Sunday, August 26, 2012

More Knitted Winter Scarves

As Winter draws to a close this week, here is a collection of my favourite hand-knitted scarves.  I particularly enjoy working with mohair, especially from New Zealand.  Most skeins were bought from the Stitches & Craft Show, which used to be at the Caulfield RaceCourse every March & September... for years! (See my earlier post, Fire Scarf, which I completed in June this year).

While we are we looking forward with anticipation to the first balmy breaths of a warm Spring breeze ...  in reality, I expect the weather will remain quite chilly for a few more weeks (or months?!) - That's Melbourne!

Purple / Green / Brown scarf:  "Touch Alpine" - 12 ply.  Knits up beautifully, and is SO light and warm to wear!  This is a lovely, variagated woollen thread, and amazingly, it arranged itself into those vertical stripes.  

I receive so many compliments about this scarf! Plus, it's really versatile to wear, colour-wise.  Cast on 22 stitches onto size 10mm needles.  Do Garter stitch (knit every row), until desired length.  (I prefer about 110-130cm).  It's 25cm wide. (Winter 2007)

Red Rib:  Use 2 threads: Cleckheaton De Luxe Velvet Ribbon + 8ply plain red.  Cast on 20 stitches, Size 10mm needles.  Pattern is Single Rib (Knit 1, Purl 1, continue). Chunky and bright.  I made this one 140cm, as it was a bit thicker.   (Winter 2006)

Lavender  Rib:  Used "Fairy Floss", from Lincraft.  It feels like Chenille - lovely!  Using 2 strands, cast on 14 stitches, Size 10mm needles. (Knit 1, Purl 1).  Looks great with jeans, for a casual look.  (Winter 2008)

Rust / Cinnamon Broken Rib - Another favourite!
Using Filatura Di Crosa - Multicolour.   60% mohair, 40% acrylic. 2 x 50g balls. Needles: 5mm.  Cast on 45 stitches - Knit 2, Purl 2 to end, Knit 1.  Repeat for each line.

This Rust scarf took a lot longer (smaller needles, and more care required to ensure pattern doesn't get mixed up...) needless to say... the occasional back-tracking was required to fix minor mistakes. Completed on the daily train commute from Ashburton to the City. (Winter, 2008)

Soft Smoky Denim Blue / Silver Grey.  Picasso Heirloom, 12 ply, made in France. 38% mohair, 59% acrylic, 3% polyester.  So Soft!  Cast on 22 stitches, 10mm needles.  Finished size: 22cm x 130cm.  Pattern is Garter stitch. This ensures the side edges don't curl in.  (Winter 2007)

As you can see, I'm very much influenced by flattering colours, and top-quality wool.  Then, you really only need a simple pattern which doesn't overpower scarf.  This allows the beauty of the fibre to shine through!  Try it!  I just love wearing my own creations!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Blue Floral "Quilting Bee"

As part of the current Melbourne Modern Quilt Group's Mystery Bee, I chose these pretty blue floral fabrics  - 6 x fat quarters, to be exact.

I seem to be drawn to the colour "blue", lately.  It's so fresh and clear, like a sun-filled spring sky.

From a range of suggested patterns, I chose the "Spinning Star" block  from

Because of the asymmetrical shapes of the two pieces, I decided to create my own laser-cut acrylic templates.   It really did make a huge difference in the speed and accuracy of my cutting. Keeping to the "blue" theme, I chose the pale blue tinted Acrylic - still totally transparent, but a little easier to see against a white background.

I was slightly distracted while cutting... watching a favourite DVD episode of the old 1970's series of Rockford, with my husband - we just love watching James Garner in action!

There was just enough of the three light-blue prints to make 9 blocks - though I'll have to mix them up a little.  The darker blues will look terrific as the spinning blades.

At the MMQG's SASD (Sit and Sew Day) today at Ashburton, I received my first sewn blocks from another member, Sally.  Thanks, they look great!

Once I've received all the pieces, I was thinking of using the 6th fabric (a blue and white gingham), as the sashing fabric.  With 9 blocks in total, this quilt is destined to be about 1m x 1m in size.  Perhaps I'll add a wide border as well, to bring it up to "lap-quilt" size?

In my previous post, I showed a photo of Sally's Kalaidescope block which I made in June - she has already made it into a quilt!  Talk about fast work!  Sally's Quilt

Here is the block I made for Lorraine in July. I can't wait to see her quilt finally finished - she's pretty quick, too!

Given that this is my first attempt at being in a Sewing Bee, I must say that I'm quite enjoying the challenge and camaraderie!

Have a great week!