How many sweaters is enough?

I had decided that I had enough sweaters for this season and I wasn’t going to knit anymore….

I love how this ball kind of looks like a Kina πŸ˜€

Then while I was at FibreTron I admired the sweaters that looked like they weighed nothing and looked so feminine. I had to make one as soon as possible!

Before I commit my yarn budget to some yummy alpaca I thought I’d try a floaty thing with some stash yarn first. I found the Sweater No. 1 pattern by My Favourite Things (some really gorgeous patterns with quite a few in English), and it’s coming along really fast!

Then the other day PoisonGrrls (this link goes to Ravelry) who is one of my fav designers, launched a new sweater pattern called the Joanie Boatneck. It’s a stripey fitted raglan with cable detail on the raglan increase and the side seams.

They are running a KAL for this one and the knitting bit starts next week.

And. I’m doing it.

Potential colour picks for the stripes.

I guess the answer to the question “How many sweaters is enough?”, is that I obviously don’t feel like I have enough yet!

Grateful Geeking

After a weekend of full on geeking I reflected on how lucky we are in New Zealand to be able to go to events in person. We can hug old friends and new, and not have to worry about whether we are putting ourselves at risk of getting sick.

Saturday was a full fiber immersion at FibreTron2020. It was the first in person yarn event since lockdown and it was crazy busy in a good way.

A sample of my purchases

I helped out Julie from Wool on Wheels for the day. I feel like this meant that I got to see so many more people than if I’d been there as a customer. And of course I managed to squeeze a bit of time in to have a nice little shop, and a chat to some of my favourite New Zealand indie dyers and designers.

Talk about exhausted! As well as being on my feet helping all day it was a constant sensory overload and I loved it πŸ™‚


Sunday’s in person geekfest was all about sci-fi, fantasy, pop-culture and cosplay at the Armageddon expo. A two day event that goes around all of the main centers in New Zealand. This year it was missing its overseas guests, though it made up for it by having them attend virtually on a really big screen. Luckily Sunday was quite a bit quieter than Saturday so it was easy to get around and have a really good look at what was there. And of course admire all of the people in their amazing costumes!

It’d be lovely to have a few days of rest now to recharge the batteries, however work awaits, (something else I’m incredibly grateful to still have), so resting will have to wait until next weekend :-).

After thought proves to be too much thought!

I did my first afterthought heel socks. As you may tell by the title of this post, there were problems, many problems….

1. I put the waste yarn in the wrong place, so there is a random line on one of them and a half a line on the other. And I thought, well let’s be honest, I didn’t think.

2. I assumed it would mean no short rows, but the pattern I followed had a small short row gusset.

3. I had to pick up stitches with really tiny needles. Enough said.

4. Grafting and kitchener stitch. This was the second time I’d tried this and it looks just as awful as the first time.

5. Casting off at the rib usually means the socks are finished and then I had to deal with the disappointment after realising they weren’t.

So I guess I probably won’t try that again. Which is a bit of a shame because as much as I like how the decreases look, the aesthetics aren’t enough to make up for the headache.

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 😁

Merging crochet and knitting…

This week I’ve been playing. I’m expecting some 5gram minis and was looking for something to make with them. I love this which I have on my Pinterest ‘knitting things’ board

I tried smerging a Baktus pattern with the Sonnentau which I’d had in my library for yonks.

Then I realised why I hadn’t ever got past the first few rows of the Sonnentau, the dangles did my head in, it takes alot of concentration for me especially if I want all the dangles to be the same (one day it will happen….).

To replace the dangles I tried casting on a few stitches and then knitting a bobble on the end, then casting off, it just didn’t give me the look I wanted. Then I fell out with the shape of the Baktus.

Enter the Smash and Puny shawl one that I’ve used as a base for asymmetrical shawls in the past because I love the edges. And my crochet hook for spirals.

I had a magic ball of mostly green so I did a bit to see how it went… Then more inspiration struck and I decided to do a rainbow one with a mini skein set I had, and a couple of extra bits. And that’s where I am now.

Love it when inspiration and creativity strike!

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.

Sweater Weather

You’ve heard of Double Denim? I love being able to do Oodles of Knits!

We don’t get really cold weather in Tauranga so when it does get a bit cooler I feel like I have to wear all of my warmer knits all at once.

Today’s walk was accompanied by my newest sweater on it’s first outing, knitted hat, fingerless mittens and socks. I wanted to do a shawl/scarf/cowl as well but I almost fainted from overheating!

Late last year I started to knit garments, I started with a couple of lighter summer knits and I have just finished my 3rd Autumny/Wintery sweater and I have just cast on the Love Note sweater…. it’s like I don’t know what else to knit!

Last year was shawls, and I made so many that even after giving loads away I still have a big container full, at least tops take longer so I shouldn’t have too many to wear for my wardrobe for a little while, I just need to hope for the cooler weather to hang around a bit so I get lots of wear out of them πŸ˜€

One (pair) down…

I finally finished my Conundrum socks https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/conundrum-socks

The thicker yarn with the tiny needles made it a hard slog, and I wasn;t really enjoying it, so in the end I made them shorter than I was planning on and also did a rolled top rather than a rib.

They are incredibly comfy and warm, and they fit well in my sneakers for morning walks in the (ahhemm) *cold wintry weather though.

*Cold for Tauranga is below 10ΒΊC (50ΒΊF).

I think if I spin yarn for socks in the future I’ll try and do it a wee bit thicker than this one and make it a DK so I can use bigger needles and really enjoy the whole process πŸ™‚

Suffering Socks

I love having a pair of socks on the go, they’re the perfect handbag project. I can easily whip them out while having a coffee in a cafe, or on a quick car trip (when I’m not driving), waiting for appointments, or in the last 5 minutes of my lunch break.

My work mates are also used to me knitting on socks in team meetings, they understand that it really helps me concentrate on what everyone is saying.

The last couple of months, working from home has meant I’ve been able to knit on bigger projects in meetings because they don’t have to fit in my handbag, and so, my socks have been suffering from lack of attention.

On Monday this all changed, with the whole of New Zealand open again except for the borders and the country now in recovery mode. And so my socks have once again returned to their rightful place as the knitting to grab as I’m heading out of the front door.

Comtemporary Korowai

I am calling this project my Contemporary Korowai.

Journey started from meeting StephenBe (Stephen Berg) at KAN Ten 2019 in Ahuriri, NZ (Knit August Nights). Unlocking Creative Potential and Embrace My Fibre Future.

 A group of us took StephenBe workshop at My Eden guildrooms. We were asked to bring 3 weights of yarn, eg lace weight, fingering and mohair. As I left the house I grabbed some old fur yarn that I have had in stash for 4 years. Stephen said “you gotta cast this on” and so I did.

Based on Silk n Scibbles by StevenBe pattern, I held together Hedgehog skinny single Jelly and Malabrigo Lace “Damask” knit 2 rows and 2 rows Plymouth Yarn Just Fur Kicks, colour Tiger .

This gave a nice korowai fabric with the hot colours popping.

A korowai is traditionally longways rectangular cloak, my design being a triangle is “different”.

The actual knitting was easy and quick on 10mm needles, the fabric grew very fast, which led me to figure out how to finish.

Ideas came very quickly. The finishing band must be firm and decorative. Dabbled with 3-5 rows of icord on top of each other. Dabbled with a possible loom purchase.

I had a hat pattern in my queue for sometime, I really liked latvian braid. Purchased Westward by Stephen West. The braid is perfect, decision made.

Next yarn decisions, what is in stash ? and what I may need to purchase.

Westward recommends Malabrigo Twist , I had previously purchased Twist from Knit n Stitch (NZ), Wool and Flax now Woolarium (AUST) AND Webs (USA) intended for Hemisphere hat. After playing with colours online and what would match Tiger (brown), Jelly (hot pink) and Damask. I have now decided on Malabrigo Twist Applewood (AU) and Damask (Ravelry Detash USA) – Main issue is yardage, will I have enough Malabrigo Twist (100g 150 yd) to knit a tight gauge braid band

As I did not have both Applewood and Damask Malabrigo Twist, decided to cast on a head band braid using NZ Outlaw Bandit DK 100% Wool Light Grey Escapade and Hot Pink Kan Ten on 4.5mm needles. This was loosey goosey, will rip back and re cast on with 4.00 mm needles.

Very happy with Braid and Arrow cables. Malabrigo Twist is the perfect yarn for korowai edging, twist is very firm, wool I can image will stretch and not hold its shape.

I managed to purchase and you shop Malabrigo Twist, 3 skeins of Damask which is the same colourway I am using between Fur rows.

I have an issue sourcing discontinued Malabrigo Twist, pleasant surprise to find a “brown” colourway called Teron, 3 skeins in an Australian Ravely Destash. Unfortunately the lady can not find my much needed skeins.

Alternative thoughts are: I have 1 skein of Applewood and 1 skein of Natural. Woolarium in Melbourne has skeins of Black, Natural, Sunset and Applewood.

Do I buy 2 skeins of Natural and coffee dye or dye a Chocolate Brown ? Or do I purchase Natural and Black, alternate skeins in the background and Damask to be a cable. Can not picture that in my mind as yet. Hmmm Chocolate Brown idea is at the forefront.

This project has also blown what I would say is my shawl or project limit of NZD $120. Not only in yarn but shipping has added up.

Maori would say Korowai is a treasure “taonga” and you cant really put a price on a treasure. Ok now that is settled, money not an option. Ka Kite for now.

26 Nov 2019, I am still waiting on 3 skeins of Natural Malabrigo Twist from Woolarium in Melbourne. I drew out my design on paper to give it a visual of end project. I wanted to added another layer without adding weight. I like the idea of light feathers in lace weight, as well as keeping the triangle shape.