Bambu 7 and Other Knitty Kn-ewes!!

Where do you get your ideas from for knitting garments and what yarn to purchase? I get quite a few of my ideas from what others are buying and knitting as I’m sure a lot of us do. Other people’s ideas inspire and motivate me enormously and I hope maybe my knitting projects and yarn purchases inspire others to have a go.

At a recent Knit and Knatter gathering one of the lovely ladies was knitting a beautiful Victorian lace scarf using Valley Yarns 10/2 Bamboo in a rusty shade. It’s a lovely fine 2ply / lace bamboo yarn. She had bought the bamboo at the Redlands Spinners and Weavers (RS&W) open day held in June this year. The bamboo felt so light and soft and I was immediately smitten. To make matters worse Catherine brought along her scarf to the RS&W Christmas lunch and knitted in between courses so I had even more time to covet the yarn. It’s the perfect yarn to knit a fine and light scarf that you can wear on a summer’s night if it’s a little bit breezy. Isn’t it beautiful?

Victorian Ruby in Rust

A quick search on Ravelry and I was dismayed to see this particular yarn is now discontinued 😦 I contacted Catherine who gave me the details of the supplier who was at the open day. I then emailed BB Yarns in Brisbane to ask whether they still had any supplies of the Bamboo 10/2. The lovely Ursula was also disappointed when Valley Yarns discontinued this bamboo yarn and no she didn’t have any more supplies but had managed to source another bamboo yarn called Bambu 7 made by Silk City Fibers. She offered to send me a sample of all the colours which, of course, I jumped at!

Bambu 7 colours

When I opened the envelope I was immediately in yarn heaven just gazing at all the beautiful solid, bold colours available in this 100% bamboo yarn.

I don’t know about you but when I’m buying something online I hate the fact I have to add on the postage costs as well. Of course, I don’t expect the seller to pay for the postage (although in some cases they do….Yarn Glorious Yarn in Brisbane) so my aim is to order as much as possible that will fit in a particular postage satchel so that the price per item is still quite reasonable. Makes sense doesn’t it?

Each 100g cone of the Bambu 7 cost AU$12.85 and Ursula said she could comfortably fit 10 cones into a postage satchel which would cost AU$13.40. I, of course, could not just pick one colour out of all those scrumptious shades so I thought ‘what the heck!’ and I bought 10 cones which made the postage only an additional $1.34 for each cone. How economical am I? By spending money, I am actually saving it!!! I’m sure you must agree with me 🙂

On Friday before I left for work I heard the comforting and familiar sound of a parcel being placed near my front door 🙂 I’m not sure whether I’ve told you this before or not but my local parcel delivery man is so used to dropping off parcels at my home that every time I see him as I walk to work he always waves to me from his van. In fact, on a couple of occasions he’s actually pulled over his van on the side of the road and handed me my parcel! That tells me I’m buying too much online!!! But it doesn’t seem to stop me 🙂

Anyway, I digress….back to the story. I quickly ran to the front door, picked up the parcel, took it into my kitchen and gingerly opened it with a pair of scissors. I was met by this wonderful array of rainbow coloured spools of Bambu 7 goodness in shades of rust, fawn, orange, red, mauve, yellow, forest green, mid green, denim blue and bottle green. Sheer bliss!! I didn’t want to go to work. I wanted to start a new project straight away but I’m still waiting for the book Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby that I’ve just ordered from The Book Depository to arrive which means….another parcel delivery!!!!!!!!

Victorian lace today

Are you ready to see these glorious Bambu 7 colours? Here they are in all their colourful glory!!!!!!!!

Bambu 7 01

Bambu 7 02

Bambu 7 03

Talking about The Book Depository….occasionally I’ll visit the website, enter a word and wait to see what books pop up. I did that recently by entering the word ‘sock’ and waited to see what would appear. There were lots and lots of books as you can imagine but this one caught my eye. It’s called Sock Yarn Studio by Carol J Sulcoski and it’s full of patterns using sock yarn. There are no sock patterns; only patterns for other items but using sock yarn. The book arrived last week. It’s a gorgeous book and I’m so glad I bought it. I happened to have just walked out my front gate on the way to work when the parcel delivery van arrived so I stood and waited as he got out of the van with a number of parcels in his hands. “Anything for me”, I said. Of course there was!!

Sock yarn studio

BTW I have also ordered Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s (aka The Yarn Harlot) latest book called The Amazing Thing about the Way it Goes which is due to be released in March/April 2014. Her books are always a rollicking read.

The amazing thing

I’ve also just received my December 2013 issue of the Australian Creative Knitting Magazine so I have lots of yarnie reading to do over the Christmas break. Creative Knitting is distributed four times a year as is Australian Knitting Magazine and Yarn Magazine….all Aussie magazines I subscribe to. I also subscribe to Ply Magazine and Spin-Off Magazine, both USA magazines.

Creative Knitting 01

And I rather fancy these two crochet patterns…

Creative Knitting 02

Creative Knitting 03

The picture I am painting here for you is a house full of yarn, knitting books and knitting magazines!! I love being surrounded by all this yarnie goodness. It’s so good for the soul don’t you think?

Stop the Press!! I was ready to send out this post this morning when I opened my front door and lo and behold there were two parcels waiting for me!!! It’s not often we have mail and parcel deliveries on a Saturday but generally the weekend before Christmas is an exception. The two parcels were my book Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby….it’s huge and there are so many beautiful lace shawl and scarf patterns; and the interlocking foam floor tiles which are technically for children to use as a play mat or a giant puzzle but for me they’ll be used to block my knitting. In fact, I’ve already got a cowl outside blocking in the sun.

Puzzle Mat for Blocking

And to finish off I want to show you the lovely teapot, milk jug, sugar bowl and two cups and saucers I bought from the monthly charity stall that is held where I live and which I always visit on my way to work.  I couldn’t resist it. The set is made in England.

Tea Set 01

Can’t wait to try out the tea pot this weekend.

Tea Set 02

Aren’t those cups so dainty and delicate?

Tea Set 03

The creamer / milk jug…

Tea Set 04

The sugar bowl…

Tea Set 05

Yikes, I’ve just realised I’ve started amassing a small collection of tea pots without realising it. I’ll have to nip that in the bud before I become obsessed with collecting tea pots!

Tea Pots 01

I knitted all the tea cosies too!

Tea Pots 02

And even a miniature set that I bought in Singapore a few years ago…

Tea Pots 03

Have a fantastic yarnie and crafty weekend in the lead up to Christmas Day!

Until next time…

Melanie

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Nature Socks………….Pair # 30

The other night I finished a project and as I didn’t quite know what to start next (which is a major surprise considering the size of my stash!), I grabbed a ball of sock yarn and started knitting my ‘go to’ sock knitting pattern which requires hardly any thinking at all.

You guessed it….it’s the pattern that 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. Over 10,000 pairs of socks have been made using this pattern and recorded on Ravelry!!!!.

Nature Socks 01

I called these ‘Nature’ socks as the colours represent the colours of nature and also because I’m running out of names to call all my socks! They look rather lovely photographed against the backdrop of these lovely green plants.

Nature Socks 03

I love the solid coloured stripes followed by the self patterning stripes.

Nature Socks 07

Nature Socks 02

The sock yarn I used is Patons Patonyle which is a 4ply 80% merino / 20% nylon yarn. It’s great to work with and is known as Australia’s favourite merino sock blend for over 85 years! (Australian Country Spinners). That certainly says a lot!

I just fell in love with this yarn when I saw the colours.

Patons Patonyle Sock Yarn 6

I’ve been busily knitting away trying to finish my Cable Bias Scarf which is looking a treat. I’ve used my Zen Yarn Garden ART WALK series (# 3) yarn called  Starry Night. It’s a 10ply / worsted yarn and contains lovely shades of blue with a splash of green. It’s looking fabulous and I can’t wait to show it to you very soon.

One more look at my ‘Nature’ socks….

Nature Socks 09

Hope you’re having a great weekend full of yarnie and crafty goodness. Until next time…

Melanie

Bluey Socks…….Pair # 29

I was up until 11.30pm last night which is simply unheard of for me. I started knitting the Ilene Bag and was so excited about how it was turning out that I couldn’t put it down! I hope to finish it in the next day or so, so I’ll show you the pics then but here’s a glimpse.

Ilene Bag 01

Lovely bright red Patons Bluebell 5ply (sport) yarn that I bought over a year ago in a job lot on Ebay. It is the perfect yarn for this bag as it stretches so well.

Okay now back to this post….

I started my ‘Bluey’ socks while I was on holidays in Noosaville in July and finished them on my return home. I’ve had a bit of a spate of knitting plain vanilla socks using some lovely patterned yarn. I think I’ve finally learned my lesson….you need to knit a plain sock if you’re using a great self-patterning sock yarn.

Bluey Socks 02This is my first pair of blue socks as I gave the last pair away as a present to a dear friend of mine.

Bluey Socks 04

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!!!! I know the pattern off by heart now.

Bluey Socks 08

Nothing like getting some different photos when you’re on your holidays and right beside the Noosa River.

Bluey Socks 06

Love the heel flap in this pattern…Sl1, K1 repeat across the odd rows and then Sl1, P across the even rows.

Bluey Socks 16

Bluey Socks 18

I used S.R, Kertzer On Your Toes 4 Ply with Aloe Vera, one of the many balls of sock yarn I’ve purchased over the last year. It’s now discontinued.

On Your Toes 01

Bluey Socks 10

I must start looking for another pattern with some detail and use some of my solid coloured sock yarn but all I seem to be doing is jumping between knitting all sorts of different items….from baby clothes to bags to socks to scarves to hats….. It’s so much fun having access to so many fantastic free knitting patterns on Ravelry.

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!!!!

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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.

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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

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