Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Glorious Gradual Gradients

I've just finished up a big wholesale order of Gradual Gradient yarns:

There are 40 x 100g balls, in four different rainbow colourways (Primary Rainbow, Gypsy Rainbow, Sandry's Rainbow and Pastel Rainbow). The yarn is a sinfully soft organic and free-trade baby alpaca called Angel Touch, a sportweight yarn.

These will be exclusively available from Ecoyarns soon.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The wild, wild west

A lot has changed since I entered WAHM-dom by opening Jolly Jumbuck on Ozebaby way back in August 06. Back then, there were only a handful of dyers in Australia and it seemed a more genteel time. A time where etiquette played a larger part than it does now.

Dyers respected others' colourways, names of colourways, and even the base yarns used. If XY of OPQ Yarns was using Blackberry Ridge, for example, I would think long and hard before adding BBR to my line of yarns. If I named a colourway the same or similar to another dyer's, I would get a polite but firm email to please change the name on mine to avoid confusion.

Now, it's a free-for-all. Signature colourways have been replicated, yarn bases copied ad hoc, colourway names the same (there are some skeins for sale RIGHT NOW that have similar or identical names to mine)... it's easy to take it personally but I try not to. Or I would go nuts.

That said, it's time for a new direction in my dyeing. Rather than giving it up completely next year, I think I can be organised to have yarn prep nights before M's school days, and dye about once a week. I'm giving up "colourways". I'll be dyeing OOAK sets of skeins and that's all I will have for sale. This fits in with me and my current mood as an indie dyer in this environment.

*undyed yarn* LOVE

As some of you may have noticed, I'm trying to clear some room by having an *undyed yarn* sale. Well it's been going well and I've cleared quite a few totes -- creative storage is a must in this house.

I only skein up the yarn as I get the orders in, so I've been playing with quite a lot of undyed yarn in the past couple of weeks. I really do miss this part of dyeing, the skeins have so much potential and are just lovely in their natural state.

The sale was recently boosted by a large order from a very special customer... I can't wait to see what goodies she comes up with with all these "canvases"!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Matilda's NEW diet

We received some really disappointing news yesterday. I feel as though we are taking one step forwards, and two steps back! A bit of history...

A few months ago Matilda was diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), high functioning. Roy had done some research on the net and a lot of parents are finding better results with their autistic child on a GF/CF (gluten free, dairy casein free) diet. So we went on the GF/CF diet for about four months, it was a really hard slog. *Everything* seems to have gluten in it... even lollies of all brands. She was having her own packed lunch at daycare, usually extra's from the night before.

Then, we decided to get her tested for food intolerances with the Imupro 100 test. Not cheap, and getting the blood sample wasn't exactly a walk in the park either. So we went back to an unrestricted diet for about a month so that she will have gluten and casein back in her system. The test tests for IgG antibodies to specific foods.

The unrestricted diet was *wonderful*!! We were all much relaxed and happier, and Matilda was making leaps and bounds of progress with her speech and behaviour. She now speaks in full sentences and we can actually have conversations now. She has really blossomed in the past few months.

Well, yesterday the results from the Imupro test came back. Not only is she moderately intolerant to gluten, she is severely intolerant to cow's milk and chicken eggs (goodbye, chooks)! And also, she is moderately intolerant to tomatoes and bizarrely, watermelon. She is even slightly intolerant to rice, which is a staple of our gluten-free diet.

Now, I am not a great cook. I have about five or six dishes in my repertoire and that's it. With the new diet, two more dishes are now out of bounds -- spaghetti bolognese (with gluten free pasta) and quiche (with no pastry or really expensive GF pastry). And baked beans, her very favourite. I just don't know what to cook anymore, especially knowing that she has a slight intolerance to rice as well!!

So, feeling a bit lost and desperate at the moment...

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Damn VM!!!

This is a frustration overload post. Last week I dyed up two 200g lots of Australian Superfine (17 micron) Merino top, in the Vegas and Wild Orchid colourways. I wanted to make M some pretty dresses, and since I haven't been able to knit anything but my handspun lately, I thought I would seriously enjoy the projects. The dye jobs turned out beautiful, I was really happy.

Well I hung them out to dry, BUT forgot to peg them. That night the wind was wild (it's often very windy where we are). The next morning I woke to find both rovings on the lawn, and coated in lawn clippings!! Roy had just mowed the lawn.

So now it's going to take me literally hours to pick out all the VM out of the roving before I can spin it! To add to my frustration, I just picked up my new Joy sliding flyer from the post office but now have nothing to spin!

By the way, Ashford NZ (they rock) found the last electric spinner (for my model) motor in captivity and sent it over. Dr Mike did the heart replacement surgery but Sadie was a little noisy, so Dr Roy opened her up again and finetuned things, now she spins like a dream! I only use her for plying these days as she has awesome huge bobbins and I really enjoy treadling with my new Joy.

We're going camping in one spot by the coast over Xmas, and guess who will be coming along? Suzie! (my Joy). I like to take her out to the back yard and spin while watching the horses next door. She's even been out to Citinits, travelling on the train. I'm so pleased with my choice of wheel...

Monday, August 31, 2009

Heart transplant failed :(

Thank you lovely ladies who left a comment. It's nice to know someone is out there ;)

I have bad news; Sadie's heart transplant failed. I drove to the sewing machine shop nice and early... but the guy took one look at the spinner and went out back... and came back with a motor probably older than Sadie itself. I took it home, Roy and his offsider took a look at it, pulled everything apart but couldn't make it work. They're pretty clued on when it comes to things like this so I took their word at it. Drove back to the shop for a refund. Sigh... still no wheel. I am so spin-less; I just don't feel much like knitting.

Plan B: I am in contact with Ashford for a replacement motor heart, so all is not lost... yet.

Also, I will soon have a new Ashford girl in my life; I have just placed an order for an Ashford Joy spinning wheel!

AND, Jolly Jumbuck is now an Ashford dealer :) I am slowly loading the products up at the shop

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Open heart surgery

I haven't posted for so long, I don't think anyone is reading anymore. Anyhow...

This is Sadie:

She is a circa 1990's (???) Ashford "Motorized Spinner" that I recently purchased off the first and only owner. I have been resisting learning to spin for so long, always saying "not till Matilda goes to school", but I had to give in. I bought a drop spindle but was horrible at it, the spindle wouldn't spin for very long before changing directions.

So when Sadie came up for sale in the Hand Spinners and Weavers Guild newsletter, I snapped her up. She's great to spin on, but a little bit like driving an automatic as opposed to a manual car.

Two nights ago, her motor just seized. Roy had a look at it and says the motor is stuffed. Fortunately it was labelled "Sewing Motor" so we've found a place in Perth that services and sells parts for sewing machines. I'm looking forward to heading there tomorrow, and hopefully Roy can wire in her new heart. I've been going bonkers the last couple of days; have some lovely hand-dyed fibre to spin for a swap, but no wheel.
Dear Diary Blogger Template