Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life


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Another chapter begins

Hello my wonderful knitting friends.

The last time you saw a post from me it appeared that I was riding off into the sunset with the man whom I had chosen to share my life with. Well, life as we know has good bits and bad bits, and it turned out that 2018 ended on one of the most horrible notes I have ever experienced. My relationship came to a sudden and shocking ending and I found myself heading once again back to Wellington, where it was possible for me to get a job that allowed me to be self-sufficient. That’s about it in a nutshell. My Instagram account has detailed some of the general happenings of the last year, so let’s fast forward get to something more positive.

2019 has begun with us once again back in Wellington. After house hunting, new job starting, new school searches and unpacking our lives from storage, life has begun to settle into a semblance of normality, for which I am very grateful.  

Much to my relief, the boy is enjoying his new school. He is in no mood to move again, which I fully appreciate! This year is his first year of senior school, and we have agreed that it would be a good idea to stay in one place for the next couple of years until he graduates.

The good thing for me is that I have knitting time again, my creative pressure valve which keeps me sane and connects me to my wonderful tribe of like-minded people.

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This is the Suburban Wrap by Joji Locatelli. I’d like to thank the very lovely Jose for the gift of this pattern. I like it so much that I’m tempted to knit another.img_20190330_144244

I used a merino/silk/yak single base for this pattern. Two skeins were from Happy-go-knitty, in Sikkim, and a third from Circus Tonic Handmade in the Hojtid base. I love the drape and warmth of this wrap. As you can see, it’s a little shorter than the shawls I usually knit. If I did work this again, I think I’d add another lace panel repeat. I certainly had enough yarn left over to do that.

I have also finished the Maniototo Sweater using the very wonderful Maniototo Wool. This is the DK woollen spun version in Blackberry. So cosy and warm – it has served me well in the first days of winter experienced this week.

I’d like to also talk about another good thing that happened. During the move from Wellington, I lost our dear and wonderful kitty, Roly. He has always had a horror of the cat carrier, change and the car, and in the attempt to move him into the car on the day of the shift, he ran away in fright, and I was unable to catch him in time to come with me to Nelson. Despite frantic notices on lost pet sites, and friends looking for him at our old house, I heard nothing for six months. Then one day, the phone rang, and it was the vet, telling me that the neighbour had found him!

By that stage, it was unclear which direction life was going in, so I arranged for him to go into a cattery until life became more certain.

And now, he is home. I am so very, very happy that we have him with us again. He has settled back into his old routines as if nothing has ever changed. This is a blessing for which I am also very grateful.

I have to say that I am not at all comfortable with this new format that WordPress has developed for blog entries… I’m really struggling with getting the look right, and time is precious.

So, a brief’ish note from me today. I am not sure if I will be able to continue writing here, but it seemed wrong to end this blog on the previous entry, which is so not my life any more.

Writing a blog takes a very large investment in time, and a strong desire to share in a personal way. Life events of the past six months have left me feeling more than a little broken. Culminating on top of years that have mostly felt like a struggle, my mojo to blog is at an all-time low.

I’m hoping that with time as my healer, my desire to share all the goodness that the knitting world has to offer will resurface. In the meantime, you can find me on Instagram, where it is easier to put little snippets and moments of life. Happy knitting, and may good karma be with you always.

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Happy Christmas!

A Very Merry Christmas to you, dear knitting friends.

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I know Christmas Day passed before I wrote this, but I hope you had a wonderful, blessed day with family and friends.

It was a very busy lead-in to this period, with me working right up to Christmas Eve. Fortunately, we still found time for fun things like Christmas baking!

 

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The last few days have been filled with friends and family, and it has been wonderful to catch up with everyone, and to see the eldest boy again.

 

I’ll be back to tell you about my latest knitting endeavours soon!

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A rocky night

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Thank you so much for the many messages of concern and support that lovely people have sent to me since last night’s 7.5 North Canterbury earthquake.

Just a short note to say that we are safe, and there has been no damage done to our house. I can’t say many of us slept at all well last night! Hopefully tonight will not be too bad on the aftershock front.

Wellington has suffered some damage, but we are fine. Thank goodness the quake struck late at night when most people were safely in bed. It could have been so much worse otherwise…

My thoughts are with the poor people of Kaikoura and North Canterbury generally. There is a big job ahead to rebuild the infrastructure and get things working again down there.

 


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Sometimes

Sometimes things don’t quite work out the way you think they will. It’s the way life is and part of fabric of existence. Happiness and triumph, sadness and disappointment, tenderness and love, anger and failure. Is it even possible to have one without the other?

This weekend, I planned to take the young boy to Napier to enjoy a last adventure before the holidays finished. But on the way, a driver did not take care to check the road was clear before before entering the highway and crossing the road.

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Unfortunately, I happened to be travelling on the highway this person was crossing, and just about to enter the intersection at 100km/hr. This is the result.

We were all very lucky. No one died and no one was seriously injured. It could have been much, much worse. Both cars are write-offs, and the young boy and I are feeling very sore and tender. I have mild whiplash and a bruised rib cage amongst a few other things. The young boy has a realistic impression of a seat belt across his chest in colourful purple bruising. Thankfully, that is all.

The NZ Police were amazing. They were very kind and drove us back into town and helped me to work out how we could find public transport to get home. We were quite a long way out of Wellington by this stage, and there was no one to call on to pick us up. Getting a bus and then a train and then a bus and then walking the final 15 minutes, with luggage, to get to one’s home while feeling shocked and banged up from an accident is still not a pleasant way to end the adventure.

The most terrible thing of course is that I now have no car. Hopefully it will not take long for insurance to kick in, and allow me to get some new wheels.

So, that is some of the bad/good of life that has been happening at my end this week.  This particular incident is not an adventure I or the boy would ever like to repeat, even if we are grateful that we are still alive and not badly injured!

Thank goodness for knitting, which has provided solace and a place to keep my mind off recent incidents.

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I would have dearly loved to show you a finished Southern Skies Shawl. It is very nearly done, but the edging is taking longer than I anticipated.

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I am very pleased that it is as big as I would like it to be.

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Anna Gratton did a wonderful job of translating the night sky. This looks like it has the Southern Lights flowing through it. I can’t wait to finish off the billions of edge stitches so I can block it and see it in its full glory!!

I did manage to finish the delicious stripey Cinnamon socks from Stray Cat Socks though, and they are keeping my feet nice and cosy as I type this.

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I hope you have had a nice week and are enjoying your weekend.

Stay safe, and happy knitting!


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Doings

Winter has finally arrived, and it is so nice to be able to wear cosy, warm things, and be wrapped up in all the knitted goodness!

It has been very wet for the past few weeks, and there have been floods in the garage causing damage to what is left of things that I have been trying to keep nice but cannot fit into my small house. It has left me strangely depressed and frustrated. More lessons learned in what structural features to look for when considering if water is an issue. For example, culverts cut into the concrete in front of the garage – what for except to drain away water? And of course, there is the matter of that hole in the roof which made itself known the first time it rained… The landlord is supposedly doing something about it.

This holiday weekend we have had gorgeous blue skies and crisp, cold days, and the mood is much improved by the sight of some sunshine!

I have discovered that I need a few new things in my wardrobe. The office is very warm, and not suitable for some of my heavier sweaters.

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Light Gale, a tunic-style sweater by Alicia Plummer should fill a gap and be versatile enough for both work and casual wear.  I am knitting it in The Wool Company’s Merino Possum in the Mink colourway.

Alicia has made a strange yardage recommendation though.  I really cannot see how I will need 1,400yd/1,280m for this project when it doesn’t have sleeves nor yardage-eating properties like cables. I have now knitted the entire back, and have only used 300+ metres. My generous estimate is that this project will require less than 900m/980yd to finish. We shall see. I am not worried if I need more yarn. I have chosen a sweater quantity of yarn out of my stash, and there is more than enough to finish it.

At the same time, I appear to have developed shawl fever, probably due to a desire for nice warm things around my shoulders!

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This is Waiting for Rain in one of Anna Gratton’s discontinued yarns, a mohair, wool, silk mix.

I am knitting it alongside the beautiful Liliaceous from Mary-Anne Mace.

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This one is going to be a gift. It is in Zealana Kiwi Laceweight in the Fern colourway.

To cheer up the dumps caused by the flooding issues, I couldn’t resist this exquisite beauty from Holland Road Yarn Company this week:

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It is, would you believe it, my very first gradient yarn purchase. My absolute weakness is shades of pink and green together… it’s the sort of colour that makes your heart leap in gladness.  Now to find a pretty lace shawl pattern to match it!

I paired the purchase with some Outlaw Yarns Bohemia Worsted which I think will make a lovely, snuggly, cabled cowl at some point. It is also a yarn I have not tried yet, and I am looking forward to seeing what it can do!

It is absolutely wonderful to think that there is one more day at home before the working week begins.  Hurrah for long weekends!

I hope you are enjoying your weekend, wherever you are.

Happy Knitting!


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Eriskay, the FO

The boy and I went on a little expedition to the wharf to take photos of the Eriskay socks.

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Given that these are socks inspired by the ganseys worn by fishermen and their families, I thought it would be appropriate to take photos of them in their natural setting. The Petone Wharf is a popular fishing spot, and has beautiful views of Wellington harbour.

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It was a lovely evening, and the fishermen had their lines out.

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We were lucky to see a catch being hauled in.

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Someone will eat well tonight! These are Kahawai, (Arripis Trutta) a fish endemic to New Zealand and Eastern Australian waters.

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So here, they are, the finished Eriskay socks.

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You may remember that the Eriskay gansey demonstrates a range of knitterly techniques, and so I designed these socks to reflect the the range of skills needed to knit an Eriskay.  I also tried to keep in theme with the beauty of an Eriskay sweater. I’m very happy with how they turned out.

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Cabling runs down the back of the leg, with the front knitted in a range of lace and knit/purl patterns evocative of those used in a gansey.

The boy did an excellent job of photographing the socks.

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We were going to stay on the wharf and enjoy the light supper of roast chicken and fresh bread that we had brought with us, but the wind was rather cold! Instead, we retreated to the car, and enjoyed the sunset in more comfortable conditions.

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It was a nice end to a lovely day.

Don’t forget, the Eriskay socks are free to download until 8 July.  I loaded the full version of the pattern to Ravelry this morning. Enjoy!