Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life


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A summer walk

It was lovely to go for an evening walk yesterday.  The season is maturing, the berries ripening in time for late summer, the grass seeds golden and ripe.

I loved seeing the flowers and identifying all the different plants growing along the roadside.

The best things in life are often the simplest, don’t you agree?

 

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Biophilia

Today, Mary-Anne Mace, New Zealand lace designer extraordinaire, released Biophilia.
Biophilia
(photo copyright of Mary-Anne Mace)
I am so very, very touched that Mary-Anne has freely contributed this design to the Sustain the Sea initiative. She brought tears to my eyes when I saw what she had created, and read her message below.  Here are her words about Biophilia:
“Biophilia is a term first used by psychologist Erich Fromm, and developed by biologist E. O Wilson to describe a hypothetically innate human tendency to feel an emotional attachment to the natural world.

 Regardless of whether the tendency for biophilia exists or not, human dependence upon the natural world and its complex ecosystems is a fundamental truth.  The idea that human wellbeing is utterly dependent upon our positive interactions with the natural world and its biological diversity makes conservation of the planet’s ecological systems imperative. This decades old theory is even more relevant today as we continue to transform the planet in our quest for perpetual economic growth.

This shawl, Biophilia is a part of the Sustain the Sea collection. It is a free pattern, and yet it is not free. I ask that you consider your relationship with the natural world around you, and how your activities impact upon it. Is there something you can do to reverse environmental degradation from your home, in your community? I ask that you actively do something, and continue to do something that benefits the environment. To be effective, conservation and protection of the Earth’s resources and ecosystems must be adopted in the home, and then spread outwards through workplaces, schools, boardrooms, and government departments via policy makers, educators, parents, conservationists, writers, idealists, you and me. From the home to the sea – while environmental degradation may seem an insurmountable by-product of human activity – together we are many. Together we are so many, many people – ourselves a huge, diverse, and imaginative repository of information, solutions and actions that can benefit the environment, our relationship to it, and ultimately our own wellbeing.

Biophilia is a top-down crescent shaped shawl that represents my own connection to and affection for the natural environment. The motifs represent filament strands of entangled seaweed billowing in the ocean currents. Beads are worked at the edge and drip from each picot point.” – Mary-Anne Mace

Biophilia 2

(photo copyright of Mary-Anne Mace)

Thank you, Mary-Anne.

I’m sure you will agree that Biophilia is a stunningly beautiful shawl.  Mary-Anne has very eloquently expressed much of what I feel, and now I have a name to put to it:  Biophilia!

I’ll be casting on for this shawl very soon.  Join me!  Download the pattern on Ravelry – link here.


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This week

Well hello there, and a Happy Sunday to you!

Thank you so much for your lovely comments and support for my latest sock pattern, Sprig.  I’m so happy that you like it!

With Sprig finally off my radar, I’ve been focusing on finalising the pattern for my next design, Daisy.  With each passing design, my concepts seem to get more and more intricate, and although I am Super Happy with this next sock, I know it is going to be a possibly too fiddly for many.  It’s not really one of those talking and knitting designs.  So… I have also developed an alternative version which retains the main concept but does allow talking and knitting at the same time.  I am finishing the writing and testing phase now.  It is a very fun design – it will allow you to use up sock yarn scraps too!

I do have a finished object to show you!

Reyna

Reyna is done.  I love how it has turned out in Noro.  I added a picot bind-off to make it a bit more feminine.  It is a small scarf rather than a shawl in my opinion.  I think you could have a lot of fun with it in sport or DK weight – it would become a beautiful, large version that would be very snuggly in winter.

Having finished Reyna, I felt a large hole open up in my world of shawl WIPs… and quickly cast on for another one…

Empty Nets

This is the beginning of Empty Nets, a gorgeous design from Sonya Newbold that is also a contribution to the Sustain the Sea initiative, still very much on my mind.  I’m using Zealana Kiwi Laceweight in the Ponamu colourway.  Sonya is a very clever designer.  I love how this design is going to start splitting at this point into the net shapes with the wave borders on either side.

I have to share some yarn love.  When Anna Gratton featured these beauties, some had to come home to me!  The first is her Ocean colourway – it is a 400g hank of merino/mohair.  The second is Iris, in 100% wool fingering weight.

Anna Gratton yarns

I do have a particular project in mind for Ocean.  I thought it would make a very nice Kate Davies Northmavine Hap.  To my great joy, I have discovered that I do have the exact right match for the grey contrast!

Northmavine hap yarns

My early morning strolls in the garden to collect food for the rabbit and guinea pig have given me so much delight. It is such a nice way to start the day.

Wild poppy

A delicate wild poppy in the field next door, little papery petals still opening up.  So fleeting that if you do not catch a photo when you see it, the petals will have dropped before you come back.

Blueberry

The blueberry bush is very happy in its new home in the vegetable patch, and promises lots of delicious berries soon!

Purple chard

My mutant chard looked stunning against the rising sun.  New growth is appearing to replace the winter-worn leaves, but I did like the effect of the pink veins contrasting with the green leaves in the early morning light.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

 

 

 

 


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Sprig

Today, I am very happy to bring you a sock that celebrates Spring.  It is the second design in the Nature Series.

Peach blossom

This Spring, I have spent an inordinate amount of time happily staring at blossoms.

Plum blossom

Beautiful spring flowers, bluebells and snow drops.

snow drop

blue bell

I wanted to conceptualise the lacey, curved look of the flowers and blossoms in bare branches and settled on this.

Sprig socks

They are called Sprig.  The lacey design at once hints at the structure of the blossoms and the tangle of bare branches.

Sprig

They are a reasonably simple knit, just an eight stitch repeat.  If you are a very experienced lace knitter, you could knit these without having to refer to the pattern very much, but the rest of us will need to glance at the chart.

I have provided both written and charted instructions.  A few may be pleased to know that the only purl stitches needed in this pattern are in the ribbing and heel flap.

I’m not a confident user of test knitters, so I generally knit at least two versions of each sock pattern I produce myself, to make sure the pattern works.  It is still a terrifying experience to release a pattern… what if it has a mistake!!!?  I’ll get over it one day. 🙂

These versions were knitted in Soft Like Kittens’ Noodle Sock (grey):

IMG_0922 (800x793)

and Vintage Purls Sock:

Sprig

The pattern is available on Ravelry.

Happy Socktober!!

 

 


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The Tui

The Kowhai tree in the garden has suddenly sprung into life this week and from what seems like nowhere, beautiful golden blossoms have appeared.

Kowhai tree

I swear I didn’t even see it budding!

Sitting outside, enjoying the last bit of the warm evening air, doing a spot of knitting and drinking a nice cold beer, I became aware of someone enjoying a nectar feast.

Tui

Loudly, be proclaimed this garden to be his personal preserve.

Tui 2

Look at his fluffed feathers as he calls his particular song of clicks, whistles and calls.  Tui are not songsters like the thrush or the blackbird, but they have a very distinctive, flute-like call.  Each Tui has his or her own song, so you can tell if the same one inhabits your garden after a while.

Tui 3

Such a pretty bird!  They are the first ones up in the morning, calling even before the sun begins to lighten the sky, and the last ones to bed, calling even after it has long become dark.

Tui 4

I love the mantle of white features and the white necktie bobbles.  See his beak covered in pollen?

Tui 5

The Kowhai tree has flowers rich in nectar, and is a favourite of the Tui.  You can be guaranteed a visit from these lovely birds if you have one in your garden!

I feel so lucky!  A Kereru on Monday, a Tui on Tuesday, what will I see tomorrow!?  😀

 

 


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The nature series: Bark

I love to make beautiful fabric.

Knitting

The feel of the yarn as it threads through fingers and around needles.

The enjoyment of seeing a beautiful thing coming out of what was once (very pretty) wool string.

Creating

The excitement of seeing a concept become reality!

Sock

I’ve been looking at a lot of texture in nature lately.  Bark and the things that grow on bark have been particularly fascinating.

BarkThey have inspired and motivated.

Bark socks

These are the first design in my nature series.

Bark socks 2

As you can expect, they are called Bark.  🙂

I have used Tanis Fibre Arts’ Blue Label (80% wool, 20% nylon) in the Tartan colourway.  It is, I think, perfectly matched to the inspiration, where you can see many colours that harmoniously blend on the bark of a tree.

This is an easy pattern, designed for knitters who want an interesting sock to knit without having to concentrate too much.  This pattern suits any standard weight sock yarn.  The stitch pattern is in multiples of four, which means that it can be easily adapted for non-standard sock yarn weights or other sizing by the addition or subtraction of stitches.  Sizing is provided for an adult small, medium or large size.  You need approximately 320m of yarn for the medium size.

I’m making the first of these designs free, in celebration of the free joy that nature gives us.  Download here.

I plan to release three designs in all.

Enjoy!