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!
I learned a few lessons knitting these socks:
- Knots look best if you pull the yarn tight when making them.
- 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):
3. 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:
The 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:
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:
- 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.
- 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.
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.