Seriously Pretty

For a long time, I have hankered after a pretty, feminine yarn, with the barest hint of blush.  Something that reminded me of the palest cherry blossom scattered over clean white sheets.  I never was able to find that colourway, until Circus Tonic Handmade appeared on the scene.

When I saw Hannah’s Galah colourway, that beautifully muted pink and grey, I knew it had to be mine.  And then I started knitting it, and the pattern I have had in my head for a long time (but wasn’t able to find the right colour yarn for it) sprang up and shouted “Me, me, me, me!!!”

IMG_1349 (800x600)

After much swatching and ripping, I realised the pattern had to be toe-up, which threw me a bit as I dislike the backwards (to me) way of knitting heels.  Then I remembered that I could always do an afterthought heel, and all was well with the world again!

This merino/nylon blend yarn (Revelry Sock) is the softest sock yarn I have ever laid my hands on.  The merino wool used to make this yarn is of very high quality. It is so soft, I was scared that it would be weak, but it is not.  It is very well spun, with a non-splitty, springy twist that is perfect for socks or anything else you want to knit it in. I like it very much.

I think there is definitely a place in the world for pretty, feminine colours.  Ones that aren’t super saturated, but not washed out either.  It’s my new favourite style of colourway!

I bet you want to see that design I spoke of?

20160131_095128 (668x800)

This is a sneaky peek of Mary, Mary.  All going well, I’ll be releasing the pattern towards the end of next week (dependent on testing time).  Mary, Mary, was inspired by the nursery rhyme, “Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?  With silver bells and cockle shells, and little maids all in a row.”  It is a feminine design to match a feminine yarn, and I am very pleased with how it turned out in the end.  (The sock hasn’t been blocked yet, which is why it’s still a bit wonky looking).

IMG_1836 (800x800)

Can you see the silver bells and cockle shells?  I took the bell reference to be flowers like the Lily of the Valley which have little bells, and the cockle shells are run up the sides, like little borders on the flower beds.

The pattern is not hard to knit.  I will give you links to the Turkish cast on that I used (it is so simple, it is my favourite method for double-sided cast ons) and how to work out the length of the foot before commencing the heel.  The heel will also have a surprise.  I worked out how to knit a cushioned afterthought heel that fits well.  I am very pleased with it and for me, it will help very much with the holes that always develop first on the bottom of my heels!

On a final note, speaking of pretty, I saw some truly amazing and exciting New Zealand produced yarn this weekend.  Mary Furness-Weir of Maniototo Wool has produced a special new yarn this season – it is called Luxury Lambswool (from the wool of ram lambs). It is a worsted-spun, DK weight yarn.  I have never felt anything so beautiful.  It has drape, sheen, it is incredibly smooth (due to the worsted spin) and it is soft.  Oh so soft (22 micron).  It is quite tightly spun, which makes it even more different to the usual DK weight wool yarns.  It makes my head burst.  I want it ALL.  I don’t have photos (Mary only had two skeins for her own use on her when she showed them to me and I stupidly forgot to take a photo… I was too busy coveting).  I have regrammed one of her posts showing the yarn – have a look at the Instagram photo on my sidebar (visible if you are reading this post on a PC), and you’ll see the yarn.  Or if you follow me on Instagram (Kiwiyarns), you’ll see it in my feed.

If you hurry, you’ll find some on the indie shelf at Holland Road Yarn Company this month.  Mary will be in store at lunch time tomorrow (Monday), in case you are in Wellington and have time to meet her.

I had better get cracking and produce more patterns so I can afford to buy some before it is all gone!

31 thoughts on “Seriously Pretty

  1. I love your reference to flowers in the yarn color – cockle shells, silver bells, lily of the valley. Before I read that I was thinking it looked like peppermint bark, which we have at Christmas time. I remember a yarn I knit with years ago, it was pink, white, and brown – like neopolitan ice cream – equal sections of strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate – and I loved working with it. Funny how we have our associations. I like yours better though, they are not fattening. Hahaha!

  2. If you’re looking for test knitters, I would love to test knit this sock for you.

  3. OK, I do NOT like PINK but you know, this appealed to me. Esp with the flower associations and am interested in what you did with a cushioned heel! Thank you.

  4. I do hope you realise that you’ve now enabled me to buy two skeins of Circus Tonic Handmade’s yarn, one skein in the same colour as your socks which are truly beautiful 🙂 🙂 I should also let you know that I contacted a member of the Wairarapa Spinners & Weavers (who lives in Carterton) about your Yarnville page and she was unaware of it. She will now let everyone in her Guild know about the event. Isn’t technology wonderful? When I arrive in Wellington in early November, my friend has suggested we go on a yarn shop mission which I am quite looking forward to 🙂

  5. Oh my, that sock design and yarn combination just makes my heart beat faster. What perfection! The Knitters’ Guild here has a yarn tasting and Citrus Tonic will be there! Can’t wait to see the yarn for real. Looking forward to Mary Mary being available…

    1. You are in for a treat with that tasting! I really love the sock yarn especially! Will try my best to release Mary, Mary as soon as possible! 🙂

  6. Well, I love pink and this is just so pretty and such a graceful pink, it looks wonderful knit up with your pattern! xoxoRobin

    1. I was looking at my wardrobe and thinking I have quite a bit of pink in there in strategic pieces… seems I have a thing for it after all. 🙂

  7. I think you have pulled off a beautifully delicate design that matches the yarn well. I know that the heel was throwing you. I don’t know why I didn’t think of an afterthought heel either. That is a smart solution.

  8. I write a monthly article called “Whats on the web” for our quilting group. This month I told them about the Pantone colours for 2016. Now i am astounded how many times I am seeing the colours appearing. Rose quartz and serenity. Just prettily feminine.

  9. These are so, so pretty.
    I managed to score 2 skeins of the Manitoto 10ply from HRYC.
    Love your blog.
    Wishing you all the best in Knitting Land

      1. I’m sure I am too. I need wool. Pure and simple and the Manitoto sounds just right.
        I love too that it comes from the rams (My married name is Ramsden) and I read that Mary crosses Aussie rams with Romsey ewes.
        Here, in the Central West of NSW, I am surrounded by Ram studs. I like to think I’ll be bringing something back home.
        I also bought 2 Herons so I’ll be bringing a little possum back too.
        Thanks for the heads up on all these beautiful NZ yarns.

  10. Love this colorway! So I ordered a skein and am looking forward to your sock pattern. In fact I’ve been thinking about doing a sock with an afterthought heel as I’ve never tried this technique. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Wondering when your sock design Mary Mary will be released. My yarn will be arriving any day and I want to put this project at the top of my list.

    1. Hi! I’m so happy you are interested in knitting the pattern! I am planning to release the pattern on 20 Feb or earlier if the testing finishes sooner. Thank you!

  12. this is so beautiful! I love the little “fern stems” emerging on the front, and the border matches it nicely … this is such a pretty combination of yarn and pattern. GREAT design job. Really.

Comments are closed.

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: