Thursday, December 11, 2008

Final Christmas Knitting

Again I've resorted to Folk knitting in Estonia for a sock pattern. These socks are based on Virve's Stockings but I've modified them a bit because i enjoy having some fancy stuff to do instead of plain old stocking stitch.
I made them for my daughter but I expect she will be rather appalled and wish I had chosen something she would actually wear. Still, I had fun and that's important.
And that's the end of the alpaca I got from my brother. Back to sheep's wool now and lots of spinning.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas socks

Now I've started making things for my family it's hard to know where to stop. these socks are for my father, but now my aunt has an order in and I'm working on socks for my daughter. Then there are all the rest maybe wondering, 'What about me?'
These socks have industrial strength heels which will probably not fit any known brand of shoe, except maybe a gumboot. However, they should take a while to wear out and that has to be a good thing. The wool is alpaca from my brother's alpacas and Gotland Pelt. When I run out of alpaca I'll get going on spinning up this year's fleeces.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Estonian Gloves

These are again from Nancy Bush's Knitting in Estonia. I used some of an alpaca fleece from my brother's alpacas and some of the Gotland Pelt left from the last jumper I knitted. My mother had washed the alpaca wool for me and sent it from Australia so I thought I should use it to make her a birthday present. Actually there's quite a bit left, so there'll be a few more presents made from it before Christmas. The gloves were amazingly quick and easy to make - two days' knitting really. I could make another pair but there are still some patterns from the book that I would like to try first. It's lovely having such soft wool to work with. Luckily I still have a cria fleece waiting to be spun.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mother of all socks

Our annual communal shearing took place on November 16. We share the day with any of our neighbours whose sheep need shearing. We inherited a shearing shed, a fairly antique shearing plant (apparently about sixty years old), yards and sheds. It's like a miniature version of a real sheep farm.
The shearer told us to keep the sheep in the yards and away from food overnight. We had to clear the shed for the occasion, because it is only used once a year for shearing and it's usually full of bicycles and mopeds.

Below is a moment of the action which I accidentally captured on video when I thought I was taking a photo.
It shows Jimmy the shearer from Trotters' Gorge, a few miles south of our village and Joe our neighbour.

Joe crutching our sheep before shearing.

Waiting, waiting

Billy the ram.

There's always a black sheep amongst them. A very wild Pitt Island ewe.

Looking good.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


I thought I should photograph some of my older Fair Isle jumpers before they disintegrate. Mind you, a couple of them are nearly twenty years old and still going strong.

This is the first one I ever made. It's just a combination of commercial yarns that were locally available.

This is an allover pattern knitted in Jamieson and Smith Shetland yarn.

And this one I made from bits of leftover Shetland yarn, but there was not enough to do an extra pattern on the body, so it is not really long enough. The background colours were not quite right so the pattern vanishes a bit at one point.

Rhiannon rides again

A friend of mine had a bag full of Gotland Pelt fleece that she was a bit dubious about because it didn't look very interesting. She was happy to give it to me and I discovered that it spun up beautifully. I spun it into a 3-ply and made this rather nice jumper. The pattern is called Riding to Avalon and it's from Knitscene magazine. It's not really Avalon around here, but nevertheless it's very pretty on a spring morning. The horse is called Rumours and she belongs to a neighbour.

Fair Trade

A little while ago I made a fisherman's hat for a friend. We arranged a trade for it and a few days ago this is what I got in exchange. It's a miniature of the Criterion Hotel in Oamaru. It's so detailed it's hard to believe that it's all been done by hand. Such a talented chap! And I'm really thrilled with it.
The Criterion Hotel, Oamaru
Miniature created by John Baster

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Francis the calf.

Jenny had a bull calf early on 7th October. He's a cheeky chap and was up and bouncing around within minutes. All black, too. Must be a Kiwi.

Monday, October 6, 2008

candlelight hottie cover

I needed another hottie cover because on really chilly nights it's pleasant to have two - sometimes essential. I have borrowed a book of knitting stitches from a friend and I thought this would be a good project to try some out, meaning it didn't matter too much if it didn't really work out. The main stitch is called candlelight and the stitch on the top is a slip stitch pattern called counterpoint quilting. The wool I dyed with mulberry fruit and the colour didn't really go with anything else so this is where it's ended up.

front view


and a rare rear view

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tere Estonia (or g'day)

These are the latest Estonian project - long socks, or stockings as they call them in the book. I thought stockings were longer, above the knee, anyway. They look quite warm but as spring has decided to arrive here I may not test drive them till next year.
The pattern said madder red, so I used madder red, but it's definitely quite a different colour from the red in the book.

Featuring Folk knitting in Estonia by Nancy Bush, Interweave Press, 1999 and pages from the Huvitav Jurnaal of 1939 to 1940.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pinky, Perky and the Big Moo

These twin lambs arrived this week in some rather unpleasant weather, but they've thrived nevertheless.

Jenny the cow can't be kept out of the photos, mainly because of her size.

Pinky and Perky get peckish.