Monday, April 21, 2014

Socks, socks, socks.

I love hand knitted socks - is that a surprise to you? and today I decided to take a photo of my Sock Collection, knowing it had grown since my last blog post about my collection.

Then (August 2013)
 
I have since removed 2 of those pairs from my collection - repaired endlessly and just not worth repairing a 100th time - some sock yarn is just not meant to be socks.


And now -
That's 20 pairs there - not too bad! So its grown by 6 pairs, but 8 new ones. I have 2 more pairs half knit as well, that I haven't included.

I personally think you can't have too many pairs of hand knit socks - however I am running out of space for them, and I really would like 20 cardigans as well, so that is where my focus is shifting. However I do love sock knitting, so I think the kids will be next on the list of sock knits, and perhaps my reluctant husband will even get a new pair - since he has dug out his single pair and worn them twice in the last week!

I hope you had a lovely long Easter Weekend!





Monday, April 14, 2014

A lovely beginning to Autumn

Autumn has well and truly hit in my part of the Country. I think it has rained every day for nearly 2 weeks now, and the fog has been rolling in regularly as well.

On the weekend, some of the lovelies from my knitting group, and I, headed off for a weekend of uninterrupted knitting time. Unless eating, drinking and laughing count as interruptions, and well, I don't really!

I knit rather a lot over the weekend, finishing off a Tikki test knit, knitting 99% of a Picton cowl, and a few rows of a cardigan too. We had a lovely experience in a cafe, where both the male and female staff were interested in our knitting, in a very positive way, and I believe we were even told we were Cool, by someone I'd judge to be much cooler than me.

It was a wonderful Autumn weekend, and my lovely family had a ball without me too - which always makes it easier to be absent, and for me to tell my husband when I have booked in another weekend! ;)

I also realised I hadn't shared my KAL discounts with you here - sorry about that!


And of course, all my patterns are here - Sezza Knits Designs

I hope, wherever you are in the world, you are enjoying the change of season!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

What to knit next

I have been on a bit of a sock knitting frenzy of late, and while it's not yet over, I need to knit something else, something big.

I have quite a few small people knits and accessories planned for the next few weeks, but I really want to start a new project for me.
To be honest, I haven't finished my last one, but it's been hibernating for a while, and in all honesty I don't think I will ever wear it. The shape, on me, the points just don't sit where I want them and even the gauge. I know I will catch it on a million things every time I wear it. So that will be going for a froggy jump as soon as I can be bothered. I think it may turn into a Featherweight Cardigan when I feel like knitting it again.

And then the question is, what shall I knit? I have rather a few sweater lots of yarn, most with planned projects, so you wouldn't think it too difficult to pick!

Wethersfield was next on my list, and while I really really want to wear it, I worry it's a bit too boxy. Then again, I adore my aidez in winter and it's a similar shape.... I have cascade Eco for it, perhaps I'll wait for winter proper to whip this one out?

Nested is lovely and I have some yummy pure wool for it, my reluctance with this one is concern I don't quite have enough yarn..... I won't be working the colour work on the back.

Summer festival is also in my library with some Little Plum in kale. This one might be calling loudly.
 Of course my Autumn Knit A Long also starts tomorrow, so perhaps this will have to wait a week! And then there is the Simplicity Cardigan I have finally pulled out again, I love it, but I knit it rather too short when I finished it 3 years ago... and its been waiting to be ripped back a little and have length added ever since!

Friday, April 4, 2014

An Autumn (or Spring) Knit a Long

Here in New Zealand, Autumn is here. However we have been having some beautiful Autumn weather, sunny and hot and just gorgeous. Its almost nicer than a lot of the Summer we had this year, so I've been out enjoying it!

I've got lots of things on the go behind the scenes, and I will hopefully be able to share some of it with you soon, but I need to get some knitting done for our Autumn/Winter and I always find a Knit a Long  a great motivator, so I've decided to host an Autumn Knit a Long, with ALL my patterns.

I know it might not be Autumn where you are, but you are still welcome to join in, perhaps a pair of Sezza Socks will make great Spring knitting, or a baby knit, or a cardigan, there are lots of options.

You can see all my Patterns here, if you want to start thinking about what you might like to join in with. I will be sharing a pattern discount on Monday, so make sure you come back.

And you can join in over in my Ravelry Group


The Knit A Long will officially start on Monday, and there will be prizes. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Taupo Hat

My Taupo hat is now available on Ravelry - you can pop over and see it here.

I personally find this pattern incredibly addictive. Its really simple, knit from the top down and with spaced increases so once you get into the pattern its almost mindless. But its not boring, especially when you add in some stripes. I've made 6 so far. I'm not finished.
 
The sizes go from Premature all the way up to large adult. I have knit a big hat, I just haven't managed to get photos, and these wee cuties do the job pretty well I think!


I hope you will find it as addictive as I have. And as a thank you to my supporters, if you've ever bought one of my patterns on Ravelry, you can have this one for free. Just add it to your Ravelry cart. If you haven't bought one of my patterns, then do it, and you can still have this for free! (until the end of April 2014)

Dig out those sock scraps, that single self striping skein, that 4ply that you won't or can't use for socks and whip up some Taupo hats.

I named this pattern Taupo as I knit the first 2 prototypes on our Summer Holiday at Lake Taupo - holidays always seem to end in a prototype for me!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Taupo Hat Giveaway

My new hat pattern is nearly ready and will be available this week. I designed this hat to be cosy and light weight, while being perfect for using up some of those random skeins of 4ply you might have in your stash, or the oddments from some sock knitting.

To celebrate, I'm doing a wee giveaway over on my Facebook Page - I'd love you to pop over there and join in, but if you aren't on Facebook, then feel free to leave a comment below and I'll be sure to enter you in the draw as well.

Closes Wednesday 19th March at Noon (NZT) 2 winners will be drawn randomly.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Stash additions

One of my goals this year was to not add to my stash. I've been doing OK at this, although not great.

I did get a delivery the other day that I paid for in 2013, so I figure its ok. I was so excited by this delivery, I had forgotten it was coming, and the colours are just stunning.

From Little Plum Yarn

 
DK Superwash in Mocha - I ordered this one for a new boys design that has been in my notebook for months. I have already wound it and will start swatching this weekend.

Lush Sock in 'Sari'. This is ever more beautiful in real life, I couldn't capture the vibrancy of the colour, it is the most perfect green I have ever seen. I may have exclaimed to my husband that 'If I was a colour, this is the colour I would be'. He didn't quite know how to take it. But this is gorgeous. Not sure what it will be, it might need to become something to wrap myself in, rather than the socks I had planned for it.
Any pattern suggestions?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

FO : Mystery Sock

I meant to do this Finished Object Friday yesterday, on Friday, but I ended up working instead (teaching) so today will have to suffice.

My blast on WIPs is going so well at the moment, I've even picked up the 3ply cardigan I started ages ago, its my last WIP, and its going to be finished by the end of the month. IT IS.

I also finished my Mystery socks this week. Obviously they were not a mystery to me since its my pattern, and they are my second pair, but I love them all the same.



I've got a pile of hats blocking at the moment, which I will share with you next week - along with the new design they are for!

Have a lovely weekend, and if you are in the path of Cyclone Lusi, stay safe!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Working on WIPs

I seem to have found my knitting mojo again! I am so pleased to see it back, and am focusing on getting some half finished projects finished. I think my house being on the market and as clean as it's ever going to get has helped. Maintaining the tidy is much easier than starting from messy everyday!

Of course, and I'm sure we're not the first, now that we have our house looking beautiful, and have made minor repairs we have been looking at for long periods of time without touching, this house seems pretty good.  We are also in a good situation of not HAVING to sell our house. In fact, we've put it on the market as a total whim, so if we end up staying, we're ok with that too. And I've been making plans of some changes I would make we're we to stay. Call me crazy.

In the last few months I also lost my mojo to track purchased yarn in my ravelry stash, so that is my job for this afternoon. And to carry on with my mystery socks and get them done!


Have you got knitting plans for the weekend?


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Mystery Socks - Not a mystery any more!

My Mystery sock knit a long has been going really well, with lots of lovely knitters joining in and giving these mystery socks a try!

Now that all the clues have been out for a week, and quite a few people have finished, I thought I should share mine with you. I haven't yet finished my KAL ones, they are languishing along with all my other knitting - but these are the ones I knit to design the pattern.


 
 
 
 
These are really fun to knit, not overly complicated (after all I don't really like knitting overly complicated socks) but interesting and not at all boring. You can still get the pattern for free until the end of March and you can still join the KAL until the end of March too!

Now I'm off to work on my new pair of these - Autumn is on its way, and I'm sure my sock collection would like a new addition!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Moving??

As of tomorrow our house is officially on the Market. Its been an absolutely crazy 10 days since we decided that we would like to move (yes we are crazy) and really quite amazing what we accomplished amongst our normal life, and work. There has been a lot of cleaning, my nails are destroyed, my legs are tired, my back is aching, and my house is sparkling. And all those wee things we have been meaning to fix, or tidy have been done. Funny how you wait till you are about to leave before you fix things. I am going to try harder in the next house, turns out I do like a bit of painting and fixing.



I have done NO knitting, Well perhaps 2 rows. It is so odd, and I've missed it, but I just could not squeeze it in, or concentrate on it. But now that my pantry is clean and my linen cupboard is organised (why do I have SO many towels???) I am going to chill out and knit for a while. I might even have something to show you soon.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Not a lot of knitting

On Saturday my husband made a list of Open Homes he wanted to go and see. I reminded him that if we went and saw Open Homes, we would want to move. NOW. Not in a years time as we had planned. That is what we do.
Seems that is ok though, as we both decided that actually now is a good time. We don't need to wait a year. Huh.

Of course deciding that we are going to sell our house, and actually doing so are very different things. And getting the house ready to sell - well that's a fairly full on prospect, given we want it on the market by the end of the month. Just because, that's what we do.

We are doing really well though, and are both fairly obsessed with making it look nice. My husband told me he was going to have a shower at about 10pm. at 10.45 I leaped up wondering what the noise was, it was him, cleaning a door. He hadn't made it to the shower. (Yes, I will keep him on!)  The Rubbish Skip arrived today, we have a spot of painting to do over the weekend, and need to sort out the gardens too.

So, you may see why my needles haven't been very busy. Last week they were and I just couldn't show you, and this week they have been nearly silent. When I am sitting, I'm too exhausted from all the cleaning, and errand running and to-ing and fro-ing up the stairs from the garage.

Because I can't leave you without a photo - how about one of the new design that is currently in testing?

I wrote this pattern as a perfect sock yarn scrap hat, but it is also delicious in a special 4ply yarn. I have found this hat addictive and have knit 5 with #6 waiting patiently for me to pick up my needles. Its knit top down and is super simple, ear flaps are optional, but pretty cute I think.
It will be out by Mid March, so collect those sock leftovers, or dig out that ball of 4ply that needs to be knit!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Finally - a FO!

My blog might suggest I haven't done much knitting lately, but I have! PROMISE! I'm working on some secret gifts that I can't share yet, and a new design that I still need to get nice photos of, and some mystery socks....  Not a lot to share!

However I did finish a Shinobi recently, as part of my KAL to celebrate its public release, and finally got some photos of my son in it this morning. Its been really sunny and hot every time I've thought to take photos so nabbed him this morning, gave him some money for his wallet (got to pay my staff) and put his 'Ninja Vest' on him.

I think he'd quite like to be a Ninja, although he would be known as the smiling Ninja, not sure he would ever be threatening enough!


I don't tend to knit a new design in such a dark colour, but seeing as this is not the prototype I went with this lovely colour, I know my son will wear it (he hasn't taken it off even though its really too warm to wear it) but it does mean its hard to see in these photos.
Yarn is 'Abrazo' from Red Riding Hood Yarns.

 

The pattern doesn't include specific instructions for button holes, but rather how to go about choosing your sizing and a suggestion of how far away to put them - as it has button bands in the pattern as standard, its an easy mod to make and I one I went with for this! And yes, those are Super Hero Buttons.


By the way - Clue 3 is now out for my Mystery Sock Pattern! Its still free!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Clue 2 is now live

Life has been busy this week, I'm not even really sure where my week went! I did knit Clue 1 for my Mystery socks

And Clue 2 is now available if you are knitting along! I can't wait to see people's socks, and even just seeing lots of cuffs has been quite thrilling!

I've been knitting all sorts of things lately, but need to get the camera out and take some photos. Lately its either been too bright and sunny, or like today, RAINING and foggy. Oh lovely summer!

You may recall that last year I mentioned that a Family member had an accident, well my Brother in Law is still recovering from a traumatic brain injury, and my sister is acting as sole parent while also visiting her husband daily (or twice daily), at the brain rehab facility,  which with 3 young kids is no easy task. Friends have set up a Givealittle donation site. Some of you may be familiar with my sister as she is also a knit designer - I am linking to the givealittle site here in case any of you are willing to donate, but a pattern purchase of hers would be equally appreciated, its all going to her to look after the kids and ease some of the pressures of her daily life.

Givealittle

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Ready, set, CAST ON!

Today, after much anticipation, I have released the first clue for my Mystery Sock Pattern.

To be honest I've been really blown away by the number of people joining in with this Mystery, over 130 project pages set up before the first clue went live - I can't wait to see some socks appearing!

I'm also going to be joining in with the KAL, because I hate to miss out on a fun KAL, and I want some more of these socks too!

I will be using this yummy Sour Cherry from Color Adventures. I've wound it into 2 balls, so that I can knit each clue on each sock, but its a first for me to do it this way.

If you would like to join us, the pattern page is here, and you can download the first clue. There are 3 clues to follow on the next 3 Saturdays. And if you would like to join in with the KAL in the Solid Sock Group, the thread is here.

I'm going to cast on right now, the kids can wait for dinner a little longer. Are you going to join me?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

WIPS, again!

Its Wednesday again, and I'm just not sure how that happened! My son is still on holidays, until Monday, and I think that's definitely been part of the reason the weeks go so fast.

I spent most of yesterday watching the Grammy's and cheering for Lorde, it was great knitting TV although between the cheering, the tweeting and the heart racing, I didn't get as much knitting done as I would have hoped!

At the moment I am knitting away on a few projects, which I really enjoy. I love having different things to knit depending on my mood, depending on the weight yarn I feel like knitting. Its really working for me at the moment and I am making progress on everything.

After my success with my last 2 adult knits, I decided to cast on another for me - this time I went with Flaming June, and I'm knitting it in this nearly Navy colour. I'm knitting it in Light Fingering weight (3ply) which might seem crazy, but I'm using 3.75mm needles, so its not nearly as bad as it could be! I've finished the mitred bits now and am working straight up the body.

 
I'm also knitting away on a new design...
Totally meant to post this yesterday (being Wednesday) but ended up having a crazy day that included 4yo immunisations, donating blood, baking a birthday cake and knitting night, on top of all the usual things!


Friday, January 24, 2014

FO Friday : Sparkly Zita

I've been knitting away on this Zita for a wee while, to be honest, I really didn't enjoy this yarn. But I bought it with this summer dress in mind for my daughter and I had to knit it now, before it really wasn't enough yarn for this dress.



As it was, I played a game of yardage chicken. And I lost! With about 50 sts remaining to cast off, I ran out of yarn! GAH! I attempted to use the ends from throughout the garment, but they weren't long enough. Luckily I have some leftovers in my knitting corner and the first ball I laid my hands on was the perfect colour. 4ply and wool, and not sparkly, but the perfect colour. I just doubled it and finished off the cast off and sighed with relief. Its also at the side of the dress, so totally unnoticeable, even to me.


Amelia is a dress girl. She rarely wears anything else, even a skirt has to be 'pretty' enough for her to agree. She lays her clothes out on the floor as they are to be worn, to ensure it is satisfactory. This dress got a resounding cheer when I suggested she wear it to kindy today. WHEW!

This is a cotton sparkle yarn from Louisa Harding. It already feels much better after a wash, although its definitely not the softest cotton. I do think it will soften more though. And Amelia wore this all day without complaining so it obviously didn't feel bad to her.




The pattern is my Zita pattern, and I knit this exactly to the pattern, although I added length as she is a 3y chest size, and I knit to between the 4y and 5y for length (hence the yardage chicken...)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Summer Holiday



Last week my wee family headed off for a Summer Holiday. We went to one of my husband's favourite spots - Lake Taupo. Its a beautiful spot, and my husband had managed to get us awesome accommodation, in a gorgeous apartment directly across from the Lake.

Craters of the Moon.
At the Huka Falls
Watching the Dam opening.
Our holiday consisted of walking to the Lake, paddling in the Lake, swimming in the Lake (not me, I don't swim), and swimming in the indoor pool at our accommodation when it was a bit windy at the Lake. We also did a few touristy things, which the kids loved.


It was a bit overcast this day, but that didn't stop them!
After that we headed to my home town to catch up with my Mum for the weekend, which was really lovely, the kids always have a ball there. (And are desperately sad to leave afterwards)
The kids with their Nanny, and Great Grandma!

It was a lovely holiday, and it seemed we timed it right, the weather was stunning! We are back to the real world now with the hubby back at work and gearing up for school and kindy to start back soon. But first, one more public holiday here (Wellington Anniversary Day)!

If you were interested in joining my Mystery Sock Knit A Long, the pattern page is now live for you to create a project and get ready for the first clue on 1 Feb!  I'd love for you to join us!


Saturday, January 18, 2014

FO: Peacock Eyes and a giveaway!

In November, I joined in the Indie Giftalong, both as a designer and as a knitter. I decided the KAL was great motivation for me to finally knit something for me again! I chose the Peacock Eyes Cardigan by Justyna Lorkowska and even dug some yarn out of stash - Bendigo Luxury fingering weight in Oceanic. I did pretty well during November, I knit all the body and even did the button bands.
And then I had other things I just had to do instead. However I decided our car trip and holiday were a perfect time to finish it off, and so I did!

My photos aren't as clear as I had hoped, my camera remote isn't working right at the moment, so this was a timer job instead... must try and fix the remote, or wait for my husband to be home next time!


































I did the bottom part (hips) of this cardigan larger than the chest, to fit my body shape. I really like this cardigan, and I think I will wear it a lot. It has definitely cemented in my mind that light weight knits are in desperate need in my wardrobe, and will be the focus this year!

However my next cast on is a new Shinobi, I'm joining in my own KAL - and when I added it to Ravelry, I discovered it is my 300th logged project! I'm pretty good at logging projects, so this is probably close to accurate, I missed some when I first got back into knitting 7 years ago, but I wasn't fast, so it probably was only a small handful!

As I was wowing over 300 projects, I noticed that I had also hit 600 likers on my Facebook page, which has been going for 6 months - so many cool things, I decided to run a wee giveaway. If you are on Facebook, I'd love for you to pop over there and comment on the post, but if you are not, then feel free to leave your project count here and I will include you in my random prize drawing.


So how many Ravelry Projects do YOU have?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My WIPs

I have a few works in progress at the moment, both of the knitting and reading variety.

First up are some dish clothes - I started these on our trip last week (I'll blog about that later), each one takes me about an hour, so I've just been doing them as I feel like it. I should be able to get 4 more out of the ball of cotton, its super soft and really thick, I think its probably close to bulky weight. Its the Grandmother's favourite pattern and I'm using Skeinz Egyptian Cotton.

Next up is my sparkly Zita, sadly the sparkles aren't really showing in this photo but it is SO sparkly, incredibly so. I'm really not loving the yarn to be honest, its 91% cotton, but its not a soft cotton (unlike the one above!) I'm really hoping it will soften with washing, otherwise I may not get  my girl into this one very often, no matter the colour and sparkles!

My project tonight though is to finish up my Peacock Eyes Cardigan, I finished the knitting on our trip, and its blocked, so now I just have to sew in ends and sew on.... 13 buttons. argh. It will be worth it though, I tried it on today and I'm happy with how its looking!

I also did quite a bit of reading while we were away, first up I finished the Luminaries, - 2013's Booker Prize winner, and a NZ book. I really enjoyed it, although its really slow in the beginning as it introduces so many characters.
I've also been reading the Stephanie Plum series, by Janet Evanovich and am now up to #7, they are light reads, and enjoyable too!

What have you got on your needles?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Pattern Release - Shinobi and Momoka

You may remember a post I made 6 months ago in which I showed you 2 of my new designs, that weren't yet available. That was probably a bit mean of me really!

However now they ARE available - so I'm going to show them to you again, this time you actually can get hold of them, if you so wish.

Shinobi is a boys vest pattern, inspired by Japanese Ninjas. Because what boy doesn't like to pretend he IS a ninja every now and again.

This pattern is knit from the bottom up and is incredibly simple. I suggest these cool closures, but buttons are also possible if you prefer.(or toggles, or frogs, or loops... endless possibilities!)


Momoka is a pretty cropped wrap cardigan, perfect to wear with almost anything! There are 3 sleeve options, kimono, short and long(straight) and this really does make a great ballet cardigan if you have a wee dancer as well. An applied i-cord edging means that once you are finished, there are no stitches to be picked up, its done! A button hole allows the i-cord tie to poke through the cardigan and helps it to tie nicely and sit flat.

Both of these are designed to be knit with a DK weight (8ply) yarn and really are very economical on the yardage.

Both patterns are discounted until 10pm on the 15th of January (NZT) so now is a great time to add them to your library.

I am hosting a Knit a Long over in my Ravelry group for these 2 pattern until the end of February - and the lovely Hannah of Red Riding Hood yarns is offering 2 prizes of her delicious yarn shown above!
Which one would you choose? And will you join me?