Autumn Goodness on my Squirrel Cage Swift

A quick impromptu post for you! This afternoon I decided to get out my squirrel cage swift and wind some skeins into balls ready to knit. I wound four skeins of my new Cascade Ultra Prima plus this beautiful skein of hand dyed lace 62/38 bamboo/cotton that I purchased in September 2012 from A Chronic Yarnoholic’s Ebay shop. This was way before I decided to start knitting with lace weight yarn. The colours just captivated me so I had to have it!

Lace Bamboo 2

These are the gorgeous colours that appeared on my swift when I unravelled the skein.

Bamboo Cotton Lace 01

Bamboo Cotton Lace 02

The colours remind me of autumn leaves.

Bamboo Cotton Lace 03

Bamboo Cotton Lace 04

A quick look at the growing ball of lace…

Bamboo Cotton Lace 05

Bamboo Cotton Lace 06

I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to wind this ball and contemplate a project. It’s just stunning!

Bamboo Cotton Lace 07

The finished wound ball. Ta da!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bamboo Cotton Lace 08

And a closer look at those autumn shades…

Bamboo Cotton Lace 09

The pattern I have found is called Leaf Lace Scarf and it’s a free knitting pattern on Ravelry. The best part is the pattern provides written as well as charted instructions. I still haven’t been converted to charted instructions! Don’t you think this yarn will look great considering it’s the colour of autumn leaves?

Hope you had a great long Australia Day weekend. I certainly did! I’ve nearly finished my first lace scarf which I’ll show you soon.

Until next time…

Melanie

A Bag Blitz and a Plethora of Pansies!

Over the Christmas and New Year break I went beserk and crocheted about 10 market bags! I probably have the pattern etched in my brain now. Remember me telling you about the Market Bag pattern I found in the Australian Creative Knitting magazine?

Creative Knitting 02

I’ve made three of these ones in a very coarse wool that I featured in an earlier blog.

Large Bag 03

I have since made three bags in this yarn…

Coral Bag 01

Coral Bag 02

which is a Lincraft Double Knitting 8ply acrylic. This yarn is extremely light so these little market bags weigh hardly anything so they can be slipped into your bag when you go shopping. I have given one to my Mum.

Lincraft DK

The bags are crocheted in a spiral from the bottom.

Coral Bag 04

The handles are quite cleverly crocheted to make them quite sturdy.

Coral Bag 06

An unusual combination of colours which caught my eye.

Coral Bag 03

I have made one of these bags in this yarn as the bag used a lot more yarn than I anticipated.

Kendra Market Bag 01

Some of my stash being used as a ‘prop’.

Kendra Market Bag 09

Again, the start is from the middle of the base and the crocheting is carried out in a spiral.

Kendra Market Bag 05

The handle and top of the bag is finished really neatly.

Kendra Market Bag 04

The yarn I used is Moda Vera Kendra which is a 12ply / bulky, 70% acrylic / 20% wool / 10% nylon. I used a 5.5mm crochet hook. I’d purchased four balls of the green and the last two balls of yellow hoping that I could get at least two bags made, however, one bag took nearly four balls to complete!

Moda Vera Kendra Green 01

This is a lovely sturdy market bag which can tolerate a bit more weight. I love it! As one of my friends mentioned, the straps and the top edge look like they could easily be adapted to make a woman’s singlet top.

Kendra Market Bag 03

Kendra Market Bag 06

I loved crocheting these bags as they were quick to do and once the pattern was reinforced in my head I was keen to make more…..which I did! I couldn’t show you all the bags as some will be presents throughout the year and I don’t want to give the secret away!

Before I sign off I want to show you some of the pages of this absolutely stunning book I bought at last week’s Lifeline Bookfest in Brisbane. It’s called Pansies and I just could not resist buying it as pansies are probably one of my favourite little flowers. Even though they don’t have a perfume they have the most beautiful colours and to me they look like the ‘smiling faces of nature’. I hope you enjoy these pictures….there are a few!

Pansies 01

Pansies 02

Pansies 03

Pansies 04

Pansies 05

Pansies 06

Don’t these ones look like they’re made from velvet?

Pansies 07

Pansies 08

Pansies 09

Pansies 10

Nature’s smiling faces…

Pansies 11

Pansies 12

Beautiful colours…

Pansies 13

Pansies 14

I’m sure you all have smiles on your faces now don’t you? Aren’t they just gorgeous?

I’m off to meet my wonderful friends at Knit and Knatter tomorrow. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend full of crafty goodness.

Until next time…

Melanie

Brisbane Bookfest Bargains!

Brisbane can boast that it holds the largest second hand book sale in the world! And it’s held twice a year….in January and in June. There are literally millions of books. It’s called the Lifeline Bookfest and I love travelling to the city twice a year to grab some bargains. They even have their own Facebook page. This January they’re open for 10 days!

Lifeline Bookfest 03

As I arrived yesterday morning (the first day), I could actually feel my heart rate elevate in anticipation of what bargains I would find. As you walk into the Great Halls of the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, there are huge crates of books ready to be used to refill tables after the first couple of days.

Lifeline Bookfest 01

Ideally, I would love to go on the first and second day of the Bookfest but as parking cost me $18 yesterday and it’s a 45 minute drive each way, I’ve only ever managed the one day. Besides, it is quite exhausting walking for hours looking at books. I was there for just over four hours.

Have a look at the set up. It’s amazing and this is only a section of the tables.

Lifeline Bookfest 02

I always head for the high priced section as that’s where the more current books are. I pay from between $5 and $8 for each book and that’s still way cheaper than retail price. Here are some of my bargains.

Bookfest 01

Thought these two books would be handy when I retire and I have more time and can knit for charity.

Bookfest 02

Lots of interesting ideas here.

Bookfest 03

Just what I need….more socks!

Bookfest 04

I’ve never thought about rug knitting before. I do love colourful Afghans.

Bookfest 05

Some gorgeous patterns in these books.

Bookfest 06

I have The Gentle Art of Knitting so I may even sell this one on Ebay. This is one of my favourite knitting books and it contains the pattern for the Starburst Flower Crochet Blanket that I made.

Bookfest 07

More gorgeous Afghan patterns.

Bookfest 08

Lots of helpful information here.

Bookfest 09

And of all things….a knitting journal.

Bookfest 10

A beautiful pattern book by Kaffe Fasset and it was only $2.50!

Kaffe Fassett

I’m selling these two on Ebay as I already have all three of Loani Prior’s tea cosy books. This is her first book and it’s harder to get hold of.

Felt n Tea Cosies

A knitting pattern book by Debbie Bliss.

DBliss Home

And lastly, some notebooks that ranged from between 50c and $2. I use these to keep a record of my row counts and any modifications I make to patterns.

Notebooks 01

They sure do have colourful covers don’t they?

Notebooks 02

All in all another successful visit to the Lifeline Bookfest. To offset the book expenses, I managed to sell a Little Peggy spinning wheel today for twice as much as I bought it over the Christmas period. The new owner was ecstatic with the wheel and I was ecstatic with the sale!

Little Peggy 1

It’s a 1978 John Rappard Little Peggy and the reason I didn’t keep her is because I already have one!.

Little Peggy 6

Don’t forget, if you live in Brisbane and can get along to the Lifeline Bookfest you won’t regret it! You may also get some bargains like I did.

Bookfest 01

I hope you had a great weekend and did lots of crafty and yarnie bits and pieces. I finally finished my Glitz at the Ritz shawl which I’ll show you a little later. It’s outside blocking at the moment.

Until next time…

Melanie

Two Cosy Little Neck Warmers

The last thing I want to think about at the moment is keeping my neck warm as we’ve experienced some hot days here in Brisbane this summer. But life goes on and I keep knitting whether it’s summer or winter!

This little cowl was made using the pattern Urban Lace Infinity Scarf and only took me a few nights to knit up. It’s just like the feather and fan pattern which has always been a favourite of mine. It’s not as long as the one shown in the pattern but I’m very happy with it.

Urban Lace Infinity Cowl 01

Urban Lace Infinity Cowl 03

Urban Lace Infinity Cowl 04

The yarn is absolutely heavenly. It’s Skein’s Alpaca Merino Worsted and it is so incredibly soft. It’s 60% alpaca and 40% merino and the colourway is ‘Wise’. This cowl is definitely going to be so comfortable and snuggly to wear this winter.

Skein Alpaca Merino Worsted Wise 02

This little scarf was made using the pattern Vite Cowl although I have left it as a small scarf . Again, it didn’t take long to knit up either and that’s mainly because the yarn is quite bulky. I’ve named it my Autumn Cowl.

Autumn Cowl 10

Autumn Cowl 11

Autumn Cowl 01

The yarn is Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Chunky which is a 12 ply yarn and it’s made from 100% baby alpaca and it’s also sooooooo soft! I love alpaca yarn!

Misti Alpaca Chunky 02

And the great thing about these patterns is that they’re free on Ravelry!

It’s such a pleasure knitting a garment when you’re using such quality soft yarn as I did with these two projects. I love the tactile experience of feeling the yarn between my fingers and imaging how soft the garment will be wrapped my neck on a cold and windy Brisbane winter’s day. We don’t get many of those days so I really have to make the most of them when we do!

Hope you have a great weekend full of lots of crafty and yarnie goodness!

Until next time…

Melanie

A Crochet Pot and a Knitted Scarf!

I subscribe to a few knitting magazines in Australia and I particularly love it when I come upon patterns that catch my eye and that I actually try. Two patterns from the recent Australian Creative Knitting Magazine resonated with me and those were the Market Bag and Crochet Tubs patterns.

Creative Knitting 02

Creative Knitting 03

I was on a roll over the two week Christmas/New Year break and crocheted 10 of the market bags! I featured two of them here and I will show you the others in future posts.

I also had a go at the Crochet Tub but found that I needed more concentration with that pattern as it was rather a tight/dense structure and of course this is because it needs to stand up and support its sides. Anyway, when the pattern got to the point where it said keep continuing to increase in this fashion (or words to that effect), I realised that I hadn’t actually got the gist of the pattern increases so I decided there and then to start with the sides rather than making the base larger. This is what I ended up with.

Crocheted Pot 01

It’s rather cute don’t you think?

Crocheted Pot 02

It reminds me of the items made from sisal by African women. Even the inside looks nice and neat!

Crocheted Pot 03

I felt it needed something to make it ‘pop’ so I thought about the leaves and flowers I had made whilst experimenting with those I placed on my two market bags.

Crocheted Pot 04

I must say I am really pleased with the results! It brightens up the pot no end!

Hhhmmm what can I use it for?

Crocheted Pot 07

A great little storage container for my crochet hooks. I’m not sure whether I’d make another one as it is quite a tight structure which is a bit hard on the hands. The yarn I used is the same one I used for my two market bags….that very coarse wool that I wound from the cone into lots of balls. It’s perfect for this project as it gives the pot a real rustic look.

One more picture…

Crocheted Pot 08

My second project is an easy scarf that had been languishing for a while. I started it on 16 September and finished it on Christmas Day. Considering it is such an easy pattern that is just knitting in the round, I don’t know why it took me so long.

Chantilly Scarf 01

I’ve called it my Chantilly Scarf after the yarn I used….Moda Vera Chantilly which is a 12ply / bulky, 70% acrylic / 30% milk protein yarn which is now discontinued. I used four balls and 7mm circular needles.

Chantilly Scarf 02

You could also wear it just tied around your neck…

Chantilly Scarf 03

…or just hanging around your neck…

Chantilly Scarf 04

…or even as a gigantic cowl!

Chantilly Scarf 06

The edges are just six rows of K2, P2 ribbing.

Chantilly Scarf 05

This is what the scarf looks like when it’s not being worn. The pattern came from the ball band of the yarn.

Chantilly Scarf 08

I am quite pleased with both these little projects!

Crocheted Pot 07-tile

Today I am off to the first Knit and Knatter gathering for this year. Can’t wait to meet all my yarnie friends to check out their finished projects and to just talk yarn!

Until next time…

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.

My Spotted Gum Mobius

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had a safe and yarn-filled new year’s eve 🙂 As we roll into another year I thought I’d start by showing you another UFO that I completed late last year!!! That’s my 4th one! This Mobius really frustrated me to start with. I cast on with excitement as I usually do with a new project and after about two or three pattern repeats I was finding it hard to concentrate on the pattern so I put it aside.

03 Autumn Mobius 01

Once I published my story about all my UFOs one of my readers really gave me some incentive to complete my projects rather than just buy yarn and never finish knitting a project. Thanks Colin! So I picked up this project again and ironically I found the pattern to be a lot easier….perhaps I was in the right frame of mind.

Spotted Gum Mobius 01

It can be worn long or wrapped around your neck.

Spotted Gum Mobius 09

It’s hard to tell the right and wrong side of this pattern as they both look good!

Spotted Gum Mobius 05

The pattern I used is the Autumn Fern Mobius. It actually came in a kit form from Yay for Yarn and I purchased it last year. Unfortunately the pattern arrived safely via email however the original yarn was lost in the mail so I had to select a substitute yarn which I didn’t actually use for this Mobius.

Spotted Gum Mobius 08

The yarn I used is Dyed By Hand Yarn’s Tough Stocking which is a 4ply / fingering 75% merino / 15% nylon yarn. The colourway is Spotted Gum and this yarn was part of the 2013 Sock Yarn Club. Each skein of yarn was dyed in a colour inspired by something Australian. The colours were exclusive to yarn club members for 12 months and custom dyeing of these colours on any yarn base could be ordered by yarn club members for the duration of the club. Here’s the link to my story that shows all the colourways for the 2013 yarns.

Simply_Sock_Club_2013_all_colours_view_2

The colours have now been released to everyone and the 2014 Sock Yarn Club is now open. I think I’ll have to subscribe again. Here’s the link if you’re interested. BTW I have no financial or other affiliation with Dyed By Hand Yarns; I simply believe in promoting great Aussie artisan yarn dyers wherever I can as I believe they produce stunning yarns in stunning colours.

As you can see, the yarn colours surely do depict the colours of the Spotted Gum don’t they?

Dyed By Hand Yarn Spotted Gum-tile

Very pleased with the result…

Spotted Gum Mobius 07

I used a provisional cast on and then twisted one end of the cowl before using Kitchener stitch to graft both ends together to form the Mobius effect.

Spotted Gum Mobius 02

I’ve been busily crocheting market bags as I’ve found a pattern than I can understand. Have just finished my 9th one!!!

Until next time…

Melanie