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

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