Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life

Swan River Cardigan


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As fast as you can

Knit, knit, knit as fast as you can! Winter is nearly at an end, and it feels like it has only just begun. The season in New Zealand really is far too short in my opinion! In fact, this year, I think Winter happened last week, with the rest of it more like Autumn conditions. I really hope this is not the beginning of generally warmer winters.

This week, I was really happy to finally finish my Swan River Cardigan. Sorry about the weird poses… I was trying to show the way the cardigan falls at the side!

I have never knit one of these very simply constructed cardigans before. It is essentially knit sideways as a long rectangle with two slits for the armholes, and then you add sleeves.

It is as it was designed in the pattern – with drop shoulders which means that the cardigan is quite loose-fitting and definitely a spring/summer or indoor cardigan rather than something for winter outdoors.

The only mods I made were to make the sleeves plain, rather than lace. I felt there would be too much lace otherwise. I also added an extra cm of length to the fronts to make them just a bit longer than originally designed.

I am totally in love with the yarn. You may recall that this is the Luxury Lambswool 4 ply, dyed as a a one-off special for me from Maniototo Wool. However, the very same yarn is available from Happy-go-knitty as the Hakatere base (you may have to contact her about it or find it at KAN if you are going – it doesn’t appear to be in the Etsy store although I have seen it on Helene’s Instagram feed), and from Ruataniwha Dye Studio (again, best to enquire).  I used 390gms of yarn, which amounted to approx 827m/905yds. I highly recommend it! It is incredibly soft, which a beautiful drape and sheen.

I am very happy I got a sufficient quantity to make one more thing – a shawl.

Last week, I also received some happy mail!

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Yarn Crush wrote to me and asked if I would be interested in reviewing one of their boxes. As you know, I would never say no to anything knitting related!

This cute box contains enough alpaca/cotton yarn to make one of the two enclosed patterns (both a market bag – one crochet, one knit), a very  decorative draw string, badges and a notebook. They have quite a unique offering. Each box is different – go have a look at their website to find out more!

With Winter fast approaching an end, I thought I had better be nice and knit the young man the balaclava he has his heart set on.

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Unfortunately, I misread the quantity of yarn required – it needs 200g!  And I only ordered one skein… guess it will have to wait to be finished when the yarn arrives. It is very clever – looks like a normal hat, but then you can pull it down over your face and turn into a jack-o-lantern, which the boy loved the idea of! This is also in Maniototo Wool – the Aran Style, in the Matai colourway.

I hope you are having a lovely weekend.

 

 

 


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Zinging along

Hello!  Welcome to the weekend!

It has been a busy couple of weeks chez Kiwiyarns.  There have been jobs to apply for, and agents to see.  No news yet, but we’ll just keep working at it.

I am really appreciating not feeling exhausted all the time.  The first week after finishing work was spent in a state of comatose fatigue.  I think my body took the opportunity for rest and greedily decided that I could sleep for the whole week!!  I am now feeling a lot more refreshed and energetic, and able to knit for long periods of time without falling asleep!!

In between looking for that elusive day job, very happy times knitting all the things, planning future posts about New Zealand yarns and thinking about new designs have been had. If only this could be a full-time occupation!

Today, I want to tell you about KnitPro Zing needles.  I am not sure when these were introduced on to the market, but they are marked “new” so they must be very recent.  I discovered the circulars at Holland Road Yarn Company – their bright colours caught my eye at the counter.  As I am always eager to try new needles some had to come home!

The Zings seriously impressed.  So much that I had to get a double-pointed set to go with my circulars! I got these ones at Vintage Purls.

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Notice how mine are gold?  That’s because it’s the colour code for 2.25mm needles.  Every size in this range has its own colour – isn’t that neat!? No more squinting at the size printed on the needle or checking with the needle gauge – you can tell the size from looking at the colour.  Good thing I like gold.

The reason I love these needles so much is because KnitPro has finally got everything right:

  • It’s a lightweight needle made of a superior grade lightweight metal.  KnitPro doesn’t specify what metal is used, but it is light, and very strong.
  • It is extremely smooth, almost (but not) too smooth to the point that you have to be careful that your stitches don’t slip off the needles!
  • There is no join between the tip and the stem of the needle.  More plus factor on the smooth knitting front.
  • The handle of the circulars is long.  I have real trouble with short circular needles.  These are the perfect size for me. I wondered if I was imagining the stem as being longer, so I got out an assortment of needles (all sized 2.25mm) to compare their lengths.  Turns out, I wasn’t.

circular needles

  • If you are interested, the needles in the photo (from above) are Addi Lace, KnitPro Symfonie, KnitPro Zing and KnitPro Karbonz.
  • You can see that the Zing needles are clearly the longest needle in the lot, even though I haven’t been able to accurately align all the needles.
  • Best of all, I love the tips: They are pointy enough to pick up stitches neatly, yet not so pointy as to poke holes in one’s fingers.  The points are also short enough that minimal finger movement is required to wrap the yarn around the needle to create a new stitch.  Have a look at the photo below.  I refer to the “point” as the part where the tapering ends.  You can see that there is a much shorter point on the Zing compared to a Symfonie.

Needles comparison

I think that a lot of thought has gone into creating these wonder needles.  I discovered how much easier they made my knitting when I picked up a sock WIP on my usual wooden KnitPro Symfonies.  Oh dear.  Not as wonderful as the Zings!  That shorter point and smoother stem makes a massive difference to my knitting comfort.

Just to clarify, I haven’t been paid by any party to endorse these needles.  I’m just sharing my latest wonderful discovery.

Looking at the background project in the photos it reminds me that I may have forgotten to show you my progress on Empty Nets since I cast on.  I have shown it on Instagram, but have forgotten to talk about it here!  Tut, tut!

Empty Nets

This photo is much more colour accurate that the ones above with the needles.  I have already completed the 17 repeats required in the pattern, but I want to make this a nice big shawl so I’m going to go for a few more repeats until I’m happy with the size.  A couple more repeats should do it.  I have plenty of the Zealana Kiwi laceweight that I’m using which means I do not have to worry about running out of yarn.  Hopefully I can show you a finished object in a couple of days!

I’ll be back in a few days to tell you about the rest of my projects.  I think I have taken up enough of your time for one day!

Wishing you a good weekend.

Since writing this post, I logged onto the news to see the dreadful attack in Paris.  I hope you are all safe.  A terrible day for our world.


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COZI by name, Cosy by nature

Last week, a little package of sock yarn delight arrived in the mail courtesy of Zealana.  It made me extremely happy.

Zealana Cozi

Peppermint colourway

My fellow knitters, I am excited to introduce COZI, Zealana’s first sock yarn!

Cozi has been anxiously anticipated by me for what seems like at least a year, ever since I heard a little whisper that there was going to be a Zealana sock yarn. The wait has been torturous!!  I am not sure the yarn lasted an hour after arriving in my house before it was doing its thing on my eager needles!

Cozi is every bit as lovely as I hoped it would be.  Zealana’s aim is to make amazing yarn, and they have done it again with Cozi, producing one of the most interesting sock yarns to enter the market this year! Let’s have a closer look to see why!

Cozi is made from 58% merino, 15% New Zealand brushtail possum down, 5% baby alpaca and 22% nylon (2% of that is elastic nylon). This creates a yarn that feels luxuriously special, is very soft and yet durable.

The yarn had me smiling all over from the moment I cast on.  It is a beautifully plump, cohesive strand, with the most surprising spring and just the right amount of ‘squish’ factor.  Knitting with it, you quickly develop a smooth rhythm and even tension as the yarn slides easily over the needles and sits nicely in hand.

Construction

The tight twist and finely balanced combination of fibres has created a smooth strand that holds together very well.  I am very good at splitting yarn whilst knitting, yet I experienced only one incident of a strand not making it onto the loop with its siblings – a record for me, and a testament to the good construction of Cozi.  There is also no shedding of fibre as you knit.

Zealana Cozi sock yarn

Currant colourway

All Zealana yarns are constructed thoughtfully, and Cozi is no exception.  If  you have knitted with a possum sock yarn before, you are likely to have found it lacks much spring.  Cozi is different.  It is delightfully springy!  Jimad Khan, Marketing Manager at Zealana, tells me that using Zealana’s unique finishing technique, the 4 ply yarn was semi-felted around an ultra-fine texturised nylon filament (elastic nylon). This elastic nylon amplifies the spring from the twist by adding extra recovery to the fabric.  Add to this the qualities of possum down (softness and warmth and reduction of pilling) merino wool (body, spring and all of wool’s wonderful properties), baby alpaca (more softness and warmth) and nylon (for strength), and you get a super cushiony fabric which is soft, warm, light, comfortable to wear and adorably hugable – all trademark qualities of Zealana yarns.

High twist

Close-up of the high twist in Cozi.

I was initially concerned that the high nylon content would impact the feel of the yarn.  I’m not a fan of yarns where you can feel that nylon squeak.   My fears were at once pacified when I got hold of the yarn.  None of the beautiful feel of natural wool, alpaca and possum has been compromised at all.

I was very interested to see that the merino wool used in this yarn has not been superwash treated.  This aspect has also contributed to the spring and body in Cozi because the merino wool has lost none of its super springy characteristics.  I also like the implied environmental benefits of not using strong chemicals to treat the wool.  Jimad also told me that a higher micron merino wool was used, which should make it a more robust yarn.  The benefit gained in fabric texture and overall sock durability as a result far outweighs the traditional expectation of machine washability.  Given the nylon content, it is not likely that this yarn will shrink easily.  I am a reasonably careless washer of my hand knits and wash my possum garments (none of which are technically machine washable) on the handwash cycle using cold water. They always come out without mishap.  The same will apply to garments in this yarn.

Another side benefit of this beautifully textured yarn is that there is a bit more surface tension happening in the knitting than in most sock yarns.  If you happen to accidentally drop a stitch, you will find it sits meekly where you left it, waiting for you to pick it up, as opposed to naughtily running a couple of rows down like a few other sock yarns I know…

Gauge

Cozi has been made heavier (meaning, fatter) than most sock yarns.  At its recommended 28 sts/40 rows over 10cm/4 inches, (7 sts to 2.5cm/one inch) it sits on the outer edge of a typical sock yarn gauge.  Experienced socks knitters will recall that the standard sock gauge is usually closer to 32 sts/48 rows over 10cm/4 inches (8 sts to 2.5cm/one inch).  The heavier weight of the yarn has also influenced the meterage:  each 50g ball has only 170m (186y).  Many sock yarns are closer to 180m (200y) and above per 50g.  With 22% nylon and 15% possum down (both very light fibres) in the mix, you would expect more yardage in the ball – obviously, the extra weight has gone into a bulkier strand.

Because Cozi is a sock yarn on the heavier end of the spectrum, I strongly recommend experimenting with 2.5mm to 2.75mm needles when you first knit with this yarn to avoid extreme discomfort when knitting.  My own sock in Cozi is knitting at 32 sts over 10cm (8 sts to one inch) using 2.5mm needles, which I find is creating a very dense fabric and sits on the outer edge of my knitting comfort tolerance.  Even though the yarn itself may be comfortable to knit, if you create a fabric where the gauge is too tight, this can be very uncomfortable to knit as it becomes a struggle to manipulate the needles correctly.  I am surprised that despite using a larger needle than recommended, my gauge is still smaller than the indicated gauge, but this should mean that you will be able to get reasonably good results with most sock patterns that call for a yarn with average sock weight.  Zealana’s website recommendation for this yarn of 2.25 – 3.25mm is a good indicator of needle size range.

Bloom

The possum fibre in this yarn does not make itself fully known until after you start knitting, and creates just the gentlest haze over the fabric surface.  Zealana has cleverly used possum down in this yarn, the same possum down as used in their very coveted AIR range.  It creates a yarn with a very fine halo that is barely noticeable yet feels wonderfully soft to brush your fingers over it.

You never know how much a possum yarn will bloom until you wash it though.  Here is a comparison between a sock that has been soaked in warm water and a not-yet-washed sock.

Washed and unwashed sock

In reality, there is not much visual difference at all, apart from the washed sock (on the right) looking more ‘finished’ than the unwashed sock.  However, wet blocking (ie. washing) has brought the possum down to the surface, and the gentlest soft-focus haze covers the knitting.  My stitches have also evened out nicely.

I decided to tempt fate and used warm water to soak this sock (the ball band recommends cold washing).  It has not affected size at all.  However, if you were to put your socks in the handwash cycle of a machine, I would recommend sticking to the cold wash recommendation.

Here’s a closer look at the washed sock:

Washed sock

And the yet-to-be washed sock:

Unwashed sock

Uses

Cozi produces superb stitch definition and would suit any pattern that uses gansey-style stitch patterning, knit/purl combinations or cables.  You could get a lace pattern with reasonable amounts of stockinette to work but I’d be cautious about using it for anything too intricate.

Cozi was so compulsive to knit that I finished one sock in a weekend.  Slipping it on, I discovered another little secret to the elasticated yarn:  it creates a sock that really hugs your foot!  It felt like a warm, gentle embrace and most definitely cosy!  I did not want to take it off!

Although designed specifically for socks, the yarn’s great stretch recovery means that it would make amazingly cosy gloves and hats as well, and I can even imagine stretchy baby garments in this yarn.

Pricing

Sitting in Zealana’s cost-effective Artisan range, Cozi retails at NZ$14.50 a ball.  Given that the yarn contains 15% possum down, I’d say this is pretty good value.  It compares very favourably against other possum sock yarns in the market.

Conclusion

I think it is safe to assume that Cozi will take its place as one of the ‘must haves’ in the stash of any hard-core sock knitter.  Will I personally be knitting with this yarn again?  You bet!!  In fact, I was so anxious about using up the balls I received from Zealana, that I promptly ordered more online from Mynx!  I am yet to see this yarn listed at any of my local yarn stores, but I doubt that will be the case for much longer.

I can see much knitting of Cozi socks (and gloves, and hats) in my future!

 

 

 

 


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Pilana, the yarn from the Pihepe sheep

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a private company informing me that they were starting a line of knitting yarn.  Obviously, the idea of new yarn on the market was a greatly exciting prospect, and I eagerly awaited the arrival of some sample yarn.

Pilana is a new yarn brand brought to us by New Zealand entrepreneur Roger Beattie under his company R&N Beattie Partnership.

Pilana

This is a yarn that has been developed to showcase the wool of Pihepe sheep.  It is an interesting woollen-spun 4 ply with very soft twist, and comes in its natural brown in three synergistic blends:  50% Pihepe, 25% merino and 25% cashmere,  possum or alpaca.

Pilana is an 100% New Zealand yarn – grown, processed and spun in New Zealand.  Even the cashmere has been sourced in New Zealand.  The company have gone to considerable effort to produce a yarn line that reflects the true qualities of Pihepe wool, which in among other interesting qualities, has very high crimp.

According to the Beattie website, Pihepe originate from the Pitt Island wild sheep flock.  This flock, in turn, originates from Saxony Merinos brought to the Chatham Islands by Baron von Alsdorf in 1841.  Recognising the important commercial value of Pitt Island Wild Sheep, Roger and his wife have been bringing flocks of these sheep from where they have been living in isolation for over 100 years, to their organic land at Lucas Bay in Canterbury.  The sheep, organically raised by the Beatties are known as “Pihepe”.  I encourage you to read more of their fascinating story here.

I was generously supplied with two samples – the possum and alpaca blends.

Pilana Alpaca blend

What is the yarn like?

It is a very softly woollen spun, 4 ply yarn.  It has about the same strand strength as that of J&S Shetland 2 ply or Kauni. True to its merino roots, this yarn is also very soft, especially so once washed.

The soft woollen spin has created a very lofty yarn, with a lot of bounce and what I’d describe as a spongy ‘squish’ factor.  I suspect that the fleece of the Pihepe also has a fairly short staple, given the look of the sheep in photos, and the fact that each sheep only produces 1kg of fleece.  This would also add to the loftiness of the yarn.

In terms of performance, I am not sure the yarn will be strong enough for socks, or for heavy duty garments.  As a sweater, shawl, hat, baby garment or blanket, I would say it is very suitable.

Is Pilana any different to what is already on the scene in New Zealand?  I think I would say yes.   There are few 4 ply or lightweight woollen spun yarns in the market (in fact, I’m struggling to recall a single brand that falls into this category apart from possum yarn). There are also very few yarns with this level of airy lightness (this is probably the “soft loft” the company refers to the label).  I find that quality particularly attractive as I’ve been looking for a yarn like this for a while.

Personally, I would love to see a 100% Pihepe wool yarn.  After reading about how great the wool of this sheep is, this wool lover is desperate to know how it performs on its own!  I find the addition of the alpaca or possum a bit of a distraction.  It is difficult to get a feel for the wool’s true characteristics, with the overlaid fuzz of the luxury fibres.

I was also a little disappointed that there was no nice sheepy scent to this yarn, especially with its minimal processing claims.  After enquiries, I was told that the mill required the lanolin to be scoured out as it would ‘gunk up the machines’.  They are looking to get a bit of the lanolin back into the yarn.  A good move, in my opinion.  I gather that the fleece was scoured organically, and there are also plans to try to have this yarn spun organically, to be as true to organic principles  as possible.

Despite the gauge recommendation on the label, I believe this yarn is what I would call heavy fingering/sport weight.  I got a very nice fabric using 3.75mm needles, with a gauge of 22 sts to 10cm/4″.

I suspected from the look of the yarn that it would bloom significantly once I washed it, and I was not disappointed.

washed swatches

Compare the look of the washed samples to the balls of yarn, and you can see the level of haze that develops in the fabric. The swatch on the left is the alpaca blend, and the swatch on the right is the possum blend.

I was keen to see how much stitch definition I’d get with the possum yarn, and so I knitted a small row of diamond pattern and eyelets into one section of the swatch.  As you can see in the image, it blooms so much that this yarn would not be suitable for projects with delicate stitch detail.   Here’s a closer look:

possum pilana swatch

I am having visions of a hat in this yarn, and once I get my current design finalised, I will most likely turn my attention to knitting one to test how it performs as a knitted garment.

Each ball contains a generous 180m.  This means that you can easily get a hat out of one ball, and two would give you a nice sized shawlette or a baby garment.  This makes it reasonably economical, although I am still wincing at price.  At $16.45+ postage for a 50g ball of  alpaca yarn, and $19 + postage for a 50g ball of possum or cashmere blend, it is not a yarn that the average person would want to rush out and buy a garment-lot of.  I guess the low fleece yield, combined with the slow processing time has added to the cost to produce this yarn.

I do hope that they continue to develop this yarn, and I’d love to see a 100% Pihepe yarn.  I wonder if there is also enough fleece colour variation to eventually produce different shades of natural yarn?

I love that New Zealand’s unique sheep breeds are being utilised, and kudos to the Beatties for their love of the sheep and their work with wool!  It’s a good thing to see.

 

 

 


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The Wool from Maniototo

When Mary Furness Weir first wrote to me about a 100% New Zealand wool yarn she was developing, I was very excited.  100% New Zealand wool yarn in aran weight?  That sounded interesting!  We don’t have much aran weight yarn in New Zealand.

Then she told me the yarn was from Halfbred sheep (the sheep bred from Merino/Romney cross), and that sounded even better!  I expected there would be heaps of bounce, it would be a light but strong yarn, and soft.

Here’s a picture of the sheep that produce the wool for this yarn on the station where they live (photo courtesy of Maniototo Wool and the owners of these sheep, the Duncan family):

Halfbreed ewes on hill - Maniototo

I just love how the sheep are looking curiously at the photographer, and their generally calm demeanour (sheep can be quite scatty, so I am impressed).

These sheep live in an area of Otago in the South Island called Maniototo (hence the name chosen to brand this yarn, “Maniototo Wool”).  Have a look at the Maniototo and  Central Otago website to learn more about this special part of New Zealand.  It features the perfect wool growing temperature and climate.  The Duncans have further enhanced the climatic conditions by a strict focus on breeding Halfbreds that produce good quality wool of between 22 – 24 microns.  This makes the wool a ‘mid-micron’ range, but still soft enough not to have prickle factor.

You’ll read on the Maniototo Wool’s website how Mary bought just one fleece to hand spin, and was so enchanted by the results that she decided to start a yarn line!  A first batch of fleece was acquired, and Mary set about having it scoured and then spun at a boutique mill in the South Island.  She waited patiently for the yarn to arrive… then spent a long time developing colours inspired by the local landscape that were ‘just right’, and could be repeatable hand dye lots…. and this is what it has become:

Maniototo Wool

More shades have been developed since this picture was taken by Mary.  See all the colours, and read more about this beautiful example of good New Zealand wool here.

The Halfbred fleece used to spin yarn for Maniototo Wool has been carefully classed by the wool handler at shearing time into ‘lines’ based on the characteristics of the fleece. 

Mary chose 24 micron fleece for this batch because spinners can manage it more easily than the finer wool – 100g bags of sliver are also being made available for sale.   Quality has been further assured by the wool being lab tested for evenness of fibre thickness throughout the fleece (it is called CV testing).

Mary very generously sent me a sample to try, and this is what I found:

The yarn is beautifully soft (not butter soft like merino, but still very able to be worn next to the skin).  It has a lovely loft in both the yarn and the knitted fabric.  It is indeed light and airy for its weight, and boy, is it strong!  The batch that I received is beautifully dyed – a nice semi-solid.

Here’s my swatch, which I tested for pilling by continuously carrying it around at the bottom of my bag (purse) for the past three months… (this treatment usually produces lots of pills in wool garments knitted in yarn prone to it).

Maniototo Wool

I have done no picking off of pills, or otherwise to this swatch, other than to brush off a bit of debris collected from the bottom of my bag…  Can you guess which one got the ‘bag’ treatment?  It’s the one on the left in the photo.  Apart from a very slight fuzz, it looks virtually identical to the “un-tumbled” swatch.

I’m convinced it’s indestructible.  Mary will tell you that there is a bit of odd ball pilling that occurs from frequent wear, but I figure it’s the type of garment that will continue to look great for a long, long time.

I talked about this yarn briefly when I first got it, and as you can see, it does very well with cables.  I’m working on a design at the moment, but progress is slow because of my current affliction with “sockitis”…

You may remember my posts about the Shepherd Hoodie by Kate Davies.  Well, I think this yarn would make an excellent Shepherd Hoodie for one thing!  The Maniototo Wool website also features a few lovely free patterns available with yarn purchase that give you an idea of how it knits up.

This yarn is very special for several reasons:

1. It is both from a single source of New Zealand wool and and it is from a single breed of sheep.  Many of you will know that individual sheep breeds can have quite different qualities to their wool.  By using a wool (in this case, the Halfbred) with specific performance qualities, you can assured of the way the yarn will turn out and wear as a garment.  I also think it’s pretty cool that the yarn producer can actually point to the sheep that the wool came from.

2.  It is 100% pure New Zealand – grown, shorn, scoured, spun and dyed in the South Island of New Zealand.  No ‘other country’ services included.  (Some NZ fleeces are disappointingly sent overseas to be scoured before being shipped back to New Zealand for spinning.  I am not sure I like that lack of sustainability in the full yarn cycle).  

3.  It’s aran (worsted) weight.  As I said, we don’t have a lot of choice of good quality aran weight in this country.

4.  It has been hand-dyed with care, and tested for quality.

I’m very happy to see another excellent addition to pure New Zealand, single-source wool yarns.  It’s a bit like a fine wine – you need to try it to understand the difference that makes!


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Oh my Bleating ‘Art!

Colours.  So evocative.  So seductive.  So inspiring! How often have we clutched our chest at the sight of a beautiful yarn, breathed an admiring sigh, and murmured something like “Be still my beating heart!”?

Today, I want to tell you about a just-begun, New Zealand indie yarn venture that is worthy of its name, Bleating Art. (The connection to “beating heart” is my own playful twist of words.) This is a mother-daughter enterprise between the lovely Alice, whom many of you will remember from her former “Crochet with Raymond” blog (you may have already also found her again on IG), and her mum Denise, who has been knitting for 50 years, and spinning for 35!

If you are familiar with Alice’s wonderful sense of colour, it will be no surprise to see the absolutely sparkling bright colours of the first dye batch to come out of the pots!

Here’s a pic of some of those pretties (courtesy of Bleating Art’s facebook page).

Bleating Art yarns

This is my pick, called Tui (which Alice very kindly set aside for me because I personally do not like buying on Facebook).

Tui, Bleating Art

The yarn is an 80% merino, 20% nylon base, spun in New Zealand.  It is being marketed as a sock yarn, but there is nothing to stop you from knitting what you want with it. 

When I first saw a sock yarn of the same spin (two ply, and quite loose compared to most sock yarns) I was worried that it would not perform under the rigours of sock wearing. However, having knitted a pair of socks with a base that is very similar, my fears have been allayed, as this yarn produces a lovely squishy sock that wears well and has good stitch definition.  It does not feel like 100% wool in the hand, but then it’s not ‘squeaky’ nylon either.  It’s a good addition to New Zealand’s stable of sock yarns.

The cute labels are the artwork of Alice’s artistically talented partner, KB.  Aren’t they just adorable!?

artworkThe plan is to have the yarn physically for sale at Denise’s shop in Wellington, the Karori Flower Shop (98 Karori Road, Karori, Wellington, T: (04) 476 2255).  The store is both a florist and a yarn store, and currently sells a small range of yarns that Denise particularly likes.  The hand-dyed yarns are meant to complement the selection of what is already available.  However, unsurprisingly, this first batch of beautiful colours was so popular that the yarn practically sold out after it was soft-launched on facebook!

Another dye batch is planned in late March, and this time there will be a lot more skeins on offer (hopefully some will make it into the shop!)  If you want to ensure you don’t miss out on the next dye lot, do make sure to “like” their facebook page, or join the Bleating Art Ravelry group for news of updates.

In the meantime, I’m busily eyeing up suitable patterns for this scrummy yarn.  I think I might knit these.  (Pattern inspiration also from Alice, whose own socks in this pattern are gorgeous!)