Lots of walking – Vlog Episode 18

This week all my activities seemed to have walking involved with them. From checking fences to helping out with cubs and walking just because. It was lovely weather all week, so it was good to take the opportunity to spend some time outside.

Things I talk about:

Badger Weir: https://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/yarra-ranges-national-park/things-to-do/badger-weir-picnic-area
Maroondah Dam: https://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/maroondah-reservoir-park
Bush Tucker Course: http://www.healesvillelearningcentre.org/com_ws.htm
Trello: https://trello.com/en

It’s starting to feel cold – vlog episode 17

It is starting to feel like winter. I talk about my changes in routine to prepare for the cooler weather. Also, we have been a bit sick this week so I talk about what we have done to boost our immune systems and ask what you do to try and stay healthy over winter.

Knitting this week, I have a finished pair of socks and another pair already cast on and almost one sleeve finished of my quiet stars cardigan.

Links to things I talk about:
Quiet Stars: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/quiet-stars
My go to sock pattern (fish lips kiss heel): https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fish-lips-kiss-heel
Episode 9 (technique for self striping socks): https://youtu.be/TfunHNUy1d0

Sock Challenge – Vlog Episode 16

This week I start burning off around the farm to as well as talk about the bush tucker course I am taking. I also give an update on how my sock challenge went.

Links to things I talk about:
Dyed by Hand Yarns: http://dyedbyhandyarns.com/
Mayhem and Chaos: https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/MayhemChaosHandmade
Radiate Sweater: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/radiate-5
Healesville Living and Learning Centre: http://www.healesvillelearningcentre.org/

Nasi’s new yard and a sock challenge

This week on the farm we finish the fence so that Nasi now has a huge yard. In knitting news, Seb has set me the task of trying to remove and replace the heels in a pair of socks I knit for him in 2016.

Links to things I talk about:
My go to sock pattern: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fish-lips-kiss-heel
My free cowl neck poncho pattern: http://bit.ly/PFPoncho
Quiet Stars: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/quiet-stars
Colleens Crafts: https://www.colleenscrafts.com.au/

ANZAC Day & Fencing – Vlog Episode 14

This week we get some fencing done to expand the yard for Nasi and the chickens. Then in creative life I explain my involvement in the 5000 poppy project at Seb’s school.

Links to things I talk about:

Flindra Shawl: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/flindra
Milk & Bamboo fibres: https://www.passionedflower.com/different-yarn-blends-milk-fibre-and-bamboo/

5000 Poppy project: https://5000poppies.wordpress.com/
The Billanook College 5000 poppy installation: http://www.billanook.vic.edu.au/news/billanook-college-poppy-project/ and http://bit.ly/Billanook5000Poppies
Phillip Johnson: http://www.phillipjohnson.com.au/shows-and-exhibitions/

Different Yarn Blends – Milk Fibre and Bamboo

As a hand dyer it is interesting to research and try out different blends. This can be to source new yarn bases for the shop or just to experience and experiment what is available.
I researched the origins and processes involved in bamboo & wool blends as well as yarns containing milk fibre. It was especially interesting to dye each of the blends alongside a wool nylon blend to compare the results.
First a little about these different fibres:

Milk Fibre

As the name suggests milk fibre comes from milk. It is created as a by-product of processing skim milk. A chemical process is used to extract, dry and then turn a powdered protein in to a fibre. It was first used during the 1930s and 40s to make wool and cotton go further. It is said to have anti-bacterial qualities and take colour very well (the protein in milk fibre was also known to be used in early outdoor paint).


Yes, the grass that Panda’s eat! The insides of the stems are processed down and made into a fibre, it has a shiny finish similar to silk. It gives strength when combined with wool, while keeping a drape and breath ability.

My Experiment

In order to test out the new blends I put all three in to the same dye bath (labelled with brightly coloured yarn that would not change colour) and did two different dyeing methods.
Batch 1
First batch I dyed up in Strawberry Shortcake (a repeatable colour that I already have in the shop). This was so that I could compare how the colour takes between my current sock yarn (Gumboot Sock) and the three new bases. Look how differently it comes out across the yarns!
LtoR: Gumboot Sock, 16% milk fibre/85% wool, 50% bamboo/50% wool, 60% bamboo /40% wool
Batch 2
Next I chose to have a play. I tried some shallow immersion dyeing and squirted some dye onto different sections of the yarn, to see how the dyes would absorb and blend on each fibre. Again, some extremely varied results.
LtoR: 16% milk fibre/85% wool, 50% bamboo/50% wool, 60% bamboo/40% wool
The milk fibre yarn took up the dye a lot more than the bamboo, it is quite vibrant and dark. Of the other two, the one with the lower bamboo content seemed to take the colour better, but the one with more bamboo is a lot shinier and has more drape (this could also be due to the spinning method of the yarn as well, the 50/50 blend is a crepe style yarn, which is a bit more dense). The sheen and drape of the bamboo yarn is really lovely.
Once my experimentation was done I kept the two milk fibre skeins as they were and overdyed the lighter bamboo skeins with a silver grey so i could use them in one large project and have them look pretty much the same.

Visit to Unwind Craft Cafe – Vlog Episode 11

This week on the farm I talk about finally getting some rain! Then I venture out to unwind craft cafe to talk about my hand dyed yarn and share some ideas for single skein projects.

Links to things I talk about:
6 seasons: http://www.herringisland.org/seasons1.htm
Unwind Craft Cafe: http://www.unwindcraftcafe.com.au/
Bloom Shawl motif: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bloom-shawl
Pincha Shawl: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/pincha-shawl
Pimpelliese Shawl: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/pimpelliese

Beeswax Wraps – Vlog Episode 10

This week I show you how I made beeswax wraps, with wax from our own hive. I also talk a little about what is happening behind the scenes in my yarn dyeing business.

Beeswax Wraps: https://greenskills.org.au/blog/2018/08/22/new-to-diy-beeswax-wraps-the-dipping-method/
Unwind Craft Cafe: http://www.unwindcraftcafe.com.au/
Rosellas: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosella
My go to for wordpress tutorials: WP Crafter – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjDuxPEhNQ2qn_qAdjRG4YQ
Business Support: Thriver Circle – http://thrivercircle.com/