Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Easter Hunt and FO report

FO report and some gorgeous photos from Rockleigh on Ravelry:

A huge thanks to everyone who came by on Sunday – some to pick up club packs and show their FO's.

Alison showed off her magnificent BHM! Tofutsies socks – they are so fab and I am very jealous of her feet. The pair I've got are for shop samples and I can't wear 'em! She wore hers with a cool pair of Mary Janes to show off the lacy bit on the foot. GAWJUS!

A big hello to Raph, who's crocheting his way around a magnificent pair of house shoes, crocheted in SIOz hemp and wool in the recycled green. I'm really looking forward to seeing them as they develop and sharing a photo or two. There is nothing like this yarn – with its strength from the hemp (60%) with the wool, which takes the colour. Combined together they make an earthy tweedy handspun that is inspiring to work with. Raph recommends the 4mm crochet hook for that yarn.

Kaz stopped by with some handspun merino/lyocell in a mix of Woodland Creatures and the Garden mix. She's knitting a 2-ply version of the SIOz Milk Can bag in her beautiful handspun. It looks and feels amazing.

Thanks to Adrienne, who emailed with a query for the new club sock pattern, the Woodland Creatures sock – she's off and running now and if you knitters have a query, please feel free to contact me. I will try to update the site with comments this week, but it's a very crammed schedule I must admit.

And here are Rockleigh's mitts! She was the recipient of some Stranded In Oz ltd edition cashmere/merino dk (50/50) luxury blend. I ran some special Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show lots last year and she snarfled up the FREE pack that was the Ravelry Door Prize at the Saturday Brekkie. Aren't her mitts knitted beautifully? The colourway is Martha Stewart's Vegetable Garden.

Speaking of cashmere and spinning and all things SIOz, check out the SIOz shopblog for the update on the Easter Hunt 2011. This weekend, along with the annual 'egg' hunt, SIOz is having a special on hp cashmere yarn, just in time to make a quick Mother's Day giftie. :-)

Back to the deadlines, Melissa

Thursday, 14 April 2011

It's a Club Day today!

Merino 3 Premium 200gm hanks from Stranded In Oz

Whew! It feels really great when the club packs go out. Bye bye yarn and fibre! Go to your happy new homes. Given next week is a holiday week (mega) I figured it would be wise to send out the packs 1 day ahead of schedule. Some will arrive at their destinations tomorrow -- others on Monday, of course depending on the distance it must travel. I will post photos once the packs have been received. No spoilers.

That out of the way, it's a further WHEW now that I now my latest overseas design arrived safely at its destination. No peeking, sorry, as it isn't published yet. All I can say is it's an heirloom shawl project in one of my favourite yarns. :). I am rather sad I had to part with it. *sniffle*

For shoppers, there are new yarns to go up at the online shop and some already there. Temptation photos:

Merino Laceweight 100gm hanks in Winter Floral Red
(it's a wicked, bluebloody red~)

Merino 10 Premium Winter Floral Pinks Purples II 100gm hanks from Stranded In Oz

I was in a florally mood last time I painted. I feel some greens coming on... and more Robin Hood Colours. Hmmmm.

Also, just arrived are the re- and expanded stocks of Riveting, the recycled blue jeans yarn. This has distracted me to NO END today, as I face another deadline project. My reward for finishing is a new garment in Lava Riveting.

For updates regarding SIOz at the Market and online, check out the shopblog, which I will update shortly. Included will be more information regarding the now ANNUAL Stranded In Oz Easter Egg Hunted (well, it's actually hunting for mini-hanks of wool that contain prize or discount vouchers).

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Catching up on fibre and knitting in April

Time to spin? I've posted some recent results on my spinblog. Hard to believe how little spinning time I've had recently, but no matter; a few minutes here and there still added up to a nice hank or two!

This week is filling with special orders, including a few people who've been patient waiting for banana palm silk. The Robin Hood colours had to wait until the banana silks were going. Why take so long Melissa? Weeeellll....

As with all things SIOz, I like to do things right. The banana silk is a personal mission on my part. Thanks to Michelle Moriarty, who got me hooked on the stuff, I've been working with this yarn for a while and have come to the conclusion that if I want it to be worth working with, I have to process it myself. WHY?

First, it comes from Nepal in need of a wash. I buy it directly from the spinners and ask that they don't dye it or do anything to it before I get it. Yes, it has been washed, but it has a long way to go, is sometimes stored for periods, and, well, it needs a professional scour in commercial-grade textile detergent. So that's my first step. If you've ever scoured fibre, you have an idea of the process. This stuff gets scoured in a very hot wash, by my own hands.

Once that is accomplished, I set about the dyeing process. After a lot of experimentation, I've gotten a process I can live with -- lower water use, longer curing time. The whole process takes a coupla days. If the weather cooperates, the yarn is dry is a reasonable amount of time. That said, I'm at the tail end of the sunny weather, so am hurrying to get my lots done before the grey weather approaches.

OK, sure, you could buy your banana palm silk from other stockists in Australia and beyond. But it won't look or feel like SIOz banana palm silk, hand-painted or vat dyed by yours truly, right here in Oz.

Here's my fave from last week:

Banana Palm Silk, hand-painted by Stranded In Oz - Parroty

Then there's a water colour (with 2 more being processed this week):

Banana Palm Silk, hand-painted by Stranded In Oz - water

These colours are available already online.

Designs from SIOz -- there are two new ones -- a shawl and a wrap -- on the way -- from a fave yarn company. Will post when available. Until then, the latest club happenings go out next week. NO PEEKING! Only hint this week: autumn colourways. The yarn? Well, it's Merino 4 Premium, low-micron wool ready for socks, scarves, shawls, and all sorts of lovely knitted things for the winter.

Not a member of the knitter's club? Waddayawaitin' for? Come on and join the fun! Questions? Feel free to email me at melissa AT strandedinoz DOT com and I'll be happy to get you started. I've been inspired by some of the FO photos in this colourway previously and can't wait to see the 2011 version.

It's back to the needles and the occasional peek outside to check the dyelots. CU online and at the Port Markets, melissa