Deborah Norville Everyday Soft Worsted Solids Yarn from American Yarns in Melbourne, Australia

American yarns like Premier, Caron, Red Heart, Bernat and Lily sugar ‘n cream are sought after in Australia. Did you know there is a now a local supplier?

When Pauline from American Yarns, an online yarn shop based in Melbourne, contacted me to see whether I’d like to try some of their yarn, of course my answer was a resounding YES!

I had a look at the website as I was looking for suitable yarn to make a baby cardigan and boots. Pauline suggested Deborah Norville Everyday Soft Worsted Solids which is a 10 ply yarn.

I was sent three balls of this yarn in the colourway Spa and a contrasting colourway Grass.

Deborah Norville Premier Everyday 01
This yarn is beautifully soft and squishy and perfect for a baby’s delicate skin. It’s a 100% acrylic anti-pilling fibre. Each 113g ball contains 186m/203 yds. As it’s a worsted yarn I used 5mm needles but you could quite easily use 5.5mm needles too. The ball band provides tension square details for both needle sizes.

The pattern I selected is the In Threes baby cardigan which is such a popular pattern on Ravelry with over 7,500 completed projects!

In Threes Green Blue 04

In Threes Green Blue 05I’m so glad I suggested the contrast colour and thank you Pauline for selecting such a great match.

The yarn is beautiful to knit with; it has such an even and consistent thickness and comes in a great colour selection which you can see on American Yarn’s website.

Three buttons finish off the cardigan. I have a thing about using odd buttons too. I have so many different one off buttons. Why not just use them!

In Threes Green Blue 07

The yolk does look so much nicer when a contrast yarn is used on the garter stitch section don’t you think?

In Threes Green Blue 09

Using only one ball of the Spa and Glass (with some left over), I also made these rather cute Baby Hug Boots. So using less than two balls of yarn you can knit the 0-6 months size In Threes cardigan and these Baby Hug Boots.

Baby Hug Boots 03

I made the three month size boots using size 5mm needles which made the boots more for a six month old. I have used this pattern before and it’s actually knitted back and forth and then the boots are seamed. I prefer to use dpns and then I only have to seam the sole.

Baby Hug Boots 05

This is my ‘go to’ baby boots pattern and I particularly love using a contrast colour for the sole and the ribbed top.

Baby Hug Boots 01

If you’re after some great American yarn, then head on over to American Yarns and check out their website. They also have a Facebook page as well as an Instagram page.

Thank you Pauline and American Yarns for allowing me to try your lovely yarn; it’s perfect for baby garments 🙂

I hope you enjoy knitting with this beautiful yarn as much as I did!

Until next time…

Melanie

 

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Lindy’s Shawl

Lindy is a member of my spinning group. She’s also an incredibly talented spinner, knitter, crocheter, weaver, and the list goes on. She’s also extremely generous when it comes to sharing her knowledge and skills. Lindy is also an Ashford rep and dyes her own wool which we get to buy in copious amounts!

One of Lindy’s latest creations was some beautifully gradient dyed merino/bamboo which she used to knit a shawl using a pattern she made up along the way. Club members absolutely loved the yarn and pattern so we asked Lindy to write down the pattern and she kindly obliged.

I’ve just finished my first shawl and I am absolutely over the moon at the end result.

Lindys Blue Green Yellow 01

I love the gradient effect of lighter to darker. You can also choose to go darker to lighter. Lindy dyes two skeins of 8ply merino/bamboo and once caked, the idea is to make sure you knit both cakes making sure you select either the inside or outside tail to ensure the colour flows.

Lindys Blue Green Yellow 02
This is the first time I’ve knitted the Cluster 5 Knit stitch and it took me ages to get it right. I frogged the start of this section four times before I took a quick look on YouTube and found this video which made it so much easier to understand.

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It’s a beautiful stitch and the effect is amazing.

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The shawl blocked beautifully as the bamboo gives it a lovely drape.

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I’ve nearly finished another of these shawls in merino and when I see Lindy tomorrow at spinning, I hope to buy a couple more skeins of her dyed merino/bamboo blend as I am quite enamoured with this pattern.

On a personal note, I have been quite busy lately destashing my spinning wheel collection to bring it to a more manageable number. I now have seven wheels and will probably try to move a couple more. I’ve also reduced my yarn stash as I realised I will not be able to use what I’d had in a lifetime. It’s quite liberating moving bits and pieces to new homes and reclaiming space in my home.

Until next time…

Melanie

More Simple Skyp Socks

I have made these socks previously but this pattern appears to be a ‘go to’ pattern for me as the finished socks always look great! It’s a free pattern I found on Ravelry called Simple Skyp Socks and they sure are simple. They’re a cuff down pattern and I use five dpns. I can’t seem to deviate from cuff down despite knowing that toe up socks are better when you have limited yarn and can only use half for one sock.

Skyp Socks Blue Purple 02Skyp Socks Blue Purple 03Skyp Socks Blue Purple 04

I used two 50g balls of Regia Design Line by Kaffe Fassett 4-fädig which is an amazing sock yarn as it comes in so many lovely colours.

The second pair also uses the same yarn but in other very vivid colours.

Simple Skyp Socks 01Simple Skyp Socks 02

The colours are so vibrant; they stripe well and give great stitch definition.

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Sometimes it’s just nice to have a simple pattern to add some interest to your socks. I highly recommend this pattern!

As summer rolls into Brisbane I’m not sure why I’m still knitting socks but it seems to be an obsession with me!!

I’ve also been in quite a massive decluttering mode and going through my entire stash and selling the yarn I know I probably won’t use. I seem to gravitate towards 4ply and a bit of 2ply so most of my 8ply wool is now sold. Next I’ll start on all the baby yarn I own and try and destash most of it.

Until next time…

Melanie

 

The Rose is Magical Socks Test Knit

Here’s another beautiful sock pattern by Penny Schumers who designs her patterns under the name Knit-by-Bit Designs. I test knitted these socks a few months ago: The Rose is Magical Socks. Penny actually featured some of my pictures on her project page which is always an honour 🙂

The Rose is Magic socks 01

This pattern is gorgeous and perceptively easy. Most of the stitches are repeated row after row and only four of the 24 rows is where the cabling occurs. It’s really worth the effort as you’ll end up with a gorgeous pair of socks.

The Rose is Magic socks 15The Rose is Magic socks 18

The yarn I used is Patons Patonyle Merino Ombre 4ply and it is incredibly soft and the way it’s dyed gives an interesting effect.

Patonyle Merino Ombre Rose

This was the 65th pair of socks off the needles!! Not sure what it is about socks but you’ve either got the sock knitting bug or not 🙂

The Rose is Magic socks 14The Rose is Magic socks 20

Happy knitting!

Until next time…

Melanie

Two Sock Pattern Test Knits

It’s been a while since I posted about some of  my sock knits, particularly a couple of test knits. The first is Leaves are Changing Socks by Penny Schumers from Knit-by-Bit Designs. This sock pattern was designed because of Penny’s love of the changing of the leaves when Fall comes. This stitch pattern reflects a row of leaves. The striping of the socks allows them to be changing.

Leaves are Changing Socks 01

This pattern may look difficult but it was quite easy to memorise once I got started.

Leaves are Changing Socks 03Leaves are Changing Socks 10

I cannot rave enough about this sock yarn which is Bendigo Woollen Mills Multicoloured Sock. It is so reasonably priced and incredibly soft and delicious to knit with. This shade is called Pastel Multi.

6522-pastel
Such beautiful socks even if I say so myself!

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Leaves are Changing Socks 15

The second test knit is Frozen Roses Socks also by Penny Schumer. The stitch pattern has a rosebud floral feel, framed with rows reminiscent of stems with thorns.

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Another beautiful pattern which was a pleasure to test.

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The yarn I used was Dyed By Hand Yarns Tough Stocking. I love the colours in this yarn which is called Verticordia.

DBHY Tough Stocking Verticordia 01DBHY Tough Stocking Verticordia 02

Frozen Roses 03Frozen Roses 04Frozen Roses 05

What I love about testing for Penny is that she always seems to write the cuff down and toe up instructions for her socks which makes her patterns available for each type of sock knitter. I am a cuff down girl!

If you’re a confident sock knitter I would highly recommend you opt into one of the test knits as you get an opportunity to knit a new pair of socks and you get the pattern before anyone else! Just check out the Ravelry Free Patterns Testers page. You don’t necessarily have to test knit socks; there are tests for all types of garments.

Until next time…

Melanie

A Random Act of Kindness

We’ve all heard about them and we’ve probably all participated in a random act of kindness but usually it involves someone you know. In this case, a random act of kindness I received was from a complete stranger.

If you’re an Instagram user with an unlocked account as mine is under my MelsNattyKnits name, you’ll love getting followers with similar interests to your own and in my case, especially followers in Brisbane. A few weeks ago I received an Insta message from one of my followers which showed a couple of large toy sheep. It’s obvious that my obsession with toy sheep had struck a chord with this follower.

Fiona lives on the north side of Brisbane and was at the recent Brisbane Exhibition where she bought two of these sheep; one for her and one for me. When she mentioned in her message that she thought of me straight away, I felt quite touched and overwhelmed.

As her husband works near me, we arranged for me to pick up the sheep at his workplace. I felt quite humbled as her husband gave me a large plastic bag and inside it was this gorgeous sheep.

Fionas sheep 01_resize

We had a lovely chat and Brad told me his wife Fiona was quite an introvert and he was the extrovert in the family. He told me she liked to do kind things for others without any recognition for doing those kind acts.

As I haven’t met Fiona, I felt I needed to acknowledge her random act of kindness on my blog as it’s the least I could do.

Fionas sheep 02_resizeFionas sheep 03_resize

This is one of the largest sheep I own! Thank you so much Fiona. Your kind act is so appreciated.

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Did you notice that lovely yarn bowl? I picked it up at the Kureelpa Spinners & Weavers Open Day in July when I was on holidays. You could have a number of small balls of different coloured wool in it for colour knitting.

Sheep yarn bowl new

To finish off, just a few bits and bobs I’ve picked up over the last few weeks. I found this sheep mug at an Opp Shop just before the end of my holidays. It was the only one I found; slim pickings this year 🙂

Baa sheep mug 01

One of the past members of the Redlands Spinners & Weavers was off-loading a lot of her spinning gear and I scored this fantastic Lazy Kate. It’s solidly made and I love it. I’ve since given it a clean up and used it. All those bobbins are different and don’t match any of my wheels unfortunately. Apparently her husband was a woodturner and made all her bobbins for her.

Lazy Kate

At our recent Open Day one of our members was selling these crocheted sheep on the members’ stall. They were there right until the end so I quickly snapped them up.

Shaun the Sheep

The Redlands Spinners & Weavers will be holding their annual September spinning camp at Bribie Island on 8-10 September so that’s where you’ll find me. I enjoy these occasions when I’m not tempted by housework 🙂 or any sort of hard work. I can simply craft and enjoy the company of my friends.

I’ve been in spring cleaning mode for a number of weeks now. I’m slowly downsizing my spinning wheels collection. Over the years, I have worked out what type of wheels I like and which ones suit me so I’ve sold the ones I don’t anticipate using. When I first started spinning I bought every conceivable ‘gadget’ that related to the preparation of fleece but I’ve found I just prefer to buy ready processed and dyed slivers. I’m not really into all the cleaning and processing myself; mainly because I don’t have a suitable outdoor area to do it.

So I’ve sold my drum carder and a couple of sets of wool combs. I feel quite liberated as I’m freeing up so much room in my home. About 70% of my hundreds of books have gone to Lifeline and now I’m working on my clothing (I’ve already got a large bag in the car ready for the Lifeline bin!)

And as I sit here writing this blog, I’ve just spotted another bookcase which I’d forgotten about as it’s covered by a spinning wheel. I’ll have to go through it and get rid of the books I’m never going to read!! It’s true what they say; decluttering is good for you!!

Until next time…

Melanie

 

 

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