More Eco Market Bags

At Knit and Knatter recently I received a number of positive comments about a market bag I’d made quite a while ago.

Large Bag 03I actually use it to store a cushion which I take along with me as the seats are so hard!! This immediately started me thinking about that pattern. As I’m not an expert crocheter this pattern was quite easy for me so I made lots of these bags. I put my thinking cap on and decided to make more and sell them at our Open Day in June next year.

I’d recently bought a bulk lot of Bendigo Woollen Mills’ 4ply cotton on a Facebook destash page.

fb-stashSo out came my crocheting hook and off I went!

market-bag-apricot-01 market-bag-blue-01 market-bag-green-01 market-bag-mauve-01What do you think? I think they came out pretty well. In fact, I got so carried away I went searching for other cottons and acrylics and made these ones.

market-bag-emerald-green-01 market-bag-lime-green-01 market-bag-naturals-multi-01 market-bag-orange-01And then I found some of the original very rustic wool and I’ve made more bags similar to this.

market-bag-jute-blue-yellow-flowers-01And those embellishments!! Thank you so much to my friend Pam for showing me how to use Weave-It looms at our September camp!! I am totally addicted now! These flowers were made using the 2″ and 3″ looms except for the bag above where I used the 3″ and 4″ looms because this bag is much larger and the larger flowers look much better.

I have since ordered the 6″, 6″ x 3″ and a loom to use handspun yarn from a supplier here in Queensland. Can’t wait for them to arrive. I can see all sorts of possibilities opening up for me when it comes to Weave-Its. Remember that bag I bought at camp last year?

Weave-It Bag 01Well, now I can make my own if I wish to!

Here’s some close up pictures of those gorgeous flowers. What a difference a contrasting button makes🙂

market-bag-blue-02 market-bag-emerald-green-02 market-bag-green-02 market-bag-jute-blue-yellow-flowers-02 market-bag-lime-green-02 market-bag-mauve-02 market-bag-naturals-multi-02 market-bag-orange-02They turned out beautifully and I’m so pleased with the end result. I have put these bags up for sale in my Melsnattyknits Facebook page shop and if any sell, I’ll just make more for the Open Day🙂

Now to some more exciting news; I’m cruising around New Zealand for 14 days again at the end of this month. I enjoyed the cruise so much in April 2015 that I more or less booked on the same cruise straight away but this time one of my neighbours is coming along plus two of my fibre friends and their hubbies. It’s going to be so much fun having company on board. I’ll be packing some crochet and knitting projects to keep me busy on those sea days.

19024610-cute-sheep-jumping-stock-vector-sheep-cartoon-lambI’ll also be spending the day in Wellington with Mary who kindly showed me around last year. She has prepared a lovely itinerary for us which involves all things wool🙂 Mary is the creator of the New Zealand Spinning Wheels website and has incredible knowledge when it comes to spinning and wheels🙂

I just love New Zealand and in particular its close proximity to Australia so there’s no such thing as jet lag🙂

My friends and I have booked a car for when we’re in Tauranga and we’ll visit the Agrodome to check out the sheep show (as I did last year) and all the woolly bits and pieces that are for sale🙂

Well, that’s all my news for now. I hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend.

Until next time…


Thumbelina Now Spins

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to snaffle a Thumbelina Mark 2 (1978) spinning wheel. I particularly love little upright wheels as they don’t take up much room. I was a bit excited when this parcel arrived on my front step.

thumbelina-05The excitement grew as I started unwrapping it.

thumbelina-04Voila! my Thumbelina spinning wheel!

thumbelina-03Oh no! On closer inspection I could see the top of the front maiden had broken😦

thumbelina-broken-maidenWell that’s not the end of the world as I could glue it back on. But what about this???

thumbelina-01It’s a double drive wheel that’s missing its whorl! Without a whorl the wheel is really quite useless when it comes to spinning but does make a nice ornament which is not what I was after. I contacted the seller and mentioned the broken maiden and missing whorl and she graciously and quickly refunded in full so I was happy but still without a working wheel.

Luckily one of my dear friends also has the same model Thumbelina so she lent me her whorl and I was on a mission to try and find another nylon/plastic bushing the same as the one in the middle of her whorl. I travelled far and wide but to no avail so I visited my woodturner and suggested to him if he could make a ‘square circle’ in the middle of the whorl I would be happy. He did better than that!! He made a couple of nylon bushings exactly the same!

Voila! Rona’s whorl on the left and my two whorls on the right (an heir and a spare)🙂

thumbelina-06How lucky am I?

I think a previous owner might have tried to set the wheel up as a scotch tension as there’s a couple of hooks on the MOA.

thumbelina-02The whole wheel was very rickety so I tightened up the front maiden very carefully (after spraying some WD40 on the screw so I could turn the wing nut) and also tightened up the lazy kate. The wheel came with three bobbins so that was a bonus!

A couple of coats of my 50/50 boiled linseed oil and pure gum turps polish and she came up a treat. I can never understand why people selling wheels don’t take a bit of time to clean them up as they’d probably get a better price (if the wheel is complete of course).

Doesn’t she gleam now?

thumbelina-10 thumbelina-11 thumbelina-12I also gave her trial spin with some lovely fibre my friend Rona gave me. She knows my colours so well🙂

thumbelina-07 thumbelina-09The new whorl is working a treat and I now have a fully functional wheel.

thumbelina-13 thumbelina-14Rona also gave me a copy of the original assembly instructions for the Thumbelina which I have saved here for anyone interested in them🙂

By the way, this is wheel # 19 for me. I did originally have 19 wheels and actually sold two (Fenton Wind Wheel and Ashford Traveller) to try and just keep those wheels that I really used a bit, but now I’m back up to # 19! Will have to look to see whether I can sell another couple🙂

Until next time…


More Sheep, Fibre, Yarn and a Wheel!

It’s been quite hectic in my world lately. Last weekend I spent a lovely three days at Bribie Island with some of the Redlands and Redcliffe Spinners & Weavers plus spinners from further afield. Of course, I left home early so I could have plenty of time to visit all the Opp Shops at Bribie Island🙂

I came away with some lovely bits and pieces including this sheep dressed in his Father Christmas outfit.

sheep-santa-01And this cute little sheep🙂


I now have two sheep backpacks.


This is the most unusual little sheep ornament that sits on the edge of a shelf.

sitting-ceramic-sheepHow could I resist this little shepherd and his sheep?

boy-shepherd-and-sheepTwo more mugs to add to the collection!

two-sheep-mugs-01And another two!!

two-sheep-mugs-02I have a couple of these now; an heir and a spare🙂

blue-sheep-mugThese little lights were raffle prizes that were gifted to me by two of my friends🙂

two-sheep-lightsOn Saturday while I was at the QldBaysideYarnClub one of my friends dropped in. She’d been having a clean up and gifted me these lovely sheep; the little one is a pencil sharpener.

sheep-from-joI’ve also managed to buy quite a bit of yarn and fibre from a Facebook destash. The skeins in this picture were only $5 each (as there were no labels on them) and they’re lovely and soft. I’ve already started using the Bendigo Woollen Mills’ cotton in the front to make Market Bags ready to sell.

fb-stashLove the colours in the following fibre pics.

cat-and-sparrow tardis

heavenly-wool-green-blue-purple heavenly-wool-green-purpleCan’t wait to get these ones spun!

fb-destash-03 fb-destash-04Yesterday I drove over an hour away to pick up my 19th spinning wheel; a George H Young which is an Australian made wheel. I need to get a couple more bobbins made and fashion a tension knob as the original one is missing. I’m assuming it should be sitting under the MOA (mother of all). So tomorrow it’s off to the hardware to find a long screw that will do the job.

george-h-young-04The next big challenge is to work out where to put this wheel! There’ll be a bit of rearranging at my place so everything has its place🙂

Until next time..



Don’t You Want Me Baby!

That’s the name of the fibre I spun to make this gorgeous wrap! And, of course, this is some of Ixchel Bunny Fibres‘ (aka Charly McCafferty) beautiful work! This particular blend is Magic Bunny Tops which is a blend of superfine merino, cashmere, angora bunny and rainbow dyed glitz.

raeleens-wrap-05The pattern is from the Ashford annual magazine ‘The Wheel‘ from 2015 and it’s called Raeleen’s Wrap. If you know of an Ashford agent, you should be able to get a copy of this magazine.

I plied the fibre with some lovely gold metallic thread. I actually ran out of the thread towards the end of the plying so I had to use a slightly thicker gold thread but it worked out well because that thread appeared on the triangular edging which gave it some pop!

raeleens-wrap-07I also added some beads at the end and on the tip of each triangle.

raeleens-wrap-08I can highly recommend Ixchel Bunny Fibres but you need to make sure you’re quick off the mark when Charly releases her blog every Friday night around 8pm (Australian eastern standard time) as it’s first in, first served. I’ve been quite lucky and managed to pick up quite a few beautiful blends.

raeleens-wrap-03This wrap will form part of the Redlands Spinners & Weavers 2017 Open Day fashion parade🙂

raeleens-wrap-04Here’s the wrap being blocked.

raeleens-wrap-01It’s always a massive sense of achievement once I’ve spun, plied, washed, skeined, balled and finally completed a finished garment. A few years ago I would never have thought I’d be capable of this. It just goes to show that practise is the key to getting better at anything!

I’ve just returned from the Redlands Spinners & Weavers Bribie Island camp and of course, I managed to visit quite a few second hand shops and picked up some bargains which I’ll show you later🙂

Until next time…


Spinning Tales and Wheels

You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been blogging about any knitted garments recently and that’s because I’ve been quite busy spinning. Yes, I’m in the spinning mood and have four wheels on the go with different spinning projects. Plus, of course, I do have a number of knitting projects on the go too!

I’ve recently finished this Ixchel Bunny Fibres‘ blend called Don’t You Want Me Baby. It’s plied with a beautiful gold metallic thread and I’ve made a gorgeous shawl with this yarn which I’ll show you very soon.

Dont You Want Me Baby 01 Dont You Want Me Baby 03This stunning Ixchel Bunny Fibres’ blend called Peacock in a Pear Tree is currently on my Sickinger wheel. I love the glitz that Charly adds to her blends as they make each spinning project ‘pop’.

Peacock in a Pear Tree 01I recently sold this Black Bunny Tops from Ixchel Bunny Fibres to a friend who is going to use it in a weaving project. It’s plied with a grey thread.

Black Bunny Tops Silver Grey 01This is 100% merino in the colourway Desert.

Desert 01I absolutely love this Ixchel Bunny FibresMagic Bunny blend!

Ixchel Blue Green Apricot 076And here it is plied, skeined and in a cake🙂

Ixchel Blue Green Apricot 01 I’m knitting a shawl with this beautiful rainbow blend. I’ve had to take a few photos so you can see all the lovely colours.

Rainbow 05Rainbow 01 Rainbow 02 This next colourway is not usually one I would select, however, the red and orange were so vibrant I couldn’t resist. It’s another Ixchel Bunny Fibres‘ blend called Sunset on Mars.

Sunset on Mars 01Sunset on Mars 02I had a sliver of red merino so I spun it and plied it with the Sunset on Mars and it looks a treat!

Sunset on Mars 05 Sunset on Mars 06Stunning isn’t it?

Sunset on Mars 13 Sunset on Mars 16So as you can see, even though I haven’t been showing you many knitted garments lately, I certainly haven’t been idle🙂

I’ve also been visiting the Opp Shops a bit and managed to acquire a few more goodies which I’ll show you soon plus I’ve just picked up another two spinning wheels. One is an Ashford Traveller. I sold my previous one but when I saw this one on Gumtree for $50 I couldn’t resist. It came with some books and the red sliver of merino. It’s just missing two bobbins which I can easily pick up🙂

Ashford Traveller 06 Ashford Traveller 07 Ashford Traveller 08The other spinning wheel I picked up is a Sleeping Beauty Thumbelina but I need to get a part made before it is functional.

Well that’s all my news for now!

Until next time…




A Frenzy of Fingerless Mitts!

I’ve been on a roll lately knitting lots and lots of fingerless mitts. Over the years, I’ve been collecting different patterns with a view to eventually getting to knit all sorts of garments. Fingerless mitts is the latest craze. I found this really easy pattern to start off with: Good Times Fingerless Mitts and have proceeded to knit quite a few pairs!

What I love about knitting mitts is you can use a lot of your leftovers from larger projects. They’re quick to make and perfect to wear in cooler weather. I love the fact your fingers are free so it’s easy to type or handle money while the rest of your hand remains toasty warm🙂

Shepherd Colour 4 Me 8ply and Shepherd Colour 4 Me Prints 8ply were used in these aqua blue mitts.

Good Time Mitts Blue Aqua 01The edging of these mitts was knitted in Fiberific Sombrero 8ply and the main part was knitted in my handspun 100% merino in the colourway Outback.

Good Time Mitts Handspun Outback n Green 01The edging in these mitts was knitted in Moda Vera Pure Wool 8ply and the main part in my handspun.

Good Time Mitts Handspun Outback n Orange 02These mitts are knitted entirely using my own handspun. They are soooo soft!

Good Time Mitts Handspun Outback 02The ribbing in these mitts is knitted using Cleckheaton Country 8ply and the main part I used Candy Apple Lane BWM Luxury 8ply in the colourway Liquorice Allsorts. You’ll no doubt remember this colourway from my Liquorice Allsorts Shawl 🙂

Good Time Mitts Liquorice Allsorts n Black 02I used Lotus Winter Sun to make these mitts.

Good Time Mitts Lotus Yarns Mocha 01For the ribbed edging I used Cleckheaton Country Naturals 8ply and for the main part I used Lincraft Cosy Wool.

Good Time Mitts Naturals Blue Mix 02These are the very first mitts I made using Sullivans Aztec which has an alpaca component making them really soft.

Good Time Mitts Sullivans Aztec Green 02And that’s just the start. I’ve made lots more using different patterns which I’ll show you at a later date. So if you haven’t made fingerless mitts previously and you’ve been toying with the idea, I would highly recommend that you start! The thumb area is not complicated so long as you follow the very easy instructions in the pattern.

I had so much fun mixing and matching yarns for the ribbed edging and the main part of the mitts to give a different look.

If you’re interested, I have some mitts for sale on my MelsNattyKnits FB page.

Let me know if you use this pattern; I’d love to hear your comments on how you go🙂

Until next time.



Today I walked down to the Cleveland Sunday Markets to get a bit of exercise and also because it was such a glorious winter’s day here in Brisbane. As I wandered up and down checking out all the stalls my eyes zeroed in on a lot of hand sewn baby doonas and other goodies. Now, I don’t know why I walked into that stall because I don’t have a baby nor is there one on the horizon for me😦 (I wish my son would find a girlfriend, get married and give me lots of grandchildren!) Anyway, my eyes immediately spotted this gorgeous baby doona and I HAD to have it!!

Sheep doona frontAt $35 it was a steal as I could see the amount of fabric and stuffing let alone the cutting and sewing that went into making this doona. The back fabric is flannelette and has little monkeys and other critters on it.

Sheep doona backI’ve been doing a bit of spinning lately and yesterday I washed, skeined and wound this gorgeous Ixchel Bunny fibre into a cake. It’s plied with a silver/grey metallic thread.

Black Bunny Tops Silver Grey 01And I’ve just started spinning one of these braids. As the colours of the braids are so similar, I’m going to ply them together once they’re both spun.

2 Ixchel braidsJust over four years ago I bought my first spinning wheel, an Ashford Traditional and about two years ago I bought a double treadle kit to replace the single treadle. I’m  embarrassed to say that I’ve only JUST installed the double treadle kit. Why did I wait so long!! I just love spinning on this wheel now.

Double treadleDid you notice all the sheep on my two-seater lounge which can no longer be used for visitors🙂 I don’t know how many sheep I have on that lounge. It’s now at the point that they’re really squashed together🙂

Now to some of my latest yarn purchases from Zen Yarn Garden (ZYG).

The 22nd offering in the ZYG ART WALK Series features a painting by Georgia O’Keeffe entitled “Petunias”. From one medium to the next, artists express their use of colour. Inspired by ZYG’s chosen art piece, their dyer has successfully captured the excitement and complexity of the painting.

22 ZYG Peonies 05

Georgia O’Keeffe (1887 – 1986) was a groundbreaking Modernist painter who digressed from realism to express her own visionary style. Raised in rural Wisconsin, which gave her a love of nature and formed the basis for her revolutionary artwork, O’Keefe is best known for flower paintings which made up a significant percentage of her work. Expressing what she felt, rather than what she had been taught, O’Keeffe painted enormous close-ups of flowers, transforming their contours into fascinating abstractions, and highlighting their importance in a manner that commanded attention. One of the most influential and innovative artists of the 20th century, O’Keeffe was the first woman to have her own exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. [quoted from]

22 ZYG Peonies image

I bought two skeins of this Serenity 20 fingering which is a 70% superwash merino / 20% cashmere / 10% nylon blend.

The 23rd offering in the ZYG WALK Series features a painting by Jackson Pollock entitled “Number 18”. Inspired by ZYG’s chosen art piece, their dyer has successfully captured the excitement and complexity of the painting.23 ZYG No 18 Pollock 6

Jackson Pollock (1912 – 1956), the pioneer of Abstract Expressionism, challenged the artistic tradition of using an easel and brush by pouring and dripping paint onto canvases. His groundbreaking works had a childlike quality which belied their stunning complexity and sophistication. Driven by inner torment which compelled him to paint, Pollock attached large canvases to the floor, densely pouring, dripping and flinging paint embedded with sand or glass onto them with intense physical movement. Influenced by Picasso, Miró, and the Surrealists, Pollock also revolutionized a style of painting in which the work has no identifiable parts or point of emphasis, and is painted with a stream-of-consciousness technique called psychic automatism. [quoted from]
23 ZYG No 18 Pollock image
I purchased two skeins of this Serenity 20 fingering which is a 70% superwash merino / 20% cashmere / 10% nylon blend.

The 24th offering in the ZYG ART WALK Series features a painting by Pablo Picasso entitled “Blue Nude”. Inspired by ZYG’s chosen art piece, their dyer has successfully captured the excitement and complexity of the painting.

24 ZYG Blue Nude 06

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), a twentieth century Grand Master who co-founded Cubism, was only 20 years old when his friend’s tragic death resulted in the subdued “Blue Nude. His “Blue Period” artworks, rendered in somber blues and greens, were part of an astounding 20,000 paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures he produced in his lifetime. Hauntingly beautiful and exquisitely composed, “Blue Nude” is one of Picasso’s best-selling pieces, and a testament to his ability to express complex emotions with one simple shade. [quoted from]
24 ZYG Blue Nude image
I purchased two skeins of this Serenity Silk Single fingering 75% superwash merino / 15% cashmere / 10% silk blend.

And finally, the 25th offering in the ZYG ART WALK Series features a painting by Norman Rockwell entitled “Walking to Church”. Inspired by ZYG’s chosen art piece, their dyer has successfully captured the excitement and complexity of the painting.

25 ZYG Walking to Church 01

Norman Rockwell (1894 – 1978), one of America’s most beloved artists, left a timeless legacy of nostalgic, endearing, whimsical paintings that appealingly and insightfully depict simple, and often idyllic, scenes from daily life. After illustrating a series of children’s books at age 16, Rockwell was hired to be the art director of “Boys’ Life,” the official publication of the Boy Scouts of America. Six years later, he sold his first cover to the most prestigious magazine of the era, the “Saturday Evening Post.” Over the next 47 years, he created 321 covers for the “Post,” which became synonymous with his name. He later worked for “Look” magazine, addressing more serious issues of civil rights, poverty and space exploration. [quoted from]
25 ZYG walkingtochurch4_grande
I bought two skeins of this Serenity 20 fingering 70% superwash merino / 20% cashmere / 10% nylon blend.

I remember when I bought my first two skeins of the ART WALK series back in March 2013 I had visions of collecting two skeins in each release thinking there’d be no more than ten or so releases. We’re now up to number 25 release and I’m starting to worry that I’ll be buying these ART WALK series for the rest of my life🙂 I wonder when they will cease??

Before I go, I must tell you that I am starting to sell some of hand knitted goodies. My friends have encouraged me over the last couple of years to start selling them but I didn’t feel inclined to but it has now got to the point where I have a lot of these items just sitting in zip lock bags as I can’t get around to wearing them all! You can find the ones I have for sale here and I will be adding items to this album over the coming months as I go through my rather large stash. If there’s something that’s taken your eye over the last couple of years and you’d like to own it, just drop me a line via me Contact Me page and if I’m not keeping that particular item then it’s for sale!

Until next time…