Fun things

My first CafePress order arrived this week in time for my birthday. I’m now fully kitted out, so there can be no mistake about which SnB I frequent. I got a variety of items, so that I could judge the quality of the items before / if anyone else chose to buy from the store. I also like stuff with my knitting group’s logo on it!

When placing my order for a gi-normous mug, my dear husband said wouldn’t you like two? So you can have one for home and one for work? I do love his thoughtfulness at these times.

I love this hoody, it is light-weight and comfy and could possibly come to the gym with me in the chilly mornings of winter we’ve got coming up.

I also teamed up the pink logo, with the pink 3/4 sleeved top. I hope you all like pink! You do have a choice of other colours in the sleeves, but the logo is currently the one pictured for this top.

My most favourite item of all I think is the tote bag (badges sold separately). It is a good heavyweight canvas, perfect for carting things to knit night!

If there’s an item you want to see in the store that’s not there, I’m taking special requests. Make sure you check out the sizing guidelines for each of the clothing items if you’re going for a T-shirt etc, the sizing might vary from the sizing you’re used to. I’m bringing these things to knit night tonight, if you want to check things out.

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Knitting with Love

There is a little bit of love in all we knit. We consider the recipient, choose the yarn and pattern with great thought, agonise over whether we have made the right choice and then stop periodically to reassess. The hours we spend gift knitting is an act of love in itself – for the craft, for the fibre and for the recipient. Knowing all that we have knit in the past, look at this amazing project. What an extraordinary gift and a real heirloom.

Not knitting but dyeing

Around the Richmond Knitters group any occasion is a crafting occasion.  Pretty much any excuse will do.  Someone’s getting married?  Group blanket.  Baby?  Definitely a blanket. It’s Monday?  Go on then, I’ll do a bit of knitting if you twist my arm…

This month, Sonia’s birthday proved to be an excellent excuse for a bit of surreptitious craftiness.  A throw away comment that she’d got a bit bored of spinning single colour tops and a knowledge of her love of pink and green led Melanie to hatch a Cunning Plan that involved spinning fibre and acid dyes.  As most of the pretty-much-communal Richmond dyeing kit was in my possession because I’d got a bit over excited about making blank skeins pretty colours recently, Melanie and Sharon came over to my place over the long weekend and we got dyeing.

Over the course of the afternoon, along with some other bits and pieces, we turned this batch of BFL and silk tops (pictured here somewhat damp after being soaked in water and white vinegar to start with):

Into a colourful plastic wrapped roll of pink and green:

At this point we had absolutely no idea how it was going to look when it dried out, but going on faith, we steamed it to set the colour, rinsed it out and let it dry and Melanie had plaited it up nicely for photos and presentation, and low and behold, it turned out we’d managed to produce this:

I’m a little stunned we managed to make something this pretty!  I was not convinced when we rinsed it because being wet makes it all rather flat and sad, but as it dried up and regained it’s lustre and bounce, it began to look absolutely gorgeous.

Sadly, I wasn’t at RichmondKnitters on Monday to give it to Sonia too as I was rather ickily ill on Monday night and decided not to go and spread it to the rest of the group.  But I’m reliably informed that she loved it which was the aim.  Cunning Plan accomplished.

I don’t know about you, but I’m really looking forward to seeing how it spins up now.

Happy Birthday Sonia!

Bendigo

There, I’ve said it. Just the mention of the name of this regional Victorian town still ignites excitement in me five years on. I dwell on Bendigo like I dwell on Christmas or my ehm-hem, birthday.

For the uninitiated ‘Bendigo’, is the premier Sheep and Wool Show of the year. It’s the Aussie’s version of Rhinebeck (probably on a smaller scale, but I can’t be sure of that… I’ve never had a holiday based on a fibre festival… yet) The show is held in July at The Prince of Wales Showgrounds, Bendigo each year. For the fibre-obsessed, you really can’t miss it.

There are sheep, lots and lots. There is yarn, miles of it. Fibre, so much you can’t see for the fumes. It has everything, well most things (I’m trying to talk it up here). Despite all these amazing things, which should be reason enough to make you want to attend, my favourite things about the show, in order of bestestness.

1. The Storeholders/fibre farmers: They are passionate people, they are passionate about what you’re passionate about. And they want to talk to you, lots.

2. The Sheep Dog Trials: Call me juvenile, but I find these hil-ari-ous-ly funny and fascinating to watch at the same time.

3. The Storeholders (once again): This is me blissed out spinning on the Majacraft stand, whilst engaging with the maker of my future wheel. I could have stayed all day, and they wouldn’t have minded, not one bit.

4. Catching up with friends you don’t get to see all year round: With the yarn fumes this is really fun. You’re dizzy, happy and relaxed and the squeeing goes on and on (you have to be there to appreciate that).

5. The fibre and yarn is pretty good too. This goes without saying. I arrive on the first day each year, because I’m afraid the best stuff will go first. This isn’t necessarily true, just don’t come between me and the yarn/fibre I have my eye on…

So why am I telling you all this? It’s only April! Preparation, people, preparation! Which day/s are you going? Are you day-tripping, staying overnight or all weekend? What’s your budget? What are you looking out for?

Luckily this only happens once a year…

Why we knit

I am thrilled that Sonia has the Richmond Knitters ‘stuff’ up on CafePress. I am slowly collecting a range of CafePress items but my favourite so far runs the tag line “iKnit so I don’t kill people’. I have this mug prominently placed on my desk at work and it gets a few nervous looks from students who wonder whether sitting down across my desk is really such a good idea. While I genuinely don’t have homicidal thoughts, knitting certainly helps keep my frustration with the universe (and people) at bay. There is something about the focus that knitting requires that means that you need to push every other little concern aside. So while it is true that I knit so I don’t kill people, I knit for many other reasons too, not the least of which is that it puts me in touch with the knitting sisterhood that is very special indeed.