Monday, 14 March 2016

A Day at the Market

Last Sunday was the first market for the year for the Hawthorn Craft Market.  I was better organised than usual – the tea towels were all labelled and dry rather than finished so late they were still slightly damp as things are sometimes when I run out of time.

They looked pretty good piled up

I made them using draft from Handwoven, September/October 2014, on an olive drab 8/2 warp. The colour was a bit out of my blue green comfort zone but I was pleased with the results.  I used linen in the warp for 2 of them and despite hearing horror stories about linen, kept the bobbins slightly damp and had no dramas.

I even ‘cold mangled’ them between the stone bench top and the rolling pin.  It certainly made a difference to the ones with linen or cotton-linen blend wefts as this picture shows where the line about a quarter of the way along on the left hand side, is the boundary between the right hand corner which has already been rolled and the unrolled part.  This yarn was a slubby cotton/linen blend.

A customer came past and asked where they were made, clearly thought they were from a sweat shop in a distant land.  ‘Glen iris’, I said naming the adjacent suburb where I live, and occasionally think I have my own personal sweat shop.  I was discussing this exchange with my neighbour on the next stall who was new to the market, it turned out I had been at university with her sister.  Sometimes I think Melbourne is a very small town.

I usually take some hand work for the quiet times, fringing, knitting, whatever needs to be done and is portable.  The only thing I had to take this time was my drop spindle and some very colourful roving.  I thought it would add a bit of colour and movement to the stall but the funny thing was that very few people commented on it at all, to the point where I began to feel it was a bit like an affliction that would be impolite to mention.  As we were packing up, the friends who sell hand spun yarn and knitted articles made from hand spun at the market remarked that I’d got quite a lot done.  I said how strange it was that very few people had mentioned it.  That’s when they said that a lot of people had gone to them to tell them that I was spinning.  Who knows what the passers-by thought but if they thought I was setting up in competition, they obviously hadn’t seen how slowly I spindle spin.  Any yarn made on the spindle will be precious indeed and certainly not for sale.

The unmentionable spindle and roving

It’s been a long weekend and while I had many plans on Friday, not much seems to have been done. I did find time to tidy the studio, remove all the mess from the tea towels and get the yarns back into the boxes where they belong, all ready to start a new warp, I feel something snake skin like happening.

I have finished spinning some yarn from 200 gm of First Editions merino and silk roving I won at the Geelong Show last year.   I thought it would be good if the 2 small bobbins

could be plied on to one of the large bobbins and while it did just fit,

it reminded me of one of those very woolly sheep who emerge from the bush from time to time having escaped from their flock and missed several visits from the shearer.



  1. Great post, obviously lots happening. How high is the towel pile now?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Hi Dianne, the pile is 2 fewer than the picture after I sold 2, and everything else became a Christmas present or has been sold. I'm happy with that as I need them for the next market and there are other things in the queue before more towels