Sunday, August 21, 2005

A new year begins

G'day all!

Wow, my second year of blogging. Thanks to everyone who has sent me a message - much appreciated.

It's been a very busy weekend. Yesterday morning I visited the handweavers and spinners' guild, and saw a demonstration of nalbinding. I'd call it a cross between embroidery and crochet. It uses a needle with an eye, you increase and decrease like you would for crochet but you use the needle with the yarn threaded through to create stitches. Very interesting but the lady running the demo was more interesting - she is in a Viking re-creation society, and an Arthurian one too.

Did I come away with more stash? Of course, but only a wee bit of fibre, unless you count the silk thread I've been told is great for plying thicker yarn with.

Do you agree that the silk thread at least looks pretty good for plying?

It was sooo very nice to sit down at my wheel tonight and spin this up. I've been spinning almost laceweight oatmeal alpaca for DAYS and DAYS and DAYS and I still only have a third of a bobbin, if that. It spins up well but it is BORING! So I decided it was time to play with some of my hand-dyed (by moi!) tops and see what I could come up with. Cheery, isn't it? BTW, I used the hot pour method to dye this up. It blurred a bit in spots and went a bit dirty here and there but that moderates the otherwise unrelenting cheeriness of the yarn. And it isn't oatmeal "coloured."

I bought three more colours of Landscape dyes at the guild - blue, red and yellow with the idea I can mix up a lot of colours from those. Four little spools of silk for plying. A silk cap. And horror of horrors some sea green ACRYLIC fibre to spin!!!

The afternoon was spent buying food and also potting mix for my roses and repotting another 13 roses in pots. I only have another 10 or so roses to repot. Huzzah!

Today we went for a little drive. Nathan wanted to visit some native plant nurseries in Gippsland, which is the area to the east/southeast of Melbourne. Gippsland got a bit of snow a couple of weeks ago - this is a rather amusing if not terribly clear pic of some alpacas who are less than impressed with the situation.

The scenery gets a little dull after a while as you drive along the Princes Highway - green rolling hills with a few trees, etc. If you drive long enough, you come to the La Trobe Valley, with its brown coal underlying the green and fertile looking land. But we turned off at Yarragon (where Nathan had a very nice hamburger and I got some yummy roast vegies! Me getting food from a takeaway - will wonders never cease?) and then headed up into the Strzelecki Ranges. The views out over the valley were magnificent:


(looking northish towards Mt Baw Baw)

The road was a little variable but it turns out that we took a wrong turn and ended up in an area that has recently been logged so the road was not that good in that area. But if we had gone the other way, we would not have seen the world's most mutant wombat - this is a flattering pic of it.

The poor old thing looked like it was blind and had been run over or was mangy. (no large pic - you don't need a closeup of it)

Plus there were little moments of beauty - a wattle in full bloom and a huge tree fern by the side of the road:


Along the way, we visited a couple of interesting native nurseries, and Nathan blew most of his weekly budget at them. We got some good stuff, a few bargains, and Nathan has plenty of plants to torture into bonsais now.

I reckon that will do it for the night - must blog the mutant cat pic next time. But it is bedtime, so

anon!

3 comments:

  1. Great photos. The Strzelecki Ranges look a little like the Malverns, except they are probably bigger.

    Poor old wombat, bless him, hope he is OK.

    Good to see a very tree-like tree fern in its native habitat. We saw a few in Cornwall again this year, they can get very large there as they like the climate. Our little tree fern is doing very well this year, the most fronds he has ever put on I think. He has to go in the greenhouse over the winter though, don't trust a mulch in this damp climate!

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  2. mmm, that yarn looks good enough to eat! i love the silk plied with it, gives it a bit of shiny sparkle, shiny being one of my favorite things.

    poor wombat! *patpats*

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  3. happy blogiversary! sorry i didn't pipe up last night, but i was whipped, lol. the silk looks fascinating plied with your wool. i love how it looks. the tree fern was gorgeous, and what is a wattle? Mt.BawBaw? sounds like somebody laughing uproariously. i hope nathan enjoys his bonsai, i kill anything i bring indoors. my outdoor stuff does well, but nebraska winters kill everything except woody stuff. sigh

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