13 September 2014

(non specific) Order Among Chaos

Happy Fibre Arts Friday! This is going to be my last FAF post for a while, next week I'm going to Beijing for three weeks to visit my family. Unfortunately blogger is blocked by the "Great Fire Wall" so I won't be able to post while I am there.

So there are four days left before my departure and I have not done any packing, and I am beginning to panic!!! Just to make things a little more complicated we are in the process of buying a house, the conveyancers are doing their work and the settlement date is set to be 16th October - precisely one week after my return. Good timing, what? We didn't plan it to happen this way, my trip was booked months ago and when we started looking for properties we didn't expect to find something so quickly, and naturally things just went from mad to being utterly chaotic.

Anyway, this post is about fibre arts so I should show you something made of fibre....

Elli asked me to make him some slipper socks a while back and he chose a pattern called Nola's Slippers - free from Ravelry. The pattern calls for worsted weight yarn, I used some sock yarn from my stash and held in doubled. I had to adjust the number of stitches to cast on as well as the decreasing stitches, luckily this pattern is very adaptable (read: easy to fudge) and I did as I went along.
I also finished a couple of woven scarves to add to my gift pile for China:

Oh yes, our Night's Watch SKAL kicked off this week. My plan is to spin the batt before my trip so I can bring the project with me. The Night's Watch shawl pattern is an easy one for the road, so I was assured by the designer Lara Smoot. Luckily Ravelry is not banned in China so I can still co-ordinate the SKAL.

I am sure there is order among all the chaos, I just need to find it.

Thanks for dropping by, please hop over to Andrea's at Wisdom Begins in Wonder for more fibre fun.

06 September 2014

Peacock Shawl finished

Happy Fibre Arts Friday! Today I have a finished project to show, yay!

This is a birthday present for my Ma who is turning 70 in October. I spun the yarn from some silver grey merino rovings from Bendigo Woollen Mills then dyed the yarn into mother's favourite colour. The whole project took a little over five months to complete, but I could have finished it much sooner if I'd worked on it consistently.
Pattern: Peacock's Tail by Rose Beck
Yarn: handspun merino and hand dyed, fingering weight, used 120g
Needle size: 5mm
My project page: here
Notes: I love the stitch patterns, they are very pretty and flow nicely from one into another. The construction is interesting where you increase at each end as well as fan out from the middle, creating a gentle crescent shape. The only thing I would change next time is to use a different cast off, the ones given by the pattern did not provide a stretchy enough border in my opinion as I had trouble blocking out the points. I might use EZ's sewn bind off if I were to make it again.

That's it from me, thanks for dropping by, please hop over to Andrea's at Wisdom Begins in Wonder for more fibre fun.

29 August 2014


Happy Fibre Arts Friday! This week I finally finished off two woven scarves, one had been on my loom since April and another one I had done weaving a few weeks ago but it was not finished until yesterday. I realised that I am not very good at finishing projects although I like starting them, which explains why I have so many UFOs. The lure of a new project is greater than completing one, perhaps I should only be allowed to start a new project in exchange for a finished one, I will need a stern enforcer.

This scarf was started back in April, with my hand-dyed warp and weft. For some reason the tension was all over the place and I was so disheartened with it that I didn't touch it for months, then one day I forced myself to forge ahead and finished it - because I wanted the loom for another project. I was very pleased to find that once washed and dried, all the imperfections with the tension was gone and the scarf looks rather nice ...

The second scarf was started at the beginning of this month, so it's not quite a marathon project as the first one. It only took 3 days to weave but again it took me weeks to finish it off. I'm calling this Blood Orange Tweedy Scarf :)
Now my loom is empty and I need another project!

Thanks for dropping by, please hop over to Andrea's at Wisdom Begins in Wonder for more fibre fun.

22 August 2014

Learning Navajo spinning

Happy Fibre Arts Friday!
It was my birthday last week and I got this gorgeous Navajo spindle from hubby, well, he didn't know that's what he was getting me but we were both happy with the arrangement :P
The whorl of the spindle is made of reclaimed ancient 45000 years old Kauri wood and the shaft is Tasmanian oak, the slab bowl is made from Western Australian Mulga. All these are hand turned by Lair of the Bearded Dragon, the other half of Charly - the wonderful owner of IxChel Yarn & Fibres.

I was a little apprehensive of this huge spindle, but after watching this video clip a few times I found it was actually not hard to do. You lean the shaft against the side of your thigh and roll with your fingers, I'm only doing park and draft at the moment, in time I'm hoping to become more proficient. The motion is surprisingly soothing and it just feels like the most natural thing to do, there is something really earthy about it. 

That's all from me. Thanks for dropping by, please hop over to Andrea's at Wisdom Begins in Wonder for more fibre fun.

15 August 2014

Entrachat Citrus - almost finished

Happy Fibre Arts Friday! 

Sorry I have been slack in my posts, don't you hate it when the day job gets in the way of your fibre time? But then one could argue that if one is better organised one could... oh well, evidently this "one" is not that organised!

I have finally booked my flights to China in September, it's my mum's 70th birthday so I can't miss it. Unfortunately the first born has to do his work experience (the only window of opportunity left for him to do this - he's not that orgnaised either, guess who he takes after!) so he has to stay behind, and so hubby has to stay behind. At least I still have Elliot for company.

As such I am now in gift hunting-gathering mode, and I've been making some gifts too. Although it has been generally agreed that many Chinese people don't appreciate handmade stuff, my family is somewhat different in that respect... my uncle is an artist so he appreciate all arts and crafts, my aunts have requested my handknits in the past so they obvious appreciate the efforts, and so I've been busy making things...

This is a cute little bolero/cardi for my niece, the yarn I chose is much thicker than the pattern calls for so I followed instructions for size 2/3 to get a size 5/6. I think it worked :)
The pattern is Entrachat on Ravelry. My project page is here.  I still need to sew the button on and do the edges around the sleeves, but other than that it's done. This is a cute little pattern, it didn't take too long to knit, for me it took about a week of bedtime knitting. I've got another one on the go for my other niece, this time in pink.

I also wove a scarf from one of my early handspuns, it's a little shorter than planned but still a good length, so I am happy.
Oh, you might have gathered from my previous posts that I am a Game of Thrones fan, so is my business partner Sparrow. In keeping with our obsession of GoT we are hosting a Night's Watch SKAL (spin-knit-along), using the Night's Watch shawlette pattern by the talented Lara Smoot. The sign up for the SKAL is open, the kickoff date is 10th September and runs until 30th November. If you don't spin there is a knit only option. Details can be found on our Facebook page or in our Ravelry group, pattern code, prizes details, etc.

Night's Watch Batt:
Night's Watch Yarn:

That's all from me. Thanks for dropping by, please hop over to Andrea's at Wisdom Begins in Wonder for more fibre fun.

04 July 2014

A Game of Thrones Addiction

Happy Fibre Arts Friday! :D

My apologies if this post sounds much like an advertisement, but I just couldn't contain my excitement: my business partner Rachael and I have been plotting a new collection theme over the last few weeks and it is now finally ready to be revealed. Drum roll please... ... ta da! May I present you our new Game of Thrones inspired collection:

From top left: Lannister Gold, Mother of Dragons, Khal Drogo, Cersei, Margaery, Lord Varys, Ser Loras, The Red Woman, The Iron Islands.

That's the first release, more are coming.

Sorry for the plugging, but that's all I have to show this week ;)

Thanks for dropping by, please hop over to Andrea's at Wisdom Begins in Wonder for more fibre fun.

27 June 2014

Preparing for Bendigo Sheep & Wool Show

Happy Fibre Arts Friday! There are so much going on in the fibre world at the moment, the Bendigo Sheep & Wool Show is only three weeks away, Sparrow and I are busy planning and preparing for the stock. This will be our first show as Cat & Sparrow because last year I piggy backed with her, we are so excited and slightly panicky, but mainly excited!

Here are some sneak peak of what we are taking to the show:

This is a new colourway called Brass Monkey. I like the funkiness of it and the fibre base is a luxurious blend of Polwarth, Baby Camel and Silk, the same base as the 'Go Lassie Go' I showed you last week - it's our favourite blend, so easy to spin.
Here's another one, which is part of a theme we are bringing out, think Game of Thrones (yes we are both obsessed!) it's all I can say for the time being ;)
Now show us what you have been up to!

Oh, yes, I also got this...
... but I'd better not start on these just yet or I'll never get anything done, besides, hubby and son number one are both champing at the bits to lay their hands on these, so maybe I'll just let them fight over it for now ;-)

Thanks for dropping by, please hop over to Andrea's at Wisdom Begins in Wonder for more fibre fun.

20 June 2014

Back to normal :)

Happy Fibre Arts Friday! Finally my study has come to an end, I had my last exam this week and it is all done. Right now I don't even care about the result, I'm just glad it is over, which means I can play with fibre again. Yippee!

Actually I've been catching up on Game of Thrones, and it is very conducive to get some serious knitting done when watching TV, especially with plain knitting. Remember the Heathery Moors sock yarn I spun last month? It's now a pair of very cosy socks, I really needed them today as winter has well and truly set in here in Melbourne.

I also have a couple of skeins to show off, these were finished in the last several weeks but I was too busy to update the blog so here they are...

The first is a commission spin for a customer, it's a blend of Polwarth, baby camel & silk in the "Go Lassie Go" colourway, dyed by my business partner Rachael (a.k.a. Sparrow), it was a dream to spin.
The second one is from an IxChelBunny top I bought at last year's Bendigo show, it was a gorgeous blend of Cashmere, Angora & Tencel, not the easiest to spin but the result is delightful.
Well, that's my lot for this week, it's great to be back :D

Thanks for dropping by, please hop over to Andrea's at Wisdom Begins in Wonder for more fibre fun.

23 May 2014

Shrop-A-Sock Heathery Moors

Happy Firbre Arts Friday! I'm still battling on with my study which is gradually coming to an end, there is definitely lights at the end of the tunnel, I just need to hang on in there a wee while longer. In an effort to keep my sanity and calm those hyper-go-crazy grey cells inflicted by the said study, I spin a little everyday - it's my ultimate meditation.

I finished spinning a bump of Shrop-A-Sock carded fleece, it's from a breed called Shropshire. Apparently Shropshire used to be the number one sheep breed in England, US and Canada (ShropshireSheep.org), it's origin can trace back to the 1700s. It is a down type fleece which means it's hard to felt, and that makes it a perfect choice for socks. I got my bumps from an Aussie breeder, unfortunately she doesn't have a website so I can't link it to her.

The bump was divided in half and spun separately then plied, I then dyed the yarn in the crockpot.
This will become a pair of socks for myself.... one day :)

Thanks for dropping by, please hop over to Andrea's at Wisdom Begins in Wonder for more fibre fun.

09 May 2014

The Little Yellow Duck Project

It's been a while since I posted anything, just been so busy lately. Today's I would like to share with you a very meaningful initiative called The Little Yellow Duck Project. If you hang around Ralvery a lot you'll probably have seen it already.

So what is The Little Yellow Duck Project?
"The Little Yellow Duck Project involves people around the world handcrafting little yellow duck gifts as random acts of kindness that are left in public places for others to find. A special tag on each one invites the finder to take their gift home to brighten their day and to visit this website to register where they found their gift. We hope that the stories and information found here will encourage them to pledge their own random act of kindness by registering to donate blood, bone marrow, organs tissues. " - copied from their website
There are some free patterns on their website you can use, so whether your craft is knitting (pattern by Allan Dart no less), crochet or sewing, there is a pattern for you.  

I made a crochet one today, during my study break, ahem.... it's a quick and easy make, but the only yellow yarn I have is some 4ply/fingering cotton yarn, so I doubled the strands and used a 4mm hook. It came out smaller than I thought, but it's rather cute.
There is even a special tag. I named her Yaya - Chinese for little duck, or can also mean little girl. Now I just need to find somewhere to leave her to be found :)
Thanks for dropping by, please hop over to Andrea's at Wisdom Begins in Wonder for more fibre fun.

18 April 2014


It has not been a good week for me, for most of the week I was sick with diarrhoea and severe migraine. Luckily things started to lighten up late yesterday and today I felt much better. Feeling sorry for myself I desperately needed some fibre-therapy to help me relax, so I warped up my Cricket Loom for a scarf.
It's not my handspun but I did dye the yarn, both the warp and weft were actually the same yarn in a colourway called Barley (a kind of yellow) but I wasn't so keen so I divided it up dyed half in green/blue and the other half in plum black. I'm calling this The Forbidden Forest Scarf.

I also washed some Cria Alpaca fleece in a beautiful honey colour, it's so so soft. This is going to be made into a batt for the shop but I really want to keep it. Maybe I'll keep the next batch for myself ;)
That's it from me, that's my therapy for the day. Have a lovely Easter weekend if you celebrate.

Thanks for dropping by, please hop over to Andrea's at Wisdom Begins in Wonder for more fibre fun.

04 April 2014

A piece of handwoven history

Happy Fibre Arts Friday!

A member of our spinning group, Liz, brought along two pieces of wall hanging to the Wednesday night meeting. They were woven by her mum's friend, Liz told us, and because the friend's husband didn't like them she wanted to give them away but preferably they went to people who really appreciated them.

Here are the two pieces:
I liked them both. One of the other ladies claimed the one on the right so I got the one on the left. It's actually a double weave, the back looks like this:
Isn't that gorgeous? There is a label on the back:
The artist's name is Lilija Duks, woven in March 1984, on a draw-loom with double harness set-up and 20 shafts (20!). The craftsmanship is incredible.

So I did a little research when I got home... guess what I found? Museum Victoria has a piece of Ms. Duks' wall hanging in their collection;

Craft Australia also has a piece among their collection.

And there's more... I found a record for the Education Committee of New Zealand Spinning, Weaving and Wool Craft Society.  Lilija Duks was listed as one of their overseas tutors, among the likes of Peter Collingwood, Kaffe Fassett, and Elizabeth Zimmermann. Well, how about that!

I feel so honoured to have this piece of handwoven history in my possession, it now hangs proudly next to my 8-shaft floor loom as inspiration... I will update you on the progress on the loom when I finally make some, erm, progress.

Thanks for dropping by, please hop over to Andrea's at Wisdom Begins in Wonder for more fibre fun. 

14 March 2014

Little Penguin Jumper

Last week the ABC put out a call for knitters to knit pullovers for penguins, the request came from the Phillip Island Penguin Foundation.  The foundation use these jumpers for oil contaminated penguins because the oil causes the feathers to separate and mat, and when that happens the water will get into the feathers so they become non-waterproof, which can make the penguin cold and some even die of hypothermia. The penguin jumpers help keep penguins warm and prevent them from ingesting toxic oil when they try to preen themselves.

As I am pretty much swamped with my study now that my semester is in full swing, my crafting time has been vastly reduced. But these little jumpers are fairly quick to make and they don't require much concentration, and they're portable. So I opted to knit one of these, I only managed to make one this week.
The pattern says to make two pieces and sew together, which I did. But next time I'm going to make it in the round to eliminate sewing (anything but sewing!). My toy model is a tad too small for it but I don't think he'd complain ;-)
If you would like to learn more about how the foundation use these jumpers to help the penguins or to get the pattern you can follow the link here. There's also a Ravelry pattern page here.

Thanks for visiting. I'm linking this to Fibre Arts Friday at Andrea's place, you can find more fibre arts goodies over there.

07 March 2014

Weaving frenzy

Happy Fibre Arts Friday! I'm doing a show and tell for my weaving projects this week because I suddenly had an urge to weave lately.

I had some variegated pure wool yarn and I wanted to explore how they behaved in weaving, so I wove two scarves: the first one using the same yarn as both warp and weft, the second only using the variegated yarn as warp and a plain matching yarn for weft.
I think I prefer the one on the right, i.e. variegated yarn for warp only but not for both. 

But what I love the most is the third one I made, this time using a space dyed yarn for weft.

It turned out really well, the bamboo in the weft yarn gave it just the right amount of drape without being too heavy, there's also a soft sheen to it. 

When I first finished it I wasn't too happy with the overlaps where I joined the new balls of yarn, so I appealed for help on the Rigid Heddle group on Facebook, it is a fantastic group for weavers by the way. From the advice I received I decided to pull out the overlaps, split the yarn (a single) and weave in the split ends separately. The result was amazing, you can hardly tell where they are. 

That's me for the week, now it's your turn.

I'm linking this to Fibre Arts Friday at Andrea's place, you can find more fibre arts goodies over there. 

21 February 2014

A Mini Skein and No Knead Bread

Welcome to Fibre Arts Friday! My internet has been playing up all week so this is going to be short and sweet...

First up is a mini skein I spun on my Jenkins Delight, Sparrow ordered the spindle for me and got it sent to my friend's in Seattle, so when we visited the friend during our trip it was there waiting for me :-)  Delight is a light weight Turkish spindle, this one is made of bloodwood and weighs only 1.09oz. It came with a gorgeous fibre sample in a merino/bamboo blend that was a real pleasure to spin, I love the colourway too, so bright and sunny!
I came across Attic24's post on a "No Knead Bread" recipe last week, which really intrigued me. The notion suggests the perfect combination for lazy cooks like myself, although I have a bread machine it's a hassle to measure out all the ingredients (yeah I'm lazy like that!) and you can't really choose the shape of your bread... But this, this "no knead bread", sounds like the real deal. Could it really be that easy? But yes my friends, it really was easy peasy :-)
The recipe is here, I followed it exactly, no mods ;-)

That's it for me this week. Thanks for stopping by, I'm linking it to Fibre Arts Friday and Creative Friday,  so please hop over there for more handmade fun stuff!

14 February 2014

How about this for Valentine?

Happy Fibre Arts Friday! ... and Happy Valentine's Day, for those of you who celebrate that is. Personally I think Valentine's Day is overrated, it's just another opportunity for commercialisation. Having said that I wouldn't mind if the old man came home with flowers, but I'm not holding my breath. Besides, if he did I might question his motive - yeah, we are romantic like that! ;-)

I remember seeing a poster or a picture that said "yarn is cheaper than roses", but I couldn't find it again,  that's my sentiment exactly!

Something did turn up in the post this week, nothing to do with the old man I can assure you, it's something I was going to get when we were in America but it never materialised, until now:
It's a handmade modular spindle by Ken Ledbetter, made of walnut and maple with a polymer clay inlay. It spins like a dream and I'm totally in love with it!

So, that's my Valentine for this year. Now show us yours :-)

Thanks for dropping by, there is more fibre arts fun at Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Indulge your creative side and join the party!

07 February 2014

Getting back to "normal"

It's only been two weeks since we returned from our holiday but it all seems so distant now, sigh! The boys have gone back to school, I've started picking up bookings again and my semester will start in March, so things are getting back to "normal". It all sounds rather mundane, but it also means I'm getting back to play with fibre and yarn again, so that's ok :D

I have finally finished spinning the roving I started last July for TdF, the one started on my homemade Turkish spindle, well I cheated towards the end and finished the last bit on my wheel. It came out in a 2-ply laceweight, around 700 meters.

Although I've got (quite) a few UFOs that really need more attention, what with new year new start and all that I was too tempted to start something new. Especially since I finally got hold of The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits that Vivian kindly ordered for me - it's not available outside U.S., there are so many gorgeous patterns in this collection but I was really drawn to the Lestrange Cloak I had to cast on.
I don't particularly like knitting in black yarn so I found this fingering wool/acrylic blend in my stash in the Burgundy colourway, you can't see the pattern very well at the moment, hopefully blocking will make it look better. I'm planning to shorten the body by omitting one pattern repeat as I don't want it too long, I'm short anyway, also I'm a little worried about not having enough yarn. Fingers crossed!

Oh, by the way, Cat & Sparrow is hosting a Spin-along in our Ravelry group, all entries will get a chance to win this gorgeous drum carded batt by the end of the month. The batt weighs 100g and it's a merino/alpaca mix. Details can be found here.

Thanks for dropping by, there is more fibre arts fun at Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Indulge your creative side and join the party!

24 January 2014

Days 37-40: Last Days | Around the World in 40 Days

As I write this we are already safely back at home, still can't believe our big trip is now over (a depressing thought!). Our last stop was Vancouver BC, which made my country No.26, or No.23 if you count Scotland/N.Ireland/Wales all as U.K. but I'm sure there are plenty of people who will disagree!

Vancouver was an interesting place, crossing the border on land certainly gave it a different perspective. In many way it is similar to the U.S. and yet different, more relaxed perhaps, certainly when compared to their southerly neighbour Seattle. Again our stay was short so we only saw a glimpse of it.

Caplipano Suspension Bridge is a must see in Vancouver. "Originally built in 1889, Capilano Suspension Bridge stretches 450 feet (137m) across and 230 feet (70m) above Capilano River." There are definitely far superior pictures on the official website, my iPhone camera could not compete, particularly on a overcast day.  I'm sure you can still get a taste of what it is like even from these amateur photos, although if you're scared of heights perhaps this is not for you. But I would still encourage you to give it a try... I'm not a fan of great heights, just walk in the middle of the bridge, hang on to the rails, and don't look down!
If the suspension bridge is too much of an excitement you might prefer the gentle shores of English Bay and Stanley Park.
The totem poles in Stanley Park are amazing, each depicts a story. Creatures often found on totem poles are: raven, sea turtle, thunderbird, eagle, wolf, bear, frog, otter, and killer whale. In the historical Gastown there is a steam clock that whistles the "Westminster Chime" every half hour. We were lucky to be accompanied by our friend Elaine and family, they drove up with us, they even lent us one of their cars so we could save some money. Such is the generosity we found throughout our trip from our family and our friends, without these lovely people our trip would not have been possible, and certainly wouldn't be as much fun.

So that's it, that was the end of our epic tour of the world in 40 days. The return journey was equally epic, the flight from Vancouver to Sydney was 15.5 hours then another short journey of just over an hour from Sydney to Melbourne. Technically we lost one day when we crossed the International Date Line in the middle of the Pacific, but as we were continually going west we only lost what we gained along the way.

The whole trip has been a blast, I doubt we could top that anytime soon. Oh well, maybe when I'm 50 we can do it all over again! But for now, life must get back to normal, reluctantly.

19 January 2014

Days 29 - 36: San Francisco & Seattle | Around the World in 40 Days

OK, so my travelogue is long overdue, I got a little slack... but I did do a Fibre Arts Friday post last Friday which covered a little of what we did on Day 30, that was when we met up with my yarny friend Vivian and her family. It was great spending time with friends, especially to finally meet someone you feel you know so well and yet you'd never met. Thanks to Vivian, Bill and Henry we got a taste of what Santa Cruz has to offer: yarn shops (I have to put this one first!), flea market, bookstores, record shop, cookies, the ocean, mini golf and the arcade, good food and beautiful weather. It's a lovely place to be.

The day of our visit was actually Phil's 50th birthday, which was partially the reason we're doing this big trip. The lucky guy got to wear his birthday badge (he managed to wiggle out not wearing the flashing one), and he got a candle on his pancake at lunch and everyone sang Happy Birthday, just so he could get properly embarrassed :P

We only had one day to visit San Francisco so we had to be very selective and only chose the things that ranked the top most on our list, which included Alcatraz, Fisherman's Wharf, cable car (tram) and Chinatown.
Alcatraz was worth every penny, we were lucky to get ticket on the day because it's the low season. Apparently in high season the tickets can be booked out 90 days in advance. So if anyone's visiting do make sure to check for tickets. The ticket includes return ferry to the island and audio tour, the audio tour is the best, it takes you through the entire jailhouse building from the cells to officers' quarters. The audio was narrated by ex-guards and convicts with tales of attempted escapes, sound effects and necessary pauses, it really brings the place to life.

We only got a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge on the ferry to Alcatraz, but as we planned to drive across it on our way to Seattle we didn't worry too much of getting a closer look. The bottom right photo above was taken when we drove across it, it was pretty impressive!
The drive to Seattle, well Federal Way actually, which is a suburb of Seattle was a long one and we did it in two days. We aimed for Eugene/Springfield on the first day, but there was a heavy fog when driving through Mount Shasta so we only made it to Roseburg. The following day we made a whistle stop at one of Portland's outlets to take advantage of some tax-free shopping before heading further north.

We are staying with my dear friend Elaine and family in Federal Way, who's making our visit very welcome. Her husband even played our private chauffeur driving us into Seattle and picking us up later on.
The Piker Place Market is a great place to visit, it has everything from fresh produce, fish and seafood, to cafes, bakeries, souvenir shops and crafts markets. There are also a couple of secondhand book shops and a map store which really caught Phil's eye, we had to drag him out of there, but not before he bought a big map of USA! Even J, who hasn't spent a penny so far on this trip, has found something (finally!) to part his money with: a magnetic travel chess set and a handmade ocarina. Of course we had to find the Original Starbucks whilst in Seattle, see above top right, the queue was so long and it was hardly moving, we didn't bother to wait. There was also a yarn shop but I was not impressed, there was a fair selection of yarns but the reception was cold which was a shame.

Today was our last day in Seattle and the last day in USA, tomorrow we will cross the border to Vancouver. Elli's biggest wish for this trip was to play in snow and he's been very disappointed so far, there was no snow in England, and we just missed it in New York, there was no chance of snow in San Francisco and there is no snow in Seattle. He thought he was going to go home disappointed but Elaine had a brilliant idea, there's a ski resort about an hour east of Federal Way and there's tubing!
Tubing was a lot of fun, doesn't require any skills and hardly any risks, the boys all had a wonderful time. This was really the icing on the cake, for Elli at least!

I'd better sign off now, our bags are packed (yet again!) and all ready to go. See you in Vancouver!

17 January 2014

Oh Goodies :D

I really should be doing my travelogue updates for this week but I really want to show off my goodies so Fibre Arts Friday won out.

Last Sunday we met up with a very special friend - Vivian of Bits and Pieces. Vivian and I met on Ravelry a few years ago and we've become good friends even though we have never met face to face, but I felt like I'd known her for a long time. So when we were planning this trip I said to my husband that we had to find a way to meet Vivian and family. I'm so pleased we did. We spent a lovely day with Keys with them welcoming us to their home and showing us around Santa Cruz, we went to a wonderful bookshop, wandered through the flea market, had a lovely lunch then we split up in two groups: the boys went to the ocean front to play mini golf and the arcade and Vivian took me yarn shopping. But before I let you on to my loot I have to show you the presents I received from Vivian:
There are a whole box of them! There is a beautifully cabled scarf, a set of Signature sock needles, a skein of silk/sea cell yarn, silk and satin ribbons, silk hankies, Chinese tea. There's also a box of boutique chocolates but they didn't last until I got a chance to take photos, very yummy they were ;)

I am so spoilt, thank you Vivian!

Now my loot from the yarn tour:
Sorry about the photos, I should've taken them in daylight.... given the limited time we had managed two LYSs: The Golden Fleece and The Swift Stitch. The bottom three skeins are from The Golden Fleece, all are hand painted sock/fingering weight. The top ones are from The Swift Stitch, they have a good selection of Madelinetosh which you can't get easily in Australia. I could've easily bought more but I had to think about our luggage retrains (that's another story!)

I only wish we had more time with the Keys, everyone got on so well it's a shame we had to say farewell after such a short time! Here's a photo of myself and Vivian, one of friends said we look like sisters, I think so too :)
Now we have arrived in Seattle we are staying with my friend Elaine whom I knitted the Murano cardigan for, I'm glad to report that it fits! Elaine has been receiving packages for me in the weeks leading up to our arrival. One of the packages contained these beautiful Alpaca/merino roving from WonderWhyAlpacaFarm, I can't wait to try these out!
Another package contained a little Delight, yes it's a Turkish spindle from Jenkins. I must thank Rachael (a.k.a. Sparrow) for this :-)
Aren't I a lucky girl, thank you all my dear friends! xx

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