GNU Terry Pratchett

GNU Terry Pratchett

Saturday, January 7, 2012

It's going to be a big year... I am kicking off the first blog update for 2012 with a whole lot of new things! 2011 was a pretty drama-filled year for me - I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia; my youngest son had numerous problems coping at school and was finally officially diagnosed as high-functioning autistic; I underwent major abdominal surgery; I adopted 2 lovely angora rabbits and a lop, and took on a long-term foster angora, and then shortly after that I lost Mr. D. 

I participated in the 2011 Tour de Fleece on Ravelry and spun a personal best of about 10.5km of singles over the course of the tour despite being hampered by hand injuries for a good part of it; discovered Elizabeth Zimmermann's amazing knitting engineering and knit a Tomten jacket for my youngest son and a couple of BSJs for friends' babies (and my soon-to-be-born niece or nephew who is due in February); and perhaps most importantly of all, I started what is now Whorled Domination by making a huge batch of drop spindles (I made 40!) and selling them at the Bendigo Sheep & Wool show through my good friend Charly from IxCHeL Fibre Farm :)

When I started Whorled Domination, I didn't really have any big plans or think long-term about what I wanted to do, other than knowing I wanted to make spindles and eventually dye fibre and maybe yarn to sell alongside them. I knew that as a spindle maker and fibre artist, I am not likely to become a millionaire (lol), but that didn't matter to me - what really mattered was that I wanted to do something I LOVE. It took me the best part of the first 41 years of my life to find what that something was (oddly enough, because I have been a fibre artist in some form for most of my life, starting with learning to sew on my mother's antique Singer treadle machine at about age 3 - she used to sit me on her lap and treadle for me because I was too small to reach, and I would guide the fabric and sew it together). I learned to knit very young, too, and for years I was an avid cross-stitcher and quilter. I was a corsetier before I started Whorled Domination, and did a lot of other fibre-related arts (bearmaking, crochet, tatting, needle lace and even tried my hand at bobbin lace) - but it was my love of spinning that became the driving force behind my fibre arts career.

I first learned to spin at about age 8 - my father was a glider pilot, and every year in what was then the August term holidays, we would trek down to the Stirling Ranges near Albany in Western Australia, and spend 2 weeks at the local caravan park so that all the adults could fly gliders. All of the kids would pretty much entertain themselves (and without things like a DS, phone or internet, too!). Every August, one lady would bring a spinning wheel with her to the camp, and I was fascinated by the fact that she would sit for hours at a time while her husband was flying, and make yarn. That lady was Sue Patterson from Mt Barker, and I have fond memories of her letting all of us kids have a go at her wheel one year - I sat down and I think I spun for maybe ten minutes tops, but I LOVED it! 

I didn't get to spin again for many years - then about 10 years ago I bought my first wheel, a secondhand Ashford Traditional single drive/single treadle. I paid $60 for her from a used furniture shop, took her home with the intentions of cleaning her up and replacing a few missing parts (she had no bobbins, no drive or brake bands and no tension knob). But there she sat for the next 4 years untouched, because as it often does, life got in the way - until one day I looked at her and said "screw it, if I don't pull this wheel apart and fix it NOW, I'm never gonna do it!" 

So I did exactly that - downloaded the instructions for the wheel assembly from the Ashford website, stripped the wheel back to remove all the gunk and whatever finish was on it, and purchased a maintenance kit and new tension knob. I put her all back together and bought some spinning fibre, started spinning and never looked back! I still have my first wheel - her name is "Tuireann", which is Gaelic for "a spark or flame from a forge" (which is quite apt if you think of the creative spark of inspiration, and the fact that I am a student of Druidry who follows the Goddess Brighid, who is a Fire Goddess and Lady of the Forge) :) She now has a sister, another Traditional (SD/ST) who is a little older but very beautiful nonetheless - and her name is Aithne, which is Gaelic for "flame", and ties in quite nicely with the whole "fire in the head" theme that goes with having rampant creativity ;)

I have been spinning for nearly 5 years now and I still thank Sue Patterson nearly every single day for that brief introduction to it all those years ago, because spinning has literally saved my life and my sanity on more than one occasion. My brain is wired somewhat oddly, and as a result I find it impossible to meditate using any of the "standard" ways - my brain just does NOT shut up! But the second I sit at a spinning wheel and start treadling, I literally go into a state of relaxation and focus so deep that it qualifies as a trance. When I spin, I forget about anything outside of my feet on the treadle, my hands on the fibre, and the flyer rotating at high speed - it's as if nothing else exists. I come out of a spinning session completely focused, relaxed, and quite often having an answer to a question I was totally unaware I even had! :)

I am still amazed at how quickly Whorled Domination has come into being once I decided this is what I want to do - I'm still feeling my way around a few things in terms of running a business (and particularly a fibre arts business), but I'm learning new things all the time and having the most fun I think I have ever had in my life (not to mention meeting the most amazing and fun people!) :) So because this week's update is absolutely massive, let's crack on, shall we? So many new things to introduce this week, so enjoy!

Knock Yer Socks Off Yarn Club!

That's right, a yarn club! I have recently got myself set up to dye my own fibre and yarn, so I have decided to offer a yarn club. This will be starting in February and run for 3 months at a time, so the first club will run February - April, then May - July, and August - October (yes, there are only 3 clubs this year as the Christmas period gets really busy and I want to be able to devote enough attention to ALL THE THINGS). The sock yarns I will be offering will range from light fingering/3ply weight (typically around 440m/100g skein) to a heavier sock yarn that is almost a sport weight (18wpi and approximately 300m/100g), and I will try to get a nice range of fibre blends in there so they won't all be superwash or merino ;) Your options for colour choices are:

1) Semi-solid and solid colourways
2) Multicoloured

Club signups will run until February 1st and all payments will need to be made by that date for the 3 month club. Prices are as follows:


Single serve $60AU plus $18 for regular post
Double serve $100AU plus $24 for regular post


Single serve $60AU plus $36 shipping via air mail
Double serve $100AU plus $48 shipping via air mail

If you choose a double serve, you may have either 2 solid/semi-solid skeins, 2 multis, or one of each (just let me know when you order). To sign up, all you have to do is either email me or PM me on Ravelry (where I am brighidskiss), or you can sign up in the thread on the Whorled Domination Ravelry group. Please let me know whether you would like semi-solids and solids or all multicoloured yarns when you sign up, as well as whether you want a single or double serve :) Shipment dates for the sock yarn club will be around the 15th of each month.
Fibre Club

Another new club for 2012 is the Whorled Domination fibre club - this will run from February - April, May - July, and August - October, the same as the sock yarn club. Each month you will receive hand dyed fibre in colourways specially designed by me that will be exclusive to the club (they will not be offered as a regular colourway anywhere else). You can choose either single or double serve, and the prices are as follows:


Single serve $60AU plus $18.00 postage
Double serve $100AU plus $24.00 postage


Single serve $60AU plus $36 for air mail shipping
Double serve $100AU plus $48 for air mail shipping   
To sign up, all you have to do is either email me or PM me on Ravelry, or you can sign up in the thread on the Whorled Domination Ravelry group. Please let me know whether you would like a single or double serve :) Shipment dates for the fibre club will be the 15th of each month (unless the 15th is a day the post office is closed, in which case club will ship on the next business day).

Spindle Competition!

Alright spinners! Here’s your chance while we are all waiting for the spindle club, to show your creativity and ingenuity. Over on the Ravelry group, I am running a competition - the thread with all the details is here!

Starting from January 5th and running through till February 28th, I want to see your homemade spindles! The rules are:
  1. Your entry must be made by you (although a little help in the form of kidlets is allowed - I’m all for teaching kids to spin and getting them to help you make spinning tools!).
  2. You may only use scavenged, found, reclaimed, repurposed or recycled objects to make your spindle (but you can use a new hook if you can’t find something to re-use for it).
  3. Spindles can be any size, type, or weight, and may be decorated however you like. If you don’t want to make a regular drop spindle, feel free to make whatever kind of spindle you prefer - the more variety the better! Use whatever creative skills you have - if you can do things like woodwork or wirework, great, use those if you like - if not, do whatever you feel like to put your spindle together!
  4. When you make your spindle, post photos in the thread (one post per spindle please) of your spindle, and show us a sample sized skein of yarn you have spun on it so we know it works - you may enter as many times as you like, as long as you stick to rules 1-4 :)
  5. There will be prizes in several categories - I have listed these in the first post of the thread, along with which buttons to click to vote for everyone's entries :) 
Come and check out the competition thread and have a go - you never know, you might win one of the awesome prizes up for grabs that include handspun yarn, hand-dyed fibre, spindles and spindle boxes or bags!

Mini Skeins!

I have finally succumbed to the hexipox (lol....thanks to some of my facebook friends for that one!) and have become quite addicted to making hexipuffs. So because I am also now addicted to collecting and knitting mini skeins of yarn for the hexipuffs (or in my case, hexiflats, because Perth doesn't really get cold enough to require them to be stuffed), I have decided to share some with my readers :) If you're not into hexipuffs or the Bee Keeper's Quilt, the mini skeins are great for colourwork or small projects, or even stripy socks!

This week's mini skein offerings are all 100% pure West Australian wool, grown by the Melanian Sheep Breeders Society, and have no chemical treatments used on them after the scouring and pH neutralising process. The skeins are 30m long and weigh approximately 11g (so enough to make at least 2 puffs out of one skein, or if you're like me, 2 hexipuffs and a couple of Tiny Bunnies!) For those of you who don't know what the Tiny Bunnies Movement is all about, hop on over to the group on Ravelry and check them out :) Basically it's all about making tiny yarn bunnies and leaving them around the place for others to find and adopt, and spreading smiles by doing so :) Here is one of my Tiny Bunnies, Blue, waiting for me to add eyes and a tail so he can go out into the big wide world and find a new home:

And here is Blue after I finished adding his features - he went home with my 13yo son Rowan after Christmas, so I will be making a few more bunnies with my hexi-scraps:

Here are this week's sets of mini skeins on offer - 6 skeins to a set, $10.00 per set plus postage. First, the thicker sock yarn (around 300m/100g) - natural silver base:

Natural moorit coloured base, 400m/100g:

Natural white base, 300m/100g:

Mixed set on white and moorit bases:

Multicoloured handpaints, all on white/charcoal base, 300m/100g:

Spinning Fibre

This week I have more of the luscious 24 micron merino in special colourways - I still have all of the regular colourways available (see photo above, L-R: Whitsunday Sunset, Copperhead, Amazon, Strawberry Parfait, Rainbow Bridge) for $15.00 each plus postage, and these lovely one-off bebehs also for $15.00:


"Arctic Dawn"



This week I have the above colourways in a mix of 100% merino superwash yarn (440m/100g) or 80/20 superwash merino/nylon (360m/100g), for $22.00 each plus shipping:

Top L-R: Ocean, Purple Patch, Steel, Copper, Shiraz
Bottom L-R: Espresso, Sky, Grass, Yellow Submarine, Deepwater

Steel, Shiraz, Espresso, Deepwater & Copper colourways are available in 100% superwash merino yarn at present, but if you want them on another yarn I can do that to order. Ocean, Purple Patch, Sky, Grass and Yellow Submarine are available on 80/20 superwash merino/nylon yarn here, but if you would like these colours on a different base yarn, feel free to message me and I will work something out for you :)

All of these 10 colourways (and more coming soon!) will be available on a regular basis and I can dye custom quantities on request, and on any weight yarn. I have very limited numbers currently in stock, but am happy to take orders for custom dye lots of any of these colours:

In addition, I have the following colourways in BFL sock yarn (400m/100g - these colourways will be part of the regular lineup and can be done on fibre as well as yarn):


"Emerald Isle"

Spindle Club

For those of you who don't already know about this one, you can find out the details in this thread on the Whorled Domination! Ravelry group.

Sign-ups for the next round are now open until March 5th and the next shipment will go in the mail on April 5th. All payments are due by March 5th please! 

For those of you not yet on Ravelry, the details are as follows:

This is a PAYG quarterly club, with one package being sent every 3 months (containing a spindle and fibre to the value of whichever tier you select). You may opt out of club at any time provided you do so by the deadline of the 5th of the month prior to shipping. Places are strictly limited - if you are on the wait list and someone opts out, the person on the top of the list will be offered a place in the club with the option to stay in. If you opt out of more than 2 consecutive shipments, you will automatically be placed on the wait list. If you fail to either pay or notify me that you are opting out by the deadline (and yes, I will be sending reminders so you don’t forget!), your membership will be automatically terminated, and if you wish to rejoin at a later date you will be put on the wait list until another place becomes available. From time to time I may offer additional places in the club, pending my ability to keep up with demand.  

Club tiers are as follows, all prices are in AUD: 

Tier 1, Basic: drop spindle and small fibre sample (50g or less, depending on what kind of fibre it is) every quarter. $30 plus shipping.

Tier 2, Regular: drop spindle and usually a minimum 50g fibre sample or a smaller amount of a luxury fibre or blend - one shipment out of every 4 is guaranteed to be a luxury fibre or blend. $40 plus shipping.

Tier 3, Deluxe: drop spindle and up to 100g of fibre every quarter, depending on the blend. This club option also guarantees that 2 shipments per club year (so 2 out of every 4) will contain a luxury fibre or luxury blend (the luxury blend fibre will normally be 50g). $50 plus shipping. 

You will have several options to choose from with regard to fibre content, colour, spindle colours/materials and top or bottom whorl - everyone who signs up will be sent a questionnaire to fill out and return to me so that I can make sure I don’t send you anything you don’t like :) Australian members will have the option of whether you want to receive washed raw fleece as a possible club fibre - I will not be offering this to members outside Australia due to customs restrictions.

Fibre may be undyed, hand-dyed or hand painted, depending on what I can find for the club and your personal preferences as to fibre colours/content. Spindle materials may vary according to which tier you select - but all spindles will be handmade by me and I will do my best to cater to any preferences you indicate in the questionnaire. 

Shipping costs will be $7.00 within Australia, and $12.00 for everywhere else. If you would like to spread your quarterly payment out over each quarter, let me know when you sign up and I can set it up for you with Paypal :) You have the option of using Paypal, or for Australian club members, direct deposit.
To join the Whorled Army, you can either message me on Ravelry where I am brighidskiss, or email me directly at - please include which Tier you would like to join in your message, and give me an email address to which I can send your invoice and Club questionnaire if you are a new participant :)

Spindles & Spindle Kits

Ultralight spindles - these little babies weigh a tiny 5g with a pine shaft or 7g with a Tasmanian oak one, and come in the colours you see pictured, with a hand-bent pigtail style hook. 6 inch long shaft, finished with a light coat of wax, the whorls are 1 inch in diameter and stained with vegetable dyes. Perfect for laceweight yarns or spinning on the go, these babies are $5 each plus shipping ($2 on their own, or no extra cost with other items). Please let me know when you order, what colour you would like and whether you would like a pine or Tasmanian oak shaft.

Pocket spindles - these are the big sister of the ultralights, the whorls are 1 1/2in diameter and come in natural beech, or maple, cedar or mahogany stain, with either a pine or Tasmanian Oak shaft. Pine shaft pocket spindles weigh in at 12g, Tasmanian Oak at 13g. The spindle pictured above has a mahogany stained whorl and a pine shaft, both finished with carnauba wax. Hand-bent pigtail style hook. $7 plus shipping ($2 if on its own, no extra cost if shipped with other items). Please let me know when you order what finish you would like on your whorl and which shaft you would prefer.
Beginner Spinning Kits

These kits come in 2 styles - available with a flower spindle (great for kids) or a regular round whorl wooden spindle. They come packaged with the spindle, 50g of beautifully soft Tasmanian Corriedale fibre and instructions for how to spin :) Beginner spindles have a 10 inch shaft length to allow for thigh rolling :)

Both types of kit are available for AU$18.00 plus postage.


50mm sonora jasper whorl on black lacquered bamboo shaft, weight 32g. $28.00.

 50mm pink/rust variscite whorl on teak shaft, weight 37g. $28.00.

45mm murano foil glass whorl on cocowood shaft (hand-bent hook), weight 33g. $25.00.

50mm green variscite whorl on stained/lacquered bamboo shaft, weight 35g. $27.00

60mm kiwi sesame jasper whorl on black lacquered bamboo, weight 49g. $35.00.
45mm dyed turquoise howlite whorl on cocowood shaft (hand-bent hook), weight 24.5g. $25.00.

50mm agate whorl, dark wood shaft, weight 27g. $28.00.

 50mm sonora jasper whorl on stained/lacquered bamboo, weight 30g. $28.00.

50mm crazy lace agate whorl on carved wood shaft, weight 26g. $28.00.

50mm sonora jasper whorl on black lacquered bamboo shaft, weight 24g. $28.00

50mm grass turquoise pyrite whorl on teak shaft, weight 34g. $30.00. 

50mm zebra jasper whorl on stained/lacquered bamboo shaft, weight 25g. $30.00.

50mm rhodonite whorl on black lacquered bamboo shaft, weight 25g. $35.00. 

50mm poppy jasper whorl on stained/lacquered bamboo shaft, weight 31g. $28.00.

50mm spiderweb sea sediment jasper whorl on carved bamboo shaft, weight 35g. $27.00.

50mm Picasso jasper pyrite whorl on dark wood shaft, weight 32g. $30.00.

50mm sea sediment jasper whorl on teak shaft, weight 24g. $27.00.

50mm variscite whorl on stained/lacquered bamboo shaft, weight 31g. $27.00

50mm sea sediment jasper whorl on carved bamboo shaft, weight 24g. $27.00.

50mm flame jasper whorl on black lacquered bamboo shaft, weight 35g. $28.00.

Tote Bags

These are made from 100% natural cotton canvas (8oz), approximately 36 x 34cm with a 6cm gusset, and printed with the Whorled Domination! logo :) Great for taking your knitting or spinning project with you, or even for your shopping (we all hate the dreaded plastic bags, don't we?) These tote bags are available for $30.00:

Pure Tea-Vil Organic & Art Teas

 Teas are now available for sale! All tea is loose leaf and certified organic unless otherwise stated. Prices are as follows (all prices are AU$ and do not include postage):

Organic hazelnut cream tea - certified organic black tea with hazelnut. Absolutely beautiful with a touch of milk and sugar, with a very distinct hazelnut flavour and a hint of caramel. 
20g pouch for $2.75, 50g for $5.50, 100g bag for $10.15.

Organic black chai - Warm and spicy with organic cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Perfect with a dash of milk and honey.
20g pouch $2.60, 50g pouch $5.00, or 100g for $9.50.

Organic cinnamon black tea -  Strong cinnamon flavour, beautiful with milk and a touch of sugar. 
20g pouch $2.20, 50g pouch $4.00, or 100g bag for $7.50.

"Ballerina" organic art tea - premium organic white tea with jasmine flowers and globe amaranth. Stunning to look at and has a beautiful delicate flavour, very refreshing! $3.50 per ball or 3 for $10.00 (larger quantities available on request by special order). One ball makes 6-10 cups, and you can top the jug up with more hot water to extend the infusion :)

"Lavender Bliss" organic art tea - premium organic green tea with lavender and jasmine blossoms. Just the right amount of lavender, delicate and delicious! $3.00 per ball, or 3 for $8.50 (larger quantities available on request by special order).

"Queen Jasmine" organic art tea - fitting name for this beautiful rare Silver Needle white tea topped with a hand-sewn crown of jasmine flowers and a lily petal. Light and delicate flavour, a very refreshing tea. $3.50 per ball, or 3 for $10.00 (larger quantities available on request by special order).
"Enchanted Heart" organic art tea - premium organic green tea hand-sewn with tiger lily and globe amaranth. Lovely delicate floral flavour with the characteristic green tea aftertaste. $3.50 each, or 3 for $10.00 (larger quantities available on request by special order).
Tea hearts - rose petals and black tea, wrapped in pink foil. Makes 2-4 cups per heart. 75c per heart, or 3 for $2.00 (larger quantities available on request by special order). Also available as a combination pack of 2 hearts Rose Black tea and 2 of Jasmine Green tea for $3.00.

Tea hearts - green tea with jasmine blossoms, wrapped in gold foil. Makes 2-4 cups per heart. 75c each, or 3 for $2.00 (larger quantities available on request by special order). Also available as a combination pack of 2 hearts Rose Black tea and 2 of Jasmine Green tea for $3.00.
Tea Sampler: contains one ball of each of the 4 art teas, a 5gm (1-2 cup) sachet of each of the 3 black teas, and 1 each of the hearts. Great way to try all the different teas in the Pure Tea-vil range, and would make a great gift or swap item (especially as you can easily divide the sampler up for multiple swaps). $15.00 (can be gift-wrapped on request).

Don't forget that to place an order, all you have to do is either PM me on Ravelry where I am brighidskiss, or email me directly at with your order.  
January Specials!

Gift vouchers - these are available in any amount you choose from $10 upwards, and can be either mailed to you, or direct to any recipient you specify (or I can email them if you prefer). Gift vouchers can be used to purchase any Whorled Domination! products.

Mini skein sets - buy 2 and get 3 bonus skeins free! That's right - if you buy 2 sets of minis, you will get an extra 3 skeins absolutely free, for a total of 15 mini skeins! That's enough yarn to knit at least 30 hexipuffs (but you could get anywhere up to 45 puffs out of 15 skeins!) Just mention the code MINI3 when you order to get your 3 free skeins :)

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