500 Year Vision

Take pleasure from walking lightly on this Earth

Spinning surprises


When I was small my mum bought a spinning wheel which was sent in a box from New Zealand. We learned how to card wool (to straighten out the fibres so it can be spun) and used all sorts of things to dye the wool after we’d spun it… we saved our onion skins for months, and experimented with spice. The result of all this was somewhat uninspiring turmeric scented browns when our friends wore Cerise pink and electric blue.

The spinning wheel is now on it’s way to Novy Mlyn – and is in need of a bit of repair. I was telling our neighbour about it (I say ‘telling’ and mean performing – I have at my disposal simple words and acting out – rather than the word for spinning wheel in Czech – kolovratek).  His reaction was way more interest than I expected (another strangeness from the strange English couple in the village) & he explained that he’d actually had to throw wool away in the past as nobody wanted it. He has sheep for flavour, not for wool, so the strands aren’t very long, but I am very happy to try it out – if it’s unsuitable for producing yarn, I will certainly be able to use it for felt – and I can experiment with different natural dyes as well.

While I’m working on the house I’m also thinking about activity holidays at Novy Mlyn… as well as knitting we now have the potential to take part in the whole process… a knitting holiday could involve meeting the sheep whose wool we will spin, dye and knit.  Now… I wonder if I can persuade our neighbour to adopt some Alpaca.

Engineer cap knitting pattern perfected


This pattern is knit in one piece, including the visor or brim. There is a flap and button on the band, which can be positioned to fit the wearer exactly.   I knitted the first version of this hat as a Christmas present for my friend Vladka.  When I finished the second version, my husband asked me to knit him one (I’m pleased because he’s never asked me to knit him something… he must really like it – and it’s a more masculine design than the baker’s boy cap).

So, tonight I will go through my instructions to double check them, then list the pattern on payloadz, etsy and ebay.


Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

Baker’s boy hat knitting pattern



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Quick gloves knitting pattern – mobile phone perfect



There has been a sudden drop in temperature. I needed gloves which were quick to make, warm and practical. The solution was to knit a glove that is made in one piece with no sewing required; and for speed, knitted horizontally instead of vertically in a chunky wool.

Because of the cold, I don’t personally like fingerless gloves or mittens, which have to be removed every time you need to do anything with your hands. These are a good compromise. Read the rest of this entry »