A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That

Over the weeks I’ve been gathering photos of lots of ‘bits and pieces’ to show you so this post is a bit of a mixed bag. BTW, this will be my 101st blog post. Can’t believe I’ve managed to generate so many posts in less than a year. At least it means I’ve actually been working through my stash (as well as constantly replenishing it….but we won’t mention that)!

One of my dear friends who retired a year or so ago has started crocheting and I must say she is ‘hooked’ on it!! Every few days she shares her projects on Facebook and this little christening dress and shoes are just so beautiful and adorable I just had to show them to you.

Christening Dress 01

The shoes are a little big for baby so they are being remade in a smaller size. The christening is in October. I can’t wait to see pictures of little Matilda in her dress.

Christening Dress 02

I bought this quilted knitting tote on sale at Spotlight recently. It has so much room in it.

Quilted Tote 01

It also came with a small purse that is attached and will hold scissors, stitch markers and my tape measure. There’s also a zip up knitting needle case.

Quilted Tote 02

Now I don’t do much sewing but when knitting I am sometimes required to sew on buttons and of course there’s all the weaving in the ends of every item I knit. My old plastic sewing box is over 40 years old and has lost its lid so I thought it was time to spoil myself and buy a new one. Another Spotlight purchase.

Sewing Box 01

I like the transparent tray so you can see through to the bottom of the sewing box. It also comes with its own small pin cushion.

Sewing Box 02

I’ve been using my squirrel cage swift quite a bit lately.

Squirrel Swift 01

It’s so much fun winding all my skeins into balls. The thicker yarn winds a lot easier than the finer 4ply yarn. I have to be very careful not to go too fast otherwise I can run the risk of the yarn tangling around the cages. Yikes….it’s not much fun trying to untangle it either.

Squirrel Swift 04

I bought the ball winder on Ebay for a few dollars. It’s such an ingenious invention. From each skein grows a lovely ball of wool with a centre pull start.

Squirrel Swift 05

Here’s another nifty cowl which I’ve called my Bramble Cowl. The pattern can be found under the Free Knitting Patterns section along the top banner of my blog or here on Ravelry.

Bramble Cowl 03

The yarn I used is Moda Vera Bouvardia which is so incredibly colourful. It’s a 10 ply / worsted 70% acrylic / 30% wool. The beauty about this yarn is you can turn the cowl upside down to get a completely different look as the yarn does not repeat its colours very often.

Bramble Cowl 05

Once a month on a Friday as I walk to work there’s usually a charity stall selling lots of second hand goods, knitted goods, cakes and plants. A couple of weeks ago I found these two lovely jewellery holders. I only paid $3 for both of them. I think they look quite cute standing on a chest of drawers in my bedroom with this lovely address book in the middle.

Black lady hangers 01

When I was on holidays in Noosavile in July I found this gorgeous bright orange oil burner. I’ve been searching for an orange one for about a year and finally found this little beauty in a small gift shop in Thomas Street.

Black lady hangers 02

It has a huge water bowl so there’s no risk of the water evaporating too quickly. It cost $14.95 which is more than what I would usually pay for an oil burner but I just didn’t want to risk not being able to find this colour again.

Orange oil burner 01

And finally, about a month ago one of my fave Brisbane online yarn suppliers Yay for Yarn updated their website. Kiri placed a message on the FB page asking for feedback, ie whether the new site was better, were there any problems, etc. Obviously no one did provide feedback so Kiri took another tack and started a discussion on her Ravelry page and offering $35 worth of yarn to anyone who trialled the webste (not necessarily to purchase yarn) and let her know what they thought of it. Well there was an influx of interest! It’s amazing how the prospect of free yarn can motivate people. I got onto the website and actually ended up buying some yarn (surprise, surprise!). I gave my feedback which was the new website was so much quicker to scroll through.

Anyway, the winner was drawn and you guessed it…..I was the winner. Here’s the yarn I chose…Dream in Color It’s Native which is a 2ply / lace 52% mohair / 48% merino yarn. The skein contains 700 yards. This yarn has been discontinued as of March 2013 so I’m lucky to get one of the last skeins. Here’s a lovely description of the yarn from Ravelry:

Luscious, velvety domestic mohair from Stotts’ Ranch in Texas lends this lace-weight yarn its irresistible, kitten-like soft­ness. The fiber content, combined with our unique dyeing process, gives It’s Native its deep and lushly-shaded tones, while the luxuri­ous texture makes for exquisite, special occasion, gift-worthy accessories.

Dream in Color Its Native Gold Experience 01

And a close up of that Gold Experience colourway…

Dream in Color Its Native Gold Experience 02

And for the grand finale….a picture of the Knit and Knatter group (sans Gillian who took the photo) last Saturday at The Artist Tree. That’s me at the back in the middle knitting my Serengeti Scarf. And look at those beautiful bright crocheted squares made by Kathleen….can’t wait to see the completed project.

Knit and Knatter group resized

That’s all my ‘bits and pieces’ for the moment. Hope you have a wonderful long Labour Day weekend. Until next time…

Melanie

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Noosaville Knitting News # 6

Today has been very wet as far as the weather is concerned! But there’s one thing about rainy weather…it’s very conducive for knitting…but in my case…every day is a knitting day!

The river front was quite bleak as I walked up the esplanade to settle myself into having a nice coffee and start knitting my fourth cowl.

Bramble Cowl 01

As I’ve mentioned previously these cowls are so easy to knit and are ideal projects to carry in your bag for when you have a spare moment. I’ve got no idea what the finished cowl will look like as this yarn is quite unique…it very rarely repeats the colours and more often than not there are colours hiding within the ball so it’s quite a surprise as you’re knitting to see what colour appears. The yarn is Moda Vera Bouvardia.

Bramble Cowl 02

On my way home from the coffee shop I took these photos…even though it was raining it is still very magical and misty on the river front.

DSC03103

DSC03104

DSC03105

And this is the block of units I’m staying in…my unit stretches across the ground floor.

Anchorage Noosaville

I forgot to show you something else that I bought at the Eumundi Markets on Wednesday. It’s a salt lamp. Now, they’re supposed to have all these therapeutic benefits but I only bought one because it glows a gorgeous orange colour and will look spectacular in my bedroom. It’s still in the box but I managed to find a picture online which is very similar to mine. They’re supposed to be left on all day, every day unless you go away on holidays when they should be wrapped in cling film. It’s quite stunning isn’t it?

Salt_Lamps

Rain is predicted for tomorrow (Saturday) with a fine and cold day on Sunday. Can’t wait for that cold weather to hit. All going well I’ll be on a boat trip on the Noosa River with friends on Sunday. Fingers crossed the wind doesn’t spoil that.

Until next time…from a wet and rainy but still a very beautiful Noosaville…

Melanie

Noosaville Knitting News # 4 and my Embers Cowl

I enjoyed another wonderful day today on the beautiful Sunshine Coast. My dear friend Janelle who lives in this part of the world drove me to the Eumundi Markets which are always a must to visit if you’re in this part of the world. The Eumundi Markets has a diverse and amazing range of art, craft, products, entertainment and local produce and are open on Saturdays and Wednesdays each week.

We hadn’t long arrived and were walking past this stall full of witches when someone clapped their hands and most of witches started moving and cackling. It sure gave me a fright.

Eumundi 06

Eumundi 07

The Eumundi Markets consists of over 80 stalls showcasing local, handmade and international products including jewellery, clothing, skincare, giftware, kitchenware, shoes, childrenswear, bags and accessories, music, coffee, sweets, nuts and more.

You’ll also find gourmet foods and takeaway food stalls such as German sausages, yummy freshly made banana smoothies, poffertjes, momos and home made ginger beer.

Eumundi 05

Gorgeous bags of all different sizes and with lovely designs on them. I resisted and didn’t buy one.

Eumundi 03

Lots of lovely knick knacks too.

Eumundi 04

I can’t resist homemade soaps made with olive or vegetable oils. The top soap is Rose Geranium, Patchouli and Orange (+ rosehip oil and French red clay) and the bottom soap is Lemon Myrtle, May Chang and Eucalyptus (+ chamomile extract and crushed lemon myrtle leaves).

Eumundi Soap 01

The top soap is Cedarwood, Cinnamon and Orange (+ crushed dandelion root and beta carotene) and the bottom soap is Lemongrass, Rosemary and Lavender (+ seaweed and Australian washed blue clay).

Eumundi Soap 03

I also picked up this neat little sun hat as, all going well, I’ll be going out on a boat trip this Sunday and will definitely need a hat to protect me from the glare and sun.

Eumundi Hat 08

This stall captured the attention of everyone. It was stuffed animals singing and dancing…

Eumundi 01

And behind the scenes was the operator who was doing the singing, playing the guitar and moving the animals by moving his feet which had strings attached to them and they moved various parts of the stuffed animals. Very clever!

Eumundi 02

On the way home Janelle took me for a drive through Tewantin, Cooroibah and Boreen Point as well as a visit to Mount Tinbeerwah where we walked up to the lookout which had a great view of both Lake Cooroibah and Lake Cootharaba. I forget to take my camera with me but it was quite overcast and misty anyway so the photos probably wouldn’t have done the view any justice.

When I arrived home I went for a quick walk along the waterfront and came across this pelican enjoying himself in the river.

Noosaville Pelican 01

Noosaville Pelican 02

And just to make sure I include a bit of knitty goodness in my blog post, here’s some pictures of my Embers Cowl which I made yesterday.

Cowl Embers 03

I used a ball of Moda Vera Bouvardia yarn and size 9mm circular knitting needles.

Cowl Embers 04

This cowl is so easy to make. Cast on 68 stitches, join in the round and place a marker. Alternate rounds between knit and purl so you get an overall garter stitch effect. Make sure you leave enough yarn to bind off. You can add one twist before joining the round if you wish but I decided not to with this one.

Cowl Embers 05

This is my third cowl using this yarn. They’re so warm and not itchy at all. Plus they’re very light and don’t feel constricting around your neck.

Cowl Embers 06

That’s my news for today. Thanks again to Janelle for taking me sightseeing today to places I’ve not been to before.

Until next time…from beautiful Noosaville…

Melanie

Harlequin Cowl and My Squirrel Cage Swift

This is a super quick easy knit and it looks fabulous if you use a multi-coloured yarn. I call it my Harlequin Cowl. It’s based on the pattern I used for my Vesuvius Cowl but I’ve simplified it by using circular needles so there’s no join.

Simply cast on 68 stitches on size 9mm circular needles. I made sure there was one twist before joining in the round. You can elect not to have the twist…it’s up to you. I also placed a marker at the join as I alternated every round with knitting and purling. Because you are knitting in the round this gives you an overall garter stitch effect.

Harlequin Cowl 01

Harlequin Cowl 03

The yarn I used is Moda Vera Bouvardia which is perfect for this projects as it is so colourful and the different colours hardly seem to repeat themselves. This yarn is a 10ply (worsted) 70% acrylic / 30% wool and is not itchy when it’s around your neck.

Turn the cowl around and different colours are displayed!

Harlequin Cowl 04

It took me a week to finish this cowl as I only did a few rows every day. However, it is quite achievable to finish the cowl in a day. Start it in the morning and wear it in the afternoon or evening!

Harlequin Cowl 05

I’ll end up having five of these cowls as that’s how many different balls of Bouvardia yarn I bought! It’s so easy to slip one over your head when it’s a bit breezy outside.

Now, remember when I blogged about the spinning wheel package that I bought for AU$50 and in particular the squirrel cage swift? Well yesterday I had a bit of wool winding to do in readiness for taking away on my holidays, so out came the now cleaned up squirrel cage swift. I clamped my wool winder on the top bar and once I’d worked out which ‘cage’ to put at the bottom and at the top to ensure they turned effortlessly I was away and quickly wound three skeins of 2ply yarn.

Squirrel Swift 01

Squirrel Swift 02

Pretty cool isn’t it?

Squirrel Swift 03

I’m now off to try and finish some knitting projects because I am so tempted to start this little baby cardigan called ‘In Threes’. I’ve bought the pattern and got the yarn all ready to go but I am forcing myself to try and not start another project until I have finished some. It’s sooo hard.

Until next time…

Melanie

Barnwood Hat and Cowl

I discovered Ravelry in August 2011 and have found it to be an invaluable source of information for all my knitting needs, in particular sourcing patterns in general and patterns specific to certain yarns. Their databases are mind boggling! There are literally thousands of patterns to select from.

I have also joined a number of groups and share my projects with those groups. This was how I discovered Augustbird’s group and subsequently the KAL that closes on 30 April 2013. The requirement is to knit any Two Little Plums patterns using an Augustbird yarn. Now when I first read those instructions I read the word ‘Two’ as the number 2 and immediately thought I had to knit two items. So off I went to Augustbird’s website and purchased 2 x Two Little Plums knitting patterns and two skeins of Augustbird yarn.

The patterns I selected were the Barnwood Hat

Barnwood Hat original

and the Barnwood Cowl. (Oh, if only I looked as good as the model in these photos…sigh!)

Barnwood Cowl original

I used Augustbird’s Hearty DK in the colourway ‘This Earth’. After realising my faux pas, I was quite pleased I’d purchased both the hat and the cowl patterns as these garments complement each other nicely. I also love the rich green tones in this yarn.

Augustbird This Earth 2

Hearty DK is a 100% superwash merino and weighs 100g. The skein contains 231 yards / 211 metres. With the left over yarn from the hat I simply knitted the cowl a little longer.

Barnwood Hat 04

Barnwood Hat 07

I thought I’d have to rush to get both items knitted as I have so many other UFOs scattered throughout my home but lo and behold I finished both of them before the end of March !! As required, I published a comment and photo of each item on the Augustbird Group page and entered both items as projects on my Ravelry page.

Barnwood Cowl 04

I had so many problems trying to get a true picture of the colour of the cowl. The picture above shows the whole of the cowl although the colour is not quite correct. The picture below shows only a portion of the cowl however the colour is truer.

Barnwood Cowl 02

Now I am the proud owner of a lovely hat and cowl all ready for the cooler Brisbane weather that I hope arrives soon! Just need to wait and see who wins the KAL prize which is a pattern and a skein of Augusbird yarn. Fingers crossed J

Until next time…

Melanie