Welcome to the Revamped ‘Sweet Yarns’ Blog

The Journey so far….

In 2007, I started a little online business – American Yarns.

In 2010, this changed to Yarn Over

In 2015, I started Sweet Yarns NZ

and now….

Sweet Yarns Australia

This blog is a collection of all of my valuable posts and patterns from my years in the knitting and crochet business.  Enjoy reading and downloading these patterns.

I look forward to uploading more patterns when I can and sharing my personal knitting, crochet, spinning and sewing projects.

Feel free to follow me on Facebook!

With Love,

Gabrielle

Recent Spinning Projects

I’m on a bit of a roll with my spinning lately – have tried to shrink the size of my fleece cupboard! LOL!

So here are 4 skeins I have recently spun on my Schacht Ladybug wheel, set to scotch tension:

1. Merino/Tussah silk, approx. 8 ply, 272 yards

2. Brown alpaca, spun from carded fleece – fine/2 ply weight or thinner – 450 yards on this skein:

3. New Zealand Polwarth from www.maudeandme.etsy.com in ‘Gypsy Kids’ colourway, 275 yards, about an 8 ply:

4. Merino/tussah silk in ‘Havasu Falls’ colourway from www.corgihillfarm.etsy.com – 175 yards – about a 10 ply thickness

Handspun Goodness….

I have finally gotten around to taking pics of the handspun I’ve been spinning on my Schacht Matchless wheel.  Pics below with captions.  Enjoy!

A Drop of Merlot - 2 ply bulky, wool (solid burgundy plied with green, yellow pink multi) - first ever plied yarn
Limeade - wool multi in fresh greens - the handspun I'm most proud of because it doesn't have any overspun bits!
Pink Pansy - my second plying project - pink silk plied with pink wool multi - bulky
Stormy Afternoon - alpaca/soysilk multi - not thrilled with the colours...
Neopolitan - alpaca/merino/silk in mint, choc and cherry colours - reminds me of ice-cream!
A holiday in Burgundy - burgundy and olive blend wool from the Mountain Spinnery - Brisbane
Alpacaramel - pure alpaca spun from carded fleece - the first skein from a 1kg fleece
Olive Grove - olive wool and lime pure bamboo - the silver reminds me of the leaves of the olive tree!

My handspun…

Here are some pics of some recent handspun:

The one on the left is the remnants of some pink and green multi wool which I got from the US and the one on the right is a grey, purple and olive mix – also purchased from the US.  Most of the pink one was plied with some pink silk (pictures coming).  The purple multi one I just left as is.  I’m most happy with the pink multi – turned out quite well and without too many over-spun fibres.  The purple one, I was having trouble with my tension, so lots of over-spun strands there.  For subsequent projects, I have changed to a super-slow whorl on my Schacht Matchless wheel and this has decreased the amount of overspun significantly.  I am finding as my spinning progresses, that I am enjoying wool fibres more than anything else.  Have recently been spinning alpaca/wool/silk and this turned out okay, but was hard to draft – very slippery with lots of flyaway fibres everywhere!  I am a lazy spinner and prefer to draft my tops/plaits into long thin strips so that all strands will spin to an even thickness.  If I try to spin directly from the top, it is overspun, thick and thin and generally disastrous!  I know the idea of handspun is so it doesn’t look too commercial, but I guess I like everything to be even and ‘pretty’  LOL!

National Alpaca Week – May 1st to 9th, 2010

Hi All,

Heard on the radio this afternoon, that National Alpaca Week starts on Sunday the 1st of May.  I was going up the Sunshine Coast to pick up my kids from Grandma’s so we decided to stop in to see a farm on our way home.  We went to Sunline Alpacas at Palmwoods, near Nambour on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.  They breed Huacaya alpacas.  The hosts – Jill and Jeff had a nice display of Alpaca products and a Mum and baby (cria) in a pen for us to get close to.  Jeff also brought in some alpacas from a nearby paddock.  Sunline predominantly breeds white but also gets colours from time to time, ranging from fawn through to chocolate and black.  The alpacas all have different personalities and there was one baby there who was quite the talker!  So cute!  It was really interesting to learn more about them and of course while there, I couldn’t resist buying some fleece – a lovely caramel colour – $30 for a kilo. A nice big bag for me to clean, card and spin!

Did You Know….?

  • Alpacas are part of the camelid family (think camels and llamas)
  • Alpacas go to the toilet in one spot (very considerate!)
  • There are two kinds – Huacaya (pronounced wa-cay-a) and Suri
  • Alpacas are herd animals and can be kept as pets but must have another alpaca to hang out with

To commemorate National Alpaca Week, we are offering 10% off all alpaca yarns or alpaca blends in-store.  The following yarns are discounted:

Plymouth Yarn – Baby Alpaca DK

Plymouth Yarn – Baby Alpaca Lace

Plymouth Yarn – Alpaca/merino/silk

You will need the discount code – alpaca10 – to use during checkout

Alpaca yarn is very warm and light – perfect for sweaters, hats, scarves and gloves.

PLUS!  we are also offering a fab competition!

I am really into spinning at the moment and just happen to have some lovely alpaca fleece, carded and ready to spin.  I will spin some into an 8 or 10 ply yarn, 100g skein – ready for you to knit or crochet into something warm and toasty – a hat or scarf perhaps?

To be in the draw to win, simply purchase one of our discounted yarns during alpaca week to receive one entry in the draw.  The winner will be drawn on the 9th May, 2010 and notified by e-mail.

Good luck and have fun – don’t forget to check out the website for the alpaca association (see above) – and go and visit an alpaca farm if you have the chance.