My Relationship With Yarn Clearance Sales

I have a love/hate relationship with the words ‘Yarn Clearance Sale’. I love seeing the words as they immediately get my blood flowing and my excitement rises at the thought of what new yarns I can purchase. I hate the fact that I’m going to deplete my bank balance even more with yarn that I probably don’t need but I must have it. Sound familiar? Do you feel like this too? Sounds like we’re all suffering from the insatiable need to own more yarn than we could ever use in a lifetime which is a perfect segue to my next few pictures. I’m going to show you just a couple (okay maybe a few more than a couple) of photos of some more yummy yarn.

Now officially the following two lots of yarn weren’t purchased during a sale. They’re both from Zen Yarn Garden and because I’ve been buying two skeins in each of the ART WALK Series, I really can’t break the cycle can I?

The seventh offering in Zen Yarn Garden’s new ART WALK Series features a painting by Andy Warhol entitled “Blue and Pink Shoe“. Written on the painting is “you can lead a shoe to water, but you can’t make it drink.” Perhaps that is true but we like to think that a gorgeous shoe painting has been successful in inspiring Zen Yarn Garden’s dyer to pick up the dyes and create a beautiful colourway!

Andy Warhol’s pioneering Pop Art defined a decade and a culture, distinguishing him as one of the most influential, creative and prolific artists of the 20th century. Originally the most sought-after commercial artist in New York, Warhol (1923 – 1987) is most known for his multiple images of Campbell’s Soup cans, Coke bottles, dollar bills and celebrities, which exalted the beauty within ordinary objects and familiar images. Working out of a studio called The Factory, he invented the silk screening process which enabled him to mass produce a single image in his signature style. Warhol was also a talented filmmaker, music producer, commercial illustrator, author and magazine publisher. [quoted from Art.com]

Zen Yarn Garden Pink and Blue Shoe 1

The yarn is Serenity Silk Single which is a 4ply / fingering 75% merino / 15% cashmere / 10% silk yarn. This is the picture of the yarn from Zen Yarn Garden’s website.

Zen Garden Blue and Pink Shoe 03

And of course, a picture of Andy Warhol’s Blue and Pink Shoe.

Zen Garden Blue and Pink Shoe 04

Another little treasure that Zen Yarn Garden released a month or so ago is the absolutely gorgeous Pumpkin Pie Spice which is dyed on Serenity 20 a 70% merino / 20% cashmere /10% nylon 4ply / fingering yarn. When I first received the email from Zen Yarn Garden with the pictures of this yarn I instantly knew I had to have it so I contacted Sue at Yarn Glorious Yarn, who is the only Australian distributor, and she ordered some in. Thanks Sue!

Zen Yarn Garden Pumpkin Pie Spice 04

This is the photo that came in the email. Could you have resisted it?

Zen Yarn Garden Pumpkin Pie Spice 01

Now onto my delicious yarn clearance sale items which came from Yarn Glorious Yarn in Brisbane.

The Fibre Company Canopy Fingering which is a 50% alpaca / 30% merino / 20% bamboo light fingering / 3ply yarn. This colourway is Kingfisher. I bought four skeins of each of the next two colourways. There were AU$8.50 each.

The Fibre Co Canopy 4ply Kingfisher 02

This colourway is Yerba Mate.

The Fibre Co Canopy 4ply Yerba Mate 02

And this colourway is Blue Quandons. I bought the last two skeins.

The Fibre Co Canopy 4ply Blue Quandons 01

The Fibre Company Road to China which is a 65% alpaca / 15% silk / 10% Camel / 10% Cashmere Aran / 10ply yarn. The colourway is Autumn Jasper. This yarn is so incredibly soft and sumptuous. It cost AU$8.00 for each skein.

The Fibre Co Road to China WW Autumn Jasper 02

The following yarns were purchased from Spotlight. I had gone out to pick up some handmade soaps from my favourite handmade soap maker Vivianne-K and I thought ‘why not just drop into Spotlight for a quick look’. Big mistake!!! But look at the prices!

Five balls of Cleckheaton Country which is an 8ply 100% wool. Colourway is Blue Skies and they were AU$2.10 each.

Cleckheaton Country Blue 01

Six balls of Cleckheaton Country which is an 8ply 100% wool. Colourway is Lipstick and they were AU$2.10 each.

Cleckheaton Country Red 01

Five balls of Cleckheaton Country Naturals which is an 8ply 85% pure wool / 10% acrylic / 5% viscose. Colourway is Forest and they were AU$2.10 each.

Cleckheaton Country Naturals Green 01

Ten balls of Moda Vera Pure Wool Printed which is an 8ply 100% pure wool. Colourway is brown/charcoal and they were AU$1.20 each. I realised when I arrived home that I’d only been charged for one ball and not 10. The checkout girl waved the scanner over one ball and then forget to hit x 10 on the till. Maybe that’s because she was overwhelmed by all the wool on the counter.

Moda Vera Pure Wool Brown-Charcoal

Two balls of Moda Vera Kendra which is a 12ply / bulky 70% acrylic / 20% wool / 10% nylon. Colourway is Yellow and they were AU$3.59 each. This yarn will make nice strong market bags.

Moda Vera Kendra Yellow 01

Four balls of Moda Vera Kendra which is a 12ply / bulky 70% acrylic / 20% wool / 10% nylon. Colourway is Green and they were AU$3.59 each.

Moda Vera Kendra Green 01

Six balls of Moda Vera Chiquita which is a 44% acrylic / 36% sequins / 20% wool. Colourway is Cream and they were AU$1.20 each.

Moda Vera Chiquita Cream 01

Six balls of Moda Vera Chiquita which is a 44% acrylic / 36% sequins / 20% wool. Colourway is Purple and they were AU$1.20 each.

Moda Vera Chiquita Purple 01

Five balls of Moda Vera Taylor which is a 5ply / sport 56% polyester / 44% wool. Colourway is Brown and they were AU$1.80 each. I’m thinking of making the Glitz at the Ritz shawl with this yarn. What do you think?

Moda Vera Taylor 01

Nine balls of Moda Vera Gelato which is a 4ply / fingering 50% acrylic / 50% cotton. Colourway is Green and they were AU$1.79 each.

Moda Vera Gelato Green 01

And finally, the following yarns came from the Lincraft sale which was offering 40% storewide. I’m using these yarns to make crocheted market bags.

Nine balls of Lincraft Cosy which is an 8ply 100% wool. Colourway is Xmas. They were AU$3.59 each.

Lincraft Cosy Red Green White

Three balls of Lincraft Cosy which is an 8ply 100% wool. Colourway is Naturals. They were AU$3.59 each.

Lincraft Cosy Blue Brown Cream

And three balls of Lincraft Double Knitting which is an 8ply 100% acrylic. Colourway is Apricot. They were AU$2.09 each.

Lincraft DK

You’ll be pleased to know that I have already used some of the yarn and will feature these projects in future posts.

And so we come to the end of another yarnful year. I hope you’ve enjoyed my posts showing you all my knitted projects as well as the odd one or two yarn purchases. I also hope I’ve inspired you to knit some of the projects. One of my readers did contact me as she had made the In Threes Cardigan which I showed you here. She emailed me photos and the cardigan was beautiful!

I’ve posted approximately 115 stories since November last year; I didn’t realise I could talk write so much!

Have a safe New Year’s Eve and a healthy, happy 2014 full of yarnie goodness! Until next year…

Melanie

BTW, On the right hand side of the home page of my blog there are lots of interesting links. I’m not sure when you receive my weekly posts whether you see these links. If not, what you can do is click on the Home button which is at the top left hand side of the page. This will take you to the home page where you can view all the links plus the most recent post. One link also takes you directly to my Ravelry home page.

Advertisements

To Market….To Market….

As you have by now gathered, most of my projects are knitted items. I do like to crochet as it’s faster than knitting but I’m not as good at reading crochet patterns as I am at reading a knitting pattern. For a while now I’ve been wanting to crochet a traditional looking eco market string bag; I’ve searched the internet for patterns, printed off a few but once I start reading them all the instructions just start swimming in front of my eyes and I give up!

A while ago I attempted this crocheted market bag called the Everyday Market Bag. The reason why I thought I’d give it a go was because it said it was easy! The instructions were very detailed to the point they were confusing. Here’s a direct link to them. What do you think?

I had completed about six inches when I gave up as I was so confused. I checked on Ravelry and obviously I wasn’t the only one. The general consensus was that the pattern was very poorly written. One Raveller even rewrote the pattern in easier pattern language but that still didn’t give me enough incentive to keep going so I put it aside.

So last week the latest copy of Australian Creative Knitting Magazine arrives in my letter box and lo and behold there’s a crocheted market bag pattern in it..

Creative Knitting 02

I read the pattern and actually thought I’d be able to make it!!! So I gathered some of that rather coarse wool that I wound into lots of balls a while ago.

Cone Wool 03

It’s the perfect wool for a market bag as it looks just like jute….very rustic. So I sat down a few days ago with the wool, my crochet hook and the pattern and this is what I produced…

Large left Small right 01

Yup that’s right….I actually crocheted two bags. The smaller one on the right was my first one. I used a size 5 hook for the body and size 4 for the handles. I also misinterpreted how to finish off the handles and just made up my own version which works well. The larger bag on the left was crocheted using only a size 5 hook and including one extra repeat. This time I read the pattern instruction for the final row of the handles over and over again until it sank in. In fact, I read it out loud a few times….my neighbours must think I’m losing the plot!

They look great and I’m really pleased with them but how about adding some leaves…

Leaves 01

and maybe some flowers….

Flowers 01

The pattern for the leaves is from the book The Complete Photo Guide to Knitting by Margaret Hubert. I borrowed it from the local library. The pattern for the flowers is from the Pansy Motif by Carol Schoenfelder and can be found free on Ravelry. Needless to say, I can now make the leaves and flowers in my sleep after knitting 16 leaves and crocheting eight flowers!! But I think it was worth the effort don’t you?

Large Bag 03

Oh and of course there’s a button in the middle of each flower.

Large Bag 04

I just can’t stop looking at them as I’m so pleased with the result.

Large Bag 05

This will definitely be my ‘go to’ pattern for a crocheted market bag.

Two Bags 04

The flowers and leaves really make the bags ‘pop’. The yarn I used for the flowers is just a cheap acrylic from Lincraft called Double Knitting and it’s an 8ply yarn. I bought it ages ago as I was quite taken with the colours (so glad I did). The yarn used for the leaves is Sullivans Coton-A which is a 60% cotton / 40% acrylic yarn. It’s a 5ply / sport weight and the recommended needle size is 5 but I used a 3.25mm for the leaves to try and make them quite dense.

Lincraft Double Knitting

Sullivans Cotton-A Green 03

Now for a few close up pics of the flowers and leaves.

Finished leaves flowers 01

Finished leaves flowers 05

Finished leaves flowers 06

And one more. I’m feeling quite chuffed and proud of myself 🙂

Finished leaves flowers 07

I love it when a project works out beyond my expectations especially when I’m using a craft that is not my number one craft.

Two Bags 06

So that’s how I spent the couple of days before Christmas and part of Christmas Day…crocheting two market bags from the perfect yarn! And of course, I made lunch and spent it with my favourite (and only) son!

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas Day spent with either family or friends and I hope you also managed to fit in a bit of knitting or crocheting too.

Until next time…

Melanie

Bambu 7 and Other Knitty Kn-ewes!!

Where do you get your ideas from for knitting garments and what yarn to purchase? I get quite a few of my ideas from what others are buying and knitting as I’m sure a lot of us do. Other people’s ideas inspire and motivate me enormously and I hope maybe my knitting projects and yarn purchases inspire others to have a go.

At a recent Knit and Knatter gathering one of the lovely ladies was knitting a beautiful Victorian lace scarf using Valley Yarns 10/2 Bamboo in a rusty shade. It’s a lovely fine 2ply / lace bamboo yarn. She had bought the bamboo at the Redlands Spinners and Weavers (RS&W) open day held in June this year. The bamboo felt so light and soft and I was immediately smitten. To make matters worse Catherine brought along her scarf to the RS&W Christmas lunch and knitted in between courses so I had even more time to covet the yarn. It’s the perfect yarn to knit a fine and light scarf that you can wear on a summer’s night if it’s a little bit breezy. Isn’t it beautiful?

Victorian Ruby in Rust

A quick search on Ravelry and I was dismayed to see this particular yarn is now discontinued 😦 I contacted Catherine who gave me the details of the supplier who was at the open day. I then emailed BB Yarns in Brisbane to ask whether they still had any supplies of the Bamboo 10/2. The lovely Ursula was also disappointed when Valley Yarns discontinued this bamboo yarn and no she didn’t have any more supplies but had managed to source another bamboo yarn called Bambu 7 made by Silk City Fibers. She offered to send me a sample of all the colours which, of course, I jumped at!

Bambu 7 colours

When I opened the envelope I was immediately in yarn heaven just gazing at all the beautiful solid, bold colours available in this 100% bamboo yarn.

I don’t know about you but when I’m buying something online I hate the fact I have to add on the postage costs as well. Of course, I don’t expect the seller to pay for the postage (although in some cases they do….Yarn Glorious Yarn in Brisbane) so my aim is to order as much as possible that will fit in a particular postage satchel so that the price per item is still quite reasonable. Makes sense doesn’t it?

Each 100g cone of the Bambu 7 cost AU$12.85 and Ursula said she could comfortably fit 10 cones into a postage satchel which would cost AU$13.40. I, of course, could not just pick one colour out of all those scrumptious shades so I thought ‘what the heck!’ and I bought 10 cones which made the postage only an additional $1.34 for each cone. How economical am I? By spending money, I am actually saving it!!! I’m sure you must agree with me 🙂

On Friday before I left for work I heard the comforting and familiar sound of a parcel being placed near my front door 🙂 I’m not sure whether I’ve told you this before or not but my local parcel delivery man is so used to dropping off parcels at my home that every time I see him as I walk to work he always waves to me from his van. In fact, on a couple of occasions he’s actually pulled over his van on the side of the road and handed me my parcel! That tells me I’m buying too much online!!! But it doesn’t seem to stop me 🙂

Anyway, I digress….back to the story. I quickly ran to the front door, picked up the parcel, took it into my kitchen and gingerly opened it with a pair of scissors. I was met by this wonderful array of rainbow coloured spools of Bambu 7 goodness in shades of rust, fawn, orange, red, mauve, yellow, forest green, mid green, denim blue and bottle green. Sheer bliss!! I didn’t want to go to work. I wanted to start a new project straight away but I’m still waiting for the book Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby that I’ve just ordered from The Book Depository to arrive which means….another parcel delivery!!!!!!!!

Victorian lace today

Are you ready to see these glorious Bambu 7 colours? Here they are in all their colourful glory!!!!!!!!

Bambu 7 01

Bambu 7 02

Bambu 7 03

Talking about The Book Depository….occasionally I’ll visit the website, enter a word and wait to see what books pop up. I did that recently by entering the word ‘sock’ and waited to see what would appear. There were lots and lots of books as you can imagine but this one caught my eye. It’s called Sock Yarn Studio by Carol J Sulcoski and it’s full of patterns using sock yarn. There are no sock patterns; only patterns for other items but using sock yarn. The book arrived last week. It’s a gorgeous book and I’m so glad I bought it. I happened to have just walked out my front gate on the way to work when the parcel delivery van arrived so I stood and waited as he got out of the van with a number of parcels in his hands. “Anything for me”, I said. Of course there was!!

Sock yarn studio

BTW I have also ordered Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s (aka The Yarn Harlot) latest book called The Amazing Thing about the Way it Goes which is due to be released in March/April 2014. Her books are always a rollicking read.

The amazing thing

I’ve also just received my December 2013 issue of the Australian Creative Knitting Magazine so I have lots of yarnie reading to do over the Christmas break. Creative Knitting is distributed four times a year as is Australian Knitting Magazine and Yarn Magazine….all Aussie magazines I subscribe to. I also subscribe to Ply Magazine and Spin-Off Magazine, both USA magazines.

Creative Knitting 01

And I rather fancy these two crochet patterns…

Creative Knitting 02

Creative Knitting 03

The picture I am painting here for you is a house full of yarn, knitting books and knitting magazines!! I love being surrounded by all this yarnie goodness. It’s so good for the soul don’t you think?

Stop the Press!! I was ready to send out this post this morning when I opened my front door and lo and behold there were two parcels waiting for me!!! It’s not often we have mail and parcel deliveries on a Saturday but generally the weekend before Christmas is an exception. The two parcels were my book Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby….it’s huge and there are so many beautiful lace shawl and scarf patterns; and the interlocking foam floor tiles which are technically for children to use as a play mat or a giant puzzle but for me they’ll be used to block my knitting. In fact, I’ve already got a cowl outside blocking in the sun.

Puzzle Mat for Blocking

And to finish off I want to show you the lovely teapot, milk jug, sugar bowl and two cups and saucers I bought from the monthly charity stall that is held where I live and which I always visit on my way to work.  I couldn’t resist it. The set is made in England.

Tea Set 01

Can’t wait to try out the tea pot this weekend.

Tea Set 02

Aren’t those cups so dainty and delicate?

Tea Set 03

The creamer / milk jug…

Tea Set 04

The sugar bowl…

Tea Set 05

Yikes, I’ve just realised I’ve started amassing a small collection of tea pots without realising it. I’ll have to nip that in the bud before I become obsessed with collecting tea pots!

Tea Pots 01

I knitted all the tea cosies too!

Tea Pots 02

And even a miniature set that I bought in Singapore a few years ago…

Tea Pots 03

Have a fantastic yarnie and crafty weekend in the lead up to Christmas Day!

Until next time…

Melanie

Garrowby Hill Scarf

Woo hoo! This is second UFO I have completed and I’m feeling quite chuffed I might add. I started this scarf in mid October and finished it at the end of November. It’s the third scarf I’ve made using this pattern….Samothrace Wings Scarf….designed by Susan Ashcroft (Stitchnerd on Ravelry).

Garrowby Hill Scarf 01

Garrowby Hill Scarf 02

The yarn I used was the fourth offering in the Zen Yarn Garden ART WALK Series. It’s Serenity Silk + which is a lace / 2 ply 70% merino / 15% cashmere / 10% silk yarn. It is gloriously soft and squishy.

David Hockney Garrowby Hill 05

The colourway is called Garrowby Hill and is based on the colours in David Hockney’s painting of the same name.

David Hockney Garrowby Art Walk b 4

Because this is a lace / 2ply yarn and the skein holds 500 yards the scarf is thinner and longer than my others. This is perfect for wrapping around my neck a couple of times on those cold winter’s mornings when I walk to work.

Garrowby Hill Scarf 06

I love all the different bright colours which together look like a rainbow.

Garrowby Hill Scarf 07

This scarf is particularly easy to knit as it’s all garter stitch and some short rows.

Garrowby Hill Scarf 09

I am so pleased to have finally finished this scarf. Watch this space for more completed UFOs!

I am now off to my Saturday Knit and Knatter with the lovely ladies from the Redlands Spinners and Weavers group. Hope you’re having a great weekend too.

Until next time…

Melanie

Rusty Rock Socks……Pair # 32

Before I show you these socks I’ll discuss the yarn first. I used Skein’s Top Draw Socks in the colourway Rusty Rock. It’s an 85% merino / 15% nylon sock yarn which has  undertones of lichen with overtones of rich rust tones. I love these autumn shades.

Skein Rusty Rock 2

Now originally I cast on ready to knit Nutkin socks as I rather liked the pattern. I was going along great guns as you can see from the picture below when lo and behold I went to slip the sock on to measure how far to knit the foot before the toe decreases (which is what I always do) and discovered it was soooo tight!. If only I’d read all the comments on Ravelry from others who had knit these socks too. I should have used size 2.75mm needles rather than the 2.5mm that I usually use as this would have made them that smidge roomier. And yes, I’ve been caught out because I didn’t knit a tension square 😦 As you know I never do and it was bound to catch me out at some stage. I had even incorporated a different heel…the wrap and turn heel.

DSC04105

So I frogged what I had knitted (groan!) and started another pair of socks using the V Junkie pattern that I’d previously used as I knew they fitted comfortably. The pattern can be found in Alice Yu’s book called Socktopus. Here they are…

Rusty Rock Socks 01

I love the wrap and turn pattern of the heel which negates the need to pick up stitches along the heel flap.

Rusty Rock Socks 02

I’m so glad I frogged Nutkin (despite the fact I’d almost finished one sock) and started V Junkie as I couldn’t imagine wearing socks that are a tad too tight.

Rusty Rock Socks 08

It’s an interesting pattern and just adds a bit of pizazz to the socks.

Rusty Rock Socks 03

The pattern has this lovely 3D effect which makes it look like I am a very clever sock knitter who can master really difficult patterns but this is not the case. The pattern is deceptively easy. It’s simply a matter of slipping certain stitches intermittently every few rows with two rows of purling in between.

Rusty Rock Socks 05

As you can see my foot mannequin has a very slender foot so the socks pucker a bit at the bottom however they fit my wide foot very well!

Rusty Rock Socks 06

Two socks ready to be blocked and stored away until next winter.

Rusty Rock Socks 09

Love them!

Rusty Rock Socks 11

The sad thing is I probably still won’t relent and start knitting tension squares. How many others out there are reluctant to knit them as well? I am sure there must be a few of us! And can anyone talk me into knitting tension squares?

And one day I must go back and knit some Nutkin socks as there have been over 3,700 pairs made and featured on Ravelry! It also happens to be a free sock knitting pattern.

And I’ve left the best until last…..I finished another UFO. Hooray!!!! I am feeling quite chuffed with myself!

I hope you have a lovely crafty weekend filled with lots of yarnie goodness.

Until next time…

Melanie