Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life


Free pattern: Cadeau (cowl)

I’m delighted to release Cadeau today!  The knotted cables of this cowl resembled little bows, or flowers to me, just like a nicely wrapped gift, and so I named it ‘gift’ in French.

This is the long version:

This is the short version:

It’s also my gift to you until Valentine’s Day, February 14.  Make sure you get it now so as not to miss out!  Click here to download immediately, or here to see details (and download) on Ravelry.

Using two balls of Zealana Tui (you’ll have half a ball left over in the short version), this pattern is knitted in the round on 7mm needles.  Tension is 14 sts x 22 rows over the 4 x 6 rib pattern (blocked) using 7mm needles.

It’s a very basic pattern but with a few small twists – one at cast-on,  two cable needles for the knotted cable (there are only five cables in total – it’s not intense), and the suggested bind-off by me that I introduced to you yesterday.  The pattern includes a tutorial for this.

The cast-on and cast-off are merely suggestions, but it makes it interesting if you haven’t tried these methods before.

I thought that these little details might provide enough interest for a quick KAL.  If I get enough response, I’ll start a KAL group on Ravelry, so that all who would like to participate can use it as a place to meet up and chat – send me a PM over on Ravelry where I’m KiwiPurler, so I can ascertain demand, and I’ll update you.

My current idea is to have a 6 Feb cast-on date, with the aim that it’s finished by Valentine’s Day. I knitted each of these cowls in a day, so it is a very quick knit. Do join!!

At this point, I’d like to encourage you to try Tui, a truly beautiful yarn of two lofty singles plied together in a thick/thin spin.  It is chunky weight (12 ply) 70% NZ merino, 15% cashmere and 15% possum.  Each 100g ball has approx 111m (121yd).  Soft and cuddly, it has just the right amount of cushiony drape and lightness that is perfect for this cowl design.  There is a nice range of 12 colours to choose from.

So where to get Zealana in your country?

The United States – The Yarnsisters (this will direct the order to the nearest outlet to you that stocks this yarn).  Due to the appreciation of the New Zealand dollar, I’m told that the price for this is going to increase.  However, the Yarnsisters are kindly holding the price at US$20.40 for 30 days for your benefit.

The Canadian distributor of Zealana is Nordic Yarn T: +1 604 574 4445 and a list of their retailers can be found here.

Europe and the UK (I’m told that the following shops stock Tui and will send via mail order):

London – Fringe, Studio 108, Alexandra Park Road, N10 2AE London.  +44 208 883 9478
Austria – Zum Schwarzen Schaf (Austria) Zum Schwarzen Schaf, Roseggerstraße 13, 6890 Lustenau,  +43 5577 62967
Wollart und mehr…, Eyendorfer Str. 3, 21376 Salzhausen,  +49 4172 969123,
Murmelana, Edelgarn, Bornweg 21, 21521 Dassendorf,  +49 4104 5581
Handarbeiten Müller, Handarbeiten Müller, Krumme Straße 19, 32756 Detmold,             +49 5231 28216,
Fil Garn Wolle, Friedrich-Ebert-Str.147, 34119 Kassel, +49 561 710029,
FrohSinn Atelier für schöne Dinge, Oberkasseler Straße 81, 40549 Düsseldorf, +49 211 5502294
Strickeria Wolle und Mode, Nordendstraße 17, 80799 München,  +49 89 88904532,
Kemptner Wollparadies, Promenadestr. 1, 87435 Kempten, +49 831 5239377,
Sweden – Karma Garn HB, Gösta Andreesgata, 42336 Torslanda,

Other European stockists of Zealana (but may not necessarily have Tui in stock can be found here).

In New Zealand and Australia, you can get Tui from Knit World, Mishi Yarns or Masco’s (T:  +64 09 377 5898).  All will send via mail or telephone order (I believe!).

I’m looking forward to knitting this with you! And of course, you do not have to use Tui to join in the KAL… I just thought I’d give you a bit of encouragement to do so.  😉



The half-stretchy bind off

I want to tell you about this bind off method today, as it is featured in Cadeau (which I hope, all going well today, will be released tomorrow).

This bind off is not one I have been able to read about anywhere, so I suspect that this might be one of the first times it is publicly ‘uninvented’.  As Mrs. Zimmerman so accurately pointed out, I’m sure other knitters before me have already been using this method but just not telling anyone about it!

Anyway, what is the half-stretchy bind off?  It’s a bind off that I uninvented to give my bind off edge more stretch than a conventional bind off, but with less bulk than a normal stretchy bind off (I just don’t like the look of that bind off for some reason).

It gives exactly the same appearance as a normal bind off:

The basic premise is that you knit one stretchy bind off (but with a twist), but the next one is normal.  That’s all.  It works very nicely.

Here’s how:

Start with one knit stitch.  *Slip the next stitch to your right needle without knitting it, and then knit the two on your right needle together through the back loops (like in a SSK).  Now knit another stitch, and bind off the previous stitch over that one*.  Repeat * to * until you have finished your bind off.  It’s that easy.

Someone will now tell me where you can find tutorials, etc. for it… hehe.  But in the meantime, as I haven’t been able to find materials on the subject, I’m telling you about it here as a little taster of one or two of the more interesting parts of Cadeau.

Watch out for more tomorrow!


This cannot wait

Thank you everyone, for your very sympathetic remarks to my last post.  You cheered me up no end!  😀

After a reasonable night’s sleep, today I got the design I wanted.  It’s set:  This is Cadeau.

These are just the test shots.  But I was sooooooo happy to have got what I wanted, that I had to show you right away!!

Now, a bit more about the pattern:  Cadeau is the French word for gift.  I called it Cadeau because the cabled knots reminded me of bows and ribbons – like a beautifully wrapped gift.  You can see from my last post that I originally wanted to have the entire cowl cabled, but the detail got lost in the mass of cables.  I think the minimalist approach works better (thanks Audry for your behind-the-scenes encouraging feedback in this area).

There is more to come:  I am knitting v.3 of Cadeau as I write.  The next version will have more length and a higher neck line for extra warmth and snuggliness.  I’ll release both versions (this shorter one and the longer one) as a two-in-one pattern.

Best of all, this pattern is my Valentine’s Day gift to you, and will be free until February 14. So keep a watch out – I’ll most likely release the pattern around the weekend, all going well.

Cadeau is knitted in Zealana Tui, a gorgeous chunky weight merino/cashmere/possum blend that is soft and warm and so very cuddly.  It’s a softly spun two ply in a thick/thin spin, and I think it works beautifully with this pattern.  The pattern will come in small and medium sizing (the pictured knit is in small – you can see it pulls a little around my shoulders).

Off to knit more pretty cowl now!