GREETINGS FROM LIVERPOOL

Greetings from Liverpool.

Wow, it has been awhile since I last wrote my blog, but as some of you are aware, my partner and I have been on the road traveling since September 2016 and have finally made our way over to the UK. We have just under four months left of our trip to go before we have to head back to our home in Brisbane.

The countries we have visited so far have been as follows:

New Zealand
Singapore
Malaysia
Thailand
Hong Kong
Japan
India
Greece
Italy
Switzerland
Germany
UK

We have had so much fun so far exploring other parts of the world that are foreign to us, both in language and culture.

Have visited numerous yarn stores on my travels, but am now super excited as am now able to visit some wonderful yarn stores here in the UK. In fact, we plan to head to Manchester for the day on Friday and I am definitely going to visit Countess Ablaze and make a few purchases for sure. Whilst in Bath a few weeks back, I was able to purchase my first ever Hedgehog Fibres yarn from a wonderful store called A Yarn Story.

During my travels, I have held 5 successful Woolswap’s and am happy to report that this business is growing steadily each time.

Have knitted numerous pairs of socks, started a Find Your Fade Shawl and a Featherweight Cardigan.

Progress on my Find Your Fade Shawl

My Featherweight Cardigan, so far, using up my sock yarn scraps

Here is a picture of myself and partner Dean when we did the Magical Mystery Beatles Bus Tour the other day. After all, Liverpool is the home of the Beatles and we could not miss going on this tour.

Myself and Dean on the Beatles tour in Liverpool

If you want to see more photo’s about our travels so far, head on over to our other site called Spottedtravelling

Until next time happy knitting and crocheting.


My Love Affair with Sock Knitting

As most of you know that I am so addicted to sock knitting, which just mystifies me sometimes.  You see over the years my knitting skills have ranged from jerseys (back in the days when I grew up in New Zealand) and beanies, as I tend to get bored with any new item of knitting that I started.  But hey not now….

I think the appeal of sock knitting is two things for me:

  1. The fact that they are small and can be knitted up quickly if you put your mind to it.
  2. The wonderful choice of Indie Dyed sock knitting yarn that is available at a click of a button on the web now.

So this brings me to a book that I purchased on line called Sock Architecture by Lara Neel.  This is a fabulous book for anyone wanting to expand their sock knitting skills.  Who would have thought, when I first started knitting, that you would be able to at the touch of your iPad or phone be able to bring up a digital copy of a book, let alone any knitting pattern.  Mind you I do still like the look and feel of a real book, but whilst travelling the digital versions are an amazing invention.

I have only knitted three socks  from this book and they are Bootstrap, Strie and Sidle.  Still have fourteen more socks  to tackle as would like to try and knit them all if I can.  But there are so many other great sock knitting patterns out there, well that is a story for another day….

Until next time, happy knitting and crocheting folks and have a wonderful day.

 

 


Local Yarn Store in Athens

My mission on my twelve months trip around the globe,  is to try and find at least one local yarn store in the city that we travel to.

Upon wondering the streets of Athens recently on a Sunday we came across this local yarn store that had a really cool sign on their roller door. You see the shop was closed on a Sunday.

So was super excited about this and was definitely going to go back (minus my partner, so I could browse through this lovely store at my own leisure!!).  A couple of days later I managed to find my way back to this local yarn store, all by myself with no trouble at all.  Sometimes getting lost in a strange city is easy to do.

Well I was amazed at their selection and how friendly the owner Joseph was.  He was very chatty and advised me that this was a family run business and had been going for over 35 years.  He was interested in my story about travelling for 12 months and was very interested in all the places we had been to so far.  Ended up being in this store for ages as I could just not choose what to purchase.  Decisions, decisions, this is definitely a hazard for all yarn lovers when they enter their local yarn store, I am sure of that!

Here are a few more shots of inside this fabulous local yarn store.

I would definitely recommend that you visit this store if you are visiting Athens.

 

Mallia Sakalak Athens Greece (Sakalakwool shop)

30 Kolokotroni st.Athens

 

Until next time happy knitting

 

 


WEEK TWO- DIARY OF KNITTING THE FIND YOUR FADE SHAWL

WEEK TWO – DIARY OF KNITTING THE FIND YOUR FADE SHAWL

I have been loving the last week with my knitting, I can tell you.  Because the Find Your Fade Shawl knit that I started one week ago is so intriguing and such a nice knit and is coming along nicely, if I do say so myself.

 

DAY 3 

Consisted of me knitting the colour melting with my second colour and some of the lace part as well.  Even though I am not keen on lacy knitting, the pattern is still quite easy to sort of remember after a few rows.  I do have to mark each row down in my trusty knitting notebook, to keep a track of where I am up to at every stage along this great journey. 

DAYS 4 & 5: 

These two days got me up to joining in colour three and realising that this shawl is going to be big, very big and man oh man, would I ever get this Find your Fade Shawl finished.  Would I end up  getting bored with it? Which sometimes happens with my knitting and I. Should I cast on another pair of socks (which I did a few days later).  Nothing wrong with having five work in progress’s on the go right?  The picture below has progress and the next lot of colours eagerly lined awaiting their turn for someday in the near future.

DAYS 6 & 7: 

Nearly up to the lacy part of colour three.  Yeah, something to look forward to……

So there you have it folks, that is my Find Your Fade Shawl week and still happy to plug along.  Will be back next week with some more progress and will keep admiring all the other Find Your Fade Shawl progresses on Instagram.  There certainly are some lovely ones out there.

Until next time, happy knitting everybody.

 


WEEK ONE – DIARY OF KNITTING THE FIND YOUR FADE SHAWL

WEEK ONE – DIARY OF KNITTING THE FIND YOUR FADE SHAWL

As most of you would know I am an avid sock knitter and have been now for some two years.  Some would say that I do have an addiction in this department.  In saying that though, the feeling of boredom does slightly creep in from time to time.  So to curve this, thought I would give shawl knitting a crack.  You see I have been seeing all these fabulous shawls being knitted and lovely pictures being posted on Instagram and thinking wow, maybe I should give this a go….

This is where the Find Your Fade Shawl has now come into play.  There are so many wonderful combinations out there, that surely I could come up with something as well.  Was thinking that as I am still travelling around, I would not have anything in my stash, so would have to wait until I could get my hands on some wonderful yarn along the way.  But after one of my Woolswappers Kylie, posted a lovely picture of her’s the other day on Instagram ( you can check out her page here)  that was it, my mind was made up.  I was going to step outside of my comfort zone and cast the Find Your Fade Shawl onto my needles.

DAY 1:  

Consisted of me purchasing the pattern Find Your Fade Shawl by Andrea Mowry of  Drea Renee Knits.  With this done in a matter of minutes it was down to some reading of the pattern to see what I needed.  Then it dawned on me, that should be able to  find enough yarn in my stash to cover this.  

Upon going through my yarn stash I then came up with the following combination that felt right to me right from the start.

 

Happy with my choice and after posting on Instagram a picture of it and getting a few nice comments saying what a good selection, I casted on my Find Your Fade Shawl.  I was happy with the plain knitting first up and then did struggle with the lace part, but once you concentrate (something I am not that good at whilst knitting, I’m afraid) it soon became easier.

DAY 2:

When I woke up on Day 2, I was so eager to get my needles out straight away.  Never mind about the Pure Joy shawl and two pairs of socks that I have on the go at the moment, Find Your Fade was all that I was concerned about.  So here is progress on what I managed to do on Day 2. 

 

 

So overall I am happy with my progress on only my second time starting a shawl and stayed tune as will be giving a weekly update on my progress of my Find your Fade Shawl.


Knitting Yarn Store in Hong Kong

Since I have been on my travels from September 2016, I have not been able to buy any yarn (except in New Zealand), as the countries that I have visited so far, namely, Malaysia and Thailand are lacking in yarn shops.  Lucky I brought along a stash of knitting yarn, enough to last a year I’m sure.

So in the first week of January 2017 I was in Hong Kong for a week.  Now after doing some research online about knitting yarn stores in Hong Kong, I narrowed it down to one that I wanted to go and see.  So walked down to Mong Kong in Kowloon from our hotel, about a 20 minute walk, only to find the right address for this knitting yarn store, but was disappointed to find an empty shop.  Walked a few more blocks in and came across some markets and did see the following on a stall.

 

As it was all acrylic, did not make a purchase, but did love the bright colours.  Walking further down this street I came across a  store called Double Knit Yarn & Co.

 

Was dying to go in, so went up these not so good looking stairs, about 2 flights and came across a large knitting yarn store.  I was amazed.  I asked the lady behind the counter if she had any sock yarn, but they only had dark colours, so did not make a purchase in this case.  Took some photo’s though as looks like that they had a wide variety of every kind of wool/acrylic you could imagine.  A rare find and well worth it, if you are need of supplies from a knitting yarn store  whilst in Hong Kong.

 

The address of this knitting yarn store is Double Knitting Yarn & Co, 179 Fa Yuen Street, Mongkok, Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Happy knitting yarn shopping.

 

 


Registrations for the first round of Woolswap for 2017 now open


Yes that is right folks the first round of Woolswap is now open for 2017.

This is an international Wool/yarn swap that is open to all Knitters, Crocheters and Weavers from all around the world.

Registrations will only be open till the 15th of January, so get in quick to reserve your spot.

Once registrations are closed, you will then be matched up with a like minded fellow woolswapper based on the information that you have provided in the registration process.

Look forward to having you on board as a Woolswapper.

REGISTER NOW

 

 


THOSE DAM MITTENS

A few weeks ago I thought of the idea of knitting my better half a pair of mittens.  Now have been knitting for quite some time now and do not remember ever knitting any mittens before.  But hey how hard could it be right?

Well to my disbelief my first hurdle was trying to find a suitable pattern.  You see I am a girl that must follow a pattern at all times.  This is going to change in the new year, though and that is another story for another time…..

I managed to find a free pattern that had no pictures, so thought I would give it a try.  Followed the instructions and the first one came out way to small and this was not due to my needle size being wrong.

My first attempt

 Moral of the story here is to always find a knitting patterns that have pictures ( I read that somewhere recently and reckon that is such a good tip).  So went back to my comfy knitting of socks, whilst I sat staring at this too small mitten and pondering where I could find a pattern this time.  After a few weeks of this, I finally found a pattern called Templeton Mittens by Meg Hollar.  The original pattern is for a ribbed style mitten, but I decided to knit mine plain.

After finishing the first mitten and it fit my partner in crime’s hand perfectly, I was well pleased.  But then came the task of frogging the other smaller mitten, that I had been staring at for weeks.  Now my other issue (yes you can see a theme happening here) was that as I was using up scraps from my stash, there maybe a slight chance that I would run out of wool.  Anyway it all turned out perfectly in the end as played yarn chicken right to the end and won.  Yippee!!

The end result, happy days !!

So end result was that Dean got a nice pair of new mittens for our upcoming trip to Japan in January and I was happy.

Just to set the record straight though, I did not enjoy that knitting experience of those dam mittens,  at all and will be sticking to my glorious sock knitting which I am so addicted to, it is insane.


How to Pack a Year’s Supply of Knitting Wool

So my dilemma is how to pack twelve month’s worth of knitting wool into my bags whilst on my twelve month journey around the globe.

So after visiting two countries so far, I think I may have this down to a fine art.

Some points to remember:

  • Choose which wool you know that you will use. (You will have to be brave with this step as you will have to leave some of your stash behind) In my case I only chose to bring sock yarn.
  • Wind the skein into a ball before you head off – this reduces the size (not by weight) which you will then be able to squish it into smaller places
  • Use vacuum sealed bags (These have been my saviour)
  • Stuff smaller balls of wool into shoes

As I now have only a few days to pack again as we head to the next country on our trip this coming Saturday, I had better see if I can put the above tips to practice!

 

Sock yarn stash

Sock yarn stash

All nicely vacuum sealed

All nicely vacuum sealed

 

 


It is all about the food in Penang

That’s right it is all about the food in Penang.

As most of you know I am travelling around the globe with my partner in crime Dean.  We have taken 12 months off from our normal life back in Brisbane, Australia to explore the world.  So we are now into week 11 of our trip and have made it to Penang in Malaysia, the food capital of South East Asia.  Upon leaving Brisbane, we have been to New Zealand and then Perth in Australia.

We first visited Penang in August 2015 and only stayed for 4 days, but we both loved the people, the culture and most importantly the food of this bustling island off the coast of Malaysia.  We vowed to one day come back.  Little did we realise that it would be sooner, rather than later.  This time we are here for 4 weeks in total and are now into week 3 of our stay.

The food here is simple but very good.  Our favourites so far are Char Kuey Teow (a must dish to try and one of the most famous Penang dishes), Claypot Chicken, Salted Fish Rice and Mee Goreng to name a few.  My favourite is the Claypot Chicken with Char Kuey Teow winning hands down for Dean.

On every street corner you will find little old (and some not so old as well) Malaysian women and men selling their dish and these are known as street hawkers.  We have come accustomed to eating from these vendors for two main reasons, we are supporting the local small business and most importantly the food definitely tastes better and is cheap.

There are all cuisines here in Penang ranging from Malaysian, Thai, Indian, Nonya, Japanese, Chinese, to name a few  and there are plenty of western restaurants as well.  We like to steer clear of these and soak up the food and culture of the place we are staying at the time.  To be honest have not missed the western food at all, which is surprising.

We look forward to every day working out where we can find some new street hawker to taste their lovely food.  Because the food is cheap here you can afford to eat out for every meal.

So if you ever get the chance, you should definitely put Penang of your list of must visit cities of the world.

It will be sad to leave this lovely island in paradise, but our next stop is another place we visited last year called Chiang Mai in Thailand, so looking forward to being able to explore this great city in more depth.

Just some photo’s of the food that we have been enjoying.