If you've been watching my Facebook page, or picking up my tweets, visiting my Etsy store or just checking up on my homepage and web store, you'll have noticed a few changes.
Symphony in 19-21 Micron felting wool
Most exciting is the increased range of wools available now!
You can now buy any of my shades in:
Haunui Handcraft Wool. I am just loving working with this natural coloured halfbred tops! It's beautiful to spin, felts with ease and has a gorgeous hint of lustre. It comes from a specialised handcraft bred flock in South Canterbury , and is a real joy to work with.
Dark Grey Haunui Handcraft tops in Harvest Home.
This tops comes in four base shades, and can be overdyed to any of my listed colours. I'm just working through the shades at the moment and listing them as examples in the shop - you can order directly from the menus or request a custom order for any shade not listed. If I think it's not going to work out (some shades take dyes differently from others) I will be in touch with you to discuss options! If you're unsure, I can help you choose.
I'm working my way through spinning samples of the undyed fibre at the moment - what a lovely, lofty yarn it gives! I've spun it quite fine, then Navajo plied it to get a stable, round yarn which I would rate as worsted weight. Easy spinning while watching TV! See examples on the Haunui page.
Aria in felting sliver
Last, but definitely not least, is the 19-21 micron merino felting sliver. This is a carded and double-gilled preparation. It's very fine and dense, but does contain short fibres and a varying amount of vegetable matter. It can be spun, and gives a lovely soft and lofty yarn with a definite slight texture, but is not as easy to spin as the combed fibre.
This fibre is in limited supply; when what I have is gone, I may decide not to get any more processed. It will be replaced with carded and combed 21 micron merino in the near future; this will be suitable for spinning or fine felting.
Most fun is the Shade of the Week - I've now decided that you can buy up to 500gr of the homepage featured shade at $1 discount per 100gr - just a special show of my appreciation for those of you who buy direct from either my website or the Etsy store. So if you want to take advantage of this offer, buy direct from the homepage box, not from the store (which doesn't give the discount). Shades will change on Friday or Saturday every week.
Most useful is that I've changed the layout of the Buy Now section (again). My intention was to make it easier to view and buy from the shop, with multiple thumbnails that you can click on to view a larger image. I've also made the shopping cart a bit more functional so you can add items and return to shopping more easily! Item quantities can be changed in the shopping cart, while fibre type and colour can be selected from the dropdown menus in the "Add to Cart" box.
It's all about me....
"Mexican Cantina" - project in progress.
And off-site, I've been really enjoying saving favourite items and web finds on Pinterest. What a great way to keep track of those things we always look at and think "I must remember to come back and look at that!"
Today I added to my stash on Ravelry, and started a new project listing - a super-stash-busting jacket I've dubbed "Mexican Cantina" because of its loud and obnoxious colours! Joined together in a rather drunken chorus, they become surprisingly tuneful. And it takes all night to finish a row at the moment (slight exaggeration). I'm keeping track of the design, so it might end up as a published pattern sometime.
The Holden Shawlette
After searching high and low on the internet for a free pattern that I could use with this Sea Anemone yarn, I found the delightful Holden Shawlette by Mindy Wilkes on Ravelry (you will need to create an account to view this site, but don't worry - it's very user friendly and doesn't send you spam). I was not alone; over 2,400 other people have used this pattern! The pattern knitted up quickly to begin with as it is knitted from the top down, starting with only four stitches with increases at the middle and edges .
Saturday Morning at Nina Hut!
Here are some notes from my Ravelry project page:I’ve slightly adapted the pattern by making it larger (added on an extra repeat of the pattern making it longer/wider) and adding beads into the lace area. The tricky part about adding beads was knowing where they’ll look good before I'd tried out the pattern. That and putting all my beads on the yarn at the beginning of the ball and then having to move them all the time. That was a pain, but also a learning experience.
Some of this project was knitted at the Nina Hut near Lewis Pass. It even survived my falling right into a bog and getting me and my pack covered in mud on the walk in. Other trampers who arrived at the hut were surprised to see me knitting in the wilderness! We had three days there; it snowed a lot and I was glad I had brought something to do.
Finished and blocked.
For once I blocked a project properly, using large rustproof display pins (like normal pins only about 5x as big) and a sheet of 5cm thick polystyrene insulation. Lucky to have that lying around the house! The bonus of the polystyrene was that the knitting clung to it slightly, making it really easy to position. The shawlette went from being a wrinkled sea creature to an elegant lace accessory in a few short hours.
My yarn was quite lightweight, so the finished shawlette only weighs 120g (about 4oz) and feels really comfy to wear. It has a lovely drape and is cozy to wear without being heavy. It makes a nice large scarf and can be draped and tied around my head as well.
You may be wondering what happened to the Spring Challenge. Unfortunately there were not enough entries for it to go ahead.
But, on the bright side, I have finished my own craft-along 'Renewal' project and I'm pretty pleased with the results. The only snagis I haven't decided what to do with the buttons. So the finished items are sitting in my living room waiting for that final touch. As soon as that happens, I'll take some photos and post the final images.
Yes, with the end of Spring fast approaching it will be time for another newsletter. I have some exciting stuff happening at HW right now, so I'll be telling you all about that then - and there will be at least one Christmas surprise.
Kate is a semi-retired photographer and craft dyer who lives in Southland, New Zealand.