Monday, July 22, 2013

all kinds of woolly wonderful...

On Sunday, which felt like it might have been the coldest day in my living memory, I darned in the ends of Miss Pepper's hottie cover.

Yesterday the high and the low in temperature were just one and a half degrees apart and the high lasted less than an hour before it began dropping from 3 back down to one and a half again. Yesterday we ventured outside to gather and feed for less than an hour and my fingers ached with cold so badly I feared I'd done permanent damage.

This morning Miss Pepper is home with a tummy ache snuggled up with her granny hottie on the couch and I am feeling like it was finished just in time. She says it's helping too.

At the Sheep and Wool Show I bought these three hanks of wool. 280 grams a piece.

The darkest one on the right was hand dyed with indigo and alkamet eco dyes. The one in the middle was hand dyed with indigo and tumeric eco dyes. And I might just dye the natural one myself with something from around here, beetroot or eucalyptus leaves I think.

I bought these buttons. I always buy wooden buttons when I see them.

I bought almost a kilo of this divine black sheep wool off farmer Sue French whose sheep grew it.

We chatted to Sue for ages about black sheep, about the fact that her wool is processed in Australia from start to finish and about shearers and wool co-ops.

I bought a kilo thinking I would finally knit my farmer boy that jumper he's been asking me for.

But then we found a lady selling old Tractor Jumpers made in Australia from Australian sheep's wool, so we bought two of them instead.

We were both quite excited by these two purchases, I don't know if there is even such a thing any more as Australian made knitwear made from Australian sheep. We felt like we'd discovered a real treasure. They look so great on my boy too, but that's beside the point.

I've been wanting to try an ergonomic crochet hook for ages now, so I bought the Clover one. But honestly, I'm not sure it feels any better in my hand than my good old metal one.

And I bought a bag of 50 eco-dyed, pre-knitted squares for $15. The stall holder lady was selling them off cheap because her business had changed direction. I have no idea why I bought them off her. Maybe because they were so crazy cheap, maybe because I love the thought of a blanket in those colours, or maybe because I still owe Miss Indi a blanket for her bed and this seems like a doable before the end of this winter plan. I know it's kinda cheating, but crocheting them together and then around them is still crafting...

And lastly, I bought a bag of these. For playing with and laying out and designing and admiring. And when we're finished, I think I'll string them into a garland. Love a bit of felt ball action.

So there you have it, that's me woolly sorted for a while. Or until I dream up a project in neon...

So what are you making, baking, growing, or writing?
I bet it's wonderful.

Bye for now



  1. Love all your woolly finds, Kate. And nothing beats a hottie for a tummy ache, and a hottie covered in granny squares would be even better. Reading about your temps. for yesterday made me think Ballarat was almost warm at 5 degrees.

    1. Ha! Yep, hard to believe that Ballarat would ever be warmer than anywhere.

  2. More beautiful woolly things Kate. I love the felt balls, they look so bright and squishy and fun!

    I am making yoghurt and picking broccoli and trying to put together a bread making workshop/day. Nothing like having a few projects on the go x

    1. I love the idea of a bread making workshop at yours Jane.
      If only I lived closer...x

  3. What a cute hot water bottle cover. I could just imagine how cold you were. I love all the hand-dyed yarns Kate. I think the beetroot color would be gorgeous. I think I like the black sheep yarn. I used to buy hanks of the darker natural wool from Meskills in Kyneton but they dont do it anymore and closed down a year or two ago. It used to knit up so nicely too. I cant wait to see what you create out of it.

  4. Buying the preknitted squares is genius! Such a time saver. Your daughter can even help with the colour grouping of the blanket. I am halfway through the second sleeve of a jumper I am making for my daughter, hopefully I can get it finished this week and all joined together. And I bought a slow cooker a few days ago so I am busy reading recipes and planning meals.
    xXx Helen

  5. Those colours are beautiful Kate. I keep promising myself I'll learn to knit but I never get around to it...I'll have to just keep crocheting :)

    I'm a bit obsessed with garlic butter mushrooms right now. Three days in a row we've had them! I also have plans for a banana bread, power balls & lemon ricotta cake but I keep getting side tracked by my cute baby or awesome blog posts :)

  6. You have a good range of stash there. I think the squares are brilliant with endless possibilities to mix with crochet. I love my clover hook, the work just flies off. Jo x

  7. All your purchases look wonderful. My mum spins and I spent my teenage years on a sheep farm for carpet wool. I'm working on some functional sewing for my boys

  8. That's a truly fabulous hottie cover and I have been so excited to see the finished thing!! There is lots of knitting happening on this side of the Tasman and I am working particularly hard at concentrating on only one project at a time. We'll have to wait and see if I can actually manage that :-)

  9. wow what a deal on the 50 eco dyed squares!
    I would have done the same!

    I've got a huge deadline coming up for a retro
    festival in the city. Should have accepted the offer
    sooner to be more prepared!

  10. Here in Bavaria in Germany it´s often very cold and of this cause my hot-water bottle is plenty used - but to be honest, I haven´t a as nice cover like yours <3

    But at the moment we have fortunately really hot summer days :)

    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  11. LOVE love love your hot water bottle Kate and all of your finds at the Sheep & Wool Fair. Those knitted squares are gorgeous too - I love the colour combinations.
    Claire x

  12. Lots of lovely purchases, I am so jealous, I will have to come over for it one year! LOVE those sweaters and the squares - definitely crafting if you turn them into something!

  13. Wow - those squares were such a bargain - love the idea of crocheting around them. Looks like the fair was wonderful - I think I would be bankrupt by now if it had been near me. At the moment I'm sorting out my needles and wool, crocheting a market bag and sewing a simple skirt for my daughter - I'm looking to get my teeth into a bigger project but the weather over here in the UK is really muggy at the moment so my energy levels are looooooow (my excuse). Love the hottie cover x Jane

  14. I love that hottie - for sure it's helping Miss Pepper get better!

    Those eco-dyed yarns are beautiful. The indigo, then mixed with turmeric. Too beautiful. I was given some indigo seeds last week, can't wait to plant them and watch them grow. And then harvest them and dye with them. Maybe you'll be here one day to dye and crochet too..

    Just wanted to say that while beetroot gives a glorious colour, it doesn't last for long. It's hard to "fix" it, so it'll fade when being worn, which in itself if quiet lovely and can be redyed. I've been experimenting with raspberries, so can let you know how that lasts, but probably same thing. I've had lots of success with red cabbage (you can get lots of colours with that depending on PH levels), and last Summer mulberries can me a good colour..... I could write you a whole letter of options, which actually are all experiments. xxxx

  15. Ah, Kate, I was up there in "Bendi" on the weekend and had equally lovely chats with woolly people about woolly things!
    I love those eco dye colours you chose!

  16. What a fabulous load of incredible finds! Looks like it was an amazing market. I cannot wait to see what your eco-dyed wools look like - beetroot sounds fantastic and I'm intrigued at how eucalyptus will turn out. Miss Pepper's hottie is gorgeous - hope she's feeling better soon :) Kx

  17. Oh my! Is that an annual fair? I think it really looks worth the time to visit from Auckland next year... If in our school hols!
    Then I could also visit the Bendigo Woollen Mills which I hear lots about.. What gorgeous purchases all round! nZ wool jerseys spun from NZ wool can still be found here but are a pretty price... nZ made woollen and merino socks and tights and merino thermal tops can still be bought too. (obsession this winter at buying all of these for me!)
    I'd be happy to post you a pair of NZ made merino or wool socks... Sounds like you need warm socks!

  18. beautiful purchases, I love the idea of a blanket crocheted together using those squares it'll be perfect! I hope your little pepper is feeling better, and I adore her hottie..
    I'm cooking roast veg soup, making a newborn baby beanie and waiting on a delivery from be bendigo woollen mills to make a new cowl..x

  19. Sooo much woolly goodness! I would love to go one day.... I love the wooden buttons. I always buy wooden buttons too when I spot them, sometimes they can be hard to come by. That hot water bottle cover is so fun, such gorgeous colours too.

  20. a kilo of wool!!! it seems like so much. But I know it won't go tooo far. Maybe you could make Farmer boy a jumper anyway? Or more beanies? Or some wooly socks. or his own blanket, or or or or..... :)

  21. Do you still have some chooks left Kate?

  22. I am NOT missing the Show next year that's fer sher!

  23. At the Pascoe Vale Spinners & Weavers show last month (and the last 3 years) they have a terrific display of wool dyed with leaves, veges etc. Amazing range of colours. I'm sure they could advise on dying wool (Victorian Hand Spinners and Weavers Association)

  24. Hi Just heard you on ABC 774, then found your blog, great photos. Where can I buy a jumper like the one "Tractor" shown? My first visit to Bendigo Wool Show, overwhelming so much cleverness and colour


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