Two More Miss Winkles

The second and third Miss Winkle scarves recently came off the needles so you can assume I really like this pattern. The very talented pattern writer is Martina Behm and you can find Martina on Ravelry. My first was in a lovely variegated pink which I gave to my sister. This is my second Miss Winkle Scarf…

Miss Winkle Cream 01It’s made with some of  my Dyed By Hand Yarn 2015 Sock Yarn Club offerings. A gorgeous 80% merino / 10% cashmere / 10% nylon called Mother’s Love in the colourway Flannel Flower.

DBHY Mothers Love Flannel Flower 02I love the very subtle tinges of green in this scarf and I’ve worn it quite a few times now.

Miss Winkle Cream 02Miss Winkle Cream 09I use a piece of dowel that is slipped through the loops on the edge of the scarf so they block nicely.

Miss Winkle Cream 08My third Miss Winkle is blue!!! Yes, that’s right; it’s not orange and nor is it green. This yarn is Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport Solid and it’s a 100% plied wool that is a dream to knit with. The colourway is Cermak.

Lornas Laces Sportmate Cermak 03I am delighted with the outcome!

Miss Winkle Blue 02I really love this colour and it goes so well with blue denim jeans too.

Miss Winkle Blue 05And again, I slipped dowel through the loops so they’re nicely rounded.

Miss Winkle Blue 07Miss Winkle Blue 04

I really can’t recommend this pattern enough. It’s quite ingenious and is not difficult to follow. I’ll definitely be making more Miss Winkle scarves as they make ideal gifts and don’t take too long to complete.

Until next time…

Melanie

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My 2014 Sock Yarn Club Goodies

Yesterday I received my final instalment in the Dyed By Hand Yarns‘ Sock Yarn Club. The theme for 2014 was Australia II – colours inspired by the ocean, sea, sails and coastlines.

Two skeins of sock yarn were posted out in the last week in March, May and July and the yarns included were 2 x Tough Stocking, 1 x Mother’s Love, 1 x Big Blue Stocking, 1 x Silk Stocking and 1 x Blue Chip Stocking.

Each skein of yarn was dyed in a colour inspired by something Australian. These colours are exclusive to yarn club members for 12 months. Custom dyeing of these colours on any yarn base may be ordered by yarn club members for the duration of the club.

# 1 is called Surf Life Saving and is dyed on Tough Stocking which is a 75% merino / 25% nylon yarn. This colourway is incredibly eye-catching and really depicts the Aussie surf life saving colours of the red and yellow flag against the blue ocean and sky. Very vivid indeed.

DBHY Surf Life Saving 06-tile

# 2 is called Blue Ringed Octopus and is also dyed on Tough Stocking. The blue-ringed octopuses are three (or perhaps four) octopus species that live in tide pools and coral reefs in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, from Japan to Australia (mainly around southern New South Wales and South Australia, and northern Western Australia). Despite their small size and relatively docile nature, they can prove a danger to humans. They can be recognised by their characteristic blue and black rings and yellowish skin. When the octopus is agitated, the brown patches darken dramatically, and iridescent blue rings or clumps of rings appear and pulsate within the maculae. It’s hard to believe that something so beautiful can be so dangerous.

DBHY Blue Ringed Octopus 03-tile

# 3 is called Monkey Mia and is dyed on Mother’s Love which is an 80% merino / 10% cashmere / 10% nylon yarn. Monkey Mia is a popular tourist destination located about 900 km north of Perth, Western Australia. The reserve is 25 km northeast of the town of Denham in the Shark Bay Marine Park and World Heritage Site.

The main attraction is the bottlenose dolphins that have been coming close to shore for more than fifty years. The beautiful blue colours of the ocean are captured so well in this yarn.

DBHY Mothers Love Monkey Mia 04-tile

# 4 is called Purple Sea Urchin and is dyed on Blue Chip Stocking which is a 70% merino / 20% silk  / 10% cashmere yarn. Purple Sea Urchins are found in southern Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. They live on intertidal rocky shores and in coastal waters to a depth of 35 metres. In order to gain protection from predators and the elements, they cluster together and use their sharp spines to burrow into the rock. They normally grow to a diameter of about 4 inches and may live as long as 70 years.

Wow! The colours in the yarn are definitely a true indication of the colours in the Purple Sea Urchin.

DBHY Blue Chip Purple Sea Urchin 04-tile

# 5 is called Gorgons Head Coral and is dyed on Silk Stocking which is 50% merino / 50% silk yarn.

A four-week expedition to explore the deep ocean south-west of Tasmania in 2008 revealed new species of animals and more evidence of impacts of increasing carbon dioxide on deep-sea corals. A bright red, undescribed species of shell-less coral, called an anthomastid or gorgons-head coral was discovered at 1700 metres deep at the Cascade Plateau, off south-east Tasmania.

This also happens to be one of my favourite colours. Plus the 50% silk in this yarn makes it feel lovely and soft.

DBHY Silk Stocking Gorgons Head Coral 02-tile

And lastly, # 6 is called Bass Strait and is dyed on Big Blue Stocking which is 100% wool. Bass Strait is a sea strait separating Tasmania from the Australian mainland, specifically the state of Victoria.

What a wonderful rich blue colour typical of the deep blue sea.

DBHY Blue Chip Bass Strait 02-tile

Now my next challenge is to assign patterns to each of these gorgeous yarns. What would you make with each one?

Until next time…

Melanie

 

Two Handspun Woolly Neck Knits

Another handspun garment has flown off the needles! I am particularly happy with this ‘Forest’ Handspun Scarf. The spinning is getting to be quite consistent and the colours are simply wonderful.

From this…

Forest roving 02

To this…

Forest Handspun 02

To this luscious skein…

Forest Handspun 05

To this beautiful scarf…

Forest Handspun Scarf 01

Isn’t the striping effect gorgeous?

Forest Handspun Scarf 03

The pattern is called One Row Handspun Scarf from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka The Yarn Harlot and it can be found on Ravelry. It is soooo easy to knit and is reversible which is what I like in a scarf.

I added a lovely fringe to make it look like the scarves I used to wear when I was a little girl and my family lived in the UK for a year.

Forest Handspun Scarf 06

Forest Handspun Scarf 07

I bought the two x 100g rovings from Kathy’s Fibres. They are lovely to spin from and Kathy’s colours are amazing.

Forest Handspun Scarf 08

The scarf is 100% merino wool.

Forest Handspun Scarf 11

Forest Handspun Scarf 13

The second handspun garment is a 50/50 kid mohair/merino cowl. It was challenging trying to spin this yarn and it became a very thick and thin textured labour of love.

The original fibre was very soft and fluffy…

Kid Mohair 01

As you can see it is very thick and thin…

Kid Mohair 04

The colourway is called ‘Autumn’ and it has lovely bits of blue and orange throughout it…

Kid Mohair 06

The two skeins have a real ‘chunky’ look about them…

Kid Mohair 08

But as I learn every day, there are no mistakes in spinning. The thick and thin look is actually what some spinners aim to achieve and here I am doing it without even trying!!

I only had enough yarn to make this very warm and incredibly soft cowl…

Kid Mohair Cowl 01

Not bad for a spinning ‘disaster’ is it?

Kid Mohair Cowl 02

This is also the same One Row Handspun Scarf except I joined the ends to make a cowl.

Kid Mohair Cowl 03

I love all those muted colours.

Kid Mohair Cowl 04

Only a small cowl but very big on warmth and character I must say!

Kid Mohair Cowl 06

You could say I am very happy with my handspun achievements to date. Plus I am going to have the warmest neck in the whole world next winter 🙂

Before I go I must let you know that I have subscribed to Dyed By Hand Yarns’ 2014 Simply Sock Club and the first instalment is released next week! I can’t wait!

The theme for 2014 is Australia II – colours inspired by the ocean, sea, sails and coastlines. This is a six month sock yarn only club and you receive:

Two skeins of sock yarn posted out in the last week in March, May and July. Yarns included are 2 x Tough Stocking, 1 x Mother’s Love, 1 x Big Blue Stocking, 1 x Silk Stocking and 1 x Blue Chip Stocking.

Each skein of yarn is dyed in a colour inspired by something Australian. These colours are exclusive to yarn club members for 12 months. Plus custom dyeing of these colours on any yarn base may be ordered by yarn club members for the duration of the club.

Now as I have mentioned, I have no financial or other affiliation with Dyed By Hand Yarns. I simply love to promote fantastic Aussie artisan hand-dyed yarns and fibres as they are spectacular. Here’s my story about the 2013 Simply Sock Club with pictures of all the yarns. And remember, you don’t necessarily have to knit socks with the yarns….you can also knit some beautiful scarves and shawls.

One more pic of my scrumptious Forest Handspun Scarf…

Forest Handspun Scarf 04

That’s all for now. Until next time…

Melanie

My Spotted Gum Mobius

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had a safe and yarn-filled new year’s eve 🙂 As we roll into another year I thought I’d start by showing you another UFO that I completed late last year!!! That’s my 4th one! This Mobius really frustrated me to start with. I cast on with excitement as I usually do with a new project and after about two or three pattern repeats I was finding it hard to concentrate on the pattern so I put it aside.

03 Autumn Mobius 01

Once I published my story about all my UFOs one of my readers really gave me some incentive to complete my projects rather than just buy yarn and never finish knitting a project. Thanks Colin! So I picked up this project again and ironically I found the pattern to be a lot easier….perhaps I was in the right frame of mind.

Spotted Gum Mobius 01

It can be worn long or wrapped around your neck.

Spotted Gum Mobius 09

It’s hard to tell the right and wrong side of this pattern as they both look good!

Spotted Gum Mobius 05

The pattern I used is the Autumn Fern Mobius. It actually came in a kit form from Yay for Yarn and I purchased it last year. Unfortunately the pattern arrived safely via email however the original yarn was lost in the mail so I had to select a substitute yarn which I didn’t actually use for this Mobius.

Spotted Gum Mobius 08

The yarn I used is Dyed By Hand Yarn’s Tough Stocking which is a 4ply / fingering 75% merino / 15% nylon yarn. The colourway is Spotted Gum and this yarn was part of the 2013 Sock Yarn Club. Each skein of yarn was dyed in a colour inspired by something Australian. The colours were exclusive to yarn club members for 12 months and custom dyeing of these colours on any yarn base could be ordered by yarn club members for the duration of the club. Here’s the link to my story that shows all the colourways for the 2013 yarns.

Simply_Sock_Club_2013_all_colours_view_2

The colours have now been released to everyone and the 2014 Sock Yarn Club is now open. I think I’ll have to subscribe again. Here’s the link if you’re interested. BTW I have no financial or other affiliation with Dyed By Hand Yarns; I simply believe in promoting great Aussie artisan yarn dyers wherever I can as I believe they produce stunning yarns in stunning colours.

As you can see, the yarn colours surely do depict the colours of the Spotted Gum don’t they?

Dyed By Hand Yarn Spotted Gum-tile

Very pleased with the result…

Spotted Gum Mobius 07

I used a provisional cast on and then twisted one end of the cowl before using Kitchener stitch to graft both ends together to form the Mobius effect.

Spotted Gum Mobius 02

I’ve been busily crocheting market bags as I’ve found a pattern than I can understand. Have just finished my 9th one!!!

Until next time…

Melanie

Ever Thought About Joining a Sock Yarn Club?

Earlier this year I joined my first ever sock yarn club when I stumbled across the details on Dyed By Hand Yarns website. This is how the sock club works: Two skeins of sock yarn are posted out in the last week in March, May and July. Yarns included are 2 x Tough Stocking, 2 x Mother’s Love, 1 x Silk Stocking and 1x Blue Chip Stocking.

What I loved about it was that each skein of yarn was dyed in a colour inspired by something Australian. These colours are exclusive to yarn club members for 12 months and custom dyeing of these colours on any yarn base may be ordered by yarn club members for the duration of the club.

I have just received my final instalment in the 2013 sock yarn club so I thought I’d recap on all six skeins I received this year.

The first yarn in March’s instalment was called Spotted Gum and I loved how the colours exactly mirror those of the spotted gum tree. I haven’t knitted anything yet with this skein but am open to suggestions. I feel it is much too nice to be on my feet so am thinking maybe a scarf or a shawl.

Dyed By Hand Yarn Spotted Gum-tile

The second yarn in March’s instalment was called ‘Vegemite’. Who’d have thought to dye a yarn to resemble the colour of Vegemite but of course it is quintessentially Australian isn’t it?There are reddish flecks throughout the yarn which adds some interest. Maybe a pair of socks that has a great stitch pattern definition.

Dyed By Hand Yarn Vegemite-tile

The first yarn in May’s instalment was called ‘Flame Tree’ and I love its rich and vibrant colours. Definitely a scarf I think as these colours must be shown off and seen. Any suggestions for a pattern?

Dyed by Hand Yarns Flame Tree 01-tile

The second yarn in May’s instalment was called ‘Happy Wanderer’ and again Julie has captured the colours so well. Maybe a hat and some fingerless gloves would fit the bill.

Dyed by Hand Yarns Happy Wanderer 03-tile

The first yarn in July’s instalment was called ‘White Opal’ and its beautiful subtle hues really captivated me. I instantly thought of knitting a baby shawl which could be a family heirloom. I may need to purchase another skein if I want to make a decent sized shawl. Wouldn’t it look fantastic? And the colours would suit a baby boy or girl. Any suggestions for a pattern that would really show off these colours? Oh and by the way, this yarn is a 70% superwash Blue Faced Leicster / 20% silk / 10% cashmere so would be perfect against a baby’s delicate skin.

Dyed by Hand Blue Opal 02-tile

And finally, the second yarn in July’s instalment was ‘True Blue’. Now I don’t have much in the way of blue yarn and on a few occasions I’ve thought about knitting something in blue. Now I have the yarn! I’d probably use this yarn for a shawl or a scarf as it is so lovely and soft…a 50% superwash merino / 50% silk.

Dyed by Hand True Blue-tile

Now, as you can imagine, buying yarn is quite a personal experience as you’re generally selecting colours and yarn that you’re drawn to and what is your personal preference. To leave this up to someone else is a bit of a gamble as you have no idea what you’ll be getting do you?

When I saw that the 2013 sock yarn club would be themed ‘Australian’ I found that interesting and thought the colours could be different from what I’d usually buy and I was right in most cases. You can’t really go wrong when it comes to the colours of the Australian landscape.

I am definitely glad I joined this sock yarn club and congratulate Julie from Dyed By Hand Yarns for producing such a wonderful array of colours for me to knit with.

I really need to find the right pattern for each yarn and then get stuck into knitting some garments.

Looks like I’ll be signing up for the 2014 sock yarn club.

Thanks Julie! Until next time…

Melanie