A Mini Getaway

I’ve just come home from a four day mini getaway in the Redcliffe area which is north of Brisbane.  Last Monday and Tuesday I attended beginner/advanced weaving workshops where I learned quite a few new techniques so I can now add a bit more interest to my weaving projects. If you live in the Brisbane area, I would highly recommended these workshops. Lindy is an Ashford agent and knows all about spinning, weaving, knitting and a multitude of other crafts. She holds these workshops regularly so you can send her an email to book a spot.

We each made a sampler over the two days which displayed all the different techniques.

Weaving sampler scarf

Not the best colours to mix and match but as it’s just a sampler and not for wearing I am happy with the results:-)

As an aside, my son visited me last weekend and I showed him some of my woven scarves when he asked whether I could make a man’s one for him. Now, that was the last thing I’d expected to come out of his mouth. I just didn’t think he’d want to wear a scarf. So I said to him ‘what about this grey one with the black stripe’ and he immediately put it on and claimed it. I gave him strict instructions about hand washing the scarf too:-)

Richard 17-4-16 with Mums scarfI stayed in a motel in Margate for the three nights and had a wonderful time walking along the waterfront from Margate to Redcliffe. For those of you who live in the Redcliffe area you are so lucky to have this lovely waterfront. This is Margate Beach.

Margate Beach 01Imagine waking up to that lovely sight every morning!

In Redcliffe I visited the very famous Bee Gees Way which is a wonderful tribute to the brothers Gibb.

Bee Gees Way 27I took a stack more photos which you can view here.

And of course, you didn’t think I would visit a new area and not check out the Opp Shops!! Margate has a cluster of these shops within walking distance of each other so I visited each one (and some of them twice!). Here are my bargain buys.

This gorgeous knitting mug for $1…

Knitting Mug 1-tileHow’s this for a rocking sheep! I was amazed these items are actually made let alone me finding one for $6.

Rocking SheepAnother little sheep to add to my collection…

NZ Sheep

I was also given these six beautifully hand made coasters by Pam, a member of the Redcliffe Spinners & Weavers. Aren’t they beautiful?

Sheep coasters fabric

Along the foreshore at Redcliffe there are lots of eateries which were a welcome sight after my rather long hot walk from Margate. This was my view from one of the coffee shops.

Redcliffe coffee shop

There is something about being near the water which instantly calms me. I would love to one day own a home right on the waterfront so I could hear the gentle lapping of the waves as I did at Margate. I also spent over an hour sitting on the jetty at Redcliffe peacefully doing some knitting.

On the Thursday, I attended the Redcliffe Spinners & Weavers Friendship Day which was lots of fun and has geared me up for the Redlands Spinners & Weavers Open Day on 21 June. I was also given this lovely plate from my friend Gillian who spotted it at a second hand shop recently.

Shearer Plate

And on Friday night at another regular crafty gathering with two others, my friend Stephanie gave me this sheep mug she’d found in an Opp Shop.

Sheep Mug side 1-tile

Isn’t it stunning? Every sheep on the mug is different. It’s probably the most unusual mug in my burgeoning collection:-) I’m very lucky to have this mug as it’s from Scotland as can be seen by the logo under the mug.

Sheep Mug bottom

And to finish off, even though this isn’t sheep related, I did find this rather lovely bag for only $4.

Striped bag

So, all in all, it was a lovely quick getaway to an area of Brisbane that is less than an hour’s drive from my place but I never seem to get there.

Now, it’s time to get back to some more weaving, spinning and knitting:-)

Until next time…

Melanie

Lincraft European Collection Elevate – Stormrider Jacket

In February this year I was approached by Lincraft to see whether I’d like to feature in a knitting themed (what else:-) ) guest blog. Lincraft very kindly supplied some yarn and patterns for me to use which I happily accepted.

This beautiful baby garment – Stormrider Jacket – caught my eye so this is the project I made from the pattern book.

Lincraft Elevate pattern bookI chose to make my Jacket in the gorgeous colour “Fuchsia”. Unfortunately, I don’t have a baby to model my jacket so the jacket on a coathanger will have to suffice:-) But I did provide a lovely background including sheep and a couple of spinning wheels:-)

Stormrider Jacket 01Lincraft European Collection Elevate is a lovely squishy 12ply / bulky 100% premium acrylic yarn which makes it perfect for a child’s garment as it will wear and wash very well. It comes in generous 100g balls.

Lincraft Elevate Fuchsia 01 Lincraft Elevate Fuchsia 02The pattern calls for 6.5mm needles so as you can imagine this was a relatively quick knit. It’s knit in five main pieces (back, two fronts and two sleeves) plus two small pockets and the hood is knitted by picking up stitches held on stitch holders along the tops of the back and two fronts.

The hood is a clever addition as it will keep your baby toasty warm during those cold months.

Stormrider Jacket 02 Stormrider Jacket 04There are four sizes that you can make: newborn, 3, 6 and 12 months. I chose to make the 12 months size and this cute little garment will become part of the knitted goodies that I’m collecting in the hope that one day my son will give me a grandchild:-)

For those of you who are more experienced at knitting, you could even knit this jacket in the round which will alleviate the side seams and sleeve seams.

The pattern is unisex so could easily be made for a little baby boy using Lincraft European Collection Elevate “Ink”..

Elevate blue

Other colours include Lincraft European Collection Elevate “Charcoal”

Elevate charcoaland Lincraft European Collection Elevate “Wood”

Elevate woodI used four pink buttons to complement the fuchsia yarn but you could even use four different coloured buttons if you so wished.

Stormrider Jacket 03To show you what the jacket looks like on a 12 month old toddler, I have captured the photo from the pattern booklet. She certainly looks very snug and warm:-)

Stormrider Jacket pattern pic-tileAs you can see, this is a delightful pattern, quick to knit and would be a welcome addition to any little baby’s wardrobe this winter:-)

If you’re looking for a baby jacket pattern, I would highly recommend this one as it’s quick and easy which is something we all like when it comes to knitting:-)

Until next time…

Melanie

Just Because Socks – Pair # 50

I’ve finally finished the last ‘single lady’ which completes my four sock pattern test knits that I started on 22 February. Phew! Now I’ll be able to concentrate on other projects. These beautiful socks – Just Because – are particularly unusual because they have a smattering of beads on either side of the leg.

Just Because Socks 09 Just Because Socks 13The patterning is simply beautiful. This sock is worked top-down and combines slipped stitches, a simple lace pattern and either beads for a bit of sparkle (on the leg only), small bobbles if bling isn’t your thing or simple purl stitches if you don’t want the texture of the bobbles. The pattern dips into the heel flap to give it a bit of flair, and the lace pattern gives the finished product a nice stretch.

Just Because Socks 10 Just Because Socks 14 Just Because Socks 15It simply amazes me how some people have the knack of visualising a pattern from a chart. Where do they come up with these wonderful ideas?? Normally, I’m not a chart user but for some reason I’ve been using the charts on all my sock test pattern knits where they’ve been provided. It may have something to do with the fact socks are so small so there’s not too much repetition of the pattern. And the charts are not too big either. Some of those charts for shawls just do my head in:-)

Just Because Socks 11 Just Because Socks 18The yarn I used is Sweet Georgia BFL Sock in this lovely shade called ‘Pumpkin’.

Sweet Georgia 4ply Orange 01I found the beads at my local discount store for $3.95 a packet!

Beads 03Now, all I need is for the weather to actually turn cooler so I can wear them! We’re half way through autumn here in Brisbane and it’s still 31 degrees Celsius today!

Just Because Socks 12 Just Because Socks 16Until next time…

Melanie

Moriarty Socks – Pair # 49

Another ‘single lady’ off the needles which completes another sock test pattern knit! These lovely socks are called Moriarty Socks.

This pattern is inspired by Moriarty, the clever nemesis of Sherlock Holmes. The design features a dropped stitch pattern down the front of the leg and top of the foot and simple ribbing down the back of the leg and top half of the short row heel. This stitch pattern combined with the ribbing makes a very stretchy sock. I found it a very easy pattern to memorise and one that I may even use in future socks.

Moriarty Socks 01This pattern used the short row heel which I struggled with initially despite the fact that it’s probably easier than the traditional heel flap. I think I am just so used to picking up those stitches on either side of the flap that I find any else challenging!

Moriarty Socks 02The yarn I used is from the very first sock yarn club I subscribed to run by Dyed by Hand Yarns. The colours of each sock yarn were based on something uniquely Australian. In this case, the colourway is called Happy Wanderer.

Dyed by Hand Yarns Happy Wanderer 02-tileI might add the 2016 Sock Yarn Club has just opened and this year’s theme is Bush Tucker – colours inspired by the native bush foods of Australia.

I love the colours in this sock yarn; the olivey green with the splash of mauve.

Moriarty Socks 03 Moriarty Socks 04Dana Gervais is a fantastic pattern writer. This is the second pattern I’ve tested for her and I love both of them. They’re so well presented and easy to follow. The first were the gorgeous River Song Socks.

Moriarty Socks 05 Moriarty Socks 06I picked up some lovely Misti Alpaca Hand Paint sock yarn from a destashing knitter on Facebook last week for $15 each. This yarn is a luscious combination of 50% alpaca / 30% merino / 10% silk / 10% nylon.

Misti Alpaca Hand Paint 4ply Columbia Misti Alpaca Hand Paint 4ply Queen Royal BlueMisti Alpaca Hand Paint 4ply EiffelPlus these two balls of Naturally Waikiwi sock yarn in this bright purple for $5 each. It’s not normally a colour I would buy but quite often some sock patterns look better in a solid colour to really show off the pattern so these will be kept for that purpose.

Naturally Waikiki PurpleThat’s my news for now:-) I’m off to remove another woven scarf from my 30cm Ashford Knitter’s Loom. I’ve been doing tons of spinning and weaving lately which I will show you in due course:-)

Until next time…

Melanie

River Song Socks – Pair # 48

Happy Easter everyone! I hope the Easter Bunny has been kind to you:-)

Animated_bunny_hopping_aroundI’ve just finished the second sock to this sock test pattern knit. Another beautiful pattern from Dana Gervais. This one is called River Song and requires quite a bit of cable twisting to recreate this beautiful pattern.

River Sock Socks 02River Sock Socks 04The yarn I used is Sweet Georgia BFL Sock in this lovely shade of aqua which I thought was quite appropriate for the name of the pattern:-)

Sweet Georgia 4ply Blue 01I have rather enjoyed these pattern test knits, especially those that only require you to complete one sock. The only problem is I have all these ‘single ladies’ that I need to finish to make a pair:-)

River Sock Socks 06This pattern called for 2.25mm needles which makes a nice dense knit and shows off the pattern beautifully.

River Sock Socks 03River Sock Socks 09Doesn’t that pattern look quite spectacular? Heaven knows how these clever people come up with them! I’m more of a knitter than a pattern writer I have to confess.

River Sock Socks 11 River Sock Socks 12I was very lucky last week to receive a bundle of vintage books from a dear friend whose Dad was an avid spinner back in the 70s and 80s. I’ll enjoy reading these…

Cathy Books 01 Cathy Books 02 Cathy Books 03 Cathy Books 04I’ve also been having lots of fun spinning on my latest wheel – Genesis Arnon. I did some stash diving and found this very colourful rainbow roving.

Rainbow 01One more look at those lovely socks:-)

River Sock Socks 13That’s my news for now. Hope you’re having a fun-filled Easter weekend.

Until next time…

Melanie

# 17 Genesis ‘Arnon’ Spinning Wheel from New Zealand

I am soooo lucky!!! The stars aligned for me again yesterday:-) I was at the QldBaysideYarnClub‘s monthly yarn gathering when one of our members arrived and told us she’d been to a number of garage sales that morning and had spotted a spinning wheel. She very kindly took the phone number of the seller and showed us all a picture of the wheel. Of course, my interest was immediately piqued:-) I rang the seller to ascertain if the wheel was still available (as it was then later in the afternoon). It was, so I left the group a little earlier than usual to view the wheel. Luckily, it was only about a 10 minute drive too. This is what I found…

Genesis Arnon Spinning Wheel 01Swoon!! Seven bobbins too!! The original price was $150 and my friend told me the seller would probably take $120 but I cheekily asked whether she’d take $100 and she agreed. It was late in the afternoon and I think she just wanted most of her items sold. Apparently the wheel was bought in New Zealand around 30 years ago. It hadn’t been used in years as was evidenced by the squeaky noises coming from her when I turned the wheel.

She’s a little Genesis ‘Arnon’ wheel. Genesis wheels were made by Hans Schouten of Hokitika, on the West Coast of the South Island. The first one was made in 1980 from macrocarpa and Southland beech. He made many more after this, improving on the original. Genesis wheels came in two varieties. The ‘Justus’, which is carved into the front of the table.The other Genesis model is ‘Arnon’. Like ‘Justus’ it is carved with its name and a motif, but the table is a more rounded shape and there are holders for more bobbins.

Thank you to Mary Knox who administers the New Zealand Spinning Wheels site for this information. This information is also contained in Mary’s book New Zealand Spinning Wheels and Their Makers which she has provided free for those of us who love our spinning wheels and wish to find out more about them.

Mary states you are welcome to make and share copies, but please do not use anything in them for any commercial purpose. You may quote from them but please mention where the quotation comes from.

This is written under the table of my Arnon.

Genesis Arnon Spinning Wheel 17 I believe this is what it says 18/3/86 Hand crafted by Hans Schouten – Genesis Creation – Hokitika. Did you notice the date? I bought it yesterday which was 19/3/16 which means this little wheel was 30 years and one day old when I bought her! Genesis Arnon Spinning Wheel 18This morning I quickly took her apart to start the job of cleaning and oiling as she was a bit stiff and creaky. All the usual gear came out! The Lazy Kate rods were a bit rusty but I managed to get a lot of the rust off using steel wool and WD40. I smeared some spinning wheel oil on each one before returning the bobbins onto them.

Genesis Arnon Spinning Wheel 06She’s looking better already!

Genesis Arnon Spinning Wheel 07Voila! Look at that shine!

Genesis Arnon Spinning Wheel 08Look at that beautiful carving on the table:-) And the very handy inbuilt Lazy Kates.

Genesis Arnon Spinning Wheel 10And there’s Arnon engraved on the front of the table.

Genesis Arnon Spinning Wheel 09Genesis Arnon Spinning Wheel 14This aspect reminds me a little of the Wee Peggy – there is no front maiden upright. This makes lifting the flyer off so much easier.

Genesis Arnon Spinning Wheel 11If you look carefully you can see the original threading hook hanging upside down. It’s always a bonus to have an original threading hook as they’re so easily lost.

Genesis Arnon Spinning Wheel 13I can’t wait to start spinning on this little baby but I have to wait for the oil to dry completely. I used my usual concoction.

Genesis Arnon Spinning Wheel 15Happy dance:-)dancing-snoopy-happy-dance-1542582yipeeee_snoopyOne more picture of this beautiful spinning wheel.

Genesis Arnon Spinning Wheel 12So, I am now the owner of 17 gorgeous spinning wheels:-)

Until next time…

Melanie

 

The Four Seasons Summer Socks – Pair # 47

You’re getting to see these socks before the pattern has even been released! This is one of the three pattern test knits I’ve been busily completing over the last month. For this test, I had to complete both the socks as they’re a mirror image of each other. What do you think?

Summer Socks 12Surprisingly, I actually followed the chart rather than the written instructions which is not usually how I knit. Because the pattern chart didn’t look too ‘busy’ it was easy to follow and I soon got into a rhythm.

Summer Socks 02Such beautiful detail in this pattern. It’s a six stitch cable and looks lovely.

Summer Socks 10I love the pattern in between each cable. It amazes me how pattern writers come up with these fantastic pattern ideas.

Summer Socks 05The yarn I used is Shorn Fibers MCN Sock in the colourway Kelp. Beautiful and soft and a pleasure to knit with; must be that bit of cashmere:-)

Shorn Fibers Kelp 01A beautifully turned heel even if I say so myself:-)

Summer Socks 03Summer Socks 04Last night I started the second sock of another test knit which means I have only that sock to finish and the second sock for another test knit. Alas, when I checked my emails this morning, one of those pattern writers has already released another sock pattern for test knitting and has earburned me so I’ve committed to another one!! Luckily, I only need to finish the one sock:-)

Summer Socks 16Summer Socks 17Yesterday I finished another scarf on my 30cm Ashford Knitters Loom and today I want to warp up another one so that I can do a little every day.

Tomorrow I’m off on a bus trip to Noosa which includes a cruise on the Noosa River which I am really looking forward to. I’ll take some knitting on the bus with me as it’ll take a couple of hours to get there. Can’t waste a precious minute:-)

So much to do and so little time to do it in:-)

Until next time…

Melanie