How About Dyeing Something accompanied by a tumbler of Sangria?

How hard is it sometimes to find just the right colour? Why are we a little apprehensive about going down the dye-it- yourself route? It probably has something to do with the fact that the process of dyeing used to be a rather long drawn out process with different dye baths and mordants and fixatives. Really, what is a mordant anyway, when all you want to do is make something that was the wrong colour, the right colour? It becomes even more daunting when you get a little advise from an ‘expert’. Dyeing seems to be steeped in some kind of ancient magic and generally sends most people running to the hills. The possibility of a disaster always imminent! What if it does not turn out the right colour? General consensus relating to the last question is: LIVE DANGEROUSLY, GO OUT AND DYE SOMETHING!

That’s exactly what Emily in Sydney went out and did. Below is her experiment.

Jacquard dye pots 2

These dyes are available in our Sydney Store only. More information on the dyes can be found here.

“I used Jacquard Acid Dyes in turquoise, sky blue, chartreuse, and teal. I mixed the dyes in small pots and then painted them on to the Sockenklecks . I then put sock wool in the microwave for 4mins each side.
I haven’t knitted it yet – I want to find a nice simple stitch or cable to make the socks. Maybe short socks and a pair of fingerless mittens!”

What a gorgeous colourway. We are really looking forward to seeing what Emily knits up out of this.

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Tumble Dyeing. This could be a lot of fun for everyone. We recommend this for a school holiday project. It’s probably the easiest dyeing process to date. Heaps of online tutorials and the instructions are real easy to follow. Emily and Co had a lot of fun with this one as well.

Bog Post 14.04.14


Emily Sydney

Emily with the yellow hat from our Sydney Store.
Favourite Craft – Knitting.
Current Project – Millennium jumper in green and Kate Davies tortoise and hate gauntlets.
Favourite Beverage while crafting – Sangria. Recipe here.
A bit about myself.
I grew up in Perth (no wool required) and moved to Sydney after living in Melbourne (Brunswick) for a few months in 2007. I have studied painting and drawing at CoFA and law and politics at UNSW. I intend on studying Science Communications at USyd. I like Vikings (especially Mexican ones :P), animals (foxes are the best) and the environment (esp. Re. Natural science). I learnt to knit when I was 4 and picked it up again when I was 15 – about 12 years ago. I teach socks, fair isle and beginners knitting. I also make dresses and clothes from vintage patterns and a keen dressmaker (and toy maker).

 

Crochet Wild Animals

“Unleash the creative beast in you with the 15 wild animal projects you’ll find in Crocheted Wild Animals, including a rabbit, a camel, a frog, a flamingo, an owl, a polar bear, and a chameleon. Projects vary in complexity, but you’ll want to make every one – and with the easy-to-understand instructions you can!” That is what it says online. We decided that this book was so cool it deserved an in depth review and definitely at least one sample. To the rescue came our very own Emily in Melbourne (we have an Emily in Sydney as well, thus the geographical distinction).

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Crochet Wild Animals by Vanessa Mooncie
Difficulty: Intermediate
Reviewed by: Emily (Melbourne)
Let me start off by saying, wow, this book is gorgeous! This crochet book is a step up from your typical crocheted toy or amigurumi book. Flipping through the pages for the first time was filled with squeals of delight from us girls at the counter, with the general consensus being: We must make everything!

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I’d say the book is ideal for those who have played around with the basics of amigurumi and are wanting a bit more of a challenge, a bigger project. The patterns are written out in typical amigurumi style, with the addition of crochet charts. As a lover of charts I was very excited about this, and found them handy as a quick visual reference for basic patterning. But you definitely need to pay attention to the written instructions, as some parts are quite technical and don’t always translate well into a chart (I have been watching Poirot lately and whilst working on the flamingo’s tail my “little grey cells” certainly got a work out!).

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As to the layout and feel of the book, the 15 animals are gorgeous and bursting with personality. From the elephant to the giraffe, the deer to the owl, and with some surprises like the chameleon who can flip inside-out to be a second colour! The instruction’s layout is clean and the pictures are fabulous, with lots of different angles which is great for assembling your new little friends. You can’t help but fall in love with all of the characters in this book, and for those who haven’t yet learnt to crochet, now might be a good time…

Hi, my name is Fernando and I can be found sitting around in the shrubbery, hanging out on the counter in the store or floundering around on the tiles trying to get control of my legs.

Image In the shrubs

Image On the counter.

Image Well, nobody’s perfect….

For Fernando we used Morris and Sons Maya 100% Alpaca and his glorious tail was made out of Debbie Bliss Pure Silk Colour Fruit Salad. This is no ordinary bird!

We thought it would be a good idea if the readers of our blog could get to know our staff a little better. We’ll shine a spotlight on Emily this week. Emily works in our Melbourne store. She is also our Crochet Stage 1 teacher and our Amigurumi Teacher. Have fun reading about what rocks Emily’s world and what makes her get out of bed in the morning. We asked her a few questions.

Image Morris and Sons Melbourne Emily

Favourite crafts: crochet, knitting, sewing, play doh.
Current project: Haha, too many… But I finished making a giant flamingo last week!
Favourite beverage whilst crafting: Chamomile tea.
A bit about you:
I Love Colour! I always have loved colour. From when I was six telling
mum “No mum it’s not purple, it’s Magenta”, to surrounding myself with
pretty flowers in the garden, to my two stacks of folded,
rainbow-ordered fabric which sit on my bookshelf. Some people say it
borders on obsessive. …I am one of those people!

 

Knitspiration! Beautiful lace shawl in Morris Empire 2ply

Christmas is coming up and in Morris and Sons we are all preparing our knitted gifts!imogen'sshawl

The very talented Imogen is knitting something very special for her mother in law. The EZ 100th anniversary shawl: Gull Wings! It’s a one ball pattern worked up in 2 ply lace yarn. Imogen chose Morris Empire 2ply, which is a beautiful merino wool. Perfect for seeing all the detail in the lace. The picture above shows her work after only one week! It’s starting to take shape and all the hard work will soon be worth it.

The pattern can be downloaded for free on Ravelry, and the yarn can be bought online.

Get inspired, get creative, and more than anything else, get knitting!

Fair Isle knit: Ainsley Beret

This week Emily, our very talented staff member, brought in her newest knit; the Ainsley Beret.

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The Ainsley Beret pattern has been in store for a while, and as soon as Emily started working she was interested in giving it a go. Within a couple of weeks, Emily had knitted up the Morris and Sons Ainsley Beret in the new Morris Estate 4ply yarn.
The Morris Estate is great for fair isle. As it is a merino wool it is great for regulating body temperature. So good for chilly outdoor days. Fair Isle originated in the Shetland Islands on the island of Fair Isle and became very popular during the 1920’s. Traditionally the Fair Isle technique uses Shetland wool which is very sticky. This means that the colours stick together like glue. After blocking the yarn becomes very soft, lovely for garments worn close to bare skin such as berets. The stickiness of the Morris Estate 4ply Merino creates the Fair Isle effect perfectly.

A great achievement for a first fair isle knit. The pattern and yarn can be bought online and also in store.

Skills and techniques used for the Ainsley Beret:

  • stranded colour work
  • knitting in the round
  • knit and purl stitches
  • blocking

The Ainsley Beret is a great short project for someone interested in learning the Fair Isle technique.

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Knitspiration: Gingko Shoulderette Shawl!

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This week one of our team members, Imogen, impressed us all with her beautiful Gingko Shoulderette Shawl by Maggie Magali. It took Imogen about a week to finish the shawl. The pattern is a free download from Ravelry.

The Gingko Shoulderette Shawl uses a mixture of lace techniques and stocking stitch in a top down pattern. Interestingly the lace portion is worked on both knit and purl sides.

It took her just under two balls of the Morris and Sons 4 Ply Avalon Pima Cotton in colour Turquoise #4418.

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Why did Imogen choose the Morris and Sons Avalon Pima Cotton?

While Pima Cotton was cultivated in Peru, and is primarily grown there, it has also been introduced to farming in Australia and the United States. Pima Cotton is known for its durability and absorbency. This makes it excellent for knitting quality garments that don’t fray or wear over time. The Morris and Sons Avalon is made in 4, 8 and 10 ply and it comes in a huge range of colours. These are available for you to purchase online here.

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The Morris and Sons Team

Hot Off the Needles: Jess’ Beanie

I love the feeling of finishing a project. Even though I’ve seen it in a basically finished form for a while; once it is off the needles it’s like it has been unveiled. Last weekend I finished this beanie (yes, that’s me in the picture…) and I was so pleased to have finished it that I kept it on my head for about 11 hours straight!

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The pattern – ‘Intuitive’ by Julia Zahle is a free download on Ravelry. I chose to knit it in our Morris Empire 8 ply in Putty (#832) because it’s 100% Australian superfine merino wool and I love the feel. No scratchiness to be found!

Now for the artistic shot!

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It’s fairly slouchy, but if you want to you can turn up the ribbing. I made it a little shorter than the pattern says because I’m fairly small and I didn’t want too much slouch. I’m pretty happy with how it has turned out!

I hadn’t knitted in a variegated yarn before and I think it works pretty well with this pattern, but I also wouldn’t mind giving it a go in a solid colour. Here are some that I’m considering:

Colours2

These are also Morris Empire (I used two balls). The colours are:

The cream: #801 Chalk

The pale blue: #807 Freshwater

The dark green/blue: #820 Rainstorm

The pale olive: #818 Blackheath

It really goes with any colour – if you look at the pattern page on Ravelry, you can see more colours that Julia and others have knitted it in.

So how about you? Did you get much knitting or crocheting done over the long weekend? Did you finish a project? We always love to see what you’ve been working on – share a picture with us on our Facebook page!

-Jess

Bel’s Baseball Jackets

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How adorable are these?!?!

Bel has knitted up three cute colour combinations of a baseball jacket pattern from Debbie Bliss’ Baby Cashmerino 4 book, and they have turned out great!

It can be an easy solution to knit something the same colour as the picture from the pattern, and seeing it does give you more certainty about how the colour will look when it’s done. However, amazing results can also be had when you get creative and pick out colours that are really you (or the little munchkin you’re knitting for!).

Love your work, Bel!

Works in Progress by Azure

Looking to be inspired in the new year?
Check out this Wearable Art!
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The following works belong to Azure, who is a passionate member of the Morris and Sons team. She knits and crochets wearable art which she hopes to exhibit in the new year. Her works are made from a variety of yarn including Morris Empire in 2ply, 4ply and 8ply, Lana Gatto Super Soft, Cleckheaton Taboo, Norway 10ply which she has dyed with food colouring, stranded DMC Cotton and some odds and ends that her grandmother has given her.
I would really like a pair of her amazing knitted shoes to wear about town!
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HOOK AND A BOOK REVIEW

I own a set of Clover Soft Touch Crochet hooks and I love them. So, when these new crochet hooks from Clover arrived in the store I was surprised because I didn’t think that Clover could better the Soft Touch hooks. Boy, was I wrong!

Waiting for my crochet students to arrive, I picked up one of our books, ‘Amineko’, the Story of a Crafty Crochet Cat. A couple of pages into the book and I was smitten. I just had to make one. Actually, that’s not true, I just had to make them all, was my initial reaction.

After my class I picked up Amineko and a 3.25mm Clover Amour Crochet Hook. My week end was organised. Result: A hook and a book review…

Clover Amour Crochet Hooks

The Hook:

The working hook part is exactly the same shape as the soft touch crochet hook. It is also smooth and easy to work into the stitches. The shank is about 3mm longer. It feels a little lighter than the Soft Touch hook. The colour coded handles are fun and make it easy to identify hook sizes. We have sizes starting at 2.25mm to 6.00mm with 3.00mm mysteriously missing. Maybe the supplier was out of stock. I’m not surprised! Above all, however, the one thing about the new Amour Crochet Hook that will get you hooked, pardon the corny pun, is the handle. It is just a tiny bit longer than the soft touch. It is soft, rubbery and slightly squishy. I was working an Amigurumi project for the review and I found that my hands did not get as tired.

Hello my name is Amineko

The Book:

Hello My Name is Amineko. The Story of a Crafty Crochet Cat by Nekoyama.

It’s a storybook and a project book. Amineko, to say the least, is a cat with attitude. It’s well worth reading the story that comes before the instructions. You will fall in love with him! He is crochet in the Amigurumi style of crochet. I used Morris and Sons 8 ply Estate and a 3.25mm Amour Crochet Hook. The translation of the instructions is a little different to regular Amigurumi pattern instructions but not so as to put you off completing the project. The images in the instruction section of the book are so good it makes up for the unusual pattern writing style. As I said before, you’re in love with this cat. He has to be made.

And on that note, we are running Amigurumi classes in our Melbourne and Sydney stores. Check out our website for dates and times. Come and join us and make your own Amineko!

Happy crocheting,

Judith

What’s new!

Hi dear crafty friends,

We’ve received the first installment of a delivery from Schoppel-Wolle and Grignasco, so The Morris and Sons Team thought we’d give you a little taster of some of the wonderful new yarns available in store. We are all tremendously excited, and busy coming up with new projects to make use of all of our new stock. Read on to find out about the recent changes to our store, including a wall-full of sock yarn and plenty of mohair.

First of all, our baby wool has had a revamp. Along with the traditional white, pink, blue and yellow, we’ve got some fabulous new colours in store for you.

This vibrant wall showcases Grignasco’s Bambi 3ply 100% Extra Fine Merino, a very welcome addition to our store! Just look at all of those colours! These would be superb for some colourful babies’ clothes, or a fun pram blanket. Or if you’d rather knit something for yourself or a fellow adult, why not try using this yarn for Fair Isle? There are plenty of colours to choose from.

Moving slightly to the left, we have our sock yarn wall.

A vast majority of our new stock has come in the form of sock yarn. And for those of you that have never made socks, there’s no need to think that you can’t take one of these lovely balls of yarn home for your stash! Morris and Sons has released its new class schedule, and among the many workshops we have on offer is ‘Learn to Knit Socks’! You can book your place in store, over the phone, or online here. Information on the rest of our classes can be viewed on our website, for Sydney here, and Melbourne here.

Already raided and bought by a number of staff members, let us introduce to you Admiral sock yarn from Schoppel-Wolle. Available in self-striping, self-patterning (similar to a Fair Isle effect, but with all the hard work done for you), and block colours.

Use one of these vibrant and fun block colours and pick a fabulous stitch pattern for your socks. Or, try striping them. Or for those of you that aren’t as outgoing with your socks, why not use them as a contrast toe and heel on your basic, everyday socks and smile knowing that there’s a secret party in your shoe!

More from Schoppel-Wolle, we have the Zauberball. The Zauberball features a smooth gradient of colour, and most colourways have a “Crazy Zauberball” counterpart with a twist running through it. These are just some of the many colours we have in store.

For those of you that love these colourways but would prefer a different ply, some colours are available in a lace-weight Zauberball, or a 6ply Crazy Zauberball. We have had these in stock for some time now, but in nowhere near as many colours. You simply must come in and check them out.

But keep in mind, sock yarn is not just for socks! Any of these yarns can be substituted into a 4ply pattern for some incredible results.

‘One Skein Wonders’, available in store, is a fantastic demonstration of how one skein of sock yarn can be knitted or crocheted to make so many different things. In fact, this book contains 101 great projects. Think gloves, hats, shawls, children’s outfits, bags, and yes, socks!

We know many of you have been asking us for mohair for your projects for quite some time now. So here’s a sampler of some of the mohair we now have in stock. There are plenty more colours available in 2, 8 and 10ply.

Something else exciting you may have noticed if you’ve visited us in the last few weeks is our new branding! We’re really stoked about this change. Here you can see our new ball bands, complete with updated logo and colours.

This particular colour is a new addition to our Empire 100% Australian Superwash Merino. We’ve named it Absinthe and it’s available in 2, 4, and 8ply.

Our very talented Sydney store manager, a big fan of the colour green, has been crocheting the ‘Darcey’ dress from Debbie Bliss’s gorgeous book ‘Simply Crochet’ (available in store). It’s looking incredible so far, and we’ll make sure to post some photos when it’s finished.

Here’s a little close up of the stunning scalloped stitch pattern:

You might notice, from these photos if you’re super observant, or if you’ve visited us in the last fortnight, that the shop has had a reshuffle. We’ll be sharing a post here with more information about the new layout, but if you have any questions when you visit us we’ll be very happy to explain where things have moved. The layout is organised by ply, but topsy-turvied so that the finer plies are at the rear of the store where as the bulky-weight yarns are closer to the stairs. The Noro has also been integrated with all of the other yarns. We hope this new layout will help you have more of a sense of your options when choosing yarn for you project. We know it’s helped us see our yarns in a totally new light.

We look forward to hearing your feedback about the changes to our stock and branding. Don’t forget to leave us a comment below!

Best,
The Morris and Sons Team