Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Christmas at the Port Markets and 2011 Clubs

Happy Christmas to you and yours as we get ready for the holiday weekend.

Holiday Trading: Stranded In Oz will be trading on Sunday, Dec 26 and Monday, Dec. 27, from 9am to 5pm. Paid parking is close to the Markets, while you can usually find free parking across the way at the TAFE lot.

2011 Knitting and Fibre Clubs: The club subscription products have been added to my online shop

Details regarding club yarns, fibres, and patterns are on this blog at the sidebar and at my website. Please feel free to email me with your questions - melissa AT strandedinoz DOT com.

Right now, I'm keeping very busy on designs for 2011 -- all sorts of knitting fun in store -- socks socks socks and wraps, and cardigans, and all manner of knitting and spinning. On the needles? For myself, my long awaited personal version of Long Shot, one of my favourite designs. I really need to finish this one pronto. The yarn for this project, Terra, is so incredibly soft without any fuzz or brushiness -- it's truly a luxury blend of cotton/bamboo. I'm actually working on 2 at the same time, but that is another story... The yarn and pattern are available. I'll be posting finished photos of the vest -- so you can see the stitch pattern and close up of construction.

Long Shot by Melissa Deutsch Scott for SWTC

Monday, 13 December 2010

Inspirational Knitters and Spinners

A Coloured Sheep Shawl
A nice Sunday at the Port -- sock knitters coming out for a peek at the new yarns on a rather cold and grey morning. Thank you for coming by.

My favourite part of the day? A visit from a lovely 93-yr-old knitter who's decided to knit A Coloured Sheep Shawl. Wow -- that was inspiring. She advised she hadn't knitted that type of shawl before and is looking forward to it. I just love that she was willing to have a go at making it! How cool is that? Isn't knitting a fun craft?Itg brings together people of all ages to share their experience and enthusiasm.

Sock knitter spotted: first socks on the needles -- and stuck? Yup, that's what happened on Sunday. A look at the needles revealed that New Sock Knitter was actually right on target and had done the waste yarn for an afterthought heel correctly. Sometimes you just need someone to look and say, yup, that's the right path. This, among many other reasons, is why I work at my market once a week. Whilst chatting and looking at stitches, she asked me -- what's the latest thing in the USA for kniters?

I had to think a minute -- for yarn, the big thing is 'tonal' yarns -- blends of colour on colour at varying degrees -- similar to hand-dyed semi-solids. My theory is that the commercial yarn companies are trying to get their yarn to look like hand-paint. Some of these new yarns are quite attractive and worth a look, like Kollage Yarn's Sockalicious. I've added 'moonstruck' to the new sock yarns for sale at SIOz. Why 'moonstruck'? It's the most striking and universally wearable colourway in the range. Check out Stranded In Oz Silk Sock for my hp version of this yarn.

And what's back? BLING. Yup, sparkle is in -- metallic glam mixed into some of your fave yarns. There's a whole bunch of 'em from all sorts of companies -- including sock yarns. Tinsel for your toes.

One forecast I've read says novelty yarns are back. Errrrr. I'm not so sure how that is going to play out over the year, but I'll be interested to see.

Back to the drafting I go, M

Friday, 10 December 2010

'wild betty' Stranded Silk Sock 100gm hanks
merino/mulberry silk/nylon sock yarn $25.00

Well, out of the depths of my mysterious camera's memory, I managed to retrieve a nice photo the Ltd Edition Stranded Silk Sock -- this yarn is now available online and at the Port Market this weekend. There are a few hanks of 'Wild Betty' (shown above) as well as some very fetching hanks of 'lone heart red'
. One hank makes an average sized women's sock. I have very limited quantities of this yarn available, so get it while it's here. You will love this sock yarn.

mmmmm. Bunny butt! Couldn't resist sharing this photo of my beloved pooch. Here, she's playing with her new bunnybunny I brought back from Ameriican. It has a very loud honker in it and is life-sized for added kelpieweiler enjoyment. Hrs of fun.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Clubbing, the fibre artist's way

Logistics, logistics, logistics. The fine art of organising wool for the 2011 Stranded In Oz knitting and spinning clubs is on in earnest.

This year, I've been trying to source Australian wools and other fibres to knit and spin. But how to keep excellent quality, emphasize AUSSIE and not bust the budget? It's a delicate balancing act. Hmmm. Balancing isn't a word I should be using, given I am hopping about on one foot, crutches, and a moonboot.

A Sock Knitter's Club To sock or not to sock? For those who know me and my knitting/spinning habits, they know I am a sucker for fine wools -- cobweb is just fine. And I have friends, like Eric Corbin, who think one should never knit with sewing thread, thanks very much!

Even so, it is with this addiction to 4ply/fingering wt yarns that I've taken the plunge and developed a sock knitting club for 2011. There's no shortage of sock designs on my desktop and no end of the types of sock yarns I continue to fall in love with.

What's missing from this picture? Alas, the ultimate, tightly twisted, worsted-spun Australian sock yarn still eludes me. But who knows, perhaps my dream will come true? Not Kiwi (though we love that too), but Aussie. Like, say, the one produced in South Africa that has a lovely tight twist and will never ever pill?

In the meantime, I've been planning a nice mix of 4ply and 3ply yarns -- some grown and spun in Australia, some from a small, family-owned mill overseas, as well as a few on the exotic side, like my fave SWTC Tofutsies, hand-painted the SIOz way.

Jonelle Beck Raffino, owner and developer of the fun, funky, and fab that is the SWTC line continues to enable me. Bless her cotton sox. Or should I say soy and bamboo sox? Yup, she's just come out with a new line of bamboo sock yarn, Infatuation. Don't worry, it's on it's way to Stranded In Oz and to you. Of course, it's in happy SWTC colours! Greeeen. Plenty of blue, pink, and all manner of sock colours to play with.

SWTC Infatuation Bamboo Sock Yarn

But still, a sock knitting club? What if you are allergic to knitting socks. That's ok; with 100gms of lovely thin yarn, there's no end to what you can do with the club pack. Right now I'm knitting a scarf in Tofutsies -- it's an eyelet chevron pattern I'm preoccupied with and will make a fine fashion accessory.

There's also a cute knitting bag pattern on the desktop awaiting editing, not to mention the shawls in various states of development. So you see, it's all 4ply all the time at SIOz.

This reminds me of that strange quote attributed to Wallis Simpson, 'you can never be too rich or too thin.'
Err... you can never knit too much or too thin?

Dye... My Pretties! M

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Thanks SWTC and new SIOz SubTle in YARN20

Check it out -- the latest edition of Jonelle and Kat's Socks A La Carte -- Toe Ups! As it was released in the midst of my show season, I neglected to mention that Stranded In Oz made the GALLERY page! What a nice surprise from the people at SWTC! Thanks guys.

At the Sock Summit 2009 I had given Kat some Tofutsies HP in Sherwood Forest for her to play with. And hey, a lovely sock ended up in their second book of the series. And of course, I am thrilled that it made it into the TOE UP volume, as I love toe up socks. So check it out.

And did I mention that one lucky SIOz 2010 Knitter's Club member will receive a copy of the book, along with their December club pack, which of course, will contain 100gm of SIOz hand-painted Tofutsies? The pattern for December is a lacy chevron sock that makes the most of the special colourway.

And even MORE SWTC and Stranded In Oz: The December 2010 issue of YARN magazine has a new Stranded In Oz design in SWTC Bamboo. It's a new colourway, just perfect for Aussie summers.

SubTle by Melissa Deutsch Scott in YARN 20

Awwww. loooooook, innit cute? I LOVE goats!!!

So thanks to SWTC and the editors of YARN, I have once again spread my love of viscose yarns. This time, it's SWTC Bamboo.
This design features some very subtle design inclusions -- the stitch changes from the body to the bodice, which you can only appreciate when you are working on and wearing it. The edge is small and unobtrusive. I'd been kicking around a keyhole top design with corded edging for ages and finally got it into something I think is simple and very wearable. Included in the notes are why I chose the stitch used and some comments on using man-made yarns from natural sources, like bamboo or soy. SubTle can be knitted in either SWTC Bamboo or SWTC Oasis.

I'm sure there's plenty more I could type about at the moment, but the needles and drafts demand my attention. Thanks for reading!