Socks and Bags Swap

One of the benefits of belonging to different craft groups is you get to meet people who are proficient in crafts that you’re not! This was the case recently when one of my friends showed me a bag she’d made. I instantly wanted to own it so I asked her the cost and rather than give me a price she suggested a swap: I make her a pair of socks in return for the bag. What a win/win situation 🙂 Have a look at this lovely bag made of leather and tapestry fabric and fully lined.

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I love all the little pockets that Jo included inside the bag. It’s so easy to find everything. There’s even a key ring holder that’s attached to the bag so you’ll never lose your keys.

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In return I made Jo these Cable Rib Socks using Patons Patonyle 4ply yarn, probably one of my favourite sock yarns.
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I love the very subtle cable in this pattern. It complements this striped yarn nicely.
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When Jo published a comment recently on Facebook that she’d just made herself another denim bag and had cut out two more for sale, I immediately jumped in with a comment that I’d like to buy one as the denim bag would do nicely on the weekends. Again, Jo came back with the comment ‘how about another pair of socks?’. So I made another pair for Jo using the Circle Socks which is a free pattern on Ravelry.
Jos Circle Socks 01

This pattern is deceptively easy and the effect is fantastic!!

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I noticed on Ravelry that some people had continued the circle pattern down on the top of the foot but I felt that it would be a bit too textured and maybe uncomfortable when wearing shoes or boots for a while so I kept to the pattern which was just plain knitting for the foot.

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And this is my gorgeous denim bag made by Jo using recycled denim jeans.

Jos Bags 01

And customised especially for me 🙂 Love that zippered pocket on the outside of the bag.

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It also has the keyring holder attached to the bag. Plus the jeans’ pockets have been used on either side of the bag for more storage.

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Love the compartments inside and take a look at that gorgeous lining 🙂

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Plus a zippered pocket inside.

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I was very lucky as this bag came with its own matching purse.

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I am amazed at all the beautiful work including the personalised tag on the zip.

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Aren’t these bags just stunning? And they’re one of a kind too! I am very lucky indeed. I also discovered that Jo had kindly given both pairs of socks to family members so I am busily making another pair for Jo to keep for herself as she deserves them!

If you’re interested in Jo’s bags you can contact her via her Facebook page Jo’s Handy Handmade Bags.

And now a quick look at a few bargains I’ve managed to pick up at local Opp Shops. This is becoming quite a habit and is quickly filling my home with all things sheep!

Baa sheep mugSheep ceramic twoSheep PortugalSheep

And lastly some good news to share. I recently entered this competition:

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And I won the major prize!! A project bag stuffed with yarn 🙂

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This a truly wonderful prize and I must thank Alison from Flock and Needle for being so generous 🙂 And if you’re very quick you’ll catch the tail end of the Easter sale where all yarn and project bags are only $25 each!

Flock and Needle prize

My prize arrived on the Thursday before Easter so it was a lovely Easter gift without the calories 🙂

That’s all my news for now. I hope you’ve been doing lots of crafting during the Easter break as I have.

Until next time…

Melanie

Swirl E. Socks – Pair # 37

Since making my Dunedin Happy Feet Socks I’ve been in a sock knitting mood and have not long finished these socks called Swirl E.

Swirly E Socks Blue 03They’re a cuff down sock knitted on five dpns. The pattern is so easy and does not overpower the striping effect of the yarn.

Swirly E Socks Blue 05I must say out of all the beautiful sock yarns on the market today, you can’t really go past Patons Patonyle. It has such a wonderful stretch to it and feels lovely in your hands.

Patons Patonyle Sock Yarn BlueSwirly E Socks Blue 06I don’t often knit too much in blue but this yarn has been in my stash for quite a while so I thought I’d actually use it!. The patterning looks lovely and I even managed to get both socks almost identical!

Swirly E Socks Blue 02This pattern is by Susie White who’s known as prairiegirl on Ravelry. It’s a free pattern on Ravelry too.

Swirly E Socks Blue 07Another successful knitting project done and dusted. They’re very comfy too. I wore them last weekend 🙂

Swirly E Socks Blue 11Swirly E Socks Blue 04Swirly E Socks Blue 01I am busy packing for my holiday to Noosaville which is coming very, very soon so you can expect to hear from me more often while I’m away. Hopefully that is a good thing!

Until next time…

Melanie

 

Dunedin Happy Feet Socks

It’s only appropriate I should name these after the city I purchased the wool in and the name of the wool hence Dunedin Happy Feet!

The wool caught my eye as I was looking through the array of yarn for sale at Knit World in Dunedin during my recent cruise around New Zealand.

Happy Feet Sock Yarn OrangeThe yarn is made by Countrywide Yarn Ltd and is a delight to knit with.

The pattern is called Make Your Heels Strong and is a free sock knitting pattern on Ravelry.

Happy Feet Orange 19This particular heel does not require picking up stitches along the heel flap so it would be a lot easier for a beginner sock knitter to tackle.

Happy Feet Orange 16Having said that, I have knit quite a few pairs of socks and really don’t mind picking up the stitches.

Happy Feet Orange 20I’m very happy with these socks and I certainly love the colour!

Happy Feet Orange 16Happy Feet Orange 11I had an absolutely lovely day yesterday at a community Women and Weaving workshop. There are plenty of photos that you can view here.

weavingThat’s my news for now. Hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend filled with lots of crafty goodness.

Until next time…

Melanie

Simple Skyp Socks – Pair # 33

It had been ages since I’d made a pair of socks so during my July holidays I started these gorgeous socks from a free pattern I found on Ravelry. They’re called Simple Skyp Socks and they sure are simple.

Simple Skyp Socks 01

I love the easy to memorise two row repeat which certainly helped me to get into the rhythm of the pattern.

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And for once I selected a solid colour that would really show off the very smart stitch definition.

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The yarn I selected is Dyed By Hand YarnsTough Stocking in the colourway called Turmeric. It’s a 75% merino / 15%  nylon yarn and was beautiful to knit with.

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In total I used 66g of yarn and also used 2.5mm dpns.

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Over 3,400 pairs of this particular sock pattern have been used and recorded on Ravelry!!

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This is definitely a ‘come back to’ pattern. It’s a step up from a plain vanilla pattern and yet easy enough to knit when you’re chatting with friends as the pattern is not overly intricate but certainly looks effective.

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Now for a little bit of exciting news. I responded to a request on a recent Ravelry forum to test some sock yarn for an Aussie online yarn dyer and I opted to knit a pair of socks so I am using the same pattern to trial the sock yarn. I’ll be posting updates on my Ravelry page as I go so you can drop in at any time to have a look!

The sock yarn arrived today in the mail and I’ve already taken some photos. Here it is…

Augustbird Socks 01

Aside from my favourite autumn colours, I do love all the different shades of blue. This particular colourway is called ‘Ink’ and I must say I love it!

Augustbird Socks 02

One last look at my Simple Skyp Socks and then I’m off to wind this skein into a ball so I can get started!

Simple Skyp Socks 02

And I’m off to Knit and Knatter tomorrow. We’ll be at the Redland Performing Arts Centre in conjunction with a Suitcase Rummage that is being held there at 11am. Should be an exciting day! Every weekend is now filled with lots of fibre happenings 🙂

Until next time…

Melanie

A Nice Ribbed Sock….Pair # 20 and a Cute Little Baby Hat

While I was reading one of Knitting to Stay Sane’s blog posts I found the link to her free pattern called A Nice Ribbed Sock. I’ve knitted a 3 x 2 ribbed sock previously which I called my Harlequin Rib socks from the pattern Basic Ribbed socks which can be found in Ravelry.

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What I love about this pattern is that by just knitting a 3 x 1 rib adds some interest to the sock rather than a plain stockinette stitch. Had some difficulty trying to get a good photo to pick up the colours in the yarn which are charcoal, tan and a little bit of burnt orange.

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Hopefully these pictures taken outside may help to give you an idea of the colourway.

A Nice Ribbed Sock 06

The yarn I used is called Lana Grossa Meilenweit Grigio Sockenwolle. I think it may be discontinued now as I can’t find much information about it.

Lana Grossa Grigio Sock Yarn

The colour is a bit subdued compared to some of the bright colours I’ve been knitting with but it makes a change.

Thought I might also share with you this absolutely adorable Incredible Expanding Gnome Hat. I thought it was so cute I just had to knit it with no one in mind to give it to so I’ll just hang onto it until a little baby boy is born.

Baby Gnome Hat 1

I made it with Patons Big Baby 4ply yarn. Because I don’t have a baby or even a doll to use as a model, I had to resort to a candle jar just to give you an idea of how the hat looks when it’s on a round shape. Don’t laugh!

Baby Gnome Hat 2

Here’s the picture from the Ravelry page….much cuter. How can you not want to knit one after seeing this picture.

Baby Gnome Hat 3

Isn’t it just delightful? And it’s a free knitting pattern from Ravelry. Here’s the link if you’re interested in knitting one.

Time for me to go. Off to meet some of my crafty friends tonight for some eating, drinking coffee, talking and I’ll be taking my crocheting with me.

Talk soon

Melanie

River Rapids Socks…..Pair # 19 and a Train Crash!

Besides knitting socks from patterns that other very clever knitters have written, I also love the names of their patterns and often wonder about the meaning behind some of them. Some names are quite obvious, others not so much. This particular pattern speaks for itself and for once, I thought I’d actually try and knit a pair of socks in a colour that relates to the name of the pattern. Hence my River Rapids socks are knitted in a lovely greeny/bluey coloured sock yarn.

Socks # 19….and what a delightful pattern this is. I used a size larger needle 2.75mm rather than the 2.5mm that I have been using for all my other socks. I have found that with the finer sock yarn and 2.5mm needles the socks fit quite snugly. Using 2.75mm needles has solved this problem. I am very naughty as I hate knitting tension/gauge squares.

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This 16 row repeat pattern is exceptionally easy as 10 of the rows are exactly the same and you soon get used to the other six rows. I used 5 dpns. Also, when doing the heel turn I used a ssk rather than the k2tog…just what I’m used to.

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The pattern I used is called River Rapids Socks and it’s another free Ravelry sock pattern.

For such an easy pattern to knit it looks so intricate and beautiful.

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Lovely heel detail…

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The yarn is called Regia Hand-dye Effect and the colourway is Rock Garden. It’s the same yarn I used to knit my Rhubarb Cobblestone socks. The colour in this photo is slightly more vivid than it actually is.

Regia Hand Dyed Rock Garden 2

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On a different note, here in Cleveland where I live we were shocked on Thursday (31 January) when a train failed to stop and over ran the platform and into the newly multi million dollar refurbished station house. An investigation is currently being carried out but it looks like there were problems with the train’s brakes. I guess that’s pretty obvious to most of us!

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A picture of one of the carriages being lifted by crane during the night.

Carriages craned out

Even Wikipedia has updated their webpage about Cleveland Railway Station.

Well I’m off to finish another pair of socks. These socks are from a book recommended to me called Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn by Carol Sulcoski. Can’t wait to show them to you.

Knitting Handpainted Yarn lge

Bye for now…

Melanie

Maidenhair Fern Socks….Pair # 17

I know I say it in most of my posts but this is another one of my favourite free sock knitting patterns from Ravelry. What would I do without Ravelry I might add! The pattern is called Maidenhair Fern socks and I am enamoured with these socks.

Maidenhair Fern Socks 5

Maidenhair Fern Socks 1

The pattern detail is exquisite and not difficult to knit either. It’s a 16 row repeat pattern. I did make a few variations along the way. To start with I used 5 dpns rather than 4 dpns….only because that was how I was initially taught to knit socks and I find it easier to use 5 dpns. When I cast on there were 18 sts on each needle. As a tip, for the round where you had to increase 3 stitches evenly across (making a total of 75 stitches), I k23, kfb repeat 3 times. I then redistributed the stitches as follows: N1 – 30 sts; N2 – 15 sts; N3 – 15 sts; N4 – 15 sts.

After shaping the heel and picking up the stitches from both sides of the heel flap, I progressed to using 6 dpns!! What! you’re wondering….but I found it easier to use the 6 dpns. My stitches were distributed as follows: N1 – 31 sts; N2 – 15 sts; N3 – 15 sts; N4 – 15 sts; N5 – 31 sts. Needles 2, 3 and 4 were the pattern repeat stitches and because the pattern consisted of 15 stitches it was just easier for me to have one pattern repeat on each needle. It was a bit fiddly but worked for me.

Once the foot section was finished and I was ready to start the toe, I was required to knit one row decreasing 9 sts evenly across Needle 2 (which was my Needles 2, 3 and 4) so I k3, k2tog x 9 times.

I changed the toe decreases section to suit the type of toe finish I like best. First round was the same, followed by Round 2 knit, Round 3 as per Round 1, Round 4 knit and so on until there was a total of 20 sts (5 sts on each needle). Divided the 20 sts between two needles (10 sts on each needle) and then grafted the sts together (Kitchener stitch).

Maidenhair Fern Socks 2

Maidenhair Fern Socks 4

Look at the lovely detail of the maidenhair fern pattern.

Maidenhair Fern Socks 3

I’m also very happy with the yarn choice I made. This is Schoppel-Wolle  Zauberball Orange and what I really like about it is that it’s not a solid colour but two colours that complement each other and yet there is enough colour in each section to really show off the sock pattern to all its glory. What do you think?

Zauberball Orange

I’ve used the Zauberball and Crazy Zauberball and I really love this sock yarn. It’s probably one of my favourite sock yarns to knit with. I used the Crazy Zauberball yarn to knit my Mediterranean socks which I featured on a previous blog post as well as on my Ravelry page.

That’s it for now. I’m going to enjoy my lovely air conditioning as it’s another stinking hot day in Brisbane today. You’d melt if you were outside!

Talk soon,

Melanie