Knitting and Spinning

I can’t believe it’s over three weeks since my last post. Time has just slipped away so quickly. Lots has been happening in my life: my son is in the process of buying his first home (he’s still awaiting finance approval) and sadly my family has had to place my 92 year old Dad into a nursing home as my 89 year old Mum was struggling to care for him. So, after more than 60 years of marriage, they are now living apart which is so sad but necessary to ensure the well-being of both of them.

On the crafting front, I’ve been knitting and spinning and I’ve also been destashing some of my spinning wheels and yarn to help my son pay for some of those new house costs that you tend to forget about like house insurance, solicitors, pest and building inspection and so on.

Having said that, I had been thinking of selling some of my wheels as my collection was steadily growing so I’ve sold my Ettrick Standard double drive, an Ashford Traditional, a Wee Peggy, an Ashford Scholar and I also have my Fomotor Peacock and Ashford Traditional double drive on the market. I’ve also sold off quite a bit of my yarn, in particular the Zen Yarn Garden ART WALK series skeins. It had got to the point where I realised I couldn’t possibly use it all so I bit the bullet and advertised a lot of it for sale and most of that has been snapped up quite quickly. I have kept the colours I really like.

Now to some knitting. I finished this In Threes baby cardigan while I was on my recent cruise to New Zealand. I love this pattern and so do many other knitters as over 6,700 of these cardis have been made!

in-threes-multi-large-01The wool I used is Shepherd Colour 4 Me Prints which is an 8ply 100% plied wool. I made the 3T size which I am assuming is for a three year old toddler.

in-threes-multi-large-05I bought the buttons in New Zealand. It’s just by chance they match the colours in the cardi 🙂

in-threes-multi-large-04If you love knitting in the round without seams, I can highly recommend this pattern. It’s so quick and easy. In fact, I knit it when I feel like a quick satisfying knit. I have a few of these cardis stashed away.

in-threes-multi-large-06I’ve been trying to slow down my yarn and fibre purchases and start using my stash and I’ve been quite successful but when I saw this Optim fibre on sale on FB I knew I had to have it. I’ve heard a lot about spinning Optim but have never tried it so this was my chance. It was a potluck 5 x 100g balls.Optim is a treatment which stretches the wool fibres to make the product longer and a lot finer in the range of 12-14 Microns.

optim-5-x-100g_resizeThese were some of the examples of colours that were available. I must say I’m quite enjoying spinning Optim; it’s rather like spinning silk and it has a lovely sheen to it.

optim-03_resizeI picked up this metallic thread for $10 and $5 respectively. This will be invaluable for plying and maybe even weaving.

weaving-or-plying-threadI’m spending this Wednesday and Thursday crafting with good friends which I am really looking forward to. I always find these gatherings to be so therapeutic as it’s where we all share our love for our common crafts, solve all (or most) of our problems and generally de-stress. I’d be lost without these friends 🙂

As 2016 rolls to a close, I hope you all have a wonderful 2017 filled with health, happiness, prosperity and of course lots of yarn and fibre!

funny-sheep-with-happy-new-year-free-picture-download

Until 2017…

Melanie

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A Frenzy of Fingerless Mitts!

I’ve been on a roll lately knitting lots and lots of fingerless mitts. Over the years, I’ve been collecting different patterns with a view to eventually getting to knit all sorts of garments. Fingerless mitts is the latest craze. I found this really easy pattern to start off with: Good Times Fingerless Mitts and have proceeded to knit quite a few pairs!

What I love about knitting mitts is you can use a lot of your leftovers from larger projects. They’re quick to make and perfect to wear in cooler weather. I love the fact your fingers are free so it’s easy to type or handle money while the rest of your hand remains toasty warm 🙂

Shepherd Colour 4 Me 8ply and Shepherd Colour 4 Me Prints 8ply were used in these aqua blue mitts.

Good Time Mitts Blue Aqua 01The edging of these mitts was knitted in Fiberific Sombrero 8ply and the main part was knitted in my handspun 100% merino in the colourway Outback.

Good Time Mitts Handspun Outback n Green 01The edging in these mitts was knitted in Moda Vera Pure Wool 8ply and the main part in my handspun.

Good Time Mitts Handspun Outback n Orange 02These mitts are knitted entirely using my own handspun. They are soooo soft!

Good Time Mitts Handspun Outback 02The ribbing in these mitts is knitted using Cleckheaton Country 8ply and the main part I used Candy Apple Lane BWM Luxury 8ply in the colourway Liquorice Allsorts. You’ll no doubt remember this colourway from my Liquorice Allsorts Shawl 🙂

Good Time Mitts Liquorice Allsorts n Black 02I used Lotus Winter Sun to make these mitts.

Good Time Mitts Lotus Yarns Mocha 01For the ribbed edging I used Cleckheaton Country Naturals 8ply and for the main part I used Lincraft Cosy Wool.

Good Time Mitts Naturals Blue Mix 02These are the very first mitts I made using Sullivans Aztec which has an alpaca component making them really soft.

Good Time Mitts Sullivans Aztec Green 02And that’s just the start. I’ve made lots more using different patterns which I’ll show you at a later date. So if you haven’t made fingerless mitts previously and you’ve been toying with the idea, I would highly recommend that you start! The thumb area is not complicated so long as you follow the very easy instructions in the pattern.

I had so much fun mixing and matching yarns for the ribbed edging and the main part of the mitts to give a different look.

If you’re interested, I have some mitts for sale on my MelsNattyKnits FB page.

Let me know if you use this pattern; I’d love to hear your comments on how you go 🙂

Until next time.

Melanie

New Sock Blockers, Squirrel Cage Swift (and a little more yarn)

If you recall I told you the story recently about the new bobbins I had made, by a local retired wood turner, for my Little Peggy Spinning wheel. Well, today I picked up my newly made sock blockers and squirrel cage swift!!! I am so excited as they are gorgeous and look sooo good.

How’s this for a lovely pair of sock blockers!

New Sock Blockers 01

New Sock Blockers 03

I love the detail at the top of the blockers. He did such a great job!

New Sock Blockers 04

Now to my new squirrel cage swift. That’s the new swift on the left hand side and the old one I bought earlier this year on the right hand side.

New Squirrel Swift 01

The new one is slightly taller and has a slightly larger base which makes it a bit more stable when I’m winding my skeins.

It’s so lovely and smooth and the cages turn so effortlessly…

New Squirrel Swift 04

It also has more holes along the side for the various sized skeins that I have…

New Squirrel Swift 05

The reason I wanted a new swift was because the old one was a bit rickety and not very smooth in places so the yarn caught at times. Without me asking, my wood turner smoothed down the old swift, re-glued the base and gave it a coat of varnish so it’s as good as new. Now I have two fantastic swifts! Can’t wait to start winding some skeins now!

On the way home from picking up these goodies, my car suddenly had a mind of its own and for some reason or other I turned left into the Lincraft car park. Well it seemed silly not to slip inside to see whether I could pick up some yarn that could possibly be on sale. I mean….you’d do the same thing wouldn’t you?

Here are a few little gems that I found…

Some gorgeous Panda Magnum Soft 8ply acrylic which I am going to use to make this crocheted ripple blanket. This website has a great tutorial which I’ll be using.

Magnum Soft 02

Sixteen balls in total for AU$3.83 each. Beautiful colours aren’t they?

Magnum Soft 03

Five balls each of the following colours of Shepherd Colour 4 Me Prints at AU$4.18 a ball. It’s an 8ply 100% wool and each ball weighs 50g. I think they’ll make cute little toddler vests and hats.

Colour 4 Me Brights 01

Colour 4 Me Outback 01

Colour 4 Me Sea 01

I couldn’t walk past this gorgeous fluorescent yellow Cleckheaton Country 8ply 100% wool in the colourway ‘Neon’. Six balls at AU$3.48 each. Again, perfect for toddlers’ hats and vests.

Cleckheaton Country Neon 02

And finally, this lonely ball of Cleckheaton Country 8ply in the colourway ‘Citron’ was all by itself. I felt sorry for it so bought it to add to the collection of this colourway that I have in my stash!

Cleckheaton Country Citron

All I can say is that I’m stockpiling for when I retire (hopefully in under four years’ time) as I probably won’t be able to afford to buy yarn at the rate I do now. That’s my reasoning and I’m sticking to it 🙂

I hope you’re enjoying your weekend as much as I am. Until next time…

Melanie