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

Knitting News from Noosaville

I’m now enjoying my fourth day of holidays and you could say I am completely relaxed. That’s what Noosaville is all about: relaxation, no stress, slow living, doing what I feel like and when I want to, knitting, walking, drinking coffee, meeting friends, eating lots and just being happy!

How can you not be happy when this is your view every day?

Noosa River 9-7-16I arrived on the Saturday around lunch time and was lucky to get the keys to my unit straight away so I unloaded my car and then headed off to the grocery store to stock up for the next week or so.

On Sunday, I met some friends for a coffee and lunch and then met some more friends along the banks of the Noosa River. It was so enjoyable chatting and having a drink of wine. On the way home to my unit I spotted this lone pelican on the river.

Pelican 10-7-16Yesterday, I did a bit of walking around to combat all the food I’ve already started eating!!

Today I spent about four hours sitting on the banks of the river reading and knitting. It was forecast to be a warmer day today despite the fact we’re in the middle of winter. However, under the shade of the tree I was sitting under it was quite cool and there was a strong breeze. Luckily I had brought a poncho with me so I was quite toasty and warm🙂

Knitting on the river bank 12-7-16And then I took a walk along the esplanade and had a coffee and read some more🙂 I’m reading Linwood Barclay‘s latest novel ‘Far From True’. He’s one of my favourite authors.

Reading and coffee 12-7-16Since I’ve been here I’ve made a pair of fingerless mitts.

Cosy Thermal Mitts Grey 05And this morning I completed the first in another pair!

Good Time Mitts Cosy Naturals 01I’ll give you more details in a later post. Suffice to say, I made my first pair of fingerless mitts about three weeks ago and since then I’ve completed about 10 pairs!!

Tomorrow I am off to meet with some of the spinners and knitters at Pomona which I am looking forward to.

Until next time…

Melanie

Liquorice Allsorts Shawl

When I first bought four skeins of this incredibly colourful wool I wondered what I’d make with it.

Liquorice Allsorts 01I knew that one day the right pattern would present itself so when I found the Multicolor Shawl pattern on Ravelry, I knew I had hit the jackpot! I managed to pick it up when it was free but it’s not a very expensive pattern anyway. If you do happen to have this pattern, please note that I found a few errors which are located on the Ravelry page for the pattern. Once these errors were sorted out, it was an easy knit.

Licquorice Allsorts Shawl 03Quite a riot of colour don’t you think?

Licquorice Allsorts Shawl 04I particularly love the edging which is basically a lot of YOs in one row and then on the following row about nine stitches are knitted/purled which makes the holes.

Licquorice Allsorts Shawl 12 Licquorice Allsorts Shawl 13

Licquorice Allsorts Shawl 08 Licquorice Allsorts Shawl 11This wool from Candy Apple Lane is actually Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxiry 8ply and it’s beautiful to use.

Because this is an 8ply wool and 4.5mm needles are used, it makes a lovely generous shawl. The placement of the increases also creates a shawl that sits very comfortably on your shoulders without slipping off.

Licquorice Allsorts Shawl 02

I would highly recommend this pattern but bear in mind you will need quite a bit of yarn. My shawl took just over 200g of 8ply wool. I am now planning my second one using a lot of Cleckheaton Country 8ply that I have amassed.

Cleckheaton Country Burnt Mix 01

Yesterday I arrived at Noosavile for my annual holidays. I love this place!! Here’s a picture of what I look onto every day🙂

Noosa River 9-7-16So you can expect a lot more photos like this for the next couple of weeks🙂

Until next time…

Melanie

 

Maleny Knitfest 2016

In mid June I visited the inaugural Maleny Knitfest with two of my fibre friends. Maleny is a small, scenic town 90 kilometres (56 miles) north of Brisbane on the Blackall Range overlooking the Sunshine Coast hinterland in Queensland, Australia.

The town of Maleny is home to some of the Hinterlands most creative and innovative artists and craftspeople. With a range of different creations from woodwork, to beads and musical instruments, the town is always abuzz with some sort of artistic show or creative endeavour. Many local craftspeople are found regularly at the Sunday markets at the Maleny RSL,

The town was awash with some fabulous yarn bombing.

Maleny Knitfest 2016 10 June 09 Maleny Knitfest 2016 10 June 12 Maleny Knitfest 2016 10 June 13 Maleny Knitfest 2016 10 June 14 Maleny Knitfest 2016 10 June 15 Maleny Knitfest 2016 10 June 17 Maleny Knitfest 2016 10 June 18 Maleny Knitfest 2016 10 June 32 Maleny Knitfest 2016 10 June 35 Maleny Knitfest 2016 10 June 36 Maleny Knitfest 2016 10 June 37 Maleny Knitfest 2016 10 June 38The organisers produced a wonderful program for the weekend which you can find here.

We stayed at Maleny Lodge, which has been operating continuously as a successful boarding house, guest house and bed and breakfast for over 60 years. Originally named ‘Rosedale’, Maleny Lodge was built around 1905 by Mr A.C.K. Cooke for his family with at least five bedrooms. This grand Queenslander was an impressive residence.

Our accommodation was right in the middle of Maleny so we could shop, come back and drop off our purchases and wander out again or, as we did on a couple of occasions, sit in the lounge room and just chat, drink tea and knit!

Melanie Maleny LodgeThe days were beautiful and the nights were quite cold but we were well prepared in our winter woollies.

Maleny Knitfest 2016 10 June 51And of course, there was lots of shopping to be done!

I really love the woven basket I bought from the Co-op. It’ll come in handy to store some of my projects.

Knitfest 2016 20 Knitfest 2016 25

Some beautiful handspun alpaca; so lush and soft!

Knitfest 2016 01

Loving these colours in this 2ply lace yarn.

Knitfest 2016 03

Couldn’t resist these orange bed socks from a shop that sells local handmade goodies.

Knitfest 2016 08

Only $5 each for these key rings from the Maleny Markets on the Sunday. How cute are they?

Knitfest 2016 10

Plus, you can have your name engraved for free!

Knitfest 2016 11

A lovely alpaca scarf.

Knitfest 2016 17

There were a few more things but I can’t keep you here all day🙂

How about this for some yarn bombing: the local police station.

Maleny Knitfest 2016 10 June 33

And the little bus that took us on our mystery tour around Maleny.

Maleny Knitfest 2016 10 June 41Love this photo of my friend hiding behind one of the yarn bombed cows.

Maleny Knitfest 2016 10 June 16There were lots of goodies for sale and display in the RSL hall.

Maleny Knitfest 2016 10 June 21 Maleny Knitfest 2016 10 June 24 Maleny Knitfest 2016 10 June 25 Maleny Knitfest 2016 10 June 26 Maleny Knitfest 2016 10 June 27I would highly recommend the Maleny Knifest. It’s not a long drive from Brisbane, it’s a beautiful and quaint country town with an amazing buzz and vibe. The shops are unique and there are enough of them to keep you busy.

I would like to congratulate the organisers for creating such a fantastic event for us fibre lovers. It was a lovely weekend and I had so much fun!

Thank you!

Until next time…

Melanie