January 2016

2016 has started off with a flurry of appointments and activities. January and the first half of February are proving to be busy weeks with barely a free weekend but I’ve found time to knit (usually in the evenings after work) which has meant a couple of late nights but a more relaxed me.

A visit to Sydney in December meant a visit to Morris & Sons yarn store to pick up some Noro Silk Garden. (not the cheapest yarn store but it was a chance to squish the yarn for real and choose the colour I liked). I had been inspired by SnowWhiteMama after seeing her Noro version of the Florence Cardigan by Carol Feller. I knit mine in Noro Silk Garden in colourway 401. I love how drapey it is.

(My sleeves are actually the same length, I never noticed that I had it crooked on the mannequin until I had the pictures up on the screen).

Florence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Florence Cardi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There seems to be a lot of knit alongs happening on Ravelry at the moment and I’ve joined in a couple.

First up is the Color Affection Shawl KAL (which has now become any striped shawl) over on the Yarnderwoman Podcast group. I had the Color Affection Shawl in my pattern library and searching my stash I found I had the perfect yarns! win-win. I’m using Madeline Tosh Merino Light in El Greco, Smokestack & Tart. I think this was yarn that I picked up from Yarn Glorious Yarn at the last craft show in Brisbane (October 2015). I bought it to knit the Lilli Pilli Shawl by Ambah O’Brien – which I will still knit one day.

Now that I’ve introduced the 3rd colour and am up to the short row section the rows are getting so much longer and I usually don’t have time for much more than 2-3 rows at a time. These colours will fit into my wardrobe perfectly and I’m hoping to have this finished to take away with me in April (more on that later).

colour affection

On & off the needles for another KAL was Unicorn Stripes.  I had purchased the kit from Knitcrate in July last year and when Hanna from Rose Hip Knits Podcast announced she was holding a miniKAL I cast on the scarf. I really loved how the colours were playing together and had just started the 6th stripe when I realised that I just wasn’t going to wear this when it was done. So I frogged it.

unicorn stripes

Because I did like the colours together I am hoping that one day I will use the yarns in another project, perhaps some kind of sweater yoke or stripe accent on a cardigan – let me know if you have any ideas.

Next week is another busy one with a couple of trips to Brisbane.

Souvenir Yarn

Back from our family holiday with souvenir yarn!

We flew into Launceston but unfortunately due to our flight time and daily activities I didn’t make it to the yarn store in Lonnie (as the locals call it). My plan was to only buy Tasmanian yarn but I ended up buying other yarns along the way. I don’t have a LYS and I rarely get to see nice yarns “in the flesh” so I bought yarn when I could.

First yarn stop was The Alpaca Shoppe in Deloraine where I purchased 2 alpaca yarns, one brown & one black. No website but here’s a link to their Facebook page.

black alpaca

brown alpaca

A couple of days later and it was a visit to the Tasmanian Wool Centre in Ross where I purchased 2 balls of White Gum Wool.

green wool pink wool

 

Hobart provided a number of yarn buying opportunities.

First was the Salamanca Wool Shop where I came away with some Misti Alpaca. misti alpaca

Some Madeline Tosh Sock and Cascade Yarns Casablanca from The Stash Cupboard.

madtoshcascade

 

Gorgeous Wharncliffe Alpaca from the Salamanca Markets (this was probably my favourite purchase).

wharncliffe

 

Hand-dyed alpaca from The Spindle Tree (also a favourite).

handdyed

Some more Cascade Yarns Casablanca and some handspun from Stone Pippin in Geeveston.

casablanca hand spun

 

There was also a couple of small fibre purchases (more about that later).

Farewell 2015

So much for blogging more frequently! I’ve realised that what stops me most is the taking and editing of photos. I can get a quick post done about what I’ve been up to but personally I find reading blogs more interesting when there are great photos. I sometimes think I should just delete the blog or let it fade away but I’ve been blogging for quite a few years now and it’s a great record for me personally so I’d like to keep it going – even if very infrequently. I’ve also stopped reading so many blogs and am more likely to watch video podcasts or listen to audio podcasts on my commute. The videos are my favourites though as I can see the projects and yarns. I’ve even thought about podcasting myself as an alternative to this blog. Oh well, let’s see what the new year brings. 

So, what’s off the needles lately:

After hearing lots of podcasters talking about the Mother Bear Project I decided to get involved. The pattern is not downloadable so it means waiting for a physical copy to be mailed from the US. It didn’t take long to arrive and I finished my first bear. They are quick to knit and the Mother Bear group on Ravelry seem to have monthly challenges (like a stripes bear for December) that keeps everyone involved. I’ve set out a big basket with suitable yarns and will hopefully get a number of these bears done throughout the year. It’s such a great cause and Amy posts photos on the website of the children with their bears.

  
I also took part in the Summertide Shawl MKAL by Helen Stewart. I knit my shawl in Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere in the Dark Current colourway teamed with a handpainted yarn by Purple Fleece in the Very Berry colourway. I’m very happy with how it turned out and both yarns were beautiful to work with. I did have a problem with the Dream in Color yarn bleeding and turning my hands blue when I was using it so I added a splash of vinegar to the water when I blocked it and no colour bled out.

  
Lastly off the needles is Neptune’s Net by Julia Barrowcliffe. I knit this in a gorgeous yarn from Handmaiden. It is their Marrakesh, a 70% silk/30% camel in the Angel Fish colourway. I don’t often knit in lace weight but this was such an enjoyable yarn to work with, and it was something a bit different with the shell discs along one edge.

  
I have cast on a few things (which I’ll leave to another post) and I’m going to cake up some yarn ready for the January 1 cast on for the Yarnderwoman podcast Colour Affection Shawl KAL. It will be my travel knitting – as we are off on a family holiday to Tasmania on January 7. I have a list of yarn stores ready to visit along the way and hope to have some souvenir yarn to show you.

I don’t really make new year resolutions but my goal for 2016 is to finish up some (if not all) of my WIPs, to knit more cardigans for myself and to get more designing done.

Happy New Year everyone!

Solar Phoenix

My latest design is Solar Phoenix. This shawl came about as I was looking for a heavier weight shawl that would be cosy to wrap up in but still be stylish in appearance.

  
It’s a DK weight shawl knit from the top down. There is an easy lace panel down the centre of the shawl to keep things interesting and it’s finished with an applied border.  Being DK weight it knits up quickly.

  
Solar Phoenix is now available for immediate download on Ravelry.