An Easy Zig Zag Scarf and an Upcoming Fibre Lover’s Day

I fell in love with this colourway when I purchased this roving from Kathy’s Fibres and it’s called ‘William’. With two 100g rovings spun and plied together, I ended up with a generous amount to knit a scarf. William roving 02On one of my numerous searches through Ravelry’s pattern database I stumbled across the ZickZack scarf and was immediately taken with it. I do love the chevron pattern look and thought this would suit my William yarn as it would naturally self-stripe. William Handspun 03Once I knitted a few rows I could see I’d hit the jackpot with this pattern and yarn and others around me kept commenting on how great it was looking and asking me for the pattern. ZickZack William 07Because I wasn’t alternating between colours as indicated in the pattern, I simply cast on cast on 60 st  and repeated k5 k2tog k4 kfb to the end of each row. It’s that simple! If you want to change the width of your scarf all you do is increase or decrease by groups of 12 sts. ZickZack William 01Now it doesn’t get much easier than that does it?

ZickZack William 04 ZickZack William 03Just a reminder to those of you who live in the Brisbane area, the Redlands Spinners & Weavers 2015 Open Day is on Tuesday, 16 June at a brand new venue – Redland Performing Arts Centre, 2-16 Middle Street, Cleveland (opposite the police station) from 10am – 2pm. RPAC_Spinners_Weavers_DL_FRONTRPAC_Spinners_Weavers_DL_V6-2This year it promises to be a fantastic day with a few new traders plus all our other fabulous traders. If you’re into fibre and yarn and love mixing with like-minded people, be sure to come along. Here’s a taster of some of the traders:

Earth and Stone Creations – Kimberly makes stunning pottery yarn bowls and stitch markers and she’s even bringing along some pottery sheep mugs (I’ve already ordered two!!)

Yarn bowls 01Shorn Fibers – Angela is one of my favourite indie yarn dyers; I love her work! Now is your opportunity to stock up on yarn without having to pay for postage.

Shorn Fibers 02VivianneK Handmade Soap – I first discovered Vivianne’s soaps a few years ago at my first Open Day. I love it and buy it by the block. Vivianne also makes handmade lip balms, laundry cream and lot of other goodies. This year she’ll be bringing along some of her needle felted sheep and spinning / knitting pendants too. VivianneK soaps 2Vivianne-K Needle Felted SheepKnitting pendant-tilePlus of course, there’ll be Desley’s hand sewn and embroidered goods, Arthur’s stationery that features lots of sheep / spinning designs, a demonstration and display of Owen’s (who’s known as Wheelsmith on Ravelry) antique spinning wheels, Lindy’s yarn and Ashford goods, Chantelle from Fiberific, Ursula from BB Yarn Supply, the Gold Coast Spinners with all their fibre, alpaca fleeces, members’ goods for sale, second hand goods, a ragmatting and spinning demonstration, multiple raffle prizes and our fabulous fashion parade of items made by our members, with some articles for sale.

All this for a mere $5 entry which entitles you to a ticket in the lucky door prize and light refreshments. This will be a day to remember! I can’t wait!.

By the way, I had a fabulous day on Sunday at the Queensland Spinners & Weavers Open Day. I’ll show you what I bought in a future post 🙂

Until next time…

Melanie

 

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The Anemone Pair

It’s been a very scary few days for those who live in Central Queensland with the arrival of Tropical Cyclone (TC) Marcia. While the cyclone was hitting the coast, here in Brisbane we were experiencing lots of rain from another weather effect and then as TC Marcia was downgraded and travelled down the coast we had even more rain yesterday. It’s been a great couple of days for knitting and spinning and I’ve done both.

Today the sun has come out so I’ve managed to take some photos of three completed projects.

I bought two of these rovings a while ago and have had the spun skeins sitting in my stash for a while now. So I thought I’d make another One Row Handspun Scarf as it’s an easy pattern and I’m planning on taking the scarf to New Zealand in April. Hopefully, I’ll get to wear it quite a bit.

Anemone 01The spun yarn came out a treat and I love all the colour changes.

Anemone 06I think the scarf looks fantastic!

Anemone Handspun Scarf 05Anemone Handspun Scarf 06I used size 5mm needles as the yarn lends itself to roughly a 10ply yarn.

Anemone Handspun Scarf 07As with my previous One Row Handspun Scarf, I added the tassels. There’s eleven on each end and each tassel contains 5 x 10 inch lengths of yarn doubled over.

Anemone Handspun Scarf 09With the leftover yarn I decided to make a hat. I had no idea whether I’d have enough yarn so I just started on this pattern which is distributed by Bendigo Woollen Mills.

Anemone Handspun Hat 01Anemone Handspun Hat 02I’m pretty pleased with the result. Do you know how many photos I had to take to get these half-decent ones? Heaps and heaps is all I can say. Thank goodness for digital cameras where you can just hit the delete button because I did that a few times. I felt like a bit of a dill standing with a woollen scarf around my neck and a hat on my head in this hot weather. But it’s worth it when I manage to get a few good photos to share with you 🙂

As it’s a bit of a slouchy hat, I can fold the brim up to make it a snugger fit.

Anemone Handspun Hat 04Anemone Handspun Hat 06As you can see I did run out of yarn but was lucky enough to find this Bella Baby Alpaca Blend yarn in my stash.

Bella Baby Alpaca Blend Blue 02A cute little hat even if I say so myself.

Anemone Handspun Hat 11Anemone Handspun Hat 12I love the decreasing effect too.

Anemone Handspun Hat 13And just to finish off, I made this Ruffles Cowl a while ago. It’s a very quick knit.

Ruffles Cowl 04I can see me wearing this cowl when cruising around Milford Sound in New Zealand as that will probably be one of the coldest places I visit.

I made it with Sullivans Celtic which is a 10ply yarn.

Here’s a sneaky peek at my latest lot of spinning that I started yesterday. The colour is called ‘Outback’ and it’s one of the rovings I bought from Kathy’s Fibres.

Outback 01That’s all my news for now. I hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend filled with lots of fibre and yarn.

Until next time…

Melanie

 

 

 

Two Handspun Woolly Neck Knits

Another handspun garment has flown off the needles! I am particularly happy with this ‘Forest’ Handspun Scarf. The spinning is getting to be quite consistent and the colours are simply wonderful.

From this…

Forest roving 02

To this…

Forest Handspun 02

To this luscious skein…

Forest Handspun 05

To this beautiful scarf…

Forest Handspun Scarf 01

Isn’t the striping effect gorgeous?

Forest Handspun Scarf 03

The pattern is called One Row Handspun Scarf from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka The Yarn Harlot and it can be found on Ravelry. It is soooo easy to knit and is reversible which is what I like in a scarf.

I added a lovely fringe to make it look like the scarves I used to wear when I was a little girl and my family lived in the UK for a year.

Forest Handspun Scarf 06

Forest Handspun Scarf 07

I bought the two x 100g rovings from Kathy’s Fibres. They are lovely to spin from and Kathy’s colours are amazing.

Forest Handspun Scarf 08

The scarf is 100% merino wool.

Forest Handspun Scarf 11

Forest Handspun Scarf 13

The second handspun garment is a 50/50 kid mohair/merino cowl. It was challenging trying to spin this yarn and it became a very thick and thin textured labour of love.

The original fibre was very soft and fluffy…

Kid Mohair 01

As you can see it is very thick and thin…

Kid Mohair 04

The colourway is called ‘Autumn’ and it has lovely bits of blue and orange throughout it…

Kid Mohair 06

The two skeins have a real ‘chunky’ look about them…

Kid Mohair 08

But as I learn every day, there are no mistakes in spinning. The thick and thin look is actually what some spinners aim to achieve and here I am doing it without even trying!!

I only had enough yarn to make this very warm and incredibly soft cowl…

Kid Mohair Cowl 01

Not bad for a spinning ‘disaster’ is it?

Kid Mohair Cowl 02

This is also the same One Row Handspun Scarf except I joined the ends to make a cowl.

Kid Mohair Cowl 03

I love all those muted colours.

Kid Mohair Cowl 04

Only a small cowl but very big on warmth and character I must say!

Kid Mohair Cowl 06

You could say I am very happy with my handspun achievements to date. Plus I am going to have the warmest neck in the whole world next winter 🙂

Before I go I must let you know that I have subscribed to Dyed By Hand Yarns’ 2014 Simply Sock Club and the first instalment is released next week! I can’t wait!

The theme for 2014 is Australia II – colours inspired by the ocean, sea, sails and coastlines. This is a six month sock yarn only club and you receive:

Two skeins of sock yarn posted out in the last week in March, May and July. Yarns included are 2 x Tough Stocking, 1 x Mother’s Love, 1 x Big Blue Stocking, 1 x Silk Stocking and 1 x Blue Chip Stocking.

Each skein of yarn is dyed in a colour inspired by something Australian. These colours are exclusive to yarn club members for 12 months. Plus custom dyeing of these colours on any yarn base may be ordered by yarn club members for the duration of the club.

Now as I have mentioned, I have no financial or other affiliation with Dyed By Hand Yarns. I simply love to promote fantastic Aussie artisan hand-dyed yarns and fibres as they are spectacular. Here’s my story about the 2013 Simply Sock Club with pictures of all the yarns. And remember, you don’t necessarily have to knit socks with the yarns….you can also knit some beautiful scarves and shawls.

One more pic of my scrumptious Forest Handspun Scarf…

Forest Handspun Scarf 04

That’s all for now. Until next time…

Melanie

My First Knitted Handspun Garments!!

I’m sooo excited as I’ve finally managed to knit my first two garments from my own handspun yarn. I didn’t think this would ever happen.

It’s gone from this…

Citrus roving 02

To this…

Citrus Handspun 01

Then this…

Citrus Handspun 19

To finally….this gorgeous hat…

Citrus Hspun Hat 01

I love this beautiful pattern…

Citrus Hspun Hat 04

I found the pattern in the Knitting: 100+ Patterns Throughout the Year: 2012 Day-to-Day Calendar and it’s called Heart Vines.

Aren’t those colours simply stunning!

Citrus Hspun Hat 10

But wait, there’s more. I also made this lovely cowl too…

Citrus Hspun Cowl 01

It’s the very popular Honey Cowl….over 15,000 have been made and are featured on Ravelry.

Both my head and my neck are going to be toasty warm this winter. The pattern gives you a lovely textured and thick cowl.

Citrus Hspun Cowl 05

Depending on how much yarn you have you can make the smaller version like I did. There’s also a longer version.

Citrus Hspun Cowl 07

Here’s a picture of that beautiful textured stitch definition which is simply alternate rows of garter stitch and slip 1 wyif, purl 1 repeated.

Citrus Hspun Cowl 10

I’ve also started knitting my third garment with my second lot of handspun and have also got the third lot of handspun on my Ettrick wheel. It’s called ‘Envy’ and it’s one of the many rovings I bought from Kathy’s Fibres.

Envy roving 02

Busy, busy, busy…that’s what I am.

Citrus Hspun Hat 09

Citrus Hspun Hat 06

I hope you’re having a wonderful yarnie weekend too!

Until next time…

Melanie

‘Forest’ Handspun Yarn

I’m on a bit of a roll when it comes to my spinning. Now that I’ve settled into using my Ettrick spinning wheel and loving how it works, I can’t get away from it! I even missed eating my dinner last Friday night as I was so engrossed in plying this yarn!

Forest Handspun 01

This is part of the large number of rovings I purchased from Kathy’s Fibres last year for only $11 each. This particular colourway is called ‘Forest’.

Forest roving 02

I love all these ‘earthy’ colours…

Forest Handspun 02

The plied and skeined wool came out a treat…

Forest Handspun 05

I am finally managing to retain some consistent thickness with my spinning. I didn’t think it would ever happen!

Forest Handspun 06

I couldn’t get all the yarn onto the one bobbin so I’ve ended up with a large ball weighing 166g and a smaller one weighing 32g.

Forest Handspun 07

I’ve even found a pattern I may use. It’s The Yarn Harlot’s One Row Handspun Scarf. I think it’ll look lovely in this yarn.

Forest Handspun 17

We found a new venue for our Knit and Knatter twice monthly gatherings which we visited yesterday. It’s the Hoya Garden Plaza and it’s perfect for our needs. There’s so much seating room that’s all under cover and it could even cater for multitude spinning wheels. Their coffee and cakes were wonderful and it was so peaceful overlooking all the plants.

One of my lovely friends lent me these two books to read. I am quite in love with both of them so of course I’ve sourced them on the internet and bought them from Abebooks!

The first is Elizabeth’s Zimmerman’s Knitting Around.

Knitting Around

There’s a great book review that can be found here.

And the second book is Amy King’s Spin Control, perfect for a newby spinner like me who’s still experimenting with lots of things.

Spin Control

Spin Control teaches you to make handspun yarns that may include the best traits of commercial yarns but always have their own personal touches. From soft, bulky singles to durable cabled yarns with terrific stitch definition and from tweedy yarns with rich texture and color to serviceable 3-ply that holds up to heavy use, the sky is the limit with this book.

Teacher, store owner, and fiber source Amy King of Spunky Eclectic shares her time-tested techniques for success in Spin Control, which include:

How to adjust spinning wheels for best results with the least effort How to combine techniques to create beautiful yarns. Instructions and brilliant photography on core spinning and other less traditional techniques And, Amy even takes you off the beaten path and shows you the exciting opportunities of novelty yarns. So you can explore the types of yarn and create beautiful, functional handspun to meet your fibre needs. From skinny 2-ply lace yarns to sturdy cabled yarns, Spin Control has the fundamentals you need for one-of-a-kind yarns.

There’s a great book review than can be found here.

One more look at my handspun yarn…

Forest Handspun 13

Forest Handspun 14

Hope you’re all enjoying your weekend! Until next time…

Melanie

Citrus Handspun Goodness

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll have noticed that I’ve been knitting lots but not doing much in the way of spinning. Since I was first taught how to spin about 18 months ago I haven’t practised as much as I should have! But that has all changed since I started using my Ettrick Standard spinning wheel that I bought not long ago. I love it! Maybe I’m more suited to the double drive. What I really love is how the Ettrick gently but firmly pulls the wool from the roving and I just have to guide it through the orifice. It’s very effortless for me which is what I love.

This particular handspun 100% merino that I purchased at the Redland Spinners and Weavers open day in June 2012 was actually spun on my Ashford Traveller. It sat on the bobbins for ages before I plied, niddy-noddied, washed and skeined it last week.

I quickly grabbed a picture of the last bit of the roving so you can see the original colourway.

Colourwheel Spun 06

And here are the two full bobbins…

Colourwheel Spun 05

Still not a perfectly consistent spun yarn but I am getting there compared to my first attempt!

Colourwheel Spun 04

Lots of interesting colours in this colourway so I have called it ‘Colourwheel’…

Colourwheel Spun 03

Now this is what I have spun on my Ettrick wheel…

Citrus Handspun 01

I purchased this roving from Kathy’s Fibres. In fact, I actually purchased 2 x 100g rovings of seven colours to maximise the postage costs. Remember, I believe in spending money to save money! These 100g rovings only cost AU$11 each which is a fantastic price.

This colourway is called ‘Citrus’…

Citrus roving 02

Beautiful, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, this photo is a bit overexposed but it does show two full bobbins…

Citrus Handspun 02

Rather than use the inbuilt Lazy Kate on the Ettrick, I used the one on my newly acquired Fomotor Peacock spinning wheel (which I will blog about in the near future once I have taken more photos). The reason I did this is because I like to have the yarn behind and to the right of me rather than in front of me plus the weight of the Peacock wheel really anchored the bobbins quite nicely.

Citrus Handspun 04

Two niddy noddies full of scrumptious handspun yarnie goodness…

Citrus Handspun 05

I am loving those citrusy shades….

Citrus Handspun 07

I am so excited as I spun each 100g so consistently there was only a very, very small amount left on one bobbin after plying….enough to use as ties on each skein.

Citrus Handspun 08

Yarn goodness drying in the hot sun…

Citrus Handspun 10

Citrus Handspun 13

Dried and skeined…

Citrus Handspun 14

Beautiful crisp citrus shades…

Citrus Handspun 19

Time to be wound into a ball on the squirrel cage swift…

Citrus Handspun 21

The consistency isn’t looking too bad at all!

Citrus Handspun 23

Two wound balls of handspun…one 89g and the other 109g…

Citrus Handspun 24

Now the big question is what to make???? A scarf? a hat? I need a pattern that will really show off all these lovely colours.

Citrus Handspun 28

Love it, love it, love it!

Citrus Handspun 29

Anyone would think I’m the only person who’s spun yarn in the whole world! I guess what it all boils down to is a sense of achievement when you finish a job, no matter what it is. Now all I need is another set of hands….one set to spin and the other to knit!!

Until next time…

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.

Rovings Ramblings

Just thought I’d give you a quick peek at the rovings I bought from Kathy’s Fibres recently. Kathy is located in South Australia and has an amazing website full of gorgeous yarnie bits and pieces.I am hoping that my spinning consistency improves quickly so I can use these rovings. I want to make sure I spin some lovely wool with these gorgeous rovings. I bought two of each and each one weighs 100g.

Autumn….Handpainted merino 21.5mic roving in autumn shades of rust, deep maroon and muted green.

Autumn roving 02

Citrus….Handpainted merino 21.5mic roving in the colours of oranges, lemons and limes.

Citrus roving 02

Envy…what other colours would you handpaint a roving called Envy but green, lovely shades of green.

Envy roving 02

Forest…Handpainted merino 21.5mic roving in colours depicting the many  trees of a
forest.

Forest roving 02

Outback…Handpainted merino 21.5mic roving in shades of the Aussie outback.

Outback roving 02

Strelitzia…Handpainted merino 21.5mic roving in lovely greens pinks and browns.

Strelitzia roving 02

William…Handpainted merino 21.5mic roving in many shades of brown, very earthy.

William roving 02

Aren’t they all stunningly beautiful? And a very affordable $11 each!!

Can’t wait to start spinning with them.

I’m off to meet with the Redland Spinners and Weavers at their Knit and Knatter at The Artist Tree tomorrow afternoon followed by a visit to the Twilight Makers Market in Cleveland.

Until next time…

Melanie