Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life


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Autumn

Hello!  I hope this post finds you well and happy. It is a misty, wet day today, and we are expecting a bit of weather over the next few days. I hope it isn’t too bad – the storm caused quite a bit of damage in Australia, I understand.

My favourite season of the year approaches, and I am much looking forward to crisp, frosty mornings and toasty nights in front of a warm, crackling fire.

The awesome thing about having an established garden is discovering the hidden delights that reveal themselves with each passing season. Here are some of the new treasures that I have been enjoying.

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Hydrangeas are slowly deepening into autumnal shades.IMG_3306 (1024x575)IMG_3305 (1024x575)

These gorgeous flowers have popped up and gaily decorate the garden. Does anyone know what they are called?IMG_3288 (1024x575)

The wood pile has been replenished, in time for that first cold night.

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And now, on to this week’s news!

Just for you Steph, here’s the baking I did this week, an oaty caramel slice. 🙂

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I made it a bit more fancy by adding coconut to the base and also topped it with sliced almonds. It has gone down very well at home. I took some to work to share, as there is no way we can finish it all without it going stale. Everyone thought it was very nice. If there is interest, I can supply the recipe.

Knitting this week has been reasonably productive due to the fact I now take the train to work instead of driving. I have to say, I much prefer not being stuck in anxiety-inducing traffic jams every morning, and being able to get to work at an earlier hour to boot! It also is a way to make me leave the office by 6pm so that I get home in time to cook dinner and spend an hour with the boy before he goes to bed.

Last week, I finished the Spring Creek Shawl, another beauty of a pattern from The Lace Eater. Here it is, styled as I have worn it to work all week:

Spring creek shawl

I just love it! The border has a beaded lace design that Mary-Anne explains completely unintentionally looks like a dragonfly, but I think it actually fits the creek theme very well, given how dragonflies hover over streams. I used green beads, which I think gives the motif a more insect-like character.

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As usual with Mary-Anne’s patterns, she has provided a lot of knitting-interest-factor in this shawl, but none of the lace techniques are at all complicated.

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Some more details:

  • I used approx 180g of yarn (nearly one skein each of the two colours I chose – Tanis Fibre Art’s Dove colourway and Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock in Mink)
  • I skipped the first colour change to create a larger block of colour in the first section, and deliberately engineered the remaining colour changes so that the more detailed lace was knitted with the darker semi-solid, to show up the pattern.

The other thing I finished this week were my train knitting socks:

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These are to be a gift for a friend who has the same size feet as me. I used Stray Cat Socks self-striping yarn in the Denim & Dandelions colourway. It’s such a fun colour combination! There is a little bit of greedy piggy in me that says ‘I want them!’ but honestly, with a drawer literally bursting with handknit socks of my own, it is time I did some sharing with knit-worthy friends.

So what’s next?

I am currently working on another pair of socks. These are the Cranachan socks from Issue 96 of The Knitter.  The yarn is Whimzy Sokkusu O in Flower Power. Sokkusu O is definitely one of my favourite sock yarn bases. I like how springy it is, and how defined the stitches are. Did you know it is milled in Italy?  It’s a little bit of fancy, and I like that I am supporting a base made by a quality manufacturer.

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I have also been quite enchanted with the Find your Fade shawl creations that I have been seeing all over the internet, and have been playing with some ideas of my own.

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I still cannot decide which colour combination to use, but all the favourites have been bagged up together, and I think the best thing will just be to start with the colour I am convinced has to be part of the shawl, and just let the ‘fade’ happen as I knit.

Wishing you a wonderful start to your week.

Happy Knitting!

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16 Comments

Catch up

Hello there! Things are certainly going pear-shaped with my intentions to blog regularly!  I have managed to disappear yet again for quite a while. As well as being busy at work, I have also been sick. There is a bug going around that knocks you sideways – a nasty thing that masquerades as a cold, but then you find yourself sapped you of energy and strength for quite some time afterwards. I suspect a few of you may have had it too. In my case, I was down for three weeks, resulting in very unproductive weekends. It has not been fun at all. And I have really missed my interactions with all of you.

However, I have had some time to knit, so it wasn’t entirely unproductive.  It is another reason I have been silent here. Knitting is such great stress relief.

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This is my lastest project – the Spring Creek shawl. I love the moodiness of the two colours together – Tanis Fiber Arts’ cashmere blend in Dove and Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock in Mink.

Supplejack has been finished for a while, and I have been wearing it almost exclusively. I love it and am actually thinking of making another of this one – it is such a lovely design and a very fast knit. You’ll see there are a few ways to wear this shawl. In one of the photos you see me with a very special knitting friend. She lives in the UK, but she came over to visit her family, and we got to meet up!!! It was a most awesome weekend!

I used a combination of four yarns for Supplejack – Ruataniwha Dye Studio in NZ lambswool in the Spruce colourway (that’s the main lace panel), Dark Harbour Yarn Port in Limey and Pearls That Were His Eyes (bright green and grey) and Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label in Lotus (the variegated greens).

I have also been knitting socks.

These are a plain vanilla sock in Moods of Colours Softsock in a self-striping colourway.  The yarn was so pretty – I had to have me some!

These socks are ones I also finished a couple of weeks ago – Waving Lace Socks in Circus Tonic Handmade Revelry Sock in the Frilled Monarch colourway. Another very pretty colourway in one of my all-time favourite yarns!

I can’t believe it is autumn already. From this knitter’s point of view, the New Zealand summer has been rather marvellously cool, and I am glad of it.

The plums have come and gone, and now the apples are ripe, and making delicious apple pies and crumbles for one young man’s happy stomach. Homegrown produce is the best.

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

Happy Knitting!

 


7 Comments

The favourites

Happy Valentine’s Day!  I hope wherever you are, you’re sharing the joy of togetherness and the day is treating you well.

My day has been dedicated to the love of knitting (no, that’s not sad), and I have had a great time knitting with Alice, a fellow Wellingtonian blogger who writes Crochet with Raymond.

I thought that as today is about sharing happy things, I’d share my list of favourite blogs with you.  You will probably have noticed that my blog doesn’t have the usual list of ‘other blogs I read’.  I used to have the list, but for some reason, at some point, decided it wasn’t really adding anything to the main objective of this blog (New Zealand yarns), so I took the list down.  Also, some of the blogs I follow don’t post very often.  However, there are a few blogs that I read all the time, and really enjoy the content because in some way, I connect with each of the writers.

I’m a little hesitant about this post, because I don’t want to cause offence to the many bloggers out there by somehow seeming to say your blog is not special (especially to you, the lovely people who read my blog).  I love reading your blogs (if you leave the address for me to visit) too.  So please do not be offended!  The list I’m about to share is just my ‘required reading’ list because I either get a lot out of reading them or find them extremely educational.

So here, I share this list.  Some of them are high entertainment.  Others are touching from their pure intelligence and insightful content.  Others teach.  Others talk about yarn and knitting (my favourite topic if you haven’t noticed).  They’re not all about knitting; mostly about knitting though.  And others I just read because they remind me that out there, there are normal people with similar interests and views to me.

I suspect you’ll all know the Yarn Harlot, and maybe Needled, but the others perhaps not.  I hope you enjoy reading them.

Yarn Harlot

Pattern Scissors Cloth

Crochet with Raymond

TECHKnitting

Needled

Canterbury Tales

wiseheart knits

Knitting to Stay Sane

Nunu Africa Yarns


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A year of blogging

This month marks the first anniversary of this blog (and my adventure into the world of blogging).  And I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you.  Each and every one of you who read my writing, and for all your kind comments and support.

It’s a funny thing.  When I started this blog, I just wanted an outlet to share all the information that was swirling around in my head about New Zealand yarns.  As I say in my page “About Me”, I also hoped that this blog would help create a community of sorts, and become a way for me to interact with like-minded people.   And surprisingly, it has!

In fact, this blog has brought more to me than I ever imagined.

A year ago, I had no idea that I’d be enduring the longest period of under-employment in my life since leaving school, and all that comes with the lack of financial resources and self-esteem that until now, I had largely taken for granted as a manager in a well-paid corporate position.

I had no idea that I’d also have the courage to start sharing my designs for items that I knitted, and that people might actually like them!  I had no idea that people would like what I wrote enough to keep coming back!

This blog has given me a focus, and something to concentrate on and an outlet to use my skills in what has been a very frustrating year.

As well as achieving the goals I mention above, this blog has also provided me with learning opportunities in my line of work (marketing) that I didn’t imagine I’d have.

Most importantly, I’ve found real friendships with people who share the same interests as me, and who don’t call me mad, or look askance like what happens when I forget for a moment that I’m talking to a non-knitter.  So thank you, every one of you.  You’ve been a bright light in a somewhat dim year.

I remember the first time my stats recorded 800 hits in a day.  I nearly died.  It gave me such a high – to think that many people would be interested in the information I put out there! Wow.

And the first time someone wrote back to me with a really substantial comment that has resulted in a correspondence across vast distances that I think, gives us both fun and friendship in our shared love of YARN and knitting.  (Dear friend, you know I’m talking about you).

And the first time a yarn company wrote to me, and told me that they really liked what I was doing for their brand.  Success!!!!  After all, this blog is mostly a one-woman campaign to raise global brand-awareness of New Zealand knitting yarns.

Outside of this blog, it hasn’t been all ‘doom and gloom’.  For the first time in a parenthood spanning 17 years, I’ve been able to spend as much time as I’ve wanted (and more!) with at least one child.  And when my other two visited from Hong Kong this Christmas holiday, they actually got to spend every single day with me.  For the first time in their lives, I didn’t have to go back to the office for that ‘one last job’.  They really liked that.

I also got to move to a rural environment that I have to say I truly love.  I really don’t want to live in a suburb ever again.  Whether that happens remains to be seen – there are possible changes coming later in the year that may mean I’ll have to (reluctantly) move back into the city.  At least one good thing will be that I’ll have access to broadband again.

And finally, the unexpected “time-out” has given me time to reset.  In a life where I’ve mostly worked in a fast paced environment with over-achievers, I came to expect that much of everyone I met.  My move to New Zealand didn’t change that expectation because I went to work in the same industry.  I didn’t really stop to think that not everyone has a high IQ.  Nor that not everyone necessarily knew how to work at an extremely high level.  I admit it made me a difficult person to work with at times.  I think I’ve since learned how to better cope with less-than-ideal conditions (unfulfilled expectations) and relate to people at more levels.  I could do with a bit more working at it, but I think I’m getting better.

It has been an interesting year.  On some levels, quite fulfilling.  On other levels, fairly nasty.  But on balance, interesting.  I’m glad you’ve come along for the ride.  It’s been nice to have you. 🙂