Friday, October 26, 2012

4 Day Weekend

We're in the middle of a 4 day weekend here in Hobart. It was a public holiday yesterday for Show Day and today the School decided to schedule its Pupil Free Day to allow us all to have an extra long weekend. How very sensible! The Pianoman has taken the day off work so we're all happy campers here. Of course the weather has been atrocious these past 2 days but that just gave us the excuse we needed to bunker down indoors and relax, drink hot chocolate and watch movies. The Pianoman has been a bit more productive than us, painting the living room walls and putting the skirting back after finishing the new floors. He did a great job with the floors which I'll show you soon.

I managed to finish off another little baby knit. After my last Jumper I really wanted something that the baby could wear straight away so I googled 'knitted newborn baby vest' and came across the gorgeous Pebble (Henry's Cobblestone-inspired Manly Baby Vest). It is basically knitted in one piece that opens out flat with buttons on the side. It is teeny tiny and I absolutely loved knitting it. I used the Rowan Felted Tweed again and was grateful for the nice lady at The Wool Shop who happily exchanged my leftover skein of blue with this more neutral colour. This Vest is actually super popular - Soulemama has recently finished another one.

I had some leftover yarn so I knitted up the Aviatrix bonnet to match, ravelled here. How gorgeous is the design? The words "seamless and knitted flat" were music to my ears and I just want to knit another 10 of them in all different colours and sizes. I probably will. I need to learn how to knit in the round but with time a-ticking I needed some instant gratification. This free pattern comes in multiple sizes as well as instructions for different yarn weights. 

Your comments on my Little Woolly Jumpers Post really got me thinking. Wouldn't it be fabulous to knit something from Rocco and Lulu's fleece, which is getting woollier and lovelier by the day. Curiosity got the better of me and I started googling 'spinning wheels' and would you believe there was one being auctioned at the local auction house the very next day. I look at the catalogue every week and have never seen a spinning wheel there before. I couldn't let this classic case of serendipity pass me by. There was no time to inspect it and no photo of it online so without even knowing how much it would be worth I put an maximum online bid of $50 on it and found out that afternoon I was the winning bidder. Destiny!

And here it is sitting in the living room. The fact that I have no idea how to spin fleece or work the wheel seemed irrelevant at the time. I was excited by the possibilities. However, there just so happens to be a Handweavers, Spinners and Dyers Guild of Tasmania that have regular 'gatherings' and have welcomed me aboard to show me the ropes. In all that spare time I have :-). So, intended or not, thank you very much for putting this idea into my mind. Who knows, maybe I will be able to convince The Pianoman that we 'need' an Alpaca to subsidise my yarn obsession :-)

Does anyone have any experience with spinning?

Finally, I am very excited about tomorrow as the super talented photographer Tim Coulson will be coming to our little Island for one of his Nursery Workshops which I will be attending. I purchased my first DSLR 4 years ago when the twins were born and have not taken it off auto ever. The 4 million-page manual on how to use my Canon has been sitting there waiting for me to find the time and inclination to go through it. That is how busy life with the 4 smalls has been for me these last 4 years. So, with 30 sleeps until life becomes a whole lot busier again, I thought this course was perfect timing. Tim has been travelling around the country with his workshops - has anyone attended? Anyone coming along tomorrow?

Anyway, wishing you all have a fabulous weekend wherever you are!


  1. More gorgeous knits,'d better look out or you'll become addicted to shopping at auction! How fab to knit with wool from your own sheep. Rx

  2. I do recall spinning in primary school and it wasn't too hard. All about the rhythm and speed and tension which you would already have oodles of, I'm sure. The little vest and hat are so delightful. Can't wait to see Numero 5 in them!

  3. oh dear! so much to say mel! your baby knits are precious, SO cute modeled on your bump. knitting in the round is SO simple, i would love to help you! and your new spinning wheel!! oh my goodness. i don't know any thing about them, but yours looks amazing to me. is it vintage? the wood is so pretty. i am only a wee bit envious here, you would not find one for that price. and wool from your sheep! i'm so excited to see how you progress. with all that time you have. ;)
    xoxo lori

  4. p.s. i forgot to say, tim coulson! i did request a u.s. tour! have a wonderful time!

  5. Aargh, those baby knits are so cute. Lovely colour, too.

    Have fun at your photography workshop. It reminds me that I really need to do one, too. I shoot mostly on auto. I try fiddling with the camera settings at times. That thick manual is daunting. I really need someone to show me one day.

  6. Totally gorgeous vest and hat Mel, very cute indeed, I love the colour and the simple design (as 'simple' as it is I'd still struggle with my hopeless knitting abilities) :)
    I had a go on a friend's spinning wheel only last weekend for the first time and it was a lot harder than I expected.... one great thing though, you get a LOT of yarn from one fleece, my friend had made a queen size blanket out of one! I was a tad shocked at that. I learned the difference between merino and 'normal' fleece and I was surprised that I could really tell the difference. Your new wheel is rather gorgeous.... I'm sure you'll love using it.
    Enjoy your 30 sleeps
    Jo x

  7. Your baby knits are delightful and I am in love with your wheel. I don't spin (yet) but it's on my bucket list!

  8. I was just thinking about 'all the spare time' you must have! I hope you do get to spin some wool.
    I have an aversion to reading manuals, I'd much rather someone just show me, I suppose it's impatience! x

  9. Those baby knits are adorable. I think the spinning wheel was just meant to be. I look forward to reading about how you find it. x

  10. The spinning wheel is beautiful! We have one, and are supposed to be learning to spin. We have friends that spin, dye and paint all sorts of yarn, and they have shown us how to spin before, but we were always too busy to take it up and have now forgotten! So when we have some more time on our hands, I think we'll have to get them to show us again. Anyway, the wheel looks lovely sitting the the living room, even if it never gets used.
    Have a happy weekend! xox

  11. Oh - the absolute cuteness.
    You are one talented Mummma.
    That spinning wheel is just gorgeous - whether it is functional or not!!!
    I'm astounded by your energy and drive every time I visit here.
    :-) xxx

  12. The little helmet and vest are just so cute..just right for your smallest knight! The spinning wheel makes a wonderful feature in your lounge room even if you don't use if for a while..I think you can keep sheep wool for quite a while, so there is no real hurry while your tiny one grows a bit.

  13. So, so gorgeous.

    Best of luck with the photography course, my camera also lives on auto and I admire anyone who manage to shoot on manual.

  14. Wow! Beautiful knitted vest and hat, the best thing about learning to use the camera on manual is to be able to take images of sleeping children without a flash. If you can get all this done with four children, five will be a walk in the park for you.

  15. I was talked into a Nikon DSLR just over a year ago and was terrified. My eyes used to glaze over at mention of f stop etc. I won't say I use it on manual all the time, but have found my way around most bits and pieces on it. I'm sure there's much more to learn but I was surprised I did pick it up. with eyes open. Anyway, the best thing I found was was the relevant model in the ..... for Dummies series. even found one for my Kindle. It was a good introduction to the Nikon manual itself. Plus another couple of books, basically on aperture. Also in print but I bought for Kindle. You can read Kindle stuff now on computer.

    That wheel looks like an Ashford from NZ. Easy to learn and use.

  16. That is precious Mel... and I must say I kinda jumped when I saw the baby doll with the little hat on, haha, too funny!
    The spinning wheel is beautiful, what a lovely ornament, even if you never master the art of spinning.
    Hope you had a lovely time learning all the tricks of the trade using your fancy camera... you take beautiful photos anyway, so you'll be extra professional now! xo

  17. Wowzers, you have a spinning wheel! Oh what fun lies in store. And those knits are too cute. Circular knitting ... pull up a video on magic loop, so much easier than using dpns.

    Good luck with the photography course :D

  18. Eeeeek so cute!! The clothes that is, not the freaky doll :) You are almost there! That spinning wheel is so very Rapunzel.

  19. How gorgeous and sweet! I love also that the the buttons are on the side of the jumper so it opens out flat.

    I'd like to invite to join the Bosisto's giveaway at my blog, I have 4 lavender packs up for grabs here:

  20. Love grey on a little baby! I've long wanted to do the pebble and I really should before my youngest is too big. I knitted the aviatrix awhile back, but sadly mine turned out way too big and fitted my 7 year old not my one year old! Having said that it is a very cute pattern.

  21. What a fabulous idea, Mel! Love it. Was meant to be, obviously. Can't wait to see what transpires. J x

  22. I have just received a birthday gift of a spinning wheel a couple of weeks ago, so I am just in the process of learning how to spin.
    Your spinning wheel looks like mine. I have just posted about learning to spin today on my blog.
    Is it an Ashford spinning wheel? Ashford have learn to spin free tutorials on their website:

    1. Hi there, I can't reply to your e-mail or get on to your Blog for some reason? Help! Yes, it is an Ashford and I had my first spinning lesson last Tuesday - I was absolutely hopeless! Thanks so so much for the link to the tutorial - this is a great help. Mel x