Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life

Thank goodness for wool


While people over in the Northern Hemisphere have been feeling overly warm, down here in New Zealand, we have got a little taste of Antarctica!  As fellow Kiwis will attest, in our latest polar blast, snow fell over a good proportion of both islands this week, which was very exciting (because it does not happen often) and also very cold.

Sadly, the weather was so bad that it was impossible to get nice pictures where I was, but I did get one of the snow as it fell at work…


Compared to some parts of New Zealand, we got off lightly, with the snow only settling on the mountain ranges.  It looked beautiful when the weather finally cleared long enough this weekend to see it.  Still did not get a chance to take photos though!!

Temperature wise, even though it was cold, I did not mind because it was a great excuse to wear my knitting. And with those lovely layers of wool and possum, I was very snug.  It seems a lot of other people felt that way too.  I don’t think I have ever seen so much knitting worn by the general population as this week! Some of it may not have been hand knitted, but it was still wool.  Thick sweaters, woollen coats, knitted hats, knitted scarves and mitts were all seen in the wild.

Instinctively, people reached for the warmest thing they knew when the temperatures dropped, and I was most amused to see that it was not synthetic fibre.

Of knitting news, not much has happened this week.  I am very pleased to show you the finished Yvanna socks though!

Yvanna socks

I learned a few lessons knitting these socks:

  1. Knots look best if you pull the yarn tight when making them.
  2. It is really important to select the right yarn.  Tightly spun yarn with little ‘squoosh’ is not the best choice.  See in comparison the first version I started knitting before I had to stop and look for a better yarn (shudder):

Reject socks3.  All that cabling also affects length.  Although the recipient has smaller feet than me, I ended up having to knit the socks the same length as I would normally knit for me.  I had a suspicion that the first sock I knitted may have been a bit short at the time I asked the recipient to try them on.  So I knitted the second sock about an inch longer.  My suspicion was correct.  The second sock was a much better fit.  I ripped out the first sock’s toe and reknitted it to match the length of the second. They look super cute on her, and I’m pleased to say that the knots really ‘pop’ when the socks are worn and look distinctly like little flower buds.

This is the heel view:

Yvanna heelThe yarn is Tanis Blue Label in the Pink Grapefruit colourway.  It is an amazingly soft yarn base – I can’t believe there is no cashmere in it, the socks are that soft.

You can’t half tell I’m pleased with the outcome, can you!? 😉

Having finished these socks, my needles were immediately occupied again with another pattern:

Twisted Flower

These are Cookie A’s Twisted Flower socks.  I’ve lusted after them long enough… time to make them a reality!  This “being exhausted after work” lark is starting to get very tiresome though.  In short order I have, to my great chagrin:

  1. Started knitting from the top of the chart downwards, and seemed to think it was completely sensible until I realised things were not working out.
  2. Realised, after starting again from the right place in the chart that I had cast on only 70 stitches and not 72, and somehow did not notice until things were not working out (again).

A great heave of a sigh, utterances of very impolite words, and two froggings later, I think we are finally on the right track… (she hopes!)

The nice thing about Lilli Pilli is that for the moment, there is very little that can go wrong.

Lilli Pilli

Except perhaps falling asleep in the middle of a row and waking up to find you’ve lost half your stitches off the needle.  At which point one tries very hard not to swear and throw one’s knitting across the room (because after all, it’s not the knitting’s fault) and goes to bed, feeling a bit tearful.

I was almost convinced that I must no longer be capable of knitting more than two rows before feeling sleepy.  Except that on Friday, I took a day off (it’s the school holidays) and the young boy and I took the train to Wellington (the road over the Rimutakas being closed on account on snow) so that we could pick up his best friend for a sleepover. The feeling of being able to knit for an entire hour without feeling anywhere near sleepy was close to ecstasy.



Author: kiwiyarns

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

24 thoughts on “Thank goodness for wool

  1. Yes. Falling asleep….stitches off the needles….been there, done that. I think someone should invent a Knitters Alarm that goes off the minute a stitch loses contact with the needle! Am desperate to make Lilli Pilli so can’ wait to see yours finished. Loved your socks – beautiful. x

  2. Your socks are so very beautiful. I have only ever knotted one pair of socks and didn;t find them very comfortable so never repeated the exercise. I can totally empathise with the desire to knit when common sense dictates an early night to be a much better idea and far less frustrating. Thanks for another great post.

  3. Those socks are so gorgeous. It’s very cold here in the south. I put a woolly hat on every time I walk out the door. It is great, as I have 5 favourite hats

    • Judging by that photo you sent me of your icy letterbox, I can only imagine!! I bet you are glad for your lovely warm woolly hats, especially if they are in Maniototo Wool!

  4. Those socks are stunning! And bright pink is just the thing for winter knitting 🙂

  5. Yes, thank goodness for wool! Totally envious of that beautiful snow and Antarctic type weather.
    Those socks are so amazing. Thank you for the tips. 🙂

  6. I’m sorry to hear you’re still so tired after work and it even meant ripping back a few times.. Brave choice then, those Twisted Flower socks…they look complicated indeed. But also very beautiful, I can see why you fell for the pattern. I hope they will turn out as lovely as the Yvanna socks !

  7. The Yvana socks are gorgeous!

  8. This is really awesome. I love the socks – I am afraid they would have been to intricate for me. I’d be so releived to have the first sock done that the second one would be tough to knit … 😉 On the other hand, I had a somewhat intricate pattern, and they can be very addictive for sure! You were right to change your yarn by the way, this looks so beautiful – it reminds me a bit of cherry blossoms. 🙂
    I already had a peek at your Lilly Pilly on ravelry and it’s so great … Striping shawls are cool, I’m gonna knit myself one as well (I even have the yarn. Now I just need to finish the 10000 projects before that …)

    Oh, and I nominated you for a blog award! come and see!

    • I often wonder if I will have the patience to knit a second sock in a pattern I find challenging. But somehow I seem to almost not notice knitting the second sock when its time comes. Isn’t that funny?

  9. I would have thought your south island was far south enough to get snow on a more regular basis. But it sounds like that’s not the case. Well I hope you’re enjoying the novelty while it lasts. Up here in Minnesota we’ve been having very odd July weather. Until this week it’s actually been unseasonably cold. Temps in the 60s. We hear it’s because of a cold front from Canada and some particulate matter in the air from wildfires.

  10. Knitting for a whole hour uninterrupted. That sounds like a perfect kind of commute. Perhaps that is the way to go in the future.

  11. Trains and knitting… Bloody perfect.
    Beautiful watermelon socks.
    Clickety, clack! Clickety, clack!

  12. I just enjoy your writing each time!
    Greetings from Germany where it feels like winter again! 17° C is not much in middle of summer… and I love it to knit a hat with Zealana, Rimu just now….

  13. Oh my – you’ve been busy with lots of beautiful knitting projects (love the shawl/poncho combo). What an adorable bunny (and boy) as well!