What is it about scarves and shawls?

I can’t believe how many scarves and shawls I’ve knitted over the last year or so. I mean, I only have one neck and I do live in Brisbane where it doesn’t get too cold for too long in winter. I can see my suitcase will be filled with my scarves when I cruise around New Zealand next year. I’ll be spoilt for choice!!

This is my Frillyilly Scarf made from a pattern I found on Ravelry. The reason why I purchased this pattern is because it reminds me of the Minnie Scarf except it has the frill on both sides which I rather like.

Frillyilly 01

It’s a great length and I’m really happy with the finished product.

Frillyilly 03

And another way to wear it…

Frillyilly 02

The yarn I used is the gorgeous Shorn Fibers MCN Sock 435 which is an 80% merino / 10% nylon / 10% cashmere 4ply / fingering yarn. The colourway is ‘Wood Elf’. This yarn is incredibly soft and makes a perfect scarf.

Shorn Fibers Wood Elf 04

This is my Fete Shawl and the pattern is available free on Ravelry.

Fete Shawl 01

There’s an awful lot of stockinette stitch in this shawl which is great if you don’t feel like concentrating too much!!

Fete Shawl 04

The edging really makes the shawl ‘pop’…

Fete Shawl 10

I’m a bit ‘ho hum’ about this shawl. I think it’s because I used the wrong yarn; Moda Vera Noir which is a 75% wool / 20% nylon 4ply / fingering sock yarn. Ideally, it should be used on socks as it gives a great fair isle look. I don’t know what possessed me to use it on this pattern. Must have been having a moment.

I rewrote the lace edge pattern portion which can be found on my Ravelry page link as it wasn’t clearly written. In hindsight, I should have finished with a garter stitch edge as it curls up a bit, even after blocking. Sometimes you end up with a project that you just don’t gel with and I think this is mine.

Fete Shawl 08

I’ll have to find the coolest places to knit this weekend as we’re headed for a scorcher in Brissie: high 30s (that’s celsius), however where I live on the coast it’ll be 2-3 degrees cooler.

Hope you all have a fantastic crafty weekend and keep warm and/or cool depending on where you live!

Until next time…

Melanie

 

 

 

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Moseley Park yarn plus more!

I thought I had discovered all the good yarn suppliers in Australia but apparently I hadn’t! Moseley Park Yarn is situated on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia and is run by Jane and Ian who grow wheat and sheep. They also live off the grid, so no mains power; they have a solar array, with a small wind generator and a back up diesel generator. They also have another farm at Poochera which is 200kms West of Kimba where Jane has her dyeing and fibre studio. It was while surfing Ravelry that I discovered Moseley Park.

Moseley Park

And when I saw the ‘Specials’ icon on the website I had to have a quick look and lo and behold look what happened.

Three skeins of Wilcherry which is a 50% wool / 50% silk 4ply / fingering yarn. AU$14 each!

Moseley Park Agnes

Moseley Park Lena

Moseley Park Otto

One skein of Mawula which is a 100% superwash Blue Faced Leicester 4ply / fingering yarn. AU$11.00.

Moseley Park Finn

And two 50% Blue Faced Leicester / 50% bleached tussah silk tops in this gorgeous colour. AU$15.00 each. They’re 150g each too!

Moseley Park Eugene 01

You can be guaranteed that I’ll be adding Moseley Park to my list of favourite yarn suppliers!!

Here’s a cute little ceramic sheep wearing boots that I bought a couple of weeks ago on my way home from work. Isn’t it just the cutest little sheep!

Sheep in Boots 03

Protecting some of my spinning wheels!

Sheep in Boots 04

I also picked up these 5 x 200g balls of Shetland Natural Cream 10 ply wool from Bendigo Woollen Mills at only AU$12.50 each.

Bendigo Cream 10 ply 01

They will come in very handy for when I decide to do some more natural dyeing.

Bendigo Cream 10 ply 02

I was very naughty this morning as I dropped into Spotlight on my way home from filling up my car with petrol. Couldn’t resist these bargains…

Moda Vera Biscay which is a 70% acrylic / 30% alpaca 12ply / bulky yarn. It is incredibly soft.

Moda Vera Biscay Green 01

Moda Vera Cyclamen which is a 46% wool / 35% polyamde / 19% acrylic 12ply / bulky yarn.

Moda Vera Cyclamen Green 01

Moda Vera Cyclamen Grey 01

Moda Vera Instinctive which is a 100% premium acrylic 8ply / DK yarn.

Moda Vera Instinctive Green 01

Moda Vera Instinctive Brown 01

Moda Vera Faith which is a 40% acrylic / 30% mohair / 30% wool 4ply / fingering yarn. I already have the pattern lined up for these little beauties.

Moda Vera Faith Green 01

Moda Vera Faith Blue 01

I don’t usually buy blue yarn but these colours were exceptionally beautiful; they reminded me of the blue ocean…

Moda Vera Faith Blue 02

Moda Vera Faith Blue 03

And finally, the last two ball of this Moda Vera Noir which is a 75% wool / 25% nylon 4ply / fingering yarn. I don’t believe Spotlight will stock this any more so I’ve managed to pick up a couple more balls as I rather like it for knitting socks.

Moda Vera Noir Beige Mix 01

All the Spotlight yarns were half price which was a bonus! You’ve probably figured out by now that when it comes to yarn I have absolutely no self control!

Don’t forget to check out Moseley Park Yarns if you’re looking for a new yarn supplier. BTW this is not a sponsored post. I simply like to recommend any good yarn suppliers that I stumble across as I believe word of mouth is the best form of advertising and us knitters should always tell each other about our good finds!

Moseley Park

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’s 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’s “Haystacks.” 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

Blue Shades Socks

I finished making these socks a while ago but have had to hold off posting them on my blog as they’re a present for one of my friends who follows my blog and I didn’t want to spoil the surprise. Her birthday was last week so I can finally share them with everyone.

The pattern comes from the Yarn Harlot’s book “Knitting Rules” – Sock Recipe: A Good, Plain Sock by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and is an ideal pattern to use with self patterning sock yarn. Nearly 10,000 pairs of socks have been made using this pattern and recorded on Ravelry!!!!

DSC02422

The sock yarn I used for these socks is one of my favourites….the very reasonably priced Moda Vera Noir sock yarn. This particular colourway is 02 Blue Mix. I love all the different colours and patterns. It’s always exciting knitting with this type of yarn as you never know what kind of patterning will emerge.

DSC02412

I made a couple of variations when knitting these socks….I used 5 dpns rather than 4 dpns and I also picked up 18 sts on either side of the heel flap. I knitted 32 rows in total for each heel flap. I also grafted 20 sts at the toe (10 sts on each needle) so the toe has more of a squarish rather than pointy finish.

DSC02411

Lovely heel definition too…

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And Helen, I forgot to menion something very important….a gentle hand wash in wool mix in a small bowl of tepid water, rinse and lay out in the sun to dry. The more you look after your homemade socks, the longer they will last.

I’ve been quite good today by knitting some more of a UFO…..a vest for me that I started in July last year!!! I’ve nearly finished the back and then I’ll need to do the front. The pattern is mock cable….one of my favourites. Lately I just seem to gravitate towards quick, easy knits like socks and baby hats. At least I finished my Starburst Flower Crochet Blanket which took well over a year to complete!!

I still have another two UFOs….my Falling Water Scarf and Elinya Shawl. I am really trying to get them finished as soon as possible as this is the weather to be wearing them.

Until next time…

Melanie

Minstrel Ribbed Socks………Pair # 23

Can you guess why I called these ‘Minstrel’ ribbed socks? Remember the Black and White Minstrel Show from the 1960s and 1970s? Well, that’s the first thing that popped into my mind when I saw this yarn. Yes, I know….my mind can work in very strange ways at times!!

This is the first pair of socks I’ve made where I actually didn’t follow a pattern but rather used the knowledge I’ve picked up from making the last 22 pairs of socks to make up my own pattern! I used a simple 3 x 1 rib stitch pattern for the leg and the top of the foot.

Minstrel Ribbed Socks 01

The heel flap is simply Sl 1, K1 to the end; next row Sl 1, purl to the end; repeat these rows to the length you require for your heel flap size.

Minstrel Ribbed Socks 02

The toe is a round toe method just for a change.

Minstrel Ribbed Socks 03

The yarn I used is Moda Vera Noir; colourway ‘Black Mix’. This yarn normally retails for around $12 a ball however I managed to grab a few when they were on sale at Spotlight for $3.50 each. Who doesn’t love a bargain?

When I completed these socks I thought ‘why not write the pattern and share it with other sock knitters, particularly those beginners?’ which is what I have done. Knitting the socks was the easiest part; writing the pattern is difficult as you need to include every step and you can’t assume other knitters can read your mind. The free sock knitting pattern is located on the front page of my blog on the black bar that takes you to other pages.

If you can’t understand any instruction or you find an error, please contact me so I can rectify. Remember, I am a novice pattern writer.

Well that’s my latest pair of socks which have winged their way to a dear friend of mine at Peregian Springs for her birthday.

Have a wonderful crafty/yarnie weekend. Tomorrow I’ll be joining a group of women to do some yarn bombing knitting and crocheting which I’ll blog about in a couple of weeks.

Talk soon

Melanie

A Good Plain Sock Recipe…….Pair # 14

These socks are very basic and are ideal to knit using a self patterning sock yarn. The pattern comes from the Yarn Harlot’s book “Knitting Rules” – Sock Recipe: A Good, Plain Sock by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. As an aside, I have all her books…..if you’re into knitting and reading funny, witty stories about knitting and yarning, you’ll enjoy them too. I bought them from The Book Depository, one of my favourite online book stores.

A Good Plain Sock 1The sock yarn I used for these socks is one of my favourites….the very reasonably priced Moda Vera Noir sock yarn. This particular colourway is 09 Olive Mix. I love all the different colours and patterns. It’s always exciting knitting with this type of yarn as you never know what kind of patterning will emerge.

A Good Plain Sock 4

Who’d have thought so many shades of blues, greens and reds would blend so well together.

A Good Plain Sock 2

I made a couple of variations when knitting these socks….I used 5 dpns rather than 4 dpns and I also picked up 18 sts on either side of the heel flap. I knitted 32 rows in total for each heel flap. I also grafted 20 sts at the toe (10 sts on each needle) as my toes aren’t very pointy….rather they’re squarish so the 20 sts suits my foot more.

That’s the wonderful thing about knitting so many pairs of socks….I now know enough to be able to vary and adapt patterns to suit what I like the best.

I love the heel on this pattern.

A Good Plain Sock 3

A Good Plain Sock 5Another photo showing the heel detail.

A Good Plain Sock 6

Although you need to purchase Stephanie’s book “Knitting Rules” to get this pattern, there are plenty of other easy free sock knitting patterns on Ravelry as well as the Free Knitting Pattern: Basic Socks pattern from the Lion Brand Yarn website….the pattern I used when I was first taught how to knit socks on 5 dpns.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend in the lead up to Christmas. And I hope you get lots of knitterly goodness from Father Christmas.

Happy knitting, crocheting, crafting or whatever you enjoy doing most!

Til next time….

Melanie

Santa knitting

Socks….back to the beginning

I’m nearly back to Pair # 1 where it all started but I still need to cover Pair # 3….my Simpy Sensational Citrus socks made with Filatura Di Crosa Maxime Print sock yarn in gorgeous shades of orange and yellow, hence the name of these socks! Unfortunately, the Maxime Print is now discontinued. These socks are made with the Lion Brand Yarn’s website’s Free Knitting Pattern: Basic Socks. I can practically knit this pattern in my sleep now!!

Simply Sensational Citrus Socks

Pair # 2 are my Sandstone socks made with Moda Vera Noir and I was simply amazed as this yarn did its self-patterning thing! When you look at the entire skein you’d never expect this type of fabulous patterning! Again, these socks were made using the Lion Brand Yarn’s website’s Free Knitting Pattern: Basic Socks. These socks were photographed without my feet in them so the picture shows another perspective. Isn’t that patterning something else?

Bushland Socks

And now for Pair # 1…my very first pair of socks knitted in Moda Vera Noir in gorgeous shades of camouflage green called Bushland. The pattern is the Lion Brand Yarn’s website’s Free Knitting Pattern: Basic Socks, a very easy beginner sock knitting pattern. I hope you’ve enjoyed my sock journey back to # 1. My next posts will reveal my two latest sock creations. I’m now madly knitting more Christmas decorations which I will also share with you over the next week or so. Until next time…

Bushland Socks