Wool Winding Weekend

Do you ever gaze adoringly at your stash of beautifully hand dyed skeins of yarn and wonder what you’ll make from each skein? Are you like me and at the end of the day you plan on starting a new project while relaxing and watching TV only to find once you’ve got your pattern, needles and other bits and pieces together you discover your yarn is still in skein form as you haven’t gotten around to winding your skeins into balls of yarn in quite a while? That has happened to me on a couple of occasions so today I decided to gather an armful of skeins, set up my wool winder and swift and build up some muscles in my right arm!!

This is Dyed By Hand Yarns’ Tough Stocking – colourway Limelight that I featured recently in a blog.

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Voila! From a skein to a beautifully wound ball of yarn.

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I might add that I purchased my wooden umbrella wool swift and wool winder on two separate occasions from eBay. If my memory serves me right, I only paid about $20-$30 for both including postage which I think is quite a bargain. The swift did not come with a clamp however I haven’t had any problems with it moving around the table too much and it would be easy enough to fashion a clamp to fasten it to the table.

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This is Yarns on StageGreat Adirondack – colourway is Parakeet. This yarn has a short colour repeat so I will definitely be making something that is predominantly stockinette stitch to show off the colours of the yarn. The skein looks completely different to the wound ball, doesn’t it? I’ve learnt my lesson after knitting my Murgrona and Rib Fantastic socks.

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This one is Yarns on Stage – Twisted Sisters Petite Voodoo – colourway is Green Teas(e). I think I’ve found the right pattern for this yarn – Falling Water scarf which is a free pattern from Ravelry. What do you think?

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This one is Dyed By Hand Yarns – Tough Stocking – colourway is Tyger Tyger. I love these autumn shades.

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The yarn below is Dyed By Hand Yarns – Tough Stocking – colourway is Urban Sprawl. This picture gives you an idea of the black, charcoal and silvery grey with flashes of the bright to golden yellow and paprika.

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The finished product – a nicely wound ball of yarn ready to go!

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This beautiful yarn is Augustbird’s Hearty Sock – colourway is Wild. I only discovered Augustbird a short time ago and I really love what Rebecca does with her colours.

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This yarn is Augustbird Hearty Sock – colourway is Sweetgrass.

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It’s amazing watching your yarn turn from a skein into a perfectly wound ball of yarn. I remember the day I first used my wool swift and winder. I was like a kid in a candy store….you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. All those hours of hand winding skeins into balls of yarn were now replaced by these two incredible pieces of equipment.

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This yarn is Augustbird Hearty Sock – colourway is Solace.

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And finally, Augustbird Hearty Sock – colourway is Dragon Light.

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Now I have a query for all you experienced ‘wool winders’, can you tell me what the purpose is of this metal bar that is on the main part of my wooden umbrella wool swift. Every time I look at it I am quite perplexed.

Swift query

Well that’s my yarnie story for this hot and humid Brisbane weekend. The weather bureau has just issued a weather warning for SE Queensland – torrential rain – so it’s time to batten down the hatches.

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend and doing what you enjoy the most.

Talk soon

Melanie

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More Knitting Book and Yarn Purchases…..is there no limit?

Do you get carried away when viewing beautiful yarns online? Are you impulsive? Do you keep clicking ‘Add to Cart’? Do you wait impatiently for said yarn (or knitting books for that matter) to be delivered by your friendly parcel delivery man who you are on very good terms with because he always seems to be delivering parcels to you? Do you get that frisson of excitement when you open the parcel and discover that beautiful, luscious yarn in all its glory just waiting to be made into another pair of socks or a soft, drapey, yummy shawl? If you answered yes to all these questions we have something in common so read on and discover some of my latest purchases. The colourways of these yarns will leave you breathless as they did me. They are simply beautiful.

I purchased the following two books from my favourite online book store…. The Book Depository. The first book is called Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch and it’s chock-a-block full of so many variations of sock knitting patterns, I am in sock heaven. What is unusual about these books is you are provided with a number of 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 stitch pattern repeats as well as different heel and toe finishes. You get to select how you knit your socks. There are simply numerous computations of different types of socks you can knit. My head is spinning with so many ideas already.

Sensational Knitted Socks

The second book, also by Charlene Schurch, is the follow up, More Sensational Knitted Socks. I can see that I will definitely be using these books quite often.

More Sensational Knitted Socks

Here’s a link to a great book review of both books which is well worth reading. It’s from the knittingabout.com website.

Now onto my yarn purchases….

The following three yarns were purchased from Yay for Yarn’s Clearance Sale. Like any female, I just love a sale!

Yarns on StageGreat Adirondack – Parakeet

This is a limited edition colourway produced especially for Yarns on Stage. What’s not to like about this yarn. I instantly fell in love with the colourway and managed to buy the last skein. It’s a 4ply 70% merino / 20% silk / 10% nylon yarn with a length of 329 metres (360 yards) and weighs 100g. This yarn is going to make a spectacular pair of socks don’t you think? Or maybe a shawl?

Great Adirondack ParakeetGreat Adirondack

Yarns on Stage – Prism – Savoy

Another limited edition colourway produced especially for Yarns on Stage. This is a 4ply 80% merino / 20% nylon yarn that contains 402 metres (440 yards) and weighs 112g. Guess what…..I can see another pair of socks coming up. I love the all the blue/purple hues of this yarn.

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Yarns on Stage – Twisted Sisters Petite Voodoo – Green Teas(e)

And yet another limited edition colourway especially produced for Yarns on Stage. This is a 4ply 50% silk / 50% merino wool yarn that contains 174 metres (190 yards) and weighs 50g. It has a lovely sheen to it. I bought two skeins of the yarn and am thinking about a scarf or shawl. I’ve already started scouring Ravelry for a pattern. Anyone have any suggestions??

Twisted Sisters

Dyed By Hand Yarns – Melbourne – Victoria

I only discovered Dyed By Hand Yarns last week and am patiently waiting for my yarns to be dyed and sent to me. Dyed By Hand Yarns is operated by Julie Boydell, who has been crocheting, knitting and generally crafting from an early age. Over the years she has learnt spinning and weaving, various hand and machine sewing techniques, felting, quilting, photography, colour and design.

As a medical scientest she plays with dyes daily, and has honed her skills of observation, theory and practise in dyeing processes. The decision to dye yarns was a natural progression of this. Family and friends encouraged her to present her wares for sale, and Dyed By Hand Yarns was born.

I particularly like the way Dyed By Hand Yarns photographs their skeins. They are beautifully framed and very enticing.

Dyed By Hand Yarns – Tough Stocking – Urban Sprawl

Urban Sprawl is a variegated yarn of black, charcoal and silvery grey with flashes of bright to golden yellow and paprika.

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Dyed By Hand Yarns – Tough Stocking – Turmeric

Turmeric is a warm semi-solid deep goden yellow. This colour almost glows in the sunlight.

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Dyed By Hand Yarns – Tough Stocking – Limelight

Limelight is a light bright semi-solid lime green with hints of neon yellow and
gold. I love this bright, happy colourway.

Limelight_-_Tough_Stocking

Dyed By Hand Yarns – Tough Stocking – Tyger Tyger

Tyger Tyger is a variegated yarn of burnt orange, tangerine and saffron with overtones of caramel and chocolate. Of course, there always has to be a skein of yarn in autumn colours which I really gravitate towards.

Tyger_Tyger_-_Tough_Stocking
The base yarn for all the Dyed By Hand Yarns is called Tough Stocking and it’s a 75% superwash merino, 25% nylon 100gm/423m (463yd) fingering/sockweight, 4-ply construction.

Skein Hand-Dyed Yarns

Skein is a small, independent hand-dyed yarn company based in Australia who love to play with colour and produce unique hand-dyed colourways on high-quality yarns. What I really love about Skein is they can custom dye any of their colourways onto the yarn base of your choice. There are lots of semi-solids, variegated and hand painted colourways to pick from. All you need to decide is what colour and what type of yarn. This is very dangerous as you will not be able to stop at one…..I can guarantee that! Be prepared to take out a small loan!

Skein Hand-Dyed Yarns – Top Draw Socks – Green Tea

Skein Green Tea

I was gobsmacked when I first saw this colourway. I mean isn’t it just beautiful!! Because this yarn is dyed to order, I will have to wait about a month for it to arrive. I can’t wait to get my hands on this gorgeous, luscious, divine yarn. The colourway is Green Tea and it has been hand-painted with the colours spring green, teal, mint and olive.

Skein Hand-Dyed Yarns – Top Draw Socks – Rusty Rock

Skein Rusty Rock

Rusty Rock has undertones of lichen with overtones of rich rust  tones. Yes, another one in autumn tones which is my signature colour scheme.

Skein Hand-Dyed Yarns – Top Draw Socks – Speakeasy

Skein Speakeasy

Speakeasy has been hand-painted with the colours apricot, gold, Han purple and bole. This colourway also jumped out at me as it is such an unusual combination and yet it all works well together.

Skein Hand-Dyed Yarns – Top Draw Socks – Tuscany

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Tuscany has undertones of flax, fallow and burnt sienna with splashes of deep grey and bright rosso corsa red. When I first saw this colourway I immediately thought of red clay. It’s such an unusual colour and one that I’ve not come across before so my first reaction was ‘I’ve got to have that one’.

Top Draw Socks is a 4ply 85% Superwash Merino, 15% Nylon sock yarn and contains 437 yards/400 metres and weighs 100g per skein.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about and looking at my latest yummy yarnie purchases. Now all I have to do is to wait patiently for most of them to be delivered…..oh yes and also to stay away from online yarn stores until I can reduce my stash! I wonder how long I will last 🙂

Have a wonderful weekend and I’ll catch you soon.

Melanie

Rib Fantastic Socks….Pair # 21 and a Mini Book Review

A while ago I knitted a pair of socks in some lovely yarn and used a gorgeous pattern too. One thing I learned from those socks is I have to control my urge to try and knit socks with an intricate pattern using the wrong handpainted yarn. I’m talking about my Murgrona Socks that I made using Dornröschens Sockenwolle made by Dornroschen-Wolle. As soon as I looked at the photographs of these socks I felt the pattern and yarn did not complement each other. The lovely pattern is ‘lost’ amongst all the colours of the yarn.

Murgrona Socks 1

A lovely knitter left a comment on my blog post suggesting I read Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn by Carol J. Sulcoski. I immediately jumped onto The Book Depository website and purchased this wonderful book.

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Handpainted knitting yarns are gorgeous, and can be a lot of fun to work with. But there always seems to be a bit of danger working with them, particularly when it comes to the fear of colour pooling, those strange zigzags, runs and sort of stripes that sometimes happen when working with multicoloured yarn.

Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn begins with a discussion of various methods for hand dyeing yarns, the fibres that are used (most commonly wool) and the broad categories of colours you might find in handpainted yarns. Sulcoski classifies them as mostly solid, muted multis and wild multis, and explains that the more solid and muted colours are best for complex and textured patterns, while the wild colours (and those that have a big range of dark and light values within the skein) are better for simpler projects.

That doesn’t mean you have to use stockinette stitch on every sock worked in bright colours, just that you need to tone down the details a bit when the yarn is attracting a lot of attention to itself.

She spends a good deal of time explaining what colour pooling is, why it might be happening in your work and various things you might do to deal with it.

The book offers 21 patterns and each one indicates which general categories of yarn it works best with, taking some of the guesswork out of pairing up a great looking sock yarn with an effective pattern.

The patterns are mostly sized for women and are ideal for people with a few more basic sock patterns under their belts, because these patterns all use some kind of interesting textured stitch or cable pattern, unusual construction techniques or require other skills to keep you on your toes.

I used the pattern Rib Fantastic, a sock using the stitch pattern of the same name that combines zigzag eyelets and stockinette stitch. However, I’m still not happy with the results as I still feel the short colour repeats of the yarn have overwhelmed the gorgeous pattern.

Rib Fantastic 01

Here’s a photo of my Murgrona socks (left) besides the Rib Fantastic socks (right).

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In hindsight I think I should have used just plain stockinette stitch. Would be interested to know what other sock knitters think. Here’s some more photos of the Rib Fantastic socks. This one shows the zigzag detail of the pattern.

Rib Fantastic 2

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as does this one…

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Here’s a pic of the yarn which shows you how different a finished item can be compared to what you see in the skein.

Dornroschen Merino Polyamid 100g 420m

Oh well, life is about living and learning and I guess that applies to knitting socks too!!

The socks will be covered by jeans anyway….it’s not as if I’m going to be walking down the street and someone will yell out….”Look….the yarn in her socks has overwhelmed the pattern….how sad”.

Have a wonderful Sunday. I’ll be having a coffee with my Mum, seeing my son and squeezing in some sock knitting as well.

Ciao

Melanie

A Nice Ribbed Sock….Pair # 20 and a Cute Little Baby Hat

While I was reading one of Knitting to Stay Sane’s blog posts I found the link to her free pattern called A Nice Ribbed Sock. I’ve knitted a 3 x 2 ribbed sock previously which I called my Harlequin Rib socks from the pattern Basic Ribbed socks which can be found in Ravelry.

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What I love about this pattern is that by just knitting a 3 x 1 rib adds some interest to the sock rather than a plain stockinette stitch. Had some difficulty trying to get a good photo to pick up the colours in the yarn which are charcoal, tan and a little bit of burnt orange.

A Nice Ribbed Sock 07

Hopefully these pictures taken outside may help to give you an idea of the colourway.

A Nice Ribbed Sock 06

The yarn I used is called Lana Grossa Meilenweit Grigio Sockenwolle. I think it may be discontinued now as I can’t find much information about it.

Lana Grossa Grigio Sock Yarn

The colour is a bit subdued compared to some of the bright colours I’ve been knitting with but it makes a change.

Thought I might also share with you this absolutely adorable Incredible Expanding Gnome Hat. I thought it was so cute I just had to knit it with no one in mind to give it to so I’ll just hang onto it until a little baby boy is born.

Baby Gnome Hat 1

I made it with Patons Big Baby 4ply yarn. Because I don’t have a baby or even a doll to use as a model, I had to resort to a candle jar just to give you an idea of how the hat looks when it’s on a round shape. Don’t laugh!

Baby Gnome Hat 2

Here’s the picture from the Ravelry page….much cuter. How can you not want to knit one after seeing this picture.

Baby Gnome Hat 3

Isn’t it just delightful? And it’s a free knitting pattern from Ravelry. Here’s the link if you’re interested in knitting one.

Time for me to go. Off to meet some of my crafty friends tonight for some eating, drinking coffee, talking and I’ll be taking my crocheting with me.

Talk soon

Melanie

River Rapids Socks…..Pair # 19 and a Train Crash!

Besides knitting socks from patterns that other very clever knitters have written, I also love the names of their patterns and often wonder about the meaning behind some of them. Some names are quite obvious, others not so much. This particular pattern speaks for itself and for once, I thought I’d actually try and knit a pair of socks in a colour that relates to the name of the pattern. Hence my River Rapids socks are knitted in a lovely greeny/bluey coloured sock yarn.

Socks # 19….and what a delightful pattern this is. I used a size larger needle 2.75mm rather than the 2.5mm that I have been using for all my other socks. I have found that with the finer sock yarn and 2.5mm needles the socks fit quite snugly. Using 2.75mm needles has solved this problem. I am very naughty as I hate knitting tension/gauge squares.

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This 16 row repeat pattern is exceptionally easy as 10 of the rows are exactly the same and you soon get used to the other six rows. I used 5 dpns. Also, when doing the heel turn I used a ssk rather than the k2tog…just what I’m used to.

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The pattern I used is called River Rapids Socks and it’s another free Ravelry sock pattern.

For such an easy pattern to knit it looks so intricate and beautiful.

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Lovely heel detail…

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The yarn is called Regia Hand-dye Effect and the colourway is Rock Garden. It’s the same yarn I used to knit my Rhubarb Cobblestone socks. The colour in this photo is slightly more vivid than it actually is.

Regia Hand Dyed Rock Garden 2

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On a different note, here in Cleveland where I live we were shocked on Thursday (31 January) when a train failed to stop and over ran the platform and into the newly multi million dollar refurbished station house. An investigation is currently being carried out but it looks like there were problems with the train’s brakes. I guess that’s pretty obvious to most of us!

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A picture of one of the carriages being lifted by crane during the night.

Carriages craned out

Even Wikipedia has updated their webpage about Cleveland Railway Station.

Well I’m off to finish another pair of socks. These socks are from a book recommended to me called Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn by Carol Sulcoski. Can’t wait to show them to you.

Knitting Handpainted Yarn lge

Bye for now…

Melanie