Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life


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Unexpectedly

Hello!

I have been unexpectedly absent from the blog for a couple of weeks due to coming down with the flu, a family vacation and some very busy times at work. It’s good to be back chatting with you!

We had an all-siblings and family get together to celebrate my father’s 70th birthday. These photos are taken at Mount Maunganui (or looking across from Tauranga to Mount Maunganui) and are my teenage stomping grounds. It was lovely to be on the beach again, feeling the sand under my toes. It was a contrast to Wellington beaches which are mostly rocky, with their own kind of wild beauty. Very different in character to the gentle, soft sand beaches I grew up on.

You can see larger images of these pictures by clicking on them.

Some knitting has been done, but not much, sadly.

I was unusually sick with the flu for several days, which even affected my ability to knit. (Fortunately, I was able to recover enough to attend my family gathering). And work has also eaten significantly into my spare time recently.

These projects cover the last two weeks – the cardigan is a Drops pattern that I am modifying as I go. I do not fancy the extended garter lapel in the front, so I will keep it straight edged. The cardigan has enough width without me needing to any extra stitches. I also plan to knit plain sleeves so that the overall effect is not too lacy. The yarn is very special Madelinetosh Pashmina in Tart. A generous gift from a very loving knitting friend.

The socks on the top are the finished  V-Junkie socks, knit in Knitsch 100% merino sock, and the bottom pair are a plain vanilla pair worked in two colours. I used a now-discontinued indie dyer’s high twist merino sock yarn. They are the first contrasting toe/heel/cuff socks I have made, and I am quite pleased with how they have turned out! They are also an effective way to use up those partial balls of sock yarn that aren’t quite enough to knit a pair of socks out of. I used approx 30gm of contrast sock colour and 60gm of the main colour.

One of the unexpected delights of the new place I am living in is the profusion of flowers that bloom in spring. I leave you with a small montage of some of the prettiness I see every day. It gladdens my heart – I hope to share a small piece of that joy with you.

My father and I were having a discussion one day about plants, and gardens, and the simple pleasures of enjoying a piece of freshly picked fruit, or delight in a gorgeous bloom. He made the observation that the tree or plant you put in the ground is a gift to future generations, and that we are but temporary custodians of their fruit and beauty. Wise words indeed. Such a simple act of planting can so powerfully contribute to someone’s future quality of life. After all, if it wasn’t for the efforts of previous people who lived in this house, I would not have all this loveliness to enjoy now. I shall look after this garden, and add to it, so that others can continue to enjoy it long after we are gone.

A happy weekend to you, and Happy Knitting!

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Many things

Hello!  I hope this post finds you well, and enjoying life.

I have been missing in action on this blog for a week because life has been quite eventful (in a good way), being the school holidays, and I seem to be finding it hard to find the concentration to sit and write at the moment. Thank you for your patience.  I do not intend to give up blogging as it is a much appreciated means of communicating with like-minded people like you, my dear readers.

One of the things we have got up to was a quick trip to the mountains.

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There was not much snow on the Central Plateau. It has been a very mild winter so far.  But there was enough for the kids to have fun sledding. Mostly, it was great to catch up with my siblings and their families, whom I have not seen for some months.

Let’s get into the knitting news!

I have been very honoured to contribute a pattern for another sock box. This one is from Yarn Crush. My pattern is coming out in October, and I’ll be giving you more hints as time goes on, but I thought I would point out this well-priced product if you are interested in subscribing.

Also watch out for a few more sock pattern releases from me in the near future. The samples are piling up, so time to get down to business and finish the patterns! The first one I want to release is this, the Sassy Socks.

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You may recall that this was the PostStitch SockStitch pattern for June. Did I ever link you to their interview with me and Hannah Ginn of Circus Tonic Handmade, whose yarn was in that box?  Those articles are here if you want to read.

I also have a few finished objects to show you.

Here is the beautiful Liliaceous shawl, another gorgeous design by Mary-Anne Mace.

Liliaceous

I used Zealana Kiwi Laceweight in the Fern colourway. It took almost all of four balls to knit.

As usual, the pattern is beautifully written. I loved knitting it, despite making a terrible mistake in the final chart (my own fault), and having to rip out a day’s work in order to reknit the edging correctly. These things happen!
Liliaceous

This shawl is a thank you gift for the very nice person who was kind enough to give me a job at the beginning of the year.

I also finished the fingerless gloves, and they have been appreciatively received by the eldest boy. Thank goodness he likes them!

Fingerless gloves

I am still working on the Swan River cardigan. It is almost time to make the second armhole, which means that I should be nearing completion in about a week (she says!)

It is also time to finish the Southern Skies shawl, which has been hibernating for some months.

Southern skies shawl

The thing that concerns me is that despite using much larger needles, the shawl still seems to be much smaller than I would like it to be. I will add on a significant lace border if that is the case – I have plenty of yarn to make that modification. Between that and blocking, I should get the size I desire!

Happy Knitting!

 

 


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River walk

Hello!

I promised some photos of the new environs once we got out and about.  Today, the eldest boy and I went for a walk by the Hutt River.  It was lovely.

Hutt River

The sound of the water rushing over the rocks was so restful.

Autumn on the river

The leaves are finally starting to change!

River walk

It was nice to be close to nature again.

I especially enjoyed looking at all the different colours and textures in the rocks.

Rocks

Colours

We met some of the locals.

Plovers

I was pleased to be able to get reasonably close to these spur-winged plovers.  Their little masks are so cute!

Spur-winged plover

It was a lovely interlude.

Hutt River walk

 


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Hot air

It’s the Wairarapa Balloon Festival this week.  The boy and I got up early to go and see the balloons.

It was just past dawn when the first one drifted into view.

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Definitely the most novel of all the balloons!

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Or was it?

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I thought the lighthouse definitely got points for novelty too.

IMG_1947 (800x800)The balloonists had set a course to drift over one of two ‘X’s set close to the town square.  The balloon that dropped their marker closest to the ‘X’ got the best score.  It was awesome to be so close to them!

It was interesting to learn that once air borne, it is not possible to change the course of the balloon – they can only go up or down. The skill of the pilot is in calculating how wind direction, speed and shear will affect their balloon’s flight path and launching at the right place.  By changing their altitude they can also gain access to differing air streams that can help them to change direction, but it is not an exact science by any means, from what I could see.  Not all the balloonists were able to drop their markers – some missed the drop points by quite a distance.

What a fascinating morning!

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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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A rural day out

Having moved to rural New Zealand, I am determined to enjoy all that being ‘in the country’ (as we say here) has to offer.  The annual Wairarapa Agricultural & Pastoral Society Show is being held this weekend, so the young man and I trotted along to see what was to be found!  For the benefit of readers who are not familiar with this kind of show, it is a local festival celebrating the best of the rural activity of the area that we live in.  There were sheep and cattle shown for judging, shearing and wool handling competitions, a wood chopping competition, baking and art competitions, agricultural vehicle and other equipment displays, many food and goods stalls and of course, a fairground for the kids.  It was a very interesting day out.

Well, the first thing that we saw were the sheep!  So many pretty sheep!!

Sheep

This particular fellow is a champion crossbred ram.  His fleece was incredibly thick – about half of that sheep is wool!  He was very friendly.  As you can see, he was loving the head scratches.  Look at that adorable face!

Friendly ram

Here was a lovely mama ewe and her twin lambs.  So cute, one black and one white.

Ewe and lambs

Champion fleece on display.

Fleece

There were also cattle being shown.

Cattle show

So clean and shiny.  It’s a pity they don’t always look like this… (the ones in the fields usually have poo all down the backs of their legs.  It looks gross.)

Cattle show

These pretty jerseys were waiting their turn to be judged.

Chickens

I’m still thinking about those chickens.  I want some so much!!

Yarn

There was yarn to be seen, but not bought.  These skeins were handspun that had been entered for the competition.

Knitting

I spied socks!

There was a hilarious sheep racing competition, complete with jockeys!

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Here they are at full gallop.

Sheep racing

There was motivation to race…

Sheep race

The first one to the end got to eat the most sheep nuts!

Equine show

There were riding events happening.  Such beautifully turned out horses and their riders!

Shearing competition

Of course, I had to watch the shearing and wool handling competition!  While these guys were being judged on their ability to shear,

Wool handling

these ladies were doing something equally fascinating, which was skirting and handling the fleece after shearing. They were being judged on their performance and speed.  It was also their job to take the fleece off the platform and keep the floor around the shearers clean of debris.  Fascinating to see the fleece able to be laid out on the table all in one piece after it came off the sheep.

Shearing

Lovely clean wool coming off the sheep.

All shorn!

And here they are, post haircut, waiting to go back to the farm.

There was a lot more to be seen of course, but I thought I’d just show you the interesting bits.  🙂

We went home and decorated the front yard for Halloween, but unfortunately, it seems that trick or treating is not a popular thing here in the Wairarapa, and we got no visitors!

Halloween

The young man was most disappointed. We thought this year that we would stay home and hand out treats instead of venturing out.  I’ll have to investigate options for next year!

Sunset

Still, it was a lovely day, and we had a beautiful ending as well.

If you celebrate Halloween, a Happy Halloween to you, and may your kids get lots of candy!