Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life


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Strong heart

Today, dear readers, I introduce Strong Heart.

Originally conceptualised many months ago, after I’d been reading quite a few blog posts about life’s challenges, I thought it would be nice to knit something as a reminder of the nicer things in life, and as my gift to my knitting sisters, who find life a struggle on occasion.

These gloves are dedicated to my dear friend, Kb, who is going through some tremendous changes in her life right now.

It feels nice to finally have wrapped around my arms what I’ve had in my head for so long.  The cabled motif is a continuous string of hearts.  As I knitted them, I reflected on how much you could read into the hearts – a love of knitting; a love for the person you might be knitting the gloves for; a love for all things cabled – the list goes on!  In this case, the hearts represent “heart”.  The ability to take strength; to take heart, and go on, to take on the good and the bad, opportunity and disappointment, and continue to enjoy all that life has to offer.  Hence the name “Strong Heart”.

But wait, there’s more! This is the mitten version.

I’ve used the wonderful Stansborough Mythral yarn, (DK weight, 100% New Zealand Stansborough Grey wool), in the Rata colourway for the long, fingerless version.  The mittens are in Kokako Grey – the natural colour of the sheep.

The pattern is of course, free and it will be released in about a week.  (I have some major work on at the moment that will prevent me from writing the pattern up too quickly).  Thanks to my son Tim, for the great pics today.

I hope you are having a marvellous, relaxing weekend.  🙂

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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.


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Holiday knitting: Steampunk mittens

Hello!  I hope this post finds you relaxed and happy after a few quality days with friends and family.  I was really happy that we could enjoy Christmas dinner with my brother and his family.  It’s nice to share this time with loved ones.

Today, I release a quick project for your holiday knitting pleasure:  Steampunk Mittens.

You may notice this is a refinement of an earlier mitten design, still based around the decorative cuff.  The delicate picot cuffs and dark yarn of this design gave me a strong impression of  Steampunk dress.  I decided to give them that name.

These are knitted in Zealana Heron, a worsted-weight (10 ply) yarn which includes some of the warmest fibre known to man – possum.  It is knitted on smaller needles than usual for gauge to create a thick, insulated mitten.  The possum fibre in the yarn blooms when you wash it, which contributes significantly to the insulation factor.

The mittens are knitted in the round, and grafted together at the top of the hand.  The thumb is picked up after and knitted on to the body of the glove.  You can also crochet the picot cuff edging and skip this step in the knitting.

This pattern utilises a provisional crochet cast-on, backwards loop cast-on and Kitchener stitch.  I’m sure that many of you will already be familiar with these techniques, but if you’d like a tutorial, I recommend these YouTube videos for provisional cast-on, backwards loop cast-on and Kitchener Stitch (thanks Jenni for pointing this one out).  There’s another clever way to provisionally cast-on straight on to your working needle – have a look at this link.  I think I’ll be trying that next!

The link to my pattern page is here, or you can buy it here for NZ$3.

Materials needed:

Yarn:  2 x 50g balls Zealana Heron
Needles:  4mm DPNs
Size E (3.5mm/size 9) crochet hook for provisional cast-on

I hope you enjoy knitting them!


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Sprig

I’m delighted to show you my latest design today:

They’re Sprig.  In Stansborough Mythral, of course.  Just in time to celebrate the first day of Summer in the Southern Hemisphere, and the first day of Winter for the Northern Hemisphere!

I especially like the cuffs.  I’ve long wanted to have gloves that are a bit more decorative at the cuff than most.  These satisfy that wish!  It’s wonderful to be able to see a design in my head, and find it becoming reality under my hands.

The pattern needs to be charted, and then it will be up for those who are interested in knitting it!

It felt funny to photograph a pair of winter mittens in a field of daisies.  I know that in about three months’ time I shall be glad of their warmth though!


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Pretty mittens and friendly needles

Ever since the incident of a severely pricked and cut finger from knitting too many socks in a row, I’ve been wary of knitting more socks or projects using small needles.  My left index finger is still not completely healed up, which adds to the complication.

Upon reading of my predicament, my incredibly generous and wonderful friend Kb, sent me a very touching gift:   2.25mm wooden Knit Pro needles.   She also slipped in a pattern for a pair of Knotty gloves (a free pattern on Ravelry).

At about the same time, it actually got a little cold (winter in Wellington, NZ has been miserably mild this year!!) and daughter didn’t have any gloves.  But she did have some pretty hot pink Knitsch sock yarn we’d found on a happy yarn hunting visit at Holland Road Yarn Company.

I decided that as the needles had been sent in direct response to the ‘ouchy’ needle complaint, it would be offensive not to give them a go… and I had just been sent a very pretty little pattern to try out!  Only, the pattern would be modified to become mittens.

They’ve turned out well.  The 100% merino, supertwist, superwash yarn is gorgeous.  It’s soft and warm and most importantly for a 17 year-old madam, the “exactly correct” colour – this one is called “Sweetheart”.  My Kitchener grafting is still not as satisfactory as I’d like, so I’m not showing you the ends.

Upon “scientific” analysis performed by my fingers, I have made a decision about needles for future sock knitting projects:  Wooden needles are good.  Bamboo needles are also good. But metal needles are not friendly.  Which is sad, because I have two sets of 2.5mm steel needles that I like because they’re fast and smooth.  I guess I’ll just have to resign myself to protecting my finger with a bandage when I next use the steel ones.

Thank you Kb, for your very generous inspiration for these mittens.


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Ocean

One of the things I like about Wellington is that it’s on the coast.  I could spend all day watching the sea.

I love how it ebbs and flows

Crashes and rolls

I love how it reflects exactly what kind of day it is

I love its colour

And how it can mould the shore it caresses (or hammers – depending on its mood!)

Can you see the inspiration…?

More about the yarn later!