It’s been a while…

Since I last posted, I have started my new job, finished two gift knits, started spinning for a gift knit, started another gift knit and come to the conclusion that non-superwash yarns make better wearing socks. The follow your arrow project is hibernating until I can buy more yarn sadly.

Gift knits include
A Quincey Quade Quentin for my nephew Ethan’s birthday

A Wisp scarf for my sister Fiona’s birthday


As for the superwash socks, I have mended a sock using this method, I maybe need more practice and to use a contrasting yarn and then duplicate stitched an area that was becoming worn but not worn through rather poorly too. My Zauberball socks have worn beautifully since they have felted in areas where they have a lot of wear. It could just be this yarn base but it coud also be the superwash-ness. The only way to find out is to knit more socks, yes?


Finished projects and new ones too

I finished my stripe study shawl this morning. I feel a bit ambivalent about this shawl and I don’t know why really. It is in my favourite colours and from yarn out of my stash, it was an easy mindless knit but not boring. It looks good and will be perfect for throwing around my shoulders when there is a bit of a breeze but still… meh!


Maybe, it’s because I had high expectations and just hasn’t lived up to the hype. Maybe, I just need to wear it to appreciate it more, who knows. So next on the needles is Terra by Jared Flood. Yes, another shawl, not one for the coming summer season but what the heck. I’m very excited to cast this one on, I was supposed to cast on ages ago then I had a bit of deliberation about which yarn I was going to knit it in and now I’m going with my original choice of Shelter in Homemade Jam colour-way.

I also finished spinning the Hilltop cloud yarn. Nearly 700 yards between 2 and a bit skeins of squooshy yumminess.


I haven’t allocated it to a pattern because that method doesn’t seem to work for me being so fickle and apt to change my mind as I am.

Next on the wheel are two of my own blends. Spun out spinners on Ravelry are having a shawl themed spin-a-long/knit-a-long and I couldn’t resist.  So Friday being my day off I dove into my stash and found some merino fibre.  I blended it on my hackles and pulled through the diz. I have 3 colour-ways peppermint creme, meringue and creme caramel.

I wish you could feel how utterly light and fluffy they are. I may never spin from commercial tops that haven’t had the hackle treatment again. Anyway, I’m thinking I might make a dream Stripes shawl for the KAL part with the peppermint creme and meringue but you know me 😉

Homely Habitat hat

I finished this project yesterday evening tried it on and it fits beautifully. Washed it an dried it flat, not much, ok, any blocking done really.  It didn’t shrink or grow hurrah!  Maybe my mojo has returned.

Ravelry link Sorry for the mirror shot but I had no other option, at least I took my mirror outside to get some natural light because the light inside my house is shocking today due to the lovely rain we’re having, also I did well getting 10 minutes when it wasn’t raining.

I can honestly say that there is nothing that I don’t love about this project, the yarn is just everything I love about a yarn, woolly, textured, beautiful colour.  Due to being woollen spun the stitch definition is slightly fuzzy but the cables still pop.  The pattern is intuitive and well written, the cables are just gorgeous and it fits and flatters too!  What’s not to love? It was also a speedy knit, extra bonus points!  With this in mind I will be buying more Shelter to knit up the other Jared Flood and Wool People patterns in my queue.  Talking of Wool People, I think it’s an absolutely perfect name for the look book, also there is a cabled beanie in there called St. Leger.  You may recall in my Yorkshire day post I wrote about the St. Leger races, ah ha!

Well I shall be off to start my new project.

ttfn Melanie x



Knits for the men

I’ve been busy knitting knits for my men. They all have something new and warm and woolly now.

The first beanie was too big for hubby so eldest son happily claimed it…
So the next day I set about knitting another beanie which would hopefully fit hubby.  Again another Wooly Wormhead pattern but this time in Icelandic Lopi mmmm, snuggly warm.

It fits, huzzah!

Youngest son then decided he would quite like a scarf and as it was his birthday last weekend I couldn’t refuse.  I didn’t have any black aran weight yarn in my stash so I ordered 5 balls of Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran in coal from the Woolbaa that night and sent hubby to collect it the next day as he works near there.  I decided to use Stephanie Pearl McPhee’s one-row handspun scarf pattern because it’s reversible and I really like it.

He gets the “moon tan” from me, I tried several times to take photo’s in different areas and they all had that, I’m a stranger to daylight look.  Any tips Damian?  The scarf was completed 2 days after his birthday and he’s very happy with it because it’s not itchy.  The grass looks that vivid because it’s just rained.

I’m now occupied with secret gift knitting and will be for a few weeks so there will be no sneaky peeks until they are with the recipients.  However, on Friday I’m going with some of the Richmond Knitters to Bendigo wool and sheep fayre so I hall have heaps to show and tell after that.  It will be my first time and I am giddy beyond belief.  There will be sheep and fibre and yarn and all manner of woolly stuff, I believe camelids too but… meh!  The men are a tad worried that I might come back with a sheep or three but as vivid as the grass looks after rain I think perhaps it is insufficient to sustain even one sheep.  Perhaps we could move before next year’s Bendigo though.

Finished Aurora Borealis Scarf

Ta daaa!

It’s finished and I’m wearing it today and probably every day this week because I love it so much.  The yarn hand dyed by Skein is merino/cashmere 4ply in Ao colourway, it is so very soft and squishy and the colours are absolutely gorgeous.  It did grow a little after soaking for 5 minutes but I put it in the tumble drier when still a bit damp and it shrunk back to nearly it’s original size.  I find that merino does tend to grow a little but 15 minutes in a tumble dryer on a low to medium heat usually sorts that right out.  The pattern is “Favorite scarf ever” (oh but it kills me to not be able to put a u in favourite but if you put the u in you won’t find it) by Lisa Bruce.  I think it’s a perfect match for pretty sock yarn that is too pretty to end up on your feet and I used my whole skein up to make a long 208cm scarf.  The pattern is so easy I would say perfect for someone who wants to try lace for the first time.

So now I’m off to work wearing my lovely new scarf… and other clothes of course.

ttfn Melanie x


I finished Damson yesterday on the train to work.  I wove the ends in and blocked it last night after work, pinning the edging open.  Today I am wearing it with pride despite the few fudged areas where I lost the ability to count and follow simple knitting instructions.  I have to say you have to look closely to find them so I am trying to put the knowledge of them to the furthest recesses of my mind and not allow the perfectionist in me to dwell too much.

The photo was taken by my eldest son Sam, who really doesn’t enjoy taking photos of knitwear.   I think  Damson looks pretty and I will wear it often.  I had thought about knitting another one in red but Sonia talked me out of it, or rather we tossed a coin and the coin said no.

As the next KAL I’m participating in isn’t until March I am planning a few small projects, Ripley, Crofter’s cowl and a red Scroll Lace Scarf (I’ve decided I really need a red scarf and as I have not found a suitable match for the Amy Pond scarf, Scroll Lace it is, it is my favourite scarf pattern after all). I am also going to make a start on Farinelli because I need them in my wardrobe, you understand don’t you?

ttfn Melanie x

Third and final

Do you remember the tale of three cardigans well, the third and final cardigan, Manu, is finished, hip hip hooray!  I thought the icord bind off was going to be the death of me, it went on for what seemed like an eternity.  Now it’s done I can see that it was completely worth it as it finishes the cardigan off beautifully.  However, if I was knitting it again I would provisionally cast on the cuffs of the sleeves and icord bind them off as well, instead of icord cast on just because my icord cast on doesn’t look as great. I suppose going down a needle size might have helped though, because in the end I found out by chance that I had been using a 4mm needle instead of the 4.5mm needle in the pattern for the bind off.  Talking of needles though, the knit pro interchangables were absolutely invaluable as there are a heck of a lot of live stitches being held and it’s such a bonus to be able to take the stoppers off and put needles on as required.  The icord buttonholes are a revelation and I completely love them and not at all as scary as they seem, in fact very logical.

I made only 2 mods which were to mirror the pleats and I kind of just faffed around with the 12 stitches to see which way I liked it better then K3tog x4 when I was happy.  The other mod was to omit the pockets which is a shame because they are my favourite feature.  In the end though I felt that they would only add more bulk to my child bearing hips and it wouldn’t be flattering.  If I drop 5kgs over the festive period (yeah right) I have 2 balls left so I could in theory add them on, but that would need a serious bout of gastro or a major parasitic infestation which desirable though the outcome may be… So anyway here it is…

I am very happy with it, it’s lovely and warm and I’ve already had heaps of complements about the colour whilst knitting it.  Just waiting for summer to be over so I can wear it now.

This means that the only WIP left is my vintage-esque socks which should be done before the years end.  It feels so weird but good to have only one project on the go again.  That is except for spindling but that’s a different craft so doesn’t count.  I need to finish spindling some turquoise merino and maybe do a bit of festive baking.  I have bought my pork pies already from Pacdon, uncooked so I can freeze till I need them then bake.

Feeling foolish and frustrated

It’s halfway through Socktober and some of my KAL pals have finished their socks and some have finished one sock and I’ve frogged my sock.

This act required quite a bit of deliberation, but now it’s done I feel… erm… kinda good… kinda bad.

The reason for frogging was thus.  I had decided to knit the socks toe up and so sort of smurging two patterns to get the desired outcome but.  My gauge was 10stitches per inch instead of 8 that the BFF required and the pattern wouldn’t work with the amount of stitches the toe up pattern’s maths suggested, so I went with the BFF medium size, a tad smaller than my actual foot size.  BIG MISTAKE!

Once the sock had got past the ball of my foot, as in where my foot gets deeper the sock got a bit tight.  How do I know this?  Well, because I tried them on as a good knitter should.  Trouble is I ignored what was staring me in the face or rather pinching me around the foot and knit on.  I knit the gusset, knit the short row heel, knit the heel flap.  Then, I tried the sock on again and well, what do you know?  The sock is not only too tight but too short. Ha! Foolish, foolish, deluded knitter the sock seemed to say.  At that point I had invested even more time to a sock that was only ever going to fail at fitting me.  I was I admit sorely tempted to ignore the slightly too tight, slightly too short sock and finish it.  However, I really want to knit a pair of socks from this beautiful orange yarn that fit me and do the yarn justice.

Now I have to decide whether to do the maths again and hope for the best possibly risking another frog-tastic disaster. Or, just knit a plain and simple toe up sock for me with a sprinkling of cables, thereby abandoning the knit-along fun-ness.

Here’s a picture to remind me I’m not completely crap.

In the end I went with the hook and eye option, I wasn’t feeling the buttons.  I may change my mind later, but hey ho!

Finished sock and fibre distractions

Last night I cast off the second of Ian’s socks and washed them, they’re blocking (sort of) now.  By sort of I mean, they have been pulled to shape whilst damp and are drying flat, they’re socks for goodness sakes and it was late and I was too tired to faff, pictures to come.

Now I’ve decided that that’s all the knitting for others I’m going to do for this year, and as this year has only 4 months left I better get my skates on and finish what I’ve got still on the needles, namely Clapotis, Manu and Coraline.  I’m going to finish Clapotis first because everyone at Richmond SnB has finished theirs and have been turning up to SnB looking very fine and pretty while I look longingly on.

As well as work and feeding and looking after my lovely menfolk I will also be having new yarny adventures too, so that may distract me a little from my mission but I’m going to give it my best shot.  Yes, it has already been mentioned that my two cardigans will be finished just in time for the lovely 40 degree summer that I love so much, NOT!

Anyway talking of new yarny adventures here’s what I bought yesterday in a fit of giddiness.

A beginners drop spindle and niddy noddy and I have a new love, they are washed and carded tops mmmmm soooo soft.  I’m trying not to pet it too much because I don’t want to spoil it before I dye and spin it or spin and dye it, I’m still undecided which I’m going to do first.  But anyway, sooo pretty I bought it all at the Handweavers and spinners guild in Coburg which is quite near me, handy yes? Or not if you were hoping I was going to start being frugal and not splurging too much on yarny goodness hmmmm.  Ooopsie!

Where was I? Yes, carded tops, I am going to confess to being a bit of a germ-phobe and so probably not going to be bringing into the house, dirty fleeces.  So I think carded tops is the way to go really.  I have 2 teenage sons and well, nuff said, there is only so much I can cope with.

Also today I am going to visit lovely Jen and Katie and pop into the new yarn shop Onabee near them. Jen has promised to teach me how to turn this…

into a pretty scarf for moi using this…

It’s on loan from the lovely Sonia.  I haven’t bought one…

…yet ;o)

So there you go, I will of course keep you posted.  So much to do and so little time, I can’t believe I’m halfway through my week off, nooooo

Socks for Sam

Hurrah! Sam’s socks are finally finished and he is thrilled with them, as am I.  I have learnt heaps during their creation and as I’ve said before, this pattern will be my go-to-sock pattern from now on.  That said, I do feel that it is important to learn new construction elements with each project to prevent boredom.  I also love the Woolcraft superwash sock yarn, I think it will wear well and the colour and shade variations create a lovely kind of retro look that I like.

Here the socks are modelled by Elliott, who has slightly smaller feet, but Sam wasn’t available during daylight hours, for the good light.  Will remember to give his social secretary a bit more notice for a photoshoot appointment next time.

Hubby is also pleased as it means I can now start his socks.  It makes me feel a bit like a sock making machine but hey, it’s earned me the right to have a light on whilst I knit and watch the telly so I’m not too bothered.  Ian’s socks will have a bit of a rib to them, I’m in discussion with his royal hubbiness regarding this at the moment.  I’m even contemplating trying to knit them two at a time, to prevent the aforementioned boredom, we shall see.