Sunset Shawlette

I purchased one skein of this yarn from Angela’s Shorn Fibers’ Etsy shop quite a while ago. I had no idea what I’d knit, I just knew I loved the colourway which is called ‘Sunset’. A few months later I bought another skein, however, Angela advised me it was a bit lighter than the one I’d previously purchased.

Shorn Fibers Sunset 03-tile

Firstly, I was quite chuffed that she’d either checked or recalled what I’d previously purchased and was kind enough to advise me the skeins were slightly different. I decided to go ahead with the second skein.

Now sometimes I immediately have in mind what I want to knit when I purchase some yarn. Other times I have no idea at all; I simply pack the yarn away and await for some pattern inspiration. The latter scenario is what happened with these two skeins of yarn.

A month or so ago I bought a few knitting pattern books from a local charity stall for 50 cents each. I flicked though one of the magazines and was instantly drawn to this pattern called Stripey Shawlette. This magazine is no longer available and I can’t find a date on it anywhere so I’m not sure what year it was published but what did catch my eye is that the pattern writer also happens to be the owner/operator of another one of my favourite Brisbane online yarn shops called ‘Yay for Yarn’. What a coincidence!

Lets go knitting mag

Stripey Shawlette pic

Here is my Sunset Shawlette which is made a bit larger than the pattern stipulated.

Sunset Shawlette 01

It blocked beautifully and drapes like a dream.

Sunset Shawlette 02

Can you notice the slight difference in ‘brightness’ between the shawl and the ruffle on the edge? I thought this would be the perfect yarn to use as the edge frill is a natural demarcation point where a slight difference in colour wouldn’t matter.

Sunset Shawlette 09

As mentioned, the yarn is Shorn Fibers’ High Twist Singles Fingering which is a 4ply, 100% merino yarn. I used size 4.5mm needles to knit the shawlette. I should probably call it a shawl as it’s a lot larger than a shawlette!

That’s what I love about yarn; sometimes it beckons to be used straight away on a specific knitting project and at other times it is quite happy to nestle warmly with my other stashed yarn until it decides what it would like to be made into J

Sunset Shawlette 03

Sunset Shawlette 04

Here’s a picture of the shawl that shows its unusual construction.

Sunset Shawlette 06

Sunset Shawlette 05

Sunset Shawlette 07

Sunset Shawlette 08

I have also been very busy building a website for the Redlands Spinners & Weavers Inc and I must say I’m very happy with the finished product!

I’ve also just finished blocking two more shawls….just waiting for them to dry off now.

I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend. Time for a cup of coffee and a snack for me!

Until next time…

Melanie

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Tangerine Yolo Shawl

When I first saw this shawl I knew instantly that I wanted to make one. I think it was a combination of the mock cabling and the colour of the yarn! Unfortunately, at that stage the pattern hadn’t been written so I had to wait patiently for it. Now, if you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I have made a number of scarves from patterns written by Susan Ashcroft (aka stichnerd on Ravelry).

The first one was my Samothrace Wings Scarf, followed by another Samothrace Scarf in a gorgeous Zen Yarn Garden yarn, followed by the Starry Night Cable Bias Scarf, the Serengeti Cable Bias Scarf, the Leafy Bias Scarf and the Chameleon Bias Scarf. You could almost say I’m addicted to Susan’s patterns!

Susan has very kindly given me permission to show you the photo that I fell in love with.

stitchnerd yolo

When I realised the Yolo Scarf pattern was available I instantly purchased it and had the scarf completed in less than a week. Because I still had the memory of that beautiful orange yarn that Susan used, I selected some gorgeous tangerine yarn that I’d purchased from A Chronic Yarnolohic’s Ebay store a while ago. I have since bought the last remaining four balls of this yarn as I love it sooooo much. I may attempt to knit my own mock cable hat….unless anyone can point me in the direction of an easy to knit hat that features mock cabling??

The yarn is Mirasol Tuhu which is a 50% baby llama / 40% merino / 10% angora blend. It is so beautifully soft and squishy and feels glorious against the skin. It’s an 8ply / DK yarn and I used size 5.00mm needles for this project.

Here it is…… my beautiful Tangerine Yolo Shawl.

Tangerine Yolo 001

I have always loved mock cables as they’re so, so easy to knit and yet look a lot more complicated than they actually are.

Tangerine Yolo 05

I used exactly four balls of yarn to make the scarf and was left with only a small amount of yarn.

Mirasol 'Tuhu' 02

It only required very light blocking.

Tangerine Yolo 04

I love the faint lines that show the increases.

Tangerine Yolo 08

I would highly recommend this pattern, particularly if you’re looking for something that is easy, doesn’t take too much concentration (particularly if you’re talking at the same time) and looks fantastic.

Tangerine Yolo 002

Tangerine Yolo 02

Tangerine Yolo 03

Tangerine Yolo 12

Tangerine Yolo 09

On another note, if you are interested, I have also just started building a website for my local spinners group: The Redland Spinners & Weavers Inc. The group will celebrate its 36th year on 8 August and I am keen to uploads lots of information of the group’s history throughout the last 36 years. I am so excited as it’s starting to look quite good as I add more information and pictures.

On Sunday I will be demonstrating spinning at the Sandgate Police Citizens Youth Club at The Homegrown Movement’s Trade Off Day. This is their first trade off day so I don’t quite know what to expect but it should be fun.

And tomorrow I’m off to Knit and Knatter again. Love these social crafty get togethers with my fibre friends!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend filled with yarnie goodness! Until next time…

Melanie

A Rainbow ‘Happy’ Citron Shawl

They say that bright colours make you happy. Well, if that’s the case you should all be happy after reading this post!

I’ll start with the yarn first. Would you have fallen in love with this brightly coloured yarn? It’s a new one this season for Spotlight called Fayette. It’s an 8ply / DK, 60% wool / 40% acrylic blend.

Moda Vera Fayette Frenzy 02

This colourway is called Frenzy. Don’t you just love it? Reminds me of a macaw.

Moda Vera Fayette Frenzy 04

The pattern is called Citron and is free on Ravelry. It’s a pattern one of my friends was knitting not long ago in a similarly coloured yarn. I was quite captivated with it so decided to make a Citron shawl as well.

Here it is …………….

Rainbow Citron 01

Are you happy yet?

Rainbow Citron 02

I started the shawl using size 4mm needles and felt that it wouldn’t turn out as large as I wanted it so after a few rows I progressed to size 5mm needles but still wasn’t satisfied so I jumped onto size 8mm needles which made it lovely and big enough to wrap right around me.

Rainbow Citron 04

This is a picture taken with the shawl on the floor to try and give you an idea of its size and shape.

Rainbow Citron 05

The size 8mm needles really show the m1R holes in the shawl but at least they’re all evenly spaced! Would you believe the last few rows of the frill are knitted in a different yarn as I ran out of the Frenzy. I used a crepe 8ply / DK yarn of similar colours. You’d hardly notice the difference.

Rainbow Citron 06

I only did a gentle blocking as I didn’t want to disturb the gentle rouching throughout the shawl.

Rainbow Citron 08

or the frill along the edge.

Rainbow Citron 09

You could say I am very happy with this shawl. What do you think of it?

Rainbow Citron 10

I hope I have lifted your spirits if they were in need of a lift 🙂

Today I am off to join a yarn bombing exercise at the Terrace Cafe in Cleveland. We’ll be yarn bombing a cane chair. It’s part of a Curated Spaces Project being undertaken by Redland City Council so I am hoping a few people turn up. It should be fun! If you look at the picture at the bottom left hand side of the link it shows a small piece of my yarn bombing from a previous project….the brown/cream stripey looking knitting.

Until next time…

Melanie

Two Aussies and Seven Kiwis…

Sounds a bit like the start of a joke doesn’t it? Rather, it describes the ethnicity of my nine spinning wheels! I’ve shown you some of them but not the latest two that I’ve collected. The first one is a beautiful little Fomotor Peacock spinning wheel that I bought from a friend of mine. It is the tiniest spinning wheel I own and is therefore so easy to transport.

Peacock Wheel 01

There is no orifice, rather this large hook which I am quite used to now.

Peacock Wheel 04

It also came with a plastic tubing drive belt rather than the usual string that I’d normally use.

Peacock Wheel 05

Interesting how the footman connector actually goes through the back leg of the wheel.

Peacock Wheel 06

Even though it’s the smallest wheel I own, it has the largest cup hooks. The hooks were originally right angle hooks however I replaced them with these curved hooks to ensure the yarn didn’t fly off.

Peacock Wheel 09

There are three brass looking rods in the front of the wheel which can be removed and two of them placed into holes on the sides of the block to create a very effective plying system.

Peacock Wheel 12

Very clever set up don’t you think?

Peacock Wheel 13

I went one step further and asked my woodturner to make me some wooden rods which do the same job.

Peacock Wheel 14

Voila! Now I don’t have to remove the brass rods if I’m not inclined to!

Peacock Wheel 15

I also bought a pack of four rubber stoppers which fit perfectly onto the legs of the Peacock which stops it sliding across certain floor surfaces when I’m spinning.

Peacock Wheel 20

This is the lazy kate I received with the wheel. I’m not sure whether it’s made by Fomotor or not but it was in rather a sad and sorry state, as were some of the bobbins.

Peacock Lazy Kate

So, of course, it was off to see my woodturner who fixed it up nicely. Those bobbins on the top are new ones he made for my Ettrick Standard wheel.

DSC05204

I also asked him not to glue in the wooden rods in case one or two broke. I didn’t want to end up with a piece of the wood stuck in the hole. So now they’re all removable.

Lazy Kate 03

Here’s the newly revamped lazy kate with her eight bobbins.

New Bobbins 02

These are four of the six new bobbins I had made for my Fomotor Peacock wheel.

New Bobbins 03

Beautiful isn’t it? Makes a lovely conversational piece among my non-spinning friends.

New Bobbins 04

Now to my most recent spinning wheel purchase….an absolutely stunning Crofter from New Zealand.

Crofter 11

It is definitely the most beautifully polished of all the wheels I own.

Crofter 12

Look at that gleaming wood! Admittedly I have given it a lovely coat of my 50% boiled linseed oil / 50% pure gum turps magic polish.

Crofter Wheel 05

It also boasts three huge bobbins….much larger than what you would find on the Peggies and the Ashford Traditionals and Travellers.

Crofter Wheel 07

It can also be used as a scotch tension and a double drive which is a bonus as I do like the double drive.

Crofter Wheel 09

I was pleased to see the threading hook was still with the wheel which shows she’s been looked after well in her past life 🙂

Crofter Wheel 04

Gorgeous isn’t she? The asking price was AU$100 however there was a lot of ‘play’ in the wheel. Even though the hub of the wheel sits securely between the uprights the spokes were a bit loose and slid around causing the wheel to be a bit clunky when it turned so I was reluctant to actually purchase it. So the buyer was happy to take AU$50 as I was taking a risk if I couldn’t fix it. I gave it to my woodturner who took the wheel apart and did a bit of his magic. Even though it’s still not 100% it can at least be used and is not ‘clunky’ any more so I am happy with my investment. The presentation of the wheel alone is worth the AU$50 as it is so beautiful. Would you have bought it for AU$50 and taken the risk?

Crofter Wheel 02

So now I am the proud owner of seven Kiwis. L to R: Little Peggy, Wee Peggy, Ashford Traveller, Crofter, Fomotor Peacock and two Ashford Traditionals (plus the full lazy kate sitting in the front). A lot of my friends ask how I can possibly store nine spinning wheels in my townhouse. Well, as you can see, when they’re packed up beside each other they really don’t take up much room, especially the upright wheels.

7 Kiwi Wheels 01

And two Aussies. From L to R: Ettrick Standard and Tarra Carousel.

2 Aussie Wheels 03

Phew that was a mammoth effort loading all those pictures! And in case you’re wondering, well yes I still keep an eye out for spinning wheels to add to my collection. I’m never sure what I’m after but when I see it I know straight away I have to own it!

My two favourites at the moment are the Ettrick Standard and the Fomotor Peacock. I certainly love the ability to pick up the Peacock and take it anywhere as it’s not too heavy and doesn’t take up much room at all. I’ll be taking it to Noosaville in July this year to do some spinning on the river front. I had a few comments from people last year when I was knitting so let’s see how many people stop and talk about the spinning 🙂

BTW if you’re ever trying to identify a spinning wheel always go to the New Zealand spinning wheels website which is administered by a very knowledgeable Mary Knox. There’s also a section for Aussie spinning wheels too. I find it invaluable for trying to source the makers of my spinning wheels. Mary is also very grateful to receive any information to add to what she has collected. You can contact her directly through the website.

I also pdf any literature I have gathered over the last couple of years that relates to wheels that are no longer made. You can find them under the Spinning Wheel Info section of my blog which is along the top banner of the website.

Just another look at those Kiwi wheels….three in this picture (love all the different colours of the wheels).

3 Kiwi Wheels

And four in this picture.

4 Kiwi Wheels

I’m off to Knit and Knatter this afternoon to join my spinning and knitting friends to share some laughs and knowledge as well as to drink lovely coffee and eat sinful cakes! Plus show off our latest knitted and spun projects.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend too. 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.

 

Falling Water Scarf

I’m embarrassed to tell you how long it took to make this scarf although when you look at the length of it that’s a good reason!

Falling Water Scarf 04

I started it on 24 February 2013 and finished it on 7 July 2013. I get a bit bored knitting the same pattern repeat over and over again so I tend to start multiple projects and juggle them all. No wonder I have so many UFOs!! Plus it’s taken me months to show it to you too. We’ll call it a project that slipped through the cracks!

Falling Water Scarf 06

Even though I blocked the scarf the yarn tends to fold into itself so the scarf is now permanently quite narrow.

Falling Water Scarf 08

The yarn I used is Twisted Sisters Petite Voodoo which is a 50% silk / 50% merino wool blend. It is deliciously soft and silky around my neck. The colourway is Green Teas(e) – a gorgeous blend of greens.

Twisters Sisters Petite Voodoo

The pattern is called Falling Water and is another free knitting pattern that can be found on Ravelry.

Falling Water Scarf 01

The cold weather finally hit Brisbane this morning so hopefully I’ll be able to start wearing all my woolly knits.

Falling Water Scarf 03

My family is celebrating my Dad’s 90th birthday tonight with a lovely dinner at the Hilton Hotel. I hope Dad likes the scarf I made for him. No doubt he’ll be wearing it tomorrow as it’ll be 7 degrees Celsius in the morning. Perfect for scarves!

Hope you have a fabulous weekend. Until next time…

Melanie