Beanies Galore!

While I was on holidays in July I met another spinner who told me about the Australian Hand Spinners and Knitter FB Group so I promptly joined. Little did I know what a ‘busy’ group this is, so much so, that I had to turn off my FB email notifications as my in box was permanently overloaded!

It was on this FB group page that someone posted a comment about their purchase of the Addi Express Kingsize circular knitting machine. These were available in some Spotlight shops through Australia and a few people were purchasing them along with the 40% off voucher that Spotlight had sent to its members.

You know what’s coming now don’t you? Yes, I hopped into my car and drove to my local Spotlight and searched around but could not find one until I looked up a little higher and saw two sitting on the top shelf. I grabbed one and took it to the check out and instead of paying AU$250, it was AU$150. That’s a nice saving. When I got home I posted on the group page that I’d bought one and there was one left at this particular store and lo and behold within an hour or so someone else posted they’d bought that last one!Addi machine 3Addi machineThis weekend I got a few balls of my cheap $2 a ball acrylic out of my stash and thought I’d experiment making a few beanies for my son and his mates.

Addi machine 2I love these camouflage colours!

Beanie khakiThey are all double thickness, fully reversible and the best part for the boys is that they’re machine washable 🙂

Beanie beigeLook at the pooling in this yarn; it was not planned. Looks great doesn’t it? Each hat took one ball.

Beanie blueBeanie blackI used two different colours for this beanie so either colour can be worn by simply turning the beanie inside out!

Beanie blue greenThis is a fantastic little machine and there’s also an Addi King Loomers and Knits FB page you can join where you can pick up lots of tips and where there’s access to lots of videos.

Addi also makes an Express machine for knitting smaller beanies or wrist warmers. You can also knit back on forth on my machine. I still have to investigate that part of it.

Just to finish off, I bought this gorgeous sheep mug on Ebay.

Ebay coffee mugJust what I need…..another sheep mug 🙂 Some more pics of my beanies. By the way, each one took less than an hour to make!!

Beanies blue green Beanies Brown black Beanies khaki 2Until next time…

Melanie

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Bark Socks – Pair # 40!!

I felt the need to knit a pair of socks not long ago and luckily I had the pair in mind I wanted to attempt. A lovely blog I follow written by a New Zealand knitter and pattern writer is called KiwiYarns Knits and she (Wei S. Leong) recently released this gorgeous free sock knitting pattern on Ravelry called Bark. I only tend to knit cuff-down socks on 5 dpns so this was a pattern made for me.

Bark Socks 12The pattern is very easy to memorise and is a great one for talking and knitting at the same time 🙂 Don’t we all love to do that!

Bark Socks 10My favourite heel flap too.

Bark Socks 13I picked up 18 sts along each side of the heel flap as I always pick up an extra one to avoid that notorious little hole that can sometimes appear.

The yarn I used is Dyed By Hand Yarns Tough Stocking which is a 75% merino / 25% nylon sock yarn in the colourway ‘Tyger Tyger’.

Tyger_Tyger_-_Tough_StockingI love all the orange and golden hues in this yarn. It’s just glorious. I have 37g left so that will go towards another Leftie as I sold mine at our recent Open Day.

Bark Socks 04Bark Socks 07Another pair of socks off the needles. I really do love this pattern.

Bark Socks 16Bark Socks 02I cast on a rather ambitious project a couple of nights ago. Ambitious because it will involve interfacing and sewing a lining (uuggghhh!!). It’s a project bag with a sheep on it and it’s from the pattern # 28 Lamb Diaper Bag. I’ve nearly finished the back which is just all stockinette stitch. I might have to ask my sewing friends for some help when it comes to the sewing. I guess that means I’m going to have to get my new sewing machine, which I’ve had for a few months, out of the box 🙂

Until next time…

Melanie

September Spinning Camp

This post is a bit late but it’s been a big weekend spent at the Redlands Spinners & Weavers September 2015 Camp at Bribie Island. This was my second camp and met every expectation as did last year’s camp. There is nothing more gratifying than spending the weekend with a bunch of like-minded women. We spun, knitted, laughed, ate, had a few drinks, stayed up late and generally made the most of the two days we had.  But I have to say the best part of the weekend was the generous swapping of knowledge between us and the perfect opportunity to ask questions and learn lots of new techniques and ideas.

Everyone was free to do their own thing; there were no ‘strict’ timelines except of course for meal times.

The Spinners room 05The Spinners room 09We could practise our carding if we wished.

Carding table 01There were classes available for those who wished to partake. We learned about solar dyeing, making silk paper and Japanese knitting using two Tunisian crochet hooks.

Solar dyeing 03Silk paper 02Silk paper 17We were tempted with lots of fibre goodness too!

Lindys fibre 01Lindys fibre 06Lindys fibre 05And of course there’s the opportunity to check out others’ wheels. This one is a gorgeous Nagy wheel.

The Spinners room 08And here’s a Carlina (apparently a ‘one-off’) on the left and a Wee Peggy on the right.

The Spinners room 03Bribie Island is renowned for its Opp shops so this year I visited a few during the weekend and managed to pick up some rather lovely sheepish bargains. You can never have too many sheep mugs.

Sheep mug 01-tileSheep mug 03Sheep mug 04Sheep mug 05This little sheep was hiding behind a door but I found her!

Stone SheepI was quite taken with these two rather unique little sheep that sit on the edge of a shelf.

Sheep sittingAnd lastly, this lovely little basket which will be perfect for knitting projects.

Basket 01-tileI also bought quite a bit of fibre too.

LB Alpaca 03-tileThese cute little sheep buttons couldn’t be left behind.

Sheep buttons 01And these two sheep brooches just had to be mine 🙂

Sheep brooch 01Sheep brooch 02My buy of the weekend is this lovely bag made using Weave-It squares. All those beautiful colours just captivated me.

Weave-It Bag 01And yes, I did do some spinning. I’ve filled one bobbin in this tangerine colour and have enough to fill another too. I also started a bobbin using some undyed merino so I can ply it with the tangerine.

Ashford Tangerine 04What a wonderful weekend. I am exhausted but am now looking forward to next year’s camp. My thanks must go to Jan, our Camp Convenor, who puts her heart and soul into making sure our camps run smoothly and everyone has a wonderful time. We would be lost without her commitment and generosity. Thank you Jan 🙂

Until next time…

Melanie

Spinning Around

While the weather has been cooler it’s been ideal to get out a couple of my spinning wheels and start spinning some of the fibre I’ve been accumulating. A lot of that fibre is prepared carded and dyed tops which is is quite easy to spin. I picked up this lovely tangerine merino at our Open Day this year.

Fibre 05Ashford Tangerine 02I’m using my beautiful Crofter wheel to spin this 250g. I also have a kilogram of undyed merino which I will use to ply with the tangerine making an orange/off white candy cane looking yarn. Well that’s the plan…let’s see how it works out.

Ashford Tangerine 01Now to the more challenging part of spinning. I’ve been given a couple of small bags of alpaca which has a bit of vegetation matter (VM) in it so I thought I’d use the wool combs I recently picked up at another Open Day.

Wool Combs 03I have no idea if they’re the right combs to use for this alpaca (Suri I think, as it’s quite long). This is my first attempt at combing alpaca and making these little birds’ nests. (As I had used my washing basket to store the alpaca, I then had to spin it straight away so I could bring in my washing 🙂 )

Alpaca first time wool combsI had previously tried to use hand carders and I made these rolags but I think the wool combs are quicker and easier and tend to get rid of more of the noils and VM.

Alpaca first time hand cardingI’m spinning this alpaca on my Wee Peggy wheel which I bought over two years ago and haven’t used yet!!

Alpaca practise 02Last night I searched through my bookcase and finally found a DVD I’d bought from Interweave Spinning Daily online shop called Combing Fiber. I have watched it previously but wanted to refresh my memory to see whether I had in fact been combing this fibre correctly. I’m so glad I did watch the DVD as I had forgotten one very important tip. This DVD is a ‘must have’ if you’re a beginner like me. Static electricity builds up when you’re combing fleece and I wondered why my alpaca was getting all ‘fly away’. Today I am going to use my solution of water and a bit of hair conditioner to spray on the alpaca before I start combing to see whether it makes a difference. I’m also going to contact a very experienced spinner who lives in Sydney (Ravelry name is Yowie) and find out whether I actually need different combs for alpaca….may be the double row of tines??

Combing FiberI have also recently bought a bag of alpaca from a member of the Australian Handspinners and Knitters Facebook Group who is raising money to rescue some ponies so she’s selling some of her fibre stash. This fleece is fine white alpaca and around 100mm in length. It’s well skirted and very clean (this caught my attention!!) The fleece was a place winner in its class at a very recent alpaca show. The owner is Westwind Alpacas and the alpaca’s name is Aladdin, born on 10/04/2013. Aladdin was also a place getter in his first show in 2014. The fleece I bought is his second fleece, ie fleece from 2014 shearing.

Aladdin alpaca 01Alpaca fleece white 03Aladdin alpaca 02Aladdin alpaca 03Aladdin alpaca 08I’m off to the Redlands Spinners & Weavers Spinning camp next weekend at Bribie Island. I may even take along my wool combs and alpaca and get some tips from other spinners.

That’s my news for now. I’m off to hang out the washing and do some more alpaca combing!

Until next time…

Melanie