Saturday, February 24, 2007

As Mark Twain once said...

"The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated"

This from the lovely Kate of The Wool Room Country Store, 196 Boorowa Street in Young.

The Wool Room Country Store is alive and well. ...

Early February we went to Stitches and Craft show in Sydney at Rosehill and took boxes of yarn to tempt knitters. We had a good response.


We have 99% of all books in stock from Australian Country Spinners. You can check their websites at , , , You can see all their patterns, yarns and colours which we stock.

I have a huge range of yarns in stock and also organising other yarns this season.

Please let me know what you and your friends are looking for. We like to give personal service.

Those of us who have been to this shop are very glad to hear this and can attest that the stock and the service are fab. Don't believe me - read the posts Spidey and I made after our last visit with Sharon.

So a big YAY for the best LYS I've ever been to, and I'm old and wise in the ways of wool shops.

You can contact the shop on (02) 6382 6665 or email

Monday, February 19, 2007

Harlot Happening

Extra special event.

Thursday 22 March, 6pm +, probably at Starbucks at MANUKA.


If you read the Yarn Harlot, you will be aware from her most recent post that she's planning a VERY BIG book launch on Thursday 22 March in New York.

Spidey and I can't get to NY by then because apparently the wounds from the sale of our kidneys to finance the trip won't be healed sufficiently, so at SnB yesterday the consensus was to have our own event. This was in no small part due to the presence of a new member, Kate, who has ACTUALLY MET Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, and there were 3 socks in progress at the meeting.

We think the Sherpa can swing a shift at Starbucks, Manuka for that night, thus ensuring a very knit-friendly atmosphere.


This is about as far along the planning route as we've made it. Suggestions for activities so far are a march around Manuka knitting and chanting, a Yarn Harlot trivia quiz and a raffle. Any or none of these things may actually happen.

We'll keep you posted as plans progress. Please send in suggestions. We'll also need help with publicity - so put a note on your blog, comment on someone else's blog and invite your mates.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

My favourite valentine - all four of them

I spent the evening of St Valentine's Day with the husbands of 4 other women and the partner of a very nice bloke. I am a woodwork whore, I tell you.

Woodwork started again last night and I'd forgotten how much I enjoy it, having taken last term and much of the one before off due to the family health crisis.

Graeme, the bloke who runs the class, is great. When I turn up with sketches, measurements and hopes for things like "niddy-noddies", "umbrella swifts", "Andean plying tools" and "lazy kates" - he barely turns a hair. When I show up with examples of these things and say "I want to make this, only better, and I want to make 6 of them", he blanches a little and then facilitates. He is mindful of my COMPLETE LACK OF SKILL in this area, and still manages to help me create minor miracles. He never fails to try and improve my knowledge and my skills - the man's an optimist and a great teacher.

The other blokes are great, too. In the main, the Wednesday crowd is a rotation of the same guys. They let Maree and I go for a little light relief, I'm sure. This group, in various permutations, have been showing up to Graeme's class for years. It's a woodwork Stitch 'n' Bitch, really.

I've been going for nearly a year now. It took a term for some of them to actually speak to Maree and I, but they let it be known that we were welcome to come back after our first term, so we must have done something right. I think it might have been that we were really happy to put on the earmuffs and leave them alone. Maree has two young boys and I have a demanding job and family - we LOVE the earmuffs.

Some of the work these guys do is amazing. Mostly they focus on their task with the occasional "whacha workin' on?" and "ah, tallow wood - nice" type conversation with each other. Sometimes, when there's a lull in the process, they can be lured into discussing their projects and why they do them. They can be quite poetic in a gruff Aussie bloke way, although after the Timber Show last year they couldn't be shut up about the timber they'd bought, the new tools they'd seen, the bargains and what was next in the queue. It was terribly, terribly familiar, only the medium was different.

They are tolerant and accepting of Maree and me. They know we are rank amateurs and likely to remain so. We are garter stitch scarf knitters to their Shetland lace confections, but there is room for us in their club.

Making my own spinning and knitting accessories was a little odd to them initally, and the first time I whip out my knitting while I'm waiting or taking a coffee break, I get a few looks, but these guys are smart. They understand the process of making and the joy of creation. They respect the skills involved in creating with yarn in the way I respect the skills invovled in creating with timber. Most are genuinely interested in the application of their chosen craft to making tools for mine and tease each other with the new terminology.

Bloke 1 to me indicating pile of dowel "So what's that you're making?"

Bloke 2 to Bloke 1 in incredulous tone "Haven't you seen a niddy-noddy before, mate? Wanna see the Andean plying tool - Go on, Taph, show him the Andean plying tool?"

These guys create with timber the love tokens we create with yarn. A dainty fretwork box, a dining table from a single slab of red gum, a garden bench, a DVD case, a rain guage stand, a turned bowl - these are all tokens of love to their families and friends. It was a lovely way to spend St Valentine's Day.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Australian Independent Producers & the Shops that Support Them

I try to think globally and act locally. This carries over into a desire to support our wool industry and I've been keeping a list of local independent yarn producers with a web presence for months.

I had set myself a challenge of purchasing a new product from a local producer every month this year. However, bringing forward my backyard landscaping project by 12 months means there won't be any spare cash for a while unless I can spin pavers and gravel. I thought I 'd share my list with you all. Those not on a yarn diet might like to partake.

Please note that I am not recommending any of these producers and artisans in particular. In the main I have not sampled their wares. Neither is this list in any way comprehensive. I add to it all the time as I find new artistans. Also, for the purposes of this list the keyword "hand-dyed" also serves for hand-painted. The list is divided into those who are largely doing it for themselves and shops which support indie producers.

*updated 12/02 to include producers suggested by Ceri and Michelle, many thanks, ladies, and a few more from my list
*updated 15/02, 19/02, 23/02, 12/03, 17/03, 18/03, 19/03, 20/04, 24/06, 26/08

Owner/operators or those who largely sell their own product

343Sharon on ebay
hand-spun; hand-knits

Artdelana on ebay
hand-dyed; knitting yarn; spinning fibre

Baa Bum Handknits
hand-dyed; knitting yarn; hand-knits; soakers

Belissa Cashmere has cashmere and silk yarns available through Ozeyarn
knitting yarn; spinning fibre; knitted garments

Benbellen Alpaca
knitting yarn; hand-knits; Alpaca

Bendigo Woollen Mills
knitting yarn; spinning fibre; patterns

Braeside Alpacas
Hand-dyed; spinning fibre; Alpaca; Corriedale; silk; Merino

Celia’s Basket
Hand-dyed; knitting yarn; spinning fibre; hand-knits; patterns; hand-spun

Colour Revolution and on eBay
Hand-dyed; knitting yarn

Coloured Jules
Hand-dyed; knitting yarn; spinning fibre; wool; Alpaca; silk; accessories; hand-knits; kits

Counting Mermaids
Hand-dyed; hand-spun; knitting yarns

Creswick Woollen Mills
Mostly woven goods, but some spinning fibre and accessories

Ewe Give Me the Knits
hand-dyed; spinning fibre; dyes; knitting yarn

Fibreworks online at &
Hand-dyed; knitting yarns

Flinders Island Fleece
knitting yarn; knitted garments

Gumnut Yarns
hand-dyed; embroidery thread; wool; silk; mohair

Happy Spider
Hand-dyed; knitting yarn; hand-spun

Highland Cottage Crafts on eBay
hand-dyed; knitting yarn; hand-spun; accessories; spinning fibre; dyes

Jumbuk Wools
knitting yarn; natural colours; greasy; hand-knits

Kaalund Yarns and at Purl Yarns
Knitting yarn

Katt’s Woolly Wonders and on eBay and Etsy
Hand-dyed; knitting yarn (mostly sock)

Knitting By Zen and on eBay
Hand-dyed; knitting yarn; stitch markers

The Knitting Ninja and on eBay
hand-dyed; knitting yarn

needles; accessories; hand-spun; knitting yarn

Live 2 Knit
hand-dyed; knitting yarn; accessories

Martas Yarns
Hand-dyed; knitting yarn; accessories

Mollydale Knits at Purl Yarns
Hand-dyed; knitting yarn

Moseley Wool Store on eBay
hand-spun; hand-dyed; knitting yarns; hand knits; spinning fibre

stationery with a knitting theme
Knit blogger, Jejune, has her gorgeous knitting art cards for sale. Not fibre, but Jejune is a talented woman and a mate and this is my list.

Myoora Craft
knitting yarns; Polworth; Merino; Alpaca

Nola’s Funky Fibres at the Bead and Opal Wool Queen
Hand-dyed; hand-spun; knitting yarns

Nundle Woollen Mill
Knitting yarn

Pear Tree Yarns online at
Knitting yarns

Pierre the Yarn Snob
stitch-markers; hand-dyed; knitting yarn

Potty Knitter knitting patterns; knitted and felted garmets and accessories on eBay

Rainbow Wools and from Ozeyarn
hand-dyed; knitting yarns; dyes; spinning fibre

Sheeps Clothing Made It, Etsy and Blog
hand-dyed, hand-knits, knitted accessories

Hand-dyed, spinning fibre, hand-spun; knitting yarns

Signatur Handknits and at Ozeyarn
Kits; knitting yarns

Siren's Fibre Yarns on Oztion
Handy-dyed; knitting yarns

Spin ‘n’ Knit Fibre Design on eBay
Spinning fibre; knitting yarn; accessories; hand knits

Supasoft Alpaca Carding Services
Will card and spin alpaca for you

Suzanne's House of Wool
hand-dyed; knitting yarns; hand-spun; spinning fibre; accessories

Tasknits Collection
Hand-dyed; knitting yarns; spinning fibre

That Spinning Place
Spinning fibre; knitting yarn; hand-dyed; hand-spun; accessories

The Shopping Sherpa Made It and Blog
hand knits; accessories

The Uralla Wool Room incorporating Mollydale Knits
Hand-dyed; knitting yarn; kits; patterns; accessories

Tizteazles on eBay
hand-spun; hand-dyed; knitting yarns

Tree Tops
Spinning fibre, hand-dyed, knitting yarn

Waverley Woollen Mills
knitting yarn

Wendy Dennis
Hand-dyed; knitting yarn; spinning fibre; knitting needles; spinning wheels; drop spindles

Wool Cottage
knitting yarn; patterns

Wool Dancer
Hand-dyed; hand-spun; knitting yarn

Xanadu Llamas
knitting yarn; Llama; spinning fibre

Xotic Yarns
stocks Nundle knitting yarn

Hand-dyed; knitting yarn

Some On-line Shops Supporting Local Indie Producers

All Eco Natural and Organic Living
knitting yarns - recycled sari silk, banana fibre yarn, hemp yarn , organic wool and organic cotton yarns

Bead and Opal Wool Queen
Hand-dyed; hand-spun; knitting yarns; hand knits

Glenora Weaving

Hawthorne Cottage

The Knittery
Hand-dyed; knitting yarns

Fibreworks; Belissa Cashmere et al; hand-dyed; knitting yarns

Purl Yarns
Pear Tree Yarns

Rare Yarns
NZ company using Aus fibre, among others

Spin ‘n’ Knit Fibre Design and on eBay
Spinning fibre; knitting yarn; accessories; hand knits

Styk to Your Knitting
Hand-dyed; knitting yarn; Corriedale

That Spinning Place
Spinning fibre; knitting yarn; hand-dyed; hand-spun; accessories

Virginia Farm Woolworks
Spinning fibre; spinning equipment; dyes; accessories; knitting yarn

Wool Cottage
knitting yarn; patterns

Yarns Online Australia

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Totem (the OTHER kind)

Over the years, lots of people have told me about their totem animals. I've never had one - until now.

Litoria peronia, sometimes known as The Maniacal Cackle Frog.

We're indexing photos of local amphibians at the moment. This is a fantastic website. It's only slightly ironic that my parting words on leaving general reference work in a public library were "at least I'll never have to do another *&*()!@! frog homework assignment again".

I have been knitting, I just haven't been blogging - promise to update soon-ish.