Archive for the ‘Spinning Wheel’ Category

Spinning Yarn: Tauranga Spinners #109

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

 My flight to Tauranga came in the middle of myChristchurchvisit. I wanted to see the North and to visit the Majacraft Spinning Wheel company, present to them a report of my trip and to meet the local spinners who would be interested to hear about my Spinning inAntarctica. Majacraft supplied the Little Gem (whom I have named “Mawson”; all my 38 spinning wheels have names) for me to take toCapeDenisonand report on the effects of extreme temperatures on the workings of the mechanisms – polymer driveband, bearings and oiling, the cold on all the moving parts, its portability and its hypnotic quality.

 Hypnotic quality? Why, yes – just ask the Adelie penguin who chatted with me for about 15 minutes!

 The Spinners loved the presentation, and made a donation to the Mawson’s Huts Foundation as a thank you, and for their part in its restoration. The Tauranga group are numerous, about 25 ladies there on the day I visited, and very active and supportive of the local Spinning Wheel company. I was made to feel very welcome. Thank you, Ladies.

 

 

Mawson looks out in approval….#104

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

Before attempting the balacava with the actual Antarctic  Yarn,  I have better try a practice pattern, eh? I’ve nutted out the pattern using similar yarn, that we spunl Melbourne Show.  Using the correct needles and the bulky white yarn, I began the 7×7 rib, to see how it would turn out. As you can see, Sir Douglas is pleased….

Now on to the real thing…..

…And the Winner is…..#103

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

The Overall winner of the Photo competition  is JOANNE BAILEY of Rowville, Victoria, Australia. I knitted and crocheted a hat and matching scarf,  using the “Antarctic Sunrise” Yarn (see post #    ). Not only did it fit perfectly, but she was thrilled with  the colours and standard of the work! Joanne will be wearing this with pride, physical proof of her ability to use a camera, something that she has been very interested in for a long time. ”

Travelling around gives you a good perspective  and lots of subject matter”, she says!

Exactly Right! 

Well done, Joanne!

Spinning Yarn: Majacraft MajaSponsor! #101

Monday, August 15th, 2011

The plan to take my spinning wheel to Antarctica, (fuelled by a dare from my brother), required a bit of research into the most convenient wheel to take. I had been looking at taking a wheel that was compact and very portable, but also one with endurance which was friendly to use, and my research led me to Majacraft, a New Zealand based company in the North Island – at Tauranga. When Glenis and Owen Poad of Majacraft heard about my trip to Antarctica, they wanted to be part of it, and so offered me the Little Gem.

 Made of New Zealand “Rimu” wood, each piece matched for colour and growth ring pattern, it is also modern is size and shape. It is an elegant wheel, by any standards. The polymer drivebands are guaranteed to a temperature of minus 30 for 20 minutes, which was ideal for me at my destination. Add to that the functional and compact carry bag, and it is a wheel for the most discerning Antarctic traveller!

Spinning Yarn: Knitcola and the Spinning Shop #97

Monday, July 25th, 2011

 Ashford is a worldwide and famous spinning wheel company, very popular with all spinners, and, located in Ashburton, on the way to Christchurch, I fully intended to stop and visit, telling them about Antarctica and my spinning adventure. It was 4pm when I arrived, and the sign on the door said closing at 430pm. Whew! Just in time!

 Nicola is a lovely lady who has a long association with Ashford wheels, and who now runs the on-site shop stocking wheels, accessories and fibre of all kinds. We had a great chat about all things spinning and she gave me a tour of the shop. It was 530pm when I left I left happy, more informed and with a much needed spinning boost!

Spinning Yarn: How Far toChristchurch? #95

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Leaving the ship was not a complicated as it could have been. We said all our passenger goodbyes the night before and had only to wait for our bags to be put on the dock. Some passengers had hotel reservations for Dunedin, some had planes to catch, others had more local sightseeing to do…And me? Well I needed to hire a car – one way —to Christchurch.

The car rental company I spoke to before I left Melbourne told me to call them when I arrived in Dunedin – and I did – but they were not open for the public holiday! Nor were they available the next day, so I boarded Orion without having booked a vehicle. Upon our return, a Saturday morning, I called again. They were open this time, but sorry, they do not do one way trips. (They could have told me that in Melbourne!) Obviously, I was not happy, but I was not worried, either. …..Faith…..

 Out on the wharf, the car rental companies and taxis waited for us to farewell the Expedition Team, lined up to wave us off and give us our parting gift of a  souvenir photographs CD. The Lady from the local rental company very kindly drove me to the tourist bureau, where another learned lady located the rental car I was to have – right in town! Within 40 minutes of leaving Orion, I was back on the road and away on the next leg of my adventure – A drive up the East Coast of South Island.

 Maybe I should have asked for a map…..Nah…..

Spinning Yarn: What a Swell Ocean This Is! #93

Friday, July 1st, 2011

 The weather had certainly been favourable for our whole trip, so these 10m swells were a special treat. Orion is a small ship by comparison to some who travel the Southern Ocean, certainly with only 100 passengers while other ships take several times that, so I am not so sure that the Captain thought it was such a special treat. Orion is a well-appointed and courageous little ship, ably captained and engineered. Stabilized and making good time, we left Campbell Island behind and made way for Dunedin, sad to be ending the adventure, but glad to be almost back on land again.

 Lisa and I took time to do more spinning and knitting over the last few days and she was pleased with the result of her efforts – a gorgeous scarf of exotic Llama fibre, in two colours, spun by hand, knitted by hand (using chopsticks!) and worn by neck.

 You remember the song? I hope Fred Astaire will forgive my paraphrase of his line, “What a swell party this is”.

Spinning Yarn: I am surprized #84

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

On Macquarie Island, they spin! I was so pleased to see it. I expected to be able to see the rabbit fur being spun, or the baling twine that washes up on the beach to be collected enough to be spun, or the long grass that grows on the far side to be dried and spun, but no…..It was much simpler than that…..

 Check it out…..

Hehehehehehe

Spinning Yarn: Through the Rookeries #63

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

 We reached the end of the cliff face, and paused. The vista before us was breathtaking.

On a mirror sea, the small shore ice floated calmly, watched by the blue-ice cliffs over loaded with the weight of heavy snow. Under a gunmetal grey sky, the picture was one of calm, the palette of colour all in tones of glowing ice blue. The peace broken only by the gurgling of the penguins.

 Beside the cliff and just before the edge, a group of penguins gathered around their dead mate, demanding of me an answer – what I was going to do with him? Nothing, guys- just look and study the feathers – No, they are not spinnable…..

 Taking leave of the multitude of Adelies at that spot, we continued on our way around the cliff, through the rookery to the shore on the other side – a line of red penguins marching single file through the ranks of Adelies in their black and white suits….

Spinning Yarn: Lessons for the Penguins #60

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

While spinning on the ice, I was observed at various times of the day, by seals, by people of course – they did not understand it either – and most of all by curious penguins.

The red penguins just stood there on their walking sticks, hanging about the big square thing waiting to go inside. They made as much noise as any rookery, chatting away while they move the big black eyes that they carry – the eyes that point and click.

 This Blue penguin was not behaving at all like the other red ones – It was sitting on something and moving its flipper feet in a most peculiar way. There was no clicking black eye like the others have (camera) , only a big silver bag containing some blue coloured fluff which seemed to disappear into the tall brown tree. I wonder what this penguin is doing?