And here are my treasures from the Australian Sheep and Wool Show 2014…already knitted and spun in my mind’s eye!
Two skeins of Mosley Park English Leicester and Merino blend in double knitting weight. Grown and dyed by Mosely Park in South Australia and the last of batch of Australian spun. There is about 200 grams here, hopefully enough for a sturdy cardigan for Our Dear Girl who needs really tough clothes.
Three skeins of sports weight Polwarth from Wendy and Tom Dennis’s property near the Otway Ranges in Victoria, scoured in Geelong and spun in New Zealand. Available on line at Tarndie.com. The Dennis family developed the Polwarth breed from Saxon Merino and Lincoln sheep in the mid nineteenth century and have been improving the breed ever since. It is a fine wool sheep that can thrive in the wetter conditions of the Otways and the first truly Australia sheep breed.
Indigo dyed Finn sheep fibre from Fairfield Finns. Maureen does a beautiful indigo dye. That colour is deeply satisfying to me and Finn is such wonderful to spin with. I have only spun with Finn fleece before so I am looking forward to experiencing the prepared fibre. Finn Sheep are a rare breed in Australia, although not a rare Australian breed, having been introduced from Finland a relatively short time ago.
A plait of Angel Bunny from Ixchel. It is a blend of Angora rabbit grown in Victoria by Ixchel, Cashmere, Bluefaced Leicester and Tencel. This is the kind of thing that I rarely buy because I always wonder what I would knit from it. But when I saw it, it suddenly made sense of the Polwarth and the Finn I had bought, uniting all the colours in a next-to-the-skin softness. I have grand plans to turn this lot into a Stephen West, Enchanted Mesa that I have been dreaming about at night ever since I heard Brenda Dayne from Cast On talking about putting one together.
Here is a treasure that I didn’t buy but as soon as I reckon I could find a use for it, I’ll be a-saving up for it.
It is called a phang and is made by The Lair of the Bearded Dragon of Victorian Blackwood by a clearly very talented woodturner. It is a supported spindle that you would use with a wee spinning bowl for spinning very very short fibres like yak. I am not sure if there is a lot of yak in my future so please do suggest what else could be spun with it. The phang is available from Spun Out.