Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life


Hybrid Vigour

I finished it.

Hybrid Vigour shawl

It’s one of the most beautiful pieces of lace I have knit yet, in my opinion!

It fits very nicely, and I can see that I will get a lot more use out of this when the weather warms up again.

Hybrid Vigour shawl

The ‘shawlcho’ concept is genius – no more worrying about the shawl slipping off!  Mary-Anne Mace has done a brilliant job of Hybrid Vigour.

The beads were fixed with a crochet hook.  I have to say that I do like this method of affixing beads – it means I don’t have the weight of the beads on my yarn as I am knitting, and they also sit much more nicely in the knitting that the other way.  I used a mix of glass beads that came pre-mixed – I bought them years ago, when I was into beading, and am very pleased that I can use them again and appreciate their beauty.  Their colour tones well with the yarn.

Beads in knittingThe yarn is Anna Gratton 4 ply merino/mohair in Lavender Fields.  I used 140gms, which is less than one skein. I was pleasantly surprised at how well this yarn knits as lace.  It shows a good level of definition!


It’s the perfect wrap for a cool summer evening, or indeed a warmer winter day.

It’s such a wonderful feeling to finish a project, and be happy with it, and know that I have accomplished something.

Design by Mary-Anne Mace

It’s so pretty that I might even knit another one!


Coal says hello

Hello everyone!

My name is Coal the Mini Lop x bunny.

Coal the bunny

The young boy and his mummy came into the place where I lived one day.  The young boy wanted the annoying skitty guinea pig who lived with me.  I thought they looked nice, so I put my cute furry paws up on to the glass and begged to be taken home too.

I think it worked.  They made lots of ‘awww’ and ‘sooo cute’ noises, and before I knew it, I was in the same box as the guinea pig.  :D

They brought me and Shy the Guinea Pig to their house and put us in a new home.  The great thing is that I get to hop around the garden – I was so happy and excited that I sniffed all the things and jumped in the air and raced around the garden and had happy times digging in the gravel beds.


I had never been on grass before!  I thought it only came dried and out of a bag!  It was very strange to run on – at first I only wanted to run on the concrete paths and the wooden deck because it tickled my paws!  I also hopped into this nasty wet stuff – ooooh!  it was coold!  Fortunately, the mummy was brooming the wet stuff and I hopped on to the nice dry broom head to get out of that yucky stuff!  I think it’s called water.  I thought it came in a bottle.

I am also getting all this tasty food to eat that I’ve never had before!  The mummy says it’s good that I like parsley and puha best because they have lots growing in the garden, but the only thing is now they can’t eat it for dinner! I also love the willow sticks she gives me to chew!  They are good for my itchy teeth.

The young boy and his mummy like to give me cuddles.  I like them too!  The mummy says looking after me is eating into her knitting time (whatever that is), but she doesn’t sound too cross, so it can’t be a bad thing?

Boy and bunny

The young boy says I am adorable.  I like that.  The mummy says I make her feel stupid.  She did not know we are such clever little bunnies and like to play with people.  I am glad that she is learning more about rabbits!

Now the mummy says my home is too small and that she has to renovate the old chicken coop so I can have a safe and roomy space to play during the day while they are out.  I wonder what that will be like?  It sounds like it will be a nice place.

I hope you liked reading my hello.  Perhaps I’ll hop back on to these pages now and again and let you know how I’m doing here. Bye for now!

Bye from Coal


Social time

This weekend, the stars aligned perfectly:  the Social Wool Fair was on, the eldest son needed a lift to Wellington airport so he could get a flight back to Auckland and the youngest son had a play date with his best friend in Wellington.  This meant that a) I would be in Wellington, and b) I got a few spare hours all to myself and could go to the Fair! Hurrah!!

Bunting outside the Social Wool Fair venue

Bunting outside the Social Wool Fair venue

After dropping the boys at their respective destinations, I arrived at about lunch time.  I had a quick bite to eat in the knit cafe, and then proceeded into the hall, where I found my tribe (somehow that picture didn’t end up focused very well…!)

At the social wool fair

I was making my way slowly around the stalls and enjoying catching up with Helen, James, Susan, Nikki, Denise and others when I noticed that everyone had started packing up!  No!!  What was this!?  I thought the event didn’t finish until 4pm!? My carefully timed schedule of visiting stalls and having time to chat was ruined! Turns out the ending time had been changed to 2pm.

I finished making the rounds as quickly as possible, but didn’t manage to catch everyone.  And I didn’t get to take any more pictures of pretty yarn displays!

Outlaw yarns

I’ll just have to show you what I did manage to acquire:

Fair purchases

That’s more Anna Gratton 4 ply 100% pure wool in natural and a hand-dyed number called Mango (I woke up inspired to knit a shawl that morning), my first Zauberball, a pretty colourway called “The Blessed William” in Port sock yarn (100% superwash merino) from Dark Harbour Yarns and a nice selection of Outlaw Yarns Bohemia Sport that I hope I can turn into a colourwork number of some kind (it was a bit hard to think when everything was being packed up around me). Everything else is self-explanatory.

Sadly, the social knitting time I had carefully planned did not eventuate, so instead I visited a food court where I had some afternoon tea and knit a tiny bit of sock before it was time to collect the young boy.

Rainbows in 100% BFL by Happy-go-knitty

This is Happy-go-knitty 100% BFL sock yarn in her rainbow colourway.

It was a good afternoon.  Thank you, Nanette and Co., for donating your time and energy to making this event for a good cause happen.

We were lucky that we did not encounter any flooding on the way home.  The weather in the lower half of the North Island has caused severe flooding in some parts – I hope everyone is okay!

Thanks so much for all your comments on my last post.  I thought I had better do some research to identify the little critter I photographed last week.  Turns out, she is indeed a species of stick insect (they eat plants and not other insects and are usually flightless).  This is one of New Zealand’s eight species of Variable Stick Insect (genus Acanthoxyla), distinguished by the appearance of black spikes on their heads and bodies.

Variable stick insect



There are some weeks when it seems very little gets done in the way of knitting.  This week has been particularly true on that front.

However, there are some pleasing developments!


The Yavanna socks are now looking like they are meant to.  I gritted my teeth and cast on again in a squooshier yarn base,  and am very pleased with how it is looking.  This pattern needs a yarn that is solid or as close to solid in colour as possible.  My colleague wanted an orangey toned yarn, so this is as close as I could get to her colour preference.  The yarn is the Tanis Blue Label in the Pink Grapefruit colourway.  I’m pretty sure she’ll like it!

This pattern definitely needs a smooth yarn base and not one of the super-twisted yarns. The knots now look like fulsome flower buds about to burst forth in bloom, and not like dead and shrivelled things that they were before!

Very slow progress is happening on the Two Hearts.

Two hearts

This Romney lambswool looks rougher than it feels.  It’s going to be fabulous when it’s done!  The reason for the slowness is because I have been rather fixated with this pretty shawl:

Hybrid vigourIt takes me nearly half an hour to knit each row because of the extensive beading in the chart for this section, not to mention this particular part has patterning on both the right and wrong sides. My poor brain isn’t coping very well given my tiredness levels at the moment!  Once I’m through with this chart, things should progress a bit faster as it’s back to patterning only on the right side, and a lot less beads!  It will be a gorgeous, light, but warm “Shoncho” when it’s done!

I am telling myself I must be patient and not expect instant results with limited knitting time and three projects on the go!

I thought I’d finish this week’s post by showing you one of the cute creatures that said hello to us yesterday.

Stick insect

I think she must have eggs because her abdomen is the largest I have ever seen!

Stick insect

Here she is saying hello to the boy.

So pretty – look at her face!

Face detail

Such a cute “hairdo”, and such beautiful colouring!  As you can imagine, I’m thinking “Pretty yarn colour..!”

Finally, if you live in the Wellington region, don’t forget that next weekend, 20 June from 10am to 4pm is the Social Wool Fair!

Wishing you all a lovely week!




The loveliness of colour

I went into the garden this weekend and found a beautiful carpet of yellow leaves covering the ground. I have missed taking pictures of the beautiful autumn leaf colours I have been seeing – most of the trees have now dropped their leaves, or are past the blaze of colour that they were.

The carpet of leaves begged to be photographed before I raked them up, so I decided to have some fun and show you the blaze of Autumn in yarn instead.  :-)

autumn coloursI have finished the BFF socks, so they got some leaf footage as well.

BFF socksThey are lovely and fluffy and will be warm and cosy on the recipient.  I do not know what the white stuff is on the socks – it is certainly not there in real life.  I think the light must have been illuminating the fine possum fibres and showing them up as white.

Seems like autumn is a theme on the needles as well, if this other sock project is anything to go on.


I am not overly happy with how these socks are turning out. I think I am using the wrong yarn for the bobbles to show nicely.  Some frogging and restarting with new yarn may be in the works.  This is not a pleasant prospect given how involved this pattern is and the fact that I have now knit an entire leg.  Better to get it right than have an unhappy completion though.

A number of other projects are keeping me busy.  I’m also knitting Hybrid Vigour using a beautiful ball of Anna Gatton’s merino/mohair in the Lavender Fields colourway.  I do so love the loveliness of Anna’s colourways.  The construction of the pattern is very interesting and I am enjoying combining a New Zealand designer with New Zealand yarn!

Hybrid Vigour

I have also started my June project.  It is just how I hoped it would look! A medical emergency with the young boy today meant that I missed all the daylight hours to take photos, so you’ll have to wait until next week to see it.  :-)  The boy is fine after a couple of hours in hospital on a nebuliser (he has come down with bronchitis, which triggered an asthma attack.  The nebuliser delivers a high dosage of ventolin to relieve asthma).

And finally, I have a gorgeous pattern to show you today, a new release by another Kiwi designer, Sonya Newstead of StringHerder Designs.

empty nets

Sonya has very generously contributed Empty Nets as a free pattern for the Sustain the Sea initiative.  Thank you Sonya!  The pattern is superb!  Read her story and download the pattern here.

Have a good week everyone!



Midweek update

This week, I focused on updating Stansborough’s Mithril page.  Click on this link to see if if you’d like to read more.

I think the most liked pattern I have created in Stansorough Mithril is the Strong Heart gloves.

Strong heart glovesOn an unrelated note, I thought I’d let you know that I have now made a donation of USD105 (NZD140) to Global Giving’s Nepal earthquake fund on behalf of all the wonderful people who bought patterns so that the proceeds could be donated. Thank you for supporting the earthquake relief efforts!