The Anemone Pair

It’s been a very scary few days for those who live in Central Queensland with the arrival of Tropical Cyclone (TC) Marcia. While the cyclone was hitting the coast, here in Brisbane we were experiencing lots of rain from another weather effect and then as TC Marcia was downgraded and travelled down the coast we had even more rain yesterday. It’s been a great couple of days for knitting and spinning and I’ve done both.

Today the sun has come out so I’ve managed to take some photos of three completed projects.

I bought two of these rovings a while ago and have had the spun skeins sitting in my stash for a while now. So I thought I’d make another One Row Handspun Scarf as it’s an easy pattern and I’m planning on taking the scarf to New Zealand in April. Hopefully, I’ll get to wear it quite a bit.

Anemone 01The spun yarn came out a treat and I love all the colour changes.

Anemone 06I think the scarf looks fantastic!

Anemone Handspun Scarf 05Anemone Handspun Scarf 06I used size 5mm needles as the yarn lends itself to roughly a 10ply yarn.

Anemone Handspun Scarf 07As with my previous One Row Handspun Scarf, I added the tassels. There’s eleven on each end and each tassel contains 5 x 10 inch lengths of yarn doubled over.

Anemone Handspun Scarf 09With the leftover yarn I decided to make a hat. I had no idea whether I’d have enough yarn so I just started on this pattern which is distributed by Bendigo Woollen Mills.

Anemone Handspun Hat 01Anemone Handspun Hat 02I’m pretty pleased with the result. Do you know how many photos I had to take to get these half-decent ones? Heaps and heaps is all I can say. Thank goodness for digital cameras where you can just hit the delete button because I did that a few times. I felt like a bit of a dill standing with a woollen scarf around my neck and a hat on my head in this hot weather. But it’s worth it when I manage to get a few good photos to share with you :-)

As it’s a bit of a slouchy hat, I can fold the brim up to make it a snugger fit.

Anemone Handspun Hat 04Anemone Handspun Hat 06As you can see I did run out of yarn but was lucky enough to find this Bella Baby Alpaca Blend yarn in my stash.

Bella Baby Alpaca Blend Blue 02A cute little hat even if I say so myself.

Anemone Handspun Hat 11Anemone Handspun Hat 12I love the decreasing effect too.

Anemone Handspun Hat 13And just to finish off, I made this Ruffles Cowl a while ago. It’s a very quick knit.

Ruffles Cowl 04I can see me wearing this cowl when cruising around Milford Sound in New Zealand as that will probably be one of the coldest places I visit.

I made it with Sullivans Celtic which is a 10ply yarn.

Here’s a sneaky peek at my latest lot of spinning that I started yesterday. The colour is called ‘Outback’ and it’s one of the rovings I bought from Kathy’s Fibres.

Outback 01That’s all my news for now. I hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend filled with lots of fibre and yarn.

Until next time…

Melanie

 

 

 

Lealt Socks – Pair # 35

Not long ago I felt the sudden desire to knit another pair of socks. I guess I was experiencing sock knitting withdrawal symptons! Who’d have thought that is actually a condition! I looked through my plethora of sock knitting patterns and suddenly remembered this little book that one of my spinning friends had given to me a couple of years ago. Thank you again Tricia :-)

Vogue SocksUpon reading the book I found a lovely pattern called Lealt Socks which was not too easy and not too hard. In fact, it was just right :-)

I actually had a similar coloured sock yarn in my stash to use. It’s Patons Patonyle and specifically made for socks.

Lealt Socks 03The socks came out a treat. You’ll have to excuse the colour variations in some of the photos which is due to the camera and taking photos outdoors I think.

Lealt Socks 08The heel is quite interesting too. Not sure how long you could wear these socks before the heel might start annoying you though.

Lealt Socks 11But you’d have to admit, it is very pretty.

Lealt Socks 13The Lealt pattern is quite exquisite too.

Lealt Socks 12This is the true colour of the yarn.

Lealt Socks 16Which is not too far removed from the colour of the yarn used in the pattern.

Lealt Socks 02Now I just need to wait patiently for winter to arrive so I can wear them!!

Lealt Socks 09Lealt Socks 07Lealt Socks 14To finish off I’d love to show you some little gifts I received on my birthday which was Friday the 13th. My friend Helen gave me this cute little sheep, a ball of bright orange 4ply cotton and she made the card too.

Helens presents 02And my friend Stephanie gave me a lovely fabric scarf with butterflies on it. Rather than using wrapping paper she used this gorgeous little orange basket and tied it with some orange ribbon. So clever and now I have this little basket that I can use.

Stephs present 01How lucky am I?

Until next time…

Melanie

Aussie Artisan Hand-Dyed Yarns

I live in an area where there are no LYS (local yarn shops) except for Lincraft and Spotlight. While both these shops carry a large range of yarn, they don’t carry much in the way of 4ply, 2ply or hand-dyed yarns. Over the last couple of years I’ve discovered quite a few fantastic Aussie artisan hand-dyers who produce the most gorgeous and delicious yarns plus the occasional ‘bricks and mortar’ shops in Brisbane.

Shorn Fibers is an online shop operating from Minden in SE Queensland, Australia.

Angela is an amazing artisan hand-dyer and for those of you who were at the Redlands Spinners & Weavers camp in September last year, you should remember Angela and the gorgeous array of yarns she displayed in her shop. Her prices are incredibly competitive as well. I have bought tons and tons of yarn from Angela. She knows my weakness for autumn shades and tends to dye exactly what I like. I can never resist purchasing a little bit more each time. I went crazy at camp last year!!

Here’s an array of just some of the yarn I’ve purchased from Shorn Fibers.

Shorn Fibers First Beach and Malarkey 02-tileDyed By Hand Yarns is an online shop located in Melbourne, Australia.

Julie Boydell has been open for business since June 2012 and has a fantastic array of gorgeous yarns in all plies and colours. There is also a yearly Sock Yarn Club which you can join. The theme for 2015 is Wild About Wildflowers – colours inspired by native wildflowers of Australia. This is a six month sock yarn only club. You will receive two skeins of sock yarn posted out in the last week in March, May and July. Yarns included will be one skein each of Tough Stocking, Mother’s Love, Big Blue Stocking, Silk Stocking, Blue Chip Stocking and introducing White Gum Wool 4ply.

Each skein of yarn will be dyed in a colour inspired by an Australian native wildflower. These colours will be exclusive to yarn club members for 12 months. Custom dyeing of these colours may be ordered by yarn club members for the duration of the club. The cost is $165 plus postage.

I have subscribed to the sock yarn club over the last two years and have picked up some stunning colourways.

Dyed By Hand Yarn Vegemite-tileDyed By Hand Yarn Spotted Gum-tileDyed by Hand Yarns Happy Wanderer 03-tileDyed by Hand True Blue-tileDyed by Hand Blue Opal 02-tileDyed by Hand Yarns Flame Tree 01-tileDBHY Surf Life Saving 06-tileDBHY Blue Ringed Octopus 03-tileDBHY Silk Stocking Gorgons Head Coral 02-tileDBHY Mothers Love Monkey Mia 04-tileDBHY Blue Chip Purple Sea Urchin 04-tileDBHY Blue Chip Bass Strait 02-tileAren’t they spectacular!! One of my other favourites from Dyed By Hand Yarns is this stunning Limelight colourway in Tough Stocking which I used to make these socks.

Limelight 03Augustbird is an online shop located in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia. Rebecca Robinson produces some of the most exquisite colourways. If you follow Augustbird on Facebook, Rebecca will usually post a message regarding the current month’s colourways. You have the opportunity to order the colours you prefer and they are hand-dyed on request. I recently completed a test sock knit for Rebecca and received a yarn voucher. I purchased two skeins in a stunning colourway called Songbird which I have yet to knit up. I’m waiting for just the right pattern.

Augustbird songbird Multi 02Augustbird songbird More Blue 02Skein is a small, independent hand-dyed yarn company based in Australia. All Skein yarns and fibres are kettle dyed using professional acid-based dyes. These dyes are permanently set by the use of a vinegar mordant and heat. Once the dyes have been fully absorbed and the kettle water is clear, the yarns and fibre are removed, rinsed and washed with a light, phosphate-free wool wash, and then gently spun and hung out to dry under the Australian sun.

I have purchased quite a bit of yarn from Skein too and found it to be of exceptional quality. The colourways that are offered are quite mind-blowing too.

Skein Alpaca Merino Worsted Wise 02Skein Alpaca Merino Worsted Cardamon 02Skein SpeakeasySkein Green Tea 2Skein Speakeasy 2Now to a couple of fantastic online suppliers of wool rovings. Firstly, Kathy’s Fibres. Kathy has a wonderful range of hand-painted rovings at only $11 for 100g. The colour selection is stunning. I have bought a few and have made a gorgeous scarf in the Forest colourway.

Autumn roving 02-tileJumbuck Julie also dyes some incredibly appealing colourways and her selection is mind-blowing. There is just so much to pick from! I just looked at her Etsy shop and there were 273 colourways available!!! They’re $11.50 each.

These are some of the rovings I’ve purchased from Jumbuck Julie. I’m currently knitting a scarf in the Anemone colourway (top left and bottom right below).

Anemone 01-tileNow to some local Brisbane (and interstate) ‘bricks and mortar’ and online yarn shops.

Yarn Glorious Yarn is situated at Suite 11/180 Moggill Road, Taringa (0438 374 364). You can also purchase online. Shop hours are Wednesday – Friday 10am – 3pm and Saturday 10am – 4pm.

Sue Wheeler is the sole Aussie supplier of Zen Yarn Garden (ZYG) yarns which are made in Canada. ZYG has been producing an ART Walk Series of yarn, the colours of which are based on famous paintings. They are simply exquisite and I have purchased two skeins in each series. They’re currently up to Number 13 and can be found at Yarn Glorious Yarn. Cost per skein is generally between $32-$36 but well worth the value particularly when some of the yarn has a cashmere content. Sue does not charge for postage if you purchase over $50 worth of yarn, which is always the case with me! Sue also stocks many other brands of yarn. ZYG has just started another series called ‘Inspiration‘. Oh my goodness, the colours are gorgeous!

David Hockney Garrowby Hill 04-tilePurlwise is an online store as well as a bricks and mortar shop located at 4 Comboyne Street, Kendall, NSW. Opening hours are 10am – 4pm Thursday – Sunday. Purlwise is run by Mark who has been knitting for over 20 years. (02) 6559 0202. All purchases over $50 do NOT incur any postage. You will also receive discounts for purchases over $100, $150, etc. There is a huge range of yarn to select and some very bright and cheerful colourways too.

Yay! for Yarn is an online store operated from Brendale, north of Brisbane. Kiri carries a huge range of yarn and always has yarn and patterns on her Clearance Items page which is worth a visit. Kiri was previously a high school art teacher but in mid 2008 she decided to take her yarn hobby to the next level which is when Yay! for Yarn was started.

That should be enough to whet your appetite don’t you think? There are still more great yarn suppliers in Australia which I’ll cover in a future story.

If I can give you one tip it is to make sure you subscribe to any online newsletters that are offered by these stores to ensure you’re always informed of sales and new yarns. It’s what I do and that’s probably why my stash is enormous! I would also recommend you ‘like’ their Facebook pages and join their Ravelry groups.

Until next time…

Melanie

The ‘Revenge’ Chair!

If you’re like me you probably subscribe to those ‘daily deals’ emails that seem to bombard your inbox every day: Groupon, Spreets, Grabit, Our Deal, eSold, etc etc. Not long ago an email from Deals Direct popped into my inbox and I was immediately drawn to the deal which was usually AU$149 and now on ‘sale’ for AU$129. It was called the ‘Revenge’ chair based, of course, on the infamous chair that Victoria Grayson sits on in the Revenge TV show.

Revenge chair 11Now the chair I bought isn’t quite as flash as Victoria’s chair but I bought it with a purpose in mind.

Revenge chair 01And that purpose is to use it as a spinning chair!

Revenge chair 06It will also come in handy as an extra chair when I have visitors. I love the fact that it has such a large base compared to my original spinning chair which I managed to pick up ages ago when I bought a package of second hand spinning goodies.

Chair 09To give my back extra support I simply use a nice plump cushion.

Revenge chair 08I tried it out this morning and finished spinning this gorgeous blend of merino and silk called ‘Peppercorns’. I must say I was quite comfy sitting in my new chair and spinning away.

DSC07074The chair takes up more room than the small spinning chair but that’s okay; I can live with that. I’ve just rearranged things a tad. I’m getting good at that!

Revenge chair 07The Parisian print is also very subtle and blends in with any decor.

Revenge chair 09Another little ‘sheepy’ knick knack that I picked up from my local Reject Shop (which sells quite a lot of sheep bits and pieces) is this cute little doorstop.

Sheep Doorstop 01His legs are weighted down so he’s not going anywhere in a hurry! I’ve moved my old spinning chair near the front door for the time being. It comes in handy when I need to plonk my bag down somewhere.

Sheep Doorstop 03What do you think of my new spinning chair? Do you use a traditional chair or a more comfy one?

Revenge chair 03I might add that it was very easy to put together and the postage was very quick too.

Paris chair 04Revenge chair 10I’ve just sold some wool on Ebay and now I have to search through my stash to find it as I can’t remember the safe place that I stored it. Yikes!

Until next time…

Melanie

A Dramatic Leftie!

After I’d finished knitting my first Leftie I was quite enamoured with the pattern so I started thinking about knitting another one! Ironically, I had not long purchased this wool from Spotlight.

Shepherd Colour For Me black 01Black is not generally colour I would purchase but it’s a good quality wool (Shepherd Colour 4 Me) and it was only $1.40 ball so I thought I’d stash it away for another day. Little did I know that day would arrive so quickly. I immediately thought how bold solid colours would really ‘pop’ against the black. My next project was now a reality and Leftie # 2 was created.

Leftie Scarf # 2 03Don’t those colours simply look so effective against the black?

Leftie Scarf # 2 05I used size 4.5mm needles and a selection of 8ply yarns predominantly Ashford Tekapo followed by Cleckheaton Country and Lincraft Cosy. These are the colours I used.

Leftie Scarf # 2 12I have a stack of the Ashford Tekapo that I bought on Ebay a couple of years ago for around $1 a ball. It’s really good to start using some of it. This scarf will go to New Zealand with me on my cruise in April this year.

Leftie Scarf # 2 06I love all these bright and happy colours!

Leftie Scarf # 2 07Leftie Scarf # 2 08Leftie Scarf # 2 09Leftie Scarf # 2 10And a picture to give you an idea of what the scarf looks like in its entirety.

Leftie Scarf # 2 04Another successful projects off the needles!

Leftie Scarf # 2 15I hope I have inspired you to knit a Leftie! It’s the perfect pattern to adapt using any size yarn and needles.

I had a wonderful time at Knit and Knatter yesterday although it was quite humid. There were eleven of us and we didn’t let the weather stifle our enthusiasm!

This morning (humid again) I moved some furniture and re-arranged my two stash rooms to make way for a small wardrobe which is currently housed in my garage. I need all the space I can get in the garage as my new car is larger than the previous one and it’s a tight squeeze opening the front door and getting in and out. Next weekend my son will come over and help me move the wardrobe and also take a bit of excess old furniture to the dump for me.

I’m now going to turn on the fan and read my book and later go for a swim. Tonight I’ll do some knitting. You didn’t think this weather would stop me knitting did you? I’m on a UFO roll at the moment. After I finished a pair of socks yesterday, I finally completed a shawl I’d been knitting for nearly a year. Tonight I might even tackle another UFO! Wonders will never cease.

Until next time…

Melanie

 

What is it about orange??

I remember back in 1977 when, as part of a married couple, I purchased my first house which was the ubiquitous high set timber home of those days in Queensland. There were two main colour schemes for the kitchen benchtops and they were orange and lime and I had the orange. Consequently all my kitchenware was also orange including some of my Tupperware.

Orange retro 02Orange retro 03Orange retro 01My lounge room was also adorned with orange bits and pieces. Yes, that was the 1970s. Fifteen years ago I moved into my current home which had a very pale pink colour scheme so I filled it with ‘pinkish’ accessories with the odd splash of purple.

MainBedroomMainBedroom_2That colour scheme lasted for many years until about four years ago I became heartily sick of pink and purple and decided to do some major renovations like ripping up my carpet and replacing it with lovely large ceramic floor tiles. It was also time for a new colour scheme so I concentrated on green downstairs as I still had a couple of nice mats which had pink and green in them. Green is also very ‘cool’ and easy on the eye.

02aLounge04aLoungeThe main bedroom also received a major makeover and initially I used only neutral colours.

000Hhmmm that’s a bit bland I thought. I need an accent colour. And out of the depths of my past came the revitalised colour ‘orange’! So I went ‘orange mad’ with accessories.

DSC01469More flowers…

DSC01476Teddy even received a new orange bow…

DSC01482And then I crocheted this blanket which also featured orange…

Starburst Blanket 09When visiting shops I kept zeroing in on ‘orange’.

Black lady hangers 02Scarf orange 02I was becoming more and more obsessed with orange. Help!!

Shoes coralMy tissue boxes even had orange in them!

Tissue Box 04And then ‘orange’ overtook my yarn purchases!!

Shorn Fibers Serengeti 07Shorn Fibers Merino 4ply Oranges and Lemons 02Marigold Silk OrangeCascade Superwash 220 Burnt Orange 01Sullivans Cotton-A Orange 01Ice Baby Batik Red Yellow Orange White 4Lily Sugar n Cream OrangeOrange Merino 250g 2Moda Vera Pure Wool 8ply TangerineCascade Ultra Prima 3750 TangerineModa Vera Playful Orange 01Mirasol 'Tuhu' 02And consequently my projects turned ‘orange’…

Country Charm Washcloth Coton-A Orange 01Baby Hat Orange 02Serengeti Scarf 01Tangerine Yolo 002Vest Apricot 02Pumpkin Pie Hat 04DSC00887Cowl Vesuvius 04Simply Sensational Citrus Socks Maidenhair Fern Socks 5OMG I think I have a problem don’t you??

And to top it off, this is what I bought yesterday…

Kia Sportage 17-1-15 01A brand new Kia Sportage Si Premium in the gorgeous colour Techno Orange!!!

My little red Hyundai Excel that I’d had since new will be 17 years old in June this year and although she only has 76,000 kms on the clock I felt it was time to upgrade from a manual to an automatic. I went to a couple of car dealers and most of the colours they were offering were either white, black, grey, silver and red. Boring!!! I want ORANGE!! so I persevered and found my ultimate orange car.

I’m happy :-) Hopefully I’ll pick her up at the end of the coming week.

Do you have a favourite colour that you’re obsessed with?

Until next time…

Melanie

 

 

Loving my Leftie!!

I am absolutely loving this Leftie I must say. It’s probably not the most flattering name for such a beautiful pattern but I’m assuming it’s called this because you do use lots of left over yarn to make this gorgeous scarf.

This pattern is one of three (you get a 10% discount when you buy three and you know how much I love a bargain!!) I recently purchased on Ravelry from German designer Martina Behm (Strickmich). The other two patterns are Endless Rainbow and Miss Winkle. I’m so fixated on Leftie (nearly finished my second one!) that I haven’t started the other two patterns yet.

What do you think of it?

DSC06967It makes me realise how many socks and shawls I’ve made as I sure had plenty of left over 4ply / fingering yarn to pick from!

DSC06969This is such an easy knit as it’s mainly garter stitch, p2tog, kfb and some w&t for the leaves. It’s a great social knit as it didn’t take me long to memorise the pattern so I didn’t have to refer to it after a while.

DSC06970I ended up with just over 200 sts before casting off after knitting 30 leaves. I used 2.5mm bamboo circular needles. There was a bit of fiddling towards the end as I tried to coax and manoeuvre the stitches along the plastic cable. I have heaps of long stainless steel circular needles but none in size 2.5mm!!

DSC06971The  main cream yarn I used was 135g of Bendigo Woollen Mills Superfine Sock which is a 75% merino / 25% nylon yarn. I bought four skeins of the 4ply plus four skeins of the 2ply and 10ply for only $12 per skein recently with the aim of using the yarn for dyeing purposes. I’m so glad I hadn’t started dyeing as the yarn was a perfect pick for this scarf.

BWM 2ply 01Here’s a glimpse of all that beautiful left over yarn I used. Each time I selected a yarn it brought back memories of its original project so this was quite a nostalgic knit too.
DSC06972DSC06973DSC06974DSC06975The colours really ‘pop’ against the cream yarn.DSC06977I love this green/yellow/orange variegated yarn. The short colour repeats really work well for this leaf pattern.

DSC06978It’s pure luck that I managed to get the two colours in this leaf.

DSC06979Three lovely variegated leaves!

DSC06980One more look!

DSC06968As I mentioned, I was so happy with this scarf that I immediately started another one which I have nearly finished.

Here’s a quick peek!

Leftie Scarf # 2 02Today is the first Knit and Knatter for 2015 and I am so looking forward to catching up with my friends and having a yarn or too. I’m interested to see what everyone has made over the Christmas/New Year break and what projects they’re now tackling.

Until next time…

Melanie