My Blogging Year in a Mosaic of Pictures

It seems to happen every year – the time flies past and before we know it, another year has gone. To celebrate 2014 I’ve prepared a monthly mosaic of my blog posts using some of the photos I shared with you. I can’t believe how busy I’ve been.

In January I was obsessed with crocheting market bags, I visited the Lifeline Book Fest and bought a few bargains, made my Urban Lace Infinity Scarf, Vite Cowl, Spotted Gum Moebius and Chantilly Scarf and a crocheted pot.

January 2014

In February I showed you some of my handspun yarn, my Ettrick Standard and Ashford Traditional spinning wheels and I made a lovely Mauve Upstairs Shawl, Glitz at the Ritz Shawl and my Garrowby Hill Scarf.

February 2014

In March I made a One Row Handspun Scarf, a Mohair Cowl, a Honey Cowl, Heart Vines Hat and my Socksie Slippers as well as buying some books and numerous wool rovings.

March 2014

In April I finished another One Row Handspun Scarf for my Dad’s 90th birthday, showed you some of my spinning wheel ornaments, some handspun yarn, two gorgeous skeins of Shorn Fibers yarn and made a Harmony Collar and Palindrome Scarf.

April 2014

In May I made a Sunshet Shawlette, Yola Shawl, Rainbow Citron Shawl, Falling Water Scarf and managed to get hold of a lovely Fomotor Peacock spinning wheel and a Crofter spinning wheel.

May 2014

In June I was honoured to receive a copy of the book Knitted and Crocheted Slippers from the author with a personal dedication to me, I made a Victory Wrap and an Autumn Willow Woods Shawl, showed you some of my purchases from the Redlands Spinners & Weavers 2014 Open Day, bought a spinning wheel lamp and showed you some of my bargain purchases from the June Lifeline Book Fest.

June 2014

In July I shared some of my holiday snaps from Noosaville with you, I completed my Element and Demiluna Shawls and my Simple Squares Slippers and Aran Anklets.

July 2014

In August I completed another Citron Shawl, the Miami Beach Shawl, The Age of Brass and Steam Shawl, Leaves on the Line Scarf and Sunday Sunrise Shawl, showed you my little sheep, the gorgeous flowers my son unexpectedly gave me, and some of my yarn purchases.

August 2014

In September I made these lovely Simple Skyp Socks, five Minnie Scarves, a Sandpiper Scarf and showed you all my photos from the Redlands Spinners & Weavers annual camp.

September 2014

In October I bought a Fenton Wind Wheel, made a Bias Scarf, Nikolai and Yvaine Shawls, showed you more sheep ornaments and more yarn purchases.

October 2014

In November I managed to get my hands on a Brian Vincent ‘Nancy’ spinning wheel and a Roy McKnight suitcase spinning wheel, made some baby hats and a vest for little William, made a Frillyilly Scarf and Fete Shawl and bought a beautiful wooden carving of a woman spinning.

November 2014

In December I shared with you my stash storage dilemma, made three Stashbuster Cowls, a Pumpkin Pie Hat and a Dragon Leaf Hat and some very colourful face cloths.

December 2014

Wow! I’m amazed by how much I’ve achieved over the year. How did I ever manage to work full time and keep my home (relatively) clean and tidy!!

It’s been so much fun sharing all my knitting, crocheting, yarning and spinning adventures with you.

I look forward to more completed projects in 2015 and lots of stashbusting!!! And I hope 2015 is filled with lots of yarning time for you too!

Until next year…

Melanie

 

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for MelsNattyKnits blog. It makes quite interesting reading. Check out the folk who commented the most on posts. Thank you 🙂

Here’s an excerpt:

Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 62,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Stash Storage Dilemma!

We all experience it. We all try to find workable solutions for it. We all pull our hair out trying to solve it. Yes, it’s the stash storage dilemma! How to store your ever-growing stash in such a way so you can find what you want, when you want.

My dilemma has just doubled as I have now spread my stash over two spare rooms in order to be able to seek and locate everything I own!! So, if you’re a friend of mine and you wish to bunk down at my place one night, you’re going to have to bring your own fold-up bed! And be prepared to sleep in the lounge room so you’re not classed as a ‘missing person’ the next day because my stash has devoured you 🙂

Here are some photos I’ve taken to show you. Stash room # 1. This is the top of the single bed. Each bag/container has a different ply yarn stored in it and the plastic bag contains a beautiful alpaca fleece.

Stash Room 01

This is the floor – full of fold-up laundry containers with different types of wool.

Stash Room 02

Plus plastic storage boxes on top of two bookcases. The plastic is great to see what yarn is contained within each box.

Stash Room 03

Bookcase shelves filled to the brim!

Stash Room 04

Alpaca fleece in the pillow slips and boxes of zip lock bags ready for more yarn! Plus more knitting paraphernalia in the drawers including zip lock bags that contain all my longer circular needles.

Stash Room 05

The three cardboard boxes are filled with sock yarn and a bag filled with Cleckheaton yarn. Some wool tops in the pink bag. And a vacant space so you can actually walk into the room!!

Stash Room 06

My project bags hanging on a coat/hat stand.

Stash Room 07

And hiding behind are four plastic storage boxes filled with my small stash of acrylic.

Stash Room 08

Stash room # 2 – I have recently sold and/or donated hundreds of my books to make room for my stash. A couple of empty plastic boxes just waiting to be used!

Stash Room 09

Notebooks, orange folders containing patterns, straight needles in the yellow box, dpns and small circular needles in the two small plastic boxes, knitting books, orange project baskets and knitting/spinning magazines.

Stash Room 10

More patterns in the orange folders,knitting books and knitting/spinning magazines.

Stash Room 11

Patterns waiting to be housed in their orange folders. The 2013 Knitting calendar with lots of useful patterns in it. My son gave me the 2015 for Christmas so I have lots more patterns to look forward to!

Stash Room 12

Lots of baby yarn stored in this room.

Stash Room 13

More baby yarn…Bella Baby Superwash 4ply merino and only $1.50 a ball!! As you can see I bought heaps at that price.

Stash Room 14

More baby yarn. Can you tell I’d love to be a Grandma!!

Stash Room 15

Love my stash of Cascade Superwash 220 and Lana Gatto Super Soft.

Stash Room 16

And inside the wardrobe are just some of the scarves, shawls and cowls I’ve made over the last couple of years. I must find a better way to store them so I know what I have.

Stash Room 17

Any stash storage suggestions would be very gratefully received. 🙂 I’d love to hear how you store your stash as I’m always after better and more efficient ways to store mine so I can find my yarn when I need it.

To finish, I’d like to show you my latest yarn acquisition from Zen Yarn Garden via Yarn Glorious Yarn in Brisbane of course.

This is the twelfth offering in the new ART WALK Series and features a painting by Claude Monet entitled “Study of Olive Trees”. Inspired by Monet, Zen Yarn Garden’s dyer has successfully captured some of the emotion and colour in Monet’s masterpiece.

Zen Yarn Garden Mone Olive 05

Claude Monet (1840 – 1925), the founder of Impressionism, was one of the most influential landscape painters in the history of art. Born in Paris, Monet met fellow Impressionists Renoir, Sisley and Bazille while enrolled in the studio of Glenyre. Monet painted outdoors to convey the fleeting effects of atmosphere, time of day, and season upon color and light. He represented natural color like a prism, breaking it down into its individual components. He often painted a series of the exact same view under different light and weather conditions. [quoted from Art.com]

Zen Yarn Garden Mone Olive pic

I bought two skeins of this Serenity 20 which is a 70% superwash merino / 20% cashmere / 10% nylon. Each skein contains 400 yds / 100g  and is a fingering / 4ply yarn.

I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas break and managed to sneak in lots of knitting too!

Yesterday, I started this lovely scarf which uses lots of small scraps of my my 4ply yarn.

Leftie Scarf 02

I can’t wait to show you the finished scarf. It’s looking fabulous.

Until next time…

Melanie

 

 

Three Stashbuster Cowls

I have devised the best little stashbuster cowl pattern which is easy to knit and ideal when you’re talking with friends and don’t want to have to concentrate on a complicated pattern.

Now for the instructions:

You can use any yarn and needle size keeping in mind what you combine will result in various sized cowls. I used a provisional cast on but you can easily cast on normally and then sew the two ends together.

Cast on an uneven number of stitches. I think the least amount of stitches I’ve used is 17 and the most is around 33. It will depend on how much yarn you have and how wide you want your cowl to be.

Knit two rows
K3, *YO, K2tog, repeat from * to last two sts, K2
K3 rows
K3, *YO, K2tog, repeat from * to last two sts, K2
K3 rows
and so on.

Finish after knitting one row of the K3 row and then graft together. You could also place a twist in the cowl before grafting to give a bit of a moebius effect.

Here are three of my cowls.

Chantilly Cowl 01

This is my Chantilly Cowl made with Moda Vera Chantilly which is a 70% acrylic / 30% milk protein yarn.

Chantilly Cowl 02

This cowl is all wrapped up and ready to give to my Mum for Christmas.

Chantilly Cowl 04

The second is my Kaleidoscope Cowl…

Kaleidoscope Cowl 03

You could even double it to make a lovely snug cowl on a really cold day!

Kaleidoscope Cowl 05

I used Cleckheaton Kaleidoscope which is a 10ply / Aran 100% wool.

I placed a ‘twist’ in this cowl before grafting the ends together.

Kaleidoscope Cowl 06

And the third is my Taylor Cowl…

Taylor Cowl 01

This cowl sits quite beautifully when it’s doubled and when it’s not…

Taylor Cowl 02

A perfect cowl for evening wear as it has a bit of a metallic thread through it.

Taylor Cowl 04

The yarn I used is Moda Vera Taylor which is a 5ply / sport 56% polyester / 44% wool.

My next cowl is still on the needles but this is the silk I’m using to make it. Isn’t it stunning?

Marigold Silk Variegated

That’s all my yarning news for the moment. As we roll into a new week I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and that Father Christmas bring you lots of yarn-related goodies to add to your stash 🙂

Santa knitting 2

Until next time…

Melaniet

Knitted Hats!

It’s not often you need to wear a knitted hat in Brisbane unless you’re off to a State of Origin rugby league game on a cold June evening (which I never go to!) but these two patterns caught my eye when I was searching through Ravelry. I think they may come in handy when I visit New Zealand next year.

The first is this gorgeous Pumpkin Pie Hat which I absolutely fell in love with (I think it may have been the colour of the yarn the pattern writer used!)

Pumpkin Pie Hat 01

You can knit the hat either in the slouch size or the beanie size. I picked the slouch size but in hindsight with my short hair the beanie size would have been better but I have solved that problem! I simply turned the brim up.

Pumpkin Pie Hat 02

Pumpkin Pie Hat 03

This is what it looks like in the slouch mode. It looks more like I’ve got a growth on the back of my head 🙂

Pumpkin Pie Hat 07

It’s certainly a gorgeous stitch pattern.

Pumpkin Pie Hat 06

It took me ages to get this photo. Thank goodness for digital cameras where you can just delete all those dud photos. I just held the camera in one hand and just started clicking and took heaps of photos. Usually there’s a few that are okay and the rest are not!

Pumpkin Pie Hat 04

And I might add that if you visit the pattern page on Ravelry you’ll notice the pattern is free until 31 December this year!

The yarn I used is Moda Vera Pure Wool 8ply. I bought it a while ago and as soon as I saw this pattern I knew this yarn would be perfect.

Moda Vera Pure Wool 8ply Tangerine

My second pattern is the Dragon Leaf Hat which I managed to download at the right time as it was free for a short while. This was a ‘hit and miss’ project for me as the pattern called for 8ply / DK yarn and I used 4ply / fingering yarn and I just guessed the number of repeats. It’s a smidge loose but I’m quite happy with it nevertheless.

Dragon Leaf Hat 05

This is a bit of a’slouchy’ hat.

Dragon Leaf Hat 01

I love the pattern detail.

Dragon Leaf Hat 06

Dragon Leaf Hat 04

I didn’t block this hat as I was worried if I stretched it too much it would be much too big for me.

Dragon Leaf Hat 03

The yarn I used is Tili Tomas Artisan Sock in this lovely shade of green.

Tili Tomas Sock Yarn Grass

You could say I am quite happy with these two projects.

Now to deviate a bit. I was recently offered an alpaca fleece which of course I jumped at the opportunity of owning! This is a quick look at that fleece.

Alpaca fleece

And a look at the alpaca after it had been shorn. Priceless!

Alpaca shorn 01

I’m off to Knit and Knatter tomorrow which is being held in conjunction with a Suitcase Rummage at the Redland Performing Arts Centre at 11am so if you’re in that area, drop in!

Until next time…

Melanie

 

A Fancy of Facecloths!

It’s that time of the year again when lots of small Christmas gatherings occur and you need to provide token Secret Santa gifts. This year I’ve decided my gifts will be a couple of facecloths and a soap. And they’re hand knitted facecloths of course!

I’ve made quite a few over the year and this is a selection of them. They won’t all be given away but I thought I’d show them to you. This is my collective noun for my facecloths: a ‘fancy’ of facecloths.

This great little pattern is called The Almost Lost Washcloth and I found it on Ravely (where else?). It is so simple to make. The yarn I used is Lincraft Bamboozle which is a 70% bamboo / 30% cotton yarn. I used 5.5mm needles.

Almost Forgotten Washcloth Bamboozle Pink 01

Another one made in a blue mix Bamboozle yarn.

Almost Forgotten Washcloth Lincraft Bamboozle Blue 01

And another one made using Moda Vera Lumino which is a 60% cotton / 40% acrylic yarn. I used size 5.5mm needles.

Almost Forgotten Washcloth MV Lumino 01

One more using Moda Vera Gelato and Moda Vera Lumino combined just for something different! I used size 4.5mm needles.

Almost Forgotten Washcloth MV Gelato MV Lumino 01

This one was made using Moda Vera Gelato and Yatsal Craft Crochet Knitting Cotton using size 4.5mm needles.

Almost Forgotten Washcloth MV Gelato  01

And lastly, again using the Almost Lost Washcloth pattern (I told you it was an easy pattern 🙂 ) this little green facecloth using only Moda Vera Gelato and size 3.25 mm needles.

Almost Forgotten Washcloth MV Gelato 01

I was on a roll so did some more searching in Ravelry and found this lovely pattern called Round Dishcloth which can easily be used as a facecloth too. I used the pink mix Lincraft Bamboozle and size 5.5mm needles. This pattern makes a lovely generously sized facecloth using this type of yarn and needles.

Round Pink Bamboozle 01

As you can see I bought quite a bit of cotton a while ago and now I’m finally getting to use it!

This cute little pattern is called Country Charm Dishcloth and again, can be adapted as a facecloth. I used Sullivans Coton-A in this lovely orange. It’s a 60% cotton / 40% acrylic and I used size 5.0mm needles.

Country Charm Washcloth Coton-A Orange 01

And for a little bit of whimsy, this Bordered Heart-shaped Dishcloth using Lincraft Bamboozle and size 5.5 needles.

Bordered Heart Pink Bamboozle 01

Now to some square facecloths: the very cute ‘Love to Knit With My Friends‘ facecloth. You need to look at it from a certain angle to read the words. This was my best photo – taken while I was blocking it! I used Cascade Yarns Ultra Prima which is a 100% cotton and I used 3.75mm needles.

I Love to Knit 01

And the Lacy Dragon Large Scale Washcloth, also made with Cascade Yarns Ultra Prima cotton using size 4mm needles.

Lacy Dragon 02

And the beautiful Spa Day Faceceloth using Cascade Yarns Ultra Prima cotton and size 4mm needles.

Spa Cloth Blue 02

Nearly there! This is the Two Hearts as One Dishcloth made from Cascade Yarns Ultra Prima cotton using size 4mm needles.

Blue Heart 02

And finally, another whimsical washcloth: the cute little Leafy Washcloth made using Cascade Yarns Ultra Prima and size 4mm needles.

Garter Stitch Leaf 01

Wow! I didn’t realise how many I had actually made. I certainly have lots to pick from for Secret Santa gifts don’t I? And the scary thing is I still have more to show you; I just haven’t photographed them yet! Here’s the first one I’ve prepared: two facecloths with some handemade spearmint and oats soap.

Secret Santa 01

And I’ll pop it into this little Christmas bag…

Secret Santa 02

That’s my Secret Santa gifts all sorted! I hope I’ve given you some ideas for your Secret Santa gifts too.

Until next time…

Melanie