As promised, I wanted to show my knitting loot accumulated over the last month or so.
This is the start of it, that our dear US friend as per the last post, sent over some knitting needles and some yarn to get me started. Unfortunately (or rather fortunately!) the blue yarn in the top right of the below photo is all I have left! I successfully turned that into something, and I’ll share that a little later. The yarn is a KnitPicks yarn called Andean Silk in the colour Blue Ribbon and according to the label is of Worsted Weight (that’s American for our 10-ply) and is made out of 55% Superfine Alpaca, 23% Silk, and 22% Merino Wool.
The pink needles are Susan Bates needles, which I’m guessing this is a standard needle brand in the US. Lona matched the needle to the yarn she sent, it’s a size 7 US, but kindly they also show our lovely Australian size, which is 4.5mm, indicating the diameter of the needle.
And all the mini skeins are tidbit yarns from Lona’s stash. Look at those little pretties! I’m not sure exactly what to do with it yet…probably some knitted flowers to attach to bags or headbands or something because there’s so little of each, but it’ll have to wait until I learn some more knitting stitches.
I really didn’t want to ruin the lovely blue yarn I was sent, so I went to a local craft shop and picked up a few knitting paraphernalia. This bright green acrylic yarn, which I grew to despise so quickly. It feels fake, because it is fake. But…I had no qualms about ruining it if it came down to it. (Die a miserable death you horrible yarn!)
I grabbed a Patons’ Learn to Knit book, which I did not use to learn how to knit with, but instead used a variety of websites and YouTube videos to teach myself how to cast on, bind off, knit and purl. The very basics, but you can do just enormous amounts of things with these basics. I grabbed a few more needles, plastic ones in 6mm, and bamboo ones in 4mm, so I could see how different sized needles affected the yarn and what the different materials felt like to use. I quickly discovered I hated the metal needles Lona sent (sorry!) I was dropping stitches left, right and centre, they were just too slippery. I then tried the plastic needles, which helped a bit with the dropped stitches, but felt so fake and cumbersome (they are fatter than the pinks) that I went back to the metal.
I also got a ruler/needle gauge and some needles for weaving in loose ends of yarn.
Then started the binge buying. I have a weakness when I start a new craft….I like to buy things! Along with Lona’s yarn from Bendigo Woollen Mills, I got some for myself and hubby to make scarves out of for winter, which is fast approaching, yet it’s unseasonably warm still at the end of May. I guess that means I’ve got time to knit! Those yarns are the dark blue, medium blue and dark green to the right in the picture below. I also was getting cranky with mediocre knitting needles and snapped up these two sets from KnitPicks (which ship to Australia and not just the US and have really reasonable prices on everything! Woohoo!)
I got a set of straight 10 inch needles in the gorgeous Caspian colour and a set of the interchangeable circular needles in the even more fabulous Majestic colour. And more yarn! Hooray! From the number of yarn blogs I have read lately, excessive yarn buying is a very common affliction.
Close up below of the beautiful laminated birch needles from Knit Picks. The Caspians are a swirly blue and green, while the Majestic are black, purple, green and blue. I spent a few days researching different needle brands and these reviewed well but aren’t as expensive as others. It was around $75 (AU) for each set and I probably won’t need to buy any more for quite some time.
And Oh. My. Gosh….these are a DREAM to knit with. Absolutely love love love them!
Here’s a close up of the yarns – the two balls are Palette in Clematis Heather and Rainforest Heather, which are 100% Peruvian Highland Wool in Fingering Weight (4-ply) and the blue/black/green combo is Stroll Fingering (4-ply) which I just want to rub against my face forever it is so soft! This colour is called Inverness Tonal and is made up of 75% Superwash Merino Wool and 25% Nylon, making it perfect for socks! Not quite up to making socks yet but this is going to look awesome when I am.
So I started knitting…and finished a project, and realised I now needed more loot to complete it! Back to KnitPicks I went (because it’s just way more cost effective than Australian online stores even if I have to wait around a week and a half for delivery). Queue the next loot batch below please!
Along the top from left to right, that funky machine is a ball winder, then three different cable needles, used to knit cables, surprise surprise! Beyond Fibre Wash which is a detergent for wool, and four balls of 50 gram sock yarn for hubby, in Jack Rabbit Heather. He picked it himself, after picking four other colours that were out of stock 😛
Along the bottom row from left to right, are an assortment of stitch markers (used to keep track of where you are up to in a knitting pattern if it is complex) and some extra long cords for my interchangeable needle set so that I can make 48 inch and 60 inch lengths. There are also some locking stitch markers and T-Pins, and blocking mats, which are not shown since the box is huge! Blocking mats and pins are used to dry, stretch out and shape the knitting project to how you want it to appear. It really makes the stitches pop. I’ll be doing that soon for my first project and I’ll document that for you.
Here’s a close up of the pretty yarn hubby Jason chose, the Stroll in Jack Rabbit Heather. Again, this is sooooo soft and lovely. We had to get four 50 gram balls because Jason has really big feet! Going to be interesting to knit those socks up.
So, that’s a lot of knitting loot. I hope you enjoyed seeing it and I hope to share the projects I make with them!
Until next time, have fun!