Some more hair of the dog

It is true that I have been – just once or twice mind you – in the past, informed that I am just a wee bit totally obsessive when it comes to things of a fibre or textile nature.

Whereas, I have always strenuously denied that this was the case,today I am prepared to concede that there might be a hint … the merest whiff … of truth to those allegations.

Exhibit A – Big box o’ dog fluff [ from this guy ]

Exhibit B – the yarn spun from the box o’ fluff

[ augmented by alpaca and a bit of baaaaa ]

Exhibit C – would be the shawl the I started knitting from my Hair Of The Dog yarn – with a drip in my hand – post surgery. Perfectly normal behaviour in my view. Not the least bit mad weird insane OCD odd.

Said shawl has been on hiatus since I ran out of yarn in hospital, until this week, when I got back to spinning, the result of which was duly skeined, soaked, whacked into submission, dried, wound into a ball

and finally added onto what had been done earlier

This is a rustic looking yarn with flecks and nupps of brown polwarth, blue grey alpaca and white Samoyed… not something suited to fine lace. The shawl that has evolved [ pattern? what pattern ? ] has alternating bands of garter and stocking stitch, garter borders and rows of eyelets whenever I jolly well feel like it.

So that’s what I’ve been doing the last few days when not engaged in weeding, goat wrangling and the knitting of a ‘something that was not a shawl and which I will tell you about later’

Brain mostly in neutral, which accounts for the inevitable ” Damnation. I forgot to put in the yarn overs on that last row buggerit”

Still, all going well until I got to the cast-off [ bind off for my trans-pacific friends ] and realised that I wasn’t going to make it.

Maybe if I knit faster, it’ll go further …



**mutter mutter mutter whinge whine twenty bloody stitches grizzle **

but did I throw it in the corner to rot ? [ as may have been my first inclination ]

I did not

Did I haul out Ms Charlotte Sheridan and press her into service ?

Well, actually, no

I did not:

Nadie is not the only woman in this house who owns a drop spindle or three [ mind you I did only make a metre or so of yarn ]

and now all I have to do is find the right sewing needle, darn in the ends, give it a warm bath and a good blocking [ a bit like being stretched on the rack would be if it was with woolly items instead of medieval victims of torture ]



Thankyou Ron

In direct contrast to my first efforts at spinning with a wheel [ which could have easily been used as substitute fencing wire in any goat-escape emergency ] Nadie has produced 104 metres of quite lovely – and, very knittable – wool and alpaca on her trusty 28 gram osage orange drop spindle from Ron [ aka spinningwoodie ] whom we met at the Australian Wool & Sheep Show back in July.

I now know why I haven’t had too much success with the spindle that I bought from a different vendor a few years back.

The other chap is a perfectly competent woodturner BUT Ron is both a great woodturner AND a spinner of 30 years experience. It definitely does make a difference to have the maker understand your craft [ especially if he then spends half an hour or more teaching the wannabe spinner the basics of  park-and-draft, and explaining a lot of the finer points that I had to learn by trial and error ]

This yarn has been spun here, at Nonna’s, in the back garden at The Dove Cafe, on the train to Melbourne and back, on the platforms at Southern Cross and Mount Waverley Stations, in the Dentist’ waiting room, and on Tuesday at The Royal Melbourne Show, where Nadie was helping out at the Sustainable Backyard. Something that would have been a little bit harder to do with my Ms Charlotte Sheridan [ sheridan celtic ] as she isn’t exactly small and gets positively snarky after being thrown into the back of the car.

Anyway, be that as it may, here’s Nadie’s first completed – and very well travelled –  yarn:

One ply is some [ presumably ] wool roving from the back room at the Bendigo Woollen Mills provided by Ron

The other ply is some of my Alpaca , also from BWM.

The current plan is to dye it burgundy/red/purple and possibly to make some wristwarmers that will accomodate the first few metres of ‘yarn-with-character’.

Not surprisingly Nadie already has two other yarns in production … but that will have to wait for another day.

odds & sods

there’s no one theme to this post – it’s a bit like one of Sheepish Annie’s WNBPP [ which for the uninitiated, means Wednesday Night Bullet Point Post  ] except, in this case, it’s Thursday.

  • I’ve been knitting yet another of the ubiquitous Forest Canopy Shawls  [ravelry link ]
  • It’s alpaca and soysilk. I dyed two balls turquoise/green and three turquoise purple.
  • The yarn used to be a perfectly respectable pale green and  a sort of grey mauve.
  • I like my colours better.
  • We had 2 inches of rain yesterday. My carport was under an inch of water … flowing straight off the goat paddock.
  • The carport is now scented with eau-de-goat-poo.
  • You have to watch where you step when you get out of the car.
  • On Tuesday I had a long-distance chat with Nonna about the spindle that she passed on to Nadie on Monday. I think we both assumed that she had owned it since the days when she learned to spin in school [ and she only went to school until grade 3 ] which would have put it somewhere in the early 1930s. Not so. Apparently she found it at home and snaffled it when she was preparing to get married at age 20.
  • It was already old – very old – when she found it in the early 1940s.
  • Think peasant Italian multi-generational home.
  • Yup. You’re way ahead of me. It probably belonged to Nadie’s great grandmother or possibly even her great-great grandmother … MIL couldn’t remember her mother spinning so great-great is looking more than possible.

Habetrot has a vintage postcard in her collection which shows a Roman woman “of Ciociara” spinning with what looks to be the same type of spindle. She [ Habetrot that is, not the Italian spinster ] has been kind enough to let me swipe it for blogging purposes.

  • You should go visit her eponymous blog if you are at all keen on vintage images of textile or fibre pursuits or fibre-bearing animals.

  • Ciociara is near Rome. Tocca da Casauria in Abruzzi where Nonna was born isn’t so very far away.
  • In Italian, a spindle is called a fuso. [ when Nonna says it in dialect, she sort of swallows the ‘o’ on the end, so it becomes foose ]