August 29, 2013

Droplet Socks - a new free pattern

A few weeks ago Wei Siew of the Kiwiyarns blog sent me an exciting email - a sock pattern designed with Knitsch Sock! It also contained a special request for a fresh batch of West Janney. 

The Droplet Socks pattern is exquisite. I adore the texture and the directional pattern design. I'm a sucker for anything that stands out against a reverse stocking stitch background. And the best part of all? It's free! Hooray! 



Image thanks to Wei Siew


Thanks so much for choosing Knitsch for your pattern Wei Siew! I can't wait to knit my own pair. If you fancy knitting your own lichen-inspired socks, West Janney is now back in stock (along with lots of other colours, hooray!).

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July 16, 2013

Sometimes it takes a challenge.

After struggling my way through Rocky Coast the Second, my knitting mojo went out the door. A pair of simple socks were also on the needles, and knitting wasn't feeling all that inspiring. I sternly told myself that nothing new could be cast on until Rocky Coast was done. 


At long last it was done, a mental hurdle conquered. I'll post a pic once I get around to weaving in the ends and blocking it, which of course i'm also procrastinating on.


To tell the truth, casting on something new didn't fill me with excitement. But cast on I did:



In Zealana Rimu Fingering, a gorgeous mix of NZ merino and possum. Rib isn't terribly exciting. Slowly getting closer to the colour work, the nerves kicked in. Colour work isn't my strong point. And then something magic happened...


I enjoyed it. Suddenly there's a project in my hands that requires focus, and concentration, and real awareness of what's going on with each stitch. Checking to make sure floats aren't too tight, following a colour pattern, untangling balls of yarn. 

Isn't it interesting how a challenge can be just what is needed to get excited again? 

And this yarn! Oh my. 

Zealana Rimu Fingering is 60% merino, 40% possum. The possum gives it just enough fluffiness to create a nice halo, but not so much that your knitting looks like a hairball. It's on the heavy side of 4ply, and i'm inclined to call it more of a sport weight than a standard fingering weight yarn.

It feels lovely to knit with, but the magic is in the fabric. Smooth, perfectly squishable rows of stocking stitch are making me weak at the knees. If a 4 ply jersey is what you're after, it may as well be a treat. This absolutely will be. I'm anticipating wearing this so much that the elbows will wear through and patches added. See me in ten years' time and no doubt i'll still be pulling this one on when the day is chilly. 

I am fudging the sizing a little bit, but that's part of the joy of a simple stocking stitch body - there is room to make sneaky size amendments. I may even felt it slightly for an even cosier finish. 

What's on your needles at the moment? Do you knit with thoughts of how you'll feel when you wear the finished product, or is that just me?

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July 10, 2013

Spud & Chloe Outer

For ages i'd been casting about for an excuse to order in this yarn. At long last a customer asked specifically for it, I did a little dance, and joyfully went about selecting colours. I'm absolutely going to knit a great big squishy something with it. Here's a few other ideas.

Shroom by Lee Juvan 

Leaf Blanket by Susan B Anderson for Spud & Chloe


Chevron Baby Blanket by Purl Soho



Now that we have our hands on it, it's a gloriously robust, springy and assertive yarn. It's perfect for NZ winter woollies, too. You get the bulkiness that's so in fashion, but the the cotton helps keep things a little cooler for our mild winter days. Couldn't ask for more!


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July 09, 2013

A Midwinter Christmas Knit Night

It's certainly winter, and as us weirdos in the Southern Hemisphere are wont to do, a Midwinter Christmas celebration seems in order.

For this week's Thursday Knit Night, we're going to crack out the mulled wine, truffles, Christmas mince pies and another wintery treats! I hear there's a Southerly on the way, so you might need to brave the weather, but it will be worth it. Promise! We may even put on some special discounts and find some spot prizes just for the evening. 


Image from this great Etsy store


A Midwinter Christmas Knit Night

Thursday 11 June

6pm - 9pm (yep, an hour earlier than usual, for more merriment!)

For treats, mulled wine and some sweet discounts. And some knitting and good company, too.

Free! Hooray!

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July 08, 2013

Guest Post: A Hungry and not so Frozen new knitter

Today we're super super amazingly lucky to be bringing you a guest post by Laura Vincent. I actually remember reading in the paper yeeeeeeearsssss ago about this new 'blogging thing' and Laura was profiled as one to check out. Her blog Hungry and Frozen is guaranteed to make you hungry, and now Laura's picked up the knitting needles. It makes me infinitely happy! It also seemed to make perfect sense to ask Laura about her beginner knitter thoughts. Thanks a million Laura!


I am a new knitter. It's only a month or so since I picked up needles and yarn for the first time. And…I am obsessed. Which surprised me, initially. I am clumsy. Impatient. Big on starting projects, not on finishing them. Distracted easily, also easily downtrodden by small mistakes. Not particularly good at following instructions. Sounds like someone who should never get near knitting needles, yes? And yet. And yet. Despite my personality and physicality suggesting I shouldn't, I have taken to knitting in a big way. There's something so utterly soothing in the quiet, repetitive motion of looping wool here and pulling wool there, it's oddly calming to the brain in a way my brain frankly isn't used to feeling. It's soft and tactile and cosy, it's practical and productive, and it's really, really fun - watching your creation grow before your eyes, choosing colours and patterns, finding your muscular rhythm.



I once, while sick during a school holiday, crocheted a wobbly scarf. That's the closest I've got to the woolly arts, till now. A group of us meet regularly at a pub, each at varying levels of skill and project completion, but at equal levels of friendliness and helpfulness. I was baffled at how quickly I picked it up, considering, I don't know, I still can't ride a bike or drive a car. I'm lucky to have great people who help me out as I go along, and the prospect of communal knitting every Tuesday definitely helps me get through that otherwise all-too-typically bleak day. Seriously, what's with Tuesdays? 




The oddly reassuring thing about knitting is that if you screw it up, it's not the end of the world. A dropped stitch can be picked up and disguised. A bumpy edge can be straightened off later. Stitches can be ripped back - not as brutal as it sounds - and started again. Which, showing how fully my love of knitting has escalated, doesn't even bother me because it means I get to knit even more. 


My first project is a blanket. It's very simple - just straightforward stitching, no purls (I'm not so good at keeping count, so that will be my next challenge) and I'm now three quarters of the way through it. Not only am I still in love with the act of creating this thing, I'm already starting to look for more projects to begin. Knitting might not be for everyone, but truly, don't discount it just because you've been hopeless at other things, or you think it's out of your reach with complicatedness - if I can get this far, you can too. 


All images thanks to Laura, and the above is a screenshot of her wonderful Instagram feed. I couldn't resist.

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