Saturday, April 27, 2013

Custom Dyeing Giveaway :-)

I won't be having a store update this weekend, as my order from Bendigo Woollen Mills didn't arrive! Probably due to the long weekend... I'm winding up some 10ply I have at hand, so next update will probably be twice as big - good news for everyone who misses out normally!

However, I've been feeling bad for those who do miss out - I love it that my yarns are in high demand, but I feel bad for those not quick enough on the checkout button! So, I thought perhaps I could have a new giveaway - one with a difference...

This giveaway will be for a custom slot - everyone who wants to enter can do so here at my blog, and on Monday evening I'll draw a winner: The winner can then order 100g of 4ply, 8ply or 10ply yarn gradient-dyed in their choice of colours at the usual price of $20 plus $6 postage.

This will give everyone an even chance at at least trying my yarns! And - to make things fair - please only enter if you *haven't* had a chance to try AppleSpice yarn yet :-)
I hope this makes sense! Good luck :-)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 19, 2013

Shop Update This Weekend

Just a heads-up, I'll be stocking the store with gradient yarns in 4ply, 8ply and possibly 10ply tomorrow night  (Saturday the 20th) at 9:00pm Hobart time :-)

I'll come back to this space and top it up with some pretty photos of the yarns drying tmrw!

For now, here's a lovely glimpse at Grandfather's Rose Garden being wound up for a customer on my new swift and ball winder...

Wound up, it looks like this:

Yum :-)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Giveaway #2 ~ Share!

Happiness is like a kiss. You must share it to enjoy it.
Bernard Meltzer
I’m starting a new giveaway - anyone can enter by sharing a review of Applespice products, or by sharing photos of finished projects, spun yarns or works in progress :-) Also, if you've bought some of my baby clothes I’d love some action shots!

Please let me know if you’re not happy for me to use your photos or reviews on my website. If you’re happy for me to use them, I’ll credit them to you :-)

The giveaway runs from now until midnight on the 31st of May, to give you some time to have a chance to buy some of my products and then start making something! :-)

The prize is a $25 gift voucher for AppleSpice *and* free postage :-)

To enter, post your photos or reviews either in this thread in the AppleSpice Ravelry group, or email them to me at jess dot tas at gmail dot com Then enter officially here, with your Ravelry post number (visible in the top right of your finished post) or the email address you used to send me your entry:
You can enter several times if you have several AppleSpice products, the entry form refreshes each day for this particular raffle :-)

Good luck! x Jess

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Store Re-stocking Tonight!

Hello everyone!

Just announcing that I will re-stocking the AppleSpice Shop with a small range of 4ply and 8ply gradient yarns and some dandelion screen printed tee shirts and 3/4 sleeve tops tonight at 9:00 :-)

Here are some photos of the  yarns drying to whet your appetite :-)

I hope you find what you're looking for! I’m planning to stock the store about once a week, depending on my darling children ;-)

In the evening store will appear “closed for maintenance” as I stock it, and will open at 9:00 :-)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Kathy H., winner of the $50 AppleSpice voucher :-) Happy shopping Kathy!

And to everyone else, thank you so much for joining in the fun, and I wish you all the best! Happy knitting, spinning, crocheting, felting, weaving, and everything else you love doing :-)

This is not the end - I'm now beginning a special giveaway for customers of AppleSpice who post photos of their finished projects (or works in progress!) in my Ravelry Group, or email them to me to be shared on the website :-) Reviews or feedback will also gain entries :-) 

I will leave this giveaway open for longer to allow people a chance to elbow their way into the scrum for some yarn or fibre, and to have time to turn it into something new! The winner will be drawn by random number generator, just as this one was :-)

Congratulations again Kathy, and a huge thank you to everyone for making the Little Grand Opening of AppleSpice such a brilliant success! xxx

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Work in Progress...

Firstly, just a quick reminder that the Giveaway closes at midnight tonight!

And now onto the fun stuff - I've been winding and dyeing and squeezing and drying, getting ready for another store update soon! I'll announce it here and on Facebook & Ravelry so you don't have to stalk the store!

I have a mix of 4ply, 8ply and 10ply, mostly machine washable BWM Luxury merino yarns - I'll be back tomorrow with some photos to whet your appetite!

Also, I just wanted to let everyone know that 10% of the proceeds of all my sales go directly to the Baobab Home, an amazing orphanage and outreach program in Tanzania. Terri, who runs the Boabab Home puts all the money directly into feeding, clothing and schooling the children and families she supports, she has no "administration and advertising" costs, she's at the coalface and using the money incredibly effectively. You can read more about it here, and see some great photos!

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Store is Open!

At 8:00 precisely I opened the store - I can't say I was completely ready though, as my kids were less than co-operative this evening!

I'm still adding bits and bobs to the store right now, but there's a range of yarns at least :-)

Hope you're having fun looking around, this is just the start :-)

Hugs to all, Jess x


The store is opening at 8pm tonight! I have a range of goodies ready, not a large volume but hopefully something for everyone :-) I will continue to stock the store over the weekend as I dye, print, sew and create :-)

In celebration of the "Little Grand Opening" I'm offering a $50 gift voucher for my store to one lucky winner!

The voucher is valid for a year, and can be used to purchase anything in my store :-) I will happily cover postage costs within Australia, but if the prize winner is outside Australia I have to ask that they cover their own postage! (sorry!)

One entry is gained for every action you take, so the more entries you can make the greater your chance of winning!

The Raffle starts Friday 5/4/13, and ends Thursday 11/4/13 at midnight. The winner will be notified within 24 hours, and they have 3 days to contact me, otherwise I will need to draw a new winner :-)

Best of Luck! And I hope to see you tonight :-)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Of Balms and Baby Bottoms...

I just love making balms.

Hand balm, lip balm, healing balm, baby bottom balm... I just can't help myself!

There's something so magical about creating something that will nurture someone else - it's the same pleasure that I find in knitting, in cooking, in sewing, spinning and gardening...

I am lucky enough to have a wonderful Apiary across the road from my home, where I can source delicious non-heat-treated honey and natural golden beeswax, it smells so incredible!

This year's beeswax is an amazing shade of yellow! The beekeeper tells me it's the unusual range of flowers that flourished this year, it sure is gorgeous :-)

From a local herb farm I've been able to source organic Calendula flowers. Next season I'm hoping to grow and dry my own! 

Calendula is well known for it's healing and soothing properties, so I always infuse my oils with a generous helping of the sweet smelling golden flowers.

Add to these lovely ingredients some really nutritious oils and you're well on the way to making beautiful balm!

For all my balms I use a mix of Avocado oil, Grapeseed oil, Rice Bran oil and Olive oil. I avoid using nut oils in balms for babies, just in case, but in my adult hand balm and lip balm I use Macadamia oil as well for it's wonderful properties.

And lastly  in the lip balms I add a spoonful of honey to make it taste gently sweet - and sometimes some peppermint essential oil for my favourite flavour!

Natural Beeswax, Honey, Avocado oil and Calendula flowers
That's it - no preservatives or additives! Because the balms are only oil and beeswax-based they will last really well, it's only once you add water to make a moisturiser that they have a short shelf life.

My kids love this balm - they call it "Green Cream" because it's rich in avocado oil, giving it a green tint. We use it on all cuts and scrapes, cracked lips, even itchy bites (I don't know that it helps with mozzie bites but the kids seem to think so!).

My youngest even likes to eat it from the jar - I figure it's probably doing him just as much good on the inside!

As a baby bottom balm it really does wonders. I make it a little thicker, more waxy so it lasts well and protects and heals that gorgeous baby skin :-)

And of course I use it on my hands - it really helps with the dry skin I get from gardening and cleaning :-) I even use it lightly on my face after a shower if I can't find my moisturiser, it works very nicely!

I'm planning to whip up a couple of batches for the store opening tomorrow :-)

Holy Mackarel, tomorrow! Can't wait :-)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

AppleSpice Shop "Little Grand Opening"...

I'm getting very excited!

I've built up enough inventory to actually open up my little shop!

The shop will open at 8pm this Friday night (the 5th!) and I'll be having prizes and a range of interesting things for sale - I hope to see you there!

I've started a FaceBook page here, I guess it's the done thing these days! But I will be selling everything right here on the blog, through the "Shop" tab just below my AppleSpice banner :-)

Here's a sneak peek at some of the things I'll have for sale...

And still drying:

Yay! :-)

Sunday, March 24, 2013


My Mum loves horses.
I mean she lives and breathes horses!
Here she is on her handsome Andaulsian, Denoso...

So for her birthday I decided to carve her a horse brooch, from a piece of wood from a plum tree in my garden - I think it turned out quite nicely! 

The mane was very fiddly to carve, and the whole brooch took many hours, but it was definitely worth all the effort  - she adores it :-) 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Gradient Yarn

Here are the promised pics of the gradient dyed yarn in my Grandfather's Rose Garden colourway.

The yarn is 10ply Bendigo Woollen Mills "Luxury", machine wash merino.

Gradient yarns are fiddly to dye! I wind off ten 10g mini skeins, tying each in two places, and not cutting the yarn - so when the finished yarn is wound into a ball it will be one continuous thread which changes colour slowly as you knit or crochet.

I'm very particular about the colours - I set up 10 dye cups on my bench and get the colours just right on paper, then after the yarns are dyed I sometimes overdye one or two mini-skiens to get the graduation just right.

Gradient yarn like this would be beautiful used in a shawl or wrap, a cowl, a beanie, or in my personal favourite a baby vest or dress which is knitted in one piece - like the ever popular Milo.

I'll tell you a secret - I'm actually working on a couple of knitting patterns to suit gradient yarns like these :-)


I can't help myself - I know in Australia foxes are a big problem for our native animals and farmers, but there's just something so, I don't know, whimsical about foxes - their sweeping tails, their quirky faces, their bright eyes, their vibrant characters...

So I couldn't help it, I just had to design a chirpy fox stencil!

I have been thinking lately, there are so many nice sewing patterns for girls, and so few appealing patterns for boys... I found this a great pattern on Etsy that was just screaming out for a stencil on the front, and so the two ideas merged...

 This little jacket is still unfinished - awaiting buttons, sewing the teal sleeve edging, and a good ironing!

I have created this top for a trade with a friend on Ravelry, but while I was at it I printed a few more so I can  keep sewing fox tops, maybe even a couple for the AppleSpice shop grand opening!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Grandfather's Rose Garden

I've been busy over the last few days - my youngest son just started Kinder 3 days a week so I suddenly have some spare time for the first time in years! I used it well by dyeing up a storm, and this morning I carded a batt from my favourite fibre, Tassie lambswool from the Spinner's Guild in Battery Point. I named this colourway In My Grandfather's Rose Garden, the colours are straight out of my long and happy childhood summers.

As well as  dyeing the lambswool tops, I have been painstakingly hand picking over a superfine fleece I purchased locally, and removing all the tiny bits of  vegetation before dyeing it.

There's something so beautiful about locks don't you think? The fine wave of the crimp, the delicate softness, the curl at the tip...

drumcarding merino locks fibre Tasmania Australia

I wanted to make a batt with both the prepared tops and the fleece, and somehow preserve the locks a little - I didn't want them to be fully carded by the drum carder (or "mulcher" as my older son calls it!). 

After some trial and error I found a technique that worked - painstakingly adding the locks directly onto the large drum  (rather than feeding them in on the small drum) and then running the packer brush over them. I'm pretty happy with the results - what do you think? I added some silk too because I just love the shine and the water-like squiggle of it...

Batts drumcarding Australia merino spinning fibre silk locks lambswool

A close-up of the locks in the batt. I apologise for the poor photography - my dear, wonderful, waterproof camera is not, as it turns out, waterproof anymore and died a sad death at the beach last month...

Batts drumcarding Australia merino spinning fibre silk locks lambswool

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Welcome to my brand new blog!

My name is Jess, I live in Tasmania, Australia, and I am a dabbler in far too many arts and crafts...

At the heart of it all is the great joy I find in playing with colour. I am mesmerised by the process, delighted with the outcome - so often unexpected and delightful!

And so I have decided to try and help support my family through the results of this play, sharing my thoughts and experiences with you along the way - I hope you will enjoy the journey!