Tag Archives: yarn bombing



We spent Christmas with my beloved’s family and my daughter in Melbourne.  We were in Melbourne, so yarn bombs were to be expected, but this one on a major city street was a serious commitment, with lace and cables and a a lot of pom poms, offering the colours of the rainbow.  maybe it was someone’s statement on the whole same sex marriage debate our country has all too recently been having?

I did not expect to be surrounded by dye plants!  There were dye eucalypts all round where we were staying: E Cinerea, E Sideroxylon, and even more exciting, E Polyanthemos! Also, rhagodia in fruit.


Even more exciting still, Indigofera Australis, and a lot of it.  I just had no way to dye with any of it in the time we were there.  I just had to be content with admiration.


Filed under Dye Plants

Yarn bombing


Sometimes a person spins a yarn but there isn’t anything sensible to knit it into.  Perhaps there isn’t really enough of it, or it was an experiment.  Or it’s badly spun.  or too… something… to ever be a garment.  This is banana fibre and wool dyed with madder exhaust, being knit on an evening in Warrnambool a while back. Not enough for anything I can think of.  What to do?  Well, the title of the post gave it away.

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I’ve been working my way through all kinds of leftover weirdness in my stash (and needless to say, creating more weirdness as I go).  One fine day over Easter I went for a walk with these.

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Here is the banana fibre.


This is combing waste from spinning sock yarn.

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All those short ends and grass seeds, so troublesome in a sock, won’t bother anyone now! While I was applying this one to a pole, a local sculptor pulled up on his mozzie bike and had quite a chat about what I was doing and what he was doing and the importance of treating one’s neighbourhood as a shared place for beautification, care, thought and cleaning up.  I’d seen his sculptures around and he’d seen my “beloved tree” banners.  Now we’ve met.


This is lock spinning over a core, leftover from knitting a tea cosy (another good use for weird wools). Now it is over by a tram stop.

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Badly spun coils that won’t hold together for long unless felted.


Now adorning a pole… where they will felt in the weather.

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Core spinning–it made a great tea cosy, but there were just a couple of metres left!

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Indigo dyed carding waste.

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What even is that?? Well, now it’s a blur of colour as you ride your bike past!

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Leftover strips of indigo dyed worn out t shirts the main parts of which are slowly awaiting conversion to their next life (cut out and partly stitched).


Close up…

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This one is at a tram stop.  I wonder how long it will last? Finding out is part of the fun of yarn bombing…

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Filed under Knitting, Natural dyeing, Neighbourhood pleasures, Spinning

A little guerilla gardening

This morning I went out in the grey dawn for a little guerilla gardening, wearing a flour-bag shirt that has been dipped in indigo!


Evidently I was in a hurry, and so the blurred image… ruby saltbush and a type I have not identified yet, that I call scrambling saltbush.  It’s already fruiting in the pot.  The days over 40C killed so many plants at home and in the neighbourhood that I have not been planting for weeks. I’ve just been weeding and picking up rubbish and thinking about autumn.  The season of cuttings and root division.  The season when the plants that are in pots now might be able to make a go of life in the big wide world.


I took the seedlings to a site a street over where a big ironbark came down in a storm.  The trunk was cut away and removed but much of the crown of the tree as well as the root mass has been left as it fell or was cut.  I’ve begun carting it away.  The conversation I had with a neighbour I don’t really know when I was doing this recently was very funny.  I was strolling down the street towing a big green bin on wheels.  This is the way “green waste” (anything that can be composted) is collected in my council area. It gets chipped and composted commercially.  He said to me “most people take a dog out for a walk” and laughed a bit at my taking my bin for a walk instead.  I decided to maintain the mystery (I am not sure people really want full disclosure at times like these) and joked back.  He was still there when I towed it back up the street full of dead branches, so I made a joke about whether the bin enjoyed the walk as much as a dog would have.  I thought maybe I had a better time than the bin.


I had started planting out one end of this site before the tree came down, so I planted some more, and continued moving branches off plants and shifting big branches back toward the driest area where nothing will grow.  Then picked up the rubbish, removed an old yarn bomb that had descended to the ground and begun to rot away, and came home again.  Off to work in the Very Hungry Caterpillar shirt.  I think the print is so cheery no one notices the size of the shirt (or if they do, they are way too polite to say anything about it). I can live with that!

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Filed under Neighbourhood pleasures

Three cheers for the Goody Patch!

We have a wonderful local community garden (there are several locally, but this is the neighbourhood treasure).  It’s called the Goody Patch–partly because it’s attached to the Goodwood Primary School and partly because it is a source of goodies (good things).  Here’s the welcome mosaic.

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Recently it had a birthday party.  There were early zucchini (courgettes).

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There were herbs, and beds celebrating the cuisines of particular communities.

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Intriguing shade structures and indications of ingenuity with repurposed hard rubbish…

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And flowers!

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There was some vertical gardening…

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And all manner of gardening gloriousness, together with the odd bit of yarnbombing (look at the fence in the background below).  It was a great celebration of this garden, which has gone from humble beginnings in a small area to its current much bigger size and range of activities.  If I am able to go past during the schoolday, there are schoolchildren in there excitedly learning to propagate.  On the weekend there are adults and children working together.  There is always plenty to look at and admire.  I went home munching on a chocolate chip and fresh mint biscuit (it was green and delicious) and carting  a few additions to our garden from one of the many stalls.  So here’s to a neighbourhood treasure and all those who initiated it and sustained it until, as one friend said, it reached a critical mass.

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Filed under Neighbourhood pleasures

Crafting locally…

I made these socks on many bus trips and on a trip to a conference interstate where I had more knitting time than usual.  But they are for a small friend who loves very close by.  He pulled them on with glee within minutes of taking them out of their package, which made me feel pretty gleeful too!  They’ve been indigo dyed on patonyle superwash sock yarn.

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There were a lot of comments about my knitting at the conference. People who are surprised to find my hand made sock looks just like a sock from the shop!  People who aren’t sure if that is knitting or crochet.  People who think knitting is too complicated for them.  Seriously!  It’s not rocket science.  I do find it hilarious when people who have written books, can operate computers, can drive car or can raise children–think they may not be able to learn to knit.  Most don’t really want to, which is fine.  But I don’t readily accept that people don’t have the capacity.  Willingness, and for that matter, quiet time,  is a whole other thing.

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When we went to do the local shop this week, there was evidence of other people crafting locally.

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These were in the planters on the nearby main road.  So cute!

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I suspect the Viva La Broad Bean yarn bombers, who have a made a project of decorating our neighbourhood. One of them t0ld me a while back she had saved one of my yarn bombs when the pole it was stitched onto was removed and it was thrown to the ground and treated like rubbish.  She took it home and washed it ready to re-apply it.  What a woman!  So–shouting out to VLBB, who made me smile at the shops this week 🙂



Filed under Knitting, Neighbourhood pleasures

Yarn bombers hit Christie Downs!


There are some great yarn bombs going on in Christie Downs right now.  I had a tip from a friend!


The snakes are extra good…


But they’re all pretty splendid, I reckon.


Evidently these yarn bombers have plans to yarn bomb the railway station, which could really use a little love… if you want to help out you’d be welcomed.


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Filed under Knitting

Local yarnbombing…

Some of the recent trash batt yarns and some other odds and ends have begun their life in the wider world as yarn bombs. I set out for a stroll with three swatches.


This was the first to go up.  It’s an all trash batt–including overlocker waste. As I began to attach it to its wonky, leaning pole, a father rode past on his bike accompanied by a child, also on a bike.  He called out to the child: ‘Look, there’s someone yarnbombing!’ and stopped to tell me about the best yarn bomb he ever saw (on Kangaroo Island).  I admit, I had not expected to be the subject of instruction to small children.  Since I was in my own neighbourhood, next came a friend who lives nearby, and then another (I introduced them) and there was speculation about the Viva La Broad Bean yarnbombers/guerilla gardeners and other yarnbombs in the vicinity.  The Broad Beans were appreciated and complimented in their absence.


This one has gone up on a pole which is topped by a mirror to allow visibility around a tricky corner.  It turned out the tea cosy I made from this yarn contained all but the last few felted bits and bobs, so this is mostly a natural grey yarn bomb.  Yes, the stitching is going in two directions. In a moment of whimsy I decided to pick up and knit the second half at ninety degrees to the first, partly so the felted parts wouldn’t all be along an edge.


Finally, this is on one of the main access points for the local train station (yes, that is a suburban train in the background).  This yucky greenish paint is the one preferred for public transport infrastructure and fencing in our area, and it could certainly use improvement.  These colours are from coreopsis and indigo.


I have placed these friendly emblems on either side of the Viva La Broad Beans’ guerilla garden and yarnbomb festival in hopes it will encourage the Broad Beans and contribute to the neighbourhood cheering up programme. The evening I saw the Broad Beans’ handiwork for the first time, a neighbour engaged me in a painful, heartbroken conversation about all that has happened locally in the last year.  I took her to see the guerilla garden to cheer her up. As I left home this time, and before I could apply crochet hook to pole, she chased me down the street and I had a long conversation with her about anger and grievances, loss and grief.

As one of the friends who came by and stayed to chat while I was applying knitting to pole said, there has been a lot to contend with and a lot to make people feel discouraged in our area over the last year.  She said the Viva La Broad Beans’ handiwork had made her feel a whole lot better and uplifted her.  I hope I can make a small contribution by their side.

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Filed under Knitting, Neighbourhood pleasures

How diverting!

Experiments in diverting textile waste from the rubbish bin or compost continue… The lavender wool and the entirely waste batt are all spun up.  In the end, I plied the trash batt with a single of the lavender wool.  I can’t say I expected loveliness, and to my mind this is not lovely. As for the spinning experience: it was fine to spin though my lack of foresight about a plying strategy wasn’t ideal and I didn’t think a chain 3 ply would work.  I also have to say that even with a  generous apron under my drafting zone, this yarn shed loads of pieces of chopped thread at every stage, which didn’t make me popular with my beloved.


These yarns are destoned for yarnbomb glory.  I knit then into K2P2 ribbing and will apply them when I’ve chosen a suitable spot and the rain and wind abate!


On the other hand, here is a corespun yarn made from the batt composed of white polwarth locks, eucalyptus dyed corriedale carding waste and overlocker waste (much of it from leaf printed fabrics).  I like this very much. I think the ratio of polwarth to other inclusions is part of what works, but so is the texture of the polwarth–it helps hold everything together.  The happy combination of colours doesn’t go astray either…



Filed under Knitting, Spinning

WordPress Family Blog Award

Some time ago I was kindly nominated for the WordPress family Blog Award by tinkerbellknits, who has a lovely blog you might like to visit.  Thanks so much, tinkerbellknits!


Award Description:
“This is an award for everyone who is part of the “Word Press Family” I start this award on the basis that the WordPress family has taken me in, and showed me love and a caring side only WordPress can. The way people take a second to be nice, to answer a question and not make things a competition amazes me here. I know I have been given many awards, but I wanted to leave my own legacy on here by creating my own award, as many have done before. This represents “Family” we never meet, but are there for us as family. It is my honour to start this award.”


I am in turn nominating the following bloggers as people who have had a positive impact on my experience as a blogger… through their writing and what its shows about their craft and their values, their modelling of what a blog could be and what a blogger could be.

I hope you might check out their blogs.

Cossack design http://cossackdesigns.wordpress.com/

Wendi of the Treasure http://wendiofthetreasure.com/

Grackle and Sun http://grackleandsun.wordpress.com/

Sea Green and Sapphire http://seagreenandsapphire.wordpress.com/

Pia at Colour Cottage http://colourcottage.wordpress.com/

R1K1Spin http://run1knit1spin.wordpress.com/

Deb McClintock http://debmcclintock.wordpress.com/

Trembling Inside the Cocoon http://tremblinginsidethecocoon.wordpress.com/

HXGreen Soul http://hxgreensoul.wordpress.com/

SeattleSpinner http://seattlespinner.com/

My thanks to all those who have supported this blog–I started out quite unsure whether I would enjoy or persist with it, and I find that I do and I will.

…and since we have been talking yarn bombs a little lately, here are some I added to the local bike path quite a while back.  They are some of my early experiments in art yarn–some even made at a workshop with the inimitable Jacey Boggs (others made after poring over her book or DVDs).  Cocoons, corespun, beehives and supercoils.

Collage of Yarn bombs


Filed under Leaf prints, Neighbourhood pleasures, Spinning

Further experiments in converting textile waste

I have been wondering about trying some more spinning experiments with waste from the overlocker and the carding process.  There is nothing like yarn bombing to make me consider any kind of yarn useable!  Yarn bombing is even more forgiving than teapots when it comes to the texture and qualities of the fibre concerned… and there is an argument for only using fibres that can’t be made into clothing or blankets for yarn bombing, I think.  So in a  burst of carding enthusiasm, I’ve been preparing batts.

First up, carding waste (corriedale dyed with eucalypt), overlocker waste (from bag making, mostly–silk, cotton, linen and some polyester blend) and some polwarth locks to hold it all together.  Here it is going into the drum carder:


Carded and ready to spin.


More fabric scraps and overlocker thread in some parts than others…


While I was on the job, I carded some rough lavender wool of unknown origin.  It was discarded by the felting group at the Guild: say no more!   I re-washed it, which improved its texture and cleanliness somewhat…


The felters also passed on this green fibre of unknown origin, which was improved very much by re-washing and carded out beautifully.  I have added dyed mohair locks and silk noil, and we’ll see if it can become a repectable art yarn.


Carding waste from those two batts and some more overlocker waste…


I’ll report back when I’ve tried turning these away from the waste stream and into something of use!


Filed under Fibre preparation