An Unexpected Surprise!

I love a surprise! Don’t we all? This week I received a huge and totally unexpected surprise but first let me lay the groundwork and go back in time.

If you’ve been following my blog since it started in November 2012, you’ll have read my post about what got me back into knitting. To recap quickly, it was when I found Alison Howard’s book called Mug Hugs. I was instantly smitten with the beautiful photos in the book; so much so that I bought some yarn and started making some of the mug hugs. I must have made close to 50 of them!! Some I made a few of as I loved the design so much; this is one of them.

DSC00913-tile

I contacted Alison and credited her with getting me back into knitting. Fast forward to about 2-3 months ago when Alison emailed me to let me know she was ready to publish her second book about knitted and crocheted slippers and she wanted to send me a copy.

Wow, I was quite excited that she’d actually remembered me. A couple of weeks ago Alison emailed to see whether the book had arrived but unfortunately it hadn’t. Not only hadn’t the book arrived but neither had four publications that I subscribe to so I had to contact the publishers to see whether they could send out more copies for me. I mean – three of these were knitting/spinning publications so I couldn’t not have them!

I replied to Alison to let her know of my Australia Post woes and we agreed to wait a couple more weeks.

Lo and behold when I got home on Tuesday afternoon from work I saw a parcel shaped like a book poking out of my letter box. Yay it was Alison’s book!

Knitted and Crocheted Slippers

And what a beautiful book! Again, the photos are stunning which is always a huge drawcard for me. It’s what attracts me to a pattern. I instantly turned on my computer and sent off a thank you email to Alison, turned off the computer and proceeded to cook my dinner for that night.

Once I’d settled down I started flicking through the book and almost collapsed in a state of shock when I looked at the page that contains the publisher’s details and publishing date etc because at the top of the page was a dedication to me!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, Alison had dedicated the book to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was so excited and honoured. This is what the dedication said in case you can’t read it in the picture below “For Melanie Jonker in Queensland, Australia (melsnattyknits), and all the other  bloggers who have said nice things about my designs. Keep on blogging!”

Dedication to Melanie Jonker

I had to quickly turn my computer back on and send another email to Alison to thank her.

Wow! Who’d have thought that one of my posts from my little Aussie blog would lead to a dedication in a published book.

As I am going on holidays soon, I am in the process of deciding on and packing various knitting projects. Needless to say I am also looking through Alison’s book to decide what projects to tackle first.

All I can say is that I will have the warmest feet in Australia once I start knitting some of these beautiful slippers!

Thank you Alison!! I can’t wait for your next book J

And watch out everyone as I start knitting slippers and blogging about them!

Mug Hugs-tile

I’m taking the book to my Knit and Knatter gathering this afternoon to show my friends.

Until next time…

Melanie

 

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Victory Wrap

When I first saw this yarn on my computer monitor as I was looking as Shorn Fibers’ latest yarn creations, I knew I just had to have it. I mean….wouldn’t you want to own these strikingly gorgeous colours? The top yarn is a superwash 100% merino worsted yarn and this colourway is called ‘First Beach’.

Shorn Fibers First Beach and Malarkey 02

The yarn at the bottom ‘Malarkey’ also caught my eye as it looked as though the green colour was very similar, if not the same, as the green in ‘First Beach’ so I purchased it.

I didn’t have a project in mind however whilst reading through my myriad scarf/shawl patterns that I’ve downloaded from Ravelry, I came across this pattern which used two different colourways and was written for 10 ply yarn. It’s called Victory Wrap and was the perfect pattern for my yarn!

OMG, as I was knitting the wrap I couldn’t believe how soft the yarn was and how beautiful the colours were.

Victory Shawl 01

And once I added the lace fringe I was totally in love with this wrap. Even if I say so myself, I think it is absolutely stunning.

Victory Shawl 03

I wore it to work a week or so ago with a black skirt and black top and the beautiful colours around my neck really ‘popped’.

Victory Shawl 04

I am so happy with this project. And thank you Angela from Shorn Fibers who creates some of the most stunning colourways (remember my Serengeti Scarf?).

Victory Shawl 05

Victory Shawl 10

Victory Shawl 16

Victory Shawl 08

Yes, I went a bit crazy taking photos of this shawl. In total, I took 26!!

Victory Shawl 26

Victory Shawl 07

It’s not long now until I go on holiday to Noosaville for two weeks where, again, I will regale you with my holiday knitting and spinning adventures. Yes, that’s right, I’m going to pack my little Peacock spinning wheel, wool, niddy noddies, squirrel swift, wool winder, knitting projects and whatever else I can fit in!  At this stage, I doubt very much whether I’ll be taking my push bike with me. I guess the spinning wheel is more important don’t you think?

I remember last year how many people stopped and chatted with me as I was knitting on the riverbank of the Noosa River. I wonder how many will comment this year, especially as I sit there with my spinning wheel!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone. Until next time…

Melanie

Yarning Bits and Pieces

When I sent out my last post I hinted that I had bought a bit of stash at the Redlands Spinners and Weavers Open Day last week. Well, now I’m going to show you all my purchases starting with this lovely green yarn from Fiberific

Fiberific Green Wool

Ixchel Bunny baby alpaca and bunny tops…

Baby alpaca and bunny top

Ixchel Bunny cashmere fling…

Cashmere fling

Ixchel Bunny wicked tops…

Wicked tops

Webb works merino/silk braids…

WebbWorks merino silk 03

Undyed alpaca fleece…

Undyed Alpaca fleece

Brown alpaca fleece…

Brown alpaca fleece 01

‘Mongrel’ fleece…

Mongrel fleece

Another one of Desley’s beautifully sewn bags (just call me the ‘bag lady’)…

Llama Bag 01-tile

A spinning lap cloth. Very handy when you’re spinning dark fleece as you can see what you’re doing over the white cloth…

Spinning Lap Mat 01

And the reverse side has a black section for when you’re spinning a lighter coloured fleece/wool…

Spinning Lap Mat 04

Some beautiful hand towels…

Spinning Hand Towels 01

I’ve already started using one of them…

Spinning Hand Towels 03

Four cute little sheep ceramic tiles that are used as coasters…

Sheep Coasters 01

Sheep Coasters 02

And then this afternoon on the way home from a yarn bombing project I dropped into a local antique shop and found this cute little plate called ‘Bath Time’. I only bought it because it has a picture of a spinning wheel on the right hand side of the plate…

Bath Time Plate 01

Yes, I know, I’m going a bit ‘loopy’ aren’t I? Here’s a close up picture of the spinning wheel…

Bath Time Plate 02

And I’ve saved the best for last. About three weeks ago I saw this lamp for sale for AU$50 on Gumtree and I knew I had to have it. It was only a 20 minute drive away too. I am absolutely delighted with it…

Lamp 01

It is quite a few years old as it belonged the previous owner’s mother. It is so lifelike; in fact the treadle turns the wheel around…

Lamp 03

I love turning it on every night…

Lamp 07

Now I have all my ‘sheepish’ bits and pieces in the same spot. Those two little things dangling off the light are little things you can hang off your mobile phone. I bought them in New Zealand a few years ago and only just realised the puaua shell section is actually a picture of a sheep so they’ve taken pride of place with my other sheepish bits and pieces…

Lamp 11

That’s all my news for now. Hope you enjoyed looking at all my recent purchases as I certainly enjoyed sharing them with you.

I have been busily knitting and have quite a few shawls to show you over the next few weeks.

Until next time…

Melanie

Redlands Spinners & Weavers Open Day 2014 Wrap Up

What a big day it was yesterday….Redlands Spinners & Weavers Open Day for 2014. A few of us arrived at 7am to set up the venue. It was beautifully cool and crisp which helped to give us the energy to move around trestle tables and chairs!.

17-6-14 Setting up 01

17-6-14 Setting up 02

17-6-14 Setting up 03

We had some great signage around the venue that really brightened the place up…

17-6-14 Signs 01

17-6-14 Signs 02

17-6-14 Signs 07

17-6-14 Signs 09

17-6-14 Signs 11

And of course a very sheepish welcome as you entered the venue…

17-6-14 Signs 12

No one went hungry as there was a great selection of cakes and slices followed by sandwiches at lunch time…

17-6-14 Cakes 02

Owen brought along some of his numerous antique spinning wheels…

17-6-14 Antique wheels 01

17-6-14 Antique wheels 05

We had some gorgeous skeins of yarn that tempted us …

17-6-14 Skeins 01

17-6-14 Skeins 02

17-6-14 Skeins 04

And some alpaca fleece too…

17-6-14 Alpaca fleece 01

The Gold Coast and Hinterland Spinners & Weavers didn’t disappoint with their array of colourfully dyed wool…

17-6-14 GC goodies 01

17-6-14 GC goodies 02

Our own members had some beautiful garments and items for sale too…

17-6-14 Desleys stall 01

17-6-14 Arthurs stall 01

17-6-14 Members staff 01

17-6-14 Members staff 06

17-6-14 Members staff 08

17-6-14 Sandra 01

And more importantly, lots of visitors arrived and enjoyed every moment!

17-6-14 Seated visitors 01

17-6-14 Seated visitors 2

17-6-14 Seated visitors 3

All in all it was a wonderfully successful Open Day. I spent about eight hours walking around and standing taking photos and needless to say, I was exhausted when I got home. I’m still in recovery mode but wanted to get this post out so others could see all the hard work club members do to make such a great event happen.

I will also be loading more photos on the Redlands Spinners & Weavers website in the few days.

It was such an enjoyable day; I can’t wait until next year’s Open Day!

I did buy quite a bit of stash however I’ll show that to you a bit later once I’ve taken more photos.

Until next time…

Melanie

Autumn Willow Woods Shawl

Over the last couple of years I’ve collected lots of free Ravelry knitting  patterns, printed some off and actually used quite a few to make garments. At a recent Knit and Knatter session, I noticed one of my friends knitting this lovely colourful shawl with gradient dyed yarn. Upon looking at the pattern, I realised it rang a bell which meant I’d probably printed it from Ravelry and put it away safely. When I arrived home I checked and yes, there it was!

Despite the fact that I have a stash of yarn that could probably rival a yarn store, I didn’t have any gradient dyed yarn so I emailed Angela at Shorn Fibers as I knew she had some for sale in her Etsy shop. I actually had a special request as I wanted particular colours. Angela was wonderful; she gave me lots of different undyed 4ply base yarns to pick from plus she sent me photos of my gradient colour suggestions. We called my commission ‘Autumn Gradient’.

These are the colours we agreed upon….
Shorn Fibers Autumn Gradient 00

And these are the two wound balls of yarn…

Shorn Fibers Autumn Gradient 2

The yarn is called Tuff Sock and is an 80% merino / 20% nylon blend. I used 135g for this shawl.

Now to the pattern….it’s called Willow Woods Shawl and it uses 5.5mm needles which means the shawl knits up quite quickly.

What a difference a blocking makes! This is what the shawl looked like before blocking.

Willow Woods 01

And here is the blocked shawl. Doesn’t the pattern ‘pop’ out now?

Willow Woods 08

Willow Woods 03

What a difference! I can’t believe how perfectly the dyed sections worked out. As you can see only a little bit of the fringe was orange; most of it is the rusty brown. Trust me, that wasn’t planned at all!!

Willow Woods 09

It just goes to show you how important blocking can be when knitting particular garments. It blocked to almost twice the size and now you can see the lacy pattern. Whoops I’ve just realised I haven’t shown you a photo of the shawl on my mannequin.

Willow Woods 04

Willow Woods 05

Willow Woods 06

I love the edge of the shawl which is knitted on.

Willow Woods 12

and the delicate patterning…

Willow Woods 13

Willow Woods 14

Heaven only knows what I was thinking when I ordered this yarn. For some reason I ordered twice as much as I should have. Doh! Not to worry as I might even make myself another Citron scarf with the other ball, however, I’ll start knitting with the rusty brown first so the colours are reversed.

Willow Woods 10

Now winter had better arrive soon!! We’re already in June and we haven’t experienced any really cold days. I have hundreds of socks and shawls (okay maybe not that many) to wear and I need some cold weather!!

Happy World Wide Knitting in Public Day everyone! I will be joining my friends at Knit and Knatter this afternoon so we’ll definitely be knitting in public.

And on Tuesday I’ll be at the Redlands Spinners & Weavers Open Day. I can’t wait to see what goodies I can gather!

Until next time…

Melanie

Lifeline Bookfest Bonanza

Today was the first day of the four-day Lifeline Bookfest in Brisbane and I was up early and ready to go in time for the doors to open. Unfortunately I was about 15 minutes late as there were roadworks along the way which resulted in detours. I had to calm myself down as I was so keen to get there. Not to worry, I managed to get a park near the stairs into the Brisbane Convention Centre where this event is held twice a year (January and June). It’s the highlight of my bibliophile and yarning life as it’s where I buy my books and my knitting pattern books. You can pick up some absolute gems at this Bookfest.

I was a bit despondent as I trailled up and down the aisles in the high priced section as I couldn’t find any knitting books (plenty on scrapbooking and quilting mind you) so I zipped into the $2.50 section where they have lots of stationery and it’s here I found lots of lovely little notebooks which I seem to be collecting at an alarming rate!! I use them to track my knitting rows and also to record any modifications I make to patterns. You could say I have a stash of notebooks now.

This little bundle cost me $1 each except for the largest notebook and that one was $2.

One dollar notebooks

These were also $1.

One dollar notebooks 02

And these were only 50 cents each!

Fifty cent notebooks

After the stationery section I high-tailed it to the magazine area so see what I could find. This section is the only one where there’s just boxes on the floor and you have to bend down to fossick in each box to find what you’re after. A bit hard on the old back I must say. There were so many vintage pattern books to pick from and these ones tempted me.

Vintage yarn books

Plus these pattern books also caught my eye.

Assorted knitting patterns

I was just about to pack it in as I was a bit weary by then plus all that bending and crouching down was getting to me too when I stumbled across the mother load. I seriously thought I’d need to get medical help as my heart rate jacked up, my breathing quickened and my eyes lit up. And all because I found these magazines. What a beautiful bonanza!!!!!!

Spin-off (a spinning magazine from the US)

Spin-Off

The Wheel (published by Ashford Spinning Wheels in New Zealand). In my state of excitement I didn’t realise I’d picked up two the same. Not to worry, I’ll pass the second one on to a friend.

The Wheel

Australian Knitting Magazine

Aust Knitting

Creative Knitting (and yes, there’s two of them here again – not to worry I have lots of yarn friends)

Creative Knitting

Piecework (I’ve never heard of this magazine but after Googling it I realise it’s distributed through the Interweave website)

Piecework

Yarn Magazine

Yarn Mag

One copy of Embellish (which also happens to be the very first copy published so you could say I have a First Edition!)

Embellish

Plus these assorted magazines

Assorted Knitting Mags

Wow I have heaps and heaps of wonderful yarnie reading material and I am soooo excited about that. I can’t wait to plonk myself in bed tonight and start reading them. My only dilemma is how can I read them and knit at the same time!

I am exhausted as I immediately photographed my buys and wrote this blog post when I got home….I didn’t even stop for a cuppa! So that’s what I’m going to do now. I just wanted to share my excitement with all of you!

Hope you’re having as much fun as I am. Until next time…

Melanie