Happy 10th Birthday Richmond Knitters!

This year is the 10th year since the Richmond Knitters knitting group began, and yesterday we celebrated in a big way!DSC06558DSC06560You can’t have a birthday party without cake!DSC06568Or matching gluten free cupcakes! Fantasy Cakes did a wonderful bringing this to fruition. I can highly recommend them for all of your creative cake needs!DSC06581DSC06587DSC06588We celebrated with a high tea and knitting and trivia! A Richmond Knitter tradition ūüôāDSC06594DSC06595¬†We had a lovely baby visit (sorry Alice, the camera is too fancy to get everyone in focus!)DSC06596Things went a bit quiet over trivia‚Ķ DSC06601DSC06602DSC06604DSC06608Then there was time for lots of happy photosDSC06614And the cake cutting‚ĶDSC06618And even some telegrams from our overseas Richmond Knitter expats‚Ķ I chickened out and got Catherine to read the last one, my mascara was not waterproof!DSC06619Happy Birthday to us all! And here’s to another 10 years.

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Richmond Knitters love crochet

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For almost 10 years now, the Richmond Knitters group have gone by the name ‘Richmond Knitters’, but the people who come along are not just Knitters and we don’t just knit at knit night.

It surprises me when people think that we only Knit. While I was at The Craft Sessions retreat this year, I met someone who thought that Crocheters would not be welcome to our group, how insane does that sound?!

After further reflection, I can see it from their perspective. It’s in our name‚Ķ I’d like to clear that up right here and now, that is simply not the case!

We are also a group of crocheters…

And sewists…

Weavers, spinners… and of course knitters.

We’ve even had a needleworker along. (Disclaimer: the lighting is not the brightest, but they do turn the lights up for us).

A few years ago, a couple of us took up spinning yarn and had a laugh about changing the group name to Richmond Spinners, but sanity prevailed, we can’t bring our wheels into the pub obviously‚Ķ

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What’s in a name? Do I/we need to consider changing ours to something else?

I hope not‚Ķ I’m kind of attached.

Stash and Notions Audit

I have had a ‘clean up’ of the yarn stash on the ‘to do’ list since December. I did a big clean out of the stash and thought I had updated most on Ravelry. Turns out that I hadn’t really deleted everything I had donated to charity and kept adding to the stash without adding to Ravelry (that was just me deluding myself).

I took 2-3 nights and systematically checked things off the Ravelry stash printout and at the same time photographed and add what wasn’t on the list. I also frogged projects that had languished in pouches and bags over a number of years. Now I know when I look up ‘WIP’ on Ravelry, its 100% accurate.

The upshot of the spring clean is:

  • I have way too much sock yarn.
  • I have 8+ balls of a number of yarns that I should try and work into a larger project.
  • I have a number of single skeins that I should prioritise for single skein projects.
  • I have and endless supple of circulars, interchangeable and DPNS – sing out folks if anyone needs anything!

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Yarn art in the city

Last weekend was White Night in Melbourne city. There were a number of cool things to go see around town when the sun went down, but I hate crowds so I didn’t venture in.IMG_2068That didn’t matter because some of the installations were still up around town¬†during the¬†week, and obviously I had to go check out this display of white lace.

The artist¬†Annette Fitton, aka¬†‘Nini & Wink’. is responsible for¬†the display of¬†21 trees. It was a solo undertaking. And then the mind boggles.

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21 trees, (on Flinders St near Spring St) all with different, intricate lace designs.IMG_2070

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I was quite taken by this one.

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‚Ķ those bobbly things‚Ķ they’re nups, (pronounced noups, like soup). I bow down to Nini & Wink, truly¬†stunning,¬†and very fancy, sophisticated yarn art.

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I wonder if she has some well-dressed trees at home?

When Knitting is Dangerous!

I have long been envious of my knitting friends who have the space to display their yarn in their living spaces. Quite apart from the visual appeal, its wonderful to sit in a living room and be able to review the stash and just be surrounded by ‘yarn fumes’. Sometime on Wednesday night between 7pm and 7:30pm I decided that I actually did have space in my apartment for a shelf. I was encouraged by a fellow knitter who pointed out that I didn’t need to display ALL my stash, even some would be better than none. Between 7:30pm and 7:40pm I found an appropriate shelving unit at IKEA and by 8pm Wednesday night I was walking into IKEA Richmond to buy myself a shelf. I ranged it out of the store, into the car, up three flights of stairs and then spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to decipher IKEA instructions. Finally sometime around 11pm the shelf was up and about of a third of the stash was in.

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I went to bed a bit sore but satisfied and planning a return trip the next evening for more shelves. By 7am Thursday morning I couldn’t lift anything with my left hand and by 4pm this was the revised picture of the first shelf.

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Diagnosis is a torn tendon. But I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I am not a person for a half done job. So… I posted a task to Airtasker (like AirBnB but for odd jobs) and by 11:30am Saturday someone had bought two more shelves, carried them up the three flights of stairs and assembled them and by 12noon Saturday I had two more shelves and ALL my stash on display. Now I can sit in agony and at least look at my stash!

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Richmond Knitters Retreat 2015

I’ve just caught my breath after a lovely weekend away with the Richmond Knitters.

It began with lunch as our meet-up point on Friday, and from there we slid into a very relaxing, do nothing but knit (or quilt) and eat kind of a weekend.

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It was a weekend of Two’s.

IMG_0512Two cakes

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Two kinds of wine. Mulled and Yarn Bombing themed.

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Two quilts

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IMG_0518Two spinning wheels

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There was lots of food and lots of laughs

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IMG_1618And a bit of knitting

IMG_0498It was very enjoyable and I can’t wait to do it again!

Richmond Knitters UK trip to Edinburgh Yarn Fest

Hello all,

It’s only me, Melanie, come to tell you about the fabulous time Bee and I had at Edinburgh Yarn Festival last weekend. First of all I have to tell you that the excitement levels in anticipation of this event were sky high. It was all I could think of. I did planning even! Yup, I went through the vendor list with a fine tooth comb. I went through my Ravelry queue, favourites and library looking for gaps in my stash, the whole shebang. I was, I think, quite restrained in my purchases although Bee thinks I am overly susceptible to yarn fumes but believe me I could have bought WAY MORE had I the funds.

Anyhoo, so this is how it went.

I arrived on a very wet Thursday evening and managed to meet up with Bee for dinner despite the taxi driver dropping me off on the wrong road. My slight Aussie twang that everyone here seems to think so pronounced that some people are surprised I’m actually English must have confused him so much that he couldn’t tell the difference between road and street. But I digress, dinner was lovely, Italian for those who like to know these things and then on to Bee’s place as she very kindly put me up.

The next morning she took me on a tour of Edinburgh. We visited lots of great foodie places of which Edinburgh has many. On our way to the Royal Mile we passed the statue of Sherlock Holmes. To my great shame I never knew that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was from Edinburgh.

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We walked part of the Royal Mile stopping at various shops of interest along the way. I have to say that Edinburgh from what I saw of it is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been to and I barely scratched the surface. The final destination of our walk was Edinburgh Castle although, we decided not to go inside as I really want a full day to explore it properly, plus, it was lunchtime. Lunch for me was a veggie haggis burger and fries washed down with Edinburgh gin. Yum!

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Saturday was our day at the marketplace of the festival. Once we were in we made a bee-line for the lovely Jules of Woollenflower who recently moved to Glasgow from Melbourne. Jules was there as a vendor selling her beautiful colourwork cowls and Harris Tweed knitting tool pouches. Her stall was a great success and much admired by the knitterati and us mere mortals alike. We then did a circuit of the stalls purchasing along the way. I wish I had the time to tell you about all of the beautiful woolliness on offer, seriously amazing! I found a lot of yarns and yarnies and other wool related artists that I’d not heard of and will be purchasing from in the future. For now though, here’s what I bought.

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So we have 3 bags British breeds fibre from Adelaide Walker

2 balls of sock yarn in lovely vintage-y colours from Wendy

3 skeins of hand dyed yarn from Ginger Twist Studios for the Albalone cardigan that Katie suggested I had to knit ages ago

4 mini skeins of Gryla an Icelandic yarn by Helene Magnusson and corresponding pattern for shawl

2 skeins of Ullcentrum Swedish wool and pattern for Linus shawl

20 mini balls of R.C. Rennie shetland yarn for Bee-Keepers quilt

9 tweed fat quarters from Jamiesons

Jamiesons shade card and project bag

assorted buttons from magictea on etsy

cards and a tea towel by Tilly Flop designs

a project Welsh Mountain sheep bag and tweed button from Fiona Daly

A Little Red In The City project bag by Ysolda

and of course the obligatory Festival bag

The day ended with a Cabaret Show with a hilarious presentation by Felix of Knitsonik and pub quiz by Felix and Ysolda. Our table came second in the quiz and we won the make a sheep contest on the night winning us beautiful sheep mugs by one of the artists exhibiting at the show, Ingris Nillson. I did much yarny fangirling too.

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The next day Bee and I were enrolled on a class by Hazel Tindall on Fairisle knitting. I’ve never attempted any colourwork and was a little daunted but Hazel was a wonderful teacher, very patient and generous with her knowledge. We loved that the little cuff was already cast on and knit to one row past the rib section agreeing that if we ever win the lottery we’ll have a personal assistant to cast on all our projects. I have to say I really enjoyed knitting the cuff and I’m finally going to be knitting the Endpaper Mitts that I’ve had in my favourites since I joined Ravelry all those years back.

Here’s a pic of Hazel with my Richmond Knitters travel mug

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Here’s one of my finished cuff, the colour choices will be a shock to all who know me IRL. In fact Hazel commented on how they were almost identical to the colours of my skirt. Predictable, moi?

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So to recap, Edinburgh Yarn Fest was utterly, utterly, utterly brilliant and I can’t wait for the next one. Feel free to join us.

much woolly love to you all Mx

Before

I’m doing a bit of a tidy’io today.

This is my needle stash, to the untrained eye it is a black hole.

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This could take all day, or I might just put it off for another week to sort.

I just wanted to stop by today to announce the winner/s of the Clincher pattern competition!

Thanks to¬†knitickyboo, Kris and OzKnitter for your comments, for your efforts you will each receive the Clincher pattern! Enjoy ūüôā

What’s in my Knitting Bag ‚Äď Sonia’s Chicken Boots

Welcome to the first entry in a series of Knitting Bag stories. This first edition is brought to you by my trip to Stitches West. I look forward to rifling through the knitting bags of friends and followers, please get in touch if you’d like your Knitting Bag featured here.

This is my Chicken Boots Knitting Bag, custom made and sewn on the market show floor of Stitches West. Yes, you’ve heard correctly, it was custom-made for me. I chose the trim and the fabric pocket for the notions side-pocket and it was stitched together at Stitches West.

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The clear vinyl casing makes it easy to identify which project is housed inside, for people who have several projects on the go. The side pocket is a perfect little notions carrier, able to accommodate a needle gauge and a large tape measure as well as smaller bibs and bobs.

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The stitching is quality and the zipper runs effortlessly.

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Inside is my Clincher scarf project, but I could fit in a much larger project if I wanted.

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Contents:

Clincher Scarf project by Ash Kearns. The yarn is Colinette Jitterbug in colour ways: Toscana (green) and Velvet Damson (blue).

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Hiya Hiya: needle gauge, Kitty snips, Panda needle stoppers (necessary¬†to protect¬†this bag from¬†pointy needles)¬†stitch markers & darning/sewing¬†needle. (I’m a bit of a Hiya Hiya fan).

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Yoth Yarns tape measure: I picked this up at the show, it has a handy little clip-in function, making measuring your bust or another circumference much easier.

I received my Clincher Scarf pattern as a gift from Susanne after admiring hers. And it’s a great pattern! Once you’ve established your rhythm it is the ultimate project in mindless knitting and great for long waits at airports, just saying.

Leave a comment below (with your Rav name) and you’ll be entered into a random drawing to win¬†the Clincher Scarf pattern. You must be a member of Ravelry so that I can gift the pattern to you. Entries close March 20th.

 

 

Richmond Knitters goes to Stitches West!

You know you’re an obsessed Knitter when you travel 20 hours one way for a Knitting Festival.

Debs and I are back from our whirlwind trip to San Francisco and Stitches West.

The Back Story is I lived in SF eight years ago and at that time I went to my first Stitches West. Not knowing just how large a show it was, and being particularly new to my obsession, I only had about 3 hours at the market itself. Since then I have vowed to return.

And return I did. I managed to convince another Richmond Knitter, Debs, that this was a most worthwhile trip. Enter the shopping partner and enabler!

The standard question from stall holders at the market (upon hearing the accent), did you come all this way for this? Yes, yes we did (well it was the main reason).

Here’s a few photos of our time at the show.

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Here we are right before visiting the market on Thursday night, market preview night.

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We were quite the fangirls, meeting lots of Knitting Royalty and having our ‘selfies’ taken with them.

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From left: Jane Richmond, Me, Shannon Cook, Jill Draper

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Here I am after my fabulous class with Anna Zilboorg. More on that on my personal blog soon.

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Debs with Hilary Smith Callis

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Here we are having a blast with Stephen West and StevenBe

I also took the opportunity to try on a few of Stephen’s designs:

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I really like this second one, it’s called Lost and Found and is a new design on Rav. Knit-along anyone?

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Debs with Jane and Shannon again! We kept running into these girls, there was lots of laughter and fun.

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And I met Romi on preview night. Wow, she was sooooo‚Ķ nice. I’m pretty excited to be participating in her mystery knit-along held with a Verb for Keeping warm.

Here’s the yarn I chose for my project:

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A fun photo with Jill, whilst she was helping pick out a colour for a sweater project.

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I tried on Hannah Fettig’s ‘Contented Cardigan’ at Alana Dakos’ Never Not Knitting Stand. I’m totally making this. I also had my photo taken with Alana (and let her know about the several ‘Little Oak’ cardigans that have been made by Richmond Knitters), which¬†I think you’ll find on Debs Instagram feed‚Ķ

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That’s about it for our Stitches West experience (apart from the truck-load of yarn I’ve come home with!). It was amazing, totally worth it, and I guess you had to be there to appreciate the excitement!

I’ll be writing a series of posts on my blog¬†over the next week or so to re-cap aspects of our trip, starting with my¬†Stitches West Loot! If you haven’t already you can also check out our Instagram Feed for my pictures from our trip.