Two More Miss Winkles

The second and third Miss Winkle scarves recently came off the needles so you can assume I really like this pattern. The very talented pattern writer is Martina Behm and you can find Martina on Ravelry. My first was in a lovely variegated pink which I gave to my sister. This is my second Miss Winkle Scarf…

Miss Winkle Cream 01It’s made with some of  my Dyed By Hand Yarn 2015 Sock Yarn Club offerings. A gorgeous 80% merino / 10% cashmere / 10% nylon called Mother’s Love in the colourway Flannel Flower.

DBHY Mothers Love Flannel Flower 02I love the very subtle tinges of green in this scarf and I’ve worn it quite a few times now.

Miss Winkle Cream 02Miss Winkle Cream 09I use a piece of dowel that is slipped through the loops on the edge of the scarf so they block nicely.

Miss Winkle Cream 08My third Miss Winkle is blue!!! Yes, that’s right; it’s not orange and nor is it green. This yarn is Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport Solid and it’s a 100% plied wool that is a dream to knit with. The colourway is Cermak.

Lornas Laces Sportmate Cermak 03I am delighted with the outcome!

Miss Winkle Blue 02I really love this colour and it goes so well with blue denim jeans too.

Miss Winkle Blue 05And again, I slipped dowel through the loops so they’re nicely rounded.

Miss Winkle Blue 07Miss Winkle Blue 04

I really can’t recommend this pattern enough. It’s quite ingenious and is not difficult to follow. I’ll definitely be making more Miss Winkle scarves as they make ideal gifts and don’t take too long to complete.

Until next time…

Melanie

Margarita Hat

I don’t often wear hats in winter but when a pattern catches my eye I feel compelled to make it as was the case with this gorgeous hat called Margarita.

It’s one of the patterns in the 2015 Knitting Calendar which my son gives me every Christmas. It’s the best present I could ever ask for!

2015 CalendarMargarita Hat 01You could even place a small brooch on the brim of the hat as shown in the pattern picture.

Margarita Hat 05Isn’t it a delightful little hat?

I love the foldback brim although I must say you need to concentrate when completing some of the rows for the brim. I had to ‘tink’ quite a few rows at one stage. Maybe it was because I was sitting on the banks of the Noosa River and kept glancing out and gazing at the tranquility of my surrounds :-)

Noosaville 30-7-15 01As the brim could have a tendency to fall forward I will probably stitch it back in about 4-6 places (one of these days!!). I always seem to avoid using a needle and thread at all costs so I wonder how long it will take me to do this!!

Margarita Hat 08The wool I used is Lana Gatto Super Soft in a lovely soft milk chocolate colour.I can highly recommend this wool; it is incredibly soft and luscious and feels wonderful against your skin. I picked it up from Sheep Thrills last year on sale for AU$6.50 a ball and I used 75g for this hat.

Lana Gatto Super Chocolate 01 I have quite a bit of this wool so I am tempted to make another hat as it is such a quick and easy knit.

Margarita Hat 15Margarita Hat 16As you know I made my first Corner to Corner crocheted throw while I was at Noosaville and I have since started two more! I managed to buy a couple of lovely KnitPro crochet hooks at Sheep Thrills and have been quite spoiled using these lovely hooks.

KnitPro crochet hookUnfortunately I only bought three sizes so I hopped onto Ebay a couple of weeks ago and found these nine crochet hooks for only AU$9.89 with free postage from Darwin. Bargain!!

Crochet Hooks 02Crochet Hooks 01I’m using the 3.5mm hook on my C2C Baby blanket and it’s fantastic! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go back to the traditional thin steel hook again :-)

I also picked up this spoon on Ebay recently with a little spinning wheel on it. Very cute I thought.

Spinning wheel spoonOne of my friends recently holidayed throughout some remote parts of Australia and sent me these two photos from the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame.at Longreach. It’s a kangaroo sitting on top of a bale of wool doing some knitting :-)

Stockmans Hall of Fame Knitting Kanga on a Bale of Wool 02Stockmans Hall of Fame Knitting Kanga on a Bale of WoolAnd lastly here’s a sneak peek at another gorgeous yarn bowl that Kimberly from Earth & Stones Creations is making for me. It’s a lot larger that my other two and this one looks like the sheep mugs that Kimberly made for our 2015 Open Day. This is the drying stage for the bowls and mugs. I am so blessed to have found such a wonderful artisan who makes these amazing bowls and mugs.

Yarn bowls drying 3a

That’s all my news for the moment. Until next time…

Melanie

Now for

Will I Ever Learn???

I did something today that I shouldn’t have. Oh why did I do it? I should know better by now. Ggrrrr.

girl_crying1sheep-crying-emotion-cartoon-character-drawing-41803791I went to Spotlight. Surely I knew that would mean I’d come home with more wool!!! Which I don’t need but I want!!! If I tell you that I paid AU$2.00 a ball for the yarn (except for two balls that were $2.49 each) and saved a whopping $142.52 and only spent $96.98 surely you’d understand why I did this :-)

Here it is. Moda Vera Selva which is a 60% wool / 20% alpaca / 20% acrylic. It wasn’t even in Ravelry’s database so I entered it. Bought it in brown, grey and one lonely pink ball. I’m thinking definitely a grey and pink scarf.

MV Selva Brown 01MV Selva Grey 01MV Selva Pink 01Moda Vera Roulotte which is a 100% cotton. I’ll be making some scarves with this cotton and giving them away as gifts. Lovely green, mocha and pink. Maybe some more Minnies.

MV Roulotte Green 01 MV Roulotte Mocha 01 MV Roulotte Pink 01Moda Vera Deli which is a 70% alpaca / 20% wool / 10% yarn. Again, another yarn I added to Ravelry’s database so my photos are now displayed :-) Gorgeous blue, brown and a lovely rust colour. Maybe another teddy with the brown!!

MV Deli Blue 01 MV Deli Brown 01 MV Deli Rust 01And these two balls of Bella Baby Marvel Soft Baby 4ply in this gorgeous variegated blue.

Bella Baby Marvel Soft Baby 4ply BlueWhile I’m on a yarn showing roll, I don’t think you’ve seen the latest additions to the Zen Yarn Garden Art Walk Series that I’ve bought from Yarn Glorious Yarn in Brisbane. Sue Wheeler is the sole Aussie supplier of Zen Yarn Garden (ZYG) yarns which are made in Canada. ZYG has been producing an ART Walk Series of yarn, the colours of which are based on famous paintings. They are simply exquisite and I have purchased two skeins in each series. They’re currently up to Number 19 and can be found at Yarn Glorious Yarn soon after the colours are released. Cost per skein is generally between $32-$36 but well worth the value particularly when some of the yarn has a cashmere content.

The fifteenth offering in the ART WALK Series features a painting by Jackson Pollock entitled “Convergence”. From one medium to the next, artists express their use of colour. Inspired by Pollock, ZYG’s dyer has successfully captured the excitement and complexity of the painting.

“Convergence,” a densely painted artwork filled with a childlike sense of freedom, and staggering complexity and sophistication was created by Jackson Pollock (1912 – 1956), the founder of Abstract Expressionism. Laying large canvases on his studio floor, Pollock challenged the tradition of using an easel and brush, pouring and dripping paint with dramatic physical movement, allowing his subconscious to dictate his motions. Influenced by Picasso, Miró, and the Surrealists, Pollock’s pioneering style and emotional works made him one of the most challenging and influential artists of the 20th century. [quoted from Art.com]

Zen Yarn Garden Pollock Convergence imageTwo skeins of Serenity 20 which is a 70% superwash merino / 20% cashmere / 10% nylon that contains 400 yds / 100g in a 4ply / fingering weight.

ZYG Pollock Convergence 02The sixteenth offering in the ART WALK Series features a painting by Vincent van Gogh entitled “Samaritan”. Inspired by Pollock, ZYG’s dyer has successfully captured the excitement and complexity of the painting.

Vincent Van Gogh (1853 – 1890) was a Dutch post-Impressionist Master whose innovative artwork powerfully influenced modern Expressionism, Fauvism, and early abstraction. Astoundingly prolific, Van Gogh produced all of his work during a 10-year period, at one point, creating 150 paintings and drawings within one year. Painting outdoors, Van Gogh uniquely captured the nighttime nuances of light and shadow, and was also renowned for his paintings of sunflowers and irises. Tormented by mental illness for most of his life, Van Gogh created many of his masterpieces while he was institutionalized. Although Van Gogh only sold one painting during his lifetime, he is now regarded as one of the most profoundly influential artists of the 19th century. [quoted from Art.com] ZYG Samaritan imageTwo skeins of Serenity Glitter Sock which is an 80% superwash merino / 10% cashmere / 10% sparkling nylon that contains 400 yds / 100g 4ply / fingering yarn. I adore this colour and hope to make something special with it. Don’t know what yet :-)

ZYG Samaritan 04The seventeenth offering the ART WALK Series features a painting by Pablo Picasso entitled “Dish of Pears”. Inspired by Picasso, ZYG’s dyer has successfully captured the excitement and complexity of the painting.

Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973) was an artistic virtuoso who co-founded Cubism, and produced an astounding 20,000 paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures during his brilliant 70-year career. Picasso’s unparalleled body of work was so vast, and its phases so unique, that art historians have divided it into specific periods. A child prodigy, Picasso took advanced classes at the Royal Academy of Art in Barcelona when he was only 15. His revolutionary Cubist works, with their distorted shapes and fragmented forms, established art as a genre that does not need to literally represent reality. Zealously embracing every medium from primitive art to sketches to Surrealism, Picasso had an unrivaled influence upon 20th century art. [quoted from Art.com]

ZYG Picasso Dish of Pears imageTwo skeins of Serenity Glitter Sock which is an 80% superwash merino / 10% cashmere / 10% sparkling nylon that contains 400 yds / 100g 4ply / fingering yarn.

ZYG Dish of Pears 01Now I just have to find some more hours in the day so I can use all of this yarn plus the two spare bedrooms which are harbouring even more yarn and fibre :-) Oh what a dilemma :-)

Until next time…

Melanie

 

Croc-a-tail Scarves Galore!!!

I love a quick, easy knit that is functional and well used. Well this little scarf ticks all those boxes and more! I found this unusual pattern called the Croc-a-tail scarf on Ravelry and was instantly drawn to its simplicity. There are three sizes that you can make: skinny, wide or a combination of both. I’ve elected to only knit the skinny size at this stage as it fits in well with the quantity of yarn that I have used for each scarf.

And the best thing is: gauge does not really matter!! You can use any yarn and needles and you’ll end up with varying sized scarves. That’s my kind of knitting!

Here’s the first scarf made with this gorgeous hand-dyed (not by me) Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic 5ply wool that I purchased at this year’s Queensland Spinners & Weavers Open Day.

BWM 5ply 01Aren’t all those colours just so beautiful and vibrant?

Croc-a-tail Scarf 06While rummaging through my stash I found this lovely skein of Shorn Fibers Merino Sport in the colourway Rustic.

Shorn Fibers Rustic 01Sometimes yarn can sit in my stash for ages until suddenly a pattern appears that I just know will suit the yarn.

Croc-a-Tail Rustic Scarf 08I’ve even worn it using a lovely shawl pin (that I purchased from Shorn Fibers) and a small clip button (bought from Avon). These hold the scarf securely in place and safe from any strong breezes.

Croc-a-Tail Rustic Scarf 03When I visited New Zealand in April this year, I picked up a lovely skein of this gorgeous Touch Yarns 8ply Merino wool in Knit World Dunedin.

Touch Yarns 8plyDoesn’t it look fabulous as a scarf?

Croc-a-Tail Autumn 03And finally one of these squishy Skein Alpaca Merino Worsted skeins that I’ve had for a while also became a Croc-a-tail scarf.

Skein Alpaca Merino Worsted Wise 02It’s just so soft and comforting!

Croca-a-tail Wise 02These scarves are not too big and not too small and so easy to wear.

Croca-a-tail Wise 01Croc-a-tail Scarf 12Croc-a-Tail Autumn 06Croc-a-Tail Rustic Scarf 13And I’ve got another one on the needles at the moment too using this lovely is The Great Adirondack Yarn Company Silky Sock – colourway is Parakeet.

Great Adirondack Parakeet

It’ll be a very exciting Knit and Knatter this Saturday (8 August) for two reasons: one I haven’t seen my friends for a month as I’ve been away on holidays and two it’ll be held at the Redland Performing Arts Centre in conjunction with the Pacific Tides Festival which is an all day event filled with food, dance, arts and crafts and music. It should be a great day so if you’re in the area, drop in and join us :-)

Until next time…

Melanie

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