Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life


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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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9 Comments

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.

 


43 Comments

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!


24 Comments

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!

 

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12 Comments

Eriskay

Hello!!  Happy weekend, and a Happy Mother’s Day for tomorrow!  May you get very appropriately spoiled by your children and spouses!

This week has been a busy one. The boy finally came home from his epic overseas adventure, and the ‘mumcation’ was officially over.  Not that it was much of one… I think I worked for most of that time!

This is a rather lengthy post, so I’m going to summarise it here for your convenience:

  1. I’m introducing the Eriskay gansey sock MKAL and an invitation for you to join
  2. I’m sharing details of a couple of FOs, and
  3. I have an annoucement – the winner of the lovely goodies from Rose Marlow.

The Eriskay Gansey MKAL

Not too long ago, one of the lovely moderators of the Aussie Sock Knitters group on Ravelry invited me to join the group.  It so happens that they are currently hosting a gansey sock KAL.  I have wanted to knit another gansey-style sock for a while, and one of the knitters in the group commented that it would be great to see a gansey sock from me.  I did have one sitting in my design book, and having been so nicely asked, I got it out, and had a look, but realised to my horror that quite a few other people had already designed one that looked almost identical.  Back to the drawing board!

I was delighted when my subsequent swatchings turned into a sock that I really like, and it looks different to anything else out there.  So I thought I would offer it to the group as a MKAL, if they were interested.

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A few in the group are keen, and so the MKAL is on!  It starts tomorrow, when I release the first clue, and ends on 8 July.  If you would like to join, come along and say hi at the Aussie Sock Knitters Group! If you’d just like to knit on your own with the pattern, you will find it here.  Update notifications will appear automatically if you add the pattern to your library, which means you won’t miss out on the clues when they appear.  The pattern will be free for the duration of the MKAL.

Here’s a bit of the story that I thought about when I was researching this pattern:

Ganseys were knitted, functional sweaters worn by those who needed to be able to move freely in an age when garments were almost without exception heavy, stiff, tailored and restrictive. They originated with the sea folk of the British Isles – fishermen, sailors and the navy, who needed to wear garments that would be warm, wind and waterproof while allowing ease of movement.

Typical patterning featured vertical or horizontal bands of knit and purl patterns and some cabling, inspired by the seascape and tools of their trade. The fancier ganseys were kept for ‘best’, with plainer, workday ganseys knitted with practicality and ease of repair in mind. The gansey from the island of Eriskay was known as the most ornately patterned gansey of the British Isles, and featured elaborate knit and purl patterns, cabling and lace. This pattern is the sock version of a modern take on the Eriskay gansey.

Visit this link to Ravelry for more information about the pattern.

On to the FOs:

I have actually managed to finish a couple of projects!

This one is the Amalfi Poncho.  It is made out of The Wool Company‘s variegated yarn.  The colourway I used (Autumn) is no longer available, but the colourway I have linked to above (Lava) looks very similar to what I had.  As we usually discover with projects that take a while to complete, I don’t know why I didn’t finish it earlier as I just love it!  Actually, I do know why it took a while.  I dislike garter stitch very much.  But it was worth it!! I think it’s going to be a winter staple.

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I also finished a pair of scrappy socks. I called them sunset and sunrise. It was fun choosing the colours to work together!  My OCDC tendencies don’t allow me to love them entirely though because they don’t “match”. 🙂

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I blended the colours using slip stitch.

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This is the sunrise sock – there were four colourways used in the toe for predawn – grey, a grey variegated sparkle, a multi-colour and the main colour which I used over most of the sock to represent dawn, before the sky turned into day blue.

The motivation for these socks was a mini swap with Hannah of Circus Tonic Handmade – a few of the yarns she sent me can be seen in those socks.  Thanks again Hannah!

Rose Marlow giveaway

And now, the thing that a few of you are waiting for!  The winner of the gorgeous project bag and goodies from Rose Marlow! I did a random number draw, and it turned out to be comment number 45!

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Comment number 45 is Kari, who said “I like bags made with a sturdy fabric with lining. I prefer a flat bottom and a wrist strap. Like others, I like to keep my bag firmly attached to my body so it can’t go walk-about when I’m out knitting with friends. I also want to be able to close it tightly so things don’t fall out. inner pockets are not important to me.”

Kari, I have sent an email to the address you provided in your comment.  Can you please get back to me so I can send you the goodies!

Thank you very much to everyone who participated!  It was very interesting to read all your comments, and I am sure that Meg got a lot of ideas out of them for future offerings on her etsy site!

and thank you!

Finally, I’d like to say thank you for all the interest shown in the Pirinoa Poncho!  It was amazing and awesome.  We were quite blown away!  Thanks again, very much!  I’m so very happy for Mary of Maniototo Wool, who came up with an excellent pattern concept!