Kiwiyarns Knits


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The Aster MKAL

October was/is Socktober in the knitting world.  All sorts of beautiful projects are created in this month dedicated to the art of knitting socks.

A while back, Denise of the Karori Flower Shop, and co-creator at Bleating Art, invited me to contribute a mystery sock pattern for the shop’s  “Soctober” month of events.  The idea of designing a flower-themed sock was very appealing, so off I went and buried my nose in books about flowers and plants, and started sketching and swatching and dreaming…

The sock was called Aster, after this inspiration.

Echinacea

This is echinacea, but it is part of the Aster genus.  The Aster (Asteraceae, or daisy) family of flowers is the second most numerous family of flowers with over 23,000 currently accepted species.  The word aster means “star” in Greek, referring to the appearance of some family members, as a “star” surrounded by “rays”.  It includes many lovely varieties that are used by florists, including dahlias, zinnias, chrysanthemums and sunflowers.  I thought it fitting to base the sock design on this genus for a florist’s sock pattern.

The pattern was broken down into two clues, so I made the socks a bit different to my usual style to keep things interesting and to provide surprises along the way.

The group has been working through the sock pattern this month.  Yesterday, an official unveiling of all the socks took place, so I thought I’d go along and see.

DSC01548 (640x480)

Haven’t they all done such a lovely job?  Can you see the flowers, the leaves and the stem in the sock?  These socks were knitted by Susan, Shona, Sara, Maureen and Denise.  There is also a pair in there that are mine.

Let’s have a close look at the detail:

Susan's socks

This fresh green version was knitted by Susan.  The pink and purples below were from left to right, by Shona, Sara and Denise.

Aster

Here are the lovely ladies, and yes, your eyes do not deceive you, that is indeed Audry whom you see!

Aster socks

Audry was doing the lucky draw for the bag and goodies that you see on the left hand side of this picture.

Lucky winner

Shona was the lucky winner – it was a fantastic prize!

Karori Flower Shop knitters

It was a lovely afternoon out and a nice way to start the long weekend.  I was glad to be able to join them and also have the privilege of seeing all the finished socks.

There was some discussion about opening the sock pattern up to a wider audience for another MKAL, but I have decided on balance that I will adapt the pattern slightly (to take into account some of the comments about the socks) and I will release it as a regular pattern.  We may be holding a KAL for it over on the Kiwiyarns group on Ravelry though.  Stay tuned for more news on that subject.

I’m looking forward to having one more day off tomorrow (it’s Labour Weekend here).  It will be nice to have a rest as I have been working non-stop this month, and am feeling a little more than exhausted!

Hope you are having a great weekend!


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Wishes do come true!

It’s all Audry’s fault.

Last Christmas, she posted about this pair of socks.  They are very nice socks, especially the colourway. I wanted them. Or more exactly, I wanted to make a pair just like that, and find the self-striping yarn to do it!

Of course, Christmas colourways on side side of the world seem to be quite hard to come by.  Not to be deterred, I did a little wishing at Stray Cat Socks a few months ago.  Then Alice happened to mention something about Christmas colourways on Tracy’s Etsy site!  Gah!!  I had to have a look!  A few clicks later…

Stray Cat Socks

Oh, happy days!!!  Exactly what I wished for!

Joyeux Noel

Winter Wonderland had to come home with me too… it’s very Dr. Seuss, and the young boy thought he’d like a pair of socks in this stripe very much.

Winter Wonderland

Thank you Tracy, for making my Christmas wishes come true!  :-)

 

 


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Southern Skies – a chance to meet Audry in Wellington!

If you read Audry Nicklin’s blog, you will know that she is in Wellington at the moment.

I have had the great privilege of spending some time with her this trip.  Last night, she prepared the most delicious taco salad I have ever eaten, and then we went to see glow worms and eels.  (To my eternal shame, the spot is less than five minutes’ drive away, and I have been there many times during the day, but never thought to go see the night life.  Thanks to her friend and host, Chris, for suggesting it!)

However, today I want to tell you that if you are in Wellington, and have always thought about wanting to make this:ws_celestarium4 (640x427)

(This is my Celestarium – it is a bit smaller than the pattern version because I didn’t use the right size needles for my gauge) or its sister, the Southern Skies, and are not quite sure about how to get started on it, or are not comfortable with the idea of incorporating beads, then you are in luck!

Audry will be running a class  at Holland Road Yarn Company this Thursday evening, 23 October.

I am sure it will be a very fun and informative evening!


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Once upon a time

Once upon a time, there was a woman who loved knitting socks.

At first, the woman knitted only plain vanilla socks.

Happy Go Knitty sock yarn

After a while, she got brave, and decided to try patterned socks.

Mimer socks

She thought that it would be a good thing to knit more socks, especially as all her family members seemed to enjoy receiving them.  She decided to attempt to knit two pairs a month.  As the year progressed, she found she was unable to keep away from the socks… by October,  she had knitted over 30 pairs!

It got worse.  Not only could she not stop knitting the socks, but she also found that she started to see sock designs in everything she looked at.

The delicate curve of an iron railing.  The feathery veins in a leaf.  The petals of a flower.  The colour of the chocolate she was eating.  Stories she read to her son.  Every single stitch pattern she saw in her stitch dictionaries! Socks filled her waking thoughts and haunted her dreams.  She ate thinking of socks, schemed socks during idle moments, and spent far too much time online stalking sock yarn stores (her sock yarn stash grew considerably).  Sketches of socks filled her notebooks, and more and more socks piled on to her needles.  The thrill of a freshly finished sock continued to be as exhilarating as ever.

She tried to knit other things: a half-finished sweater sits beside her, a poncho in need of its other half.  The yarn for another sweater lies on the floor next to her chair, looking forlorn.  A couple of cowls, some hats and a shawl were actually completed, but always, the socks called.

Soon she started designing socks, because having knitted a few pairs, she discovered that despite the thousands of patterns available, there wasn’t anything much ‘it’ any more.  She needed to express her own individualism when it came to the pretty socks.  The sketches in her notebooks needed an outlet.

Anemone socks

Thus a confirmed “sockaholic” was born.

She still knits socks by others.

Sign of the Prancing Pony

This current work in progress is Sign of the Prancing Pony by Claire Ellen. Part of her 2014/15 sock club.  Knitted in Knitsch 100% merino sock yarn in Marmageddon.

Sock fever rages unabated as the year draws to a close.  Will she ever be the same again!?  She doubts it very much.

 

 

 


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Something Lovely

Hello!  I hope this post finds you well and enjoying the start of the week.

Thank you for your very supportive comments to the sneak peek of this design!  I have finally got the finishing touches done on Something Lovely, and am pleased to let you know that it is now available on Ravelry.

Something Lovely cowlSomething Lovely was designed to go especially well with New Zealand brushtail possum based yarn, in particular, the beautiful worsted weight Zealana yarns (KAURI Worsted (pictured above), HERON and AIR Chunky (pictured at bottom of post).  I love how possum yarns are so soft and warm – they are like little portable heaters around the neck and chest!  Because they are pill resistant and wear very well, I find that they are great for accessories that will be in the ‘public eye’ so to speak – such as things that go around the neck.

Here’s a closer look at the pattern detail:

Something Lovely cowl detail

The panels of lace and double moss are alternate, a deliberate feature because I wanted each stitch pattern to be visible however I wore the cowl.  I find that if I have a ‘half and half’ pattern that sometimes you might only see one or the other stitch, depending on how you wear it, but not both.  Alternating the panels takes away that problem.

You can, of course, substitute your own choice worsted yarn, although I would suggest keeping as close as possible to the qualities of the drapey soft yarn that I have used for this design.  Other than a possum blend, something in an alpaca/silk, or mohair/merino or a yak yarn would be quite good, but I also wonder if a more rustic-style wool yarn such as Shelter wouldn’t look amazing as well?

The pattern takes around 400m of worsted weight yarn using 5.5mm needles.

The skill level would suit an intermediate level knitter, or an adventurous advanced beginner with a rudimentary understanding of lace stitches.

The pattern is available at this link.

Enjoy!

Something Lovely 2