Noosaville Holiday Wrap-Up

My three weeks’ holiday at Noosaville has now come to an end :-( It’s been an amazing time and I have loved every minute of it! This is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world and I am so lucky to live so near to it.

I’ve had spectacular weather and was privileged to walk along the Noosa River and look at this every day.

Noosaville 17-7-15 01Noosaville 30-7-15 01Noosaville 30-7-15 03I love these majestic pelicans that make the Noosa River their home.

Pelicans Nville 30-7-15 01Pelicans Nville 30-7-15 03

This particular part of the walk along the riverfront is quite magical.

Weeping figs 01Weeping figs 03So many people have stopped and chatted to me as I sat at my usual spot near T-Boat Hire knitting to my heart’s content. Most of these people have been Victorians, Tasmanians and New Zealanders escaping their bitterly cold winters to spend 4-8 weeks in our gorgeous winter sun. The kids were all back at school so it really is the best time to visit the Sunshine Coast. One couple who stopped and chatted to me remembered me sitting in the same spot last year!

I have experienced some gorgeous afternoons as the sun set.

Noosaville Clouds 22-7-15 05And of course, I’ve had loads of fun at Sheep Thrills meeting so many lovely knitters and crocheters. I even met a spinner originally from Brisbane (now living in Tewantin) who knows someone in my spinning group!

Sheep Thrills 16-7-15 02Bonnie (the owner) gave me a big hug this afternoon as I left for the last time. I was quite sad as I really love this little shop and the eclectic mix of women who visit for a knit, crochet or simply to purchase yarn. Today it was very busy with 21 noisy crafters at work.

Sheep Thrills 30-7-15 05And I’ve gazed at so much luscious yarn. And of course, I have bought a lot of that luscious yarn :-)

Ella Rae Lace Merino 03Sheep Thrills 03I even managed to buy this very cute little sheep at the local newsagent of all places! She’ll fit right into my bedroom with its orange accent colour :-) I bet you wished you had her Bonnie :-)

Sheep Orange Feet 01Sheep Orange Feet 03During the last three weeks, I have crocheted a C2C afghan, knitted three Croc-a-tail scarves, a My Friend Nancy scarf, a Chunky Misti Hand Paint Alpaca scarf, a Lophelia cowl, a Cria Concentrate scarf and a Margarita hat. You’ll get to see all these projects once I’ve blocked some of them and settled back in at home.

Many thanks to my friends whom I met with during the last three weeks. I’m going to miss you all but the good news is, I’ve already booked my three weeks for next year so I have something to look forward to!!! :-) :-)

To finish off, here’s a collage of all the selfies I took nearly every day and posted on my FB page, no doubt, driving my friends mad in the process :-)

Melanie 16-7-15-tile

So until next time…

Melanie

C2C Afghan

I’m not a great crocheter as I prefer knitting and can read a knitting pattern a lot easier than I can a crochet pattern. However, when I was recently at Sheep Thrills I noticed a lovely crocheted afghan casually thrown over the back of a chair. Upon asking, I was told this was a C2C (corner to corner) afghan. Quite a few of the ladies in the QldBaysideYarnClub of which I am a member are addicted to crocheting C2C throws so I thought I’d investigate further.

Leah from Sheep Thrills suggested I look at The Crochet Crowd video tutorial which explains how these afghans are made, which I did. It didn’t take long to get the gist of how they’re created and I was on my way.

The yarn I used was Lotus Yarns Winter Sun Aran in the colours chocolate brown and apricot. The yarn was on sale at Sheep Thrills for $4 a ball.

Lotus Yarns Winter Sun Aran Apricot 01Lotus Yarns Winter Sun Aran Brown 01In total I used 13 balls of each colour (yes, I had to buy more than the 10 balls of each colour that I had).

From this small start in a corner…

C2C Throw 01to this slightly larger afghan…

C2C Throw 02The finished size is approximately 4 foot (1.2 metres) square.

C2C Throw 05I must admit on the cooler days here at Noosaville it was great to be working on this project as it kept me warm at the same time!

C2C Throw 04When I finished the afghan, I added a chocolate brown border of three trebles, two chain in each three-treble space followed by the final border in apricot of seven double trebles in one two-chain space, a treble in the next two-chain space and so on. I had to do a bit of cheating to make sure the seven trebles always occurred at a corner.

C2C Throw 06I am very happy with my first C2C afghan. In fact, when I get home I’m going to make one using different coloured 4ply baby yarn. It shouldn’t take too long as it won’t be as large as this one.

C2C Throw 07Have I tempted you to maybe start a C2C afghan?

C2C Throw 08C2C Throw 09C2C Throw 10Until next time…

Melanie

Beaded Wavy Leaves and Butterflies Shawl

My friend Gillian made this gorgeous Wavy Leaves and Butterflies Shawl (minus the butterflies) and I was quite captivated by it so I set myself a challenge to make one myself. This was my first attempt at real lace knitting and using beads too!

My first mission was to find the correct yarn. Gillian had used a cashmere/silk blend as it draped beautifully so I hopped onto Ebay and searched through one of my favourite Ebay yarn seller’s stores (A Chronic Yarnoholic) and found two skeins of Posh Yarn’s Audrey Lace in the colourway Turn Your Face Up to the Sun. It’s a 60% silk / 40% cashmere blend in beautiful golden shades. The cost was quite extravagant at $48 a skein but I wanted a quality yarn if I was going to put in all the work of knitting a lace shawl with beads.

Posh Audrey Lace 01In total I probably used 180-185g of the 200g I had. I really wanted to make sure I had enough to make a nice large shawl. Now, you’re probably going to think I’m mad but I do hate knitting from charts (and there are others like me to!!) so I sat down and wrote out all the instructions and typed them up before I started knitting. Yes, it took a while but it made it so much easier for me.

I had to contact the pattern writer to clarify the chart instructions. Once she explained it to me I felt like a bit of a dork. It goes to show that every day can be a huge learning curve. Thank you to Athanasia Andritsou for kindly helping me out. I wrote some notes on my Ravelry page about this shawl if you’re thinking about knitting it.

This was also my first attempt at nupps and I used the crochet hook method using this video tutorial.

Wavy Leaves Shawl 19But rather than do too many nupps I used lots of beads – 736 in total! The beads I used were from Over the Rainbow:

5 x 06-MIX06 6/0 Miyuki Seed Bead Mix – Golden Grains – 12.5g each
1 x SB6-556 6/0 Dark Topaz AB Seed Beads – 12.5g (plus a few more from another tube)
1 x SB6-10 Beads – 25g
I just added the beads randomly and was quite ecstatic with the end result

Wavy Leaves Shawl 15Wavy Leaves Shawl 15 Wavy Leaves Shawl 20I started the shawl on 26 January 2015 and finished it on 22 March 2015 but it sat languishing until I got around to blocking it on 1 July 2015 (I hate blocking!!).

It was a mammoth effort as the shawl is rather large to say the least!

Wavy Leaves n Butterflies 01I am quite proud of myself for persevering with this project. Here is the completed shawl.

Wavy Leaves Shawl 05It was a bit difficult to get far enough away so I could get the whole shawl in the photo.

Wavy Leaves Shawl 08Wavy Leaves Shawl 06This is what I call a ‘scrumptious’ shawl as it wraps around so easily and the beads provide a sense of weighted security.

Wavy Leaves Shawl 07I can’t believe I painstakingly added 736 beads with a crochet hook!Wavy Leaves Shawl 11Here’s a picture of the border with the ‘butterflies’ above it.

Wavy Leaves Shawl 12Wavy Leaves Shawl 14Wavy Leaves Shawl 21I haven’t actually measured my shawl but suffice it to say it is large!

Wavy Leaves Shawl 03Maybe my next lace/beaded shawl will be a tad smaller. I might add that the whole shawl was made while I was laying in bed and watching TV which made is so much easier as the weight of the shawl rested on me rather than hanging off the needles. I do most of my knitting at night in bed watching TV. Where’s your favourite place to knit?

I hope I have inspired you to try a lace/beaded shawl. And don’t be afraid to contact the pattern writer if you get stuck. I would highly recommend this pattern as Athanasia responded to my question in an extremely timely manner.

Happy knitting! I’m off to Sheep Thrills for social knitting and then to meet a couple of friends for lunch in Noosaville. I am loving my holiday!

Until next time…

Melanie

 

A Chunky Scarf, Baxter and a C2C Throw!

This little project took me only one night to complete. Granted it was knit on 9mm needles using Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Chunky yarn which is luxuriously soft as it’s a 100% baby alpaca.

Misti Alpaca Chunky 02The pattern is Misti Chunky Ribs & Ruffles Scarf and has lovely ruffled ends.

Misti Chunky Scarf 03This scarf has certainly kept out the bitingly cold wind which I experienced not long after my arrival at Noosaville.

Misti Chunky Scarf 02Another little project I completed not long ago is an adorable little bear from a gorgeous book called Knitted Toy Tales: Irresistible Characters for all Ages by Laura Long and it’s the Daddy Bear pattern. This book has the cutest little characters you can knit and they are all photographed beautifully. I have called my bear ‘Baxter’.

Knitted Toy Tales 01Baxter Bear 01These little bears are quite easy to make especially the face as the nose section is knitted separately and then sewn onto the face. And of course Baxter had to have a bright orange I-cord to match the accent colour in my bedroom as this is where he lives.

Baxter Bear 02The wool used to make Baxter was spun by someone else. I just plied, washed and skeined it. I recently bought another spinning wheel and two of the bobbins were filled to the brim with spun yarn which looked salvageable so rather than throw it away, I plied it. The yarn felt a bit coarse to be worn close to the skin so this teddy was the perfect project. He’s also stuffed with wool so he’s a 100% wool bear!

Spinning Wheel full bobbinsHere’s Baxter with the other two teddies I’ve made with a couple of sheep that wanted to get into the picture too :-)

Three Bears 01While I was at Sheep Thrills last week, I noticed a lovely crocheted throw and when I asked about it I discovered it was a corner to corner (C2C) pattern. I was instantly intrigued so the next day I sat down in front of my laptop and watched Mikey from The Crochet Crowd explain how these blankets are made. I’m using the lovely Lotus Yarns Winter Sun Aran wool I bought and I am quite pleased with my progress.

C2C Throw 02Who’d have thought I’d put down my knitting for some crocheting!!

And to finish off, what do you think of this lovely large and orange carry bag I picked up at Noosaville? It’ll be perfect to accommodate my C2C throw as it grows larger and larger!

Orange bag 01

Until next time…

Melanie

 

Holiday Happenings

The last few days have simply flown by; I hope the next two weeks slow down a bit. I’ve met with wonderful friends, done lots of knitting, walked a lot, bought lots of wool and met some fantastic women at social knitting.

The weather has been perfect! Blue skies, lots of sun and very cold at times so needless to say I’ve been trying out all my scarves and socks. This morning was absolutely stunning as I walked to Sheep Thrills to partake in social knitting (the third time this week!!)

Noosaville 17-7-15 01The Noosa River looked absolutely gorgeous. It was a crisp and vigorous half an hour walk for me. That’s one way to warm up.

Noosaville 17-7-15 02This is where I normally sit and knit on the riverfront.

Noosaville 17-7-15 03Today I met a whole new group of women at Sheep Thrills. I love this little shop. It has such an inviting atmosphere and you’re instantly made to feel at home. You could say it’s now my ‘home away from home’.

Sheep Thrills 17-7-15.jpg 01Sheep Thrills 06Two women reconnecting with their craft so their table was relatively quiet as they concentrated on how to knit and crochet.

Sheep Thrills 17-7-15.jpg 02The glorious selection of yarns is to die for!!

Sheep Thrills 01Sheep Thrills 02Sheep Thrills 03Sheep Thrills 07Sheep Thrills 09As you know I love a yarn bargain so I just had to indulge in these yarns which were on sale for only $4 a ball!! These are Lotus Yarns Winter Sun Aran which is a 100% extrafine merino.

Lotus Yarns Winter Sun Aran Apricot 01Lotus Yarns Winter Sun Aran Brown 01I am going to use these balls to make a couple of In Threes baby cardigans.

Lotus Yarns Winter Sun Aran Navy 01Lotus Yarns Winter Sun Red 01Lotus Yarns Winter Sun GreenThese three balls of Lotus Yarns Miya will be used to knit a gorgeous lacy shawl or two with beads. This is a 2 ply / lace yarn and is made from 70% mink, 20% merino and 10% silk. It is wonderfully soft.

Lotus Yarns Miya Brown 02Lotus Yarns Miya TanAt Sheep Thrills there are gorgeous handmade throws and garments all around the rooms that are on display and for sale.

Sheep Thrills 05One the throws I saw was a C2C crocheted rug. Now I’ve heard a lot about C2C from the women of the QldBaysideYarnClub so I was intrigued. Leah told me about The Crochet Crowd tutorial video which I viewed and now I am really quite interested so I have earmarked the 20 balls of apricot and brown Lotus Yarns Winter Sun Aran yarn for this project. I am going to be busy!!

Until next time…

Melanie

 

A Star is Born!

Well, maybe not quite a star but I am pleased to say that an article appeared in today’s Wynnum Herald which was sourced a few weeks ago by a local journalist. Now this is not a great copy as I’ve downloaded it from a photo taken by a friend of mine. As I’m at Noosaville I can’t actually get to an original copy until I get home.

Wynnum Herald articleUnfortunately, they spelt my surname incorrectly and there’s a couple of other minor errors but as the interview was done over the phone, I’m at least pleased they got the gist of the story correct. The journalist found me through this blog which is good to know.

I visited Sheep Thrills this morning for a short session of social knitting (I’ll return tomorrow). Nothing nicer than looking at something like this while you’re knitting and chatting..

Sheep Thrills 15-7-15All that lovely yarn! If you’re a fan of Ella Rae Lace Merino, you’ll know that here in Australia it retails for around $30 a skein. At Sheep Thrills it’s only $20 and they have a fantastic range of colours too.

Ella Rae Lace Merino 01Ella Rae Lace Merino 02Ella Rae Lace Merino 03I bought a skein in a colour I don’t usually buy as it is quite eye catching.

Ella Rae Lace Merino # 208I’ve also started knitting another scarf using some lovely yarn from The Fibre Company called Road to China (which is a 65% Baby Alpaca, 15% Silk, 10% Camel, 10% Cashmere blend) and I think I’m going to be short a ball so I found this Eki Riva Sport which is a 100% baby alpaca yarn today and bought a couple of balls. I think it will be a nice contrast. It’s a little thicker but I’m hoping it won’t detract from the scarf as it will only be the top edge of the scarf where I’ll use the substitute yarn. Time will tell!!

Eki Riva Fawn 01Here it is against the Fiber Company Road to China yarn.

Eki Riva FawnHowever it turns out this scarf is going to be soooo soft!

That’s my news for today.

Until next time…

Melanie

Another scarf off the needles

Last night I finished another scarf. I actually had three on the go and thought it was about time I actually finished one of them! I’ve got this thing about starting numerous projects and then swapping between them. It must be the variety that I like.

This pattern is called My Friend Nancy and I was drawn to it because it was sooo easy and I had the recommended yarn.

Nancy Scarf 01Who’d have thought navy blue and orange could look so good together! It matches the bright orange top and cardigan I brought on holidays with me. The yarn is Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball and the colourway is 1537 Herbstsonne.

Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball HerbstsonneThe pattern consists of mainly garter stitch interspersed with eyelet rows. So easy and you don’t really have to think too much. Plus with the variations of colour in the yarn I felt it best not to try and knit an intricate patterned scarf.

Nancy Scarf 04I don’t have my mannequin with me so I’m limited with the photos I can take. I haven’t blocked the scarf either but it doesn’t look too bad and I did wear it today and it was very comfortable.

Nancy Scarf 03I made a bit of a modification by using a picot bind off just to make a change.

Nancy Scarf 02Today was spent visiting my sister who lives on the Sunshine Coast and then meeting some friends for coffee at Noosa. Tomorrow I am planning on taking my knitting down to the riverfront and settling in for a few hours but that will depend on how cold it is as a result of the unusual cold snap the eastern part of Australia is experiencing at the moment. It’s perfect weather for all my knitted woollen garments and I am loving it.

I’m also loving the fact that I managed to pick up a wireless mouse today so I can now use my laptop without having to rely on that horrible finger pad :-)

Until next time…

Melanie