Starry Night Scarf

I love this yarn and I love this pattern! This is my Starry Night Scarf made using Stitchnerd’s pattern called Cable Bias Scarf. It is so easy as it’s quite repetitive.

Starry Night Scarf 01

Most of the pattern is just straight garter stitch which makes it a perfect portable project if you’re visiting friends or in my case, attending my Knit and Knatter group twice a month. I can easily talk while knitting the scarf as I have memorised the pattern.

Starry Night Scarf 02

The cable is quite easy too and once you’ve completed a few repeats of the pattern, you’ll soon have it embedded in your mind!

Starry Night Scarf 05

Although this photo does not show the lovely colours of the scarf, it gives you an idea of the shape which is asymmetrical. Stitchnerd provides lots of easy to read instructions so don’t be put off by the four pages of the pattern. She goes to a lot of trouble to explain everything, step-by-step.

Starry Night Scarf 08

Here’s a few close up photos of the beautiful colours in the yarn.

Starry Night Scarf 11

I love the look of the cable border.

Starry Night Scarf 10

The yarn I used was the third offering in Zen Yarn Garden’s new ART WALK Series that featured a painting by Vincent van Gogh entitled “Starry Night” which inspired this colourway. I used two skeins for this scarf.

Serenity Worsted is a 10ply 75% merino / 15% cashmere / 10% nylon yarn and it is incredibly beautiful to work with. It is so soft and squishy and does not split. I’m really enjoying using worsted weight yarns as a change from fingering.

Yarn Glorious Yarn in Brisbane is the Australian supplier of the ART WALK Series so if you’re interested in purchasing any of the new series (once they sell out they are never repeated) just contact Sue. There are still skeins of Series 5 available.

I’ve purchased two skeins from each series. If you want to see them, simply type ART WALK in the search button at the top right hand corner of my blog and hit enter.

Zen Yarn Garden Starry Night 6

One more look.

Starry Night Scarf 03

I have already started my second scarf using this pattern and it’s looking spectacular. Yesterday, I also visited Stitchnerd’s Ravelry page and bought three more scarf patterns…..the Zen Bias Knits. Can’t wait to start knitting them. I have some yarn picked out for the first one….Leafy Bias. It’s the Sullivans Aztec alpaca / acrylic / polyamide yarn I featured in yesterday’s blog.

BTW, Stitchnerd also designed the pattern for the two Samothrace Wings Scarfs I recently blogged about.

Gotta fly….can’t spend all day sitting here talking to you 🙂 Hope you’re having a fantastic weekend.

Don’t forget, if you ever wish to contact me you can do so through the Contact Me area along the top banner of my blog.

Until next time…

Melanie

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Lincraft Yarn Sale – 50% off!

No, this is not really a paid advertisement for Lincraft; it’s actually the worst message that can appear on my Facebook page! Of course, I had to jump in the car this morning after I’d finished vacuuming and mopping the floors and set off to Lincraft to see whether I could pick up bargains…..because you know…..I’m good at that! All these yarns were 50% off!

Lincraft Bamboozle 70% bamboo / 30% cotton AU$2.49 each. Earmarked for more market bags.

Lincraft Bamboozle Blue 01

Lincraft Bamboozle Pink 01

Patons Stella 40% acrylic / 39% wool / 20% alpaca / 1% polyester AU$4.49 each. I’m going to knit the cable beanie pattern on the ball band with these two blue balls of yarn.

Patons Stella Blue 01

And in silver too!

Patons Stella Silver 01

Cleckheaton Perfect Day 8ply 70% merino / 30% alpaca AU$3.99 each. I adore this yarn.

Cleckheaton Perfect Day Cream 01

Sullivans Aztec 45% alpaca / 35% acrylic / 20% polyamide AU$2.49 each

Sullivan Aztec Ivy 01

Lincraft Lullaby 4ply 100% Australian wool AU$2.49 each. I can see some gorgeous baby hats.

Lincraft Lullaby 01Sullivans Coton-A 5ply 60% cotton / 40% acrylic AU$2.99 each…..more market bags. Does that mean I’m officially a ‘bag lady’?

Sullivans Cotton-A Green 01

Sullivans Cotton-A Orange 01

Cleckheaton Country Tartan 8ply 100% wool AU$2.99 each. Another beanie for my boy.

Cleckheaton Country Tartan Blue 01

Lincraft Splendour 50% wool / 50% acrylic AU$2.49 each

Lincraft Splendour 01

These last two novelty yarns will probably be used for Christmas decorations.

Lincraft Flutter 100% polyester AU$0.64 each!!!!

Lincraft Flutter Green Red

Sullivans Scruffy 93% viscose rayon / 7% polyester AU$0.49 each!!

Sullivans Scruffy

Phew!! That’s it! I feel like a machine at times; buying yarn and then spitting out knitted garments 🙂

Gotta fly as I’m meeting the lovely ladies in my Knit and Knatter group just after lunch. I always enjoy our get togethers where we show off our yarn purchases and recently completed projects. Can’t believe how quickly that time flies.

Until next time…

Melanie

Nature Socks………….Pair # 30

The other night I finished a project and as I didn’t quite know what to start next (which is a major surprise considering the size of my stash!), I grabbed a ball of sock yarn and started knitting my ‘go to’ sock knitting pattern which requires hardly any thinking at all.

You guessed it….it’s the pattern that 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. Over 10,000 pairs of socks have been made using this pattern and recorded on Ravelry!!!!.

Nature Socks 01

I called these ‘Nature’ socks as the colours represent the colours of nature and also because I’m running out of names to call all my socks! They look rather lovely photographed against the backdrop of these lovely green plants.

Nature Socks 03

I love the solid coloured stripes followed by the self patterning stripes.

Nature Socks 07

Nature Socks 02

The sock yarn I used is Patons Patonyle which is a 4ply 80% merino / 20% nylon yarn. It’s great to work with and is known as Australia’s favourite merino sock blend for over 85 years! (Australian Country Spinners). That certainly says a lot!

I just fell in love with this yarn when I saw the colours.

Patons Patonyle Sock Yarn 6

I’ve been busily knitting away trying to finish my Cable Bias Scarf which is looking a treat. I’ve used my Zen Yarn Garden ART WALK series (# 3) yarn called  Starry Night. It’s a 10ply / worsted yarn and contains lovely shades of blue with a splash of green. It’s looking fabulous and I can’t wait to show it to you very soon.

One more look at my ‘Nature’ socks….

Nature Socks 09

Hope you’re having a great weekend full of yarnie and crafty goodness. Until next time…

Melanie

Just What I Need…….More Yarn!!!

I made a very foolish statement to a friend a few weeks ago. I told them I hadn’t bought any yarn in a while and was actually saving money! That instantly put the seed in my mind to buy some yarn. Doh!! So, I’m going to show you my latest purchases.

I don’t really consider this a whim purchase as I’ve been collecting two skeins in each of the series of this yarn so it is in fact an essential yarn purchase!

The fifth offering in the new ART WALK Series features a painting by Wassily Kandinsky entitled “Composition Storm” which inspired this colourway. Painted on Serenity 20, Mr. Zen has captured the vividness and subtlety of the colours of the painting.

Zen Yarn Garden Composition Storm 01

Wassily Kandinsky (1886 – 1944) is considered to be the originator of abstract art, and believed that art could visually express musical compositions. Kandinsky, who was also an accomplished musician, saw color when he heard music, and associated a color’s tone with musical timbre, hue with pitch, and saturation with the volume of sound. Music influenced his art to such a degree that Kandinsky named his works after musical terms. Originally a lawyer in his native Russia, he was inspired to study art at age 30, after seeing Monet’s “Haystacks.” Kandinsky was gripped by a compulsion to relentlessly create, and believed that if this drive were pure, it would evoke a correspondingly powerful response in viewers of his work.

This is a picture of the painting Composition Storm…

kandinsky-wassily-composition-stormThis yarn is Serenity 20 which is a 70% superwash merino / 20% cashmere / 10% nylon 4ply (fingering) yarn and contains 400 yards.

This is the picture of a bundle of the yarn from the Zen Yarn Garden website…

Zen Yarn Garden Composition Storm

Last week I made the fatal mistake of taking a quick peek at Shorn Fibers’ Etsy shop to see what yarnie goodness Angela had created. Big mistake for me…..I was instantly drawn to these gorgeous yarns…

This yarn is called ‘Rustic’ and is a superwash merino sport 5ply and weighs 100g…

Shorn Fibers Rustic 01

And this yarn is called ‘Kelp’ and is a superwash merino / cashmere / nylon fingering 4ply and weighs 100g…

Shorn Fibers Kelp 01

This yarn is called ‘Rock Pool’ and is a superwash Blue Faced Leicester / nylon 4ply and weighs 100g. I’m not really into blue too much but this colour just won me over with all the different shades of blue.

Shorn Fibers Rock Pool 02

And the final yarn from Shorn Fibers is called ‘Outback’ and is a superwash Bluefaced Leicester silk cashmere 4ply yarn that also weighs 100g. Beautiful isn’t it?

Shorn Fibers Outback 01

Now this should have been the final yarn I bought from Shorn Fibers however a few days later Angela posted her latest yarns on Facebook and I weakened!!! Particularly for these two 115g gorgeous skeins of superwash merino DK in the colour Serengeti. I am thinking about making the Cable Bias Scarf with this yarn as I think it’ll show off all those lovely colours to their full advantage.

Shorn Fibers Serengeti 05

I think this is my favourite Shorn Fibers’ colourway to date. Here’s just one more picture of the gorgeous and delicious Serengeti…

Shorn Fibers Serengeti 07

This 100g yarn is a superwash merino high twist singles fingering (4ply) weight and the colourway is Sunset.

Shorn Fibers Sunset 05

And this is really the final Shorn Fibers’ yarn in this post! It’s a 100g Blue Faced Leicester nylon fingering (4ply) Tuff Sock yarn and the colourway is Urchin.

Shorn Fibers Urchin 04

Now this next yarn has quite a story about it. I first learned about TONOFWOOL #2 by Kylie Gusset through a Facebook shared post. The idea was to pledge to buy certain offers of wool. An amount of $20,000 was the target but although this was not met the scheme still went ahead. I pledged $69 for this 300g hank of cream 4ply / fingering yarn. It is so incredibly soft and squishy. I’ll need to make something very special with this yarn.

TonofWool 01

Here’s a bit of information about the wool…

TonofWool 02

You can also join Ms Gusset’s Ravelry page to find out more about TONOFWOOL#2.

At this stage these four Lily Sugar ‘n Cream cottons are earmarked for market bags, in particular Mel’s Handy Market Bag which can be found under the Free Knitting Patterns section on the top banner of the front page of my blog. I bought four balls of each colour.

Lily Sugar n Cream

This Bernat Cottontots is also earmarked for a market bag….in fact I have started it already. This yarn is now discontinued. So glad I managed to get four balls of it from Bubs2Grubs. Don’t you love this bright lime green colour?

Bernat Cottontots 02

I bought the following five acrylic Ice Yarns on Ebay a couple of months ago and I intend to make some baby knits, in particular the Pebble Vest and In Threes cardigan.

Ice Baby Batik Brown Green Camel Cream 4

Ice Baby Batik Green Yellow Pink Cream 4

They’re quite bright and will make ideal baby/toddler knitted garments.

Ice Baby Batik Red Yellow Orange White 4

Ice Yarn Multi White Camel Blue

Ice Yarn Multi White Brown Orange Yellow Blue

Now yesterday at my Knit and Knatter get together one of my friends was showing off her latest yarn purchases from Spotlight. One yarn in particular immediately piqued my interest so you guessed it…….this morning I was off to Spotlight and picked up these yarns on sale.

Two balls of Moda Vera Folly Printed for $4.79 each. This is a 80% premium acrylic / 10% wool / 10% mohair yarn and is so very soft. It begs to be knitted into a shawl. There’s a generous 500m on each ball.

Moda Vera Folly Printed 01

Two balls of Moda Vera Tweed which is a 50% wool / 50% premium acrylic yarn for $5 a ball.

Moda Vera Tweed 01

Three balls of Moda Vera Instinctive which is a 100% premium acrylic yarn for $3 a ball. I’ll make another market bag with this yarn as the colours can disguise any dirty marks that generally appear on bags!

Moda Vera Instinctive 01

Two balls of Moda Vera Vionett which is a 77% premium acrylic / 23% wool yarn for $6 a ball.Moda Vera Vionett 01

One ball of Moda Vera Noir which is a 75% wool superwash / 25% polyamide yarn at $6 a ball. This is one of my favourite commercial sock yarns. Not my usual colours but I was quite taken with these shades. The colourway is called Burg Mix.

Moda Vera Noir Burg Nix

Three balls of Moda Vera Medley which is a 100% polyester yarn at $1.74 a ball. The pattern on the ball band requires three balls so I will probably make that scarf.

Moda Vera Medley 01

And to the last purchase….10 balls of this Moda Vera Chantilly which is a 70% acrylic / 30% milk protein yarn. Each ball was only $2. The pattern on the ball band calls for four balls of the yarn so I may very well also make two of these scarves and keep one for a present.

Moda Vera Chantilly 01

This is a pale green and is quite unusual.

Moda Vera Chantilly 02

Oh dear when I actually look at how much yarn I’ve bought recently I can’t believe it’s that much! I really must stop visiting online yarn websites and looking at all the gorgeous yarns for sale and also stop visiting my local yarn shops too. As my friends keep saying to me…..there’s a need for an intervention.

Hope you enjoyed looking at all my yarn purchases and if you have any ideas for what I should make with them, please let me know.

Hope you had a fabulous weekend as I certainly did. Until next time…

Melanie

Samothrace Wings Scarves

This would have to be one of the easiest scarf patterns I’ve come across. The pattern is so repetitive and it’s all done in garter stitch. I know it off by heart now and don’t need to keep reading the pattern…I just need to keep track of which row in the pattern I’m up to which I do with my trusty knitting notebook. The only challenging part of the pattern is to ensure you leave enough yarn at the end to finish the decreasing rows.

This pattern is called Samothrace Wings scarf and can be found on Ravelry. I really love the simplicity of the pattern which looks so incredibly stylish when completed.

Samothrace Scarf 01

Samothrace Scarf 02

Samothrace Scarf 04

Can you remember a while ago I told you about the Sock Yarn Club I joined through Dyed By Hand Yarns website? The yarns for 2013 were all dyed based on an Australiana theme and the yarn I used for my scarf is Tough Stocking in the colourway ‘Vegemite’. It’s a 4ply fingering yarn and I used 3.75mm needles.

When I first received this yarn in the mail, I initially thought it was just black with a dash of red. Well how wrong was I!! Once I actually started knitting the scarf I was blown away at the number of different hues in the yarn. There was actually no black…it’s mainly subdued hues of olive green, caramel with a splash of muted red.

Samothrace Scarf 05

I took my knitting to scrabble one night and my scrabble mates fell in love with the yarn. Like me, they were amazed at all the different colours in it. So I can definitely say ‘Vegemite’ is a winner!

Samothrace Scarf 07

Samothrace Scarf 13

Samothrace Scarf 14

Tough Stocking is a 4ply (fingering) 75% superwash merino / 25% nylon yarn, weighs 100g and contains 423m (463yd).

Dyed by Hand Yarn Vegemite 02

This pattern will definitely be a repeat one for me….in fact I’ve just finished my second Samothrace Scarf and here it is!

Samothrace Scarf Alfalfa 01

Aren’t they the most gorgeous shades of luscious green?

Samothrace Scarf Alfalfa 02

Samothrace Scarf Alfalfa 03

I love the versatility of this scarf….you can wear it with one end flicked over your shoulder, both ends hanging down in the front or wrapped around your neck.

Samothrace Scarf Alfalfa 05

The yarn I used is Abstract Fiber’s ‘Alto’ in the colourway Alfalfa. I purchased this yarn in March this year from A Chronic Yarnoholic’s Ebay shop which stocks some beautiful artisan yarns. This yarn weighs a healthy 125g and is a 5ply / sport weight superwash 100% Blue Faced Leicester. It’s quite beautiful to work with and I was deceived as it felt more like an 8ply / DK weight.

Abstract Fiber 'Alto' Bluefaced Leicester DK 125g 2

A couple of close up shots of those beautiful shades of green…

Samothrace Scarf Alfalfa 07

Samothrace Scarf Alfalfa 06

I hope seeing these two scarves will inspire you to try this very easy pattern.

Now for the boring mathematical calculations.

As one of my Knit and Knatter friends advised me: it’s an idea to weigh your knitting once you’ve completed one full repeat of the pattern to get an idea of how much yarn you can use for the body of the scarf before you start the decreasing section so I did this for the second scarf. The first pattern repeat weighed roughly 4g so I divided those grams into the total gram weight of my skein which was 125g and arrived at 31 repeats. I reserved 6 repeats for the decreasing section which left me with a total of 25 repeats supposedly for the body of the scarf. What I forgot to calculate into the equation is that when completing the 6 decreasing repeats towards the end you are actually using less yarn for each repeat so your 4g repeat weighs less and less.

To cut a long story short I ended up with 27 full pattern repeats (104g) in the body of the scarf and only used 10g of yarn for the 6 decreasing repeats which left a total 11g of yarn. I could have in fact knitted another two full pattern repeats and had only 3g of yarn left but maybe that would have been cutting it a bit fine! I’ll definitely keep these notes for the next time I knit this scarf to make sure I use every little bit of yarn possible!

Who’d have thought knitting could turn you into a mathematician but then it’s all about the number of stitches and rows and repeats and weighing your project as you go.

Until next time…

Melanie

A Bright Red Market Bag

As well as going crazy over knitting the last two years, I have crazy phases about what I knit. It’s either all vests, all baby hats and now it’s all market bags. Remember those bags years ago we’d take to the shop to put our groceries in? They were quite small and easy to transport and yet could stretch to hold an incredible number of items. Well I’ve just finished my first one.

Although not as large as one of the old fashioned market bags, it’ll be perfect for me to take to my weekly scrabble game with the girls as I’ll use it to carry my keys, wallet and mobile phone rather than putting them in my knitting caddy. My bag is also a bit denser so there’s less likelihood of anything falling through the holes.

As per usual, I found this free knitting pattern on Ravelry and it’s called the Ilene Bag. The pattern calls for Louet Euroflax which is a 5ply 100% linen. As I didn’t have this yarn, I substituted it for this bright red Patons Bluebell which is also a 5 ply yarn and has a lovely crepe texture. I bought a bundle of this Bluebell about a year ago on Ebay. One thing I like about Bluebell is it stretches so easily so is ideal for this little bag.

Patons Bluebell Red 01

I used 5 dpns (4mm) when picking up the stitches on either side of the rectangular stockinette stitch base and until I had completed a few of the pattern rows and then I changed to 4mm (40cm) circulars needles.

Ilene Bag 01

Here is the finished Ilene Bag…

Ilene Bag 02

I have put a small paperback book in the bottom of the bag to show the stretch in the handle. You need to make sure you don’t knit the handle too long as it will stretch with any weight in the bag.

Ilene Bag 05

A 300g hank of fingering yarn.

Ilene Bag 04

The base is nice and thick so nothing can poke through.

Ilene Bag 03

An empty bag…

Ilene Bag 11

Oh my goodness, I’ve just had a quick look on Ravelry to find some more market bag patterns and there are sooo many available that I don’t know which one to pick! Here’s just a few:

Lacy Knit Market Bag

Hexagonal Market Bag

Let’s Go Shopping Market Bag

The String Bag

Looks like I’m going to have a nice selection of bags to tote around!

I’ve just bought some Lily Sugar ‘n Cream 10ply cotton from Bubs 2 Grubs Knitting in Western Australian. This is an American cotton and is difficult to source in Australia. I’ve seen so many patterns for dishcloths that use this cotton so I look forward to receiving my 16 balls next week. Four balls of four different colours.

Until next time…

Melanie

Shoes, Scarves And An Apron

Who loves a sale? Me!!! So I’m going to share with you the goodies I bought today from Target.

My Mum has been raving about these shoes….how comfy and cheap they are. Honestly I think Mum could rival Imelda Marcos when it comes to shoes. These gorgeous ballet flats cost only $7 for the first pair and $3.50 for the second pair!! Which equates to $5.25 a pair!!

Shoes x 4

Not sure whether I have anything to match these coral flats but who cares….at $5.25 a pair I’ll buy something!

Shoes coral

Very summery yellow flats.

Shoes yellow

A bit more subdued pair of taupe flats.

Shoes taupe

And of course, I always have to buy a pair of black which goes with everything.

Shoes black

This berry scarf was reduced from $15 to $3. I mean….how could I walk away without it?

Scarf red 01

It’ll be lovely with my New Zealand merino/possum wrap cardi I bought (on sale – of course!) from The Wool Company last year and which I’ve worn a few times this winter.

310%20BerryThat’s not me in the photo by the way…it’s a model. Don’t the colours match well?

Scarf red 02

This lovely incredibly soft olive green scarf was reduced from $25 to $5.

Scarf green 01

It has cute little pockets at the bottom of both ends so you can slip your hands in to keep them warm. Very clever!

Scarf green 02

And my absolute favourite is this gorgeous and incredibly silky soft orange scarf reduced from $20 to $3!!!!!!

Scarf orange 01

I couldn’t make one that would look and feel better than this.

Scarf orange 02

I can’t wait for winter next year so I can wear my new scarves.

Scarf orange 03

And finally, I bought this cute little peg apron from a charity stall last Friday. It was only $3. I felt so bad about only spending $3 for a worthy cause so I bought a yummy boiled fruit cake as well which had ginger in it. Yummo is all I can say.

Peg apron 01

Well those are my bargain buys. Hope you enjoyed looking at them as much as I enjoyed buying them.

Until next time…happy knitting, crocheting, sewing and whatever other crafts you enjoy pursuing.

Melanie