Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Hand-turned spinning tools

Courtesy of my very talented father-in-law, I now have some lovely spinning wheel orifice hooks for sale. Each one is unique and they are all hand-turned in different woods. I also have some niddy-noddys and nostepinnes but haven't managed to photograph these yet, but they will be appearing soon.

Here they are in close-up. As you can tell, I took these, not Pete so they are a bit "basic" : )

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Handspun Orenburg lace - wrap pattern done!

Those of you who know me will know that fine lace knitting is not really my "thing", but since we've started selling the (absolutely gorgeous) handspun silk and goat down Orenburg lace yarn I have been trying to resist an unexpected desire to design and knit a lace shawl.

Anyway, I've finally taken the plunge and the finished design will be featured in Simply Knitting in June (hence no piccie). I have exciting plans for a range of hand-dyeds to complement the design (here are a couple of the initial trial skeins, jet and misty mountain hop)

When I've decided on the best colourways (and I might have to do lots of testing : grins: they will be on offer for SK readers, so keep checking the newspage on the site.

For those of you who, like me, like to know a bit about their yarns, this unique yarn is handspun from the softest down of goats which are native only to this part of the world. Bred to survive the cold temperatures of the Orenburg region, in the shadow of the Ural mountains, the goats have a downy undercoat which is gently handcombed once per season. This down is then spun by hand around a silk thread, which gives the yarn strength and a beautiful sheen. The fine yarns are then used to make the world-renowned Orenburg lace shawls. As I knit my shawl I feel honoured to share just a tiny part in bringing this fabulous tradition to the UK. I'm also marvelling that anyone has the patience and skill to spin anything so fine - it puts my earlier spinning post to shame : Blushes :

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