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🙂

cute-sheep-01

I now have two sheep backpacks.

sheep-backpack-01

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..

Melanie

 

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…

Melanie

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…

Melanie

 

 

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.

Melanie

Yarning

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 Art.com]

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 Art.com]
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 Art.com]
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 Art.com]
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…

Melanie

My Favourite Scarf Pattern

This is my absolute ‘go to’ scarf pattern. It’s quick, easy and symmetrical. It’s the Melissa Scarf and to date, I’ve made 15 of them and am currently working on my sixteenth! Now, if that’s not a guarantee that I love this pattern, I’m not sure what is🙂

This particular scarf was made from my own handspun fibre which is an Ashford merino/silk sliver in the colourway Peppercorns. It’s lovely and lush and springy.

Melissa Handspun Green 01

Good old Cleckheaton Country Colour 8ply; you can’t go wrong with this wool and particularly this gorgeous colourway.

Melissa Mauve Multi 01

Depending on how wide you make your scarf, you can easily wear it this way.

Melissa Mauve Multi 02Moda Vera Bardini was used to make this scarf. I know the colour is a little boring but the number of times I’ve wanted just a plain navy scarf was happening much too often so when I saw this yarn on sale I grabbed it!

Melissa Scarf Navy 01This scarf is made from Moda Vera Stirlingshire which is a super bulky yarn so I was playing yarn chicken as I cast off my picot edging and I lost so you can see I’ve had to substitute a slightly lighter shade of green to finish. This one I’ll keep for myself🙂

Melissa Scarf Forest Green 01Passioknit Outback Langley is the yarn used in this scarf and the colourway is Old Gold. I’m rather fond of these colours.

Melissa Scarf Old Gold 01I bought two balls of hand-dyed Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic 8ply from the Queensland Spinners Open Day in May this year and made two of these scarves.

Melissa Scarf Classic Orange Blue 02

This one is slightly lighter and brighter. I’m loving all these colours together.

Melissa Scarf Classic Orange Blue Bright 02

The following two scarves are in hand-dyed Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 8ply, again from the Queensland Spinners Open Day. I sold this one at our Open Day (along with quite a few other items).

Melissa Scarf Luxury Dark 02

This one is slightly lighter and I love it!

Melissa Scarf Luxury Light 04

This pattern is fabulous if you just have a couple of balls of wool left. The overall width of your scarf is determined by the number of cast on stitches at the beginning of each row. I tend to cast on seven stitches which makes the scarf grow wider faster. By casting on five stitches at the beginning of each row your scarf would grow wider a bit slower but you’d get more of a triangle effect in the front. It’s all  dependent on how much yarn you have to start with.

The biggest challenge is making sure you leave enough yarn for your picot bind off!

Before I sign off, look what I found at the Noosaville newsagent.

Noosaville sheep 07

I’m a sucker for these cute little sheep🙂

I’m back home now and am doing some spring cleaning before I go back to work next. Back to reality with a big thump🙂

Until next time…

Melanie

 

Holiday Opp Shopping!

Who’d have thought I’d go on holidays and manage to discover a whole lot of Opp shops in the area! I visited my sister in Mooloolaba and on the way home I stopped at Maroochydore as I’d discovered there’s a long stretch of Opp shops along Aerodrome Road. I cleaned them out of toy sheep!

This magnificent ram looks brand new and was only $4.50!

Noosaville sheep 01 Noosaville sheep 02 Noosaville sheep 03 Noosaville sheep 04These four sheep were discovered in Noosaville.

Noosaville 3 sheep Noosaville sheep 05c

And I found this little one in the Noosaville newsagent.

Noosaville sheep bought

Wow! where am I going to put them all when I get home???

Noosaville sheep 06And of course I also managed to pick up these four sheep mugs all at the same Opp shop in Tewantin.

Noosaville sheep mugs 01And this one from Maroochydore.

NZ sheep mugPlus these two little knick knacks. I think this little sheep would have resided in the kitchen with maybe some utensil resting in that hole??

Kitchen sheep 01Not sure what this little egg cup shape item would be used for but it looks cute🙂

Egg cup 02I also visited the Eumundi Markets last Wednesday, which is a must for anyone visiting the area and found a stall filled with bags. There were hundreds of them. I asked the owner if he had any sheep bags and this is what I left with.

Sheep bag vinyl 02

It’s rather large and made from vinyl so is water repellent to a certain degree. I was quite exhausted after this purchase so I grabbed a coffee and a couple of sinful jam donuts🙂

Sheep bag vinyl

And totally not related to sheep, I picked up these two pairs of shoes. I have more of these at home in different colours so I was really happy to pick up these ones. They are so comfy!

Beige shoes Navy shoesI’ve also been doing lots of knitting but for some reason I’m stuck on knitting fingerless mitts and haven’t touched any other projects. I’m also thinking about selling some of my knits through my MelsNattyKnits Facebook page. Once I’m home I’ll start sorting out what to sell.

I’ll leave you with a couple of my everyday views at Noosaville.

Pelican 16=7=16

Reading and coffee 12-7-16

DSC09404Until next time…

Melanie