From hank to ball and a new stitch

Over Christmas I visited Hokitika for the first time – the joy of family who relocate enabling you to see new places. For some unknown reason I did a bit of advance preparation, as in I found out there was the world famous, or “perhaps world famous in NZ” Sock World Hokitika – here is their website and facebook page. Small town NZ is a large part of my childhood so I love to support local endeavours. And while I am absolutely not the world’s best sock knitter – I have yet to even try knitting a pair of socks – I am of course craft curious, and my before I went search had alerted me to the fact that they may have also sold yarn… And of course it was the yarn that I was after, I wanted to buy something that I would associate with the place.

For my little girl, with her input (have to have that these days unless you are keen to start WW3!) I have three hanks of beautiful 10 ply Waterspout Felted Yarn (75% superfine merino 25% possum). It is so light and soft. No idea what I will make for her yet, but that is part of the adventure. There is a beautiful hint of black in the yarn.

Anyway last night for the very first time I took a hank of yarn and created a ball of yarn. I am so proud of myself! It is a huge ball – I put the tape measure in the photo for a sense of scale, it is about 12 cm in diameter. I followed the sage advice from Craftsy here, and in reading the comments there was a great tip about continuing to wrap the yarn around your finger as you create the ball; it worked a treat.

Sock World HokitikaSo what am I going to make with the beautiful sea green teal that I bought for myself? What I initially wanted to make is the utterly gorgeous pleated scarf by Jen Geizen on the left below, but alas I do not have enough yarn. I suspect I may go out and buy enough of some other yarn to make that scarf – I love it! Instead I am going to try a new stitch – the garter drop stitch – the effect looks amazing, yet the technique appears rather easy; a combination I am fond of. There is a pattern for the scarf on the right below, but you almost do not need it. Hoping to finish the scarf for this winter. And here’s to the family staying put in Hokitika for a while, I want to go back to Sock World Hokitika and buy more!

Image on left courtesy of Craftsy.com and image on right courtesy of Redheart.com

Finally, a scarf for me

Well the change is not to take even longer between posts! Since making my last post’s bold statement it does feel like I have moved in entirely the opposite direction to what I am hoping to move in. Fortunately as they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

What I am really exited to share with you is the scarf I finished knitting for myself and have actually had a chance to wear once or twice (spring is inching its nose around the corner here). You may recall that I bought this divine wool more than a year ago. What was that about Rome?!

I have never put tassels on a scarf (or anything else for that matter). For the life of me I could not imagine how to do it and always envisaged it would be pretty tricky. It is so easy I am tempted to put tassels on everything I knit! If you have never undertaken the joy of tassels I can highly recommend these two sites, a wiki How and this page from Felt Magnet. Think it took me longer to find the instructions than follow them – did I say how easy it is to do tassels?!! The photos do not really do the scarf justice – this may have something to do with the completely cracked lens on my phone, fortunately just about to be replaced. It was a simple ribbed pattern that came with the ball of gorgeous merino mohair wool. The scarf is light and so cosy, the colours so rich. While it may have only got an outing or two this year I foresee many for next winter.

Yarn appetite sated for now

According to my Mum, my grandmother always used to say a little bit of what you fancy does you good.  I have always kind of liked that, in fact I kind of try to live by it.  And as part of ensuring at least a little bit of time to myself (a working mum’s rare treat!), about a month ago I went to the Yarn and Craft Market hosted by the Handknitters Guild.  So much beautiful yarn…I was very restrained and purchased with my new baby bootie range for my Made in North Melbourne Etsy store in mind – two merino in the traditional pink and blue and one utterly gorgeous yellow in merino/cashmere.  I was so taken by the name of the wool, how can you resist Mother’s Love for making baby booties?  This is a locally hand dyed yarn by the almost eponymous Dyed By Hand Yarns.  I have not started knitting with it yet, but will show you when I have.  I think sunshine yellow booties might appeal.

And very recently I purchased some wool just for me.  It is delectable.  I know – not a word you would normally associate with wool, but it is just so divine.  I had the good fortune recently to be in picturesque Arrowtown in New Zealand, and wandered into The Stitching Post (what a cool name for a store) and knew I could not leave without a purchase, it was just a matter of what.  There it was, hanging up, a big loose hank of incredible softness, lightness and colour, hence delectable.  The yarn is Alpine (though that might be the colour) from Touch Yarns, and is a super fine kid mohair, merino wool.  And for the far more seasoned knitters that I, this would come as no surprise – because even though to the eye the yarn is slender in appearance it knits as 12 ply.  The lovely man at the store wound it into a ball for me (read he took pity on me, may have been something to do with the fact that I had asked whether I could knit the wool directly before it was wound up in a ball…!).  They even gave me a free pattern.  I started knitting my delectable new scarf last night.