Tag Archives: Banana

October Rolag Club: Punkie Night

October Rolag Club: Punkie Night

Welcome to Forgotten Festivals Rolag Club!

This month we are celebrating Punkie Night on the 27th of October.


Punkie Night is a festival local to the village of Hinton St. George in Somerset. The celebrations echo similar customs associated with Halloween, and Mischief Night, as celebrated elsewhere in the country. The festival centres around the Punkie Lanterns, each elaborately carved from a mangelwurzel. The story of Punkie Night’s origin tells of the men of the village, who had visited a local fair. When the time came to return home, they were too drunk to find their way. Needless to say, the women had to go and round up their husbands, and took Punkie Lanterns to light their way.

Nowadays the village children spend the week preceding Punkie Night making their lanterns. On the last Thursday in October they parade through the village with their lanterns and sing the Punkie Night song. They go from door to door, and where once they collected candles from their neighbours, they now collect money.


It’s Punkie Night tonight,

It’s Punkie Night tonight.

Give us a candle, give us a light,

If you don’t you’ll get a fright.

This box is based on the warming winter traditions as autumn sets in. Your rolags and mini skein are based on the idea of a pumpkin spice latte, and the spice theme carries on to your star anise tea. Bedtime tea reminds me of the nights drawing in, and I came across a set of wonderful autumn recipes, so you will find a link to these too. I have gone totally OTT on our guest makers for our last box, so we start where we began, with Hooklicious stitch markers (I’m pretty sure no one’s ever asked Hayley to make mini mangelwurzels before!), we have fabulous soap from Magpie and Goblin (Sarra told me so many times not to eat it, because it really does look and smell good enough to eat. But don’t.), and we have some gorgeous mini wax melts from Madame Tartlet to keep your rooms warm and cozy. Lastly, in deference to the modern Punkie Night, I’ve scattered a few gold coins amongst your treats.

I’d like to say an enormous thank you to you for joining me on my first rolag club adventure. I have thoroughly enjoyed exploring our season of festivals and creating these boxes of fibre and treats for you. I have fresh, new ideas for 2017 and hope you will join me for more fibre exploration next year.


In this box you should find:

  • The story of Punkie Night
  • 10g of rolags in “Pumpkin” – 67% Merino, 33% Banana
  • 20g of rolags in “Spice” – 55% Merino, 15% Black Diamond Bamboo, 15% Faux Mohair, 15% Mulberry Silk and a hint of angelina.
  • A handspun mini skein in “Latte”
  • Tea in “Bedtime” and “Star Anise and Cinnamon” blends
  • Stitch markers by Hooklicious in candle and mangelwurzel designs.
  • Autumn squash recipes at: tinyurl.com/RolagRecipes
  • Wax melts from Madame Tartlet’s Wax Emporium
  • Handmade soap from Magpie and Goblin
  • And finally, some celebratory chocolate coins.

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A plethora of makers.


Candles and Mangelwurzels from Hooklicious.


Spicy, nutty handmade soap from Magpie & Goblin.


Mini wax melts from Madame Tartlet’s Wax Emporium


And to all, a goodnight!




A spinning commission of banana silk and wool dyed by a talented indie dyer in the colours of ‘Elsa’.


You know those mornings when you wake and you instantly know?

You know before you draw the curtains, before you even really open your eyes.

There’s a strange light quality.

A light that means no other possibility, but snow.

Some spatterings, some deep drifts, all altering the familiar contours.

The snow-covered landscape is new, is strange, is constantly changing

And we rush to explore it with childlike glee.



Title: Elsa

Composition: 67% Banana 34% Bluefaced Leicester

Weight: 100g /14 WPI /DK

Length: 166m / 182yd approx.

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.


Date: May 2015

Skein code: 0017

Fibre: Banana silk & Handdyed BFL

Source: Wingham Wool Work & Truly Hooked, respectively

Status: Sold

Sea Foam

Sea Foam


A plying experiment.


Approaching, receding.

Sound builds, surrounding me … to fade to white noise

There is power and grace in the dance of the waves.

Nature’s artist performs and I experience, completely.



Title: Sea Foam

Composition: 66% Banana silk, 34% Merino

Weight: 77g / 14 WPI / DK

Length: 193m / 211yd approx.

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.


Date: April 2015

Skein code: 0014

Fibre: Banana and Merino

Source: Wingham Wool Work and Truly Hooked, respectively.

Status: Gifted

Playing with Plying

Playing with Plying

A few weeks ago, the rather marvellous Verity from Truly Hooked [1] sent me a braid of dyed merino to test. Never one to turn down free fibre, I jumped at the chance! I spun up the single and sent my feedback to Verity, and then it sat on the bobbin for a few weeks whilst I pondered on what to do with it next. In the end I decided to experiment with some of my plant fibre stock. I spun up 50g of banana silk to ply with the dyed merino. I was hoping that the delicate colours of the original braid would be enhanced by the pure white sheen of the banana fibre.

I absolutely love the result! I cannot possibly capture the delicious lustre of this soft and silky yarn on camera. It is heavenly and I adore the look of the oh-so-delicate colours. I have named this skein “Sea Foam”.

Now, I still had a fair bit of the merino single left. I had spun the merino very fine, with a high twist, but the banana fibre drafted differently (bananas act differently to sheep! who knew?!) and, once I stopped fighting the fibre and actually worked with it, the single became smooth but somewhat thicker than the merino, and therefore made a shorter single. I had my lovely Sea Foam skein, and a bobbin still partially filled with merino. Time for a new experiment.

I’m not a fan of having odds and ends of singles left on my bobbins, so often I will chain ply (or ‘navajo’ ply) a single to make a 3-ply yarn:


What I havent tried before is winding off my single as a centre-pull ball and plying it with itself (taking one end of the single from the middle of the ball and the other from the outside) into a 2-ply yarn:

20150331_121220-1 20150331_123006

And ta-da:


Two beautiful, and very different skeins made from my original braid. Sea Foam, meet Harebell.

[1] http://www.facebook.com/trulyhooked