Zen Shawl

This very easy pattern is called the Ghost Gardens Shawlette and it’s free if you subscribe to the pattern writer’s email list. Well worth it for this fantastic pattern.

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The haunting beauty of the yarn, with its textured lace, garter ridges and gentle picot edge, makes this a memorable eye catching shawlette. A classic heart shaped triangle, that’s knit top down, and it’s easily adjustable.

This shawlette is designed to use one skein of your average sized fingering weight yarn. If you have a larger skein, why not add a few rows before starting the edge!

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I’ve been accumulating quite a stash so a quick delve and I found some handspun that I’d spun using this beautiful fibre from Ixchel Bunny Fibres in the colourway Very Zen of You. The blend is Ga Ga Bunny which is a mixture of angora, cashmere, blue face Leicester and glitz.

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I plied the handspun with some grey polyester thread I picked up at an Opp Shop.

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To add some interest to the picot edge, I included a bead on each picot. These beads were from a discount store and larger than I’d normally use but are ideal on this shawl.

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I love the subtle colours of grey, cream and tan which give the shawl a real classy and understated look.

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I think I may enter this shawl in the Redlands Spinners & Weavers Open Day fashion parade in June this year and then offer it up for sale.

As you can see this is more of a shawl than a shawlette. I used 4.5mm needles and knitted until I ran out of the yarn. It sits beautifully and the beads just give it a little bit of weight at the bottom which is perfect.

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Now for a glimpse at a few of my latest purchases.

I was wandering in a small gift shop where I live and was looking at a rack of aprons when this one jumped out at me! It’s a full size apron with a nice large pocket in the front. I took this photo in the shop which is why the top of the apron is still folded behind. It’s really large and roomy and gorgeous 🙂

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And then I spotted a group of mugs so I bent down and there at the back of the shelf I spotted a matching mug!

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They weren’t cheap but considering I have picked up quite a few bargains lately, I didn’t mind paying full price for such unusual goodies.

On my way home from a spin-in yesterday, I called into a couple of Opp Shops and found this gorgeous little book for only 50 cents.

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Now this is a wonderful investment for me. It’s a 1.3kg cone of very fine undyed merino which I will use for plying. It will no doubt last me a lifetime but it’s going to come in very handy. A friend of mine had one at a recent spinning camp and I loved the way it plied so easily with her handspun. I bought it from Woolerina. If you are interested, you will need to email or ring them as it’s not displayed on their website.  My cone cost $39 plus $12 postage.

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That’s all my fibre and yarn news for now. I hope you’re knitting, crocheting or spinning up a storm and doing what you love most 🙂

Until next time…

Melanie

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Sassenach Socks – Pair # 53

These beautiful socks are the latest pattern test knit I completed for Dana Gervais who is the most prolific sock pattern writer! The detail in these socks amazes me and they were an absolute pleasure to knit.

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I used a solid colour to ensure the pattern was highlighted as much as possible. I bought this yarn from a Facebook destash and it had no tag on it but I believe it could be a merino/alpaca blend. It’s very soft and was a pleasure to knit with.

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Inspired by the book and television series, Outlander, Sassenach socks are designed to be a mix of both masculine and feminine while being modern and distinctly argyle.

Worked cuff down, this fun sock pattern uses cables and lace to create a contemporary argyle pattern down the front of the leg and on the top of the foot. The heel features an eye of partridge heel flap and half handkerchief heel. The sock ends with a wedge toe that is grafted closed with Kitchener stitch.

Instructions are given to knit the socks in narrow, medium, wide and extra wide widths.

sassenach-24It took me a while to get into the pattern rhythm but by the end of the first sock I was well into it.

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I read the pattern once however by the time I reached the toe section in the first sock I just assumed you knitted the pattern until it was time for the toe decreases which resulted in this look.

sassenach-04What it should look like is this.

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Now, I’m a bit torn as I quite like my look!

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Seeing as my socks will be covered by shoes no one will notice the difference anyway! I’d be interested in what finish you prefer. That just goes to show that some mistakes actually look okay!

As I mentioned, there’s lots of lovely detail in the pattern which shows off so well against a solid colour.

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I’m on a bit of a sock knitting roll at the moment after having purchased this book.

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The book is beautifully presented with some lovely patterns but be warned, if you are fairly new to sock knitting there are some errors in some patterns so make sure you join the FB page which itemises some of the errors. I’m on my second pair of socks using the yarn I solar dyed not long ago. Will show you them very soon 🙂 And I will also note any errors I found.

I can’t leave before I show you some of my latest Opp shop buys 🙂

What do you think of these cute sheep (or should I say, ram) slippers?

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They were only $3 a pair and they’re both size L which fit perfectly 🙂 As one of my friends said, one pair for upstairs and one pair for downstairs 🙂

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Plus this lovely sheep mug with black and white sheep on it.

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I actually bought this mug at a chemist. Couldn’t leave it behind could I?

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And lastly, one of my friends was cleaning out her jewellery box and found this brooch which she believes is about 30 years old. I was the first person she thought of 🙂 Isn’t it gorgeous? I wore it to Knit and Knatter last Saturday.

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That’s all my news for the time being. I hope, if you live in Australia, you’ve managed to keep as cool as possible as this awful record-breaking hot weather hits the country.

Until next time…

Melanie

New Zealand Sheep Haul!

Let me first say how saddened I was to hear of the earthquakes in New Zealand this month. They occurred days after I returned home from a wonderful 14 day cruise around that beautiful country. I do wish everyone in those affected areas all the best Aussie luck I can send Please be safe!

Although my holiday was mainly a cruise, we did stop at six lovely cities and towns so of course, I managed to add to my collection of all things sheep!

This little alpaca caught my eye and he’s the first alpaca in my collection 🙂

alpaca-toyAnd my first brown sheep!
brown-sheepWho could resist that cute face 🙂
sheep-01Another apron to add to my collection.
sheep-apronI haven’t done any cross stitch for eons so I’m going to have to start so I can complete these cute little bookmarks.
sheep-book-marksThese cute plastic cups couldn’t be left behind!
sheep-kids-cupsAnd of course, I had to add to my sheep mug collection 🙂
sheep-mug-01
sheep-mug-02This one is quite unusual.
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sheep-mug-04This little quartet of sheep is quite unusual and quite small so it was easy to pack (and buy!)
sheep-ornamentA rather unusual vinyl holdall with a zip top.
sheep-plastic-zip-caseI found these microwave/oven mitts at a market in The Octagon in Dunedin.
sheep-pot-holdersSalt and pepper shakers!
sheep-salt-and-pepper-shakers-01
sheep-salt-and-pepper-shakers-02A little All Blacks supporter 🙂
all-blacks-sheepI picked up these salt and pepper shakers in a one day sale on board the Sea Princess. They were the only ones there so I literally grabbed them!
sheep-salt-and-pepper-shakers-03Sheep paper serviettes…..who’d have thought!!
sheep-serviettesAs if I need more socks!
sheep-socksMore goodies from the market in The Octagon in Dunedin.
sheep-towels-01I use these hanging hand towels in the kitchen every day!
sheep-towels-02Lots of souvenirs, some of which I kept and some were given to friends.
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souvenirs-03I now have a huge collection of sheep tea towels.
tea-towel-01I’d love to make some project bags but I’m not the best at sewing.
tea-towel-02There was such a huge variety to select from.
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tea-towel-04This one matches my new apron.
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tea-towel-07Didn’t I get a great selection?
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tea-towel-09And this is how I felt after each day’s shopping 🙂
two-sleepy-sheepThe scary thing is this isn’t all I bought. There are more mugs and bits and pieces which I haven’t gotten around to photographing but the good news is that I’ve just about found a home for everything 🙂

I think I need to ease up on sheep stuff for a while by keeping away from the second hand shops I normally visit.

I wonder how long those good intentions will last 🙂

Until next time…

Melanie

More Sheep, Fibre, Yarn and a Wheel!

It’s been quite hectic in my world lately. Last weekend I spent a lovely three days at Bribie Island with some of the Redlands and Redcliffe Spinners & Weavers plus spinners from further afield. Of course, I left home early so I could have plenty of time to visit all the Opp Shops at Bribie Island 🙂

I came away with some lovely bits and pieces including this sheep dressed in his Father Christmas outfit.

sheep-santa-01And this cute little sheep 🙂

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I now have two sheep backpacks.

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This is the most unusual little sheep ornament that sits on the edge of a shelf.

sitting-ceramic-sheepHow could I resist this little shepherd and his sheep?

boy-shepherd-and-sheepTwo more mugs to add to the collection!

two-sheep-mugs-01And another two!!

two-sheep-mugs-02I have a couple of these now; an heir and a spare 🙂

blue-sheep-mugThese little lights were raffle prizes that were gifted to me by two of my friends 🙂

two-sheep-lightsOn Saturday while I was at the QldBaysideYarnClub one of my friends dropped in. She’d been having a clean up and gifted me these lovely sheep; the little one is a pencil sharpener.

sheep-from-joI’ve also managed to buy quite a bit of yarn and fibre from a Facebook destash. The skeins in this picture were only $5 each (as there were no labels on them) and they’re lovely and soft. I’ve already started using the Bendigo Woollen Mills’ cotton in the front to make Market Bags ready to sell.

fb-stashLove the colours in the following fibre pics.

cat-and-sparrow tardis

heavenly-wool-green-blue-purple heavenly-wool-green-purpleCan’t wait to get these ones spun!

fb-destash-03 fb-destash-04Yesterday I drove over an hour away to pick up my 19th spinning wheel; a George H Young which is an Australian made wheel. I need to get a couple more bobbins made and fashion a tension knob as the original one is missing. I’m assuming it should be sitting under the MOA (mother of all). So tomorrow it’s off to the hardware to find a long screw that will do the job.

george-h-young-04The next big challenge is to work out where to put this wheel! There’ll be a bit of rearranging at my place so everything has its place 🙂

Until next time..

Melanie

 

Holiday Opp Shopping!

Who’d have thought I’d go on holidays and manage to discover a whole lot of Opp shops in the area! I visited my sister in Mooloolaba and on the way home I stopped at Maroochydore as I’d discovered there’s a long stretch of Opp shops along Aerodrome Road. I cleaned them out of toy sheep!

This magnificent ram looks brand new and was only $4.50!

Noosaville sheep 01 Noosaville sheep 02 Noosaville sheep 03 Noosaville sheep 04These four sheep were discovered in Noosaville.

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And I found this little one in the Noosaville newsagent.

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Wow! where am I going to put them all when I get home???

Noosaville sheep 06And of course I also managed to pick up these four sheep mugs all at the same Opp shop in Tewantin.

Noosaville sheep mugs 01And this one from Maroochydore.

NZ sheep mugPlus these two little knick knacks. I think this little sheep would have resided in the kitchen with maybe some utensil resting in that hole??

Kitchen sheep 01Not sure what this little egg cup shape item would be used for but it looks cute 🙂

Egg cup 02I also visited the Eumundi Markets last Wednesday, which is a must for anyone visiting the area and found a stall filled with bags. There were hundreds of them. I asked the owner if he had any sheep bags and this is what I left with.

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It’s rather large and made from vinyl so is water repellent to a certain degree. I was quite exhausted after this purchase so I grabbed a coffee and a couple of sinful jam donuts 🙂

Sheep bag vinyl

And totally not related to sheep, I picked up these two pairs of shoes. I have more of these at home in different colours so I was really happy to pick up these ones. They are so comfy!

Beige shoes Navy shoesI’ve also been doing lots of knitting but for some reason I’m stuck on knitting fingerless mitts and haven’t touched any other projects. I’m also thinking about selling some of my knits through my MelsNattyKnits Facebook page. Once I’m home I’ll start sorting out what to sell.

I’ll leave you with a couple of my everyday views at Noosaville.

Pelican 16=7=16

Reading and coffee 12-7-16

DSC09404Until next time…

Melanie

A quick catch up

Yes, I’m still here! A couple of weeks ago I came down with a nasty ear infection which put a halt on any knitting, weaving or spinning. For three days I basically had to sit up and nurse my poor throbbing ear. It was horrible and I never want to go through that again. I still have one blocked ear but I’m going back to the doctor next week for a final check so hopefully she can unblock it!

Rather than not post a story, I’ve quickly gone through some of my latest acquisitions to show you.

The first is my fifth pair of these Crocs in the style Kadee. I love them as they’re so comfortable and can be washed!

Crocs Kadee grey animal printI bought them from the Crocs shop in Cleveland and while I was there I found a huge array of these Jibbitz and among them was one lonely little sheep so I had to buy it! It clips onto your Crocs shoes.

Sheep JibbitzI’ve been quite lucky lately as two of my friends have given me these lovely little goodies to add to my collections: a cute little lamb and another sheep mug 🙂

Baby lamp and mugThis is some weaving that I finished a couple of weeks ago. Made with a commercial yarn and some chenille yarn. It’s come up very nicely!

Cream Chenille 01Another one of my Opp shop buys: this cute little baby’s pink sheep bowl.

Pink sheep bowlAnd these two stunning china figurines of a shepherd and a shepherdess. They’re each about 12 inches tall!

ShepherdAnd this rather sweet little brown sheep 🙂

Brown sheepSo, as you can see I’ve haven’t been too idle. I’m now in the throes of getting ready for the Redlands Spinners & Weavers Open Day on Tuesday, 21 June. This is the highlight event for my spinning group and it’s a fabulous day.

Next weekend I’m off to Maleny for the Knitfest weekend with two of my spinning friends. This is going to be such a fun-filled weekend.

Winter has finally arrived in Brisbane so I’ve been wearing nice warm woollies finally!

Hope you’re all well and knitting up a storm!

Until next time…

Melanie

This and that

Remember a few weeks ago I showed you how I completely revamped the top of a second hand stool?

Chair 02-tileWell, I have now completed the table too. This was the top of the original table which looked okay but it was flaking terribly underneath and leaving a mess whenever I moved it.

Table 01So, on a recent trip to one of the cheap shops I found this carving board.

Table 02I could not have picked a better item for this table top. I have actually used the top of the carving board as the underside of the table. Have a look at the groove all around the board which is where the fat is supposed to pool as you’re carving your meat.

Table 04Now have a look at how precisely the frame of the table actually sits in the groove at each end. Perfect isn’t it?

Table 06And here it is.

Table 07Another little project completed 🙂

Table 09I’ve also been churning out lots of hats on my Addi Kingsize knitting machine and have recently learned a new technique for a brim which entails lifting and hooking stitches over the needles. A crochet hook is not the right implement to use and I noticed on the video that the person was actually using a dental implement so I hopped onto Ebay (what else?) and found this kit for less than $7.

Dental kit 04I was particularly interested in this instrument.

Dental kit 05So now I can pick up the stitches with relative ease. I’m still not 100% satisfied as the other end of the instrument is pretty sharp so I am thinking about getting a woodturner to make me something similar. This is what I use it for.

Dental kit AddiOpp shops I love them!! You never know what you’re going to find. These are the goodies I found last week. Another sheep and sheep mug 🙂

Blue sheep and mugHow many toy sheep and sheep mugs can a girl have? Obviously, in my case, as many as she can get 🙂

Sheep mug sunglasses 01Blue sheep 02This next find is something I’ve been after for a while. As I don’t have a live model for my baby hats the next best thing is a doll so I found ‘Annabelle’ and she’s now my resident model for some of my baby garments.

AnnabelleHere’s a selection of pictures of Annabelle modelling some of my knitted baby hats.

Medallion Hat Red 08-tileThese delightful sheep earrings caught my attention as I was searching through Etsy recently. They’re made in Gympie in Queensland by a very talented artisan.

Sheep earringsLast week I picked up this bargain on Gumtree for only $40. It’s a Schacht Inkle Loom. Not that I know how to use it at the moment but weaving is something I want to learn in the not too distant future.

Schacht Inkle Loom 02Schacht Inkle Loom 03And then to top it off I received a message from local crafty person who had a bundle of old Weaving magazines and rather than just throwing them away would I like them? Luckily the pick up address was very close to where I was meeting some other crafty women of the QldBaysideYarnClub at Tingalpa. These will make some interesting reading. Thank you so much Rosalie!

Weaving magsI think I have exhausted my list of recent finds and ideas so I will leave it there. Now off for a cuppa, read the Sunday paper and then to spin some more of this drum-carded alpaca.

Alpaca Rebel 7Drum Carder 08

Until next time…

Melanie