Holiday Knitting

There’s nothing quite like being on holidays when you don’t have to worry about housework or much cooking; your main concern is how to fill your days. Needless to say, in my case, that wasn’t too difficult as I’d packed way too many knitting projects.

This was my favourite spot to sit and knit and soak in the serenity of so many perfect Sunshine Coast winter’s days: the beautiful Noosa River at Noosaville. I spent hours here over four weeks just knitting and reading. It was sheer bliss!

Noosa Knitting

I finished another of my all time favourite scarf patterns: The Melissa Scarf. This one was made using Bendigo Woollen Mills’ 4ply sock yarn which I had solar dyed using Queen Food Colours.

Melissa Aqua Solar 05

Melissa Aqua Solar 04

I made Azzu’s Shawl (although it’s more of a scarf size) using a skein of yarn I won from Flock & Needle in a recent competition. It’s a Merino Silk Fingering in the colourway Lime Fizz and it certainly pops!

Azzu 02

This is the second Allegro Arcobaleno shawl I’ve made and I used Shorn Fibers’ Premium Sock in these lovely shades of green.

Allegro Green 01

This is also my second Pebble Beach Shawl although this time I made the small size using Moseley Park Wilcherry which is a 50% silk and 50% merino blend. Soooo soft I might add.

Pebble Beach Purple 02Pebble Beach Purple 03

When I blocked my Pimpelliese scarf it really grew in size which makes it a very nice length to wrap around your neck. I used Augustbird Fantail which is a White Gum sock yarn.

Pimpelliese 05

Pimpelliese 02Pimpelliese 03

As you can see, there was lots of knitting happening and I also came home with a couple of UFOs, one of which I finished yesterday; my SECOND Find Your Fade Shawl which I will block today. The Fade shawls are mammoth knits indeed!

Until next time…

Melanie

Country Hospitality

It was very opportune for me that the Kureelpa Spinners’ Friendship Day was held today while I’m still on holidays at Noosaville. Kureelpa is a rural/residential area six km west of Nambour on the road to Mapleton in the Blackall Range. It is thought that the name derives from an Aboriginal expression describing a native rat or mouse.

When I think of a country town two things immediately come to mind and that’s hospitality and community-minded and today’s Friendship Day had those in abundance.

A number of traders had their tables of wares set up to tempt us.

Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 07Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 08

Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 06

Barbara was there with her collection of Weave-It looms and pattern books. Needless to say, I own most of these 🙂

Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 10

One thing that did catch my eye was this very interesting spinning wheel made from a bicycle!!

Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 15

Have a look at that treadle. It’s the best use of an ironing board I’ve ever seen!

Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 12

I wonder what makes someone wake up one day and decide to make a spinning wheel from a bicycle 🙂

Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 16Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 14Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 13
We were plied with copious amounts of food consisting of cakes, biscuits and slices followed by hot soup and sandwiches for lunch and lots of tea and coffee.

A display of members’ handmade garments was presented and there were some amazing garments to be viewed.

Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 03

One of the most prolific knitters was a gentleman in the group whose knitting was stunning. Amongst other things, he made this blue jumper.

Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 04

We spent a bit of time just chatting and crafting. I brought this Melissa scarf I’d started a week or so ago. It’s an easy garter knit so is an ideal project to work on when there’s a lot of talking happening. The wool is Bendigo Woollen Mills’ sock yarn which I solar dyed using Queen food colours.

Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 23

And these two little sheep just jumped into my bag 🙂 How could I resist them at only $5 each?

Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 22

As we left I took some photos of the beautiful mountain scenery.

Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 25Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 29Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 30

Thank you Kureelpa Spinners for such a wonderful day. The best part is I’ll be seeing a couple of the women tomorrow at Pomona when I meet with the local spinners and knitters for another session 🙂

Until next time…

Melanie

Holidays!

It’s that time of the year when I gather lots of knitting projects, pack my car and drive to the beautiful seaside town of Noosaville located on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. The only downside is that most retirees from the southern states do the same thing to escape their bitterly cold winters to enjoy our balmy winter days.

It’s practically my second home and I love grabbing my chair and knitting and then stroll to my usual spot and gaze at this tranquil view for a few hours.

Noosaville Waterfront 14-7-17

I have started knitting another Pebble Beach Shawl although this one will be the small size as opposed to the large one I made a while ago.

Noosaville Waterfront 12-7-17

I’ve only given you a glimpse of the shawl; more will be revealed once I’ve finished it 🙂

I was going to bring along a spinning wheel but at the last moment changed my mind and brought along my Weave-It looms which I bought this year. I haven’t used them much so I thought this would be an ideal opportunity to practise some more.

Stretch loom 01

This particular Weave-It is a 6″ stretch loom and is perfect for weaving handspun yarn, 12ply yarn or in this case, mohair yarn.

Stretch loom 02

Not long ago I found this absolutely gorgeous baby garment pattern on Ravelry called Watermelon Baby Cardigan. It is a quick knit and looks adorable.

Watermelon Cardi Mauve Pink 01

This is what I call addictive knitting; something quick, colourful and so pretty.

Watermelon Cardi Green Orange 01Watermelon Cardi Green Navy 03

My internet connection here is soooo slow so I’m not sure how many posts I’ll be able to release as I don’t want to spend all my holiday time on the laptop!

So I’ll leave it there and get back to some knitting!

Until next time.

Melanie

Find Your Fade Shawl

What is it that suddenly makes a Ravelry pattern very popular? Photos? Word of Mouth? Or maybe both reasons. Find Your Fade is a pattern that has appeared everywhere lately: Ravelry, Facebook and Instagram. And it’s for that reason that I decided a couple of months ago to give it a go.

The pattern takes seven skeins of yarn which are meant to ‘fade’ into each other. This was the fun part for me: shopping in my stash. This is the selection I came up with.

Find Your Fade choices

A combination of beautiful, luxurious and super soft merino, cashmere, alpaca and possum. Yummy!!

Here are the colour choices from left to right:

Colour A Dyed By Hand Yarns Mother’s Love superwash merino 80% / cashmere 10% / nylon 10% Monkey Mia
Colour B Touch Yarns Merino Brown/blue
Colour C Flock and Needle Merino/Nylon superwash Luke
Colour D Flock and Needle Merino/Nylon superwash Stormy Shoreline
Colour E Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 Superwash merino 70% / cashmere 20% / nylon 10% Tree in Autumn
Colour F Loris NZ Alpaca 15% / Merino 55% / Nylon 20% / Possum 10% Roast Chestnuts
Colour G Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 Superwash merino 70% / cashmere 20% / nylon 10% Samaratin

It was a pleasure to knit this shawl as all this luscious yarn slipped between my fingers.

Find Your Fade 16

Blues faded into browns which faded into oranges which faded into brown.

Find Your Fade 03Find Your Fade 04Find Your Fade 05Find Your Fade 08Find Your Fade 10Find Your Fade 11Find Your Fade 13

It’s difficult to describe in words all the beautiful colours so I have provided lots of photos for you to view.

I also highly recommend you use a different centre double decrease (CDD) for a crisper look. So glad I found this hint in someone else’s notes and it does give a nice crisp look. I used slip 2 knitwise, k1, pass the two slipped stitches over.

Find Your Fade 02_1Find Your Fade 12Find Your Fade 19Find Your Fade 20

Not all of each seven skeins is used so with the remaining yarn plus an additional skein I will be able to make another Find Your Fade shawl.

I have replaced Colour F (orange) with a paler orange skein from Zen Yarn Garden.

Find Your Fade yarn choice

So the new order of yarn from top to bottom (left hand side photo) is

Colour A Flock and Needle Merino/Nylon superwash Stormy Shoreline
Colour B Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 Superwash merino 70% / cashmere 20% / nylon 10% Tree in Autumn
Colour C Flock and Needle Merino/Nylon superwash Luke
Colour D Touch Yarns Merino Brown/blue
Colour E Dyed By Hand Yarns Mother’s Love superwash merino 80% / cashmere 10% / nylon 10% Monkey Mia
Colour F Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 Superwash merino 70% / cashmere 20% / nylon 10% Pumpkin Spice
Colour G Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 Superwash merino 70% / cashmere 20% / nylon 10% Samaratin

The actual pattern is quite easy; just rows of garter stitch and some very basic lace. The secret is to ensure you always start with a K1, yo and finish with a yo, k1. Those yarn overs are very important!

My shawl was entered into the recent Redlands Spinners & Weavers’ Open Day fashion parade and I have since sold it. I am gradually getting used to not forming an emotional attachment to my garments. It is so lovely to see someone else fall in love with what I’ve made 🙂 The funds enable me to buy more yarn and make more creations!

Soon, I will be venturing back up to my favourite holiday spot at Noosaville so you’ll be getting my news from a wonderful part of the world. I will be visiting a group of spinners and knitters at SpillDEBeans café in Pomona on most Wednesdays and hope to have a couple of my crafty friends visit too.

Lots of rest, relaxation, knitting and weaving! Yes, I’m taking my Weave-it looms so I can have lots practise while I’m lazing on the banks of the Noosa River 🙂

Until next time…

Melanie

Vintage Fan Ripple Stitch

If you’re a yarn addict like me, no doubt your Facebook page will display lots of suggested patterns and yarns. I don’t take too much notice of them as I have plenty of patterns and yarn to keep me busy this lifetime and the next! One that did catch my eye was the Vintage Fan Ripple Stitch. Now I’m not much of a crocheter; very basic in fact but I was intrigued with this pattern so I decided to give it a go.

Vintage Fan Ripple 01

This picture fails to capture the vivid colours of this gorgeous wool I used which is Bendigo Woollen Mills’ Classic 8ply. I love this wool; it’s beautiful and it’s Australian too. The colours I used are Broadleaf, Burnt Orange, Celery, Guava, Marigold, Mulga and Pumpkin.

Vintage Fan Ripple 02

I used a 4m hook and I’m very pleased with the finished product. I’ve just changed all my bed linen and have placed this afghan on my bed for the winter months.

Vintage Fan Ripple 05Vintage Fan Ripple 06

It’s funny when you’re crocheting or knitting something this size you immediately think it’s going to be huge because it takes up quite a bit of room on your lap when you’re making it. However, once it’s spread out on a queen size bed it doesn’t look that large! Consequently, I’ve had to put it off centre a bit so I get the benefit of it 🙂

Vintage Fan Ripple 08

I made this afghan a while ago but have only just photographed it as it’s been in my linen cupboard waiting for the cooler weather to arrive.

Vintage Fan Ripple 07

I’ve noticed it’s been about three weeks since my last post. I can’t believe how quickly the time goes. I always seem to be so busy that my posts fall behind. I’ve been knitting and spinning as well as buying an old spinning wheel, refurbishing and onselling it. This always keeps me busy.

Next weekend I’m going to a weaving camp where I hope to get a little weaving done although I will also be taking along a number of baby garments I’ve made that don’t have their buttons on them yet as I hate sewing on buttons which means garments can sit there for months before they’re completed. I figure being at camp will be the ideal place to finally sit down and finish that pesky sewing 🙂

That’s my news for now.

Until next time.

Melanie

The Shambles Socks – Pair # 61

It’s not often I write a pattern for socks; usually I’m testing other patterns or searching for patterns on Ravelry. I’m pleased to say, here is one of my patterns.

When I visited York in the UK in the 1980s I distinctly remember visiting The Shambles. I was fascinated by the uneven cobblestone paving. This pattern reminds me of those cobblestones: a bit wonky and uneven.

the-shamblesyork

All the more reason to call this pattern The Shambles Socks!

Shambles Socks 17

These socks are knitted cuff down. The pattern is easy to memorise as it just consists of some knitting, purling, k2tog, ssk and yo.

My sample is a Size 9 women’s (Australia; European size 40). Because this is a 16 sts repeat, it would be easier to go down a needle size if you wish to make a smaller pair or go up a needle size to make a larger pair.

Shambles Socks 07

I always like to read through a pattern and highlight any instructions that I think I’ll need to be alerted to when I reach a particular section. This tends to save time and hopefully will avoid the need to frog any knitting 🙂

I used the Eye of Partridge heel flap which gives a lovely subtle pattern.

Shambles Socks 11

The toe is a standard one: alternate rows of decreasing and knitting until you have five sts left on each needle and then simply graft close.

Shambles Socks 10These socks are not tight fitting; they have quite a bit of ease in them so if you like your socks to fit very firmly I would suggest you go down a needle size or two. I find my socks are very comfortable for wearing around the house, especially now the mornings are getting cooler as autumn fades into winter.

Shambles Socks 01

I used Patons Patonyle 4ply in the colour Tangerine Dream for my socks. The solid colour really shows off the pattern.

Shambles Socks 03

Hopefully, you’ll  enjoy knitting these socks as much as I did.

I’m now starting another test knit. Between that and knitting my Find Your Fade shawl/wrap and trying to do lots of spinning, I am quite busy! Here are my yarn selections for the Find Your Fade shawl/wrap. This is a massive knit and is going to take quite a while but it is easy and fun.

Find Your Fade choices

And to finish off, I pick up this little beauty at the Olde English Fair at Birkdale where I and some of my spinning friends were asked to demonstrate. As you can gather, I love these little bargains 🙂

Sheep from Olde English Fair

Here we are doing our demonstrating as well as lots of talking 🙂

THE FOUR OF US AT ST GEORGE'S. 6.5.2017

Until next time…

Melanie

 

Socks and Bags Swap

One of the benefits of belonging to different craft groups is you get to meet people who are proficient in crafts that you’re not! This was the case recently when one of my friends showed me a bag she’d made. I instantly wanted to own it so I asked her the cost and rather than give me a price she suggested a swap: I make her a pair of socks in return for the bag. What a win/win situation 🙂 Have a look at this lovely bag made of leather and tapestry fabric and fully lined.

Jos Bags 09

I love all the little pockets that Jo included inside the bag. It’s so easy to find everything. There’s even a key ring holder that’s attached to the bag so you’ll never lose your keys.

Jos Bags 10

In return I made Jo these Cable Rib Socks using Patons Patonyle 4ply yarn, probably one of my favourite sock yarns.
Jos Socks 01Jos Socks 04
I love the very subtle cable in this pattern. It complements this striped yarn nicely.
Jos Socks 07Jos Socks 11
When Jo published a comment recently on Facebook that she’d just made herself another denim bag and had cut out two more for sale, I immediately jumped in with a comment that I’d like to buy one as the denim bag would do nicely on the weekends. Again, Jo came back with the comment ‘how about another pair of socks?’. So I made another pair for Jo using the Circle Socks which is a free pattern on Ravelry.
Jos Circle Socks 01

This pattern is deceptively easy and the effect is fantastic!!

Jos Circle Socks 04

I noticed on Ravelry that some people had continued the circle pattern down on the top of the foot but I felt that it would be a bit too textured and maybe uncomfortable when wearing shoes or boots for a while so I kept to the pattern which was just plain knitting for the foot.

Jos Circle Socks 05

And this is my gorgeous denim bag made by Jo using recycled denim jeans.

Jos Bags 01

And customised especially for me 🙂 Love that zippered pocket on the outside of the bag.

Jos Bags 02

It also has the keyring holder attached to the bag. Plus the jeans’ pockets have been used on either side of the bag for more storage.

Jos Bags 04

Love the compartments inside and take a look at that gorgeous lining 🙂

Jos Bags 07

Plus a zippered pocket inside.

Jos Bags 08

I was very lucky as this bag came with its own matching purse.

Jos Bags 05

I am amazed at all the beautiful work including the personalised tag on the zip.

Jos Bags 06.JPG

Aren’t these bags just stunning? And they’re one of a kind too! I am very lucky indeed. I also discovered that Jo had kindly given both pairs of socks to family members so I am busily making another pair for Jo to keep for herself as she deserves them!

If you’re interested in Jo’s bags you can contact her via her Facebook page Jo’s Handy Handmade Bags.

And now a quick look at a few bargains I’ve managed to pick up at local Opp Shops. This is becoming quite a habit and is quickly filling my home with all things sheep!

Baa sheep mugSheep ceramic twoSheep PortugalSheep

And lastly some good news to share. I recently entered this competition:

Flock and Needle 1

And I won the major prize!! A project bag stuffed with yarn 🙂

Flock and Needle 2

This a truly wonderful prize and I must thank Alison from Flock and Needle for being so generous 🙂 And if you’re very quick you’ll catch the tail end of the Easter sale where all yarn and project bags are only $25 each!

Flock and Needle prize

My prize arrived on the Thursday before Easter so it was a lovely Easter gift without the calories 🙂

That’s all my news for now. I hope you’ve been doing lots of crafting during the Easter break as I have.

Until next time…

Melanie