Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life


Red fish, blue fish

Here I was, pottering along in a semi-controlled fashion, just managing to keep my Startitis under control, when something terrible happened.  In a single 24 hour period, I received not one, but TWO amazing knitting collections in my inbox.  Dear knitting god, why do you do this to me!!!?

Normally, I can look and resist, but in this particular case, the Twist Collective Spring/Summer 2015 and BT Men Vol 2 both contained designs that were absolutely and utterly irresistible.

I absolutely love Wenceslas.  I have not bought the pattern, because I must motivate myself to finish the things I already have and I have a lot of ‘me’ patterns already.  But get this:  I did not buy the pattern, but oh yes, I had to run off and buy the yarn for it!! What the…!?

Skeinz Vintage

Sigh.  Skeinz Vintage DK in Tapestry.  Fabulous service as always.  The yarn got here the next day!

Then I spied the most adorable baby pattern in.the.universe.

Fish Isle, Twist Collective

Fish Isle, Twist Collective

It’s called Fish Isle. Oh my, oh squee, soooo cute!!!!!  I could just see my nephews (and even nieces) wearing this… out came the credit card…

Fish Isle Swatch

Yeah.  I couldn’t resist doing a swatch today.  Too cute.  It’s a rough sketch but at least I now have an idea about what size needle to knit with the yarn I have chosen.  If all goes well, I will knit a red one for nephew no. 2, and maybe a pink one for Niece who Likes to Fish.

I consider myself to have got off lightly from that issue.

Having done that, the very next day, Brooklyn Tweed very unkindly released the most amazingly gorgeous selection of men’s sweaters that I want for meeee!!  At that, any last vestiges of control of Startitis evaporated.

I think the BT team have outdone themselves with the BT Men Vol. 2 collection.  As the young boy was not to be left out,  I got him to choose a sweater he’d like to wear this winter.  He chose well.  I consider it a justified purchase. After all, he needs a sweater for the winter (evil snigger).

Rift, BT Men Vol. 2

Rift, BT Men Vol. 2

This is Rift. I figure I’ll knit it with DK yarn to make it just a bit smaller than the smallest size, and it will fit him perfectly.

Just so that you don’t think I’m being completely pious about the whole thing, I have had this pattern sitting waiting patiently to be knitted for a while…

Hawser, Brooklyn Tweed, BT Fall 14

Hawser, Brooklyn Tweed, BT Fall 14

I think I might be busy for a while.

By the way, the vest front is now a quarter knitted.  I’ll get there soon!  And I may have a cowl thing to show you in the next day or two.  It’s done, but I want to tinker with it just a bit more.


#projectvest. 50% will do for now.

Half way

Well, that was an interesting scientific experiment.  Clearly, I cannot knit as much as I think I can in a ten hour period! After ten hours of solid knitting, I have finished the back of the vest. That’s just over 300m/328yd of yarn.

It is 50% less than I thought I might be able to do.  Clearly, sock knitting has addled my brain.  Although it is entirely possible to finish a pair of plain vanilla socks in ten hours, it appears that garments are not as quick to knit as socks!

In another way of looking at it, I now have a half-finished project, and now I only have the front to do, and I have a nice new vest to wear to work!  My fingers feel really good after that work-out.  I haven’t done that much concentrated knitting in a very long time!

Thanks for following along with me.



The last day of our holiday at home together dawns tomorrow.  The lawns are done, the house is clean, and the groceries are in.  The boy was not happy to be dragged out of the house to do the grocery shopping today.  “Do we HAVE to go out?” he growled, glaring at me from the comfortable depths of his bean bag.  To mollify him, I promised that we would stay home tomorrow, all day, and not go out anywhere if that’s what he wanted.  This is what happens when your child spends all his free time locked into after school care or in holiday programmes.  Staying at home seems like the best thing since sliced bread.

The prospect of being able to grow roots into my own chair was also quite pleasing, to be honest.  The past few days at home have invigorated and refreshed me, and I feel ready to face life’s challenges once again!  It has also brought about a burst of Startitis!!!

In the past few days I have started:

  1. Eternidad – a beautiful dropped stitch cowl/scarf thing that will look great with my work wardrobe.
  2. EternidadThe final test of a lace cowl that I designed a while ago, but never publicly released.

Lace cowl

3. Finished one Golden Hall sock and started the second and started the leg of Clandestine.

Sock WIPs

Then I read about Woolen Diversions’ finished vest and I remembered that I needed one too.  The only vest that I love and wear every time I need something to keep the chill off has been worn to bits and is not suitable for work.  I need a new work-suitable vest.  A very silly idea began to brew as I sat and knitted this evening:  how about a little competition with myself to see if I could knit one in a day??

I’ve had this vest queued for ages.  It has always been my intention to knit it using Stansborough’s Mithril.  It is a simple pattern, but it’s exactly right for what I want it for, and Mithril will make a beautiful vest.  If I give myself some pressure to get it done, it will make the stocking stitch more fun. So what do you reckon folks?  Can I do this in 24 hours?

If you want, follow along with me on Twitter @Kiwiyarns, where I’ll be tweeting my progress over the next 24 hours under #projectvest (you can also see my updates in the side bar of this blog).

Should I fail to complete it by 8pm tomorrow, at least I’ll have had fun trying!

The 24 hour vest



It’s the last week of the school holidays, and I have taken three days off to spend with the boy.  It’s a lovely break for the both of us, and a much-needed bit of time off for me.

As New Zealand readers will know, we had the first polar blast of the season this week, and temperatures plummeted to most agreeable winter levels.  Aaaah!  To be able to snuggle in front of a roaring fire, toasty and warm in my possum merino sweater!  And to find a reason for having all those woollen hats, gloves, scarves and coats in my wardrobe!  It was a great way to spend the first day of our holiday together, just decompressing.  Me knitting, him playing on his tablet, while a bitter southerly blew outside.  Pity we weren’t far south enough to see any snow (much envy of the South Islanders happening here), but it was still nice to have far cooler temperatures than we have had!

I finished Gladys.


They look so neat, I’m very pleased with them!

These socks were a bit different in that the gusset was decreased at the beginning and end of the instep (to fit in with the seed stitching).  I rather like that look, and might adopt it for future socks.  Closer detail shown below.

Instep feature

If I was to change anything, I think I’d look to knit a different heel.  I like my heels to be snug, and although the continuation of the pattern into the heel looks pretty, it doesn’t quite give me that ‘fitted’ feel that I enjoy in handknit socks.  Also, this yarn is slightly heavier than the usual sock yarn, and combined with the style of stitch pattern, created a slightly wider sock that I would normally get from a 64 stitch cast on.  If I did knit this again, I think I would decrease four stitches in the main part of the sock (two less seed stitches in the centre panel in the front and back) to get a 60 stitch pattern which would have made a snugger sock.

The only mod I made was to have single rows of knit and purl on the toe, as I thought it looked nicer.

All in all, it is a lovely pattern, and I now have an appetite to knit MORE gansey socks!!

The yarn is from Woolrae Studios.  It’s the merino/silk/nylon blend.  She only sells on trademe – just do a search for “woolrae” on trademe, and you’ll find her listings.

Today, the plan was to go into Masterton to buy the remainder of the boy’s winter uniform.  However, being home during good light (it was a stunning day today!) I suddenly noticed all the spider and fly spots on the walls… and got busy with step-ladder and cleaning cloth… and then the floor demanded to be vacuumed, and then, having brought in some wood for tonight’s fire, decided to finish stacking the last of the outside wood into the shed to keep it dry (and prepare for the next load that I’m having delivered).  One rather long distraction later, we were finally ready to go.

I shut up the house, and taking a breath to pause and appreciate the day, realised that there was no urgent hurry to rush into town.  We could always go another day, given we had three more days of holiday left.  It was such a nice day, why not take advantage of the lovely weather and go to the park instead?  And so that is exactly what we did!  It was a reasonably chilly 13C/55F or so, but the boy is very warm-blooded.

Afternoon in the park

It is so nice to be able to be spontaneous for a change.  To be able to stop and smell life’s roses, and be with the ones we love.

Tomorrow, we might go into town.  But then again, perhaps there is another adventure that might call us instead!?

Park oaks


The kitten rescue

This little fellow arrived in my sister’s household last night. Isn’t he just adorable!?

KittenHis mother (we think must have been a stray) was run over on the road about a week ago.  He has stayed by his dead mother’s side for the whole time.

My sister drove past him every day.  At last, she couldn’t stand it any more, stopped, managed to catch him, and brought him home.  She couldn’t keep him, because her property is covenanted land with many native birds, and a cat and native bush do not go together well.

However, my other sister lives in town, and she readily agreed to have him, so my sister bought kitty milk and food and cat litter and brought him to her.

Kitten with nephew

Here is my nephew, happily cuddling the new addition to the family.  Yet unnamed, the little kitten is still fragile and traumatised, but hopefully with a little care and love he will recover to become a happy, playful kitty.  

Poor wee thing.  He has been through so much.  I am so proud of my sisters for rescuing him.  I know he has gone to a good and loving home.  He is a lucky kitten.