Two Sock Pattern Test Knits

It’s been a while since I posted about some of  my sock knits, particularly a couple of test knits. The first is Leaves are Changing Socks by Penny Schumers from Knit-by-Bit Designs. This sock pattern was designed because of Penny’s love of the changing of the leaves when Fall comes. This stitch pattern reflects a row of leaves. The striping of the socks allows them to be changing.

Leaves are Changing Socks 01

This pattern may look difficult but it was quite easy to memorise once I got started.

Leaves are Changing Socks 03Leaves are Changing Socks 10

I cannot rave enough about this sock yarn which is Bendigo Woollen Mills Multicoloured Sock. It is so reasonably priced and incredibly soft and delicious to knit with. This shade is called Pastel Multi.

6522-pastel
Such beautiful socks even if I say so myself!

Leaves are Changing Socks 11Leaves are Changing Socks 12Leaves are Changing Socks 13

Leaves are Changing Socks 15

The second test knit is Frozen Roses Socks also by Penny Schumer. The stitch pattern has a rosebud floral feel, framed with rows reminiscent of stems with thorns.

DSC09808

Another beautiful pattern which was a pleasure to test.

DSC09809DSC09811DSC09812

The yarn I used was Dyed By Hand Yarns Tough Stocking. I love the colours in this yarn which is called Verticordia.

DBHY Tough Stocking Verticordia 01DBHY Tough Stocking Verticordia 02

Frozen Roses 03Frozen Roses 04Frozen Roses 05

What I love about testing for Penny is that she always seems to write the cuff down and toe up instructions for her socks which makes her patterns available for each type of sock knitter. I am a cuff down girl!

If you’re a confident sock knitter I would highly recommend you opt into one of the test knits as you get an opportunity to knit a new pair of socks and you get the pattern before anyone else! Just check out the Ravelry Free Patterns Testers page. You don’t necessarily have to test knit socks; there are tests for all types of garments.

Until next time…

Melanie

Advertisements

A Random Act of Kindness

We’ve all heard about them and we’ve probably all participated in a random act of kindness but usually it involves someone you know. In this case, a random act of kindness I received was from a complete stranger.

If you’re an Instagram user with an unlocked account as mine is under my MelsNattyKnits name, you’ll love getting followers with similar interests to your own and in my case, especially followers in Brisbane. A few weeks ago I received an Insta message from one of my followers which showed a couple of large toy sheep. It’s obvious that my obsession with toy sheep had struck a chord with this follower.

Fiona lives on the north side of Brisbane and was at the recent Brisbane Exhibition where she bought two of these sheep; one for her and one for me. When she mentioned in her message that she thought of me straight away, I felt quite touched and overwhelmed.

As her husband works near me, we arranged for me to pick up the sheep at his workplace. I felt quite humbled as her husband gave me a large plastic bag and inside it was this gorgeous sheep.

Fionas sheep 01_resize

We had a lovely chat and Brad told me his wife Fiona was quite an introvert and he was the extrovert in the family. He told me she liked to do kind things for others without any recognition for doing those kind acts.

As I haven’t met Fiona, I felt I needed to acknowledge her random act of kindness on my blog as it’s the least I could do.

Fionas sheep 02_resizeFionas sheep 03_resize

This is one of the largest sheep I own! Thank you so much Fiona. Your kind act is so appreciated.

Fionas sheep 04_resizeFionas sheep 05_resize

Did you notice that lovely yarn bowl? I picked it up at the Kureelpa Spinners & Weavers Open Day in July when I was on holidays. You could have a number of small balls of different coloured wool in it for colour knitting.

Sheep yarn bowl new

To finish off, just a few bits and bobs I’ve picked up over the last few weeks. I found this sheep mug at an Opp Shop just before the end of my holidays. It was the only one I found; slim pickings this year 🙂

Baa sheep mug 01

One of the past members of the Redlands Spinners & Weavers was off-loading a lot of her spinning gear and I scored this fantastic Lazy Kate. It’s solidly made and I love it. I’ve since given it a clean up and used it. All those bobbins are different and don’t match any of my wheels unfortunately. Apparently her husband was a woodturner and made all her bobbins for her.

Lazy Kate

At our recent Open Day one of our members was selling these crocheted sheep on the members’ stall. They were there right until the end so I quickly snapped them up.

Shaun the Sheep

The Redlands Spinners & Weavers will be holding their annual September spinning camp at Bribie Island on 8-10 September so that’s where you’ll find me. I enjoy these occasions when I’m not tempted by housework 🙂 or any sort of hard work. I can simply craft and enjoy the company of my friends.

I’ve been in spring cleaning mode for a number of weeks now. I’m slowly downsizing my spinning wheels collection. Over the years, I have worked out what type of wheels I like and which ones suit me so I’ve sold the ones I don’t anticipate using. When I first started spinning I bought every conceivable ‘gadget’ that related to the preparation of fleece but I’ve found I just prefer to buy ready processed and dyed slivers. I’m not really into all the cleaning and processing myself; mainly because I don’t have a suitable outdoor area to do it.

So I’ve sold my drum carder and a couple of sets of wool combs. I feel quite liberated as I’m freeing up so much room in my home. About 70% of my hundreds of books have gone to Lifeline and now I’m working on my clothing (I’ve already got a large bag in the car ready for the Lifeline bin!)

And as I sit here writing this blog, I’ve just spotted another bookcase which I’d forgotten about as it’s covered by a spinning wheel. I’ll have to go through it and get rid of the books I’m never going to read!! It’s true what they say; decluttering is good for you!!

Until next time…

Melanie

 

 

Holiday Knitting

There’s nothing quite like being on holidays when you don’t have to worry about housework or much cooking; your main concern is how to fill your days. Needless to say, in my case, that wasn’t too difficult as I’d packed way too many knitting projects.

This was my favourite spot to sit and knit and soak in the serenity of so many perfect Sunshine Coast winter’s days: the beautiful Noosa River at Noosaville. I spent hours here over four weeks just knitting and reading. It was sheer bliss!

Noosa Knitting

I finished another of my all time favourite scarf patterns: The Melissa Scarf. This one was made using Bendigo Woollen Mills’ 4ply sock yarn which I had solar dyed using Queen Food Colours.

Melissa Aqua Solar 05

Melissa Aqua Solar 04

I made Azzu’s Shawl (although it’s more of a scarf size) using a skein of yarn I won from Flock & Needle in a recent competition. It’s a Merino Silk Fingering in the colourway Lime Fizz and it certainly pops!

Azzu 02

This is the second Allegro Arcobaleno shawl I’ve made and I used Shorn Fibers’ Premium Sock in these lovely shades of green.

Allegro Green 01

This is also my second Pebble Beach Shawl although this time I made the small size using Moseley Park Wilcherry which is a 50% silk and 50% merino blend. Soooo soft I might add.

Pebble Beach Purple 02Pebble Beach Purple 03

When I blocked my Pimpelliese scarf it really grew in size which makes it a very nice length to wrap around your neck. I used Augustbird Fantail which is a White Gum sock yarn.

Pimpelliese 05

Pimpelliese 02Pimpelliese 03

As you can see, there was lots of knitting happening and I also came home with a couple of UFOs, one of which I finished yesterday; my SECOND Find Your Fade Shawl which I will block today. The Fade shawls are mammoth knits indeed!

Until next time…

Melanie

Country Hospitality

It was very opportune for me that the Kureelpa Spinners’ Friendship Day was held today while I’m still on holidays at Noosaville. Kureelpa is a rural/residential area six km west of Nambour on the road to Mapleton in the Blackall Range. It is thought that the name derives from an Aboriginal expression describing a native rat or mouse.

When I think of a country town two things immediately come to mind and that’s hospitality and community-minded and today’s Friendship Day had those in abundance.

A number of traders had their tables of wares set up to tempt us.

Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 07Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 08

Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 06

Barbara was there with her collection of Weave-It looms and pattern books. Needless to say, I own most of these 🙂

Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 10

One thing that did catch my eye was this very interesting spinning wheel made from a bicycle!!

Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 15

Have a look at that treadle. It’s the best use of an ironing board I’ve ever seen!

Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 12

I wonder what makes someone wake up one day and decide to make a spinning wheel from a bicycle 🙂

Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 16Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 14Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 13
We were plied with copious amounts of food consisting of cakes, biscuits and slices followed by hot soup and sandwiches for lunch and lots of tea and coffee.

A display of members’ handmade garments was presented and there were some amazing garments to be viewed.

Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 03

One of the most prolific knitters was a gentleman in the group whose knitting was stunning. Amongst other things, he made this blue jumper.

Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 04

We spent a bit of time just chatting and crafting. I brought this Melissa scarf I’d started a week or so ago. It’s an easy garter knit so is an ideal project to work on when there’s a lot of talking happening. The wool is Bendigo Woollen Mills’ sock yarn which I solar dyed using Queen food colours.

Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 23

And these two little sheep just jumped into my bag 🙂 How could I resist them at only $5 each?

Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 22

As we left I took some photos of the beautiful mountain scenery.

Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 25Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 29Kureelpa Friendship Day 25-7-17 30

Thank you Kureelpa Spinners for such a wonderful day. The best part is I’ll be seeing a couple of the women tomorrow at Pomona when I meet with the local spinners and knitters for another session 🙂

Until next time…

Melanie

Holidays!

It’s that time of the year when I gather lots of knitting projects, pack my car and drive to the beautiful seaside town of Noosaville located on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. The only downside is that most retirees from the southern states do the same thing to escape their bitterly cold winters to enjoy our balmy winter days.

It’s practically my second home and I love grabbing my chair and knitting and then stroll to my usual spot and gaze at this tranquil view for a few hours.

Noosaville Waterfront 14-7-17

I have started knitting another Pebble Beach Shawl although this one will be the small size as opposed to the large one I made a while ago.

Noosaville Waterfront 12-7-17

I’ve only given you a glimpse of the shawl; more will be revealed once I’ve finished it 🙂

I was going to bring along a spinning wheel but at the last moment changed my mind and brought along my Weave-It looms which I bought this year. I haven’t used them much so I thought this would be an ideal opportunity to practise some more.

Stretch loom 01

This particular Weave-It is a 6″ stretch loom and is perfect for weaving handspun yarn, 12ply yarn or in this case, mohair yarn.

Stretch loom 02

Not long ago I found this absolutely gorgeous baby garment pattern on Ravelry called Watermelon Baby Cardigan. It is a quick knit and looks adorable.

Watermelon Cardi Mauve Pink 01

This is what I call addictive knitting; something quick, colourful and so pretty.

Watermelon Cardi Green Orange 01Watermelon Cardi Green Navy 03

My internet connection here is soooo slow so I’m not sure how many posts I’ll be able to release as I don’t want to spend all my holiday time on the laptop!

So I’ll leave it there and get back to some knitting!

Until next time.

Melanie

Find Your Fade Shawl

What is it that suddenly makes a Ravelry pattern very popular? Photos? Word of Mouth? Or maybe both reasons. Find Your Fade is a pattern that has appeared everywhere lately: Ravelry, Facebook and Instagram. And it’s for that reason that I decided a couple of months ago to give it a go.

The pattern takes seven skeins of yarn which are meant to ‘fade’ into each other. This was the fun part for me: shopping in my stash. This is the selection I came up with.

Find Your Fade choices

A combination of beautiful, luxurious and super soft merino, cashmere, alpaca and possum. Yummy!!

Here are the colour choices from left to right:

Colour A Dyed By Hand Yarns Mother’s Love superwash merino 80% / cashmere 10% / nylon 10% Monkey Mia
Colour B Touch Yarns Merino Brown/blue
Colour C Flock and Needle Merino/Nylon superwash Luke
Colour D Flock and Needle Merino/Nylon superwash Stormy Shoreline
Colour E Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 Superwash merino 70% / cashmere 20% / nylon 10% Tree in Autumn
Colour F Loris NZ Alpaca 15% / Merino 55% / Nylon 20% / Possum 10% Roast Chestnuts
Colour G Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 Superwash merino 70% / cashmere 20% / nylon 10% Samaratin

It was a pleasure to knit this shawl as all this luscious yarn slipped between my fingers.

Find Your Fade 16

Blues faded into browns which faded into oranges which faded into brown.

Find Your Fade 03Find Your Fade 04Find Your Fade 05Find Your Fade 08Find Your Fade 10Find Your Fade 11Find Your Fade 13

It’s difficult to describe in words all the beautiful colours so I have provided lots of photos for you to view.

I also highly recommend you use a different centre double decrease (CDD) for a crisper look. So glad I found this hint in someone else’s notes and it does give a nice crisp look. I used slip 2 knitwise, k1, pass the two slipped stitches over.

Find Your Fade 02_1Find Your Fade 12Find Your Fade 19Find Your Fade 20

Not all of each seven skeins is used so with the remaining yarn plus an additional skein I will be able to make another Find Your Fade shawl.

I have replaced Colour F (orange) with a paler orange skein from Zen Yarn Garden.

Find Your Fade yarn choice

So the new order of yarn from top to bottom (left hand side photo) is

Colour A Flock and Needle Merino/Nylon superwash Stormy Shoreline
Colour B Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 Superwash merino 70% / cashmere 20% / nylon 10% Tree in Autumn
Colour C Flock and Needle Merino/Nylon superwash Luke
Colour D Touch Yarns Merino Brown/blue
Colour E Dyed By Hand Yarns Mother’s Love superwash merino 80% / cashmere 10% / nylon 10% Monkey Mia
Colour F Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 Superwash merino 70% / cashmere 20% / nylon 10% Pumpkin Spice
Colour G Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 Superwash merino 70% / cashmere 20% / nylon 10% Samaratin

The actual pattern is quite easy; just rows of garter stitch and some very basic lace. The secret is to ensure you always start with a K1, yo and finish with a yo, k1. Those yarn overs are very important!

My shawl was entered into the recent Redlands Spinners & Weavers’ Open Day fashion parade and I have since sold it. I am gradually getting used to not forming an emotional attachment to my garments. It is so lovely to see someone else fall in love with what I’ve made 🙂 The funds enable me to buy more yarn and make more creations!

Soon, I will be venturing back up to my favourite holiday spot at Noosaville so you’ll be getting my news from a wonderful part of the world. I will be visiting a group of spinners and knitters at SpillDEBeans café in Pomona on most Wednesdays and hope to have a couple of my crafty friends visit too.

Lots of rest, relaxation, knitting and weaving! Yes, I’m taking my Weave-it looms so I can have lots practise while I’m lazing on the banks of the Noosa River 🙂

Until next time…

Melanie

Vintage Fan Ripple Stitch

If you’re a yarn addict like me, no doubt your Facebook page will display lots of suggested patterns and yarns. I don’t take too much notice of them as I have plenty of patterns and yarn to keep me busy this lifetime and the next! One that did catch my eye was the Vintage Fan Ripple Stitch. Now I’m not much of a crocheter; very basic in fact but I was intrigued with this pattern so I decided to give it a go.

Vintage Fan Ripple 01

This picture fails to capture the vivid colours of this gorgeous wool I used which is Bendigo Woollen Mills’ Classic 8ply. I love this wool; it’s beautiful and it’s Australian too. The colours I used are Broadleaf, Burnt Orange, Celery, Guava, Marigold, Mulga and Pumpkin.

Vintage Fan Ripple 02

I used a 4m hook and I’m very pleased with the finished product. I’ve just changed all my bed linen and have placed this afghan on my bed for the winter months.

Vintage Fan Ripple 05Vintage Fan Ripple 06

It’s funny when you’re crocheting or knitting something this size you immediately think it’s going to be huge because it takes up quite a bit of room on your lap when you’re making it. However, once it’s spread out on a queen size bed it doesn’t look that large! Consequently, I’ve had to put it off centre a bit so I get the benefit of it 🙂

Vintage Fan Ripple 08

I made this afghan a while ago but have only just photographed it as it’s been in my linen cupboard waiting for the cooler weather to arrive.

Vintage Fan Ripple 07

I’ve noticed it’s been about three weeks since my last post. I can’t believe how quickly the time goes. I always seem to be so busy that my posts fall behind. I’ve been knitting and spinning as well as buying an old spinning wheel, refurbishing and onselling it. This always keeps me busy.

Next weekend I’m going to a weaving camp where I hope to get a little weaving done although I will also be taking along a number of baby garments I’ve made that don’t have their buttons on them yet as I hate sewing on buttons which means garments can sit there for months before they’re completed. I figure being at camp will be the ideal place to finally sit down and finish that pesky sewing 🙂

That’s my news for now.

Until next time.

Melanie