Saturday, February 27, 2010

Good lumbar support matters as a girl gets older.

I've been making cushion covers - nearly instant gratification for the craftily challenged.

Tivaevae, in tapa colours.

I found this glorious vintage cut out work in the Newtown St Vincent de Paul shop.  It is properly old, lovely faded cottons, all hand stitced.  I've somewhat inelegantly stuck it to a Spotlight cushion with iron-on bonding, and whipstiched (I'm crafty, honest) around the edges.  So much work went into making these beautiful flowers and leaves, I hope I'm doing it's maker justice by putting it to use, and on show.

The easiest cushions of all - the tamariki chose the panels at Nancy's Embroidery Shop, I found hopefully co-ordinating el-cheapo fat 1/4s at Spotlight.... ta da: instant cushions for  "you're the best mummy ever" grateful children.

Next time - crochet toilet roll covers and those poodles to go on your sherry bottle.  Yeah.....nah.  Would you like a kitten photo?  Of course you would:

Monday, February 22, 2010


While I'm on a roll, here's free one.  Click here to download a PDF:

download now

Am I nuts offering a free pattern that looks like my pay one?  Yes, probably!  But this is really very different in construction from Anahera, and I want to see it knitted in different yarns with seed stitch detailing, and don't want to do it myself, so it's a freebie.  Please knit!

Hetty came out of size testing for Anahera, basically she's a size 6 Anahera without the details and knitted top down.  You can replace the seed stitch bands with garter stitch if you wish (sharp eyes will notice my sample is knitted in garter stitch as it's pretending to be an Anahera).

Finished garment measures: chest 25” (63.5cm), length 18” (48cm)
Gauge: 20sts and 32 rows to 4”(10cm)
Yarn: 200g of Bendigo Woollen Mills Harmony
Needles and Notions
4mm 60cm circular needle or size to get gauge
4mm DPNs (or circs for magic loop) to work sleeves or size to get gauge
Stitch holders, stitch markers, tapestry needle.

Seed Stitch:
rnd 1 and all odd numbered rows k1, p1 to end
rnd 2 and all even numbered rows p1, k1 to end

With 60cm circular needle CO 90sts, pm and join for working in the round.
Rnd 1: knit
Rnd 2: purl
Rnd 3: knit placing markers as follows: k16, pm, k29, pm, k16, pm, k29
Rnd 4 (raglan inc): (k to 1 stitch before marker, kf&b,sm, k1, kf&b)  repeat 3 times
Rnd 5 (sleeve inc): k6, (m1, k1) 6 times, k to 2nd sleeve, k8, (m1, k1) 6 times, k to end.
Rnd 6 (raglan inc): (k to 1 stitch before marker, kf&b, sm, k1, kf&b) repeat 3 times
Rnd 7: knit
Repeat rnds 6 and 7 9 more times, until you have 44sts for each sleeve and 51sts front and back, 190 sts total.
K2 rounds even.

Divide for sleeves
Place 44sts on holder, k51, place 44sts on holder, k51 (remove raglan markers as you go, and place new marker for side).

K3 rnds even
Knit 3 rnds seed stitch
Next rnd k17 (Kf&b) 19 times, k to side marker, k across back increasing 19sts evenly as you go (approx every 3rd st).
K even until piece measures 9” from underarm, or desired length.
Knit 3 rnds seed stitch
Next rnd: *k20, (kf&b) 3 times, k26, (kf&b) 3 times, k to next marker**. Repeat * to ** once.
Work even until piece measures 13” from underarm or required length.
Knit 3 rnds seed stitch
BO all sts in pattern.

Place held stitches for left sleeve on dpns, or circular if you magic loop. Pick up 4 stitches around armhole, 48sts total.
Knit even for 1” (2.5cm) or desired length.
Next rnd: k22, (k2tog) 4 times, k22
Knit 3 rnds seed stitch
BO all sts loosely in pattern.
Repeat for right sleeve.

Weave in ends and block as needed.

© Sarah Wright 2009. All rights reserved. Please do not copy, distribute or sell this pattern in any form. This pattern is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. Do not make items from this pattern for sale.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Anahera - a knitting pattern for a young girl's tunic

This pattern is now available to purchase and download using Paypal and the Ravelry Store.  You don't need to be a Ravelry member to use the pattern store, just click on the "buy now" button below and you will be re-directed to Paypal.
A little bit dustbowl chic and a little bit Belles of St Trinians, Anahera was inspired by my collection of old knitting magazines, and the tunics and gymslips schoolgirls wore from the 1920s though to the 1960s. I wanted to knit something my daughter would actually choose to wear, a top short enough for cartwheels and tree climbing, but long enough to wear modestly over tights or leggings. Slightly puffed sleeves provide sun protection and a girly touch without frilliness, and neat little pockets are perfect for Thing Seekers to store their treasures.

Knit in the round from the bottom up, Anahera is a simple knit with a few interesting details to keep you awake. There are pleats formed two ways, concealed pockets and gently puffed cap sleeves, with plenty of “TV knitting” in the middle.

Pattern is for sizes 4, 6, and 8 years and requires approx 200-300g of dk (8ply) or light worsted weight yarn.  Pattern is NZ $5.00

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Deep Breath - and let go.....

I did it - I've put my Anahera pattern out in the big bad world on the Ravelry store.  I am so nervous - what if it's crap and nobody likes it and they ask me hard questions and complain?  Please don't!  Be nice to me!

I think it's a fabulous pattern and everyone should rush out and buy it now:


 Check out my Ravelry page if you are signed up.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A proper kind of cat....

...has to be black and white!!!!!  I don't know why, but to me a cat's not really a cat unless it's black and white.  Perhaps because my first feline friend was my Grandma's black and white cat, and then there was my lovely Audrey (now helping to grow flowers - that's a pretty nice job for a cat), and briefly there was Simon (who was unfortunately fearless and now also growing flowers), and now.....

Here's Moon (otherwise known as Puku):

The centre of attention at our place.  He does make knitting difficult.

 But we forgive him.  "Do cat's have baby teeth?"  asked Mr 5?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Sailor's Hat to Match

A full pattern for this hat can be downloaded for free from the Ravelry Store:

Not wanting to waste an inch of Angie's beautifully dyed merino wool here's a hat to match Wendy Bernard's Sailor's Rib sweater (Interweave Knits Weekend 2009).  It took me three attempts to get a hat that fit out of the samll amount I had left - as you can see it is a snug fit - but used every last drop of wool.

If you want to do your own here's a rough guide, assuming you know how to knit a basic hat in the round.  If you don't, Google it ;-)

For the sailor's rib you need to cast on a mulitple of 5 sts.  I CO 75sts for this hat - with worsted weight yarn on 4mm circular needles I got a 4 repeats of the 5 st Sailor's Rib = 12cm/5".  I'd suggest 80-85sts for a larger child's hat, 90-95sts for an adult hat.  I did 2 purl rounds, then 3 full repeats of the rib, then rnds 1 & 2 of the rib followed by 2 purl rnds.  Knit desired depth (about 5" from CO for a child's hat), then form the crown by alternating knit rounds with decrease rounds k8, k2tg....; k7, k2tg.... etc.

Sailor's Rib in the round:
Rnds 1 & 2:  k1tbl, p1, k2, p1
Rnds 3 & 4:  k1tbl, p4

Monday, February 8, 2010

The miracle of sun, water and animal poo!

In the spring I cut down some shrubby trees, liberated a bunch of rocks from the wasteland over the fence, bought several bags of ZooDoo and built an extention to my pocket sized vege garden.  I planted corn, tomatoes, zucchini, carrots and potaotes.  After a month things looked like this (28/12/09):

Only five weeks later it looks like THIS! (6/2/09):

Corn, with cobs on!

Corn being arty:


The big little picture (with clothes line):

An indulgent check out my home town pic:

Beautiful scarlett runner beans.  This is the original mini-garden - the beans are several years old, they're perennial, plant these once and you're set for life.  Gee they're pretty.

Also in my original plot - more potatoes!  Like all good Kiwi kids I grew up with potatoes (and silverbeet) in the backyard, but this is my first go and growing potatoes myself on purpose (i.e., not by accident in the compost heap!)

I got impatient and dug one up today:

The rest were peanut sized.  Patience is a virtue.....  But look what I found lurking under the potato I dug up:

The only real flop has been the zucchini.  A wet, foggy summer does not make healthy zucchini.  The cool wet spring and summer has done wonders for everything else though, this plot is a real heat trap, and the weather has finally turned hot, so hopefully things will continue to ripen and thrive.  I haven't bought a lettuce or a bean or a tomato all year!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Still Waiting for Summer....

No one is allowed to touch the button on my thermometer - I want to leave the "high" bar on 31 for ever - just to prove it really did get hot once!  Saturday 30th Jan 2010 it was :-)

Even our week at the beach was a cooler experience than usual, a lot of books were read by my bookworms, the five year old discovered he could read chapter books.

But hey, the cooler weather meant Ry could model his new jersey!

This merino was dyed by a friend of mine. She called it "NZ Coastline", and I just wanted to show you how exactly perfectly the colours match a New Zealand beach. Wasn't she clever?

See - perfect!

More Beachy Goodness

Those coastal shades of blue and brown and grey again.

Now we're home, the children went back to school today and Parapara seems along way away and a long time ago.  I can feel that warm sand on my toes....