intermittent blogger that i am, i never got around to doing a farewell to 2012/year in review/usher in the new year type post… but now that i’ve picked up the needles and camera again, and tapped away at these keys a bit, i’m feeling quite excited about what i might make this year and proud of what i made in the last.

as predicted, not as prolific as before, but not a bad effort at all, and i do love seeing it all together like this.

so, a very belated happy new year and happy making to everyone!

a flash of yellow and white streaking by,

a wing cutting the sky…


the luxury of swimming at a beautiful deserted beach

the joy of gannets soaring overhead, diving for the silver fish around us… a summer highlight.


another highlight, making this lovely pattern with beautiful yarn hand-dyed by the designer


shawl 2

pattern: Graphic Kerchief by Ce Persiano

yarn: The Uncommon Thread Merino Fingering in Chrome

madelinetosh tosh merino light in butter and composition book grey

ravelled here.



i have a soft spot for gannets, a favourite day trip is to stunning West Coast beach Muriwai where there is a large colony inhabiting a rather majestic rock


west coast


you can get up close and personal (downwind the smell can be quite overwhelming!),

but the encounter I describe at our far north beach was much more intimate, secluded, both exhilarating and utterly peaceful at the same time.



there’s something inherently soothing about Veera Välimäki’s garter stitch short row designs,

like knitting an incoming tide – knit a few stitches, turn and go back again, knit out a bit further, turn and back again….

stripe study

pattern: Stripe Study by Veera Välimäki

yarn: Springtree Road Julep Sock in Aventine and Granite

ravelled here.


i’ve been wanting to knit this pattern for such a long time, and finally found a yarn and colour combo that spoke to me (it said, “make us a stripe study!”), and i am so glad i listened


named for another of my favourite native New Zealand birds, the shy slate-grey kōkako with its vibrant blue wattles.


(photo courtesy department of conservation website)

One of the best things about knitting today is the online community found on ravelry.

It isn’t just the best resource for patterns, yarn information, and all things knitting (there are other crafts too but I haven’t explored them yet), but it’s populated with the friendliest, most talented people you could ever virtually meet.

I can spend hours browsing through other people’s projects, and inevitably will find people whose aesthetic I admire and projects I wish to follow. One of these, Sandrine C., has released her second design and kindly asked if I’d like to test the pattern.

As I had already fallen in love with her beautiful cowl the answer was of course “Yes!”

pattern: Dune by Sandrine C.

yarn: Tanis Fiberarts Green Label Aran Weight in Sand

ravelry details here.

Of course it was a pleasure to knit and the pattern is a wonderful mix of textures with two stunning featured cables. I think it looks great in deeply saturated colours and the more subdued tones I chose.

The yarn deserves special mention as it is just gorgeous, so soft yet resilient, beautifully dyed with subtle shades of cream, grey and taupe…

Time will tell but I think it’s going to be quite durable too as I frogged it several times (casting on when tired, never a good idea) and there was no sign of wear, and despite being superwash it didn’t grow significantly even after a spin in the machine, just sprang right back into shape when dry!

I feel a new yarn addiction coming on…

back in my comfort zone… cowl city.

a while ago i managed to get hold of some of this beautiful hand dyed yarn in a studio sale

it didn’t even come with a name for the colourway, although to me it looks a lot like one called moonstone

luckily the sale price made the extortionate shipping fee a little easier to bear and it is truly gorgeous stuff, a beautifully soft and smooth pure merino with a tight bouncy twist

it was crying out to be made into something with garter stitch, for the squish, or cables, for the stitch definition, and with the colour bringing to mind ice cold water it was clear it had to be this:

pattern: Millwater by Beth Kling

yarn: Sweet Fiber Merino Twist Worsted

ravelled here.

just look at that gorgeous cable…sigh

something about those flowing lines makes me swoon

this was an enjoyable and relaxing knit, and makes a wonderful woolly accessory

judging by this clear-as-a-bell pattern and what I’ve seen of her other designs, Beth is a very talented knitter and designer, I definitely see more of her patterns in my near future…

Better late than never, here as promised is another lace project, my first full one… finished in February, it took me a month to knit, then only nine more to take photos!

pattern: Lida Shawl by Bristol Ivy

yarn: tosh merino light in antler

ravelry details here.

So I did procrastinate quite a bit on this one, but got there in the end.  That’s the great thing about knitting, all you need to do is one stitch, one row at a time and eventually, like magic, a finished object will appear…

This wasn’t an onerous knit at all, my biggest problem with lace is that I can’t get into a rhythm with it, but equally that makes it perfect for putting down and picking up much later.

I think I am progressing towards my goal of tackling lace knitting, although I may have cheated somewhat as this pattern is only charted on one side, i.e. the wrong side is all purling and therefore not so challenging.

It seems wikipedia agrees with me: “Some consider that “true” knitted lace has pattern stitches on both the right and wrong sides, and that knitting with pattern stitches on only one side of the fabric, so that holes are separated by at least two threads, is technically not lace, but “lacy knitting”, although this has no historical basis”.

OK, so I’ve completed my first “lacy knitting”. Getting there…..

p.s. I love wikipedia’s rather prosaic description of the loveliness that is lace… “a style of knitting characterized by stable “holes” in the fabric arranged with consideration of aesthetic value”. Ho hum.

I didn’t feel much like blogging or knitting for the last two months, until this playful and vibrant pattern came along and I couldn’t resist dusting off the needles again…

pattern: simple sprinkle by Veera Välimäki

yarn: various worsted leftovers

ravelry details here.

It does have three important factors that are dear to my heart after all:

1. it’s a cowl 2. it’s a Veera design 3. it’s a riot of colour!

And that is without even mentioning the stripes, the garter squish, the quirky short rows and its use of leftover yarn.

So much fun to knit and wear, hopefully my knitting mojo is slowly on its way back.

Named for the book I was reading on my recent trip, another story of spontaneous, haphazard journeying…

In August I made an unexpected trip to the States.

Most of my time was spent in the sweet college town of Davis, where there was never a cloud in the sky, tremendous heat radiated up from the pavement and everyone seemed young and beautiful.

I wasn’t there as a tourist, but at the end of the trip we had one glorious day in San Francisco where I was reminded how much I like that city. So visually appealing, with such character, it wasn’t as fresh and bright as Davis – in fact ramshackle and dilapidated were more the order of the day – but faded beauty is the most interesting kind and I couldn’t stop taking snaps as we walked and walked and walked all across the city…

And whoever it was who said “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco” (apparently not Mark Twain), was not exaggerating – brrrrr.

…when you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love…

– Marcus Aurelius

for Simon

on a cold winter’s day….

….i decided eli’s hottie needed a snuggly cover (he protested but i think we shall see who won that argument!) and that i should probably use up some stash as it was/is starting to overflow out of my wardrobe.

after a little ravelry research (you’d be surprised how many patterns there are for hottie covers, they even have their own category),  i found the ideal pattern and some leftover stash yarn to suit, and in no time at all produced this:

(the cover that is, the child is one i prepared earlier, ha!)

pattern: all you need – a classic by london leo

yarn: Cascade 220 in Ruby and Greystone

ravelled here.

 i had such fun making this, and even learned a brilliant new cast on method – judy’s magic cast on – which is sheer genius and means that the cover hasn’t got a single seam. nope, not a one.

this technique is normally the preserve of sock knitters, which i decidedly am not, and it gave me a thrill to learn a new skill (unintentional rhyme there, i promise)

it was my first time embroidering with duplicate stitch too.

in fact, the whole process made me think what a great learning project this is and how perfect for beginners to learn basic skills, like increasing and decreasing to fit, ribbing, etc, as well as more complicated ones like the cast on or the icord bind off i added.

it’s also completely adaptable to any modifications you might want to add, so for a simple pattern it really gives a lot and my knitting student (a.k.a good friend Stacey) has agreed that it should be her next project.

plus, i just really appreciate it when a designer takes the time and effort to craft a well-presented, detailed pattern, especially when they’re not making any money off it. so thanks eva!

and now i’d like to point out that ‘someone’ is very happy indeed that his hottie has a new cover (-:




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