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.

Somewhere over a slightly muted rainbow


So I decided to ply it, because as Anna very rightly pointed out, plying is so much fun.  I love the play between the different colours as they twist together which, should make for an interesting knit too.  Also I don’t knit many lace-weight shawls, though that said I think Laura Chau’s simple yet effective shawl may be perfect for this yarn, but that requires a bulkier yarn than laceweight.

So stats: It’s 183 grams and 270 yards, I have 12g of singles left y’know just in case I get my arse into gear and decide to learn Navajo plying. It’s a 2ply, semi-worsted spun, aran/worsted weight about 9 wpi and that’s it really apart from it’s deliciously soft, drapey, silky and pretty, in my humble opinion of course.

About the fibre, blended tops bought from Mosley Park in Adelaide, dyed by moi.  Wensleydale is a Yorkshire longwool breed, a product of Robert Bakewell’s sheep breeding expertise prized for the evenness of micron count.  Teeswater is a old longwool breed from Teeswater, County Durham in the North-East of England.  They are both really cute and look like they have dreadlocks.  Both of these sheep are listed by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, Wensleydale as at risk and Teeswater as vulnerable.  They are lovely to dye, spin, knit and wear as you may remember, I knit a Coraline cardigan from Wensleydale and wear it lots.

I have other news but that will have to wait for later, I’ll explain then.

ttfn Melanie x


Yay, it’s 10/10/10 which feels very auspicious and in this household it is, for at 1am this morning I completed Coraline barring attaching buttons/fastenings but more on that in a bit.

Firstly, pics of the lovely Coraline blocking

So about the project, as you all know she’s made from Wensleydale Longwool 8ply that I bought on my last holiday to England at baaramewe.  I absolutely adore this yarn it’s so pretty with a lovely sheen and bloom, great stitch definition and lovely in the hand.  In fact, last Thursday at Kensington SnB hostess Katie asked if we had to choose one yarn and only knit with that one yarn for the rest of our lives what would it be? I chose Wensleydale, I’m that in love with it, I can’t wait to  wear  this cardigan and knit with the yarn again.

As for the pattern, I cannot praise that high enough either, Ysolda Teague is a knitting genius, I believe the Elizabeth Zimmerman of our age.  It’s so clever and yet so simple at the same time.  I love the way the shaping is incorporated so seamlessly.  I wish I’d knit it sooner, it looked like a complicated pattern and I used a few techniques for the first time knitting this, but really it is simplicity itself to knit.  I love the smocking stitch, I love the icord cast on really despite previous frustrations, I even managed to kitchener the last 6 stitches on the neck quite well, I think the secret is to pull quite tight each stitch as you drop it.  I love the icord edging, for a while as I was knitting it I was worried as the cardigan edges seem to curl and not sit straight but blocking has cured all of that.  I also love the hem and the pleat effect around the sleeve ends and the icord cast off, it all just makes the cardigan look so neat and professionally knitted, an absolute joy.  I’m actually thinking about making another in some Zarina I have or perhaps buying some more Wensleydale, they do a lovely Aubergine and a really pretty Teal colour too.As far as mods go, I didn’t knit the short rows for the neck in the end as when I tried it on I thought the neck sat quite nicely and I prefer a wider neck. Otherwise I knit the cardigan exactly as printed.

The style of this cardigan is one that I find very flattering. I’m generally a pear shaped woman with good childbearing hips but also a fullsome bosom, so maybe a cello or vase or something, Trinny and Suzanna have me a bit confused on that score.  Anyhoo, this is the third cardigan I have knit in this style the first being Moch cardigan which I neglected to blog about, bad blogger! But here’s a photo

This is also a favourite pattern by Gudrun Johnston the Shetland Trader that I am also planning to knit again.  This one was knit in Pear Tree 8ply and gets lots of complements every time I wear it.

Anyway, back to the Coraline, the fastenings I am undecided on, either the broach in the pic and some discrete hook and eye fasteners along the smocking edges or three of the buttons or new buttons entirely.  I’m swaying more to the broach which I would site either at the top or bottom of the smocking detail.  It’s really pretty swarovski crystal and enamel from Accessorize eons ago when I lived in Harrogate and I have earrings in the same swarovski to match.  What do you think?


Just a quicky.

I just have to post because I have to tell you how much I’m enjoying knitting Coraline in the Wensleydale DK.  The reason, lustre and bloom in one hit nomnomnom.  I keep admiring it and marvelling at its beauty.

I’m back at work now, 10 hour shifts, so I don’t actually see any daylight, therefore, no natural light photos of the WIP only the original stash one to show, but here it is.

I’m so looking forward to finishing this cardigan, I’ve coveted it for so long.  If you’re interested, I bought my Wensleyadale at baa ram ewe, the best yarn shop ever! Knitting it’s bringing back some lovely memories of my jolly holidays *wipes away a tear*

BTW My sheepy tape measure has been named shlutty because she’s often passed around at SnB night and used by all the lovely knitters there and she rather likes it too! Oooooh!

Happy knitting

Edited to add that I think Shlutty is a Suffolk sheep because of her cute black face, but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

3rd parcel

My 3rd parcel arrived yesterday while I was out at work.  I’m sooo happy, squeeeeeee!

It’s 113g of Wensleydale top from www.skeinyarns.etsy.com .  I fell in love because of the beautiful colours and also because the fibre is Wensleydale, we had many a wonderful day out in Wensleydale and the Wensleydale sheep are super cute.

All I have to do now is find me a drop spindle and have a go.  I was hoping to start a beginners spinning course this weekend with the Handweavers and spinners guild but they are full so I shall have to wait patiently till October for the next one.

In the meantime, I have booked next week off work so I can knit to my heart’s content and hopefully explore some yarny and handmade shops around Melbourne.  Hopefully I can pick up a drop spindle and some advice and some ingredients to start my dyeing adventures, I also need some fat quarters to play at making buttons.  So many lovely crafts, so little time.  My main mission though is to complete Ian’s socks and my clapotis so that I can begin to make progress on my two neglected cardigans and get to wear them before Summer hits us.

Hope you have a fibrelicious weekend x