On the Wednesday we drove down through Hobart and along the Channel Highway on the west side of the bay. It was very beautiful and we stopped in at a winery that was having a (very small) market (more jam!!) and had a delicious lunch (more elderflower! it’s called Ashbolt, look for it!!) then took a detour to the handweavers gallery which was sadly closed, but there were fabulous views so not a total loss. We met a friend of my mothers for tea and pikelets (MORE jam!) and bought some delicious smoked salmon. nomnom.

Thursday we went horseriding! so much fun. Lovely relaxed trail ride through the brush and along the beach. Haven’t been in years and really enjoyed it. Pulled up pretty well afterwards too, which was good! Friday we played mini golf and had tea and scones 🙂 very civilized.

We took our time on the drive back up to Devenport on Saturday, with the biggest detour being the town of Ross, which we had heard lovely things about. It’s absolutely beautiful, one of the oldest towns in Tas, and even has a wool centre – not only does it have beautiful knits and handspun yarn, but also an info centre on the wool industry, including samples of different fleeces! quite a find for a pair of yarnies! we checked out the ‘antique’ market and had a lovely lunch in an old bakery. just a wonderful stop!

The very picturesque town of Ross

Then of course we made it onto the boat in time – declined dinner just in case – picked up some kwells just in case – but actually enjoyed a pleasant journey back with our regular expected level of NOT-seasickness.  huzzah! then we managed to drive home and fall into bed, exhausted, but refreshed, a lovely holiday over!

Random Craftiness

Hello my beautiful crafty types.

I apologise for my silence -many reasons, but mostly because whilst i’ve been busy doing things, I’m not sure which of them to tell you about!

Would you like a post about Tasmania? The housemate and i went there last month and whilst there is a supreme plethora of novelty yarn in Tassie, we did manage to find some delicious yarny goodness to bring home. Yes? Ok I shall post about that soon.

In the meantime, I will tell you some random things…

With the arrival of warmer weather, I have gotten out the sewing machine in earnest.

I bought some beautiful silk chiffon to make Chantilly from Colette at the fabric place in the South Melbourne Markets. It was the end of the roll so she gave it to me for $10pm! I couldn’t bring myself to cut it yet, but i did trace and cut out all the pattern pieces and make sure i could get all the pieces out of my fabric. Which i can! yay! so that project will be happening soon.

In the meantime, I decided to finish off a project that has been hanging around since 2008! Remember the apron workshop i went to? Well, as well as picking out fabric for aprons for my mother and my grandmother, I also picked out fabric for my own apron. I found some images on google, used Leanne’s letters and created a stencil for my ‘name plate’ and embroidered it and cut out all the pieces before it all went into storage last year. So all i needed to do was sew it all together!

I apologise for the weird colouring. It’s purple not blue, but can’t seem to get a good shot of it!

This photo is more true to the colours and you can see the kitties!

The very observant amongst you might notice the stray fibres on the apron – this is because it is going to be a crafting (namely spinning and sewing) apron, rather than a cooking apron. It’s too nice to get food all over, and it means i can spin loose fibres, or unpick things, or lay things on my lap without getting my clothes looking any more fibrey than they already do with 2 cats in the house! There’s also useful pockets and the pocket at the top will be primarily for tissues so i don’t always have to stick them in my bra!! (stupid sinuses)

The other sewing adventure in recent times pertains to a certain Cabaret i am performing this week! (if you’re in melbourne, please, come  along). I bought a new corset at Antons (I only have crappy photos so i won’t share yet) and decided (because i am CRAZY) to make a knee length circle skirt to go with it. One trip to clegs and an awful lot of money later, I had some GORGEOUS silk satin and italian lace… Thanks to a circle skirt tutorial from Ruffles and Roses – and a little bit of pinning from my awesome house mate – I now have this…

The lace is unhemmed at the moment and is likely to remain so since it is sitting at a really nice height compared to the hemmed silk now. It won’t fray so as long as i trim any loose bits is should look neat. I used the scalloped edge of the lace fabric to create the waistband. I’m really proud of that!

So already planning some more sewing projects. The wrap dress I asked your opinion on a while ago, the chiffon dress, a maxi in gorgeous light aqua silk with a grey and white print on it, plus all the projects that have been sitting in my sewing box waiting to be made. Sadly patterns and fabric do not mate in the dark producing gorgeous wearable offspring. I have another maxi, a shift dress, a 50s dress and a 70s-ish dress in 3 fabrics all ready to be made, plus a houndstooth 50s/60s style shift cut out and only needing sewing!

Meanwhile, the knitting and spinning continues… but this post is getting long, so next time, k?