My North Ronaldsay Arrow Shawl

Goodmorning, I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend. Yesterday I took myself off in my car to Haxby which is a village north of York city in search of real bread so very little knitting took place. I did, however, finally decide which Hap I was going to knit for the Knit British Hapalong that’s hap-pening (gotta love a pun eh?) on Ravelry right now. Anyway, I shall post properly about that next week. This week I want to post about my Arrow shawl because I never posted about it as a FO and whenever I wear it I get lots of lovely comments about it.


I knit the arrow out of two skeins of North Ronalsay 2ply that I got from Baaramewe years ago. Knitting this was an absolute joy because the yarn was so beautiful to knit with and the different options to decide how your shawl will turn out. I loved how it took the whole idea of knitting something personally unique one step further without having to actually do maths yourself. Totally brilliant! Ysolda has been one of my favourite designers since I joined Ravelry and this has to be my favourite of all her patterns so far.

My final choices for the clues were 1B, 2A, 3B, 3A, 3A, 3A, 4B, 5A. This enabled me to use up all of the two skeins that I bought and gave me a lovely big shawl to keep my neck and shoulders warm. I actually needed to spin some North Ronalsay roving to complete the last 6 rows because I ran out and the yarn was out of stock.


North Ronaldsay yarn has a lovely rustic look to it as you would expect from a primative Breed of sheep that live on the coast of North Ronaldsay eating seaweed for most of the year. There are fine black hairs that run through the yarn that almost look like guard hair but they aren’t stiff or scratchy or noticeable on the skin at all. It’s lovely and soft and light and snuggly with lovely stitch definition. Seriously, if you get the chance to buy some of this, don’t pass it up.



Despite being worn almost continuosly since I knit it, it still looks good as new, no pilling or other signs of wear. I know it’s a shawl and not a garment but it really has been worn and worn. I will definitely be buying more North Ronaldsay yarn in the future, maybe for a Hap shawl in all the various natural shades. Mmm, Hap shawls…

Still here

So it’s been a while…

I’ve been kind of busy with stuff which is why I haven’t blogged for a while.

Anyhoo, some crafting has been happening but not much, I finished a pair of ankle socks yesterday. They were my usual toe-up in a really beautiful Skein colour way “Industrial Age” I just cast off as soon as the heel was completed to give them a cute curled edge look. Here is the obligatory FO pic.

IMG_1527The cast off was the purl 2 together pass stitch back onto the left needle cast off, I don’t know if it has a proper name or anything. Sonia helped me pick the yarn out of my stash for them and she has excellent taste as you can tell.

I’ve also been working on a squishy blanket that’s going to take FOREVER! Actually I hope it doesn’t take forever because I might need it at some point this year if it ever gets cold. I am sooo very over this hot summer we’ve been having.


The pattern is Stephen West’s Garter Squish Blanket and I’m knitting it in Cascade Ecological and Eco+. I seriously can’t wait for some cold weather to snuggle under it.





So the ugly ducking turned into beautiful swan and everyone, lived happily ever after.



Incredibly, this beautiful shawlette is the fugly ancient bra handspun. Now a gorgeous shawlette made from the hitchhiker pattern. Rav link.

Needless to say. I’m very happy with it as a beautiful garment, a reminder of fun, crafty times with friends and a measure of how much my spinning has progressed.

Talking of transformation and progression, the end of 2012 was very trying with a major life change, brought on by me but 2013 is emerging as a year of positivity, possibility and progression. Sadly, my Etsy store has closed for the forseeable future but my fibre will be popping up for sale elsewhere so stay tuned!

ttfn x



FO Friday

Yay! I have a FO to flaunt this Friday.

My Tartan socks are finally off the needles, they only took three months to complete, though I have completed a couple of other projects in between times. I’m very happy with them, they’re so snug and they are the kind of socks I imagine would be perfect for long walks in the Scottish countryside. Here they are…

They are my usual David’s toe up sock cookbook and all the details are on my Rav page. I chose to make 2 sets of increases, six increase stitches evenly around at 6 1/2 inches above the heel flap (where my calf becomes wider) and another six at even intervals at 10 inches to allow for my shapely calves. I thought it would be interesting to experiment a bit with calf increases and where to place them. Not sure how I feel yet, I kind of like it but then…

I’m hoping to spend this weekend knitting on the Noro scarf and a bit of crafty shopping, no yarn or fibre though. Maybe start some fibre prep and spinning my Corriedale ready for Owls.

But first, I shall put my feet up with a well earned Hendrick’s gin & tonic with a slice of cucumber.

Hope you all have a great weekend.



In the nick of time

Yesterday I cast off Ian’s birthday scarf, washed it and laid it out to dry.  Today is his birthday. Phew! All that frantic, knitting like a crazy lady paid off.

I’m happy to report that he is every bit as pleased with it as I am (I confess I found myself coveting it on many occasions whilst knitting it). I also thoroughly enjoyed knitting it which is surprising because I usually find 1×1 rib a bit laborious. I think maybe the stripes and the tweediness did it.


I’m really tempted to cast on for a Noro scarf for myself. I have the yarn in my stash but I shall restrain myself for a little while until I’ve finished my other two current projects.

This morning I finished another WIP. The handspun fingerless mitts. I lovelovelove these. The yarn is utterly delicious and I spun it, all by myself! It’s the 2ply and N-ply Bond yarn from the 3 tops dyed by The Thylacine. Looking back at the post about the finished yarn it appears that I neglected to mention the colour-ways of the three Bond tops so I shall remedy that right away. Two of them were Terra Australis and the third bluer one was Lyrebird. Bond is such a gorgeous fibre I can’t recommend it enough. Knitting from my handspun yarn makes me so happy.

They didn’t photograph as well as the scarf but IRL they are really lovely. I added a few increases and decreases because I didn’t quite get gauge but mostly I followed the pattern. All I need now is some colder weather so I can wear them. The primary skein of Bond is probably going to be a cowl, I think this one.

Currently on the needles are the socks and the belated birthday gift for Fiona. On the wheel is still the second Skein singles, my thumb is all better so I can spin to my hearts content again (apart from the going to work thing to make money to pay the bills and maintain my  love affair with the fibre crafts).

As for the previous post, I agree, a simple cowl is exactly what that yarn needs to be. Thanks Jen and Anna for the advice.

ttfn x

Long time no post

It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve had anything worth posting on here but that’s what life is like sometimes. I sometimes wonder if I should just post whatever but then after 10 minutes staring at the screen without touching the keyboard, I give up.

Anyhoo, there is some good news to post.  Idlewood Again has been finished and I love it! I loved knitting it and now I love wearing it! Except that it’s now coming into Melbourne Summer so there won’t be much wearing going on for quite some time.  Here are the details.

After an absolutely gorgeous lunch with Sonia last week, in one of Melbourne’s Southbank restaurants she took some photo’s of me wearing it and here they are…

See how it now fits and I’ve even knit a pocket for it, just one because I think that one is cute. Also, notice the cute skirt wot I made, love the fabric for this skirt but wish the skirt itself was a tad longer. Anyhow, the point is, Idlewood Again is now everything I intended it to be so I’m really glad that I chose to frog it completely (though if I’d have been smart I would have not frogged the cowl as that’s the same regardless of size). Ah, c’est la vie…

It has made me realise that getting the results you want is absolutely worth that extra time re-knitting, which brings me to the socks…

…I noticed that one cable was a row longer than it should have been and it irked me a bit but I continued to knit on.  Then, at knit night on Monday I knit some cables a row too short due to lack of concentration. So now, I’ve dropped the cable row and hopefully will be able to fix the problem. I’m still on the first sock but here it is.

The yarn, Stranded in Oz, Dye…my pretties in fairies in the garden is just delicious and I hope to be back on track again soon.

In other knitting news, I’ve decided to concentrate on just the handspun bee-keeper’s quilt  and scrap the other one. Mostly because the handspun one is more significant to me and also those puffs are larger so it will take me less time to make a decent sized quilt.

This leads me to spinning, oh it seems like now there is tonnes to blog about, what was I thinking?  I have been spinning but a little half-heartedly. Here is what I’m on with…

It’s still the Finn X Corriedale/Romney that I dyed but I’ve decided that I want to N-ply it and I felt the urge to get the spindle out for a Crafternoon I had with some of my Richmond Knitter friends so I’m spindling it too.  Because of this I’m thinking mitts/hat, maybe both but definitely not socks which was my first inclination. As for the half-heartedness about spinning this, I can’t really explain why, it’s just the way I feel.

So, that’s all my news, I hope it won’t be too long again before I have something to blog about.

ttfn Melanie x


Dithering, stalling, procrastinating, call it what you will I’ve been doing a lot of that this weekend with regard to knitting.  I’ve had nothing on the needles for the longest time and felt no urge to knit either.

Sonia thinks it’s because of my new craft obsession, namely sewing but it’s not that.  I think maybe a collection of things, like the fact that so many of my friends are knitting from their handspun and I’m envious.  I have some other projects I wanted to get done like the Noro stripy socks for Socktober and the Noro stripy scarf for Norovember and Sam’s contiguous jumper and I want to knit them but I want to knit a handspun OWLS too.  Oh I sound like a sulky child and that irritates me, grrrr, suck it up Princess! I think I’m also more than a bit disheartened about having to frog Idlewood and completely re-knit it too, bleugh the self pity! Get over yourself Melanie!

I know there is nothing to stop me knitting whatever I want except that first I must finish preparing the fibre and then spin the yarn and by then it will be too darn hot to knit a chunky jumper.  Tonight at knit night it was 29 degrees C and I managed to knit exactly half a puff!  It’s not even the first day of Spring! As a solution to the handspun knitting envy I’m going to knit some of my handspun singles bits into puffs.  Thanks Katie for the idea.  I have no solutions to the hot knit night problem except maybe a whip round to get some air con for our favourite cafe. As for Idlewood I shall just re-knit that later and I could try to be less annoyingly sulky and self pitying too.

However, I swear after Sam’s jumper I shall knit Ian a scarf and from then on I shall knit spontaneously only what I feel like knitting, no obligation and no planning. So I’m planning not to plan, OMG have I lost it? I’m babbling and dithering, oh dear me!

The dithering hasn’t been all bad though, I have tied up a loose end in that Coraline has finally got some buttons on it and I made the button loops too.  This is the Coraline that I finished almost 12 months ago!  They aren’t the buttons I wanted but they are a cute second best and I love the button loops I will definitely make them again.  Coraline is my favourite cardigan, ever!  So I’m really glad it’s now complete.

I also spun 100g of Gotland/Polwarth carded roving.

I spun it long draw so it looks a bit shit but hopefully after I’ve spun the other 100g of singles and ply the 2 bobbins this weekend it should turn out ok.

Ok, enough exhausted rambling, I’m off to bed, work in the morning, but i had to get it off my chest so I can sleep.  We’ve just had a thunderstorm so it’s cooled down a bit too.

The other news…

I finished Idlewood, which I’m excited about, clearly!

I love the yarn, but then I would, it’s Black Welsh from Blacker yarns, it sheds a fair amount on knitting and needs a good wash so clearly it has been very gently processed this means you retain a close to sheepiness feeling which I do like.  I really like sheepy wool and yarn!  Had I had my wheel I would have spun Black Welsh tops for this.  The garment grew a bit after washing too so it’s turned out a bit bigger than I want but I have been thinking about ways to remedy that, including *eeek*  steeking or *boo* frogging to the arms and re-knitting.  Trouble is, I’m trying to loose some weight so when I “finish my weight-loss journey” as they say on Biggest Loser, it will be even bigger on me, so we shall see.  I definitely love the pattern so much that I plan to knit it again but in some Sublime cashmere merino silk aran (not a very sheepy yarn bought in my early years of knitting) in a grey colour, so it will have a very different feel to it.

Well that’s now all my news, maybe soon I shall have a sock, sadly not a complete pair but a sock and maybe I will have cast on a new project or spun more yarn, the excitement never ends here in the world of the homesickyorkshirelass.

ttfn Melanie x

Red scroll lace scarf

I’ve been knitting away at this lately..

The second picture is a more accurate representation of the colour.

It’s a scroll lace scarf by Ysolda Teague, the second one I’ve knitted.  It just so happens that it is my favourite scarf pattern and I need a red scarf.  I deviated from the pattern slightly to knit the body of the scarf in garter stitch instead of stocking stitch to prevent roll and further add to the squooshiness of the yarn.  I also omitted the picot edge cast off because I wanted a clean line and didn’t feel it went with the garter stitch.  The lace section is incredibly easy to memorize I even knit it whilst watching TV with no mishaps, unheard of!  I love how it has a fancy shawl-like edge and the length of a scarf.  In fact I love this pattern so much that while I was knitting it I was thinking about knitting it in other colours, a grey one and a duck egg blue one to be precise and in other fibres like pure cashmere and an angora one (Orkney St Magnus DK angora) oh and the Fyberspates scrumptious DK would be perfect too, yum.

This version was knit in Adorn silky merino 8ply which is the in house yarn of the Woolbaa it is incredibly soft as you would expect and squooshy, my only weird little nark is that it is a machine washable yarn and therefore I couldn’t felt join it so I used Russian join instead which I’m not sure if I trust and there are little ends which keep on poking out.  As I said, I’m a bit weird as I’m guessing the idea of machine washable wool would appeal to a lot of people, just not me.  I think it would be a great yarn for knitting up gifts though if you were unsure as to the recipient being able to care for woollen items properly and felting all your hard work.

Norovember the second

Yay I finished my second Norovember project, same pattern as the first but in Kureyon leftovers from my fetching mitts, yay for matchy-matchiness.  It’s a great feeling to finish up bit of stash that’s leftover as I can’t bear unfinished things and loose ends, I like things completed and whole, good job I didn’t take up collecting things because I can get a bit obsessive.  So here I am sitting atop of my stairs, because it has the best natural light in my house, with my macbook on my knee taking a photo of my cowl, as you do.

Yeah, not the greatest quality photo ever, but beggars and choosers and so forth…

Here’s one without me spoiling the picture.

So talking of finishing things, I am now currently obsessed with finishing poor, neglected Manu, the last of my three cardigans.  I’m about half way through the first sleeve so I’m hoping it wont be long before I can wear it.  I think from now on I will stick to one project at a time because I clearly fail as a project floozy, monogamy is obviously a part of my nature that I cannot overturn on a whim, not even one that is flavoured with greed and indecisiveness.