Monday, 8 December 2008


I spent the entirety of last week in bed sleeping off a virus, but managed to drag myself out of bed on Saturday to go to the last meeting of the year for the local spinner's group with Ota. One thing I've really missed since moving here is the camaraderie and inspiration of the spinning group I had in Sydney (waves at Celia), so I'm really enjoying the few hours in a village hall with like-minded people. I think they even forgive me for being a weaver and not a knitter.

I managed to spin quite a bit more of the red-brown alpaca I've been spinning for some time (it's almost done now). But the main appeal this past weekend was to see some scarves the group had been been making for some time: each person got some blue-faced leicester wool and spun it, then it was given to someone else to dye, and then to someone else to make into a scarf. The person who spun the wool then got the scarf back. It was truly fascinating to see how the people solved the various problems of dyeing and making a finished garment from something they hadn't designed from scratch, and there were some truly beautiful garments there.

In addition to this delight, P&M Woolcraft had come along to the meeting, bringing a large part of their shop with them. I'd feared that I'd indulge in retail therapy and I did, although largely I restricted myself to items I went along knowing I wanted to buy. I really had to restrain myself when it came to purchasing fibre: I rarely buy top, and when I do it tends to be white so I can dye it the colours I want. I know that blended and pre-dyed top is something I'd enjoy spinning but probably wouldn't find a use for, and yet I really had to stop myself from buying the colours!!! All the pretty colours! My eyes kept following them across the room.

Here, however, is the swag:

Clockwise, from lower left: two more Majacraft bobbins for my Little Gem, because although I already have 4 (o0r 6?), you can never have too many if you spin lots of silk cap. It's sticky enough that it's best stored on the bobbin until ready to use. A cold-water, fibre-reactive dye kit for dyeing cotton, because I've only ever used acid dyes and wanted to try FR, a Glimakra boat shuttle to try because I've wanted a larger boat shuttle for some time, 15 cm quills for the new shuttle and 13 cm quills for my Dryad boat shuttles, 100g of blue-faced Leicester top to try spinning because although I've woven with it and love it I've not spinned it, 50 g of blue, turquoise and burgundy top to satisfy the colour fetish, 100g of bamboo because sometimes it's fun to play, a back-issue of Handowoven which illustrates how to drape a jacket on a dummy form (I want to think about making my own clothing from handwovens), and in the middle, a tiny bit of baby camel and silk top.

The camel and silk top was the most expensive part of my purchase, as I bought half a kilo of it. But it's crying out to be a drapey tunic top, and it's so stunningly soft, luxurious and delicate in colour it had to be had:

I can barely wait to start playing with it.


  1. Ooo, loot! The bottom pic looks like Cruella de Ville's wig!

  2. Just wait until you see what I plan to do with it!

  3. Wonderful shopping! I have an unfulfilled ambition to get to PM Woolcraft to see their goodies in person, last time I drove down South they were away up North!