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