knit | spin

Wool Show Treasures

July 28, 2014

And here are my treasures from the Australian Sheep and Wool Show 2014…already knitted and spun in my mind’s eye!

IMG_3611Two 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.

IMG_3608Three 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  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.

IMG_3618Indigo 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.

IMG_3606A 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.

IMG_3625And of course, vintage buttons from The Button Lady.

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.

IMG_3532It 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.