Super Quick and Easy Cowl

Just a quick blog post to start my weekend. You won’t get much easier than this cowl pattern. It was in the latest Spotlight knitting pattern book which I received free of charge recently through the mail.

It’s knitted using Moda Vera Bouvardia yarn from Spotlight.which is a 10ply / worsted yarn that comes in some lovely colours. This particular colourway is called Vesuvius hence I have called it my Vesuvius Cowl.

Cowl Vesuvius 04

As I mentioned, it is very easy to create. Simply cast on 66 stitches on size 9mm needles. I used circulars as I find them easier to handle. Knit in garter stitch back and forth until the ball of yarn is nearly finished….leaving enough to cast off and sew up the ends. Hold the ends together and twist them before sewing together. This gives a bit of a moebius effect. Voila it’s finished. I had it made in a day.

Cowl Vesuvius 05

As the colourway name Vesuvius suggests, it does have those lava colours of different shades of orange.

Moda Vera Bouvardia Vesuvius 2

Moda Vera Bouvardia Vesuvius

Have a lovely weekend. I will be very busy but I hope to let you know what I’ve been up to and what I have bought…..watch this space. Until next time…

Melanie

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Quick Little Cable Hat

I love the effect that cables give to a knitted garment. To those who don’t knit, cables look so complicated and intricate and some are however basic cables are quite easy. That is why I elected to knit this 3AM Cable Hat from a free Ravelry knitting pattern.

The pattern is knitted as a ladies small so I just added another 12 stitches as recommended to increase the size and also completed another round of the 8 row repeat pattern. This probably made it a medium size. Next time I’ll add another 12 stitches as I have rather a large noggin! This should make a perfect large size. I don’t like my hats to be too close fitting….I prefer a loose fit.

3AM Cable Hat 03

The yarn I used is absolutely beautiful to knit with. It’s Shorn Fibers Single DK which is a 40% Baby Alpaca 40% Merino 20% Silk yarn blend. The colourway way is called Autumn Leaves and it’s gorgeous. I used exactly 75g for this hat so with the remaining 25g and the other 100g skein I have I will probably knit a matching scarf.

Shorn Fibres Autumn Leaves 3

The alpaca in this yarn makes it so incredibly soft and smooshy. This hat will be coming with me when I go on holidays to Noosa in a few weeks time. It’ll come in very handy when I walk along the waterfront each morning….well that’s my intention at this stage!

Shorn Fibers Autumn Leaves 03

Hats are so easy to knit and don’t take much time so they’re always a satisfying project. This is my second hat to date, the first one being my Market Day Hat which I blogged about earlier this month.

A few more pictures of my 3AM Cable Hat…

3AM Cable Hat 01

3AM Cable Hat 10

3AM Cable Hat 05

Until next time….happy crafting!

Melanie

Rovings Ramblings

Just thought I’d give you a quick peek at the rovings I bought from Kathy’s Fibres recently. Kathy is located in South Australia and has an amazing website full of gorgeous yarnie bits and pieces.I am hoping that my spinning consistency improves quickly so I can use these rovings. I want to make sure I spin some lovely wool with these gorgeous rovings. I bought two of each and each one weighs 100g.

Autumn….Handpainted merino 21.5mic roving in autumn shades of rust, deep maroon and muted green.

Autumn roving 02

Citrus….Handpainted merino 21.5mic roving in the colours of oranges, lemons and limes.

Citrus roving 02

Envy…what other colours would you handpaint a roving called Envy but green, lovely shades of green.

Envy roving 02

Forest…Handpainted merino 21.5mic roving in colours depicting the many  trees of a
forest.

Forest roving 02

Outback…Handpainted merino 21.5mic roving in shades of the Aussie outback.

Outback roving 02

Strelitzia…Handpainted merino 21.5mic roving in lovely greens pinks and browns.

Strelitzia roving 02

William…Handpainted merino 21.5mic roving in many shades of brown, very earthy.

William roving 02

Aren’t they all stunningly beautiful? And a very affordable $11 each!!

Can’t wait to start spinning with them.

I’m off to meet with the Redland Spinners and Weavers at their Knit and Knatter at The Artist Tree tomorrow afternoon followed by a visit to the Twilight Makers Market in Cleveland.

Until next time…

Melanie

Commercial Yarn v Artisan Hand Painted/Dyed Yarn

I have quite a bit of commercial yarn at home as well as quite a bit of hand painted/dyed yarn that I have sourced from some really quality suppliers here in Australia. I have blogged about them before but if you’re new to my blog, my favourite Aussie hand painted/dyed yarn suppliers are Dyed By Hand Yarns, Augustbird, Skein and Shorn Fibers. All these artisans produce beautiful yarns that are to ‘dye’ for!

Now generally when purchasing anything a few things come into play…..the cost, the need, the look…

When it comes to yarn what counts as the main thing for me is the colourway….if the colour jumps out at me I will generally buy it regardless of the cost (unfortunately for my bank account!!). In most cases I buy yarn before I know what I am going to knit or crochet because I am so taken with the colours. Hence my burgeoning stash!

The following pictures are of some yarn I purchased recently at Spotlight….yes, good old Spotlight. May seems to be the month when they have a yarn sale and then offer a $40 off voucher when you purchase $100 or more on anything (and that includes all sale items too!!)

So I have been carried away this month and used this voucher twice! They reprinted another voucher in yesterday’s paper so of course, I had to slip down to Spotlight today to use it. And don’t discount the fact that I won’t be visiting Spotlight before next Sunday as that’s when the sale finishes as I have another spare voucher!!

When I first saw this yarn on the shelf I almost fell over as I was just floored by the beautiful vibrant colours. It’s Cleckheaton California 8ply and the colourway is quite appropriate – Mackaw (and that’s how it’s spelt on the label). Isn’t it simply divine. I bought about six balls and I have no idea at this stage what I will make but I just couldn’t resist it!

Cleckheaton Mackaw 01

Cleckheaton Mackaw 02

Simply stunning don’t you think?

Cleckheaton Mackaw 03

This yarn is also Cleckheaton California 8ply and the colourway is Storm. Again, gorgeous colours that I couldn’t resist!

Cleckheaton Storm 01

Cleckheaton Storm 02

And this yarn is also Cleckheaton California 8ply and the colourway is Swirl. By the way, it retails for $9.99 but with all my discounts I managed to pick each ball up for just over $5. I love a bargain!

Cleckheaton Swirl 01

Cleckheaton Swirl 02

Who’d have thought all these colours would look so good together!!

Cleckheaton Swirl 03

This yarn is just a solid colour although with my orange/tangerine phase I’m in at the moment, I was immediately attracted to it. It’s called Moda Vera Pure Wool 8 ply – Tangerine. It retails for just over $3 and I’ve managed to pick up a stack of it for just over $1.

Moda Vera Pure Wool 8ply Tangerine

Now generally I’m a wool girl however this colourway caught my eye. It’s Moda Vera Harmony and it’s a 50% wool / 50% acrylic mix so I am getting some wool! You know how much I love my autumn shades; well this yarn has those shades in copious amounts.

Moda Vera Harmony 01

Moda Vera Harmony 02

And finally…….I was totally blown away when I saw this Moda Vera Spinnler 34% wool / 33% viscose / 33% acrylic mix. It sneaks in by the skin of its teeth when it comes to wool content 🙂 Look at those colours, I mean how could I walk past it? Talk about autumn shades; this yarn takes the cake!

Moda Vera Spinnler 01

I picked up 15 balls for $3.70 each. I’m thinking of making a rustic type vest with it if I can find the right pattern. I’d love an adult sized vest based on the Milo child’s vest which is knitted in the round. Has anyone got some suggestions for an easy adult’s vest that would show off this yarn? If not, I’m seriously thinking about adapating the Milo to an adult’s size.

Moda Vera Spinnler 02

I practically cleaned out Spotlight’s supply of this yarn. I don’t think anyone dared to come near me to try to get some as I was a woman possessed as I filled up my basket with Spinnler!

Moda Vera Spinnler 03

I couldn’t stop taking photos as I am so enamoured with this yarn.

Moda Vera Spinnler 04

Spotlight also have lots of free patterns on their website so I might even find a pattern or two for some of my yarn.

Well that’s how I spent part of my weekend. How about you? I hope you had lots of fun. Oh and by the way, my feet were toasty warm this weekend as I’ve started wearing my lovely hand knitted socks. They feel divine and I have sooo many to pick from too.

Until next time…

Melanie

Blue Shades Socks

I finished making these socks a while ago but have had to hold off posting them on my blog as they’re a present for one of my friends who follows my blog and I didn’t want to spoil the surprise. Her birthday was last week so I can finally share them with everyone.

The pattern comes from the Yarn Harlot’s book “Knitting Rules” – Sock Recipe: A Good, Plain Sock by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and is an ideal pattern to use with self patterning sock yarn. Nearly 10,000 pairs of socks have been made using this pattern and recorded on Ravelry!!!!

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The sock yarn I used for these socks is one of my favourites….the very reasonably priced Moda Vera Noir sock yarn. This particular colourway is 02 Blue Mix. I love all the different colours and patterns. It’s always exciting knitting with this type of yarn as you never know what kind of patterning will emerge.

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I made a couple of variations when knitting these socks….I used 5 dpns rather than 4 dpns and I also picked up 18 sts on either side of the heel flap. I knitted 32 rows in total for each heel flap. I also grafted 20 sts at the toe (10 sts on each needle) so the toe has more of a squarish rather than pointy finish.

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Lovely heel definition too…

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And Helen, I forgot to menion something very important….a gentle hand wash in wool mix in a small bowl of tepid water, rinse and lay out in the sun to dry. The more you look after your homemade socks, the longer they will last.

I’ve been quite good today by knitting some more of a UFO…..a vest for me that I started in July last year!!! I’ve nearly finished the back and then I’ll need to do the front. The pattern is mock cable….one of my favourites. Lately I just seem to gravitate towards quick, easy knits like socks and baby hats. At least I finished my Starburst Flower Crochet Blanket which took well over a year to complete!!

I still have another two UFOs….my Falling Water Scarf and Elinya Shawl. I am really trying to get them finished as soon as possible as this is the weather to be wearing them.

Until next time…

Melanie

Mum’s Mother’s Day Wool Throw

This little throw didn’t take long to crochet at all. I simply created three small squares, joined them together and then double crocheted around them until I had one ball of wool left to use for the edging. Using the three small squares at the start enables the throw to grow into a rectangular shape rather than a square one.

Mums Throw 01

I made this for my Mum for Mother’s Day (which is 12 May in Australia). Just a small throw she can use in winter while lying on her sofa reading.

The yarn I used is Lincraft Cosy 8ply which is a 100% wool. I managed to pick it up for $2 a ball which is a $6 saving on the original price! Originally I only bought five balls but quickly realised that wouldn’t be enough so I dashed back to the shop for another five balls before the special finished.

Lincraft Cosy Wool Naturals Mix

Mums Throw 02

The colourway is called ‘Naturals’ and although it may not be everyone’s cup of tea its hues will match Mum’s lounge room perfectly.

Mums Throw 03

What I love about crocheting these types of throws in the one colourway is how quickly they grow; there’s no changing colours as you go. Once a week I meet a couple of friends for a coffee so I took the throw with me as it was an easy project to crochet and talk at the same time as there was no pattern to follow; it was simply double crochets around and around. At first it was an easy project to transport but got quite large towards the end. Luckily I had my large knitting tote which solved this problem.

Knitting Caddy Mel 9

Mums Throw 04

The edging is simply one double crochet in a space followed by seven trebles in the next space, one double crochet in the next space and so on.

Mums Throw 05

I gave Mum her Mother’s Day presents this morning which included this throw and she was delighted and is going to use it exactly for the purpose I made it…..to cover herself while lying on the lounge reading in winter.

Now what can I make next??? Hope all Mums had a lovely Mother’s Day. Until next time…

Melanie

Finally….my Starburst Flower Crochet Blanket!!

Completing this blanket has taken longer than an elephant’s gestational period!!! If I remember correctly, I started purchasing all the yarn in late 2011, was still crocheting the squares in July last year, started sewing strips of 15 squares in July as well and then it sat for about nine months before I started sewing the strips together. It’s certainly not difficult but just boring, boring, boring!!! And it’s hard to transport so it’s not as if I could slip it into my bag and nick down to the cafe for a quick coffee.

Here’s a photo of some of the strips…

Starburst Blanket 01

All crocheted in autumn colours only….

Starburst Blanket 02

Eight strips sewn together…five to go..

Starburst Blanket 06

You can find this pattern in a book called The Gentle Art of Knitting by Jane Brocket. The name of the pattern is Starburst Flower Crochet Blanket.

I actually crocheted an acylic blanket in this pattern in late 2011 as I was so keen to see what it looked like and I couldn’t wait until all my wool arrived. The wool I used for this blanket is Cascade 220 worsted weight. This is a beautiful wool to use and there are sooo many colours to pick from. Here’s a link to the Cascade website which will give you some idea. I only wanted my blanket to have autumn colours so I selected the following:

2409 Palm

Cascade 2409 Palm

8010 Natural

Cascade 8010 Natural

9465B Burnt Orange

Cascade 9465B Burnt Orange

7827 Goldenrod

Cascade 7827 Goldenrod

8903 Primaverra

Cascade 8903 Primavera

9557 Dark Chocolate

Cascade 9557

9499 Sand

Cascade 9499

8267 Forest Green

Cascade 8267 Forest Green

9490 Heathers Irish Green

Cascade 9490 Heathers Irish Green9429 Mossy Rock

Cascade 9429 Mossy Rock

9430 Highland Green

Cascade 9430 Highland Green2414 Ginger

Cascade 2414 Ginger9542 Blaze

Cascade 9542 Blaze2425 Provence

Cascade 2425 Provence

7826 California Poppy

Cascade 7826 California Poppy

1208 Tan

Cascade 1208 Tan

Now that I have bored you to death and you’re nearly asleep from scrolling through all those colours……….are you ready to see the final blanket?

Here it is…

Starburst Blanket 07

Look at that sea of gorgeous autumn colours…

Starburst Blanket 08

No two squares are the same either. I kept a record of all the colour combinations I’d crocheted so they wouldn’t be repeated. It is a sheer fluke that the blanket sits nicely on top of my bed and reaches around the edges. There are 195 squares in total (15 x 13).

Starburst Blanket 15

I had always intended to crochet a border around the blanket but I got a bit carried away and completed two rows of double crochet without realising how much of my yarn it was using. It’s a long way around that blanket I must say! You guessed it; I ran out of the cream yarn. But fear not, my stash of Ashford Tekapo 8ply came to the rescue. It’s actually an 8/10 ply thickness so was perfect for the final scalloped border plus I found an ideal match colourwise: this burnt orange colour. What do you think? It actually took about 120 grams for the border alone.

Starburst Blanket 13

Not bad hey? I’m actually quite chuffed with the whole blanket. It has taken so long to complete but I can finally use it now, especially as the nights are getting cooler in Brisbane as we head into winter.

Starburst Blanket 14

One last picture so I can just keep showing off 🙂

Starburst Blanket 09

It’s been nearly a year since I completely renovated my bedroom and changed the colour scheme to lovely mocha-ish shades with orange/tangerine as the accent colour. I have been waiting to find the right picture to place on the wall above my bed and it has taken me up until now when I found this lovely print of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers in my local Crazy Clark’s shop. It only cost me $15 which was an added bonus. I now have to wait for my son to place it on the wall for me. Here’s a look at the picture. I do believe it will match my decor beautifully.

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And on that note I bid farewell until next time….

Melanie