Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life


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At last.

Before we get started with today’s post, I want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has donated funds or bought patterns for donation of the proceeds to the Nepal earthquake relief efforts!  You are all amazing! 🙂

This week, I decided to ignore my compulsion to cast on all the things, and instead focused on finishing some of the things!

Robin

Pinch me!  It’s finished!  Here is Robin, all done.  One word:  Love.

I was embarrassed to note that the start date on my Ravelry project page shows it has taken me nearly a year to complete!  I blame the stocking stitch island – the project sat unloved in my basket for quite a few months.  As much as I love this sweater, and am so happy to be wearing it, I think this will be the last all-over stocking stitch garment that I consciously decide to knit.   The result is great, but the process of getting there was decidedly not.  Having said that, I suspect stocking stitch sweaters are akin to giving birth – you swear at the time that you will never do that again, only to find that the pain is quickly forgotten at the thought of another adorable baby coming into your life.  I can say that because I have given birth.  Three times.

Grumbling aside, I Love this Sweater and it is going to get a very good amount of use.  I would attribute 70% of my happiness in this sweater to the yarn:  I chose to make it in Zealana Kiwi, a beautiful blend of organic cotton/brushtail possum/NZ merino –  one of my favourite yarns of all time! The colourways are 14 Majestic (darker purple, main body) and 06 Papura (lighter, finer stripe).  The yarn feels like your favourite pair of well-loved jeans that have been worn to death and are oh-so-comfortable.  Gently heathered from the different take-up levels of dye by the three fibres in this yarn, it also gives the garment what I would call a gracefully faded look. It’s my thing!

Zealana Kiwi never pills, wears like iron and does not go out of shape.  I can wear this sweater without fear of it being overly ‘precious’ to look after.  Kiwi has the softness and comfort of cotton, which makes this yarn perfect to wear against the skin, but blended with the warmth of wool and possum fibre. It is also (as you can see) not fluffy at all, and in fact, it is impossible to see that it is contains possum. As I write, I am wearing it with a merino base layer but as you can see below, I can discard the base layer when the temperature is warm, and still feel very comfortable.  Perfect!

In terms of the pattern, there is much that I like about it:  I love the extra fabric at the back.  Very flattering, and it also addresses the terrible discomfort that occurs with shorter sweaters that don’t quite cover the small of one’s back:  cold kidneys!  I love the neckline and the slight dolman sleeves which add to the comfort levels of wearing it.

Being a top-down sweater, there was very minimal finishing involved.  Only the endless ends to weave in from all the stripe changes… 😉

Robin II

Project notes here.  Thanks to the youngest boy for the photos!

This weekend, I also finished the Vest.  I shall tell you about that soon.

 

 

 

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Sock-a-palooza

Well, I started out this post about to write things like “nothing much on the radar” and “very little knitting”, and then I had a look at what I was going to show you, and I think that instead, a secret sock-a-palooza has been happening at my house.  Right under my nose! And without me noticing!

First off, I will show you the socks that were mostly knitted in one weekend.  I started them during a birthday party that my son was attending, almost finished the heel by the time it was over (stockinette stitch and talking go very well together) and then finished it off at home.  The next sock took a few more days to finish.  This is an Opal Smile colourway.

Opal Smile socks

Sometimes a plain vanilla sock is what you need.  Especially when everything else you are knitting ends up getting ripped and reknit several times over.

Now, take this inspiration:

And turn it into themed socks (the socks are called “In the Golden Hall”.  See the track above linked to by the designer, Claire Ellen.  I liked the look of the cover image and decided to use it as inspiration for the colour of my socks),

In the Golden Hallwhich I have reknit once already because I wasn’t paying attention to the chart and was doggedly trying to knit when I should have been a good girl and tucked up in bed…

And this sweater

Robin

which is now at the short row hem stage, and I have had to frog back to the hem starting point twice for the same reason as noted above.  I think I have finally managed to stop making stupid mistakes with the short rows. I can’t wait to wear this sweater!  Zealana Kiwi is one of my all-time favourite yarns.   It is comfortable to wear, durable, doesn’t pill, looks fabulous… the list goes on and on…

Then add this pretty

Habour by Doe Arnot

which I started this morning during a Skype call, and am already well on the way to the heel.  Note how it is stockinette stitch…(very little room for errors)…

And add another pretty

Cladenstine

which has become my bedtime knitting, but again, has been ripped back to the base because sleepy heads and lace knitting do not go hand in hand (although it does help with getting back to sleep when you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t sleep).

And now I think you can see why I said nothing much has been happening, but at the same time, I find myself suddenly with a basket full of socks!

Let’s backtrack to this little number…

Doe Arnot Harbour Coluorway

This lovely self-striping yarn is the work of Doe Arnot, who has developed a colourway range inspired by a recent trip to Wellington.  This one is called “Harbour”.  I can definitely see the nautical theme!  I can’t wait to see what else she loads up on to her site!  I suspect it’s going to be first off the needles because my brain is clearly not able to focus on much else other than plain vanilla knitting at the moment.

And finally, I thought I’d share something I have been enjoying a lot lately.  The long drives to work have had a wonderful benefit – music has re-entered my life.  In particular, Maksim Mvrica.  If you have not heard this talented piano player before, you really should have a listen.  Here’s one of my favourites:

He’s wonderful to both drive and knit to (not at the same time of course).  It’s music that doesn’t let you fall asleep!