Kiwiyarns Knits


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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

 

 


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Vote for your favourite

Today, I invite you to cast your vote for your favourite Seadragonus socks!

This link will take you to the forum where the poll has been placed.  All votes are anonymous.

Voting closes on 5 October.

Thank you for supporting the wonderful knitters who took part in this KAL!

The lucky winner will receive two skeins of Knitsch yarn and some Kiwi goodies.


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Seadragons galore and Something Lovely

In a few days I’ll be asking you to help us vote for the best interpretation of dragon socks!   We’re approaching the final days of the Seadragonus KAL and I thought I’d show you some of the very elegant dragons that are appearing.  See this link to go to the page where everyone’s dragons are being posted and where the vote will be held.

I have really enjoyed this KAL.  It brings a happy smile to my face to see the socks being knitted, and most enjoyably, to interact with those who are participating.  I look forward to more KALs in future!  Thanks again to Alice for organising it in the first place!

My own second knit had completely unforseen results:

Seadragonus socks

They became the young boy’s socks!  He loves them so much that he has now worn them for approximately 24 hours, and refuses to take them off!  Looks like I now have another hand knit sock convert in the household. :-)

The socks also fit me, but they do have more negative ease than my first socks, and I believe this is due to the yarn I used being squishier.  It’s the second time I have knitted socks in a squishy yarn that has made the sock turn out smaller than the first pair.

I also finished another design this week, and I’m very pleased to give you a preview:

Something Lovely

This is Something Lovely (unless I can think of a different name before I publish it!).   It is designed specifically with Zealana yarns in mind – AIR Chunky, KAURI Worsted or HERON Worsted.  All three yarns have the same approximate gauge, and all have the same beautiful drape, warmth and softness that is so typical of a good New Zealand possum yarn.  Each yarn has slightly different properties.  This cowl uses about 380m in all three yarns.

Something Lovely features alternating panels of lace and double moss.  I have been craving a cowl that combines both texture and prettiness in a way that can be worn both casually and to work over one’s coat.  I am not fond of all over lace in a garment, so this design is my ideal of texture and lace combined.  I have broken up the panels so that it is possible to see both stitch patterns at any point of wear.

My first iteration was in AIR Chunky in the Gold colourway (L07):

AIR Chunky cowl

It is total luxury, with its cashmere, NZ brushtail possum and silk blend, and I love this colour so much!!  It is so light that I don’t even notice it around my neck, except for the extremely warm and cuddly feeling that has been keeping me very snug this week!  See the beautifully soft haze of the downy fibres used in this yarn, and pretty shimmer!

There were a couple of things I did not like about the design once I had finished it, so I fiddled a bit to come up with the next iteration in KAURI Worsted in Red Waina (K10 colourway):

Kauri Worsted

It is essentially the same, but I shortened it from its original length so that it sat better around the neck, and also changed the lace repeat so that it finished and ended in a satisfyingly balanced way.  KAURI is a blend of merino, NZ brushtail possum and silk.  It softens incredibly once it is washed, and a beautiful bloom develops.  With its wool content, this yarn has a bit more substance than AIR, although it is still a light, warm and soft choice.  I am wearing my sweater in this yarn today as we’re having a stormy Spring day and it is rather cold!!  But the warmth and softness of the possum is keeping me toasty and comfortable.  It is so soft that I can feel the softness and cuddliness even through my merino base layer! KAURI is also a more economical choice than AIR Chunky.  I used four and a bit balls of KAURI for this cowl, which I think is quite an approachable amount for a special gift or a treat for yourself!

I haven’t knit this design in HERON, but know it well enough to know it will use the same amount of yarn and come out at the same size. HERON is a blend of merino and possum.  Again, it blooms and softens and drapes in a magically lovely way once it is washed, and it would make a very good choice for this cowl as well, using only four balls.

This is some Heron that I have in my stash.  You can see it doesn’t look terribly fluffy in the ball, but once knitted and washed, it becomes the same as the sweater I have laid the balls on – my Affection, knitted in Heron.  With just merino and possum, it is one of the more traditional possum blends, although I particularly love it because of its single-spun, slightly heathered look – so special!

Zealana Heron

Something Lovely is a quick knit – I finished the second cowl in only two days.  A good choice for Christmas gift knitting!?

The pattern will be released as soon as I can get some nice photos taken by the eldest boy, hopefully by the end of this week.