Saving the Planet One Bag at a Time

Earlier this year American Yarns, a Melbourne online yarn shop, contacted me to see whether I’d like to trial some of the their yarns. I jumped at the opportunity and decided to select a favourite cotton of mine, Lily Sugar ‘n Cream which comes in lovely solids, stripes and ombres.

I asked for some bright colours and was sent these gorgeous ones: Mod Green, Sunshine and Dazzle Blue.

Lily Sugar n Cream Mod Green-tile

I had in mind to crochet my favourite market bag. In fact, it’s the only pattern I ever use as I’m not a prolific crocheter: knitting is more my thing. I’ve made lots of these bags and used a pattern I found in an Australian knitting magazine which, unfortunately, is no longer in production.

Creative Knitting 02

I love this pattern as it makes a decent size bag which can hold quite a bit. Lily Sugar ‘n Cream is an ideal cotton to use as it’s a strong 8-10ply 100% cotton and is machine washable. I used a size 5mm hook.

Sponsored Market Bag 08

These colours really pop!! No one will miss you when you’re carrying this market bag ūüôā

The base is nice and firm and strong.

Sponsored Market Bag 07

Now that single use plastic bags have been banned in Queensland (and no doubt in other places around the world), the traditional crocheted ‘string’/market bag is becoming very popular.

Sponsored Market Bag 04

There’s nearly 1,000 free patterns for knitted and crocheted market bags on Ravelry. These bags make fantastic usable gifts and there’s nothing better than a handmade gift.

Pop on over to American Yarns‘ website, check out their Lily Sugar ‘n Cream cottons as well as their other great yarns and support an Aussie small¬† business!

Until next time…

 

 

Melanie

 

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Knitting at a Scrapbooking Retreat!

My usual weekend post is a bit late this week as I’ve just spent a fantastic weekend knitting at a scrapping retreat! My friend Helen who’s an avid scrapbooker asked me if I’d be interested in the weekend retreat and I could bring my knitting along. Wow what an opportunity….nearly three days of knitting….who could say no to that.

The venue we stayed at was Stacey’s at the Gap which is nestled adjacent to the Main Range National Park at Cunningham’s Gap in south east Queensland.

Staceys 01The cabins all had different configurations and were all named after nearby towns and cities: Boonah, Ipswich, Brisbane, Stanthorpe, Warwick.

Staceys 05

I spotted a beautiful mulberry tree….

Mulberry tree

And this beautiful mauve plant. I have no idea what it is…

Purple flower 01

And this¬†tree which had stunning gold flowers…

Gold tree 01

The views were amazing…

Trees 02

Now to the scrapbooking. I cannot believe how much ‘stuff’ scrapbookers use!!!

Scrap stuff 04

Scrap stuff 02

Scrap stuff 07

Some scrapbookers even brought along mobile drawer units!!

Scrappers

I soon understood why we were met by the hosts who had a large trolley. I brought along four knitting projects and a crochet project which fitted neatly in two small bags.

I made two dishcloths. This one is Gramma’s Dishcloth and I used Lily Sugar ‘n Cream which is a 10ply¬†100% cotton. Both patterns are available free on Ravelry.

Grammas dishcloth 01

Grammas dishcloth 02

And this one is the Knitted Flower Cloth. I managed to get both cloths made from the one ball of cotton.

Knitted flower cloth 01

This is my third Samothrace Wings Scarf and I’m making it in Zen Yarn Garden’s Serenity Silk¬†+ which is a 75% superwash¬†merino / 15% cashmere / 10% silk (lace 2ply). I’ll tell you more about it once I’ve completed the scarf.

Samothrace Scarf Garrowby Hill 01

I also took along my Leafy Bias Scarf which I’ll show you when I’m finished. It’s certainly coming along a treat except for two rows where I must have been too busy talking and messed up the leaf pattern so I will have to frog a few rows to fix it up. I was going to leave it but it just keeps niggling at me so I’ve relented!

I’ve also started another Starburst Flower Crochet Blanket in three colours: cream, olive green and pale green. It’s a long project as I only do a little bit every now and then so it’s great to take along to fill in time.

A few of the scrappers asked whether I’d been ‘converted’ to scrapping and I had to say ‘no’. I’m too much into wool, knitting, spinning and crocheting. And scrapping involves much too much ‘stuff’ for me and some of it is quite heavy too.

I’ll just stick to my lightweight knitting which is just so portable!

I certainly had a great weekend learning about another craft and meeting lots of new people and enjoying the beautiful and tranquil surrounds of this part of south east Queensland that I hadn’t visited before. It was so much cooler here in the mountains which I really loved the most.

Until next time…

Melanie

Just What I Need…….More Yarn!!!

I made a very foolish statement to a friend a few weeks ago. I told them I hadn’t bought any yarn in a while and was actually saving money! That instantly put the seed in my mind to buy some yarn. Doh!! So, I’m going to show you my latest purchases.

I don’t really consider this a whim purchase as I’ve been collecting two skeins in each of the series of this yarn so it is in fact an essential yarn purchase!

The fifth offering in the new ART WALK Series features a painting by Wassily Kandinsky entitled “Composition Storm” which inspired this colourway. Painted on Serenity 20, Mr. Zen has captured the vividness and subtlety of the colours of the painting.

Zen Yarn Garden Composition Storm 01

Wassily Kandinsky (1886 – 1944) is considered to be the originator of abstract art, and believed that art could visually express musical compositions. Kandinsky, who was also an accomplished musician, saw color when he heard music, and associated a color‚Äôs tone with musical timbre, hue with pitch, and saturation with the volume of sound. Music influenced his art to such a degree that Kandinsky named his works after musical terms. Originally a lawyer in his native Russia, he was inspired to study art at age 30, after seeing Monet‚Äôs ‚ÄúHaystacks.‚ÄĚ Kandinsky was gripped by a compulsion to relentlessly create, and believed that if this drive were pure, it would evoke a correspondingly powerful response in viewers of his work.

This is a picture of the painting Composition Storm…

kandinsky-wassily-composition-stormThis yarn is Serenity 20 which is a 70% superwash merino / 20% cashmere / 10% nylon 4ply (fingering) yarn and contains 400 yards.

This is the picture of a bundle of the yarn from the Zen Yarn Garden website…

Zen Yarn Garden Composition Storm

Last week I made the fatal mistake of taking a quick peek at Shorn Fibers’ Etsy¬†shop to see what yarnie¬†goodness Angela had created. Big mistake for me…..I was instantly drawn to these gorgeous yarns…

This yarn¬†is called ‘Rustic’ and is a superwash¬†merino sport 5ply¬†and weighs 100g…

Shorn Fibers Rustic 01

And this yarn is called ‘Kelp’ and is a superwash¬†merino / cashmere / nylon fingering 4ply¬†and weighs 100g…

Shorn Fibers Kelp 01

This yarn is called ‘Rock Pool’ and is a superwash¬†Blue Faced Leicester / nylon 4ply¬†and weighs 100g. I’m not really into blue too much but this colour just won me over with all the different shades of blue.

Shorn Fibers Rock Pool 02

And the final yarn from Shorn Fibers is called ‘Outback’ and is a superwash¬†Bluefaced¬†Leicester silk¬†cashmere 4ply¬†yarn that also weighs¬†100g. Beautiful isn’t it?

Shorn Fibers Outback 01

Now this should have been the final yarn I bought from Shorn Fibers however a few days later Angela posted her latest yarns on Facebook¬†and I weakened!!! Particularly for these two 115g¬†gorgeous skeins of superwash merino DK in the colour Serengeti. I am thinking about making the Cable Bias Scarf with this yarn as I think it’ll show off all those lovely colours to their full advantage.

Shorn Fibers Serengeti 05

I think this is my favourite Shorn Fibers’ colourway to date. Here’s just one more picture of the gorgeous and delicious Serengeti…

Shorn Fibers Serengeti 07

This 100g yarn is a superwash merino high twist singles fingering (4ply) weight and the colourway is Sunset.

Shorn Fibers Sunset 05

And this is really the final Shorn Fibers’ yarn in this post! It’s a 100g¬†Blue Faced Leicester nylon fingering (4ply) Tuff Sock yarn and the colourway is Urchin.

Shorn Fibers Urchin 04

Now this next yarn has quite a story about it. I first learned about TONOFWOOL #2¬†by Kylie Gusset¬†through a Facebook shared post. The idea was to pledge to buy certain offers of wool. An amount of $20,000 was the target but although this was not met the scheme still went ahead. I pledged $69 for this 300g¬†hank of cream 4ply / fingering yarn. It is so incredibly soft and squishy. I’ll need to make something very special with this yarn.

TonofWool 01

Here’s a bit of information about the wool…

TonofWool 02

You can also join Ms Gusset’s Ravelry page to find out more about TONOFWOOL#2.

At this stage these four Lily Sugar ‘n Cream cottons are earmarked for market bags, in particular Mel’s Handy Market Bag which can be found under the Free Knitting Patterns section on the top banner of the front page of my blog. I bought four balls of each colour.

Lily Sugar n Cream

This Bernat Cottontots is also earmarked for a market bag….in fact I have started it already. This yarn is now discontinued. So glad I managed to get four balls of it from Bubs2Grubs. Don’t you love this bright lime green colour?

Bernat Cottontots 02

I bought the following five acrylic Ice Yarns on Ebay a couple of months ago and I intend to make some baby knits, in particular the Pebble Vest and In Threes cardigan.

Ice Baby Batik Brown Green Camel Cream 4

Ice Baby Batik Green Yellow Pink Cream 4

They’re quite bright and will make ideal baby/toddler knitted garments.

Ice Baby Batik Red Yellow Orange White 4

Ice Yarn Multi White Camel Blue

Ice Yarn Multi White Brown Orange Yellow Blue

Now yesterday at my Knit and Knatter get together one of my friends was showing off her latest yarn purchases from Spotlight. One yarn in particular immediately piqued my interest so you guessed it…….this morning I was off to Spotlight and picked up these yarns on sale.

Two balls of Moda Vera Folly Printed for $4.79 each. This is a 80% premium acrylic / 10% wool / 10% mohair yarn and is so very soft. It begs to be knitted into a shawl. There’s a generous 500m on each ball.

Moda Vera Folly Printed 01

Two balls of Moda Vera Tweed which is a 50% wool / 50% premium acrylic yarn for $5 a ball.

Moda Vera Tweed 01

Three balls of Moda¬†Vera Instinctive which is a 100% premium acrylic yarn¬†for $3 a ball. I’ll make another market bag with this yarn as the colours can disguise any dirty marks that generally appear on bags!

Moda Vera Instinctive 01

Two balls of Moda Vera Vionett which is a 77% premium acrylic / 23% wool yarn for $6 a ball.Moda Vera Vionett 01

One ball of Moda Vera Noir which is a 75% wool superwash / 25% polyamide yarn at $6 a ball. This is one of my favourite commercial sock yarns. Not my usual colours but I was quite taken with these shades. The colourway is called Burg Mix.

Moda Vera Noir Burg Nix

Three balls of Moda Vera Medley which is a 100% polyester yarn at $1.74 a ball. The pattern on the ball band requires three balls so I will probably make that scarf.

Moda Vera Medley 01

And to the last purchase….10 balls of this Moda Vera Chantilly which is a 70% acrylic / 30% milk protein yarn. Each ball was only $2. The pattern on the ball band calls for four balls of the yarn so I may very well also make two of these scarves and keep one for a present.

Moda Vera Chantilly 01

This is a pale green and is quite unusual.

Moda Vera Chantilly 02

Oh dear when I actually look at how much yarn I’ve bought recently I can’t believe it’s that much! I really must stop visiting online yarn websites and looking at all the gorgeous yarns for sale and also stop visiting my local yarn shops too. As my friends keep saying to me…..there’s a need for an intervention.

Hope you enjoyed looking at all my yarn purchases and if you have any ideas for what I should make with them, please let me know.

Hope you had a fabulous weekend as I certainly did. Until next time…

Melanie

A Bright Red Market Bag

As well as going crazy over knitting the last two years, I have crazy phases about what I knit. It’s either all vests, all baby hats and now it’s all market bags. Remember those bags years ago we’d take to the shop to put our groceries in? They were quite small and easy to transport and yet could stretch to hold an incredible number of items. Well I’ve just finished my first one.

Although not as large as one of the old fashioned¬†market bags, it‚Äôll be perfect for me to take to my weekly scrabble game with the girls as I‚Äôll use it to carry my keys, wallet and mobile phone rather than putting them in my knitting caddy. My bag is also a bit denser so there’s less likelihood of anything falling through the holes.

As per usual, I found this free knitting pattern on Ravelry and it’s called the Ilene Bag. The pattern calls for Louet Euroflax which is a 5ply 100% linen. As I didn’t have this yarn, I substituted it for this bright red Patons Bluebell which is also a 5 ply yarn and has a lovely crepe texture. I bought a bundle of this Bluebell about a year ago on Ebay. One thing I like about Bluebell is it stretches so easily so is ideal for this little bag.

Patons Bluebell Red 01

I used 5 dpns (4mm) when picking up the stitches on either side of the rectangular stockinette stitch base and until I had completed a few of the pattern rows and then I changed to 4mm (40cm) circulars needles.

Ilene Bag 01

Here is the finished Ilene Bag…

Ilene Bag 02

I have put a small paperback book in the bottom of the bag to show the stretch in the handle. You need to make sure you don’t knit the handle too long as it will stretch with any weight in the bag.

Ilene Bag 05

A 300g hank of fingering yarn.

Ilene Bag 04

The base is nice and thick so nothing can poke through.

Ilene Bag 03

An empty bag…

Ilene Bag 11

Oh my goodness, I’ve just had a quick look on Ravelry to find some more market bag patterns and there are sooo many available that I don’t know which one to pick! Here’s just a few:

Lacy Knit Market Bag

Hexagonal Market Bag

Let’s Go Shopping Market Bag

The String Bag

Looks like I’m going to have a nice selection of¬†bags to tote around!

I’ve just bought some Lily Sugar ‘n Cream 10ply cotton from Bubs 2 Grubs Knitting in Western Australian. This is an American cotton and is difficult to source in Australia. I’ve seen so many patterns for dishcloths that use this cotton so I look forward to receiving my 16 balls next week. Four balls of four different colours.

Until next time…

Melanie