Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life


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Sock-a-palooza

Well, I started out this post about to write things like “nothing much on the radar” and “very little knitting”, and then I had a look at what I was going to show you, and I think that instead, a secret sock-a-palooza has been happening at my house.  Right under my nose! And without me noticing!

First off, I will show you the socks that were mostly knitted in one weekend.  I started them during a birthday party that my son was attending, almost finished the heel by the time it was over (stockinette stitch and talking go very well together) and then finished it off at home.  The next sock took a few more days to finish.  This is an Opal Smile colourway.

Opal Smile socks

Sometimes a plain vanilla sock is what you need.  Especially when everything else you are knitting ends up getting ripped and reknit several times over.

Now, take this inspiration:

And turn it into themed socks (the socks are called “In the Golden Hall”.  See the track above linked to by the designer, Claire Ellen.  I liked the look of the cover image and decided to use it as inspiration for the colour of my socks),

In the Golden Hallwhich I have reknit once already because I wasn’t paying attention to the chart and was doggedly trying to knit when I should have been a good girl and tucked up in bed…

And this sweater

Robin

which is now at the short row hem stage, and I have had to frog back to the hem starting point twice for the same reason as noted above.  I think I have finally managed to stop making stupid mistakes with the short rows. I can’t wait to wear this sweater!  Zealana Kiwi is one of my all-time favourite yarns.   It is comfortable to wear, durable, doesn’t pill, looks fabulous… the list goes on and on…

Then add this pretty

Habour by Doe Arnot

which I started this morning during a Skype call, and am already well on the way to the heel.  Note how it is stockinette stitch…(very little room for errors)…

And add another pretty

Cladenstine

which has become my bedtime knitting, but again, has been ripped back to the base because sleepy heads and lace knitting do not go hand in hand (although it does help with getting back to sleep when you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t sleep).

And now I think you can see why I said nothing much has been happening, but at the same time, I find myself suddenly with a basket full of socks!

Let’s backtrack to this little number…

Doe Arnot Harbour Coluorway

This lovely self-striping yarn is the work of Doe Arnot, who has developed a colourway range inspired by a recent trip to Wellington.  This one is called “Harbour”.  I can definitely see the nautical theme!  I can’t wait to see what else she loads up on to her site!  I suspect it’s going to be first off the needles because my brain is clearly not able to focus on much else other than plain vanilla knitting at the moment.

And finally, I thought I’d share something I have been enjoying a lot lately.  The long drives to work have had a wonderful benefit – music has re-entered my life.  In particular, Maksim Mvrica.  If you have not heard this talented piano player before, you really should have a listen.  Here’s one of my favourites:

He’s wonderful to both drive and knit to (not at the same time of course).  It’s music that doesn’t let you fall asleep!

 

 


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I see stripes

I’ve been trying very hard to be good and finish up projects before I start new ones.  It has been especially hard on the sock front, but reminding myself of the reward of that satisfying feeling of getting a few projects off the needles seems to be helping!

Finished and in-progress things from the last few days, which funnily enough, seem to be mostly stripy!

The young boy's sweater

Why is it that when you want people to look nice for the camera, they do the exact opposite?  Someone was quite put out at being asked to pose… but at least you can see the finished result (I can’t be bothered blocking it so it’s a little rumpled looking – matches the boy, I think).  As mentioned in a previous post, this is a sweater of collaboration between the young boy and me.  He chose the colours and the general concept, and I worked out how to knit it!

I knitted the body stripes in reverse stocking stitch to give the sweater a bit more texture.  I felt the stripes looked too flat otherwise, and it’s a nice echo of the garter stitch welt and cuff.  I kept the sleeve stripes stocking stitch though – they would have looked too much like flotation devices otherwise!

The sweater was knitted in the round up to the armholes, then I divided for the armholes, and knitted the front and back separately.  I added some short rows to the back as the young man has broad shoulders, but a bad habit of slumping, and that always produces an unattractive look with the back of the sweater riding up.  I think the short rows have done a good job of keeping the back hem line straight.

The sleeves were picked up after I joined the shoulders, and knitted in the round down to the cuff.   Finally, I added a couple of rows of garter stitch to the neckline.

I was reminded why I am not so fond of knitting stripes when I got to the sleeves.

Jog

That jog is oh-so-annoying!  I couldn’t be bothered to rip back on this one, as he’ll probably have outgrown the sweater by next winter, so I’m not too worried about making it perfect.  The colour change is on the inside of the arm, and no one is going to see.  However, with the next sleeve, I decided to review my notes on jogless stripes (this and this tutorial from TECHKnitting are very helpful).

The result is much better.  I suspect that once I get around to blocking the sweater, the stripes will even out even more.

jogless stripe

Unfortunately, the next design that the young man wants me to knit for him involves an entirely striped sweater… it’s enough to make the heart quail.  Ah well, nothing like a challenge!!

The sweater is knitted in The Wool Company 100% Corriedale – a very good workhorse yarn.

Then there are the socks:

Imp socks

The Imp’s socks in self-striping yarn from Stray Cat Socks in the Momentum colourway.  Very pretty, and happily perfectly identical.  I hope she fits them, or they might have to get sent back to me for ‘renovations’.

Of course, one cannot knit a pair of socks for one sister without the other getting a pair too.

Regia self-striping yarn

These are knitted in a Regia Jazz self-striping colourway (6451).

And finally, an almost pair that isn’t stripy:

Crenate socks

The alpaca/merino/nylon sock yarn in the Embers colourway from Doe Arnot.  Very cosy, and looking nice in Crenate.

I am looking forward to this weekend.  Lucky me!  I have a knitting date with the lovely Alice of Bleating Art Yarn! (And if you haven’t already noticed, an update of gorgeous new colourful yarn has recently been put up…)

I also want to say thank you to all you very amazing people who bought my Latticework Cowl pattern.  I really appreciate your support of my endeavours!  🙂

Wishing you a lovely weekend.

 


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Knitted bliss

Hello!!  I hope this post finds you well and refreshed after the Easter holidays!

As for me, to say that I have had some time to knit again does not convey how happy I feel about this situation!

I even have a little ditty to describe it (bear with me):

Ahhh… how lovely to take root in my chair and knit without a care

To sit and knit and knit and knit

It gives me such a hit!  (Hehe!)

Even more happily, this is what happens when a knitter is finally let loose on her knitting:  projects that have until now taken weeks have come flying off the needles… (monster update below).

Here are my completed Rumpelstiltskin socks:

Rumpelstiltskin socks

I’m completely in love with the delicate lace patterning of this design, and so happy with how they turned out!! The beautiful merino/silk blend I got from Sally at Verandah Yarns complements the pattern perfectly.  The socks have turned out to be everything I wanted to them to be.  🙂  Thank you Sally, for this beautiful yarn!  I feel like my feet are wrapped in luxury!

A sweater for the young man is almost done.  The design is a collaborative effort between me and him. Having given up on ever finding the right pattern to knit for him, I drew various versions of what I could do with the colours he chose, and he selected the final design for me to knit.

Sweater in The Wool Co. Corriedale

It’s about time he got a new winter sweater.  I’m using The Wool Company’s Corriedale in three colours – Celtic, Sunflower and Holly (I’m not sure if they still do Holly and Celtic).

The sock fever shows no sign of abating.  Having finished one sock, I had to fill the void by casting on more…

Crenate socks

More love!!  You can’t see much at the moment, but this is such a pretty design to knit!  The design is Crenate by Rachel Coopey. I’m knitting it in Doe Arnot‘s Embers colourway using Flagstaff Alpacas’ merino/alpaca/nylon sock yarn.

There is also the matter of what I have now dubbed the “Imp socks” – in the Momentum colourway from Stray Cat Socks.

The Imp socks

They will eventually go to one of my nieces.  Once I have stopped feeling aggrieved at her for stealing her mum’s birthday socks.  Guess that explains the name, huh?

I have also finally finished this pair, which have turned out so well that I feel confident about presenting them to my mother for her use!  The yarn is an Opal Vincent van Gogh range colourway (5434).  I always send along a small bit of yarn in case repairs are needed further down the line.

Self-patterning Opal yarn socks

Progress is also being made on the latticework cowl pattern.  Assuming that the weather is cooperative this week (botheration… it is raining again today), I will have it properly photographed and the design released next week.

It is such a nice feeling to have my life back again after being so busy at work.  And although I still have a mountain of ironing to get through, at least I also now have a clean house, and getting-there tidy garden (just the back half still to mow and cut back).  I’m almost feeling human once more!

 

 

 

 


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Bo and Paua

There’s nothing like a surf in my favourite Ravelry sock forums to help dispel a case of the ‘back to work’ melancholies.  Knitters are such a happy bunch, and the enthusiasm displayed is very infectious!  Within minutes, I was happily humming to myself and adding yet more lovely patterns that I admired to my rapidly expanding sock queue!

I appear (hopefully) to have resolved yesterday’s tension issue by knitting the last of the heel on 2.75mm needles (two sizes larger!) but have reverted back to 2.25mm needles for the shaping of the heel and the beginning of the foot.  Fingers crossed that it will work out!  So far, so good.

Today I thought I’d show you a couple of projects that I completed over the holidays. I gave away my original Bo cowl when I first designed it, but decided that it would be nice to have one of my own.  Plus, I wanted to see how it would come out in the mohair/merino yarn that acts as a replacement suggestion to the discontinued Anna Gratton silk blend that the original was knitted in.

This is the fingering weight Anna Gratton Little Wool Co. merino/mohair in the Forest colourway.  I’m finally happy with the photos of the colour!

Bo merino mohair cowl

It’s a very long cowl – in the below photo, I’ve actually wrapped it around my neck three times to make a very cosy neck warmer.

DSC00186 (800x756)Doubled, it looks more like this:

Doubled Bo

The good thing about this pattern is that you can adapt it to suit yourself for length. It’s only a two-stitch design, and I’m thinking it would probably look quite fine with a third of the stitches cut out, casting on 299 stitches instead of 399.  It’s knitted in the round, which is why you have an odd number cast on, just in case you are wondering.  Or you could have a short cowl, and only cast on 169 – 189 stitches for a cowl that goes around the neck without doubling it over.

Also, during this process I discovered that my original linen stitch was far too tight for the merino/mohair (the mohair really bulks out the stitches!), so have updated the pattern (also available on my Free Patterns page) to include a knit row between each slipped stitch row.  It feels and knits a lot better this way. Here’s a close up of the different textured stitches.

Close upI feel all set for the winter winds now!

On to the next FO, this is my first pair of finished socks for 2014.  They’re my ‘swatch’ socks.

Paua socks

I’ve called them that because I wanted to design a pair of socks in this beautiful sparkly merino/nylon/stellina yarn from Doe Arnot, coloured like the pretty paua shell (abalone). Only, I discovered that the yarn was already quite busy in terms of colour, and whatever I did ended up looking lost.  If you have a look at the link I’ve given you, Doe has a pair of socks knitted in the colourway in the picture.  It’s interesting how the patterning can come out so differently depending on one’s tension I suppose.

Mine are based on the standard 64 stitch cast on, using 2.50mm needles.

However, after knitting two socks (each of them with a different pattern on them, and both ripped back a couple of times already), I was certainly not going to rip them back yet again, and so I have a pair of what I call, Swatch Socks.

Paua socksThe patterning that I put on them is fairly minimal, and given that these socks will spend most of their life in a pair of shoes, or worn at home, it won’t matter that they look “original”. 😉  I really love the colourway!

So, even though the concept that I was thinking of didn’t work for this particular yarn, if I were to knit these in a pattern (as opposed to plain vanilla or plain ribbed), I reckon any of thisthis, or this would look fabulous.


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Fresh, stripy socks

A freshly minted pair of hand-knit socks is always welcome in my sock drawer.

Self-striping socks

They’re finished!

I LOVE them!!!  Hand-dyed self-striping yarn is lovely.  It has such a nice “coloured-in” look to it, like someone drew a pair of socks with crayon on a piece of paper, and then somehow the picture magically materialised into real socks!

The yarn is pretty special too.  Super soft alpaca sock yarn.

Yarn:  Doepins alpaca/merino/nylon sock yarn in the Meridian colourway.


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Stripedy stripes

Doespins Meridian self-striping yarnI showed you this yarn on Monday, fresh out of the mailbox.  Sometimes a yarn never even sees the inside of the stash cupboard.  So it is with this pretty self-striping number from Doespins.

Self-striping yarn, so pretty!  I particularly love the thick/thin take on the stripes.

With 60% alpaca content, they’re going to be one pair of very cuddly, warm socks.