I was going to be so cool

I was going to tell you all about the trip down to Melbourne yesterday.How, despite a mad last minute sprint, we did in fact make the 9.06am train

and settled in for a couple of hours of mindless beret  knitting [me ] and spinning [ The Girl ]

Generally the sight of someone knitting in public raises no eyebrows  – although it usually elicits some sort of comment –

but you’d have to assume that it’s not every day that you see someone spinning … with a drop spindle … on a train

[ I would’ve joined her but Ms Charlotte Sheridan is a tad unwieldy on public transport ]

Anyway, as you can see,  Nadie kept the other commuters amused / intrigued / puzzled

and absolutely no one said anything … just watched her covertly and with great interest.

Now if it’d been me, I couldn’t have resisted asking all the whys and wherefores.

[ oh, and please note the wrist distaff I made her out of an orphan alpaca sock  ]

anyway, we knitted, spun and chatted our way through the Victorian countryside

and by about 11am we had arrived at Southern Cross and walked down to Jeff’s Shed

[ otherwise officially known as The Melbourne Exhibition Centre – except absolutely NO ONE calls it that. The eponymous Jeffrey was one J. Kennett, former Premier of the fine State of Victoria ]

The unruly crowds were being wrangled by this gentleman

He consented to a photo,, moved me out of the ticket queue, so that I could get a good shot – and more to the point, not hold up the queue [ leaving Nadie to hold my place of course ] and then, just as I was going to ask his name for blogging purposes, started giving me grief – loudly –  about queue jumping … and by then the moment had passed. So sadly he has to remain anonymous … cheeky beggar !!!

Anyway we made our way inside, bypassing the hundreds of shops, and thousands of women already buzzing around them, and headed for the relative sanity of the Victorian Quilter’ Showcase.

Where we started logically at the desk, paid my next year’s membership, bought raffle tickets, loaned my scissors to the lady on duty, and then worked our way – calmly and logically – around the outside, until we reached:

 

IWONAPRIZEIWONAPRIZEIWONAPRIZE

Okay

I totally suck at COOL

 

 

le mailot vert

It’s like that thing with buses.

You all know how it goes … you wait forever and then five come along one after the other.

That’s what July is like.

There’s the Wool & Sheep Show in Bendigo.

Two weeks later there’s the huge Quilt & Craft show at Jeff’s Shed

and if that’s not enough to cause your brain to end up somewhere in the vicinity of your knees:

there’s also the TDF:

the Tour De France Knit A Long

and its sister event the Tour De Fleece

It’s a Ravelry thing …

We get ourselves organised into teams and knit like crazy every day that the Tour rides.

For me, this was the year of the sprints.

In the three weeks Le Tour, I finished

two berets,

a pair of very steampunk black lace  spats,

a pair of legwarmers that I designed myself [ Bendigo Classic 8ply brick red ]

two beanies – a Melbourne storm [Rugby ] one for The Boy, but modelled here by The Girl

Rare Yarns Cocoon [ silk/alpaca/merino – and possibly the lushest footy beanie ever but it happens to be the only yarn in the perfect shade ]

and one for Pete-formerly-next-door [ hereinafter referred to as PND ]

in BWM Luxury 8ply

modelled by David

a pair of wristwarmers

AND

two – that’s TWO people –  lace shawls

in ten days

the burgundy one is a Kiri for the Girl in Koigu KPPPM that I won a few years ago as a blog prize from the lovely RoseRed

I started it on the afternoon of July 14th so that I’d have something small and portable to take to the Ravellry WoolBaa Dinner that night.

It was finished on the 19th and I cast on for the navy one on the 20th

# 2 is about a quarter  the size of the burgundy one – but just as many stitches – in laceweight [2ply] baby peruvian alpaca [ Misti Alpaca Lace ] on 3.75mm needles.

This one was cast off, soaked, and blocked just  as the guys were approaching Le Champs Elysee.

and if I ever EVER mention the intention of knitting in navy blue lace weight AT NIGHT …

can someone please shoot me ?

The Road Less Travelled

You’d think after decades of tutoring quilt classes that have had me negotiating the backways and byways of country Victoria and some of New South Wales, and the more recent actual being a resident of  Central Victoria, that I’d be able to negotiate my way from point a] Castlemaine to point b]’wherever’ without getting myself lost, and that’s usually the case …  unless I’m heading for somewhere in Ballarat

which was apparently laid out by a madman without the aid of a compass or sense of direction

[ and it doesn’t help when the internet instructions think one will arrive there faster by driving  through a pedestrian mall ]

Thankfully my destination was the bright haven of light & colour that is Ballarat Patchwork, nearest nominated drop-off point for quilts going down to Jeff’s Shed for the Vic Quilters’ Exhibition next Thursday – Sunday.

There are apparently three quilt shops in Ballarat. This one was new to me, being in a part of the town I’ve never has reason to visit. Today was a fast  ‘drop & run’  but I will definitely be having a closer look on my return visit to collect my quilt – and at least next time I’ll know where I’m headed … but I’m taking Nadie and her GPS along just in case.

A new start

I’ve finally embraced the need to move my blog over to WordPress and with Nadie’s help, here we are … and that’s not the only newness around here this week either.

Almost any yarn-oriented person in Australia, certainly anyone that hasn’t been living under a stone for the last several months, will have been aware that the Australian Wool & Sheep Show was on in Bendigo last Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The Girl and I had a great time of it

There was a rainbow of indie dyers, wool producers by the bale, all the major and minor suppliers of any of the multitude of things produced to put a smile on the face of your committed knitter, spinner, weaver or whathaveyou.

There were the glass cases full of spectacular competition entries to be oohed and aahed over.

There were the sheep

and cashmere, mohair and angora goats.

If it’s okay with you, we won’t talk about how close I came to talking Pete & Brenda into a pair of tiny mother-rejected week old angora kids

[ missed it by THAT much ]

and then there was:

What? Have you never seen a gentleman of mature years arrayed in full viking garb complete with knitted chain mail and horn-ed helmet?

Ron the creator and purveyor of some truly bee-oo-ti-ful turned wooden thingamabobs.

When we happened along, he was explaining the finer points of ‘park-and-draft’ spinning with a drop spindle. Seemed logical enough, and given that my spindle and I are not on speaking terms, it was something I wanted to try … and did.

After that we wandered over to visit the abovementioned goats, so that The Girl could get the obligatory goat snuzzles

and on the way back to the main pavilions, Nadie expressed an interest in my showing her how to use a drop spindle once we got home.

Oh, but I can do better than that!

Marched her straight back to Ron, who gave her an extremely detailed and hands-on spinning lesson for at least 20 minutes, even before he realised that I fully intended to buy her a spindle of her own.

which I did … a lovely 1 oz osage orange one which she is currently using [ with MissC’s ‘help’] to turn out perfectly spun singles.

None of your usual beginner thick-and-thin overspun underspun either. This spindle is so beautifully weighted and dainty, and Ron is such a good teacher, that Nadie is spinning like she’s been doing it for a lot longer than a couple of days.

Colour me somewhat proud 🙂

So there we are

a new blog  and a new spinner all in the same week

>decisions decisions

>For some time now, I’ve known that I was almost out of photo storage space on this ‘ere blog, and because of that, perhaps haven’t posted as often, or with as many pics, of late.

Moving across to another blog is hardly onerous … Bells did it quite successfully and so did Caity … but illogical or not, I’ve resisted having to make the move from this space where I took my first tentative baby steps into the blogiverse.

I can’t put it off much longer though:
As of this post, I’m up to 99% of photo storage so it’s going to happen soon, and yes, I do realise that I can put pix in by linking to my Flickr account, but I tried that and that doesn’t always want to co-operate, so pffft … some day very soon, you’ll come by and there’ll be a note pinned to the door, telling you where to find me and mine.

but not today

today I’m going to show you some of the multitude of small things that I’ve been churning out since Kiri came off the needles.

Not all – probably don’t have photo space enough for that

Herewith my dears, the four versions of Meret [ freebie from Wooly Wormhead ] that I’ve churned out recently:

Meret #1
is in Reynold’s Andean Alpaca [ worsted/10ply ] that I bought in April’s destash a while ago
2 extra repeats of the lace for maximum slouch. This one is nominally mine.
#2
is in BWM’s Luxury 8ply [Brick] and only one extra repeat.
Despite how well that colour looks on The Girl, this one is also mineminemine
#3 is Bendigo’s Alpaca Rich in Deep Plum … and THIS one is her ladyship’sand finally [ for now ]
#4 is in Colinette Art [ Aran/10 ply ] in Copper Beech, which is also Nadie’s.

and in case anyone is concerned about possible depletion of my stash [ yeah, right ] from all of the needle action that has occurred during my recent extended couch time,
need I remind you all that

it’s

2 more sleeps till The Oz Wool & Sheep Show