A Frenzy of Fingerless Mitts!

I’ve been on a roll lately knitting lots and lots of fingerless mitts. Over the years, I’ve been collecting different patterns with a view to eventually getting to knit all sorts of garments. Fingerless mitts is the latest craze. I found this really easy pattern to start off with: Good Times Fingerless Mitts and have proceeded to knit quite a few pairs!

What I love about knitting mitts is you can use a lot of your leftovers from larger projects. They’re quick to make and perfect to wear in cooler weather. I love the fact your fingers are free so it’s easy to type or handle money while the rest of your hand remains toasty warm 🙂

Shepherd Colour 4 Me 8ply and Shepherd Colour 4 Me Prints 8ply were used in these aqua blue mitts.

Good Time Mitts Blue Aqua 01The edging of these mitts was knitted in Fiberific Sombrero 8ply and the main part was knitted in my handspun 100% merino in the colourway Outback.

Good Time Mitts Handspun Outback n Green 01The edging in these mitts was knitted in Moda Vera Pure Wool 8ply and the main part in my handspun.

Good Time Mitts Handspun Outback n Orange 02These mitts are knitted entirely using my own handspun. They are soooo soft!

Good Time Mitts Handspun Outback 02The ribbing in these mitts is knitted using Cleckheaton Country 8ply and the main part I used Candy Apple Lane BWM Luxury 8ply in the colourway Liquorice Allsorts. You’ll no doubt remember this colourway from my Liquorice Allsorts Shawl 🙂

Good Time Mitts Liquorice Allsorts n Black 02I used Lotus Winter Sun to make these mitts.

Good Time Mitts Lotus Yarns Mocha 01For the ribbed edging I used Cleckheaton Country Naturals 8ply and for the main part I used Lincraft Cosy Wool.

Good Time Mitts Naturals Blue Mix 02These are the very first mitts I made using Sullivans Aztec which has an alpaca component making them really soft.

Good Time Mitts Sullivans Aztec Green 02And that’s just the start. I’ve made lots more using different patterns which I’ll show you at a later date. So if you haven’t made fingerless mitts previously and you’ve been toying with the idea, I would highly recommend that you start! The thumb area is not complicated so long as you follow the very easy instructions in the pattern.

I had so much fun mixing and matching yarns for the ribbed edging and the main part of the mitts to give a different look.

If you’re interested, I have some mitts for sale on my MelsNattyKnits FB page.

Let me know if you use this pattern; I’d love to hear your comments on how you go 🙂

Until next time.

Melanie

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Liquorice Allsorts Shawl

When I first bought four skeins of this incredibly colourful wool I wondered what I’d make with it.

Liquorice Allsorts 01I knew that one day the right pattern would present itself so when I found the Multicolor Shawl pattern on Ravelry, I knew I had hit the jackpot! I managed to pick it up when it was free but it’s not a very expensive pattern anyway. If you do happen to have this pattern, please note that I found a few errors which are located on the Ravelry page for the pattern. Once these errors were sorted out, it was an easy knit.

Licquorice Allsorts Shawl 03Quite a riot of colour don’t you think?

Licquorice Allsorts Shawl 04I particularly love the edging which is basically a lot of YOs in one row and then on the following row about nine stitches are knitted/purled which makes the holes.

Licquorice Allsorts Shawl 12 Licquorice Allsorts Shawl 13

Licquorice Allsorts Shawl 08 Licquorice Allsorts Shawl 11This wool from Candy Apple Lane is actually Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxiry 8ply and it’s beautiful to use.

Because this is an 8ply wool and 4.5mm needles are used, it makes a lovely generous shawl. The placement of the increases also creates a shawl that sits very comfortably on your shoulders without slipping off.

Licquorice Allsorts Shawl 02

I would highly recommend this pattern but bear in mind you will need quite a bit of yarn. My shawl took just over 200g of 8ply wool. I am now planning my second one using a lot of Cleckheaton Country 8ply that I have amassed.

Cleckheaton Country Burnt Mix 01

Yesterday I arrived at Noosavile for my annual holidays. I love this place!! Here’s a picture of what I look onto every day 🙂

Noosa River 9-7-16So you can expect a lot more photos like this for the next couple of weeks 🙂

Until next time…

Melanie

 

Woven Wraps

I’ve been mentioning my weaving projects for a while now so I thought I’d better get them all photographed, resized and sorted (this takes a long time). I’ve been alternating between my 30cm and 50cm Ashford Knitters looms.

These wraps were done on the 50cm loom.

The warp is two balls of Ashford Tekapo 100g 8ply in black and the weft is two balls of Noro Silk Garden 50g. Love the rustic look of these two yarns.

Noro Black 01 Noro Black 02 Noro Black 07The warp is 4 balls of Cleckheaton Country 50g in green and the weft is two balls of Noro Silk Garden 50g. I must say Noro is an awful wool that is full of VM but it does have some lovely colour changes and is perfect in a woven garment. It does become a bit softer when washed too. It’s quite expensive and not worth all the hype.

Noro Greens 01 Noro Greens 02 Noro Greens 03I’m so pleased I attended a couple of weaving workshops recently as it has helped me to finally master this hemming stitch which gives such a great finish. And the fringes were all done on my Ashford Fringe Twister. It is amazing and worth every cent!

Noro Greens 04 Noro Greens 05The warp and weft are a mixture of Lotus Yarns Winter Sun Aran, Lotus Yarns Winter Sun DK and Cleckheaton Riverina 5ply. I just made up this pattern. It was a bit tiresome tucking in all those ends but the end result was worth it! These yarns are all so soft so this wrap is incredibly soft and has a lovely drape.

Browns 03 Browns 05 Browns 08The warp and weft is six balls of Poems 100% 10ply wool. This is a rather long scarf. The colours are lovely muted autumn shades. I’ve had this wool in my stash for ages and now it’s finally been used!

Poems Wool 01 Poems Wool 02 Poems Wool 05 Poems Wool 07The following scarves were made on the 30cm loom.

The warp and weft are a mixture of Lotus Yarns Winter Sun Aran, Lotus Yarns Winter Sun DK and Cleckheaton Riverina 5ply. Similar to the one made on the 50cm loom but there’s no dark brown in this one.

Mocha 02Mocha 06 Mocha 07The warp is handspun mongrel alpaca (grey) and merino (Peacock blue) and the weft is all the handspun mongrel alpaca. I used a double thread throughout as this is some of my early spinning and was a bit uneven in places. The double thread really made a difference.

Grey Alpaca with Blue 02 Grey Alpaca with Blue 05 Grey Alpaca with Blue 07 Grey Alpaca with Blue 09So, as you can see, I have been quite busy weaving up a storm! Once the warp is on the loom, I love how quickly a garment is woven. And you can use so many textured handspun and commercial yarns. This is definitely a quick way to use your stash and believe me I need all the help I can get to do that!

I picked up a bit of 8ply cotton recently so I’m going to try and weave a kitchen mat in greens and oranges (what else!)

If you’ve ever thought about learning to weave, I can highly recommend it. And if you live in Brisbane (or Australia for that matter), one of our spinning group members is an Ashford representative and gives a 15% discount on Ashford looms 🙂

Until next time…

Melanie

A Dramatic Leftie!

After I’d finished knitting my first Leftie I was quite enamoured with the pattern so I started thinking about knitting another one! Ironically, I had not long purchased this wool from Spotlight.

Shepherd Colour For Me black 01Black is not generally colour I would purchase but it’s a good quality wool (Shepherd Colour 4 Me) and it was only $1.40 ball so I thought I’d stash it away for another day. Little did I know that day would arrive so quickly. I immediately thought how bold solid colours would really ‘pop’ against the black. My next project was now a reality and Leftie # 2 was created.

Leftie Scarf # 2 03Don’t those colours simply look so effective against the black?

Leftie Scarf # 2 05I used size 4.5mm needles and a selection of 8ply yarns predominantly Ashford Tekapo followed by Cleckheaton Country and Lincraft Cosy. These are the colours I used.

Leftie Scarf # 2 12I have a stack of the Ashford Tekapo that I bought on Ebay a couple of years ago for around $1 a ball. It’s really good to start using some of it. This scarf will go to New Zealand with me on my cruise in April this year.

Leftie Scarf # 2 06I love all these bright and happy colours!

Leftie Scarf # 2 07Leftie Scarf # 2 08Leftie Scarf # 2 09Leftie Scarf # 2 10And a picture to give you an idea of what the scarf looks like in its entirety.

Leftie Scarf # 2 04Another successful projects off the needles!

Leftie Scarf # 2 15I hope I have inspired you to knit a Leftie! It’s the perfect pattern to adapt using any size yarn and needles.

I had a wonderful time at Knit and Knatter yesterday although it was quite humid. There were eleven of us and we didn’t let the weather stifle our enthusiasm!

This morning (humid again) I moved some furniture and re-arranged my two stash rooms to make way for a small wardrobe which is currently housed in my garage. I need all the space I can get in the garage as my new car is larger than the previous one and it’s a tight squeeze opening the front door and getting in and out. Next weekend my son will come over and help me move the wardrobe and also take a bit of excess old furniture to the dump for me.

I’m now going to turn on the fan and read my book and later go for a swim. Tonight I’ll do some knitting. You didn’t think this weather would stop me knitting did you? I’m on a UFO roll at the moment. After I finished a pair of socks yesterday, I finally completed a shawl I’d been knitting for nearly a year. Tonight I might even tackle another UFO! Wonders will never cease.

Until next time…

Melanie

 

Autumn Citron and Blue Miami Beach Shawls

Another week of work is finished. It’s been a very overcast, rainy and bleak day in Brisbane today and the weekend looks like it will be the same so it’ll be ideal weather for knitting! Tomorrow I’m off to do some more yarn bombing and straight after that it’s off to Knit and Knatter which I am so looking forward to.

At one stage I seemed to be knitting socks and more socks and now I’m knitting shawls and more shawls!

This Citron Shawl is my second using this pattern (and I’ve recently started my third!).

Autumn Citron 01

I love this pattern as it’s easy to follow and easy to knit. I would point out however that there is NO increasing when knitting rows 3-5 and 7-11. I get caught out every time!! If you’re going to knit this pattern maybe it would be an idea to write these words beside these rows. This shawl sits beautifully on my shoulders.

Autumn Citron 02

The yarn used for this shawl is the extra ball I had specially dyed by Angela from Shorn Fibers. It’s called Tuff Sock and is an 80% merino / 20% nylon yarn. I hit a bit of a snag as I reached the bottom of the shawl as I was fast running out of yarn. A quick visit to my stash room and I found some left over Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light which is a 100% merino yarn. I had originally used this yarn for my Wholehearted Shawl and luckily there was enough left over and I think the paler green edging matches perfectly.

Shorn Fibers Autumn Gradient 3

Madelinetosh-65 TML Grasshopper

The shawl reminds me of those jellied citrus sweets…

Citrus image 02-tile

Autumn Citron 06

For a bit of a change I added a picot edging. I love a picot edge; it takes a while to complete but does look effective and is great for using up surplus yarn if you have it.

Autumn Citron 09

My Miami Beach Shawl turned out perfectly especially using this blue yarn…

Miami Beach Shawl 01

which is Cleckheaton Country 8ply in this unusually bright blue colour.

Cleckheaton Country Blue 02

The shawl has a beautiful lace edging…

Miami Beach Shawl 06

Both shawls are easy knits as there’s a lot of plain garter stitch.

Miami Beach Shawl 02

 

Miami Beach Shawl 07

The stitch definition is beautiful!

Miami Beach Shawl 05

I hope you’ve got some inspiration from these two patterns.

Until next time…

Melanie

 

My Relationship With Yarn Clearance Sales

I have a love/hate relationship with the words ‘Yarn Clearance Sale’. I love seeing the words as they immediately get my blood flowing and my excitement rises at the thought of what new yarns I can purchase. I hate the fact that I’m going to deplete my bank balance even more with yarn that I probably don’t need but I must have it. Sound familiar? Do you feel like this too? Sounds like we’re all suffering from the insatiable need to own more yarn than we could ever use in a lifetime which is a perfect segue to my next few pictures. I’m going to show you just a couple (okay maybe a few more than a couple) of photos of some more yummy yarn.

Now officially the following two lots of yarn weren’t purchased during a sale. They’re both from Zen Yarn Garden and because I’ve been buying two skeins in each of the ART WALK Series, I really can’t break the cycle can I?

The seventh offering in Zen Yarn Garden’s new ART WALK Series features a painting by Andy Warhol entitled “Blue and Pink Shoe“. Written on the painting is “you can lead a shoe to water, but you can’t make it drink.” Perhaps that is true but we like to think that a gorgeous shoe painting has been successful in inspiring Zen Yarn Garden’s dyer to pick up the dyes and create a beautiful colourway!

Andy Warhol’s pioneering Pop Art defined a decade and a culture, distinguishing him as one of the most influential, creative and prolific artists of the 20th century. Originally the most sought-after commercial artist in New York, Warhol (1923 – 1987) is most known for his multiple images of Campbell’s Soup cans, Coke bottles, dollar bills and celebrities, which exalted the beauty within ordinary objects and familiar images. Working out of a studio called The Factory, he invented the silk screening process which enabled him to mass produce a single image in his signature style. Warhol was also a talented filmmaker, music producer, commercial illustrator, author and magazine publisher. [quoted from Art.com]

Zen Yarn Garden Pink and Blue Shoe 1

The yarn is Serenity Silk Single which is a 4ply / fingering 75% merino / 15% cashmere / 10% silk yarn. This is the picture of the yarn from Zen Yarn Garden’s website.

Zen Garden Blue and Pink Shoe 03

And of course, a picture of Andy Warhol’s Blue and Pink Shoe.

Zen Garden Blue and Pink Shoe 04

Another little treasure that Zen Yarn Garden released a month or so ago is the absolutely gorgeous Pumpkin Pie Spice which is dyed on Serenity 20 a 70% merino / 20% cashmere /10% nylon 4ply / fingering yarn. When I first received the email from Zen Yarn Garden with the pictures of this yarn I instantly knew I had to have it so I contacted Sue at Yarn Glorious Yarn, who is the only Australian distributor, and she ordered some in. Thanks Sue!

Zen Yarn Garden Pumpkin Pie Spice 04

This is the photo that came in the email. Could you have resisted it?

Zen Yarn Garden Pumpkin Pie Spice 01

Now onto my delicious yarn clearance sale items which came from Yarn Glorious Yarn in Brisbane.

The Fibre Company Canopy Fingering which is a 50% alpaca / 30% merino / 20% bamboo light fingering / 3ply yarn. This colourway is Kingfisher. I bought four skeins of each of the next two colourways. There were AU$8.50 each.

The Fibre Co Canopy 4ply Kingfisher 02

This colourway is Yerba Mate.

The Fibre Co Canopy 4ply Yerba Mate 02

And this colourway is Blue Quandons. I bought the last two skeins.

The Fibre Co Canopy 4ply Blue Quandons 01

The Fibre Company Road to China which is a 65% alpaca / 15% silk / 10% Camel / 10% Cashmere Aran / 10ply yarn. The colourway is Autumn Jasper. This yarn is so incredibly soft and sumptuous. It cost AU$8.00 for each skein.

The Fibre Co Road to China WW Autumn Jasper 02

The following yarns were purchased from Spotlight. I had gone out to pick up some handmade soaps from my favourite handmade soap maker Vivianne-K and I thought ‘why not just drop into Spotlight for a quick look’. Big mistake!!! But look at the prices!

Five balls of Cleckheaton Country which is an 8ply 100% wool. Colourway is Blue Skies and they were AU$2.10 each.

Cleckheaton Country Blue 01

Six balls of Cleckheaton Country which is an 8ply 100% wool. Colourway is Lipstick and they were AU$2.10 each.

Cleckheaton Country Red 01

Five balls of Cleckheaton Country Naturals which is an 8ply 85% pure wool / 10% acrylic / 5% viscose. Colourway is Forest and they were AU$2.10 each.

Cleckheaton Country Naturals Green 01

Ten balls of Moda Vera Pure Wool Printed which is an 8ply 100% pure wool. Colourway is brown/charcoal and they were AU$1.20 each. I realised when I arrived home that I’d only been charged for one ball and not 10. The checkout girl waved the scanner over one ball and then forget to hit x 10 on the till. Maybe that’s because she was overwhelmed by all the wool on the counter.

Moda Vera Pure Wool Brown-Charcoal

Two balls of Moda Vera Kendra which is a 12ply / bulky 70% acrylic / 20% wool / 10% nylon. Colourway is Yellow and they were AU$3.59 each. This yarn will make nice strong market bags.

Moda Vera Kendra Yellow 01

Four balls of Moda Vera Kendra which is a 12ply / bulky 70% acrylic / 20% wool / 10% nylon. Colourway is Green and they were AU$3.59 each.

Moda Vera Kendra Green 01

Six balls of Moda Vera Chiquita which is a 44% acrylic / 36% sequins / 20% wool. Colourway is Cream and they were AU$1.20 each.

Moda Vera Chiquita Cream 01

Six balls of Moda Vera Chiquita which is a 44% acrylic / 36% sequins / 20% wool. Colourway is Purple and they were AU$1.20 each.

Moda Vera Chiquita Purple 01

Five balls of Moda Vera Taylor which is a 5ply / sport 56% polyester / 44% wool. Colourway is Brown and they were AU$1.80 each. I’m thinking of making the Glitz at the Ritz shawl with this yarn. What do you think?

Moda Vera Taylor 01

Nine balls of Moda Vera Gelato which is a 4ply / fingering 50% acrylic / 50% cotton. Colourway is Green and they were AU$1.79 each.

Moda Vera Gelato Green 01

And finally, the following yarns came from the Lincraft sale which was offering 40% storewide. I’m using these yarns to make crocheted market bags.

Nine balls of Lincraft Cosy which is an 8ply 100% wool. Colourway is Xmas. They were AU$3.59 each.

Lincraft Cosy Red Green White

Three balls of Lincraft Cosy which is an 8ply 100% wool. Colourway is Naturals. They were AU$3.59 each.

Lincraft Cosy Blue Brown Cream

And three balls of Lincraft Double Knitting which is an 8ply 100% acrylic. Colourway is Apricot. They were AU$2.09 each.

Lincraft DK

You’ll be pleased to know that I have already used some of the yarn and will feature these projects in future posts.

And so we come to the end of another yarnful year. I hope you’ve enjoyed my posts showing you all my knitted projects as well as the odd one or two yarn purchases. I also hope I’ve inspired you to knit some of the projects. One of my readers did contact me as she had made the In Threes Cardigan which I showed you here. She emailed me photos and the cardigan was beautiful!

I’ve posted approximately 115 stories since November last year; I didn’t realise I could talk write so much!

Have a safe New Year’s Eve and a healthy, happy 2014 full of yarnie goodness! Until next year…

Melanie

BTW, On the right hand side of the home page of my blog there are lots of interesting links. I’m not sure when you receive my weekly posts whether you see these links. If not, what you can do is click on the Home button which is at the top left hand side of the page. This will take you to the home page where you can view all the links plus the most recent post. One link also takes you directly to my Ravelry home page.

New Sock Blockers, Squirrel Cage Swift (and a little more yarn)

If you recall I told you the story recently about the new bobbins I had made, by a local retired wood turner, for my Little Peggy Spinning wheel. Well, today I picked up my newly made sock blockers and squirrel cage swift!!! I am so excited as they are gorgeous and look sooo good.

How’s this for a lovely pair of sock blockers!

New Sock Blockers 01

New Sock Blockers 03

I love the detail at the top of the blockers. He did such a great job!

New Sock Blockers 04

Now to my new squirrel cage swift. That’s the new swift on the left hand side and the old one I bought earlier this year on the right hand side.

New Squirrel Swift 01

The new one is slightly taller and has a slightly larger base which makes it a bit more stable when I’m winding my skeins.

It’s so lovely and smooth and the cages turn so effortlessly…

New Squirrel Swift 04

It also has more holes along the side for the various sized skeins that I have…

New Squirrel Swift 05

The reason I wanted a new swift was because the old one was a bit rickety and not very smooth in places so the yarn caught at times. Without me asking, my wood turner smoothed down the old swift, re-glued the base and gave it a coat of varnish so it’s as good as new. Now I have two fantastic swifts! Can’t wait to start winding some skeins now!

On the way home from picking up these goodies, my car suddenly had a mind of its own and for some reason or other I turned left into the Lincraft car park. Well it seemed silly not to slip inside to see whether I could pick up some yarn that could possibly be on sale. I mean….you’d do the same thing wouldn’t you?

Here are a few little gems that I found…

Some gorgeous Panda Magnum Soft 8ply acrylic which I am going to use to make this crocheted ripple blanket. This website has a great tutorial which I’ll be using.

Magnum Soft 02

Sixteen balls in total for AU$3.83 each. Beautiful colours aren’t they?

Magnum Soft 03

Five balls each of the following colours of Shepherd Colour 4 Me Prints at AU$4.18 a ball. It’s an 8ply 100% wool and each ball weighs 50g. I think they’ll make cute little toddler vests and hats.

Colour 4 Me Brights 01

Colour 4 Me Outback 01

Colour 4 Me Sea 01

I couldn’t walk past this gorgeous fluorescent yellow Cleckheaton Country 8ply 100% wool in the colourway ‘Neon’. Six balls at AU$3.48 each. Again, perfect for toddlers’ hats and vests.

Cleckheaton Country Neon 02

And finally, this lonely ball of Cleckheaton Country 8ply in the colourway ‘Citron’ was all by itself. I felt sorry for it so bought it to add to the collection of this colourway that I have in my stash!

Cleckheaton Country Citron

All I can say is that I’m stockpiling for when I retire (hopefully in under four years’ time) as I probably won’t be able to afford to buy yarn at the rate I do now. That’s my reasoning and I’m sticking to it 🙂

I hope you’re enjoying your weekend as much as I am. Until next time…

Melanie