Saturday, 30 January 2010

Club Previews

Special Banana Smoothie Bag Kit for February $40.00

Here's to hoping your summer knitting is going well. I confess I have more than 1 pair of socks on my needles at one time.  A bit of heat madness? 

I'll be posting information both here (sidebar) and the online shop regarding my 2 new clubs for 2010.

Yarn Club -- one hank happiness! 6 months of one hank SIOz hand-painted yarn projects. Plenty of goodies of course. 

Fibre Club -- after much contemplation? A spindler's club. This is going to be a beaut, so stay tuned. Temptation: this club includes, not one but TWO spindles (one SIOz, and one very special wood spindle, sourced from a mastercraftsperson (shhhh, secret).  6 special fibres for spindlers. If you don't spindle spin, why not give it a go and have some fun with this subscription? 

First installments are scheduled for February

Yarns for this Sunday's market: more soy dk (a new lot of McLaren Vale) (100gm/200m - $19.00AU).

Special Lot of McLaren Vale Soy DK Ribbon 100gm/$19.00AU

A new lot of Pure hand-paint, this time in a soft ocean blues blend (50gm/$12.00AU). 

And, new banana palm silk hp (100gm, approx 35-40m/$12.00) -- this one is very dark, very foresty. Goes great with the McLaren Vale for Smoothie Bags!

banana palm silk 100gm/$12.00 handspun,hand-painted

I'll be putting up more wool dyelots next week, so stay tuned for wool news.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Happy Australia Day!

Special Green for Emerald City Shawl Kit (in the online shop)

Here's to hoping you and yours have an excellent Aussie Day. I started the day with some Vegemite toast. Well,  I thought it was V-toast, but it turns out, I bought the wrong thing. Have a jar of Vegemite 2.0 which looks like whipped Veggie and doesn't have ANY TASTE! Yeah, thanks Kraft foods. Look out in the UK. This is what happens when Kraft buys your fave food co. Anyway, I will be ringing the free call number tomorrow to complain and ask for a refund. Where's the real Vegemite? It's shocking. Even Lyta, my Kelpieweiler princess wouldn't eat it. 

On a brighter note, I promised Lyta a sausage for dinner in honour of Australia Day.

Yarn: I've loaded more yarn onto the online shop, including most of what's left of the purples and reds. One lovely nana-to-be bought a heap of them for a much-anticipated new grandchild. I can't wait to see what she crochets with it -- crocheted hand-painted purple baby blankie. Wow. 

The 2 kilos of aloo and hemp have already gone. No complaints from me, but it takes a lot of time to do those lots, so I have to schedule them quite a bit in advance, as I scour it, then soak it before dyeing. And yes, it is all done by me, by hand. Why do I do it? Because we're addicted to it now. There's so much inspiration from a hank of these yarns.  

Requested colours for the next lot are: Puna (light purple) and the return of Machine Gun (a deep gray/blue). 

Below is the updated mix of Devil's Playground -- I'm especially happy with this lot and see it as an updated Banana Smoothie Bag. Must paint some banana silk this week!

Jan 2010 Devil's Playground Soy Ribbon DK (100gm/200+m $15.00)

SWTC and Kollage yarns: Kollage Luscious and SWTC Jezebel are in the online shop. Both are premium yarns and worth the little extra it costs. For a vegan-friendly sock yarn, you can't do better than Luscious. I've had a number of customers not want Tofutsies due to its Chitin content (prawn/crab shell fibre), so this one is for them.  If you don't see the colour you crave, email melissa AT strandedinoz DOT com and it can be ordered.

Jezebel is the lovely kettle-dyed 2ply merino from Uruguay. FREE pattern for a scarf or sock with purchase, both by SIOz for SWTC. 

CU at the Port, Melissa

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Check out THESE monkeys!

Aren't these the best pair of Monkey Socks ever?(Cookie A. pattern from Knitty) Thank you Becki, a customer from the Vt. Sheep and Wool Show, who was kind enough to give me permission to post a copy of her picture here. The colourway is Woodland Creatures (yarn, Merino 4), one of my Autumn 2009 mixes.  Isn't she a fabulous knitter? Becki advised her mother is now the proud owner of the Monkeys.  Lucky mum.

The new lots of purples , red purples (mixed lot weights of 2ply, 4ply, and Nepal lace), and NEW LOT of banana palm silk (yes, it has been too long) in a hot purple are ready for the market tomorrow. Last week's lots are online at the shop, including ltd amounts of spinning fibre.

CU at the Port or online. Melissa 

Thursday, 21 January 2010

what's on this week

New SIOz design, Juliet,  from SWTC in Tranquility, a fab blend of fine wool (70%) and bamboo. This yarn is so lovely, has a fabulous hand. The front has a ribbed bodice, while the upper back is a continuation of the cabled stitch from the body (above the contrasting ribbing, not shown)  

Juliet pattern is FREE to customers who purchase the yarn for the project or is available for download purchase on Ravelry (at present). I am in love with Harold, the handsome pooch who shares the limelight with the design. The people at SWTC know I'm dog-mad, so it's just perfect.Thanks Jonelle and Kat. They've got a new sock book coming out, so stay tuned for that here.

This week's dyelots:

After neglecting purples for too long, the wool dyelots this week are several different purple mixes -- 4ply, 2ply, Nepal lace singles (they're killer purples!) and some hemp and wool (singles, 5ply-equiv). All drying at present.

There's also a new lot of Devil's Playground soy drying, which I haven't mixed in a very long time. Thanks for asking! The photo (not the best, but the only one on file, below) shows the soy dk ribbon Devil's Playground in front of some banana silk and aloo. Will post pictures of the new lot when it's ready for sale. The latest version is decidedly brighter (hotter red this time) and has black in the mix. 


On the needles: new ingeo (corn) cardigan, a simple sock in SIOz merino 4 that needs editing, and yes, I've hidden my spindles to rule out distractions. 

Monday, 18 January 2010

Spin Happy, Knit Happy

It was a gorgeous day in Port Adelaide yesterday and the dolphins were swimming early. There was a nice strong breeze too - a far cry from last Sunday's inferno conditions.

Thank you so much to the keen hand-spinners. It was nice to meet you and I look forward to seeing what's on your spindles. There's been a run again on gemstone spindles, so I'll be making more this week. And I'll be updating the online store accordingly. 

NOTE: most of the gemstone spindles are for spinning fine yarns, though every once in a while I'll buy a suitable stone for a heavier spindle. Most of the spinners I've sold them to use their wheels for yarns they'll be using for knitting garments or weaving. And of course, the widely-available in Oz Ashford wood spindles are great for heavier weight wools.

It's also an aesthetic thing -- a favourite gemstone to spin with adds to the experience. One customer requested rose quartz, as it is a stone she likes best. Good karma spinning.   

A Pretty Good Red: A mixed lot of a decidedly poppy red -- 2ply (superwash), 8ply, 4ply premium merino, and a couple snazzy luxury mohair/wool boucles in there. 

8ply merino $20.00 100gm/feltable

reds/roses Emerald City Shawl Kit $80.00 complete

After many customer requests (thanks!) I've kitted up the EC kits with a substitute colour. Good thing too, as the 2009 EC dark teal is now officially retired from EC-land. This kit is now chock full of goodies and includes shawl pin, stitch markers, needles, pattern, and a big pile of premium, low-micron merino yarn. 

Total Urban Decay 4ply permium merino 100gm/$24.00

Many requests to go to the dark side have produced this black, which is decidedly decayed and has a lovely rusty edge. For the goth in us all. It just doesn't photograph all that well -- tried in several different lights and locations. Think charcoal black soot. 

Happy knitting and spinning. CU at the markets. Melissa

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Fibre Fun

Some top to play with for the summer. The first, soy top, is quite dark, so the photo might be a little hard to see. It's a mix of purple, blacks, and a bit of dark rust.  Midnight Urban Decay. 

soy top in 'midnight urban decay (50gm/$10.85)

The bamboo top is in 2 colourways: a bright bright set of rather happy colours and another version of Urban DecayIII with some black, grey, purple, and a deep gold. 

bamboo top (50gm/$15.75)

Due to the amount of time, water, and conditions used to create the hand-painted bamboo, I generally only paint this fibre once a year.  Here's a sample of the Urban Decay III spun on a drop spindle and finished as a random 2ply:

I reckon 50-100gm is ample for a lace scarf or shawl project. 

CU at the markets and online. Mel

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

A Breath of Real Fresh Air

The weather shifted late Monday night. For those who read this blog from where it's freezing (greetings!) it was so hot at the Market on Sunday, the electronic thermo read 50 degrees C. I felt as though my eyeballs were cooking like coddled eggs. Yup, left EARLY - the boss kicked us out. Apologies to A. and M. for not being there for you. I was looking forward to catching up with you!

Cool change, still not enough rain in South Australia. Never enough. 

Cool enough to take some photos of yarn and fibres. There's quite a few, so I'll post on several days.

First, some cotton 'lace'-- Kollage Yarn was kind enough to part with some cones of their now discontinued cotton "lace". It's more a 3-ply equivalent/light fingering. Tension is around 8-9 sts per inch on 2.25-2.50mm needle, bigger needles of course for lace knitting.  I've put this up in 2 colours at the moment -- purples and blues dominate in this run.

cotton 'lace' in wild mixes $10.00 per 50gm

This yarn is perfect for making lightweight shawls and baby's gifts.  It is just about the best quality cotton I've ever had in this weight. Here's to hoping Kollage comes up with something just as fab next time around. I have no doubt they will. 

Some mixed lots of another colour, this time purples and greens with a dash of light brown (couldn't resist a floral, right?). Below: cotton chenille (fine, 4-ply equiv) ($12.00AU per 50gm). This is pure cotton, not viscose and it is fabulous. The bottom photo is the natural cotton ($10.00AU) in the same colourway.

There's a wee bit of milk and cotton (80%/20%) ($15.00) in a very light weight, in the wilder mix. This is Kollage Creamy -- I couldn't resist adding this fibre to the mix:

I'll be loading these yarns onto the web shop after Sunday to give my loyal Adelaide customers a chance to fondle them before they go off into cyberspace. If you just... can't... wait? Email me at melissa AT strandedinoz DOT com...

Stay tuned for fibre photos...

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Sunday Market in the heat -- oh yeah!

Whilst I hide in the shadows inside today, I'm labeling the new lots of cotton lace and other goodies to tempt your fingers during this hot summer season. Had a notion to go outside and photograph said hanks of yarn, opened the door and... Well, a wave of heat hit me like a wall. Door shut. Dog hiding in back hall on tile floor. Photos on hold.

The market will be open in the am, but I'm guessing it will close early. The manager often sends us home on extreme heat days!

Thank you again to all the fantastic fibre addicts out there who have purchase SIOz products. Keep those photos of FO's coming!

Melissa, wilting in the heat

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Cellulose Season

The sun is shining and that means I'm putting down the needles, picking up the brushes and banging on the pots again.

For those of you who think summer is def. for knitting, the sock and lace knitting are the over-all faves. Got some yarn and don't know what to do with it? Bring your yarn and come up to the Port for some pattern chat -- lots of options at SIOz to choose from.   

Just restocked: Kollage Circular Square Needles in popular lace-knitting and sock sizes. Great for shawls and long circ sock knitting. 


misc. 2 and 3ply lace yarns

Dyelots this week include:

Knitting: hand-painted cottons, viscose(s), and latte/cotton. All are luxury yarns in serendipity colours, done in mixed lots. Each colourway is done in a mixture of fibres and textures to inspire your fingers and eyes.  

aran-wt/10py cotton/viscose summer yarn in 2 colours $12.00AU/50gm

Included: a non-mercerised cotton lace you won't want to miss! Great for crochet and knitting, and all manner of needlework.  This is a luxury cotton lace, hard to find, fab to work with.

While cellulose-based yarns are not as popular here in Australia as they are overseas, they are incredibly practical as well as inspirational -- the variation in texture and type, plus the drape that viscose yarns, in particular, provide help to create new and interesting ways to think about what's on your needles.  With the warmer weather Down Under, cellulose garments can be worn longer. Stay tuned for photos when the lots are finished and ready for sale.

New Lots of Soy DK Ribbon are available for summer projects. If you've read my blog, you'll know I'm mad about soy fibre. This yarn is my first choice for children's knits -- it's in fun colours and it's machine-washable! Made from re-purposed soy (a by-product of the tofu manufacturing process) and so easy to wear here in Oz. 


New dyelots of handspun aloo (nettle) and hemp. The aloo is in a darker version of Puna (greyish purple) and the hemp? DEEP RED. These handspun yarns are hand-dyed and fantastic for reinforcing bags -- such as the Banana Smoothie Bag (SIOz design from Yarn Magazine).


banana smoothie kit 2010 in Semaphore Soysilk SIOz HP and hemp $45.00AU includes mag with pattern!


The new lots of bamboo hand-painted top are curing at the moment. I'm dying (sorry!) to play with them, but am resisting. Just.

As always, spin, knit, and crochet in good health; and happiness to you and yours in the new year! m