Vintage Finds

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’m still here, still knitting and spinning but mostly working, working, working to get funds to get my life back on track. Whilst, I don’t consider myself overly materialistic, I have no cravings for a flat screen telly or anything there are some things I need. My preference is to buy second hand where possible and as I’m highly aversed to anything synthetic if it’s not second hand then it has to be made from sustainable materials. Yesterday, I got the chance to buy some second hand pieces to make my home a bit more homely and support a wonderful charity at the same time. A win all round really.

I was on my way down Newland Ave, which is in a trendy, studenty area of Hull to buy some milk and veg for dinner when my eye caught sight of a beautiful sewing stool in the Dove House #87 charity shop (Dove House is our local hospice). I had been on the lookout for something to put my WiPs and notions in for a while now so course, I had to go in and have a good look at it. While I was there I spotted several other beautiful pieces that were on my list of things I need for my home and so I ended up with quite a haul.

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All in all I spent, £164 on a sewing stool full of goodies, a gorgeous brass work lamp in full working order, a beautiful floor lamp stand that needs the electrical components and a shade, two mirrors, an old Quality Street tin full of sewing bits and a Mason Cash mixing bowl. I can’t quite believe my luck. All the pieces are in beautiful condition and the sewing box was full of the most beautiful sewing threads, darning thread and needles, linen carpet thread for mending carpets and rugs presumably, hosery mending thread for darning sockings and tights I’m guessing, a darning mushroom, two linen trouser pockets and assorted other haberdashery supplies.

I keep wondering about the identity of the lady who owned it before me it would be lovely to be able to chat to her about crafty stuff and her life, it looks like she has a similar taste in colours.

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More fun with wool

I think it’s safe to say that I’m a little bit obsessed with wool and that the more time I can spend with wool, the happier I am. Therefore adding another stage to the process of turning wool into knitted stuff is inevitably going to make me happier than a happy thing in a happy place. So let me show you what has been making me a very, very, happy, happy little woolista.  (woolista: noun: like a fashionista but with much more sense)

Oh yes, Majacraft combs and hackle!

Which has enabled me to make these lovely samples.

 

From left to right; Herdwick and Merino, Massam and Merino, Corriedale and Merino, Dorset Horn and Merino and lastly, Southdown and Merino.

I had another play this morning with some Corriedale fleece and two colours of Merino.

 

 

Hackles loaded with wonderful wool.

 

Wool being dizzed off.

 

Pretty little nest of wool, wonder what it’s like spun up into singles? Let me grab a spindle.

 

Nice! Wonder what it’s like blended further?

 

Yummy, yes?

 

The waste isn’t really waste because it can be felted, or carded and spun or tail spun or just spun as is into an art yarn.

There are so many ways to have fun with wool, which is why I love it so much.

Nostepindling

You know how I raved about needing a Nostepinne, well I got me one! I bought it from Spun Out, the last one in stock. It’s made from English Cherry and I’m in love, I’ve been winding up balls of yarn just for fun, even though they were already wound up! Huh, crazy I know, but I love it.

I’ve taught myself how to do it the way I teach myself most yarn things these days, by watching You Tube videos, this one in particular I like, mostly for the accent and the enthusiasm.

While I was at it, I bought a couple of spindles that Em was destashing because they were so beautiful and I want a Turkish spindle so badly. I love the cute little ball of singles they make.

To complete my purchase I bought some fluff simply because it’s my favourite colour and I thought it would be fun to spin it on the Turkish.

A Spun Out Buffet Batt, carded and pulled through a diz.

Clueless

I need help.

I’ve been sorting through my stash again and sorting through my queue again. Yes this has become a bit of an obsessive habit, trying to designate yarn to patterns and yes it eats into my knitting and spinning time but it’s all stoking the fires of creativity. Well, that’s how I justify it anyway.

That’s not what I need help with though. Actually I think there may be people out there who would probably disagree, maybe some of them would be knitters.  I would hope that the knitters would be sympathetic though.

No what I need help with is this…

…beautiful isn’t it?

What you see on the tag is all the information I have about it. I’ve had it in my stash for a couple of years now and every now and then I get it out to pet it. Trouble is, I don’t have a clue what to knit it into. All I know is that it’s so incredibly soft it needs to go around my neck. So what would you do with it? Please help.

 

Will spin for…

…home-baked goods.

Today Katie and I bartered hand-spun for hand-baked. This was an extremely good idea of Julie’s. Katie wants hand-spun yarn but doesn’t want to spin.  I love lemon meringue pie but am rubbish at making it, win-win.  The pie is delicious, the menfolk haven’t seen it yet but it won’t last long so I had a greedy girl portion and… I might have had some seconds accidentally. So, yeah, moving along, bartering, it’s good!

P.S. Yes I know I changed my theme again, this one’s staying for a while now, I’m all faffed out.

ttfn Melanie x

Crush

I have a bit of a crush on Brooklyn Tweed.  The patterns and the yarn Shelter and now the look book Wool People is out making me fall hopelessly in lust.  So much so I briefly (half a day) considered purchasing 47 skeins of shelter to knit every Brooklyn Tweed and Wool People pattern I have queued.  I didn’t but I am still considering buying 28 skeins for the Autumn Leaves stole, Terra shawl, Guernsey wrap and Seraphine wrap (to start with anyway). Why, you ask considering that they are all shawly wrap type garments and you spin. Well…

The yarn itself is exquisite, woollen spun from Targhee breed of sheep, where am I going to purchase Targhee fibre in Australia?  Because it’s woollen spun and not overly processed it is light and squishy and will be beautifully warm and there appears to be some degree of varying thickness and twist in the ply that I personally feel, gives the yarn some interest. This is in contrast to those rather homogenised mass produced yarns that I have in my stash such as Sublime and Zarina  that I’ve lost the love for since I started spinning, they seem to vaguely resemble wool in the way that Kraft cheese slices vaguely resemble cheese (no offence and I intend to knit with these yarns still, it just won’t afford me the same delight).  Also the tweedy colours are just delicious and have such warm and inviting names like, homemade jam and button jar which are my particular favourites.  As for spinning the yarn myself, I feel my spinning and dyeing skills which, though they have improved would not be nearly good enough to produce enough yarn for all these patterns and I’m not going to never purchase yarn now that I can spin if the yarn is this beautiful. Lastly, Jared Flood is an independent designer who has put his money where his mouth is and gone out to produce yarn that he feels a passion for and I have to admire that (and feel a little bit envious).

As for the obsession with shawls and wraps, well, they are perfect for Melbourne’s varying weather and so much easier to wear than a jumper or a cardigan.  The patterns themselves appear to be both uncomplicated but interesting and well designed.  The Seraphine wrap from the Wool People look book is actually designed by Lucy Sweetland and I surprised myself by being determined to knit this despite it being knit in pieces and sewn together which is usually an immediate turn off.  I can see that this is a necessary aspect of the design so I’m willing to cast aside my usual prejudices, plus I have to have it in my wardrobe!

Because I’m not a complete idiot who goes out and purchases a vast amount of yarn before she has ever tried it, no, really, I’m not! I’m planning to cast on for the Habitat hat by Brooklyn Tweed next, out of the skein pictured above to see how it knits up.  He he, I’m knitting Habitat out of Shelter, which makes me giggle a bit, well you know even non-idiots can be a bit silly.