Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life


Grace note

In musical terms, a grace note is an extra note(s) that acts as an embellishment and is not essential to the harmony of the music.

I kept thinking of grace notes when I knitted these socks.

Grace note socksThe lace detail looks to me like a grace note, and if one thinks about it, isn’t a decorative embellishment on a sock very much like a knitty grace note!?

DetailThis is ‘test one’ completed – to be able to design something in simple lace and knit it without getting muddled or messing up halfway through.

I am very happy with the leg of the sock, but less happy with the motif on the foot.  More tweaking is required.  The initial motif came from the book “The Very Easy Guide to Lace Knitting” by Lynne Watterson.

The yarn is the lovely alpaca sock yarn (Awesome Alpaca) from Fibre Alive in Scottish Moors.  You may remember I initially showed them to you as Hedgerow socks, only I decided I didn’t like it in that pattern and it needed to be knitted in a light and airy pattern instead!


A grand week

Wonders of Wool was great!!

This is some of my haul:

Some of the haul

The rest of what you don’t see is a super amount of naturally coloured 100% wool  from Anna Gratton’s Little Wool Co.  For gorgeous sweaters that will keep me and my family warm.  You’ll see more of it when I start to knit it shortly.

Let us examine some of this yarny happiness in more detail shall we?

Fibre Alive

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you may remember the sad day when I told you that James of Fibre Alive had decided to stop dyeing yarn.  So yes, your eyes do not deceive you – I was so happy to see James at the market!!

After a break and a rest, James has decided to make a return to his love of dyeing, albeit in a smaller scale.  He has also added another base to his yarn selections!  And as of today, he has reopened his online store!!  Woohoo!!!  Happy jigs happening at this end.  I’m so happy I can once again enjoy his wonderful talent.

Of course, I had to replenish my stock of Happy-go-knitty yarn.  Especially self-striping loveliness!


I also was delighted to finally meet Sally of Verandah Yarns in person, and to acquire some of her gorgeous colourways.  So pretty, I’m thinking I should do a shawl with the yarn and not socks.  She manages to achieve a striking depth to her colours.  Quite masterful.

Verandah Yarns

And finally, more lovelies from Anna Gratton.  I think I could have bought ALL her stock… but one must spread the budget around, and share nicely with other knitters…

The colour transitions in this hank of Little Wool Co. merino/mohair make my heart go bumpty-bump extra fast.


Alice made me buy this one (hehe, blame the co-shopper!)  Actually, I’ve had Lime lust for a while, especially after I saw her Wholehearted shawl in the same colourway.  Lime, 4 ply 100% wool

I didn’t think that a week could get much better when it was topped and tailed with a woolfest at each end.

What I didn’t count on was the wonderful people I would catch up with and meet, who turned the events not just into an occasion to add to my stash but something very special indeed.  We often talk about how knitting brings people together.  This week was very much an illustration of that point for me.

I’m going to be smiling for a while.  


Wonders of Wool market day

Today was one of the few days in the year when you can fondle yarn in large quantities in Wellington (unless you go to a yarn store).

It was the annual Wonders of Wool market day at the Wellington Underground Market.  And all my knitting dreams came true!

This is my haul:

Would you like a closer look?

I have been looking for this exact shade of yarn for a shawl for a while now:

I’ve been fantasizing about a shawl in shades of burnt terracotta, and I found it:  Little Wool Company 40% silk, 30% mohair and 30% wool.  Fingering weight (4ply).  In the Topaz colourway.  I could not believe my eyes when I saw it.  Woo hoo!!  Best of all, it has a pretty silk slub through it – just perfect!  😀

Next, I found this:

This is the twin to the pretty Lime colourway I showed you a couple of weeks ago.  It’s fingering weight, pure wool.  All 200g (8oz) of absolute loveliness.  This is the Iris colourway.  More of its beauty:

How could I say no?  *Happy sigh*.  Ah Anna Gratton, you are a dyeing goddess!

Some of you I know are itching to see more of this:

This is the very accurately named Aqua colourway.  It’s more Little Wool Company pure wool,  in chunky weight (12 ply).  Each skein a humongous 300gm (10oz) baby of delight.  I got enough to make me a pretty cardigan. Very, very, happy.  If you live in Alaska, I’m told that there is a lot of this colourway from Little Wool Co. in certain yarn stores there…

The other thing I’ve been craving to find (thanks to a very famous person blogging about self-striping rainbow socks… (no link required!)) was self-striping rainbow yarn.  And yes, here I found some!!!!

I was very, very excited to find this pretty Kauni baby.  It may not be New Zealand yarn, but I really don’t care.  It’s rainbow.self-striping.yarn.  This came from Yarnz, who specialise in importing yarn into New Zealand.

Finally, the person I’d come most to see:  James of Fibre Alive.  Here is my haul of his very lovely sock yarn:

From left to right:  Festival, Captain, Caramel Delight and Sweet Navel.

Again, I had plans to knit the orange and brown together into a shawl.  However, I have Anna’s pretty Topaz, so I might do something else with it.  Now that it’s winter, I’ve realised I need to knit more squishy hand-knit socks for me.

James is one of the sweetest people I know.  Some of you will know that he has now closed his online shop, and today was probably the last time that you could buy his yarn (for a while anyway).  Hence the rather large purchase.  Eric (son) kept trying to put more yarn into the basket, but I had to stop.  Had to save some funds for other purchases!  I could easily have bought up the entire stock of sock yarn that he had left…

James has plans for other fibery endeavours, and today he admitted he wasn’t quite sure he could give up the dyeing thing entirely.  Selfishly, I am rather glad.  I love his colourways, and I will definitely be a happy customer when he comes back with new product.  For the time being, he is going to take a wee break and concentrate his time on a project he has been wanting to get to.  It sounds very exciting!  At least I have enough of his yarn to see me through for a while… hehe.

There were quite a few other yarn people there, but my budget was already over-spent with those purchases, so with the boys in tow, I practically ran out of the market in an effort not to buy any more yarn!

Driving home was a little dodgy.  My head was so full of fibery happiness that the largest boy had to tell me to go at the lights (ahem) and remind me to drive to a friend’s house to drop off some knitting!


I tripped…

The problem when I start playing with pretty sock yarn is that I see my little stash getting smaller… and start to worry I might not have any more soon!

So what to do, when your heart goes ‘hoppety hoppety’ extra fast, every time you knit another row in a pretty yarn?  Just to clarify:  that’s the ‘hoppety’ of “oh my god, I love these colours!” and the ‘hoppety’ of “oh my god, but that’s one less skein to adore in my collection!”

I’m not meant to be buying any more yarn… but the other day I made a terrible mistake and my fingers accidentally clicked on to the Fibre Alive site.

You know the feeling when you do that sharp intake of breath…?

Yeah.  My wallet sort of fell open too.

These beautiful 100% NZ merino sock yarn babies are mine now. All mine!!!!  Tee hee.



Hand knitted socks made with hand dyed yarn are pretty.

They’re also comfortable.  So very comfortable and cushiony.

They are the ultimate luxury for feet – they’re custom-made, so they fit your foot. Perfectly.  (These are a bit small because they’re not for me).  They’re warm, but also cool, because they’re made from wool.

The wool is elastic, the sock hugs your foot in a warm, gentle embrace and that makes them even more comfortable.

Gift no.1 is complete.  🙂

Knitted with Fibre Alive Merino Mania sock yarn, in the Double Happy colourway.

I have to put my old, machine knit socks back on again now.

I think I need more pretty, new hand knitted socks for me.


Mittens for a little girl

A friend wanted to send her friend’s daughter some mittens.  She asked if I’d knit them for her.  We had such fun playing in my yarn collection, choosing colours!

She needed them rather quickly, so I knit these over the weekend.

I especially love the pink and green stripey ones.

Here they are, kindly modelled by the young man who declared that they were very comfortable, but the colours weren’t quite right for him. ;-D

They’re done in a combination of Knitsch 100% merino (pink – Sweetheart) and Fibre Alive Merino Mania (green – Lemonza) sock yarns.    The colours go together well, no?

The green and blue are knitted in fingering weight possum yarn (Jamie Possum and Zealana Kauri).  If I had more time, I would have reknit these.  I am not happy about the placement of the stripes and the buttons – they need to go to the other side of the hand.  I’m twitching just looking at them on the screen… eeeeeh.  My friend told me not to fuss.  I guess that’s the most important thing – she likes them!  At least they’ll be warm and cuddly and help to keep one little girls’ hands warm come winter.

It was quite fun knitting them.