My Scrappy Sweater

I had 3 magic balls of sock yarn scraps and was about to start on another scrappy granny square blanket, and I just wasn’t feeling it. You know how you start something and it already feels like more work than fun? That’s the feeling I was getting from the blanket.

I’ve been looking at crochet sweater designs for a while and was umming and ahhing over those as well, so in the end the scrappy crochet blanket and the crochet sweater joined forces.

I love it so much and can’t wait for the weather to cool down so I can pair it with a skirt and tights.

This is my recipe

I wanted to make use of what I had learned about knitting raglan sweater patterns, so using a 4mm hook I chained 108 to start, (enough to get over my head and a bit to spare) and set up for raglan increases, 36, 18, 36, 18.

Rather than a full on granny square corner I did 2 trebles chained 1 and then 2 more trebles in the corners for my raglan increases. I kept on increasing every round until the the raglan line was 8 inches (which is the same as one of my knitted ones that I quite like the fit of) then joined in the round.

Trying on as I went I just went round and round until it was as long as I wanted. There is no shaping in the arms either, so just round and round again until they were bracelet length.

Using the same yarn for the cuffs and waist I knitted a 2 x 1 rib to give it a more fitted waist and a bit of a balloon arm.

Lastly, I gave it a wash and laid it flat to dry.

What a heel!

  • After thought
  • Forethought
  • Fish lips kiss
  • Short row
  • Flap and gusset
  • Fleegle
  • And……

If you are a sock knitter, you may have seen your fav heel on the list.

I don’t know about you, but how well the heel looks, (i.e. lack of holes) is my number one indicator of whether I’ve done a good job knitting a pair of socks.

When I gift socks, the compliments and thanks are usually all about the pattern and how well it fits. I’m like, “yeah, yeah, that’s all good, but look at that heel!”

My favourite is the Fleegle heel. The first time I tried it was the first time I knitted a sock that didn’t have holes in it, there were no pesky stitches to pick up and, the short rows seemed to just disappear into the sock.

The Fleegle heel gave me the confidence to carry on with sock knitting, so much so that I’ve started to branch out and try other types. I recently tried the forethought heel (twice now, I feel like I’m getting better!) and, I’m almost able to enjoy the heel flap and gusset now too.

Do you have a favourite that is your goto?

Creations from Christmas Presents

Pom pom garland

I treated myself to a yarn advent calendar for the first time last year. I loved opening the little parcels each day and ooing and ahhing over the pretties 🙂

I spent a lot of time thinking about what to make. There were 25 x 20 gram minis which is a decent amount of yarn to play with. My mum suggested making something that I could see all of the time rather than a shawl that would only come out for half of the year, and so a pom pom garland was created. And what’s great about that is I still have heaps of each colour left to make a shawl or two as well!

Home made rolags

One of my other Christmas presents was an Ashford Blending Board.

I’m sure there is a knack to making rolags, and practice will make them more consistent, but I am having loads of fun playing! I made a whole heap and have just started spinning them, and it’s so cool to see how the colours are coming out and how the yarn looks.

It feels so fab to have such a creative start to the year.

Some New Zealand Christmas Quirks

I am taking part in the New Zealand secret santa which is run on twitter. Anyone in the country can take part and its such a fabulous heartwarming thing to be a part of. My twitter match lives in the South Island so a handknit hat was a part of the parcel.

Opening date is the 16th December, check out #nzsecretsanta2020 on twitter that day for lots of feel goods

When we were in lock down the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Health became our voice of reason. Calm and measured he fronted up on the TV with our Prime Minister every day at 1pm. The openness of his communication and his down to earthness means he is now a national icon and he is also our new Christmas tree ornament 😁😁😁

Kiwi Summer KCAL Invitation

I would like to invite you to a Kiwi Summer Knit and Crochet Along, a KCAL (which I am pronouncing Kay Cal).

Even though summer doesn’t officially start until December, and finishes in March, Labour Weekend at the end of October is definitely the unofficial start. The clocks have gone forward, the temperatures are going up more often than coming down, and summer is definitely in the air. Which is why I’ve decided that the start of the KCAL is going to be the beginning of November.

The rules are a bit fluid at the moment, though the whole idea is to bring attention to New Zealand designers and New Zealand indie dyers.

Pohutakawa Tree, Otumoetai New Zealand

Here are the rules so far (there aren’t many and they are pretty fluid)

  1. The pattern is from a New Zealand Designer
  2. And/or the yarn is from a New Zealand Indie Dyer
  3. Whatever you knit or crochet is completed by the 28th February (this is my randomly chosen end of summer day )
  4. Yes you can use the KCAL to finish something you’ve started and got stuck on
  5. Anyone can join in from wherever you are
  6. Post pics of your finished items on Instagram #kiwisummerKCAL2020 if you want to be in to win*.

*I will get organised and make sure there are some prizes to give away in a random draw at the end that reflect the same theme.


Links

Julie at Wool on Wheels has an amazing directory of NZ Pattern Designers, Yarn shops and Online Yarn Brands (check out the Indie dyers list)

You can also search for New Zealand as the designer country on Ravelry

The Creative Fibre website also has a great directory to look through on

And, as always google is our friend and spits out a good list of NZ Indie Yarn Dyers

Handspun Slipover

I’ve been thinking for ages about making a tank top. Not one of the summery ones you wear with shorts, more like the ones that, if you think of them, might remind you of the 1970’s and was worn over checked shirts with a pair of cords.

I have loads of patterns favourited on Pinterest and Ravelry, and of course a fair isle one would be the ultimate! (Like the one the actor who plays Neville Longbottom wears).

Before I make the commitment of months that would take to make something like that I decided on something a bit more simpler and have cast on the Stockholm Slipover by Petite Knit and I’m using some orange and turquoise random stripey handspun.

I reckon it’ll either be the coolest or ugliest thing in my wardrobe… it’s knitting up fast so it won’t be long before I find out!

Snapped out of our Smugness

Just yesterday we were talking about extending our bubble to include the Cook Islands, and then WHAM! today we are back up the alert levels. I’m feeling sorry for the people in Auckland who are on strict restrictions with schools closed and people told to stay home until the government decides next steps.

Being in the Bay of Plenty we are at level 2, which just means social distancing again, this time is a bit different though because we are being encouraged to wear masks when we are out and about.

I’ve been on YouTube checking out the many many “how to’s” and have dug out some cotton and elastic and thought I might give it a go.

I quite like the stripey one and the tartan/plaid one. The next question is which style… maybe one of each.

So, yep. It totally sucks. I feel like going back is way harder, and I’m hoping that focusing on making things helps….. though it might also mean a whole lot of new projects started too!

Ranunculus

This was the tubular cast on sweater that I started. I didn’t get very far though because the yarn was so deliciously drapery and summery and we’re in the middle of winter.

I restarted with some possum merino yarn that I had bought by mistake (its an ethical and values thing… poor possums) which I held together with some holst garn super soft.

I like it alot more than I thought I would. I wasnt sure I’d like the boxyness of it. But it’s warm and comfy and the possum merino is incredibly light 😁

Tubular Top

My first tubular cast on.

Just when I think I’m getting past beginner knitter stage I learn another technique. It’s like knitting is the crafting rainbow, you think you’re getting closer to the pot of gold and it’s always just out of reach. 😁

It only took 4 goes to get it right… It probably didn’t help that the yarn is so beautifully silky and the needles are pretty big and both of those things are outside my comfort zone.

The yarn is a gorgeous 50 percent merino 50 percent silk from New Zealand indy dyer and designer Harnie Hoolie that I got at Unwind in Dunedin earlier in the year. And the cast on is the Ranunculus sweater (this link opens in Ravelry)

I’ve cast on as part of a small knit along I’ve joined. I’m unsure about the top, I have a feeling it might not suit me, but I hear its a really quick knit so I’m giving it a go.

Spin, Weave, Sew

It’s been a pretty wet long weekend. I also took a couple of days off to make it extra long. So it’s been great to have loads of crafty time, to play and to go for nice bracing walks inbetween showers.

I finished my first proper weaving project and I’m totally stoked at how it’s turned out.

The edges were way more consistent and the start and the end are even the same width! I ended up using about 20grams of the purple merino sock yarn and 2 of the batts that I’d spun from Twisted Zisters. It probably took about 16 hours of weaving time all together, not including the hour or so to thread it up.

I have no idea what I’ll do with it – for now I’m just enjoying looking at it 🙂


I also spent a day spinning some fiber that I’d got from Anna Gratton Ltd, it’s a mix of Corridale, Mohair, Silk and Nylon Glitter.

The glitter was a bit hard on my fingers which were a bit tender by the end of the day, and the mohair got up my nose just a bit, it looks really pretty though, so I’m glad I persevered. I think it’s about a sport weight, I haven’t given it it’s bath yet, so it may or may not fluff up a bit more.


Then lastly the embroidery… this was supposed to be my main project for the weekend, and I’d organised in my head that I’d go and get my supplies on Friday and then get started on Saturday. But, best laid plans and all that… Seems that 20cm embroidery hoops have been in big demand because after lots of hunting around shops I didn’t find the right sized hoop until Tuesday, and by then I’d kind of lost motivation. So I started it, but only because I felt like I had to, rather than wanted to.

The carbon paper tracing was kind of fun and I thought I’d made a pretty good start – then I went wrong and had to unpick a bit, which meant un-threading my needle – and do you think I could re-thread it? I lost patience after the 5th attempt and put the whole thing away for another day!