Tuscany Socks – Pair # 46

Oh my goodness! Some days I don’t know whether I’m Arthur or Martha! I’m now semi-retired (working only three days a week) and yet I am sooo busy! It’s the weekend and I’ve been sitting at my computer for over an hour which is not good as this is what I do for my paid work. These are the things that keep me so busy:

  • My personal Facebook page and Ravelry page, MelsNattyKnits FB page and Instagram account and the Redlands Spinners & Weavers FB page and Ravelry page.
  • Redlands Spinners & Weavers website and Editor of their newsletter (four editions a year).
  • Plus of course taking photos for these pages and the associated sorting into the correct directories, cropping, resizing, adding logos and uploading.
  • Knitting numerous projects, crocheting, spinning, dyeing and now I’ve started weaving!
  • Two Saturdays a month meeting with my Knit and Knatter group, one Saturday a month meeting with the QldBaysideYarnClub and now looking at meeting with another knitting group on the first Saturday of the month.
  • Two Tuesdays a month meeting with the Redlands Spinners & Weavers plus with our Open Day on 21 June this year, I am also charged with advertising / marketing the event.
  • I also do the bookwork for my son’s small business and prepare paperwork for the accountant (more time on the computer!)
  • Plus all the usual boring stuff like housework, washing, shopping, cooking (as little as possible if I can help it 🙂 )

So, if you see my posts dropping off a bit you’ll know why. I never really know how many people read my posts. Although I have over 200 followers, I don’t seem to get many comments. I am hoping maybe you’re reading and not commenting as opposed to not reading at all 😦

Okay, now I have all that out of my system, time to move on to my Tuscany Socks. The pattern I used is Hermione’s Everyday Socks which is a nice simple little pattern with a lovely look about it. Over 12,500 pairs of these socks have been made on Ravelry which is a testament to the pattern.

Tuscany Socks 02Tuscany Socks 04The yarn I used is Skein Top Draw Socks in the colourway Tuscany.

Skein TuscanyAn interesting twist to the heel flap which is slightly different to a lot of the socks I’ve made.

DSC08906Tuscany Socks 10Tuscany Socks 07Tuscany Socks 03If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know I do love knitting socks, as well as other garments. It seems that every now and then I need to have my socks ‘fix’. I have also completed three pattern test knits which can be found here, here and here and last week committed myself to three more; all to be completed by mid March! Yikes!! Luckily, I am only required to complete one of the socks for the first two tests, however, the third test requires me to complete both socks as they’re a mirror image of each other.

The pattern test knits I am completing are Just Because Socks, River Song Socks and the Four Seasons Summer Socks.

So, after listing out everything that keeps me busy, I go and add to the mix by putting myself under even more pressure. Go figure!!

Until next time…

Melanie

Reyna Shawl

I posted a picture on the Australian Handspinners and Knitter Facebook page last week and one person responded saying she often knitted what I had made. How kind of her 🙂 My response was that I, too can be influenced by what others knit especially in this case. I first saw the Reyna shawl on KiwiYarns Knits blog and I was immediately taken not only with the shawl but with the yarn. I believe we are all influenced what others’ make and want to replicate their beautiful projects.

Reyna Shawl 01As green is one of my favourite colours, I was very drawn to this beautiful Noro Taiyo Sock in the colourway S39. I was lucky enough to get the last couple of balls from a Brisbane yarn store, Yarn Glorious Yarn at Taringa.

Noro Taiyo Sock S39I really love the eyelet effect in this pattern as the shawl grows faster and does not contain the weight if a denser stitch pattern is used.

Reyna Shawl 05You could even wear Reyna as a kerchief.

Reyna Shawl 04I added the picot edge as I think it finishes the shawl off nicely 🙂

Reyna Shawl 03Reyna Shawl 06Last week I received an email telling me “I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog MelsNattyKnits has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top Knitting blogs on the web. I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of top Knitting blogs on the internet and I’m honoured to have you as part of this!”

Now I was a bit wary as occasionally I receive emails that don’t quite seem what they are so I posted the message on a blogger Facebook page and was pleased to hear that the site is quite new and is legitimate. By the way, I’m # 162 🙂

Last Thursday when I arrived at work, I found this little black-nose lamb sitting outside my office with a note “From a Friend”. I still don’t know who left it for me but thank you very much 🙂

Black nosed sheepThat same day I slipped into an Opp Shop at lunch time and found these two little beauties looking for a home 🙂

Two more sheepAnd the next day during my lunch hour as I was heading off to get my driver’s licence renewed, I slipped into another Opp shop and found this cute little pink lamb. Of course, I just had to have her 🙂

Pink lambThat’s all my news for now 🙂 Until next time…

Melanie

Clementine Playground Shawl

I’m proud to say this shawl is made from my own handspun yarn 🙂 I bought this merino wool batt at the Redlands Spinners & Weavers Open Day last year. Such beautiful colours.

Fibre 03It was fun to spin as the colours changed dramatically throughout.

Clementine 01 Clementine 02I plied the merino with some pale lime green boucle rayon (see picture above) that I had picked up at an Open Day. It’s similar in texture to this.

Boucle rayon.OLIVE.detail.1The end result was fantastic!

Clementine 07The pattern I used is the Playground Shawl which is a free pattern on Ravelry.

Clementine Playground Shawl 02I rather like these open mesh shawls as they grow quickly.

Clementine Playground Shawl 01I think this is a pattern I may have to revisit! It sits beautifully around my shoulders without the feeling that it’s going to slide off. This is probably more to do with the texture of the wool and boucle rayon.

Clementine Playground Shawl 05 Clementine Playground Shawl 07 Clementine Playground Shawl 08 Clementine Playground Shawl 09 Clementine Playground Shawl 10I have just celebrated a birthday and my lovely son, who always has a chuckle when he visits my place and sees all my toy sheep and crafty stuff, gave me these two cute little sheep.

Birthday Sheep from RichieI spent the afternoon with some wonderful friends at my Knit and Knatter group followed by dinner in the evening with my son and parents. It was the best birthday ever 🙂

These cute little sheep joined my flock recently. They were spotted in some Opp Shops and literally jumped right into my arms!

Sheep Cushions 01Sheep Cushions 02I’ve been busy practising weaving on my brand new Ashford 50cm Knitter’s Loom which I will show you in due course. I’m so fortunate to have an Ashford agent in my spinning group as I can ask lots of questions and get lots of help.

That’s all my news for now. Suffice it say, I am kept very busy with all my crafts: knitting, crocheting, spinning, dyeing, Addi machine knitting, inkle weaving and now weaving on a larger loom 🙂

Until next time…

Melanie

Lelly Poncho/Shawl

I’m a great fan of Martina Behm‘s patterns which can all be found on Ravelry. They’re so easy to knit as each pattern is usually just a lot of garter stitch with some interesting edging and designs. Lelly caught my eye as it can be worn a couple of ways; as a poncho-style shawl and as a scarf/cowl. Martina used a 4ply alpaca for her garment so I rummaged through my stash and found 2 x 50g balls of this House of Alpaca 4ply in a lovely shade of copper.

Lelly 01The pattern calls for 2.5mm needles so it was like knitting another pair of socks! Although i am happy with the end result, I felt my garment is smaller than Martina’s. As you know, I never knit tension squares. Maybe I should have!

Lelly 02I really love the concept of this pattern. This little poncho styled shawl will be ideal in my office as it’ll keep the chill of the air conditioning off my shoulders and back. It also has a lovely eyelet edge.

Lelly 03Lelly 04It can easily be adapted to be worn as a scarf.

Lelly 05This is the shape of the finished garment. Trust me, I did some very hard blocking to get it to this size. If I make another one, I will use larger needles or even 5 or 8ply wool.

Lelly 06If it’s really cold you could wrap the shawl closely around your neck.

Lelly 07Or you could just slip your neck through the slit and let it hang like a cowl. Very versatile indeed!

Lelly 08I would highly recommend Martina’s designs as they’re well written and easy to knit: ideal for beginners. I have made quite a few of her garments.

And now for something very exciting: Maleny, which is a small, scenic town 90 kilometres north of Brisbane on the Blackall Range overlooking the Sunshine Coast hinterland in Queensland, Australia, is holding a KnitFest in June this year!! There is a KnitFest Facebook page you can like too.

knitfest_banner_1170x150pxKnitfest-knitting-classes-poster-724x1024That is going to be a fun weekend indeed!! I have my accommodation booked 🙂

Now to a couple of recent yarn purchases.

The 21st offering in the Zen Yarn Garden ART WALK Series features a painting by Monica Stewart entitled “Rejoice”. From one medium to the next, artists express their use of colour. Inspired by the chosen art piece, Zen Yarn Garden’s dyer has successfully captured the excitement and complexity of the painting.

21 ZYG Rejoice 05I love the shades of gold and brown in this yarn and can’t wait to make something special!

21 ZYG Rejoice 07Monica Stewart’s fluid, earthy works joyously depict women of color dancing and celebrating life as a modern expression of culture and sisterhood. Previously working in vibrant pastels, Stewart has reduced her palette by working with a material made from Egyptian palm fronds, their natural textures, and rich tans and browns enhance her work’s ethnic feel. Nationally recognized, Stewart’s art has been featured in movies, on TV shows and in a line of family record books, journals, and photo albums. [quoted from Art.com]

21 ZYG Rejoice imageI purchased two skeins of Serenity Glitter Sock which is a 80% superwash merino / 10% cashmere / 10% sparkling nylon yarn.

A blog I really enjoy reading is by Wei Siew Leong who is from New Zealand and writes under the name Kiwiyarns Knits. Her writing is beautiful and lots of her stories revolve around New Zealand’s stunningly gorgeous yarns. In one of her recent posts, she showed us some beautiful yarn purchased from an Aussie hand-dyer Circus Tonic Handmade. Now, I’m not usually a purchaser of pink coloured yarn but for some reason this colour really captivated me. Perhaps it was Wei Siew’s description of it “pretty, feminine yarn, with the barest hint of blush”.

You guessed it, I just had to have a sneaky peek at Circus Tonic Handmade‘s Etsy shop to check out her yarns which resulted in the purchase of these two beautiful skeins.of Revelry Sock Fingering 4ply. This one is called Frilled Monarch.

Circus Tonic Frilled Monarch 01Circus Tonic Frilled Monarch 02And this one is called Galah. Doesn’t it look so delicate and fragile?

Circus Tonic Galah 01Circus Tonic Galah 02My package arrived last week and I must say the wool is so incredibly and deliciously soft and luxurious. MMmmmm what can I knit? Definitely something that wraps around my neck 🙂

That’s my news for now. Until next time…

Melanie