Homely Habitat hat

I finished this project yesterday evening tried it on and it fits beautifully. Washed it an dried it flat, not much, ok, any blocking done really.  It didn’t shrink or grow hurrah!  Maybe my mojo has returned.

Ravelry link Sorry for the mirror shot but I had no other option, at least I took my mirror outside to get some natural light because the light inside my house is shocking today due to the lovely rain we’re having, also I did well getting 10 minutes when it wasn’t raining.

I can honestly say that there is nothing that I don’t love about this project, the yarn is just everything I love about a yarn, woolly, textured, beautiful colour.  Due to being woollen spun the stitch definition is slightly fuzzy but the cables still pop.  The pattern is intuitive and well written, the cables are just gorgeous and it fits and flatters too!  What’s not to love? It was also a speedy knit, extra bonus points!  With this in mind I will be buying more Shelter to knit up the other Jared Flood and Wool People patterns in my queue.  Talking of Wool People, I think it’s an absolutely perfect name for the look book, also there is a cabled beanie in there called St. Leger.  You may recall in my Yorkshire day post I wrote about the St. Leger races, ah ha!

Well I shall be off to start my new project.

ttfn Melanie x





I don’t think the thrill of making yarn will ever wear off.  The more I do it the better it gets.  Each new fibre is the opportunity to explore and create, the possiblities are vast.  I’ve spun half of the BFL angora silk tops that I dyed earlier in this post and Navajo plied the resulting singles because I’m still excited about Navajo plying, it means all of the singles get used so that’s good, I hate waste.

I love how the colours turned out.

On the needles is Habitat by Jared Flood.  How much am I enjoying cabling? It’s so much fun, I don’t know why I don’t do more.  The yarn is lovely to work with too, though judging by the weather I may not be wearing it until next year.

Despite this I think I may need to knit Seraphine very soon, Melbourne weather is after all notoriously fickle.


Yesterday I went to the Bendigo wool and sheep show for the first time.  I can’t believe I haven’t been before, what on earth was I thinking, missing the highlight of the woolly year here in Victoria, how stupid of me not to have gone before now.  Anyway, that mistake has been rectified and I now intend to go every year.

For those of you who don’t know, the Bendigo show is literally a three day celebration of all that is woolly and pertaining to wool.  There are sheep dog trials, sheep shearing and sheep showing, woodturners creating spindles, distaffs, shawl pins etc and stalls and stalls of fibre, fleece and yarn and everything else a knitter/spinner/felter/weaver could need plus the two big spinning wheel companies from New Zealand, Ashford and Majacraft were here to show their wares.  It’s a bit flippin’ exciting, the sheep fumes and the buzz of retail therapy, the heady, heady thrill of it all!

We made a road trip of it, Bendigo being about 2 1/2 hours away, Julie was our designated driver and Sonia, Sharon and Ursula made up the rest of the posse.  Sonia and Sharon are Bendigo veterans and us three English expats the noobs.

The day before I was panicking a bit, it’s winter here and I needed a warm jumper to wear.  I had intended to wear Owls to Bendigo and since that wasn’t going to happen I decided that Idlewood would be second best.  However Idlewood is short sleeved and it occurred to me it might be cold so at around dinner time I decided I might attempt to make a pair of arm warmers to wear, encouraged by Sharon.  I cast on for toast just before dinner and stopped knitting for the night at midnight.  The next day I started knitting whilst I waited for the girls to arrive and managed to finish just as we pulled into the Show-ground car park, I tucked the ends in as I didn’t have time to weave them in and wore them all day.  I reckon about 8 hours knitting in total, what a knitter can achieve when she’s determined is not to be sniffed at!

As it happens, it was a beautiful day and the sun shone, all day. Before we even set off Sharon gave me a kilo of beautiful brown fleece, that is OMG gorgeous, thank you, thank you, thank you I love it.

Sonia gave me a mini skein of Wensleydale that she spun, which is just beautiful (I’m so spoilt).

So excellent start to the day already! However, here’s my haul…

A darning mushroom, because I’ve lusted after one since seeing Sonia’s.  I don’t know how to darn YET, but I WILL learn.  Purchased from a man wearing a knitted Viking costume no less.

2 skeins of Stranded in Oz sock yarn in ‘Fairies in the garden’ colourway yummy or what!

Pear Tree had a clearance sale, 1 kilo for $40 of mixed skeins, I went halves with Sharon.

700g of Polwarth roving from Dennis Polwarths, they look like different colours in the photo but they are both the same colour the one on the left being the most accurate colour.

1/2 a coated Polwarth fleece from Andyle.  I’m a bit in love with Polwarth which is a breed from Merino crossed with Lincolns, I’m also a bit in love with Andyle fleeces, they were all so gorgeous, choosing was a very difficult task.

I also bought stuff like dyes, stitch markers and wool scour, wash and rinse from Unicorn, posh scented moth repelling thingys and a spinners control card from Spun Out but I won’t bore you with a photo of them.  I made two carded batts using an Ashford drum carder with the help of Richard Ashford himself who was utterly lovely. I was allowed to keep mine (below) and Sonia was given the second.

The day couldn’t have been more perfect, we bumped into other knitting and spinning friends which was fantastic. We ate lunch whist watching the sheep dog trials with Debs, Susanne and Raoul and compared acquisitions.  I have to say that all of the stallholders were so genuinely friendly and passionate and not at all pushy or insincere which was wonderful because I’m allergic to pushy, insincere salespeople.  I am so looking forward to next year’s show.

ttfn Melanie x


Knits for the men

I’ve been busy knitting knits for my men. They all have something new and warm and woolly now.

The first beanie was too big for hubby so eldest son happily claimed it…
So the next day I set about knitting another beanie which would hopefully fit hubby.  Again another Wooly Wormhead pattern but this time in Icelandic Lopi mmmm, snuggly warm.

It fits, huzzah!

Youngest son then decided he would quite like a scarf and as it was his birthday last weekend I couldn’t refuse.  I didn’t have any black aran weight yarn in my stash so I ordered 5 balls of Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran in coal from the Woolbaa that night and sent hubby to collect it the next day as he works near there.  I decided to use Stephanie Pearl McPhee’s one-row handspun scarf pattern because it’s reversible and I really like it.

He gets the “moon tan” from me, I tried several times to take photo’s in different areas and they all had that, I’m a stranger to daylight look.  Any tips Damian?  The scarf was completed 2 days after his birthday and he’s very happy with it because it’s not itchy.  The grass looks that vivid because it’s just rained.

I’m now occupied with secret gift knitting and will be for a few weeks so there will be no sneaky peeks until they are with the recipients.  However, on Friday I’m going with some of the Richmond Knitters to Bendigo wool and sheep fayre so I hall have heaps to show and tell after that.  It will be my first time and I am giddy beyond belief.  There will be sheep and fibre and yarn and all manner of woolly stuff, I believe camelids too but… meh!  The men are a tad worried that I might come back with a sheep or three but as vivid as the grass looks after rain I think perhaps it is insufficient to sustain even one sheep.  Perhaps we could move before next year’s Bendigo though.

Beanie for baldie beloved

Ah, who doesn’t love a bit of alliteration of a morn?

He hem, anyhoo, my hubby’s hair is woefully inadequate for keeping his head warm during the Melbourne winter (yes it does get cold here).  So thank goodness for sheep and yarn as I have constructed a substitute for hair from the Geko beanie pattern by the veritable Woolly Wormhead using the yarn from the beautiful Black Welsh Mountain sheep (leftovers from Idlewood).  This substitute, let’s call it a hat or beanie perhaps, was a very quick and fun knit. It would have been a bit quicker and funner had not said hubby decided after I’d knit the body that he would like it “about an inch shorter”.  However, his wishes were obeyed and I tinked  “about an inch”.

Here it is…

It was knit in the largest size but only 6 inches before the decreases and I used about 67g of yarn.  I’m very happy with it as it’s manly but not boring which can be the case with manly knits.  Hubby is at work so he hasn’t seen the finished object “in the wool” but Eldest son has and promptly requested one for himself with fingerless gloves too.  Dearie me anyone would think I have nothing better to do but sit around and knit. Oh yes, at the moment I don’t…

I’m hoping to have Owls finished tomorrow, yay!

ttfn x

(P.S. thanks for looking after me Ian, here’s a lovely hair substitute for keeping your head warm x)

The other news…

I finished Idlewood, which I’m excited about, clearly!


I love the yarn, but then I would, it’s Black Welsh from Blacker yarns, it sheds a fair amount on knitting and needs a good wash so clearly it has been very gently processed this means you retain a close to sheepiness feeling which I do like.  I really like sheepy wool and yarn!  Had I had my wheel I would have spun Black Welsh tops for this.  The garment grew a bit after washing too so it’s turned out a bit bigger than I want but I have been thinking about ways to remedy that, including *eeek*  steeking or *boo* frogging to the arms and re-knitting.  Trouble is, I’m trying to loose some weight so when I “finish my weight-loss journey” as they say on Biggest Loser, it will be even bigger on me, so we shall see.  I definitely love the pattern so much that I plan to knit it again but in some Sublime cashmere merino silk aran (not a very sheepy yarn bought in my early years of knitting) in a grey colour, so it will have a very different feel to it.

Well that’s now all my news, maybe soon I shall have a sock, sadly not a complete pair but a sock and maybe I will have cast on a new project or spun more yarn, the excitement never ends here in the world of the homesickyorkshirelass.

ttfn Melanie x

A hive of activity and new loves

My wheel arrived on Monday and I would have posted earlier but I was on my way to knit night with the Richmond knitters when I got the text and then I was at work on Tuesday and so yesterday was the first day I had to get to know Owen.  So called because that’s the name written on the underside of the wheel “Owen Poad”, maybe the guy that made my wheel, I don’t know, I would love to know though so if anyone can tell me I’d be grateful.  Two other friends that have Little Gems have Andy Poad and Jemima Poad, I’m sure we shall be having many a spin-in together which will be heaps of fun and the whole point of a Little Gem, you pop it in the bag and go and spin with friends.

It would be very true to say that Owen is my new love, he is so pretty and very eager to put twist into fibre.  It’s very exciting this new love affair as I’m learning how to spin with him, it’s quite a different feel to spindling but knowing that we have a lifetime of making beautiful yarn together makes me so happy.

I haven’t lost any love for my beautiful spindles though so don’t worry. Anyway, pardon my waffling on.  Pictures are required, so without further ado, here he is…

Isn’t he gorgeous?  I’m spinning the BFL/Tussah silk Wintry walk on Filey beach that I dyed first and it’s looking very pretty.

On the day that Owen arrived a parcel of fibre that I ordered from Spun Out also arrived, It’s New Zealand Polland which, is a blend of Polwarth and Gotland.  Polwarth is a fibre I have spun a taster of before and Gotland has been on my must spin list for a while now.  It is a primitive breed from the Island of Gotland and their fleeces are supposed to be a handspinner’s dream, as fine as Merino and as lustrous as Wensleydale, how could I resist?  I shall wait until Owen and I are much better acquainted before I spin it I think, as I want to do it justice.  Also, I need to start thinking about spinning with a purpose and not just randomly spinning things because I want to, so I shall have a ponder. Here is a picture of that lovely fibre…

On the knitting front, I turned the heel on the first sock, yay socks!  The BFL sock yarn is lovely, soft and shiny-pretty in my favourite colours, if you haven’t tried BFL sock yarn do it!  You must experience the soft, shiny, prettiness, though the silky sheen isn’t all that apparent in this poor photograph.

Although David’s toe up sock cookbook could well be my all time favourite sock pattern, particularly good for handspun socks, oooh, handspun socks, drooooool.  I have purchased two more toe-up sock books the first arrived today.

It’s true to say there isn’t a sock pattern in this book that I don’t want to knit so while I waited for the book to arrive I dyed some BFL sock yarn to knit socks with, I particularly wanted some solid colours for the intricate cable patterns because I think they look stunning in solid colours so here’s the outcome.

Not bad for a beginner I think.  I shall dye some more soon, I have another 6 undyed hanks but need to have a think about colours first.

Well that’s all my exciting news for now.  As life isn’t all about the fun stuff, I have to leave it there, essential housework needs doing unfortunately, then brownie baking at the boys’ insistence.

ttfn Melanie x