Knitting and Spinning

I can’t believe it’s over three weeks since my last post. Time has just slipped away so quickly. Lots has been happening in my life: my son is in the process of buying his first home (he’s still awaiting finance approval) and sadly my family has had to place my 92 year old Dad into a nursing home as my 89 year old Mum was struggling to care for him. So, after more than 60 years of marriage, they are now living apart which is so sad but necessary to ensure the well-being of both of them.

On the crafting front, I’ve been knitting and spinning and I’ve also been destashing some of my spinning wheels and yarn to help my son pay for some of those new house costs that you tend to forget about like house insurance, solicitors, pest and building inspection and so on.

Having said that, I had been thinking of selling some of my wheels as my collection was steadily growing so I’ve sold my Ettrick Standard double drive, an Ashford Traditional, a Wee Peggy, an Ashford Scholar and I also have my Fomotor Peacock and Ashford Traditional double drive on the market. I’ve also sold off quite a bit of my yarn, in particular the Zen Yarn Garden ART WALK series skeins. It had got to the point where I realised I couldn’t possibly use it all so I bit the bullet and advertised a lot of it for sale and most of that has been snapped up quite quickly. I have kept the colours I really like.

Now to some knitting. I finished this In Threes baby cardigan while I was on my recent cruise to New Zealand. I love this pattern and so do many other knitters as over 6,700 of these cardis have been made!

in-threes-multi-large-01The wool I used is Shepherd Colour 4 Me Prints which is an 8ply 100% plied wool. I made the 3T size which I am assuming is for a three year old toddler.

in-threes-multi-large-05I bought the buttons in New Zealand. It’s just by chance they match the colours in the cardi πŸ™‚

in-threes-multi-large-04If you love knitting in the round without seams, I can highly recommend this pattern. It’s so quick and easy. In fact, I knit it when I feel like a quick satisfying knit. I have a few of these cardis stashed away.

in-threes-multi-large-06I’ve been trying to slow down my yarn and fibre purchases and start using my stash and I’ve been quite successful but when I saw this Optim fibre on sale on FB I knew I had to have it. I’ve heard a lot about spinning Optim but have never tried it so this was my chance. It was a potluck 5 x 100g balls.Optim is a treatment which stretches the wool fibres to make the product longer and a lot finer in the range of 12-14 Microns.

optim-5-x-100g_resizeThese were some of the examples of colours that were available. I must say I’m quite enjoying spinning Optim; it’s rather like spinning silk and it has a lovely sheen to it.

optim-03_resizeI picked up this metallic thread for $10 and $5 respectively. This will be invaluable for plying and maybe even weaving.

weaving-or-plying-threadI’m spending this Wednesday and Thursday crafting with good friends which I am really looking forward to. I always find these gatherings to be so therapeutic as it’s where we all share our love for our common crafts, solve all (or most) of our problems and generally de-stress. I’d be lost without these friends πŸ™‚

As 2016 rolls to a close, I hope you all have a wonderful 2017 filled with health, happiness, prosperity and of course lots of yarn and fibre!

funny-sheep-with-happy-new-year-free-picture-download

Until 2017…

Melanie

Lincraft European Collection Elevate – Stormrider Jacket

In February this year I was approached by Lincraft to see whether I’d like to feature in a knitting themed (what else πŸ™‚ ) guest blog. Lincraft very kindly supplied some yarn and patterns for me to use which I happily accepted.

This beautiful baby garment – Stormrider Jacket – caught my eye so this is the project I made from the pattern book.

Lincraft Elevate pattern bookI chose to make my Jacket in the gorgeous colour “Fuchsia”. Unfortunately, I don’t have a baby to model my jacket so the jacket on a coathanger will have to suffice πŸ™‚ But I did provide a lovely background including sheep and a couple of spinning wheels πŸ™‚

Stormrider Jacket 01Lincraft European Collection Elevate is a lovely squishy 12ply / bulky 100% premium acrylic yarn which makes it perfect for a child’s garment as it will wear and wash very well. It comes in generous 100g balls.

Lincraft Elevate Fuchsia 01 Lincraft Elevate Fuchsia 02The pattern calls for 6.5mm needles so as you can imagine this was a relatively quick knit. It’s knit in five main pieces (back, two fronts and two sleeves) plus two small pockets and the hood is knitted by picking up stitches held on stitch holders along the tops of the back and two fronts.

The hood is a clever addition as it will keep your baby toasty warm during those cold months.

Stormrider Jacket 02 Stormrider Jacket 04There are four sizes that you can make: newborn, 3, 6 and 12 months. I chose to make the 12 months size and this cute little garment will become part of the knitted goodies that I’m collecting in the hope that one day my son will give me a grandchild πŸ™‚

For those of you who are more experienced at knitting, you could even knit this jacket in the round which will alleviate the side seams and sleeve seams.

The pattern is unisex so could easily be made for a little baby boy using Lincraft European Collection Elevate “Ink”..

Elevate blue

Other colours include Lincraft European Collection Elevate “Charcoal”

Elevate charcoaland Lincraft European Collection Elevate “Wood”

Elevate woodI used four pink buttons to complement the fuchsia yarn but you could even use four different coloured buttons if you so wished.

Stormrider Jacket 03To show you what the jacket looks like on a 12 month old toddler, I have captured the photo from the pattern booklet. She certainly looks very snug and warm πŸ™‚

Stormrider Jacket pattern pic-tileAs you can see, this is a delightful pattern, quick to knit and would be a welcome addition to any little baby’s wardrobe this winter πŸ™‚

If you’re looking for a baby jacket pattern, I would highly recommend this one as it’s quick and easy which is something we all like when it comes to knitting πŸ™‚

Until next time…

Melanie

Newborn Hats

Don’t ask me why but I’ve made some newborn hats lately. It’s not like I know anyone who’s having a baby soon. Maybe it was just the need for a quick knit because they sure are fast to complete. One of them was a pattern test knit for a gorgeous little Pumpkin Hat.

Pumpkin Hat 07There are so many of these pumpkin designs on Ravelry so there’s lots of patterns to select if you wish to make one. I love the top of this hat.

Pumpkin Hat 04I used Cascade 220 Superwash wool to make my hat. It’s such a lovely wool to knit with.

My second hat is really a premmie size (because of the yarn I used) and it’s called Little Knight Newborn Purple Hat although I made mine in pink.

Little Knight Pink 01Little Knight Pink 02The yarn I used is Bella Baby Angora Blend (that is actually my yarn in the Ravelry page picture) and it is so soft. I used a round polystyrene ball to give some shape to the hat. I really need to invest in a baby doll to be my model!

Little Knight Pink 03And the third hat is this cute little Sheep Hat which I instantly fell in love with.

Sheep Hat 03Even the back of the hat is cute πŸ™‚

Sheep Hat 04I used a combination of Cascade 220 Superwash and Lana Gatto Super Soft. Both incredibly beautiful wools to knit with.

Sheep Hat 01Sheep Hat 02My friend Helen recently visited New Zealand and she brought me back some lovely little sheepy presents. Here’s some of them in this picture indicated by the arrows.

Helen Gift 01aAnd this lovely little cutie.

Helen Gift 02Yesterday it was so hot and humid in Brisbane and today’s it’s about seven degrees cooler so I am going to try and attach a new tabletop that I bought yesterday to the table that I am using for my wool combing which is so old the bottom part is flaking off and leaving a mess. I’ve charged the drill and now just need to hope that the carving board I bought can be adapted to a table top. Will keep you informed!

That’s my news for this week. Until next time…

Melanie

Two In-Threes Baby Cardigans

Don’t ask me why I’ve just knitted two baby cardigans. I have absolutely no prospect of grandchildren in the foreseeable future and we’re just coming into summer here in Australia. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I was looking for a quick knit, or because one of my friends has been making these cardigans for her granddaughters and I’m envious πŸ™‚ Or maybe it’s because I had some single balls of wool that I wanted to use up.

Whatever the reason, I really love this pattern as I’ve made these cardigans previously (and probably for the same reasons above πŸ™‚ ).

If you look on Ravelry, the In Threes Baby Cardigan has been made over 5,600 times which means it must have something going for it and I think it’s because it’s knitted in one piece from the neck down. That’s my kind of knitting – no seams!!

Here’s my first little cardi…

In Threes Pink 01I used about 1.75 balls of Moda Vera Playful in this lovely variegated pink and about half a ball of Lincraft Angora Plus in the solid pale pink colour. I was experimenting with using different yarns and I quite like the effect.

MV_Playful_pink_mediumLincraft_Angora_Plus_Pink_mediumI think this little cardi would fit a 3-6 month baby girl.

In Threes Pink 02This is the second little In Threes Cardigan…

In Threes Green 01I only had one ball each of the variegated and solid green Moda Vera Playful wool so I varied the bottom of the cardi a bit.

Moda Vera Playful Green VariegatedModa Vera Playful GreenSo if you’re busily knitting garments for a baby girl or even a little toddler, I can highly recommend this pattern. It’s quick and easy too. I think my green cardi will fit a 0-3 months old baby girl.

In Threes Green 02Happy knitting!! Until next time…

Melanie

William’s Knits

My son’s best mate has just become a father to a little baby boy born on 31 October; his name is William and you’ve guessed it, what better gift to give than knitted goodies. So I’ve made a start as William will be six months old next winter. I had already made this little hat as I wasn’t sure whether the baby would be a boy or a girl.

Red Mock Cable Hat 04

It’s one of my favourite baby hat patterns called Mock Cable Baby Hat and it’s a free Ravelry pattern.

Red Mock Cable Hat 02

I used Patons Big Baby 8ply, a lovely soft baby yarn. I’m pretty sure little William likes his hat don’t you?

William red hat

These little goodies will be winging their way to William before winter next year. A gorgeous little vest called the Chris Woven Yoke Vest. I found the pattern in my Knitting Pattern a Day Calendar 2012. There are some lovely knitting patterns in these calendars.

Chris Woven Yoke Vest 01

This little vest is knitted using Ice Yarns Dancing Baby which is a 100% acrylic yarn. I have quite a few colourways of this yarn and they are quite stunning.

Chris Woven Yoke Vest 04

Chris Woven Yoke Vest 05

There’s a little bit of stretch in this vest so I hope it fits little William next winter.

Chris Woven Yoke Vest 02

And a matching hat too!

Hat Blue Camel White 01

It’s from the free pattern Easy Rolled Brim Hat although I have modified it slightly. I kept decreasing until there were four stitches left, K2tog: three stitches left. I then proceeded to knit an I-cord for an inch or so and tied a small knot in it. Looks so much cuter I think.

Hat Blue Camel White 02

Hat Blue Camel White 03

And then I made this hat using the same pattern but casting on 128 stitches and using the Patons Big Baby 8ply yarn in three colours.

Hat RBW 01

I’m not sure what age this hat will fit but hopefully William will find some use for it!

Hat RBW 02

Hat RBW 03

Knitting baby garments is so gratifying as they don’t take long at all. Remember all those hats I made a year or so ago for two friends who were having babies?

To finish off I want to show you the gorgeous colours of the poinciana trees which are in full bloom in the Redlands this spring. It’s one of the best displays I’ve seen in years.

Poincianas Cleveland 19-11-14 01

Poincianas Cleveland 19-11-14 02

Poincianas Cleveland 19-11-14 03

Poincianas Cleveland 19-11-14 04

Poincianas Cleveland 19-11-14 10

Poincianas Cleveland 19-11-14 06

Beautiful aren’t they?

One more pic of this little vest. I love it!

Chris Woven Yoke Vest 07

Whoops I nearly forgot…I was rather chuffed when the pattern writer (Dominique TradΒ from New South Wales, Australia) of the Frillilly scarf contacted me to ask whether my picture of her scarf could be featured on the pattern page as she loved the yarn I’d used. Of course I said yes; it’s the second photo on the pattern page, She also offered me a complimentary pattern of my choice from her selection so I picked the Autumn Rainbow top. Thank you Dominique!!

I’m off to Knit and Knatter this afternoon so I hope you all have a wonderful crafty weekend. Until next time.

Melanie

Three Little Pebble Vests

I know I’ve said it before but I’d be lost without Ravelry…this is where I get lots of my ideas for knitting projects and my latest is the very popular baby’s Pebble Vest. Over 3,000 of these little vests have been knitted so that shows you how popular this free pattern is.

My first Pebble Vest which I have called ‘Forest’ was knitted exactly as the pattern dictated however upon reflection it will only really fit a newborn baby for a short time especially if the baby grows quickly!

Pebble Vest Forest 01

The vest is knitted in one piece and so easy to make. The hardest (or most tedious I should say!) partΒ is sewing on the buttons!

Pebble Vest Forest 03

I have more of this yarn so may even make a larger vest. Aren’t those forest colours just gorgeous.

Pebble Vest Forest 02

The yarn I used is Cleckheaton Country Paintbox 8ply. It’s now been discontinued so I’m glad I have a little stash of it. The recommended needle size is 4mm however the pattern called for 3.5mm which made for quite ‘snug’ knitting.

Cleckheaton Country Paintbox Green 2

I was quite enthusiastic when I finished this little vest and was revved up to make another one so I went fossicking in my stash (I love having a large stash….it’s like going shopping without having to pay!) and found this handspun merino 8ply that I bought on Ebay in May last year. It’s probably not the first choice as a colour for a baby but if you could feel how soft the knitted vest is you’d agree with me that it’s ideal baby wool. I used 4.5mm needles.

Handspun Merino Grey 01

Here’s my ‘Slate’ pebble vest…

Pebble Vest Slate 01

I love it. As you can see I jazzed it up with brightly coloured buttons to make it more ‘babylike’. Different buttons adds more interest to these little garments too.

The great thing about Ravelry is that most knitters will comment on any adjustments they make to a pattern so I studied them all and made my own adjustments to make this vest a bit larger. It’ll fit a 46cm chest which is approximately an average 9 month old baby.

Pebble Vest Slate 03

Now all I need is a grandchild to pop in it! But I don’t think that’s going to happen for a while 😦

I’ve also knittedΒ a Ribbed Pumpkin Hat in the same yarn as the original skein weighed 125g and this little vest only took 50g so I have lots left over.

Ribbed Pumpkin Hat Slate 01

Ribbed Pumpkin Hat Slate 03

And here’s my third Pebble Vest christened ‘Leaves’ as the colours depict the different colours of leaves.

Pebble Vest Leaves 03

I cast on 100 stitches and used 5mm needles for this vest so it should fit a two year old toddler. It has quite a bit of stretch in it too.

Pebble Vest Leaves 04

You don’t even need to use matching buttons….so long as they’re the same shade as your vest you can mix and match with what you have on hand. I have a few bottles of different coloured buttons so I love sorting through them to find what looks good on these vests.

Pebble Vest Leaves 06

Here’s a close up picture of those lovely shades of green, brown, camel and cream.

Pebble Vest Leaves 05

I used Ice Yarns Baby Batik for this vest. It’s a 100% acrylic so will be ideal to care for but I would still only hand wash any knitted garment.

Ice Baby Batik Brown Green Camel Cream 4

One last picture…

Pebble Vest Leaves 07

And here’s the three Pebble Vests in the order they were made.

Pebble Vest Forest 02-tile

Until next time…and I pose the question ‘why am I knitting baby garments again when I have so many other things to knit for myself?’ No idea!

Melanie

The Cutest Little Baby Cardigans

I spend a lot of time on Ravelry and there are particular knitters whose projects I like to check out to see what they’re knitting at the current time. One of my fave knitters has made this little cardigan quite a few times so I decided to buy the pattern and make it too.

In Threes Cardi 03

Isn’t it just the cutest little baby cardi you’ve ever seen? The best thing about this pattern is it’s all knitted in the round and in one piece. Yay!! No seams….no joining. All you have to do is sew on the buttons. How easy is that? And it’s all plain and purl knitting so an ideal pattern for a beginner who wants to get a bit daring and start knitting larger items with a bit more detail.

In Threes Cardi 05

I used one of my all time favourite 10ply (worsted) yarns for this project. It’s Cascade 220 Superwash and it’s fantastic to knit with. This yarn is part of the bulk ‘end of dyelot’ sale I purchased from Yarn Glorious Yarn. I’m so glad I splashed out and bought so many balls as I’m slowly working my way through them knitting all sorts of goodies.

Cascade 220 Superwash 1976 Sunshine Heather 2

I used this yarn to make my Mock Cable Baby Hat and Ribbed Pumpkin Hat and I’ve just finished knitting some slippers in this yarn as well which I’ll feature soon.

The pattern I used is ‘In Threes: A Baby Cardigan’. This link will take you to some photos of the cardigan with little bodies in it! It’s perfect with a little long sleeved top underneath.

This is the back view of the cardi.

In Threes Cardi 02

One more pic….

In Threes Cardi 01

Now because I loved this pattern so much I made two more cardigans! This one is size 18 months and I added another repeat at the bottom and by doing this I used up the whole ball of yarn less a few centimetres.

In Threes Cardi Beach 01

I’ve called this cardi ‘Beach’ as the colours remind me of the sea, sun, sand and occasional cloud at the beach.

In Threes Cardi Beach 03

It looks quite long doesn’t it? But hopefully it’ll keep an 18 month old extra warm around its little bottom and the top of the legs.

In Threes Cardi Beach 04

The yarn I used is Ice Yarns Dancing Baby which is a 100% acrylic DK yarn. I used 4.5mm circular needles. Now I generally only use acrylic for decorations or for items in the home and not for garments, however, I just couldn’t resist the colours in this yarn and being acrylic it will be easier for a mum to maintain although I would still be handwashing any baby items rather than tossing them in the washing machine.

Ice Yarn Multi White Brown Orange Yellow Blue

This is the size 0-6 months size. Again, it is just too cute for words.

In Threes Sand n Sea 01

I called this cardi ‘Sand ‘n’ Sea’ as it reminds me of the sand and the sea.

In Threes Sand n Sea 03

In Threes Sand n Sea 05

Yes, you guessed it, this cardi is also made with Ice Yarns Dancing Baby. How can you resist these colours?

Ice Yarn Multi White Camel Blue

And just to finish it off I made this little Ribbed Pumpkin Hat to match the cardi.

Pumpkin Hat Sand n Sea 01

Pumpkin Hat Sand n Sea 03

Pumpkin Hat Sand n Sea 04

In Threes Sand n Sea 01-tile

All I need now is a grandchild but I don’t think that’s going to happen for quite a while. Although by the time a grandchild does arrive he or she will have a massive knitted wardrobe full of everything imaginable!

So for the moment these cardigans will be going into my ‘Grandma’s glory box’.

This cardigan pattern is definitely a favourite one for me and one I’ll be using quite a few times I imagine.

Until next time…

Melanie