Manos is in the house!

Manos del Uruguay has arrived in our stores. It’s all here and we are selling it out of the boxes. These kettle dyed fibres will break down all your resistance to building yet more stash. Remember that resolution you made to use what you have, well forget that, that resolution is gone! We found a customer wandering around the pillar, mumbling ‘delicious, delicious’.

In our delicious woolly arsenal we have the following:

Manos Maxima – 100% extrafine merino, Manos Fino – 30%silk and 70% extrafine merino, Manos Silk Blend – 30% silk and 70% extrafine merino, Wool Clasica – handspun pure wool, Manos Serena – 60% baby alpaca and 40% pima cotton, Manos Lace – 70% baby alpaca, 25% silk and 5% cashmere, Manos Alegria (sock yarn) 75% superwash merino and 25% polyamide.

100% Fair Trade and Handmade in Uruguay. You can read all about the history and the way the co-ops function here.

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Marelle’s sock is coming along nicely and the colours are awesome. Knit in colour 9275 and loving how the heel colour has worked out.

Give Manos Maxima a go and crochet a little kerchief with two hanks of Manos Maxima, It’s soft, squishy and warm. Also, a heads up to those of you who find wool a little uncomfortable against the skin. Not this one.

You will need:

4.50mm crochet hook

2 hanks of Manos Maxima in your chosen colours. Our sample uses M2552 Foil and M2175 Shocking.

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Work 8ch and close to a circle.

Row 1: ch3, 1tr into base of three chain, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr, 5ch, 1tr, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 2tr into the circle. Turn.

Row 2: ch3, 1tr into base of three chain, 1tr in next stitch, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next stitch, 7tr in 5ch space, 1tr in next stitch, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next stitch, 2 tr in top of turning chain. Turn.

Row 3: ch3, 1tr into base of three chain, 1tr in next 2 stitches, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next 4 stitches, 3tr in next stitch, 1tr in next 4 stitches, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next 2 stitches, 2 tr in top of turning chain. Turn.

Row 4: ch3, 1tr into base of three chain, 1tr in next 3 stitches, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next 5 stitches, 3tr in next stitch, 1tr in next 5 stitches, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next 3 stitches, 2 tr in top of turning chain. Turn.

Row 5: ch3, 1tr into base of three chain, 1tr in next 4 stitches, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next 6 stitches, 3tr in next stitch, 1tr in next 6 stitches, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next 4 stitches, 2 tr in top of turning chain. Turn.

Row 6: ch3, 1tr into base of three chain, 1tr in next 5 stitches, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next 7 stitches, 3tr in next stitch, 1tr in next 7 stitches, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next 5 stitches, 2 tr in top of turning chain. Turn.

Row 7: ch3, 1tr into base of three chain, 1tr in next 6 stitches, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next 8 stitches, 3tr in next stitch, 1tr in next 8 stitches, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next 6 stitches, 2 tr in top of turning chain. Turn.

Row 8: ch3, 1tr into base of three chain, 1tr in next 7 stitches, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next 9 stitches, 3tr in next stitch, 1tr in next 9 stitches, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next 7 stitches, 2 tr in top of turning chain. Turn.

Row 9: ch3, 1tr into base of three chain, 1tr in next 8 stitches, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next 10 stitches, 3tr in next stitch, 1tr in next 10 stitches, 2ch, 2tr, 2ch, 1tr in next 8 stitches, 2 tr in top of turning chain. Turn.

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If you don’t want to put beads in, just ignore the little black dots.

At this point the increases will make sense. Continue until the yarn has been used up. The colour sequence runs as follows. (Of course, you know you can buy more yarn and keep going and make a big wrap around for winter).

19 rows in colour A, 1 row in colour B, 3 rows in Colour A, 2 rows in colour B, 4 rows in colour A and 11 rows in colour B. Last row in Colour A, scalloped edge as follows:

Ch3, 4tr into base of chain, skip 2sts, dc in next stitch, skip 2sts, *5tr in next stitch, skip 2sts, dc in next stitch, repeat from * all around.

Sew away any ends and block if you so desire.

Yarnman Miranda

Yarnman Miranda discovers Manos! It really is that good!

Until we meet again. Happy crafting.

 

 

 

 

Morris and Sons Estate, 100% Australian Wool

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‘I just want a stock standard, good quality, well priced, Australian wool, ball of yarn’. We hear this in our stores all the time. We may have mentioned this before, we aim to please and deliver. Enter, Morris and Sons 8 ply 100% Australian wool in 50 colours, Morris and Sons 4 ply 100% Australian wool in 54 colours (a dream come true for Fair Isle knitters, we think) and Morris and Sons 14 ply 100% Australian wool in 55 colours. The 14 ply yarn is the ideal yarn to get somebody started on the road to knitting bliss. There is no need to tell them about the pitfalls in this road just yet. Get them good and hooked. They’ll find out soon enough!

We were lucky enough to arm wrestle a very accommodating (thanks Mum) crocheter into crocheting us our Rainbow blanket using all the Morris Estate 8 ply colours. Winter is around the corner why don’t you give this a go. Watch it morph from a tummy warmer to a knee rug to a blanket big enough to cover a person or two on the couch.

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And, as there will definitely be yarn left over you might want to keep your eye on this little work in progress. The pattern should be available soon. That’s if you want it?! Let us know via Facebook or leave us a message below whether we should write up the pattern.

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A Little Promotion using Morris and Sons Estate 8 ply

To get you started we have teamed up with Jen from Little Yellow Cat to offer our readers a little promotion. She has designed a Fair Isle hat, the Katie Beanie, in Morris and Sons Estate 8 ply. The pattern for her Katie Beanie normally costs $6.00. Up until midnight on the 30 April it will be available to you for $3.00. Using the download discount code: morris2014

To take advantage of this offer go to Little Yellow Cat and click on “add to cart”. Don’t forget to enter the discount code morris2014 to get your pattern at the discounted price.

Brown beanie uses #8036 Egg Yolk, #8007 Chocolate and #8047 Fishing Green.
White beanie uses #8018 Posey, #8002 Voile and #8045 Canopy

Until the next time, here’s wishing you all a lovely week and as usual make time for needlecraft every day.

 

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!

 

Neapolitan Tikal Infinity Scarf

Beautiful Italian yarn company Grignasco is no more. We will miss this yarn very much and while we still have some in stock we thought we would whip up an irresistible infinity scarf for you to knit.

The weather has already started changing and going by the amount of scarves that have been photographed in store this week we think it is time to start preparing for autumn and winter evenings.

For this week end, an ode to Grignasco Tikal. A 14ply yarn, 68% baby alpaca, 10% merino wool and 22% polyamide.

Have a lovely week end and we hope that our free pattern gets your knitting mojo going!

Neapolitan Tikal Infinity Scarf

Materials: Grignasco Tikal 3×702 (col A), 2×1152 (col B), 1×705 (col C)

Needles: 7.00mm

Measurements: the scarf should measure 150cm at completion.

Grignasco Tikal Infinity Scarf

Grignasco Tikal Infinity Scarf

Method

With col A and 7.00mm needles cast on 51sts.

Row 1: (RS) knit

Row 2: knit

Row 3: k1, *sl1 purlwise, k1: rep from * to the end of the row.

Row 4: k1, *yf, sl1 purlwise, yb, k1;, rep from * to the end of the row

Knit 2 rows.

Row 7: k2, *sl1 purlwise, k1; rep from * to last st, k1.

Row 8: k2, *yf, sl1 purlwise, yb, k1; rep from * to last st, k1.

Rep these 8 rows throughout

Work 50cm using col A only.

Keeping the pattern correct, Introduce col B and work as follows:

1st, 2nd, 5th and 6th pattern rows worked in col A; 3rd, 4th, 7th and 8th rows worked in

col B.

Work 50cm using col A and col B.

Keeping the pattern correct, Introduce col C and work as follows: (working with cols A, B and C)

Beginning with the 1st row 2 rows worked in col A, 2 rows in col B and 2 rows in

col C through out. Work 50 cm using col A, B and C.

Sew away ends. Sew the cast on edge to the cast off edge. If you like, you can leave it as a scarf.

Sewing!…At Morris and Sons!…Really?

It’s a busy blog post today. We have a caption winner. It’s also time to take it up a notch in the woolly world of Morris and Sons, as we wait for all of our fabric to arrive. Yes, we are going to stock fabric. It’s on the ocean somewhere, but it’s on its way. Let’s hope it encounters favorable winds and gets here soon. In the meantime all the sewing books have arrived. It’s so exciting and we just couldn’t wait to review just one of them. To whet your appetite even more we have a really quick sewing tutorial. As if that is not enough we had a response to our request for a ‘hug me tight’ and an explanation of what exactly it is. Thank you to everybody who let us have patterns and images. It’s all on Facebook.

First things first. Congratulations Robyn Lee. You are our caption winner. Of course we loved them all and most of them made us giggle. In the end we decided to go with the caption that got the most ‘likes’. It’s witty and funny as well. If you want to read them all, they’re on Facebook.

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Sewing Books: ZAKKA STYLE, compiled by Rashida Coleman-Hale. A design Collective.

24 Projects stitched with Ease to Give, Use and Enjoy. ‘Rashida has gathered talented designers from around the world to bring you 24 delightful Zakka projects’. What does Zakka mean? We have been hearing the word bandied about a bit lately. It’s a Japanese term meaning “many things.” According to the explanation on the dust cover of the book it is all about the little things that improve your home and appearance. We all need a little thing or two to make us happy and this little book surely does deliver. All the products in the book are simple, sweet and relatively quickly made. We chose to make the project featured on the front page.

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Sewing Kit on Page 23.

It is by Theresia Cookson. Toss it into your craft bag or take it on a trip with you. It’s small and handy.

The instructions are well presented. All measurements are in inches. A little irritating if you are used to the metric system, (our sample maker had to re-cut the odd little square here and there as a result).

A tip for the beginner sewer. Linen is actually not that easy to work with. It has quite an unstable weave. If you don’t like your piece to keep moving about and changing it’s shape, calico or any other homespun is a really good alternative.

We used some linen and fabric we have in the store and made our own sample.

TUTORIAL: Crochet hooks and double point needles lying all over the show. Let’s tame them and get them into some kind of order. Turn off the television and turn on your sewing machine. This will take you all of an hour. Make a few for friends.

Follow these easy how to steps. You will need:

2 main pieces of fabric 20cm x 50cm

Enough iron on webbing or fusing to back the above two pieces of fabric.

1 piece of pocket fabric 25cm x 50cm

2 pieces of ribbon or cord 30cm long each and a fabric marker.

1 button. Whichever button you choose to use, make sure it has a shank.

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Step 1: Fuse the two main pieces of fabric.

Step 2: Iron pocket piece in half lengthwise.

Step 3: Place the pocket at the bottom of one main fabric piece. Raw edges of pocket in line with raw edges of main fabric. Pin

Step 4: Place ribbon pieces on top of pocket fabric.

Step 5: Secure with a 6mm seam.

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Step 6: Mark stitching lines 2.5cm apart all along pocket. Stitch up and down all along.

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Step 7: Place second main fabric on top, RS facing. Pin.

Step 8: Stitch around leaving an opening for turning.

Step 9: Turn and press. Top stitch around, closing the turning opening.

Step 10: Sew on the button.

Step 11: Store all your crochet hooks and dpns. Roll up and twist cord around button.

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This week we’re talking a little VINTAGE……………..

Or is it retro? Pray tell, what is the difference? Is there a difference at all!

We’re here to clear it all up. Yes, apparently, there is a difference.

We’ll spice this week’s post up with a little GIVEAWAY as well. Keep reading and have some fun with us…

The true meaning of the word vintage relates to wine of high quality, actually. If you read the definition you will come to same conclusion as we did. It relates to knitting as well. Vintage denotes something from the past, of high quality, especially something representing the best of its kind. It’s old and it’s good and suggests authenticity.

In the world of fashion everything reappears after 20 years. This is where RETRO comes in. Retro suggests ‘in the style of’ or to put it more bluntly ‘a copy of’. If you are still confused about whether something is retro or whether or not you should wear it now. Here is a tip: if you wore it 20 years ago, don’t wear it now! It’s a delicate balance. Show it to your grand children if they ‘OMG-it’! Hand it over.

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Vintage Retro

Wire baskets overflowing with old knitting, crocheting and sewing patterns were to be found in Op shops everywhere. There was a time when they were referred to as old. How things have changed. Why? As this is a knitting blog, we will leave the social history debates to the experts. We’ll look at it from our perspective…

Is it because the front covers look this?

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Or the opening pages look like this?

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Or is it the possibility of finding ‘Sylvia’s Hug-me-tight’ hand written hiding between the pages of an old knitting book?

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It’s probably all of the above. Most of all it confirms that there were women who went before us. They also bought books and patterns and wanted to knit every garment in the book. Did they? I’m sure they had the same dilemmas as we have today. What would they think of our yarn choices to day? They probably would have thought that they had died and gone to heaven and so they have because heaven knows they knitted for different reasons to us, with way less choice and much more frugality than we ever will. Even so, we are connected and we believe this is one of the reasons why we love these books and patterns so much.

Vintage or Retro – no matter. Lets just keep knitting it all.

Image There’s a retro version of this here.

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We have had quite a few requests for a pattern for a ‘Hug me Tight’. We have yet to figure out what it looks like. Is there anybody out there willing to give this a go? Does anyone have an image of said garment?

GIVEAWAY TIME

We are looking for a caption to this glorious image. Run along to our Facebook page where you will find it. Put your caption in the comments box. We will pick a winner next week. The winner will receive one of Viv’s very beautifully made in Australia project bags. Just before we all get over excited. We are aware how easily this image could conjure up captions below the belt. Innuendos are fine but lets keep it relatively clean.

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Before we end off wishing you a fabulous knitting and whatever it is you do week, here’s what Viv’s project bag looks like

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For the winner of the best caption.

Last Minute Knits

It’s happened to all of us. A friend’s birthday is upon us. It’s the end of the year and Johnny’s teacher needs a Christmas present. Your five year old wakes you up at 6 a.m and tells you that he has to bring a gift for the Principal as she is leaving. Other human beings (you’re not other human beings, you’re a knitter) would hop into their car, find the nearest gift store and within 10 minutes, beautifully wrapped, have the problem solved. You, on the other hand, have a whole different approach to this kind of dilemma. Us, who can make anything by hand, labor under the misconception that we can whip something up in no time at all. We really do believe it. While everybody around us thinks we’ve gone mad, we soldier on firmly believing that there is such a thing as a quick knit.

Today, we’re here to help. First of all, to clear up a couple of problems related to semantics.

A quick look in the dictionary. The word ‘quick’ does not relate to knitting at all. Never ever. Remember this. Have it tattooed on your arm. Quick: moving fast or doing something in a short time. No, not knitting. On the other hand: ‘last minute’. Now, there’s a statement that could work for knitting: the period just before a significant or concluding moment such as a deadline due date (that baby better not come before I finish this blanket) or scheduled event. Now, that sounds more like something that is doable!

Last minute gifts. One for when you have an evening and the other for when you have 15mins. Yes, 15mins.

Image100% Gentle Exfoliation Face and Body Washer

Make sure you have the following: 4.00mm knitting needles and 2 x 50g Morris and Sons Maya 8 ply 100% Cotton. Tension is really not important and your wash cloth will measure about 23cm square. Cast on 46sts.

Rows 1-4: knit.

Rows: 5-8: k3, *k4, p4, rep from * to last 3sts, k3. Rows 9-12: K3, *p4, k4 rep from * to last 3sts, k3. Rep rows 5 to 12 six more times.

Rows 57-60: knit. Cast off leaving last stitch on the needle.

For the loop, using last stitch, cast on 20sts. Cast off. Sew loop to base and sew away all ends.

Done and dusted. If there’s time, pick up a good soap.

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Now to the 15 minute one. All the way from The Granny Square in Katoomba from the lovely Jenny.

Hakuna Matata

(the No Worries Necklace)

Image1 x Rosarios 4 Web and 1 x 12mm Tulip Bamboo Crochet Hook.

Make a row of chains until you run out of wool. Fold rope of chains into a three ring circle. Use yarn end and wrap around all three. If you have time, sew on any embellishment in form of a button or bloom. Seriously, you can do this while the family is having breakfast!

ImageI hope we have helped solve some of those last minute moments. If you have any last minute anecdotes, share in the comments box. Send us pictures if you do make use of our last minute problem solvers. We love to see your work and we love hearing from you.

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

Buttons!

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Here at Morris and Sons we have some buttons that are so beautiful, that they might have to be the first purchase for a project, not the last. We hope they will inspire you to play with colours, textures and patterns or to even embellish old favourites.

Here are some of the staff favourites – we have a nice mix of shell, wood, enamel and metals! Come in and have a look, buttons do not have to be just practical!

Happy needlecraft and have a great weekend 🙂

The Morris and Sons team.

Classes in July with Give-Away!

With July just around the corner, we are pleased to announce the launch of our Semester 2 class schedule! Whether you want to advance in your craft or learn something new we are sure to have something to interest you in Knitting, Crochet or Stitching.

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To celebrate the launch of our classes we will be having a give-away! If you leave a comment telling us which class you would like to attend, at which store and why. You will be put into the draw to win a free class of your choice! We will be giving away two places; one in Melbourne and one in Sydney. Leave a comment below before 9:00pm Wednesday, the 3rd of July to enter!

And here’s a snapshot of our classes in July!