Yarning

Today I walked down to the Cleveland Sunday Markets to get a bit of exercise and also because it was such a glorious winter’s day here in Brisbane. As I wandered up and down checking out all the stalls my eyes zeroed in on a lot of hand sewn baby doonas and other goodies. Now, I don’t know why I walked into that stall because I don’t have a baby nor is there one on the horizon for me ūüė¶ (I wish my son would find a girlfriend, get married and give me lots of grandchildren!) Anyway, my eyes immediately spotted this gorgeous baby doona and I HAD to have it!!

Sheep doona frontAt $35 it was a steal as I could see the amount of fabric and stuffing let alone the cutting and sewing that went into making this doona. The back fabric is flannelette and has little monkeys and other critters on it.

Sheep doona backI’ve been doing a bit of spinning lately and yesterday I washed, skeined and wound this gorgeous Ixchel Bunny fibre into a cake. It’s plied with a silver/grey metallic thread.

Black Bunny Tops Silver Grey 01And I’ve just started spinning one of these braids. As the colours of the braids are so similar, I’m going to ply them together once they’re both spun.

2 Ixchel braidsJust over four years ago I bought my first spinning wheel, an Ashford Traditional and about two years ago I bought a double treadle kit to replace the single treadle. I’m¬† embarrassed to say that I’ve only JUST installed the double treadle kit. Why did I wait so long!! I just love spinning on this wheel now.

Double treadleDid you notice all the sheep on my two-seater lounge which can no longer be used for visitors ūüôā I don’t know how many sheep I have on that lounge. It’s now at the point that they’re really squashed together ūüôā

Now to some of my latest yarn purchases from Zen Yarn Garden (ZYG).

The 22nd offering in the ZYG ART WALK Series features a painting by Georgia O’Keeffe¬†entitled “Petunias”. From one medium to the next, artists express their use of colour. Inspired by¬†ZYG’s chosen art piece,¬†their dyer has successfully captured the excitement and¬†complexity¬†of the painting.

22 ZYG Peonies 05

Georgia O‚ÄôKeeffe (1887 ‚Äď 1986) was a groundbreaking Modernist painter who digressed from realism to express her own visionary style. Raised in rural Wisconsin, which gave her a love of nature and formed the basis for her revolutionary artwork, O‚ÄôKeefe is best known for flower paintings which made up a significant percentage of her work. Expressing what she felt, rather than what she had been taught, O‚ÄôKeeffe painted enormous close-ups of flowers, transforming their contours into fascinating abstractions, and highlighting their importance in a manner that commanded attention. One of the most influential and innovative artists of the 20th century, O‚ÄôKeeffe was the first woman to have her own exhibition at New York‚Äôs Museum of Modern Art.¬†[quoted from Art.com]

22 ZYG Peonies image

I bought two skeins of this Serenity 20 fingering which is a 70% superwash merino / 20% cashmere / 10% nylon blend.

The 23rd offering in the ZYG WALK Series features a painting by Jackson Pollock¬†entitled “Number 18”.¬†Inspired by ZYG’s chosen art piece,¬†their dyer has successfully captured the excitement and¬†complexity¬†of the painting.23 ZYG No 18 Pollock 6

Jackson Pollock (1912 ‚Äď 1956), the pioneer of Abstract Expressionism, challenged the artistic tradition of using an easel and brush by pouring and dripping paint onto canvases. His groundbreaking works had a childlike quality which belied their stunning complexity and sophistication. Driven by inner torment which compelled him to paint, Pollock attached large canvases to the floor, densely pouring, dripping and flinging paint embedded with sand or glass onto them with intense physical movement. Influenced by Picasso, Mir√≥, and the Surrealists, Pollock also revolutionized a style of painting in which the work has no identifiable parts or point of emphasis, and is painted with a stream-of-consciousness technique called psychic automatism.¬†[quoted from Art.com]
23 ZYG No 18 Pollock image
I purchased two skeins of this Serenity 20 fingering which is a 70% superwash merino / 20% cashmere / 10% nylon blend.

The 24th offering in the ZYG ART WALK Series features a painting by Pablo Picasso¬†entitled “Blue Nude”.¬†Inspired by ZYG’s chosen art piece,¬†their dyer has successfully captured the excitement and¬†complexity¬†of the painting.

24 ZYG Blue Nude 06

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), a twentieth century Grand Master who co-founded Cubism, was only 20 years old when his friend‚Äôs tragic death resulted in the subdued ‚ÄúBlue Nude. His ‚ÄúBlue Period‚ÄĚ artworks, rendered in somber blues and greens, were part of an astounding 20,000 paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures he produced in his lifetime. Hauntingly beautiful and exquisitely composed, ‚ÄúBlue Nude‚ÄĚ is one of Picasso‚Äôs best-selling pieces, and a testament to his ability to express complex emotions with one simple shade.¬†[quoted from Art.com]
24 ZYG Blue Nude image
I purchased two skeins of this Serenity Silk Single fingering 75% superwash merino / 15% cashmere / 10% silk blend.

And finally, the 25th¬†offering in the ZYG ART WALK Series features a painting by Norman Rockwell¬†entitled “Walking to Church”.¬†Inspired by ZYG’s chosen art piece,¬†their dyer has successfully captured the excitement and¬†complexity¬†of the painting.

25 ZYG Walking to Church 01

Norman Rockwell (1894 ‚Äď 1978), one of America‚Äôs most beloved artists, left a timeless legacy of nostalgic, endearing, whimsical paintings that appealingly and insightfully depict simple, and often idyllic, scenes from daily life. After illustrating a series of children‚Äôs books at age 16, Rockwell was hired to be the art director of ‚ÄúBoys‚Äô Life,‚ÄĚ the official publication of the Boy Scouts of America. Six years later, he sold his first cover to the most prestigious magazine of the era, the ‚ÄúSaturday Evening Post.‚ÄĚ Over the next 47 years, he created 321 covers for the ‚ÄúPost,‚ÄĚ which became synonymous with his name. He later worked for ‚ÄúLook‚ÄĚ magazine, addressing more serious issues of civil rights, poverty and space exploration.¬†[quoted from Art.com]
25 ZYG walkingtochurch4_grande
I bought two skeins of this Serenity 20 fingering 70% superwash merino / 20% cashmere / 10% nylon blend.

I remember when I bought my first two skeins of the ART WALK series back in March 2013 I had visions of collecting two skeins in each release thinking¬†there’d be no more than ten or so releases. We’re now up to number 25 release and I’m starting to worry that I’ll be buying these ART WALK series for the rest of my life ūüôā I wonder when they will cease??

Before I go, I must tell you that I am starting to sell some of hand knitted goodies. My friends have encouraged me over the last couple of years to start selling them but I didn’t feel inclined to but it has now got to the point where I have a lot of these items just sitting in zip lock bags as I can’t get around to wearing them all! You can find the ones I have for sale here and I will be adding¬†items to this album over the coming months as I go through my rather large stash. If there’s something that’s taken your eye over the last couple of years and you’d like to own it, just drop me a¬†line via me Contact Me page and if I’m not keeping that particular item then it’s for sale!

Until next time…

Melanie

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Zen Yarn Garden Yarn

I have been purchasing Zen Yarn Garden Yarn for a couple of years now, ever since I discovered their Art Walk Yarn Series. The colours are always amazing and the yarn is incredibly beautiful and with the 15-20%% cashmere content, it’s always soft and luxurious.

These are my more recent acquisitions.

The¬†nineteenth¬†offering in the ART WALK Series features a painting by Pablo Picasso¬†entitled “Cote d’Azure”. From one medium to the next, artists express their use of colour. Inspired by Picasso, Zen Yarn Garden’s dyer has successfully captured the excitement and¬†complexity¬†of the painting.

18 ZYG Cote dAsure 11Pablo Picasso (1881 ‚Äď 1973) was an artistic virtuoso who co-founded Cubism, and produced an astounding 20,000 paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures during his brilliant 70-year career. Picasso‚Äôs unparalleled body of work was so vast, and its phases so unique, that art historians have divided it into specific periods. A child prodigy, Picasso took advanced classes at the Royal Academy of Art in Barcelona when he was only 15. His revolutionary Cubist works, with their distorted shapes and fragmented forms, established art as a genre that does not need to literally represent reality. Zealously embracing every medium from primitive art to sketches to Surrealism, Picasso had an unrivaled influence upon 20th century art.¬†[quoted from Art.com]

18 ZYG Cote dAsure 06Two skeins of Serenity 20 which is a 70% superwash merino / 20% cashmere / 10% nylon that contains 400 yds / 100g in a 4ply / fingering weight.

18 ZYG Cote dAsure 07I think this particular colourway is one of my absolute favourites. The beautiful blues, oranges and yellows definitely remind me of the the Riviera. I’m going to have to find a very special pattern for this yarn.

18 ZYG Cote dAsure 10This is the painting that inspired the colourway.

18 ZYG CotedAzure imageThe nineteenth¬†offering in the ART WALK Series features a painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir¬†entitled “Strawberries”. Inspired by Renoir, Zen Yarn Garden’s dyer has successfully captured the excitement and¬†complexity¬†of the painting.

19 ZYG Strawberries 03Living in the moment and indulging in life‚Äôs temporal pleasures were among Pierre-Auguste Renoir favorite themes, and he expressed them more than any other Impressionist. A renowned leader of the Impressionist movement, Renoir (1841 ‚Äď 1919) enjoyed depicting his friends and lovers with expressive candor, conveying a youthful exuberance and intimate charm that suggests visions of an earthly paradise. By focusing on the ‚Äėhere and now‚Äô of his time, these fleeting moments become relished nostalgic memories. Renoir‚Äôs portrayal of luminous color, skillfully varied brushstrokes, nuances of light and shadow all worked together to form a warm sensuality.¬†[quoted from Art.com]

Two skeins of Serenity 20 which is a 70% superwash merino / 20% cashmere / 10% nylon that contains 400 yds / 100g in a 4ply / fingering weight.

This is the painting that inspired this colourway.

19 ZYG Strawberries imageThe twentieth¬†offering in the ART WALK Series features a painting by Wassily Kandinsky¬†entitled “Improvisation”. Inspired by Kandinsky, Zen Yarn Garden’s dyer has successfully captured the excitement and¬†complexity¬†of the painting.

20 YYG Improvisation 02Wassily 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‚Äôs 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‚Äôs ‚ÄúHaystacks.‚ÄĚ 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.¬†[quoted from Art.com]

I bought two skeins of this yarn ‚Äď Serenity Silk Single which is a 75% superwash merino / 15% cashmere / 10% silk 4ply / fingering yarn and contains 430 yards / 100g in each skein.

This is the painting that inspired this colourway.

20 YYG Improvisation image As you can see I am starting to amass rather a large collection of these Art Walk Series’ yarns as I always buy two skeins of each release. To date I have made the Garrowby Hill Scarf (one skein), Starry Night Scarf (two skeins) and Oaklet Shawl. (one skein).

I really need to get my thinking cap on and start looking for some lovely patterns so I can use some of this yarn ūüôā

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Day and received some lovely yarnie gifts. My son gave me this calendar which I absolutely adore. In fact, I drop hints every year for this gift.

2016 CalendarA couple more sheep joined the flock at my home too. I found this little one in K Mart.

KMart sheepI rather love this sheep I found at a local Opp shop. It’s rather large and has some attitude with that one arm permanently on its hip ūüôā

Big SheepI think she wants to learn to spin!

Big Sheep 02That’s all my news for now. Here’s to a wonderful 2016 filled with health, happiness, good fortune and of course lots of yarnie goodness!

Until next time…

Melanie

Will I Ever Learn???

I did something today that I shouldn’t have. Oh why did I do it? I should know better by now. Ggrrrr.

girl_crying1sheep-crying-emotion-cartoon-character-drawing-41803791I went to Spotlight. Surely I knew that would mean I’d come home with more wool!!! Which I don’t need but I want!!! If I tell you that I paid AU$2.00 a ball for the yarn (except for two balls that were $2.49 each) and saved a whopping $142.52 and only spent $96.98 surely you’d understand why I did this ūüôā

Here it is. Moda Vera Selva which is a 60% wool / 20% alpaca / 20% acrylic. It wasn’t even in Ravelry’s database so I entered it. Bought it in brown, grey and one lonely pink ball. I’m thinking definitely a grey and pink scarf.

MV Selva Brown 01MV Selva Grey 01MV Selva Pink 01Moda Vera Roulotte which is a 100% cotton. I’ll be making some scarves with this cotton and giving them away as gifts. Lovely green, mocha and pink. Maybe some more Minnies.

MV Roulotte Green 01 MV Roulotte Mocha 01 MV Roulotte Pink 01Moda Vera Deli which is a 70% alpaca / 20% wool / 10% yarn. Again, another yarn I added to Ravelry’s database so my photos are now displayed ūüôā Gorgeous blue, brown and a lovely rust colour. Maybe another teddy with the brown!!

MV Deli Blue 01 MV Deli Brown 01 MV Deli Rust 01And these two balls of Bella Baby Marvel Soft Baby 4ply in this gorgeous variegated blue.

Bella Baby Marvel Soft Baby 4ply BlueWhile I’m on a yarn showing roll, I don’t think you’ve seen the latest additions to the Zen Yarn Garden Art Walk Series that I’ve bought from Yarn Glorious Yarn in Brisbane. Sue Wheeler is the sole Aussie supplier of Zen Yarn Garden (ZYG) yarns which are made in Canada. ZYG has been producing an ART Walk Series of yarn, the colours of which are based on famous paintings. They are simply exquisite and I have purchased two skeins in each series. They‚Äôre currently up to Number 19 and can be found at Yarn Glorious Yarn soon after the colours are released. Cost per skein is generally between $32-$36 but well worth the value particularly when some of the yarn has a cashmere content.

The fifteenth¬†offering in the ART WALK Series features a painting by¬†Jackson Pollock entitled “Convergence”. From one medium to the next, artists express their use of colour. Inspired by Pollock, ZYG’s dyer has successfully captured the excitement and¬†complexity¬†of the painting.

‚ÄúConvergence,‚ÄĚ a densely painted artwork filled with a childlike sense of freedom, and staggering complexity and sophistication was created by Jackson Pollock (1912 ‚Äď 1956), the founder of Abstract Expressionism. Laying large canvases on his studio floor, Pollock challenged the tradition of using an easel and brush, pouring and dripping paint with dramatic physical movement, allowing his subconscious to dictate his motions. Influenced by Picasso, Mir√≥, and the Surrealists, Pollock‚Äôs pioneering style and emotional works made him one of the most challenging and influential artists of the 20th century.¬†[quoted from Art.com]

Zen Yarn Garden Pollock Convergence imageTwo skeins of Serenity 20 which is a 70% superwash merino / 20% cashmere / 10% nylon that contains 400 yds / 100g in a 4ply / fingering weight.

ZYG Pollock Convergence 02The sixteenth offering in the ART WALK Series features a painting by Vincent van Gogh¬†entitled “Samaritan”. Inspired by Pollock, ZYG’s dyer has successfully captured the excitement and¬†complexity¬†of the painting.

Vincent Van Gogh (1853 ‚Äď 1890) was a Dutch post-Impressionist Master whose innovative artwork powerfully influenced modern Expressionism, Fauvism, and early abstraction. Astoundingly prolific, Van Gogh produced all of his work during a 10-year period, at one point, creating 150 paintings and drawings within one year. Painting outdoors, Van Gogh uniquely captured the nighttime nuances of light and shadow, and was also renowned for his paintings of sunflowers and irises. Tormented by mental illness for most of his life, Van Gogh created many of his masterpieces while he was institutionalized. Although Van Gogh only sold one painting during his lifetime, he is now regarded as one of the most profoundly influential artists of the 19th century.¬†[quoted from Art.com] ZYG Samaritan imageTwo skeins of Serenity Glitter Sock which is an 80% superwash merino / 10% cashmere / 10% sparkling nylon that contains 400 yds / 100g 4ply / fingering yarn. I adore this colour and hope to make something special with it. Don’t know what yet ūüôā

ZYG Samaritan 04The seventeenth offering the ART WALK Series features a painting by Pablo Picasso¬†entitled “Dish of Pears”. Inspired by Picasso, ZYG’s dyer has successfully captured the excitement and¬†complexity¬†of the painting.

Pablo Picasso (1881 ‚Äď 1973) was an artistic virtuoso who co-founded Cubism, and produced an astounding 20,000 paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures during his brilliant 70-year career. Picasso‚Äôs unparalleled body of work was so vast, and its phases so unique, that art historians have divided it into specific periods. A child prodigy, Picasso took advanced classes at the Royal Academy of Art in Barcelona when he was only 15. His revolutionary Cubist works, with their distorted shapes and fragmented forms, established art as a genre that does not need to literally represent reality. Zealously embracing every medium from primitive art to sketches to Surrealism, Picasso had an unrivaled influence upon 20th century art.¬†[quoted from Art.com]

ZYG Picasso Dish of Pears imageTwo skeins of Serenity Glitter Sock which is an 80% superwash merino / 10% cashmere / 10% sparkling nylon that contains 400 yds / 100g 4ply / fingering yarn.

ZYG Dish of Pears 01Now I just have to find some more hours in the day so I can use all of this yarn plus the two spare bedrooms which are harbouring even more yarn and fibre ūüôā Oh what a dilemma ūüôā

Until next time…

Melanie

 

Where is Autumn?

autumn_evrgAutumn: a simple word but to me it heralds the end to a hot and humid Brisbane summer. It’s when I can think about gearing up for cooler weather and look forward to winter eventually arriving. Autumn means it’s more comfortable for knitting and spinning but having said that I try to knit 365 days a year and I spin throughout the year although I do more in winter.

It also means that it’s getting closer to when I can start wearing my knitted scarves and socks of which I have sooo many!!

But more importantly autumn means those gorgeous colours that I love so much…

Autumn image 1-tileThose explosions of stunningly beautiful golds, oranges, rusts, browns, reds and greens (and even pinks).

Autumn image 5-tileThey simply take my breath away…

Autumn image 10-tileNow you can see where some yarn dyers get their inspiration from…

Autumn image 14-tileAnd that’s why I tend to lean towards these autumn shades when I purchase my yarn…

Zen Yarn Garden Pumpkin Pie Spice 04Shorn Fibers Serengeti 07Shorn Fibres Autumn Leaves 3Autumn Cowl 01Autumn Citron 01Sunset Shawlette 01Moda Vera Harmony 02Moda Vera Hue 01Moda Vera Spinnler 02BWM Bloom Orange 03BWM Bloom Green 03I don’t think you can beat these colours when it comes to the range of different shades and their affinity to nature.

If you want to see a real display of autumn colour, you can’t really beat the autumns in Melbourne…

Melbourne autumn 1-tileSONY DSCWhat do you think? Doesn’t autumn offer such a wonderful palette of colours for yarn dyers?

So wonderful in fact, that Zen Yarn Garden created this gorgeous autumn inspired yarn combo of three skeins which I am going to use to make Melanie Berg’s Ashburn Shawl.

Zen Yarn Autumn Splendour 01Zen Inspiration Autumn 03And now back to the title of this post? Where is Autumn? We are now one third through Autumn in Brisbane and it is still summer!!! The last couple of days have been quite humid and yesterday we had a huge storm. I want it to start getting cooler!!! It certainly does not bode well for a cold winter does it?

If you’ve noticed that I haven’t posted any completed projects lately, it’s because I have a number of small ones on the go and one large project that I started in January that is taking quite a while to complete. But the good news is that I only have four more rows to go until it’s finished!

Only four rows you might say. But each row is taking me about an hour to do as I’m using beads and there’s more than 600 stitches in each row. Yes, it’s my first attempt at a real laceweight shawl. The pattern I’m knitting is Athanasia Andritsou’s Wavy Leaves and Butterflies Shawl. Once it’s finished I’m going to have to psych myself up to block it. I actually have two other projects that need blocking as well ūüė¶

To me blocking is like ironing and emptying the dishwasher; I simply don’t enjoy it! In fact, I have to be in the mood to block a garment. I’m always so happy once the job is done as the garment looks wonderful after a good blocking but the process is too tedious for me.

What about you? Do you like blocking? I wish I could out-source it to someone who loves to block ūüôā Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

Until next time…

Melanie

Aussie Artisan Hand-Dyed Yarns

I live in an area where there are no LYS (local yarn shops) except for Lincraft and Spotlight. While both these shops carry a large range of yarn, they don’t carry much in the way of 4ply, 2ply or hand-dyed yarns. Over the last couple of years I‚Äôve discovered quite a few fantastic Aussie artisan hand-dyers who produce the most gorgeous and delicious yarns plus the occasional ‚Äėbricks and mortar‚Äô shops in Brisbane.

Shorn Fibers is an online shop operating from Minden in SE Queensland, Australia.

Angela is an amazing artisan hand-dyer and for those of you who were at the Redlands Spinners & Weavers camp in September last year, you should remember Angela and the gorgeous array of yarns she displayed in her shop. Her prices are incredibly competitive as well. I have bought tons and tons of yarn from Angela. She knows my weakness for autumn shades and tends to dye exactly what I like. I can never resist purchasing a little bit more each time. I went crazy at camp last year!!

Here’s an array of just some of the yarn I’ve purchased from Shorn Fibers.

Shorn Fibers First Beach and Malarkey 02-tileDyed By Hand Yarns is an online shop located in Melbourne, Australia.

Julie Boydell has been open for business since June 2012 and has a fantastic array of gorgeous yarns in all plies and colours. There is also a yearly Sock Yarn Club which you can join. The theme for 2015 is Wild About Wildflowers ‚Äď colours inspired by native wildflowers of Australia. This is a six month sock yarn only club. You will receive two skeins of sock yarn posted out in the last week in March, May and July. Yarns included will be one skein each of Tough Stocking, Mother‚Äôs Love, Big Blue Stocking, Silk Stocking, Blue Chip Stocking and introducing White Gum Wool 4ply.

Each skein of yarn will be dyed in a colour inspired by an Australian native wildflower. These colours will be exclusive to yarn club members for 12 months. Custom dyeing of these colours may be ordered by yarn club members for the duration of the club. The cost is $165 plus postage.

I have subscribed to the sock yarn club over the last two years and have picked up some stunning colourways.

Dyed By Hand Yarn Vegemite-tileDyed By Hand Yarn Spotted Gum-tileDyed by Hand Yarns Happy Wanderer 03-tileDyed by Hand True Blue-tileDyed by Hand Blue Opal 02-tileDyed by Hand Yarns Flame Tree 01-tileDBHY Surf Life Saving 06-tileDBHY Blue Ringed Octopus 03-tileDBHY Silk Stocking Gorgons Head Coral 02-tileDBHY Mothers Love Monkey Mia 04-tileDBHY Blue Chip Purple Sea Urchin 04-tileDBHY Blue Chip Bass Strait 02-tileAren’t they spectacular!! One of my other favourites from Dyed By Hand Yarns is this stunning Limelight colourway in Tough Stocking which I used to make these socks.

Limelight 03Augustbird is an online shop located in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia. Rebecca Robinson produces some of the most exquisite colourways. If you follow Augustbird on Facebook, Rebecca will usually post a message regarding the current month’s colourways. You have the opportunity to order the colours you prefer and they are hand-dyed on request. I recently completed a test sock knit for Rebecca and received a yarn voucher. I purchased two skeins in a stunning colourway called Songbird which I have yet to knit up. I’m waiting for just the right pattern.

Augustbird songbird Multi 02Augustbird songbird More Blue 02Skein is a small, independent hand-dyed yarn company based in Australia. All Skein yarns and fibres are kettle dyed using professional acid-based dyes. These dyes are permanently set by the use of a vinegar mordant and heat. Once the dyes have been fully absorbed and the kettle water is clear, the yarns and fibre are removed, rinsed and washed with a light, phosphate-free wool wash, and then gently spun and hung out to dry under the Australian sun.

I have purchased quite a bit of yarn from Skein too and found it to be of exceptional quality. The colourways that are offered are quite mind-blowing too.

Skein Alpaca Merino Worsted Wise 02Skein Alpaca Merino Worsted Cardamon 02Skein SpeakeasySkein Green Tea 2Skein Speakeasy 2Now to a couple of fantastic online suppliers of wool rovings. Firstly, Kathy’s Fibres. Kathy has a wonderful range of hand-painted rovings at only $11 for 100g. The colour selection is stunning. I have bought a few and have made a gorgeous scarf in the Forest colourway.

Autumn roving 02-tileJumbuck Julie also dyes some incredibly appealing colourways and her selection is mind-blowing. There is just so much to pick from! I just looked at her Etsy shop and there were 273 colourways available!!! They’re $11.50 each.

These are some of the rovings I’ve purchased from Jumbuck Julie. I’m currently knitting a scarf in the Anemone colourway (top left and bottom right below).

Anemone 01-tileNow to some local Brisbane (and interstate) ‘bricks and mortar’ and online yarn shops.

Yarn Glorious Yarn is situated at Suite 11/180 Moggill Road, Taringa (0438 374 364). You can also purchase online.¬†Shop hours are Wednesday ‚Äď Friday 10am ‚Äď 3pm and Saturday 10am ‚Äď 4pm.

Sue Wheeler is the sole Aussie supplier of Zen Yarn Garden (ZYG) yarns which are made in Canada. ZYG has been producing an ART Walk Series of yarn, the colours of which are based on famous paintings. They are simply exquisite and I have purchased two skeins in each series. They‚Äôre currently up to Number 13 and can be found at Yarn Glorious Yarn. Cost per skein is generally between $32-$36 but well worth the value particularly when some of the yarn has a cashmere content. Sue does not charge for postage if you purchase over $50 worth of yarn, which is always the case with me! Sue also stocks many other brands of yarn. ZYG has just started another series called ‘Inspiration‘. Oh my goodness, the colours are gorgeous!

David Hockney Garrowby Hill 04-tilePurlwise is an online store as well as a bricks and mortar shop located at 4 Comboyne Street, Kendall, NSW. Opening hours are 10am ‚Äď 4pm Thursday ‚Äď Sunday. Purlwise is run by Mark who has been knitting for over 20 years. (02) 6559 0202. All purchases over $50 do NOT incur any postage. You will also receive discounts for purchases over $100, $150, etc. There is a huge range of yarn to select and some very bright and cheerful colourways too.

Yay! for Yarn is an online store operated from Brendale, north of Brisbane. Kiri carries a huge range of yarn and always has yarn and patterns on her Clearance Items page which is worth a visit. Kiri was previously a high school art teacher but in mid 2008 she decided to take her yarn hobby to the next level which is when Yay! for Yarn was started.

That should be enough to whet your appetite don’t you think? There are still more great yarn suppliers in Australia which I’ll cover in a future story.

If I can give you one tip it is to make sure you subscribe to any online newsletters that are offered by these stores to ensure you’re always informed of sales and new yarns. It’s what I do and that’s probably why my stash is enormous! I would also recommend you ‘like’ their Facebook pages and join their Ravelry groups.

Until next time…

Melanie

Two More Shawls….Yvaine and Nikolai

I can’t believe how quickly each week rolls around which means it’s time for another blog post to share with you. Writing inspiring posts each week for all to enjoy is sometimes a challenge so I can only hope you’re enjoying reading about my knitting projects and my other incidental fibre and yarn stories.

I’m on a shawl knitting roll! I can’t believe how many I’ve made over the last few months. The latest two are the Yvaine Shawl and the Nikolai Shawl. I’ll start with the Yvaine Shawl.

This pattern is incredibly easy and would be ideal for a beginner.

Roses Yvaine 01

The only ‘fault’ I found with this pattern was that it started looking a bit boring as it only had sections of garter and seed stitch so I jazzed it up with two lots of two rows of K2tog, YO and added a picot bind off. My aim was to use the entire skein of yarn so I was able to add a lot more to the shawl. I must say that I am quite happy with the result.

Roses Yvaine 10

This is a wonderfully portable project too as there’s no difficult stitches to memorise and you could knit it with whatever sized sections of garter and seed stitch as you wish.

Roses Yvaine 02

Roses Yvaine 06

Roses Yvaine 08

Here’s a good close up of the K2tog, YO and picot bind off.

Roses Yvaine 13

The yarn I used is Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20¬†which is a¬†70% superwash merino / 20% cashmere / 10% nylon yarn and it is so beautifully soft against your skin. Ironically when I first blogged about this yarn in November last year I had this pattern in mind. I still have one skein left too! This yarn is part of¬†Zen Yarn Garden‚Äôs ART WALK Series which features a painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir entitled ‚ÄúRoses‚ÄĚ which inspired this colourway.

Zen Yarn Garden roses

My second shawl is called Nikolai and I love this pattern!

Nikolai Shawl 05

Doesn’t the border look lovely?

Nikolai Shawl 07

It’s another easy knit with lots of garter stitch.

Nikolai Shawl 03

The yarn I used is Sullivans Aztec which is a worsted / 10 ply 45% alpaca / 35% acrylic / 20% nylon yarn and for a commercial yarn it is really soft and snuggly. I have since managed to pick up more of this yarn in the colours Ginger and Tomato for only 49c a ball!! It’s an exceptional yarn.

Sullivan Aztec Ivy 02

I love this rich shade of dark green. It reminds me of a forest.

Nikolai Shawl 09

Nikolai Shawl 10

Nikolai Shawl 04

Now I just need to keep track of all my scarves and shawls so that I get to wear them all each winter!

I’m off to one of my absolute favourite pastimes tomorrow; Knit and Knatter. I just love all the chatting, friendship, knitting and laid back atmosphere. That time goes much too quickly I might add.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend filled with lots of fibre goodness.

Until next time…

Melanie

Sunday Sunrise Shawl

The colour of this shawl initially caught my eye as I was searching through Ravelry. I had exactly the right yarn in mind to use for the Sunday Sunrise Shawl so it was packed along with lots of other projects on my recent visit to Noosaville.

I’ve had to wait until I arrived back home before I could block the shawl as I didn’t pack all my blocking equipment (my car was full enough as it was with knitting projects and my spinning wheel!)

I did, however, take a photo of the shawl before blocking…

Sunday Sunrise Shawl 02

And after blocking…

Sunday Sunrise Shawl 07

And that’s the difference that blocking makes, to my friends who have asked ‘what is blocking?’ and ‘why do you do it?’. Your garment can practically double in size!

Sunday Sunrise Shawl 03Sunday Sunrise Shawl 06

The yarn I used is¬†Pumpkin Pie Spice from Zen Yarn Garden which is dyed on¬†Serenity 20.¬†It’s a 70% merino / 20% cashmere /10% nylon 4ply / fingering yarn and is beautifully soft and comfy.

Zen Yarn Garden Pumpkin Pie Spice 04

Sunday Sunrise Shawl 08

Sunday Sunrise Shawl 10This pattern has gorgeous stitch definition in it.

Sunday Sunrise Shawl 11

What I love about these crescent shaped shawls is how easily and comfortably they sit on your shoulders without slipping off.

Sunday Sunrise Shawl 04

Sunday Sunrise Shawl 05

That’s it for now. I’ve spent most of this week blocking all the shawls and scarves I made while away so you’ll be seeing them over the next few weeks.

Until next time…

Melanie