Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life


The Shepherd Hoodie: Finale!

It has been very wet and cool this week, in contrast to last week.  That makes drying a thick wool hoodie quite difficult.  However, Sally’s hoodie was finally off the rack last night, so without further ado, here are our finished projects, and just in time for the end of Wovember!


The Shepherd Hoodie

Very happy.  It will do very well when the weather cools down.Lace on button band

Yarn:  Anna Gratton Little Wool Co. DK Pure Wool Naturals in Coffee.

Sally’s (10 ply (aran) weight pure wool in a natural white from Skeinz that she hand-dyed):

Sally's Shepherd Hoodie

Hmmmm…. lush!  I can feel myself all cuddled up in it!

Side view

You can see the difference in the way the two projects look in different weight yarns.  Sally’s is very squishy and soft and cuddly looking, whereas mine with a slightly finer weight, has a more streamlined, and crisper look.

Close upAnd now, winter, please come back to the Southern hemisphere…

Shepherd Hoodie

Check out Sally’s blog for her final post on this topic and more pictures.


KAL Diary: The Shepherd Hoodie, Week 8

It has been a very hot and sunny week this week.  I am very sad that I cannot wear my glorious new FO,  the Shepherd Hoodie.


It is now blocked and dry, and I am incredibly happy with how it looks and fits… I want it to be winter again NOW!!!!! But it’s going to be at least three to four months before it is cool enough again for me to wear it.  Sigh.  Very jealous of all you people in the Northern hemisphere who can snuggle into your freshly knitted coats right away!

DSC09935 (800x600)The top button is very cute.  I’m glad I went ahead and bought it.

I’d love to show you the finished pictures of the hoodie in its entirety, by Sally isn’t done yet.  She’s had a tough week and it has been hard to get to the knitting (in contrast to my general lack of work availability).  There should be a nice collage of both her and my pics to see by the middle of this week and in time for the end of Wovember.


In terms of finishing off, I don’t think I have anything more to tell you about modifications or tips than I have already mentioned except that the hood was especially tiresome to knit.  I had a hard time keeping awake whilst knitting it! Seed stitch is not the fastest stitch in the world, but it looks amazing now it’s done, and it was really, really, worth it!

The blocking has definitely ‘finished’ the look, but you’ll have to wait for a few days to see what I mean.  🙂

In the meantime, pop over to Sally’s blog, to enter an amazing giveaway she’s running – two copies of Kate Davies’ book “Colours of Shetland”!

Stay tuned for modelled pictures!


KAL Diary: The Shepherd Hoodie, Week 7

Well, I’ve nearly done it….  The sleeves and minus 5cm of the hood.  All that is left to be done this week is finish that never-ending seed stitch, sew in the lace ribbon facing for the button band, weave in the ends, and block this gorgeous baby.

Shepherd Hoodie

Then Sally and I will get together for a meet-up and photo shoot next weekend, and we’ll do the big reveal!

I am afraid that I allowed myself to get distracted with more activity on the Sustain the Sea front this week, hence the lack of significant progress on the Shepherd Hoodie.

In terms of knitting tips, I have an observation about the hood increasing.

When I got to the hood increases, I found the instructions of “M1, work 1, sm, work 1, M1” slightly confusing.

What I’m trying to say here is:  with seed stitch, the order is:  one knit and the next stitch is a purl.  If you increase between the knit and the purl, you will either get K, K, P or K, P, P.  This means that you will find it impossible to keep the sequence of alternating knits and purls.  So I got a wee bit confused by the wording because in my head, as the order then looked like this:

p, [p], k, (sm), p, [k], k – (the stitches in square brackets being the m1).  The order got all messed up whichever way I did it?

In order to prevent this, I did the following instead:

K, [P] (sm), [K], P.  The stitches in the square brackets are the new stitches.  Can you see how the original K and P have their pattern maintained?  I switched the order, so that the instructions read “work 1, M1, sm, M1, work 1”.

The next row with an increase the went something like this:

K, P, K, [P], (sm), [K], P, K, P

By keeping the two increases immediately next to each other, I was able to maintain the seed stitch patterning throughout the increasing.

I’m not sure if the original instructions are a typo, or whether I am unaware of some secret other way of being able to increase in seed stitch, but this is what worked for me.  🙂

The final note for this week is that I underestimated how much yarn I did need, and have ended up going into a fifth hank of yarn. This is consistent with the quantities noted on the pattern though.  I figure I’ll have used 850g or thereabouts by the time it’s done.

Overall, this has been a great pattern to knit.  I am sorry I have to wait until next winter before I can wear it as it’s far too warm now in this part of the world.  However, when I do, it will be a very snug, and much worn item of clothing!

Due to the natural colour of this beautiful wool from Anna Gratton‘s Corriedales, it will go with everything in my wardrobe.  I’ll be able to wear it everywhere, from the casual tramp along the beach, at the farmers’ market, and even as a work coat.

Hop on over to Sally’s post to see what she has to say about her week with the hoodie.


KAL Diary: The Shepherd Hoodie, Week 6

Well.  Sometimes we just need a break from a project, for whatever reason.

This week, my mind has been ‘elsewhere’, and every time I picked up the hoodie, I really could not get into it.  I’d knit for five minutes, and my mind would wander away, and before I knew it, I was tinking more than I was knitting!

Shepherd Hoodie Week 6I’ve only got as far as the middle of the second sleeve!  The hoodie is nearly done, but this week was not the time to do finish it.

Instead, my mind has been preoccupied with, and working on a new long-term project that I will be telling you about very, very soon.  Once conceived, it was very hard to stop working on it, so I just had to go with the flow.

Sally has written a beautiful post about her week, and you can see how well her hoodie is coming long here.

Watch out for a new post from me tomorrow!

In the meantime, I think I’ll spend the remaining hours of Sunday doing a little bit more justice to the Shepherd Hoodie…


KAL Diary: The Shepherd Hoodie Week 5

On Friday, I came home and sank into my knitting chair with a hot cup of tea with a happy sigh, thoroughly relieved it was Friday.

It has been a strange week for me.  I am still feeling very out of sorts about the state the ocean is in, and combined with a very stressful week at work, I haven’t been able to concentrate very well.  Small mistakes have been made that I don’t usually make, and these made me feel even more disquieted.  It doesn’t help that I came down with a cold.

Knitting has been very soothing to the nerves.

So… what has gone down?  Here’s the progress pic:

Progress week 5

I have to say that I am extremely happy with the way the shoulder looks on this hoodie.  It fits me perfectly!

In the end, I decided to take Diane’s suggestion, and knit the sleeves using the magic loop method.  While there is no struggling with DPNs, I am finding it quite slow going due to having to stop and adjust the cords every half row.  Straight knitting of sleeves is still my favourite method I will have to say!

I decided to see if I could find any other experiences of knitting the Shepherd Hoodie on Ravelry, as it’s always good to know how others are finding the project. While I didn’t find any information on the hoodie in particular, I did find a general agreement that Kate Davies’ sleeves are often a bit tight.  With this information in mind, I decided to try the hoodie on for fit once I’d knitted a bit into the decrease.

What I have found is that while the shoulder area fits perfectly, the sleeves are quite slim fitting, and have decided not to decrease any further than the end of the seed stitch gusset.  Having tried on the sleeves, I can confirm that this was the right approach for me.

Sleeve gusset

While I was happily enjoying how nicely this hoodie is coming along, I did notice that the button bands are probably not as sturdy as I’d like.  I suspect this is only because I’m using yarn that is a bit finer than recommended.  To give them a little bit more substance, I’m going to add this lovely lace edging backing:

Lace ribbon backing

It’s not very heavy, but it will give the button band just that tiny bit more strength than it has now.

To date, I’ve used 600g of yarn, and have started on my fourth hank.  I figure by the time I finish, I will have knitted about 750g of yarn.

You’ll probably have noticed that my progress was a bit slow this week.  I’ve been working on a couple of secret things as well.  I’ll show them to you in due course.

So how are you doing with your knitting?  I know that some of you are knitting along… don’t be shy!

Don’t forget to pop over to check out Sally’s post too!


KAL Diary: The Shepherd Hoodie Week 4

This week, I finished the fronts and back of the Shepherd Hoodie:

Fronts and back

It’s on to Those Sleeves now!

I think the most interesting thing about the knitting this week is that during the second row of neck shaping, you bind off to the end of the row, break that yarn and then rejoin the yarn to the live stitches left before the bind off, to start your new row and continue with the neck shaping.  See the photo below – you can see that the yarn got bound off once, the yarn broken and then rejoined back to the start of the bind-off to recommence knitting.

The pattern doesn’t say ‘break yarn’ and this has caused confusion to at least one person who asked this question on the Ravelry KAL discussion thread on “All About New Zealand Yarns”, so I thought I would share the point here.

Two bind off points

One of the things I like about the continuous cables is that it is possible to keep track of length by matching the cables and ensuring that you bind off and finish rows at exactly the same point as the previous piece.  I find that sometimes it is very difficult to measure knitting to exactly the same size as the other side (I believe this is why some people use row counters).  By being able to knit to the cable pattern, I know when to stop and don’t have to worry I haven’t measured my knitting wrong!

Of course, you do have to remember that in the Shepherd Hoodie, the cables are mirrored, so you won’t have them looking exactly the same on each side, but at least the length of each cable is exactly the same.

counting cables

Having finished the fronts, I saw that my calculations were slightly off on the number of buttons I needed.  I have nine buttonholes, and I bought eight buttons.

I must have known I would be short at the back of my mind though, because I decided to buy this gorgeous number at the same time, and it shall be my top button:


I would have liked to use all these buttons on my jacket, they are so pretty!  But I could not bear to bring myself to pay for more than one.  It was $4.50!!!!!! That is almost the same price as 50g of my yarn.  I doubt that it’s hand-painted. Perhaps hand-finished, as it is a nut shell, but still, the price was just too ridiculous for me.

Lastly, a tiny preview of the fit:


I know it will fit me nicely because the neckline and armholes are perfect.  The blocking will fix the rest of the width when it is finished.  I rather like the length too:


Don’t forget to check out Sally’s post for her thoughts on this week’s knitting.  She also has some beautiful pictures of what she’s been up to lately…. including the happiest, sweetest little lambs.