A trip to the Mill - taking wool
from fluff to stunning stuff!
I am often asked the micron of my yarn and whether it's super fine merino. Actually, Super fine merino is used in suiting fabric because it can be spun very fine to create lightweight woven fabric. If we take this super fine wool to, say, 12 micron and spin it for hand knitting it will feel beautiful, but without a firm twist it will pill. If you spin it firm we then lose the softness. Most hand knitting yarn is about 20 to 26 micron, allowing us to spin a soft yarn that will also wear beautifully well.
Top of page Left: Bales of sliver ready to spin.
Top of page Right: Sliver on its first step of spinning.
Top of page Centre 2 photos: Blending coloured sliver creates non solid colours, I use this for Tempest: a dark but not solid grey. This technique can achieve a marle or flecked look. Once blended, sliver can then be spun.
Right: The natural cream wool sliver starts the first step of the spinning process.
Signatur 8ply, like many Australian yarns, is often called crepe in the USA: it's spun to protect the delicate fibres adding twist without losing soft handle.
This takes three steps. Step 1: Sliver becomes a single strand. Step 2: Combining 2 strands doubles the thickness. Step 3: Combining 3 of the doubled strands = 6 strands.
This creates the texture or crepe in the yarn, maintaining the soft handle, strength and lustre of our beautiful Australian Pure New Wool.
Next: Hank, dye, ball, write the patterns, find you (the customer) and you pick up your knitting needles and create magic!
Melbourne Australasian Quilt Convention, Royal Exhibition Building Melbourne held in April was fantastic, beautiful venue. This replaced the Quilt Fair in July at Southbank.
Two amazing Winter shows in June!
Darling Harbour & Handmade Canberra
Two new yarns join the Ozeyarn collection
Above: Wool Blend Joker. Left to right: Autumn Mix, Purple/Lime, Midnight/Wine and Caribbean.
Below: Concept Cotton Merino: 30% black Merino is combined with 70% cotton in Beige/black, Teale/black, Silver/black & Copper/black. Also available in solid cream and pale coral colours.
I am really struck with this yarn, the cotton forms a tubular sleeve (like French knitting) and the merino creates a soft surface. I knitted the Silver/black Wave Collar (NEW) on 5mm ndls, the Copper/black on 7mm ndls. I have also just knitted a hat on 4.5mm ndls, with rib on 3.75mm which has a lovely elasticity to the hat - impressed.
Below Left: Two the Point Wrap grey is concept silver/black with Azteca beige/brown. Centre Wicked Hat in Concept Beige/ Black. Right Wicked Hat in concept Silver/ Black.
Canberra's Handmade market brings over 220 Australian designers, makers and creators into the three halls at EPIC
From knitwear to wine, cheese, clothing, shoes, stuff for him as well as for the girls. Artwork, metal work, home furnishings, refresh with cup cakes and coffee, stock up with chutney's and jams, grab lunch from the many food vans, and don't forget to grab a bottle of wine!
Hope to see you there.
Sydney Australian Craft & Quilt Fair Weds 19th to Sun 23rd June 9am to 4.30pm
Discover your hidden talent for Quilting, scrap booking, knit, crochet & many more hand crafts. Classes from beginners to advanced, by projects for all levels.
Signatur Handknits stand E25
Talking Texture. My favourites and yours
Undoubtedly for texture, a winning Signatur design is the Byron A-line Coat shown above. I've used many of my favourite stitches to create great texture and easy stitch patterns. Written instructions are supported by graphs and diagrams.
I also use different scales of the same stitch. The bells on the shoulder have less stitches and less rows than the bells on the front which are quite elongated. One of my favourite textures is bobbles, which I work on a row of garter stitch to create horizontal texture. The stitch patterns are worked between cables; if you knit the sleeves first you will have worked all the stitch patterns before starting the body of the garment.
Cables: more than just texture,
they enhance length and hide seams
Cables create a lovely elongating vertical line to a garment. When I use a cable along the armhole edge of the body, this also hides the sleevehead seam. The A-line decrease shaping in the Byron is worked adjacent to the cable for the same reason.
Cables can be worked in different directions, so when we put the stitches onto our cable needle, we can hold the cable needle at the front or back of the knitting. Held at the back twists the cable to the right/held to the front cable twists to the left. Penny Jacket: The cable on the left shoulder twists left, on the right shoulder cable twists right. Centre back two cables join, worked in opposite directions to create the Wheat Sheaf, as one twists right and one twists left.
Pack up your needles for traveling stitches!
Traveling stitches take knit stitches across the surface of the knitting; they make the wrong side of the knitting difficult to follow. To simplify the Celtic Cross stitch pattern I worked the wrongside rows as Purl rows: much easier!
Between the Celtic Cross patterns I work 2sts in stocking stitch, with Reverse st-st either side. The garter st behind the Celtic Cross and the sections of Reverse st-st are really evident in this shot to the right.
A short double pointed Cable Needle (CN) is used to move stitches for both cables and traveling stitches.
Celtic Cross:C2L - Place 2sts (knit) onto CN, hold at the front of the knitting, P1, then K2 from CN, centre P4, C2R - Place next stitch onto CN hold at back of knitting, K2, P1 from CN.
The K2 always stays on the right side of the knitting to create the pattern.
The Ruby Swagger has 10 stitch cables, decrease shaping is worked adjacent to the cables to create the A-line Swagger styling.
Metro A-line coat is worked in blocks of colour and cables, again the decrease shaping is worked adjacent to the cable.
Both these designs have cables at the armhole edge of the body, with a 2st seam allowance on the body for the sleeve to seam into the body really nicely.
Options for length, size, collar, cuff and hem give you kits that you'll love to knit and love, even more, to wear
Below centre in Light Olive, the Ruby Swagger in the long length, with the shawl collar. Right and left below in Stone fleck, Ruby in the short length with the square collar. The knitting pattern includes both collar styles and lengths.
Ruby Knitting kit short A$225/ long A$240 or as the pattern A$35
Knitting Kit is the pattern, yarn and handmade buttons.
For the longer length you'll need to order 2 extra 50g balls of yarn.
These shots show the A-line shaping between the cables, narrowing hem to shoulder. Also, if you look closely below left you can see the side seam is alongside the side seam cable, making it slightly off centre but hiding the seam beautifully.
Left shows the sleeve increase into the centre of the sleeve, opposite to body A-line shaping, taking the sleeve increase from the seam to sleeve centre.
I am always thinking about the variations and options I can include in a design while I'm writing the pattern. There are always length options, to accommodate tall and not-so-tall ladies.
Remember, there are also neckline options too.
The colder the climate the higher the collar of course!
The Metro Coat has three length options, designed with the round neck style, plus two collar options, extending the neck into a small collar as the blue example below, or a deep collar as per the neutral tones. The right photo shows the wide collar worn open and the left image shows the same collar worn high - there is a button under the collar to hold it high and warm.
The images below show the length options left and right. The neutral and blue colourways are the Swagger, or shortest length. The grey and the green both show the A-line middle length and the red shows the longest Swingcoat length.
There are 7 chest sizes to suit every body!
These are now classic pieces in my range, which I sell as ready made and made to measure and of course, as a knitting kit.
Swing, Swagger, Drape - Knit the Colors of Australia is now out of print. The wonders of technology now allow you to purchase this book as a USB stick - pictured left. This is the size of a credit card, with the flip out/plug-in section containing every word and picture from the book. You can print from this on your own home printer, or take it to a print shop. USB stick is just $25, free shade card is included.
The sides of the hat are worked in corrugated garter (st-st 2 rows, Reverse st-st 2 rows). This creates the height in the hat. Increases are worked to create the Muffin Top Look to the hat. The top is worked in a 4 row repeat of ladder stitch (st-st 3 rows, reverse st-st 1 row = garter ridge)
Blend of 70% Cotton/ 30% Wool 115 yards/ 105m per 50g $12.00
70% cotton creates a tubular knit, The merino is held with the cotton, knits soft and light. The tubular construction gives the cotton wonderful elasticity.
Six colours, 2 solids and 4 with the coloured cotton and black merino shadow effect.
Wicked hat inspired by the musical "Wicked, that had some great asymmetric pieces.
Worked in Corrugated Garter (st-st) 2 rows / Reverse st-st 2 rows, then in either st-st (blue left) or Reverse st-st (right) to add the height to the hat.
You can see how the st-st left sits quite differently to the Reverse st-st sides on the hat shown right.
Both options are in the pattern and can be knitted in the round or circular.
Below stunning colours of Azteca left to right Multi Bright, centre Beret in Azure and right New for 2019 Dark Bright mix. 10ply Azteca 53% Wool/ 47% Acrylic
If you'd like to discuss anything in this newsletter - or anything at all, please email Jane. Thanks for your support - Laura, Petra, Philippa, Helen and I look forward to seeing you in the knitting circle!