Wednesday, July 30, 2014

My Weekly WIPS

This week I am still working on some of the same things that I was working on last week, but I have a new project too!

My Wethersfield is humming along nicely, although I had to knit this sleeve twice to get it right. Its perfect now though, and I'm still hoping to have this whole thing finished by the end of the weekend. A sleeve and a band to go, surely that's possible...


I cast on a Poppy hat yesterday, joining in with a hat KAL for Just Jussi - I haven't knit one of these for a few years, but when my friend mentioned her baby had outgrown the hat I knit for her, it was the perfect chance to knit another!

I've actually knit a lot more since I took this photo, this morning, its a really addictive and easy knit!

What have you got on the needles this week?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sleeves

Sleeves are funny things. They can take an incredible amount of time and are often the left over thing to be done on a sweater. The least exciting. The least inviting.

I had an epiphany about sleeves recently. They really are not that bad.

Shut down the laptop, put something good on TV, and knit! And before you know it, the sleeve is longer! A kids sleeve really does not need to take me weeks. I can knit it in an evening.

That is until you finish a sleeve, cast off, try it on and discover your gauge was out. Your sleeve is too tight, and will definitely need to be re knit!

Then it goes back into the dreaded sleeve category.




Thursday, July 24, 2014

My Weekly WIPs

A while ago I shared a photo of the things I was planning to cast on -  (ok so it turns out I didn't, that must have been on Facebook, I have been negligent, sorry Blog!). It looked a little something like this, on the 8th of July.


And now they look like this

My Wethersfield

Body complete, sleeves and bands to go!


And like this - a wee Umberto

Body done, 1.5 sleeves to go and the neckline.

The green is yet to be cast on - its a new design and I know exactly what I want to do but it does mean some thinking!
I like to have things finished by the end of the month so I can start a new month with fresh, multiple, cast ons. Its a bit weird, but its how I like to do things. So hopefully I will get both of these finished (and most of a sock!) by the end of July!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Umberto

Introducing.....



I am so excited to release this pattern! Designed especially with the boys in our lives in mind, its a classic cabled V neck sweater, OR VEST!


Oh yes. First I wrote the pattern to be top down and raglan. And then I rethought it. After all this really is the perfect design for a vest too. So I scrapped that pattern and started again from the bottom. With the set in sleeves, it is the perfect base for a vest, and of course the instructions are included for that too.

I know a lot of people prefer top down, and I get that. I really do. However with this one, bottom up is actually WAY easier. By the time you get to the V and armholes the cable is a total breeze - and I've used the cable to follow and shape the V, which I personally think is a lovely design feature.

The cable is both charted and written, so whichever way you like to do it, this pattern is for you.
I had a wonderful group of test knitters on this one, and a wonderful Tech Editor, and between us, I think you are going to love this pattern - its sized from 3m -12 years.
And you can find it on Ravelry RIGHT HERE - pop over and show it some love <3. An automatic $1 discount will be applied until midnight 25 July 2014.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Stash additions...

After my cold sheeping effort for 3 whole weeks, I have been enjoying the fun of not trying to resist the yarns.

I haven't photographed and added anything to my Ravelry stash for a few weeks, and here they are, ready and waiting!

 One of my favourite sock yarns - from Vintage Purls - this is 'Gobbo' and 'Silence'.

 Delicious 'The Bismark Sapphire' DK weight yarn from Feather Brush - so pretty!

All the remaining yarns that follow are from Little Plum Yarn - some of these are from a preorder paid for ages ago, but some were just impromptu Facebook purchases. I LOVE them all!
 'Sweet Peach' Sparkle Twist sock - hopefully you can see the sparkle!

'Lavender' Supertwist Sport

 'Intensity' BFL Lush Sock - this really is as delicious as it looks!

'Steel Grey' Worsted Superwash Merino (destined to be a Boden)

That should keep me going for now ;) - I have a couple of other preorders in the works, but I'm trying hard to save my money now, for a Knitting Weekend at the end of August in Napier - the market which I loved last year, is destined to be even bigger this year!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

One sock down

School holidays are just about over now, and they really flew. We took a short trip to my Mum's house 3.5hours away, and I did quite a bit of knitting. However I forgot to take the yarn for my cardigan with me... so my hopes to get it finished were dashed.

I finished off a sock for my husband instead - he requested longer socks this time - so I went with the toe up version of Scott Base, and wound my skein into 2 even balls so I could use up every last scrap and make them as long as possible.

One done, one to go - but the first has had approval of perfect fit, which will probably motivate me to hurry up and get the second done.


I love hand knit socks - here is a shot of my feet today - warmly ensconced in hand knit socks and woolly ugg boots!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

New Glasses and a new cardi!

I finished my new cardigan!! To be honest, its really not quite what I expected, as lovely as it is, its no where near as long as I expected it to be! The pattern does have a schematic, which I checked for bust and hips etc, but didn't check out the LENGTH! Well that was a bit silly really, as knit to the pattern length it is a good 3-4" shorter than I expected it to be looking at the pattern photo.

By the time I had worked it out, I was already onto the edging, which I knit and ripped more than once and I was ready to finish this thing and get onto the next. I will wear it at this length, but I think it will be better suited with a dress or skirt, rather than with pants!

Other than the length thing, this is a lovely pattern, and I possibly will make myself a truly long one in the future! 

I knit this with the very yummy Little Plum Yarn Lush Sock in Kale - yummy! 

And after rather a long time struggling to see, I got some glasses! I have worn them in the past but my eyes had changed quite a bit and they were hurting my eyes, and well I have excuses but basically I have been due to get my eyes checked for rather a long time. I don't have to wear them all the time, but now that I have them, I have realised how bad my vision was - turns out not everything in my life has rounded edges....

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Holidays!

I'm still working away on my WIPS, not quite as quickly as I would have liked, and of course there is a bit of ripping and re-knitting as well - which only seems to happen when I set myself a deadline!! I'm currently contemplating ripping back the bottom ribbing on my Summer Festival as well and making it longer, to match what I had in my head more than what the pattern has given me.... but that is more ripping!

In the meantime, July has completely snuck up on me - how did we hit July?!! It is now school holidays which is nice (when the kids aren't driving me batty) so I'm really hoping the knitting time will increase, at least during the day!
Turns out I'm also hosting a Knit A Long this month - over on Ravelry!  There will be prizes and there is a pattern discount too  - it might prompt me to finish those socks for my husband, or perhaps something else....


I have also been very slowly working away on my knitting room/office, mostly clearing things out and creating a blank canvas -  I don't have much teaching work booked for this coming Term and my daughter starts SCHOOL, so I'm hoping to sneak some painting time in when no-one is home to 'help' me. I've also had quotes done to get a cupboard built in the under the stairs so just waiting on the builder to fit me in, I am looking forward to having a proper yarn cupboard!

I did manage to finish my daughter's skirt and she is quite a fan of it!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

WIP blasting!!

For a while now, I've been working away on lots of projects, but not really getting anything finished! Last weekend, I decided that I REALLY wanted to wear some of these projects and it was time to crack on with them.

First I cast off the GAPtastic cowl that had been on my needle a few weeks, its really lovely, and I am so pleased I finally got around to knitting one of these! I used some yarn from stash, added some extra sts to account for the wrong gauge and I'm very happy with it.  I have already worn this lots, and I am sure I will continue to.


Next I finished off the Britney skirt for Amelia. I just need to find some elastic. I did that thing where I took my elastic to a friend's house so she wouldn't have to buy any, and now I can't find it (I did bring it home again, so not her fault!) and will need to go and buy some. Its fairly typical Sarah to be honest. She is begging to wear it so I will get it elasticated soon!


Over the last 5 days I've been knitting pretty monogamously on my Summer Festival cardigan. I know this will get A LOT of wear when its done, it will be a great classroom/teaching cardi, so I just need to hurry up! I've finally finished the body, and am just finishing off the band, with only the sleeves to go. It will be finished this week! (Oh yes it will! just in time for holidays... perhaps I will have managed to sew on the buttons by the end of the holidays too!)


I have swatched for a new design, and will crack on with that in the holidays too, and I'm kind of hoping that I might even knit an entire cardigan for myself in those 2 weeks too.... Its Wethersfield, and fairly thick yarn, so surely I can do it....

So there you go, finally some progress! 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Cold Sheeping Fail

A friend in my knitting group recently decided to go Cold Sheep for 30 days (that would be like Cold Turkey, but with yarn) - and I decided it was a great idea to join in. There are SO many yummy yarns out there that I have been finding completely irresistible of late, and so I was just buying willy nilly, I thought a pause in that would be a good thing.

Well besides the fact that I only lasted 20 days, I turned my attentions instead to knitting books!! I got a whole pile out of the library and read a whole lot of reviews, especially of the ones my Library doesn't have, and then I ordered a couple...

These are the ones I have added to my own personal collection in the last month.


Knitting From the Top, by Barbara G.Walker.

This one has been on my list for a long time, having been recommended by many knit designers, so when I saw it on Abebooks for a ridiculous $10 delivered, it hopped into my cart and flew to my house. I personally enjoy Barbara Walker's conversational style of book, so while I haven't sat and read this cover to cover (yet) it looks to be a very useful book.

 Knit to Flatter, by Amy Herzog

This is a lovely book, well laid out and an enjoyable read. I bought this more for my own selfish knits than pattern design, but it is probably one of those useful books that will really be good for both. Some lovely patterns, but I have a poor history of actually knitting the patterns in knitting books, so don't hold your breathe!


 The Knit Stitch Pattern Handbook by Melissa Leapman

 I've been looking for a new stitch dictionary for a wee while, and noticed our library had this one in, and as soon as I saw it I had to have it. I LOVE when they have a photo, a chart AND instructions. And there are some lovely stitches in this book I haven't really seen before.


Sweater Design in Plain English by Maggie Righetti

I actually requested our library buy this one over a year ago, and I got it out and had a look but wasn't that into it at the time, I don't think I was ready for all its glory! I got it out again recently and fell in love with it as I worked out set in sleeves for a new design - its a great book and I didn't return the library copy till my own arrived.


So there you go, not so great on the Cold Sheeping, but a fairly successful knitting book shopping focus. I have some more from the library that I am currently looking through and deciding if I NEED.....

Do you have a favourite knitting book you want to recommend to me?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Not so much knitting going on

Its Winter, so I would expect to be knitting a lot more at the moment - but its been pretty mild lately and I just haven't done as much as I would have hoped!

However, my daughter, who for the last year would ONLY wear dresses, and skirts at a push, has decided that actually skirts are way better than dresses, and she would like to only wear them. SIGH! And so skirt knitting has become a bit more of a priority.

Currently I am working on a Britney skirt, as part of Julia Stanfield's Knit a Long. I started in a gorgeous green colour, but sadly it was just too thin to work well. Luckily I managed to grab a skein of the yarn this pattern was designed in, in a destash, so a hot pink skirt is on the needles now! Its a nice easy knit, and its growing pretty quickly, so Little Miss Nearly 5 will be wearing it soon.

Check out that fleecy blanket it is sitting on - that was my Mother's Day present and it is an electric throw blanket!! So snuggly, even when its not plugged in!

I will use the green again, it will probably become a 'Pirouette Twirls', as Little Miss has one already and wears it often. Hopefully she won't decide she hates skirts in a month....

I have a few other things on the go, some socks for my Husband, and a Gap Tastic Cowl for me, as well as my Summer Festival. I know I'll wear it, even though its no longer Summer, so I really want to get it done, but it doesn't seem quite so urgent as the others! SOON!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Summer Strawberries

In the middle of Summer, Hannah of Red Riding Hood Yarns approached me about designing a sock pattern for her first ever sock club. Having designed for Hannah's other clubs before, and being in the midst of sock addiction I said of course!

The theme was berries - and I came up with this Summer Strawberries sock pattern  - inspired by the inside of a cut strawberry, and the rows of a berry farm.


Knit from the cuff down and in 3 women's sizes. I love wearing mine - they make me feel a bit brighter and sunnier in Winter! 



Sunday, June 1, 2014

June Knitting

Officially the first day of Winter here in New Zealand and it seemed like the perfect day to stash dive and plan some knits for the coming month. It helps that I've cast a few things off lately too of course!

I have hit 3 weeks of no yarn purchasing today, and surprisingly it hasn't been quite as hard as I thought. Sometimes its good to have an excuse to close that yarn shop page! I have bought quite a few knitting books in that time though, I'll share those with you soon.

I am joining in with a couple of KALs this month

the Solid Socks colour for the month is black/white/grey which makes it a perfect time to knit a pair of socks for my husband. I've only ever knit him one pair. He loved them, and wore them every day, then lost the love for them a little (he wants them longer) but has rediscovered them lately and wants more. So grey socks he shall get, in my new Scott base - toe up pattern. 


My daughter, is the Queen of skirts - nothing else will do, even dresses are out at the moment! So I am joining in Julia's June KAL and knitting a Britney for her. She wanted pink, but I didn't have a shade she approved of in stash, so we settled for a really pretty Ariel (the mermaid) blue/green.

I've finished the prototype of my new boy sweater and I'm going to work on a Vest version for my son too in this yummy.

As well, I have the GapTastic I posted about the other day, and I also need to finish my Summer Festival, which is finally growing (by which I mean I am finally giving it some time and attention).

If that's not enough to keep me busy this month, I also have a new girl design I want to knit.

Have you made plans for your June knitting?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Scott Base - Toe up

I love my Scott Base pattern, and when I discovered Gradient sock sets, like these ones that I have purchased....

I knew that my Scott Base pattern would be the perfect stitch - not too boring to knit, really comfy to wear and wouldn't take away from the gorgeous yarns. But it was knit in the wrong direction to really use up every scrap of those gorgeous gradients. And so I made it toe up.

In the past I have kept away from toe up socks, as I never had much luck getting them to fit my instep and heel, but with some trial and error I discovered a lovely short row heel, a simple one, without wraps and turns, that I think you will love. I know I do!



I also decided that this pattern is a great sock for kids, and so I added kid sizes too!

Its a totally unisex pattern - and boy and man ones are next on my list - both the men in my life are waiting for theirs, both having picked out their choice of yarn, and I better hop to it!

You can pop over to Ravelry and check out the pattern here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Land of Sezza Knits

Its all go in the land of Sezza Knits. Outside the sky is blue and the ground is frosty. The Sun is shining but its bitterly cold. Perfect weather for knitting!

There are a few things happening, so this is going to be a bullet point type of post.

  • The Sezza Knits Facebook page is coming up to 1000 likes. That's pretty exciting! I have some giveaways planned, and will post them as soon as we hit 1000, so its a good time to join us if you haven't already!
  • The pattern I designed for the Red Riding Hood Ladies of Luxe Club has just been previewed. I love that I got the opportunity to choose the Lady of Luxe for this one - and having been a Royalist as long as I can remember, Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge was an obvious choice for me. (One of my clearest childhood memories is cutting out newspaper photos of the Queen and gluing them to my bedroom wall). The pattern won't be available for purchase for 3 months, so just a sneak peak for now. But feel free to pop over to Ravelry and give the pattern some love. Modern Princess.
  • The toe-up version of Scott Base is going to be released this week! I'm quite excited about this, as Scott Base is my own personal go-to sock pattern. I've included kid sizes and its the PERFECT pattern for using those special skeins of yarn you want to use every last scrap of, or those gradient sock sets. YUMMY. 
  • I haven't forgotten about my Kid designs, and I'm finally nearly finished a new boy sweater. It was delayed due to an error in calculations (um yes sleeves do need ease) and not correcting it on the spreadsheet, but instead re-knitting a sleeve THREE times, adjusting the shaping, before checking. Yeah, I won't do that again! So that will be going to the Tech Editor and testers very soon!
  • I'm about to cast on a Gap-Tastic Cowl, am I the last person in the world of Ravelry to knit one? A friend knit one recently and every time she wears it I wish I had one, so I am going to remedy that! Using up some yarn from stash (as all good cold-sheepers must do)
So there you have it - I shall be back in a few days with Scott Base, but in the meantime - pop over to Facebook ;)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

My Other, Other Job


Job - Mum
Other Job - Knitting/Knit design
Other, Other Job - Teaching

(My Other Job and Other, other job are interchangeable depending on the day!)

I always knew that once the world of Teaching called me back, my knitting world wouldn't get quite as much of my attention. And that is what has happened! I have been working quite a bit more lately (relief teaching, which I LOVE!) which has put my blog and my knitting on the back burner a little. I've still been knitting away, but things just aren't getting finished as quickly and that sock pattern that is waiting for me to edit, is going to have to wait until tomorrow.

I am by no means forgetting about knitting, but the income I get from teaching is pretty good, and I am really enjoying my return to the classroom, so its not quite the top of my list some days!

Having said that, I am really looking forward to only working 2 days this coming week and having some time to sit and knit during the day, to edit that pattern and hopefully get my boy sweater pattern into testing. I'm still knitting the first sleeve though (for the THIRD time)....

I also joined some people in my knitting group who decided to not buy yarn for 30 days (EEK what was I thinking!) but as of tomorrow, I will have made 2 whole weeks. Which given the packages and parcels that had been arriving, is obviously pretty good for me!

I've also booked myself to go to a Knitting weekend in August, so I shall save up some money to take to that too, its always so nice to be able to feel and squish the yarn before I buy it!

And just a reminder - if you haven't yet, you still have a week to enter my Knit A Long - using any of my patterns! Here are the 3 prizes!
Thanks so much to my sponsers!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

More Baby Knits!

It seems to be year of the baby around here, and my very good friend is pregnant (and due!) with her first baby at the moment. Once I learned she was pregnant and what she was having I started planning my knitting. After checking with her that she would actually like knits (she is my friend, so of course she was thrilled with the idea!) I decided I'd really like to knit her a baby blanket.

I went with a Western Hills for the Blanket. Choosing yarn colours was rather a drama. I ordered quite a few yarns and yarn combos before the right ones appeared. That is the difficulty of ordering and comparing colours online. However I was happy with my final choice, and knit up a bassinet size blanket.
I loved knitting this up, and see another in my future!

As well as this, I really wanted to knit up a little cardigan and hat set. I chose a yummy skein of Red Riding Hood yarns, in the colourway ''Chateau" and knit up a Shelley Bay and a Picton hat - in a wee size!

I posted these to my friend the other day, with a few other goodies and some hand me down knits as well (I LOVE being able to pass on knits, some have been for my daughter, used by my niece and now to my friend). Now I wait, oh so patiently, for news of a new baby.

(And all of this was secret knitting, I finished it all ages ago, but I couldn't show it to you, in case she saw!)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Knitting Manogamy?

Are you a monogamous knitter? It seems that I am not. I try hard not to cast on a million things at once, and usually force myself to finish a must-knit before casting on a would-love-to-knit, but there always seems to be a must-knit.


I currently have 3 active knits on the needles. All of which are in rotation and being worked on.


From top left - my boy sweater design, a kiddy sock (scott base, toe up) and the bottom is a new cast on for me - Summer Festival. (its a beautiful purple, not the blue it appears here)

What is the maximum you will allow yourself to have on the needles? or minimum?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Baby Knits

There is something about baby knits that just make them jump all the queues of knitting projects. In my head they are quick and easy projects, using that perfect yarn and just a little of my knitting time.

That is not always the case, but in the case of this little cardigan - it actually was true.

This was a test knit for Tikki (Georgie Hallam), for her current non-mystery KAL. You can still pop over and join in, its still going!
I dived for some gorgeously soft Woolganics from my stash, a buttery soft wool, I adored knitting this yarn and am pleased I have more of it! Woolganics has recently been purchased which means they are spinning again and its available once again - Hurrah!

This one is going into my cupboard for a baby girl due later in the year, I might even manage a matching hat!

Friday, May 2, 2014

A Knitting Space

You may recall earlier in the year I mentioned we were putting our house on the market. Well we did, but its really slow here at the moment, and because we didn't have to sell out house (it was more of a whim...) we took it off the market again last week. Its funny how once we started looking at other houses, we realised that actually our own house is pretty good. We have a lot more space than any of the other houses we could afford, and we've spent so much money making this house a nice place to live (heating, insulation, gas hot water etc)

There is still lots we can do, especially in terms of decor, and that's actually ok, because instead of moving we are going to slowly make our house look nicer. And I'm starting with an OFFICE! oh yes, you heard me. Currently its a spare bedroom that is only slept in probably twice a year. Which means its really not well utilised. Its also a lovely, well lit room, I often taking my knitting down there for photographing, so I'll make sure there are some perfect photo locations!



Its going to become an office for me, for my design work, my teaching resources, as well as having room for a comfy couch (fold out for those rare visitors) and being a more useful and usable space. I envision this is going to take me a couple of months - after all it currently has stuff in it we need to sell, and purple and green walls we need to paint. But I'm so looking forward to having a space that isn't in my lounge!

Watch this space for updates on my progress, and if you have an awesome crafting space, I'd love to see a photo, or a link to any inspiring ones you've seen on the webs!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Back to Kid designs

It seems like ages since I designed a kid knit - lately its been a lot of socks, and a hat, and looking back, my last kid design was released in September - over 6 months ago - no wonder it feels like forever!

I have had a boys sweater design sketched in my book for A LONG TIME. At least a year I would think. I ordered the yarn for it way back last year, and its so delicious. (I have some designs that have been there longer, but most  will probably never make it to the needles, this one was always going to)

The Yarn is Little Plum Yarn, DK in Mocha. And its the perfect boy colour. A delicious brown while not being too dark.

I swatched this design at least 6 weeks ago.

On Friday night when I just couldn't get into the groove of knitting - I sat down at the computer for about 3 hours and wrote the pattern, in full. Its not how I usually work, I usually write half the pattern, then knit it, alter it, finish it and keep knitting. But I know exactly how I want this one, I am sure I will edit as I knit, but I'm hoping those hours lost in my spreadsheet will pay off.

Yesterday afternoon, after a lovely family day out (well actually I was grumpy, but everyone else had a good time!) I came home and cast on.
This photo was taken at about 5pm when I had to put it down to make dinner. Its about 3 inches longer now.

I'm hoping the knitting of this new sweater won't take nearly as long as the planning/thinking part did - I really want to get this one out to knitters, I'm in love with it already!

I really love designing and knitting socks, but I really love these kid knits too, I have a girls one that has also been ruminating for a long time, with the yarn ready and waiting and that one will be next on the needles! 

Top photo is most accurate for yarn colour - the bottom one has a filter added so nothing like the right colour!