Monday, November 28, 2011

Kate Davies is the most amazing knitter ever

Seriously. I mean just look at this amazing design. I'm not normally drawn to complicated colour work because I lose patience with it, but I cannot wait to start her newest design, the Funchal Moebius.

From my new yarn stash, I might try dying some of my Naked Merino to make this. I'll have to figure out if I have enough first, but I think I'll make this awesome scarf my new summer holiday project. I find knitting hard in the summer, but I actually need this scarf. I think it's a matter of life or death.
This stunning work is knit in the round and grafted together in some fancy way which I haven't quite figured out yet, but the pattern is purchased and safe in my Ravelry library, and will be studied in great detail over the next day or so. My jumper can go on hold for a little while... too hot for alpaca anyway!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A box of yarn

Merino Soft 4ply in Tangerine
Naked Skeinz Organic Merino
Skeinz Laceweight Merino in Indigo
Prism Organic DK in Play Green
Skeinz Super Chunky Alpaca
 I wouldn't normally go and get this much yarn at once, but when the opportunity to be paid in yarn for an article came up, I wasn't going to say no. And I've only spent half of the budget, it's hard trying to choose! All of these awesome yarns are available at

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Entangled Magazine's third issue out now!

Issue Three of Entangled is now online! And I think this one is the best yet - some really insightful articles, great photos and comment that gets you thinking about how people approach and view craft - not something you always get in a lot of magazines that focus on patterns. I must admit my bias - I got to write the Knit forward - fashion back story. So great to speak with so many talented designers.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Summer is for picnics - and for that you need a cool basket

I've been meaning to make a picnic basket for about... well, ages, and last summer I got a step closer to it. I found this basket at the Swanson Market for $15. It needed a good dust and a polish, but other than that it was perfect. It just needed a lining.

So I quickly spent my fresh vege allowance on buying a basket I probably didn't really need, but I didn't care. I got it home, gave it a clean and then left it in the cupboard. A few weeks later I was rummaging through the Let's Go Retro shop, also in Swanson, where I found a great piece of green gingham fabric.

I was all ready to get making, except I got distracted by knitting and Pride and Prejudice on DVD. The basket sat in the cupboard for nearly nine months.
Today I decided enough was enough. With the weather improving and my 25th birthday quickly approaching (much too quickly if you ask me) the picnic basket needed to be finished. I already had plastic plates and cutlery from an old picnic set that was horrifically ugly, so the lining was the only thing to do. For this, I needed Mum's help. 

Because the basket is an oval shape, we cut the fabric into a rectangle and sewed an edging with two rows of stitches.

This is where we would thread the elastic through to secure it to the basket. 

After a long battle with a safety pin, we (Mum mainly) threaded the elastic all the way through. We Used two pieces - one for each half of the lining, stopping at the handles on each side. 

To stop the lining popping out every time we opened it, we stitched four pieces of gingham around the handles, to tie it down. And I must say, we did a good job.

Now it's filled up and ready to take to a field, all it needs is some sandwiches and lemonade.

This is going to be a great start to summer - roll on next weekend - as long as the weather is good!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I really want to make a woolen camera wrap...

My Olympus EPL1 has a boring case that's too chunky (and a tad too ugly) to carry around. I think I should make one of these awesome cases like Wood&Faulk. I'm going on a hunt for an old woolly blanket to cut up. The pattern looks simple enough, it can be cut to size for any camera.

Wish List 19/11/11

Christmas is coming. Apart from the usual freak out of wondering where the year has gone, and a panic about gift planning, this time of year always reminds me that Christmas should be cold and a little bit snowy. This stems from a childhood living in the UK, and even though I've lived in New Zealand for nearly 16 years I still haven't completely adjusted to the "BBQ Christmas at the Beach" thing. Christmas is all about winter, and my friends back home get this kind of stuff as stocking fillers...

Turkish Socks by
Pearl detail Turban by Alice Hannah at Topshop

Multi colour mix up scarf at Topman

Topman, via The Guardian

Monday, November 14, 2011

I'm a top-down knitting convert

I mean, you can try on the jumper as you're making it! It's genius. No longer will I knit jumpers too short!
I'm loving the Quince and Co pattern, it's so simple and quick to knit. If I'm going at my current rate, I should have this finished by the weekend!

And as for even more inspiration, a new edition of Frankie Magazine is out, and I've found another half-price bargain at Borders - I shouldn't be allowed to work so close to it.

The essential guide to color knitting techniques by Margaret Radcliffe is a knitting bible. I've wanted a copy for ages, but at $85 I couldn't quite justify it. So when I found it today on sale for $42, I had to get it. It's a beautiful book and it will definitely help me get more adventurous with my colour knitting.

And here's a couple more tops from Quince & Co that I'm planning on making next. On the left we have the Sumac Shrug by Pam Allen and on the right the Helene by Veronik Avery. Both amazing!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Magic loop is actually magical

I've finally figured out how to magic loop. And it is awesome! I'm knitting my Fiona Sweater from Quince & Co, and knitting on big needles with fat wool is much easier to learn the technique with than skinny sock yarn.
The pattern called for a 16in circular needle for the neck (I'm knitting this top-down, another first) but even with the right amount of cast-on stitches, using the same cast-on as the pattern suggested, I couldn't join it in the round. So I grabbed a long cable, and tried the magic loop. It's working!
And I can fit it over my head - it looks small but it's nice and stretchy so it should block out well.

For this I needed 10mm needles, so last weekend I went to Crafty Knitwits in Milford where I got the Knitpro Spectra Trendz chunky set - with 9mm, 10mm and 12mm needles. I think I nearly have the full range of interchangeable needles now, very handy.

Since I'm still on a new project ban until I finish something else, I've been very good and finished up my second Simple Things shawlette. Well almost.... I need to weave in the ends and block it. I'm really happy with this one.

This is knitted up in Rowan Cotton glade, in denim and red - leftover from my Peppermint Twist jumper. No point wasting such awesome cotton.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Wish List 5/11/11

I must apologise for the noticeable absence from the blog over the last couple of weeks.
I have some excuses:

1 - New job is getting crazy busy, which is good, but it's not giving me as much time for knitting or blogging.
2 - Lots of social occasions. Also not leaving a lot of time for knitting or blogging.
3 - I got engaged!

Number 3 is definitely the most exciting, and now I've turned into one of those girls who thinks of wedding dresses. All. The. Time.

So my lack of knitting means I don't have much to blog about, so I'm going to do something a bit new today - a wish list of cool knitting things that I really like. I might make this a regular thing  if it goes well, especially if my knitting isn't going good!

This week's wish list - knitted jumpers I love. Sure, they're probably not hand knitted, but I'd still wear them! These ones are from Topshop.