socks, a blankie and some pondering

Serenity Socks
50% alpaca, 30% Merino Wool, 10% Silk, 10% Nylon. Knit.

I’ve finally got around to showing you my finished pair of socks. They have been finished for a while actually, I’ve even been wearing them – which feels pretty special. They are soft and light and comfy… and I have the next lot of sock yarn ready and waiting to be converted.
I used a free sock pattern I found on Raverly. A great beginners sock I think, a simple pattern – simple sock.

Fluffy like a Teddy Blankie
100% Baby Alpaca. Knit & Crochet.

This was a delight to make. Pure baby alpaca is in my top 3 yarns for sure. I just love how delicate, light, soft and fluffy it is. The colour is called Winter Queen and I really like its earthy tones with delicate little hints of pastel colours like blue, orange and purple.

I tried out a new stitch called Pennant Stitch and I’m loving the little triangles it created. I will admit to again following a pattern ( I know… what’s happening to me?!). But I will also admit to a few unpicking sessions due to drifting off into my own little rhythm of knitting… which is all well and good except that it wasn’t the rhythm of the pattern. Oh well, the upside is that I’m getting better at unpicking knitting!

I’m also entering this blanket in the “made it” challenge on the Woolhogs blog… Check it out if you want.

I just had to share this image of my orchid plant with you today too. I am in awe of its constant beauty and pristine delicate petals. I’m new to orchids, this is my first but I have a feeling it won’t be my last.

Lastly I thought I would update the “Dove Cottage” image on my ‘about’ page. This photo was taken this morning to capture the gorgeous Jasmine in all it’s blooming glory. I adore coming and going at the moment as I get the sweetest punch of Jasmine perfume every time I pass the front steps. It’s so delicious it almost makes my mouth water! A sweet little spring treasure is Jasmine.

I’m off to start another new project… I have a scarf, socks, knit blanket, hats and another heart blanket on my short(?) list… so hard to decide… I believe this calls for a peppermint tea whilst I ponder over my yarn stash. Ahhh I do so love this part too. The pondering, imagining a particular yarn as a hat or blanket or scarf, handling the soft fluffy skeins and balls, matching and contrasting colours together, looking through patterns and different stitches…. And then bringing all these elements together. Thinking about what I’m going to make next, and then making it… I just love that whole process.

Are you pondering your next project too? What’s on your short list?

Happy pondering!

bees and a beanie

Time for another 1st – I knitted my first beanie and I used circular needles for the first time!

Charlie’s Farmer Boy Hat
100% Pure Baby Alpaca, Knit.

This was such a fabulous beginners pattern I came across a little while back on the gorgeous blog ‘Foxs Lane’. The lovely Kate kindly wrote up a free little beanie pattern to make your farmer boy a hat, and although my hubby isn’t a farmer boy anymore… he will be… again… one day… when our dream of having our own little farm comes true.
In the meantime he does work outdoors gardening, so a warm beanie is definitely a must for the cold mornings.

This beanie is so so so soft! Pure chunky baby Alpaca yarn is definitely one of my top 3 yarns as it soft and fluffy and feather light and super warm. I think it feels like what you would imagine a cloud would feel like if you could touch it… one of those really big fluffy puffy clouds. Delicious!
And it must be comfy as Charlie is still wearing it from the ‘photo shoot’ even though it’s actually quite sunny outside!

Now… onto the bee part of this post… have you ever heard a swarm of bees… before you even saw a single bee?

This is what a small section from a small (according to the apiarist!) swarm of bees looks like.
I thought the swarm was HUGE! Believe me, it was LOUD!
I was weeding the garden when I heard what I thought was a car engine pulling up… but I looked around and I couldn’t see a car… so head down, weeding some more… then… the humming got louder… and louder… and louder…
This time I stood up and had a good look around, over the fence and up the road… and that’s when I saw the swarm… this huge swirling humming cloud… heading past the tree on the corner… and over the fence… into my front yard!

Within about half an hour they had made themselves quite at home… seems the big ol’ gum tree in the front yard of Dove Cottage was the new address… and a few thousand bees couldn’t be wrong… right?
In no time, two huge busy buzzing hives appeared amongst the gumnuts.

A quick google… and a call to the local apiarist…. and 20 minutes later… we had gentle Gavin… in the yard… up a very tall ladder… with a box… full of bees!

After a fiesty shake of the branch most of the bees droped right into the well positioned box.
Then after a minute or so… one flap of the box was opened… and the straggler bees buzzing about gently buzzed into the box… like they were being quietly summoned… by muma queen… it was amazing… almost a bit magical… and made me want to learn more about bees.
Apparently, Gavin said the bees in the box released pheromones which ‘called’ the other bees in. Clever hey?
I also found out that any bee can be a queen bee, the queen bee is just the bee that gets fed royal jelly for all of her life, instead of the first few days of her life like the rest of the bees. That made me curious about Royal Jelly too.

Fascinating hey? At least I thought I was… Do you already know lots about bees? Sorry if I’ve bored your to tears with my bee post. I’ll buzz off now…

Hope your day is full of magical suprises… and maybe even a hand knitted gift… made with love.

cool rainbow blanket

Cool Rainbow Blanket
100% Pure Lambswool, Crochet

This is a super chunky large granny stitch blanket that I whipped up in no time. The yarn is that kind that goes thicker and thinner and the colours blended ever so gently into the next shade, creating a natural stripe in the blankie. I think the colours are like a rainbow but without the warm rainbow colours such as red, yellow, orange – just the cool colours of greens, blues, purples, pinks… my favourite section of the rainbow really. There is a chunky little bobble edge to finish the blanket and you can see how chunky the blanket is by the regular size tea cup & saucer beside it – quite chunky indeed.

It’s a very large blanket taking up the whole of my large dining table.

How I do love the classic granny stitch, especially for a blanket as it creates an airy kind of warmth… If that makes sense? I like the natural gentle organic stripe pattern this variegated yarn created too.

I’m off to work my 2nd sock a little more now, and maybe do a little more on the chunky baby alpaca blanket I’m knitting at the moment too… tis hard to break away from that one as it’s soooooo soft and delicious to knit with. I’ve also still got my other knitted blanket I’m working on in between. Oh and all the other yarn in my craft room is just begging to be transformed… so much yarn, so many ideas, so little time!

I hope you get to enjoy a few rainbows in your day.

it was an ‘s’ kind of sunday

My Sunday was full of Spring, Sunshine, Sunrays, Show offs, Serenity, Skeins & Socks.

The first of the cherry tree blossom was out… reflecting beautifully… in the lake… at my favourite park… in the mountains.

Glistening… on the other lake… at my favourite park… in the mountains.

Even heart shaped sunrays… shining through the tall gum tree forest… over the tree ferns… landing on the pretty pink rhododendrons.

Show offs
This blurry masses of feathers… were two very chatty little Lyrebirds… putting on a fabulous display… fighting to claim their own patch of dirt… to dig up some more dinner.

Serenity Point actually… yes that’s really the name of this spot… overlooking the Yarra Valley… with the blue-est of blue sky blessing us… very serene.

My skein was wound into a ball… my hubby is good at the winding part… I am good at the skein holding part… he is wearing an alpaca jumping… whilst winding alpaca yarn… we are a bit biased… regarding alpacas.

I started my second sock… at Serenity Point… my hubby plaited his leather belt… we crafted together… in the spring… sunshine… it was gloriously serene… we felt like we’d had a holiday… by the time we left… just a few hours later.

I wish all my Sundays were like this.

I’d like another ‘S’ kind of Sunday… sprinkled with daffodils… sunshine… craft… and serenity… soon.

Hope you get your dose of Serenity soon too!

omg x 3!

OMG – I knitted a sock!

OMG – I followed a pattern!

OMG – I used yarn with nylon in it!

I know, it’s amazing isn’t?! So amazing I couldn’t wait til I knitted the other one to blog about it.

I’ve never knitted anything in the round before, so obviously haven’t used double pointed needles before. A bit tricky to start with, then a bit annoying at times when they got in the way… but for the most part they were pretty to easy to get used to.

I’m sure most of you know by now I’m not good at following patterns (and recipes), but… prepare yourselves… I actually followed this pattern to the very last stitch! Incredible no? Just quietly, I even surprised myself.

And I had to use a yarn with nylon! So everyone kept telling me anyway. All the sock yarns had nylon in them so I figured I best go with the flow as a sock yarn maker knows best right? Especially as I’ve never knitted socks before – best to do the first one by the book. Of course I may experiment with this once I see how the first pair wear, hold their shape etc…

I love the colours in this yarn and natural stripe effect it gives the sock. The yarn is a lovely blend of 50% alpaca, 30% merino wool, 10% silk, 10% nylon and is hand painted. Luxurious hey? I figured if I’m going to spend all that time making socks then I want them to be special. My one and only sock is feather light and so fluffy soft to touch. Can’t wait to wear the pair of them!

Ok I’m off now to have a go at knitting the other one… exactly the same… I hope!