I am currently in the middle of a making tornado.  I’m playing with clay, dyeing, weaving, knitting and why not try to squeeze in a bit of sewing too.  I’m going to catch you up on where this is all headed, but first, a bit of back story.

My #1year1outfit plan fell apart in August, when months of slowly worked cables started to go off course. “Danger, danger” my needles shouted!!  PUT THE NEEDLES DOWN, YOU ARE NEVER GOING TO MAKE IT.  They were right, I had stretched myself too far and the cables had disintegrated into a lumpy mess.  One very quick 15 minutes later I sat with two balls of wool on my lap and took stock.  I needed a new plan.

Knitting

I gathered all my local supplies and reassessed.  I couldn’t knit my showpiece before the end of the year.  I also realised that I needed more alpaca if I wanted to weave enough for a skirt.  Dreams smashing onto the floor in a dramatic manner……smaaaaaash!

Dream smashing drama over and I suddenly got all pragmatic.  I didn’t need more fiber just a new plan. Much Ravelry and Pinterest staring and getting distracted later I had it.

I would use my black alpaca for a knitted top and dye half of a larger lot of Bilby Yarns hand spun for weaving instead.  600g in total is a lot to dye so I considered my dyeing results to date and did a trial run of the 3 things I could get in abundance – wattle flowers (yellow fawn – which had been pruned by a shop owner and acquired happily), marri bark (pink) and sour grass (yellow) which had started to sprout everywhere.    It would be obvious which of the colours I went with!

dyeing with wattle, soursob, marri bark Waste not, want not, I made these little tester wool bundles I added in some red ironbark and a creamy alpaca bundle and pom-pomed my way to a win.

Pompoms

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I present my first make for my official outfit!  A simple knitted headband of grey alpaca mill offcuts and a flower garnish of local colours. From top clockwise: Marri bark, red ironbark, alpaca,sour grass and wattle.

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//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsStay tuned as there is plenty more to come in this bonanza.  In parts 2 to 5 of this little series we will talk:  felting, indigo dyeing Japanese style, weaving preparations, making local buttons from clay and making silk yarn from cocoons!  Things are happening people, finally!

If you haven’t been following along with the other contestants you MUST drop over to Sue’s and Carolyn’s houses on the web.  They each have several blog posts on their garments which go from head to toe all 100% West Australian.

A little arty shot to finish : )3-DSC_3230