A Colorful Day

Look what we did yesterday:

A Productive Day

After our morning at Spinners, we came home and dyed all sorts of things.  The braid on the right is the Falkland Merino that I bought while I was visiting my sister in Washington State.  The braid on the left is some optim that has been maturing in my stash for ages.  And even older is the angora/wool blend that I dyed blue, yellow and maroon (lower left of photo).  I picked up a whole bag of mill ends from Bendigo, probably 10 years ago, that’s only a small part of it.

Meanwhile, I have some Angora/Cashmere/Wool blend on my spinning wheel. This fiber also came from Washington State, and wants to be spun up thin.  It’s looking like socks.

Jade Bunny

And here’s what the Desert Sunrise looks like all spun up:

Desert Sunrise

Some Spinning is Happening…

Been without internets for a week — someone used up our 36GB quota with a week left in January.  I’ve increased the quota (and cut back on the cable TV to compensate).  Am hoping that it won’t happen again.

Meanwhile, we’ve been watching the Australian Open and I’ve been knitting and spinning.  Here’s what’s on my wheel today:

Spinning

This is Desert Sunrise, Bought from Susan’s Kitchen on Etsy.  I brought it back from my trip to the US.  I’ve just finished spinning the singles, and will ply it tomorrow night.

I’ve also recently finished spinning the batts I ordered from Wooldancer late last year:

Handspun

Been having fun with the spinning, but I’ve also been doing some knitting.  Here are my Rushing Rivulet socks — another pattern from the New Pathways book by Cat Bordhi:

Beach Rivulet Sock

That’s sock number 1.  I cast on number two this evening.  This will be my public transport knitting this week.

Well, more later — the tennis is getting exciting now.

Lots of projects going

Yes, I’ve been busy, even if I haven’t been blogging about it.  Last week I was in Sydney for a conference.  The view from the room was gorgeous:

View

I got there just in time for the Morris & Sons (Tapestry Craft) yarn sale.  Look at the goodies I bought:

Kid Seta
Kid Seta — I’m knitting a lacy stole with this.

Silk Garden Sock
Noro Silk Garden Sock

Couldn’t wait and started the Kid Seta right away.  It’s lovely and light.

Meanwhile, I’ve finished up two pairs of socks — need to take photos of them.  You can see first socks on ravelry: Soy Socks and Sunny Sky Socks.  And I’ve started socks with the lovely Panda Silk yarn.  Just love the way this feels.  Need to take a picture of the socks — will put a picture up on Ravelry in the next few days.

When I got home from Sydney, I had received two custom batts from wooldancer.

Custom Batt 1 Custom Batt 2
These have wool, silk, mohair and other stuff in them.  Can’t wait to spin them up.

Home from New Zealand

We made it home last night after a week in New Zealand. The south island was beautiful, if a bit wet on the west coast.

Last Thursday we flew into Christchurch and had just a few hours to catch our bearings. We walked around the city center and did a bit of shopping. Dinner was at Winnie Bagoes – a very creative gourmet pizza restaurant. I heartily recommend it to anyone visiting Christchurch.

On Friday we started our whirlwind tour around the island. Friday night was in Queenstown after viewing several lakes and hundreds of snow-capped mountains. The scenery was gorgeous, and Frank and Betsy took hundreds of digital photos. The countryside was covered in beautiful purple and pink lupins. No photos in this post because I’m writing it on my phone (good way to use my commute time).

Saturday’s five-hour bus ride took us over the mountains to Milford Sound on the west coast. The New Zealand Alps split the island north to south. They’re tall enough to affect the weather and keep the rain clouds on the west coast. We were “fortunate” enough to get first hand experience of this weather pattern. There was plenty of rain and gusty wind while we were out on the sound. Betsy was well prepared and spent most of her time outside on the top deck of the boat. While the rain and clouds cut down on the visibility, the water falls were spectacular. After our five hour bus ride back to Queenstown we were damp and tired.

Sunday it really started to rain. We heard that the storm had followed us across the Tasman Sea from Brisbane. Again, we were on the bus most of the day, driving from Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier. We were booked on a hike to view the glacier, so off we went, in the rain. Due to the downpour, we couldn’t walk all the way to the glacier and had to be content with viewing it from a distance.

On the ride from Franz Josef to Greymouth on Monday morning we saw several flooded river beds. Most of the rivers we had seen earlier were braided rivers with several smaller stream beds within the larger, mostly dry, riverbed. Not on Monday. These rivers stretched from bank to bank, and sometimes beyond. The rain followed us all the way to Greymouth, and then it followed us on the TranzAlpine Railway all the way to Arthur’s Pass. East of the divide we got great views of mountains, gorges, and the Canterbury Plains.

The highlight of our remaining two days in Christchurch was our visit to the Arts Centre on Monday. There were lots of crafty shops to browse through. I bought some Merino Possum yarn as well as some Merino / possum / silk hand-dyed spinning fibres. The spinners and weavers in Christchurch run a co-op in the Arts Centre where they sell both fibres and hand crafted items. We visited Anne Field’s studio where she was warping her loom with optical fibres.

All in all, it was a great trip. Great scenery, great food and great shopping (for fibre-y goodness).

New Toy

I got myself a new toy on Friday — a samsung omnia phone. Just testing a quick post on the fly.

[edited to remove computer garbage — looks like attaching a photo to the post doesn’t work too well.  If you want to see a picture of my finished, but unblocked pink/orange shawl, check out my flickr page.]