Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life

Play day


Today, for the first time in ages, I woke up without the weight of a deadline hanging over my head.  It felt so good.

I decided that with some free time on a rainy day, this would be a good opportunity to make further investigations into some projects that I’ve been eyeing recently.

But first, let me show you this!

Dream socks

They are done!  I love them so much.  They’re at once very “Alice in Wonderland” and “Wicked Witch of the West” don’t you think? I’m looking forward to refreshing my stocks of Happy-go-knitty next Saturday at the Wellington Underground annual “Wonders of Wool” market.  More, pretty stripy socks coming my way!  Funny how we knitters talk about yarn in terms of a finished project.

Also, another happiness-making thing happened yesterday:

Milky Way, KnitschSeven glorious hanks of Knitsch Milky Way, for the knitting of the Southern Companion were ready for my pick-up!

At Holland Road Yarn Company, Tash was busy making final preparations for her stall at this weekend’s Creative Fibre Festival.  Oh my.  Such hanks of gloriousness I saw, to set the heart aflutter!  I hope there’s still some left when I turn up…

Now to what I did today.  This is what one’s living room ends up looking like in the middle of a creative frenzy:

Creative chaosWhat was this all about you ask?  I’ve been eyeing the below interesting cardigan all week:

ConiferIt’s called Conifer  (designed by Rosee Woodland), and it’s in Issue 54 of The Knitter.

Several features attracted me to it:  the knitted-on fingerless gloves (very handy to keep those winds out of one’s sleeves) and the fact that it’s knitted in reverse stocking stitch.  The certain someone I’m knitting it for likes to wear her sweaters inside out because she prefers the smooth feeling of the stocking stitch instead of the purl bumps.  This would be perfect!  The final feature I liked was the unusual reverse fair isle.  I’ve been thinking about using reverse fair isle in a pattern, and this looked like a good opportunity to try it out.

I also had in mind a certain person’s comment about knits in the English town she lives in “Oh, fair isle is so common, everyone wears it, it’s not special to me any more.”  Perhaps an unusual take on fair isle might be good?

I thought that Knitsch would make a perfect medium for it, given it’s meant to be for a certain girl who dislikes itch.  So, diving into my precious hoard of Knitsch, I did a bit of a stocktake of possibilities:

Knitsch Something colourful for the yoke perhaps?

However, as I was winding the balls, it occurred to me that while all those colours looked oh-so-pretty together, they might seem cartoonish all in one garment.

I pared it down to pretty purple shades with a touch of gold:

SwatchI’m not sure about that gold, but the purples looked good.  The only downside was that when I measured the swatch, the gauge was far too small.  Bother and horrors.  That swatch was a real brain-teaser to knit too!  Reverse fair isle is tricky until you figure out that you can’t knit it like normal fair isle!!

I sat there feeling annoyed.  Knitsch was very much what I wanted to use.  I didn’t really fancy knitting more swatches until I found a yarn that matched.  Besides, I don’t have any other yarn in my stash with that colour range.  Why didn’t it match?  They were both 4 ply after all!?  They felt the same thickness in the hand.  I decided that I would see how many wraps per inch the J&S was… 15 per inch.  Then I wrapped the Knitsch, I found that it’s more like 20 wraps per inch!  Ah.  It made sense now.  I should probably have done that first.  Doh.

I wondered how Zealana Kiwi Fingering would work out.  She likes that yarn too.  I wrapped it, and found that it is exactly 15 wraps per inch!  I was surprised, because Kiwi feels a lot thicker.  (J&S is springier and lighter, but the width of the strand is the same).  So… although I don’t have a large colour range in that yarn, I decided to do one more swatch to see if really was the right match:

Zealand Kiwi swatch

I am pleased to say that it gives the exact gauge that I need for this pattern.

My concentration petered out in the final row and I messed up the swatch.  The young boy got bored and started to watch a video.  And with the invasion of irritating noise into the ears came the advent of a headache and the loss of all ability to concentrate.  I need a nice, quiet, cosy little cabin at the end of the garden in which to knit, far from loud, concentration-shattering noises…

So now I need to go shopping for colours. But I guess I should consult with a certain girl first to see what she’d like?  🙂


Author: kiwiyarns

Welcome to my blog where I talk about knitting in New Zealand and the beautiful yarns you can find here.

21 thoughts on “Play day

  1. Swatches look lovely and what an interesting pattern, might have to put it on the ” future possibilities” list.

  2. That sounded like a lovely day, up until the headache. Build a cabin! Then you can have mini knitting retreats whenever you want.

    I adore those socks, and am greatly amused by the idea of an English town where everyone wears fair isle. I’d lay down cash that a certain someone doesn’t live in rural Wiltshire 😉 The cardigan looks excellent and very different.

    • You would be right about that. She’s further north where it’s cold for most of the time. I still can’t believe that fair isle is so widely worn.

  3. it’s a very nice project and the new takes on a sweater design (mitts extension, inside-out stockinette, etc) make it something different from the usual thing 🙂 looking forward to see the FO

    • I’m looking forward to knitting it! 🙂

      • i was looking at the sweater swatches again.. i love those motifs and also both of the colour combinations. Which one was it chosen in the end?

      • Although I adored the grey/purple combination of Knitsch, the gauge measurement was very off, and I don’t fancy adjusting the pattern. So I’ve gone with Zealana Kiwi, which is also lovely, and the exact match, but I need to buy more colours to swatch as I don’t have the right combination of colours.

        > Date: Wed, 8 May 2013 11:11:35 +0000 > To: >

  4. A very lucky certain girl. How is she doing? My certain girl has a very scary grown up job interview. She also wangled her work experience in the same company. But that means being up there will be very real and pretty much permanent. 😦 swatches look really lovely

    • She’s studying hard for upcoming exams, poor girl. Good going for your girl! My best wishes she gets the job. I can sympathise with how you are feeling. It would be lovely to be closer to them wouldn’t it?

  5. Lovely project to play with – can’t wait to admire your efforts! I have to confess to being slightly alarmed that I can name most of those Knitsch shades! What a yarn ho I am!

    • Hehe. I was making a shopping list of shades I might want to buy tomorrow, and I could name them from memory just from having looked at them once or twice! How’s that for yarn ho! 😮

  6. Love, love, love your [sorry] Pansy socks. Ohhhhh, I really want some of that yarn. I have got to get over the hump and try and knit socks.
    That is a fantastic pattern with the fair isle and do so love the hands idea. be great down here in a winter Nor’Wester too, no drafts whooping up the arms.Like the purples a lot 🙂

  7. What a fun(but slightly frustrating) day you had. I love having balls of colour spread about lounge floor and planning their fate.

  8. Just returned to states from New Zealand after visiting my kiwi family in Auckland. I discovered your blog from a Google search. I am enjoying reading your blog posts and pretending I am still in New Zealand enjoying my grandchildren! My play days have been playing with the yarn and rovings I picked up while there and wishing i had brought more back with me, One half of a suitcase was not enough ! Today I am measuring out (inches/yards as we do in the states, not centimeters/meters—-although I got a feel for using the metric system while there) rovings of merino/possum to share with my spinning friends. Your possum fur is such a fascination for all of us in the states as our opossums (the -o- is silent) are an unpleasant looking little critter without any fur. I have a dead opossum in my barnyard as I write this, that I discovered when the snow melted–he is u-g-l-y ! …but my yarn and rovings are beautiful !!

  9. I so envy you, able to buy all that lovely yarn! The first pic is so lovely. This will turn out to be such a wonderful Fair Isle sweater.

  10. I love your Knitsch colour selections!

  11. I popped in to see if you blogged your purchases from today yet!
    We went back thisafternoon but I’m not going back tomorrow… my goodness, I spent so much and laid it all out on the table and it was all pink and purple with a little bit of green! I’m so silly… stuck to a colour theme for sure!
    Nice to see you and indulge in some yarn appreciation again, see you next week at WOW.

    • I got home and was so tired from over-excitement that I fell asleep in my knitting chair! So not used to being out and about…! I’ll have a post up tomorrow. It was great to see you, and looking forward to seeing you at Wonders of Wool too.

  12. lovely colors and swatch, cannot wait to see it in progress now.

  13. I have my eye on that pattern too (it resembles a men’s knit I saw in a recent Designer Knits magazine), but thought I’d have to order some J&S especially for it. It’s interesting how non-standard “4 ply” yarn can be. If I ever get around to making this cardigan I will know to try the Zealana Kiwi.

  14. I’m so glad the Zealana worked for you! Although I do love your line up of Knitsch 😉 I’m sure you can make a colour range in the Kiwi work, they are gorgeous and all go together well.