Weekend Arts and Craft Fair

I just had to show you some of the goodies I bought at the Arts and Craft Fair yesterday. As I walked into the venue I was overwhelmed by a plethora of tables full of handmade goodness ūüôā

My friend Desley from the Redland Spinners and Weavers group makes the most beautiful tote bags. I have featured them before and yesterday I spotted her table straight away as she makes the best bags! Love this one which has a tapestry picture enclosed behind plastic lining. Even the back of the bag looks spectacular.

Green Bag 01-tile

This is the second rosette bag of Desley’s that I’ve bought. Just love the bright colours and again, the back of the bag looks a treat too.

Rosette Bag 01-tile

Here’s a close up picture of those beautiful rosettes.

Rosette Bag 01c

This little calico tote bag will go to my Mum for Christmas.

Calico Bag 01-tile

Couldn’t resist this cinnamon apple which smells divine!

Cinnamon Apple

And I had to claim this cute little penguin.

Penguin 01-tile

These ordinary notebooks had lovely embellished covers on them.

Notebooks

This is such a cute idea. It’s a little pocket that you can slip a gift voucher in. I’ll give this to my son at Christmas with a Bunnings voucher in it. He’s a carpenter.

Tradie pocket

A small canvas print….another gift for my Mum. Mum is so easy to buy for and yet I always have trouble finding gifts for Dad. There’s a limit to how many Sudoku books I can give him!

Canvas print

As soon as I saw this little plaque I felt it was made for me. I’m sure you’d agree too!

She who dies with the ...

I did buy a few extra little goodies but they’ll be Christmas presents for my friends who read this blog so I don’t want to spoil the surprise!

This last bag was bought at a very quaint caf√©/gift shop at Aratula¬†on the way to the scrapbooking retreat last weekend. I couldn’t resist it. My friend Helen also bought a similar one with butterflies on it.

Owl Bag 01-tile

I also had a lovely gathering yesterday at The Artist Tree with my Knit and Knatter friends. I’m nearly half way through my Leafy Bias scarf. Can’t wait to show it to you.

Now off to buy the Sunday paper and do some more knitting.

Until next time…

Melanie

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My Stunning Serengeti Scarf

This is the second time I’ve made this Cable Bias Scarf as I love the pattern so much. In fact, I am quite enamoured with a number of stitchnerd’s (Susan Ashcroft) patterns. What I like about them is the fact there is a lot of garter stitch which makes it easy to knit and talk at the same time, and yet there is enough of a design in the pattern so the finished product looks quite impressive.

BTW if you go to the Cable Bias Scarf pattern page on Ravelry and scroll down on the left hand side you’ll spot the blue scarf I made¬†using this pattern. It has MelsNattyKnits underneath the picture.

I have since purchased three more of stitchnerd‚Äôs patterns and have just started the Leafy Bias scarf which I hope to show you very soon. It’s looking a real treat!

Here’s the Serengeti Scarf…

Serengeti Scarf 01

Serengeti Scarf 03

The yarn I used is Shorn Fibers’ merino superwash DK and this is quite possibly one of my favourite colourways and it’s called Serengeti. I have received so many positive comments about the colourway from friends of mine, so Angela this post is for you.¬†I simply love the colours in this yarn…..this has to be your best creation to date!

Shorn Fibers Serengeti 05

Shorn Fibers Serengeti 07

If I remember correctly each skein weighed 115g and I used two skeins for the scarf.

Some close up photos of all those beautiful colours…

Serengeti Scarf 05

Serengeti Scarf 06

Serengeti Scarf 09

Serengeti Scarf 10

I can’t wait until next winter when I can start wearing all my scarves!!

Tomorrow I’m off to a craft fair with the hope of buying some lovely crafty bits and pieces for myself and maybe even some early Christmas shopping! This will be followed by my fortnightly Knit and Knatter with the lovely ladies from the Redlands Spinners and Weavers group. I love these sessions soooo much as we have fun talking, spinning, knitting, crocheting, drinking coffee and eating sinful cakes!

Until next time…

Melanie

Spare Bobbins for my Little Peggy Spinning Wheel

Firstly, I would like to thank one of my readers (Deanna) who contacted me by email recently to let me know how much she enjoyed reading my blog posts and in particular the links to free patterns. This email gave me such a thrill as quite often no comments are made on some posts so I often wonder whether anyone is reading them; are they enjoying them; should I continue? Thank you so much Deanna!

As you’ll recall I managed to buy a Little Peggy spinning wheel on Ebay in April¬†this year however she only came with two bobbins.

Little Peggy 04

In September¬†I visited one of the local festivals held in my area called RedFest and it was there I stumbled across local woodturners who were displaying their goods. I managed to chat to one of the retired gents who’d been woodturning for over 35 years and asked him whether he’d be interested in making me some spare bobbins. So I drove to his home and took one of the two bobbins from Little Peggy and asked whether he could make me another four.

Last week I drove back to pick up my bobbins and I am so pleased with the five (yes he made one extra) bobbins he made. That’s the original bobbin at the top and the five new ones below.

New Bobbins 02

Original bobbin on the left and new one on the right…

Old left New right

And wait…..there’s more! I also¬†took along the old squirrel cage swift that I purchased in June¬†this year in the job lot which consisted of a spinning wheel, chair, lazy kate and the swift.

Squirrel Swift 04

Now even though the swift works well there are some rough edges on it. My personal woodturner ūüôā was instantly fascinated with it and how it works (I took along the wool winder to give him a demonstration) so he’s going to make me another one that’s nice and smooth all over! I also took along this picture of sock blockers…

Sock Blockers 02

And he’s going to make me pair of them!!! I found this template online which I also gave him. There’s a great downloadable pdf on the web page.

So you can see I’m quite excited about having my own personal woodturner!

Until next time…

Melanie

Knitting at a Scrapbooking Retreat!

My usual weekend post is a bit late this week as I’ve just spent a fantastic weekend knitting at a scrapping retreat! My friend Helen who’s an avid scrapbooker asked me if I’d be interested in the weekend retreat and I could bring my knitting along. Wow what an opportunity….nearly three days of knitting….who could say no to that.

The venue we stayed at was Stacey’s at the Gap which is nestled adjacent to the Main Range National Park at Cunningham’s Gap in south east Queensland.

Staceys 01The cabins all had different configurations and were all named after nearby towns and cities: Boonah, Ipswich, Brisbane, Stanthorpe, Warwick.

Staceys 05

I spotted a beautiful mulberry tree….

Mulberry tree

And this beautiful mauve plant. I have no idea what it is…

Purple flower 01

And this¬†tree which had stunning gold flowers…

Gold tree 01

The views were amazing…

Trees 02

Now to the scrapbooking. I cannot believe how much ‘stuff’ scrapbookers use!!!

Scrap stuff 04

Scrap stuff 02

Scrap stuff 07

Some scrapbookers even brought along mobile drawer units!!

Scrappers

I soon understood why we were met by the hosts who had a large trolley. I brought along four knitting projects and a crochet project which fitted neatly in two small bags.

I made two dishcloths. This one is Gramma’s Dishcloth and I used Lily Sugar ‘n Cream which is a 10ply¬†100% cotton. Both patterns are available free on Ravelry.

Grammas dishcloth 01

Grammas dishcloth 02

And this one is the Knitted Flower Cloth. I managed to get both cloths made from the one ball of cotton.

Knitted flower cloth 01

This is my third Samothrace Wings Scarf and I’m making it in Zen Yarn Garden’s Serenity Silk¬†+ which is a 75% superwash¬†merino / 15% cashmere / 10% silk (lace 2ply). I’ll tell you more about it once I’ve completed the scarf.

Samothrace Scarf Garrowby Hill 01

I also took along my Leafy Bias Scarf which I’ll show you when I’m finished. It’s certainly coming along a treat except for two rows where I must have been too busy talking and messed up the leaf pattern so I will have to frog a few rows to fix it up. I was going to leave it but it just keeps niggling at me so I’ve relented!

I’ve also started another Starburst Flower Crochet Blanket in three colours: cream, olive green and pale green. It’s a long project as I only do a little bit every now and then so it’s great to take along to fill in time.

A few of the scrappers asked whether I’d been ‘converted’ to scrapping and I had to say ‘no’. I’m too much into wool, knitting, spinning and crocheting. And scrapping involves much too much ‘stuff’ for me and some of it is quite heavy too.

I’ll just stick to my lightweight knitting which is just so portable!

I certainly had a great weekend learning about another craft and meeting lots of new people and enjoying the beautiful and tranquil surrounds of this part of south east Queensland that I hadn’t visited before. It was so much cooler here in the mountains which I really loved the most.

Until next time…

Melanie

My Mobile Phone Sock and Other Weekend News

While I was sorting out my hundreds of patterns last week I came across this cute little mobile phone sock pattern so I whipped out some 8ply wool and my 4mm circular needles and quickly knitted it up.

The pattern used Judy Becker’s Magic Cast On but as I haven’t done that before and I didn’t feel like sitting at my computer and watching an instructional video,¬†I simply stitched the bottom of the sock with the cast on tail once I’d finished. You’d hardly know the difference.

Mobile Phone Sock 07

As you can see I am quite partial to the mock cable stitch as it’s so easy and looks so effective.

Mobile Phone Sock 01

I bought this yarn from Threads and More in Brisbane. I believe it’s Naturally Natural Wool that has been hand dyed¬†by the staff of the shop using Kool Aid.

Mobile Phone Sock 02

The pattern is a free Ravelry knitting pattern and is called Mock Cable iPhone Sock. It calls for using 4ply¬†fingering yarn and casting on 48 stitches, however, I used 8ply DK wool and cast on 40 stitches. It’s very cute don’t you think?

Mobile Phone Sock 03

Yesterday as I arrived at my Knit and Knatter gathering at The Artist Tree I noticed there were some decorations and posters on walls and it looked like something had happened or was about to happen. Apparently Channel 9 had rung the owners of The Artist Tree that morning to let them know that Angelina Jolie would be dropping in as part of the search for locations for the filming of her latest movie Unbroken. Unfortunately the visit was cancelled at the last moment as they were held up at other locations.

Redland¬†City area is in a tizz at the moment since this story appeared in last Friday’s Redland Times about Angelina filming part of her movie in the Redlands. This is the second major movie to be filmed here. In 2009 The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Narnia Chronicles) was filmed at Cleveland Point which is so close to my home; in fact it’s on my walking route.

So it looks like the Redlands is the ‘in’ place at the moment!

At my previous Knit and Knatter get together I was given a huge cone of wool that had been donated to the craft area of The Artist Tree. It looked like it may have been a ‘rejected’ cone as there were a few rips across the top of it. I took it home and laboriously wound it into balls of wool.

Cone Wool 02

It’s quite coarse wool so I have kept some of it to knit string bags. There was approximately 6kg of wool in total. Vicki from The Artist Tree was very happy when I gave her three bags of wound wool. At least now it can be used in their craft area. Even though there were quite a few small balls caused by the rips in the cone, I did manage to wind heaps of large balls as well. This picture only shows a very small amount of the wound wool.

Cone Wool 03

One of my work mates keeps chooks (chickens) and at the moment they’re¬†having an egg laying frenzy so I bought a dozen eggs from him. Notice anything odd about one of them?

Eggs 01

Yes, that’s right, it looks like one of them is a double yolker. There’s nothing like freshly laid eggs.

Eggs 02

I’ve saved the best for last. On Thursday as I was walking to work there happened to be a charity stall in the main shopping area so of course I had to stop and have a quick look as they were selling knitted items. My eyes instantly zeroed in onto this beautifully crocheted afghan.

Chevron Afghan 01

Isn’t it simply stunning and isn’t it a perfect fit for my two seater couch?

Chevron Afghan 02

I was told it had been crocheted by an 88 year old woman; it took her half an hour to complete each row and it cost her $36 in yarn. She was only going to sell it for $40 but her friends talked her into selling it for $50 which I happily paid as it is so lovely and I have a fair idea how many hours went into crocheting it.

Chevron Afghan 03

Chevron Afghan 04

Chevron Afghan 05

It’s actually inspired me to maybe crochet one myself one day. I have quite a bit of Cascade 220 Superwash¬†and it would be ideal. One last photo of a gorgeous afghan…

Chevron Afghan 07

That’s my main news for this weekend. Until next time…

Melanie

A Bag Blitz!

I’ve been having a bit of a bag knitting blitz lately. I seem to find a new knitting project, get obsessed with it and end up knitting heaps of that project….maybe 30 pair of socks in a year is a good example of that obsession!

This handy market bag is made from 4 x 50g¬†of hand dyed¬†Ashford Tekapo 8ply¬†wool that I purchased from the Redland Spinners & Weavers open day in June last year. I love the colours; they’re ideal for a market bag as they’ll hide any dirty marks quite well.

Market Bag 15

You can find the pattern for Mel’s Handy Market Bag under the ‘Free Knitting Patterns’ section on the banner along the top of my blog or here¬†on Ravelry.

Market Bag 18

Makes a handy little tote for some of my numerous recent yarn purchases.

Mels Market Bag 20

The next bag, made from the same pattern, is a lot larger as it’s made with Bernat Cottontots¬†Solid 10ply¬†100% cotton. I used 2 x 100g¬†balls to make it. The colourway is ‘catnip’ however I’ve called this bag my In the Limelight Market Bag. I just love this bright lime green.

Lime Market Bag 05

There is so much ‘stretch’ to these bags. They may look relatively small when they’re empty but they sure do expand to hold quite a bit hence it is important not to get carried away when you’re knitting the handle as it’ll stretch too. I’m sure you don’t want your bag dragging on the ground do you?

Lime Market Bag 06Some more yarn sale goodies that I haven’t told you about yet. Hopefully, I’ll post about them soon.

Lime Market Bag 09

The bags have a great circular base which makes placement of the handles so easy as there are no corners to line up with.

Lime Market Bag 04

As mentioned before, the pattern is available free on Ravelry and it’s been downloaded over 70 times so I am patiently waiting for someone to knit it so I can see how others’ finished bags look.

Until next time…

Melanie

A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That

Over the weeks I’ve been gathering photos of lots of ‘bits and pieces’ to show you so this post is a bit of a mixed bag. BTW, this will be my 101st blog post. Can’t believe I’ve managed to generate so many posts in less than a year. At least it means I’ve actually been working through my stash (as well as constantly replenishing it….but we won’t mention that)!

One of my dear friends who retired a year or so ago has started crocheting and I must say she is ‘hooked’ on it!! Every few days she shares her projects on Facebook and this little christening dress and shoes are just so beautiful and adorable I just had to show¬†them to you.

Christening Dress 01

The shoes are a little big for baby so they are being remade in a smaller size. The christening is¬†in October. I can’t wait to see pictures of little Matilda in her dress.

Christening Dress 02

I bought this quilted knitting tote on sale at Spotlight recently. It has so much room in it.

Quilted Tote 01

It also came with a small purse that is attached and will hold scissors, stitch markers and my tape measure. There’s also a zip up knitting needle case.

Quilted Tote 02

Now I don’t do much sewing but when knitting I am sometimes required to sew on buttons and of course there’s all the weaving in the ends of every item I knit. My old plastic sewing box is over 40 years old and has lost its lid so I thought it was time to spoil myself and buy a new one. Another Spotlight purchase.

Sewing Box 01

I like the transparent tray so you can see through to the bottom of the sewing box. It also comes with its own small pin cushion.

Sewing Box 02

I’ve been using my squirrel cage swift quite a bit lately.

Squirrel Swift 01

It’s so much fun winding all my skeins into balls. The thicker yarn winds a lot easier than the finer 4ply yarn. I have to be very careful not to go too fast otherwise I can run the risk of the yarn tangling around the cages. Yikes….it’s not much fun trying to untangle it either.

Squirrel Swift 04

I bought the ball winder on Ebay for a few dollars. It’s such an ingenious invention. From each skein grows a lovely ball of wool with a centre pull start.

Squirrel Swift 05

Here’s another nifty cowl which I’ve called my Bramble Cowl. The pattern can be found under the Free Knitting Patterns section along the top banner of my blog or here on Ravelry.

Bramble Cowl 03

The yarn I used is Moda Vera Bouvardia which is so incredibly colourful. It’s a 10 ply / worsted 70% acrylic / 30% wool. The beauty about this yarn is you can turn the cowl upside down to get a completely different look as the yarn does not repeat its colours very often.

Bramble Cowl 05

Once a month on a Friday as I walk to work there’s usually a charity stall selling lots of second hand goods, knitted goods, cakes and plants. A couple of weeks ago I found these two lovely jewellery holders. I only paid $3 for both of them. I think they look quite¬†cute standing on a chest of drawers in my bedroom with this lovely address book in the middle.

Black lady hangers 01

When I was on holidays in Noosavile in July I found this gorgeous bright orange oil burner. I’ve been searching for an orange one for about a year and finally found this little beauty in a small gift shop in Thomas Street.

Black lady hangers 02

It has a huge water bowl so there’s no risk of the water evaporating too quickly. It cost $14.95 which is more than what I would usually pay for an oil burner but I just didn’t want to risk not being able to find this colour again.

Orange oil burner 01

And finally, about a month ago one of my fave Brisbane online yarn suppliers Yay for Yarn updated their website. Kiri placed a message on the FB page asking for feedback, ie whether the new site was better, were there any problems, etc. Obviously no one did provide feedback so Kiri took another tack and started a discussion on her Ravelry page and offering $35 worth of yarn to anyone who trialled the webste (not necessarily to purchase yarn) and let her know what they thought of it. Well there was an influx of interest! It’s amazing¬†how the prospect of free yarn can motivate people. I got onto the website and actually ended up buying some yarn (surprise, surprise!). I gave my feedback which was the new website was so much quicker to scroll through.

Anyway, the winner was drawn and you guessed it…..I was the winner. Here’s the yarn I chose…Dream in Color It’s Native which is a 2ply / lace 52% mohair / 48% merino yarn. The skein contains 700 yards. This yarn has been discontinued as of March 2013 so I’m lucky to get one of the last skeins. Here’s a lovely description of the yarn from Ravelry:

Luscious, velvety domestic mohair from Stotts’ Ranch in Texas lends this lace-weight yarn its irresistible, kitten-like soft­ness. The fiber content, combined with our unique dyeing process, gives It’s Native its deep and lushly-shaded tones, while the luxuri­ous texture makes for exquisite, special occasion, gift-worthy accessories.

Dream in Color Its Native Gold Experience 01

And a close up of that Gold Experience colourway…

Dream in Color Its Native Gold Experience 02

And for the grand finale….a picture of the Knit and Knatter group (sans Gillian who took the photo) last Saturday at The Artist Tree. That’s me at the back in the middle knitting my Serengeti Scarf. And look at those beautiful bright crocheted squares made by Kathleen….can’t wait to see the completed project.

Knit and Knatter group resized

That’s all my ‘bits and pieces’ for the moment. Hope you have a wonderful long Labour Day weekend. Until next time…

Melanie