Saturday, January 25, 2014

Darn it!

I have a hole in my sock.  My nice warm knitted sock.  The pair I had only just finished when winter started.

I have a little left over yarn and know how to fix it but how far should I go?  The fabric is wearing thin in other places too.

I never really appreciated knitted socks before coming to Canada.  I always found them too hot to wear.  Not so in this land of cold!  This pair of socks have been worn almost constantly since they were finished, which is probably why they have a hole already (and having all wooden floors at home).

The funny thing about these socks is that they were a classic case of Second Sock Syndrome or SSS.  I made the first one the beginning of 2010 and started a different sock instead of making a second!  That next sock was finished and also never had it's mate started.  So you could say I had a pair of socks, just not a matching pair!  (Since then I have actually finished three pairs of socks - two were gifts and the other was for a KAL so they all had deadlines.)

Mixed in with my yarn stash that came over from NZ were my two single socks.  It didn't take me long to realize that warm woollen socks were a good idea in this country, so I dug through my part balls, printed out the pattern and got knitting on the first second sock!

Then other, more urgent knitting projects got in the way of starting the next second sock.  Until I got a hole.

Now I'm racing through the next one and already planning another pair!  Hopefully I don't get SSS this time, but it seems necessity is a great motivator for me to finish!

Any one else had issues with SSS?  What's the longest it's taken you to finish a pair of socks?

~ Amber ~

Friday, January 17, 2014

Yummy Yarn

I've been having lots of fun dyeing up yarn lately!  Here's a few of my newest creations.  Some are listed on Etsy for sale and some are prize yarns for a competition I had on my Facebook page recently.


You can see more in my Etsy store, and until the end of February there's FREE shipping worldwide on any purchases over $50!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Hello From the Land of Snow!

So blogging has taken a bit of a back seat for me the last few months.  I'm sure you can forgive me as there's just been so many new things to experience as a family in this new country we're calling home!

Shovelling snow off the pond to try ice-skating!

Our latest adventure is all about the snow.  Where we lived in New Zealand it basically doesn't get snow so it's all new for us!  It's the first time I've really been able to see the point in accessory knitting - the girls hardly ever wore hats, gloves or scarves before, but now it's a necessity.  I've been knitting constantly since it started getting cold and I still have a list a mile long of things I need to knit for this winter.  And I don't have any photos of anything I've knit becasue as soon as it's off the needles, it's being used!

The girls in their snow gear off to school

But I have even more exciting news to share!

When looking for yarn to buy online, it didn't take me long to notice that I had no chance of buying from my favourite NZ dyers.  Usually their stockings, which sell out in minutes, are up for sale at 8pm NZ time which is 2am here (i.e. the middle of the night!) and I wasn't going to stay up that late.
This also made me realise that most people in North America probably have never had the opportunity to knit with any of this great NZ wool either.  Having done a little yarn dyeing before and a space I could set up solely for the purpose, I contacted a NZ wool mill about getting un-dyed yarn sent over here.  As it turned out, I could get wool from NZ at a price reasonable enough to dye and sell here.

And that was the start of Little Fantail Yarns!
Click on the picture to see what I have for sale on Etsy
So far it's just in the infant stages, selling a few different bases on Etsy, but I hope to add luxury NZ yarns in the future (think possum/merino!)  I also plan on re-branding my patterns as Little Fantail over the coming months.

In the meantime, browse the yarns I have for sale on my Etsy page and make sure you stop by my brand new FaceBook page, like it and share with anyone over this side of the world you think might be interested - every milestone in people that like me is a good excuse for a giveaway!

Monday, October 21, 2013

We Have Arrived!

(Now I'm hoping that this post works and things don't look disjointed as it's my first time using the mobile app to do a blog post.  Our only Internet is on the phone until the tech comes to set it up.)

It has been a bit over six weeks ago that we arrived in Canada to live and a very full six weeks it has been too!  The first few days were spent adjusting to the time difference, purchasing a smart phone (specifically for the GPS feature - Canada's a big country to get lost in!), sorting out driver's licences and finding a vehicle, while dealing with over-tired kids and driving on the wrong side of the road! 

Our first weekend here, we drove six hours north to spend a week camping in the forest of Algonquin Park with the family we were staying with.  The girls (and the Little Man) had lots of fun meeting the wildlife.

The next two weeks were spent trying to find a suitable (i.e. not a two bedroom apartment, of which there seem plenty) place to rent that was close to both J's work and the girls' school while also sorting out uniforms and school supplies for the girls.  Thanks to the help of some friends we found the perfect place out in the country (yet only a 10min drive to the nearest mall!)

Mad buying of necessary furniture, kitchen gear and groceries ensued so we could move in immediately, which was also the day before J had to start work!  The girls and I had one week to settle in and set up house before they started school.

They get to ride the classic yellow school bus and they get picked up right at the front gate!

With everyone but me and the Little Man out of the house from 7.30 to 4.30 most days, no vehicle (we only have one which J takes to work) and yarn for only one project (a man-sized sweater, but mostly stocking stitch so a little boring) until the rest of my stash arrives, there was only so much baking and tidying house I could do before I had to buy some yarn online!

I have plenty of yarny plans in store with new designs just waiting for my stash to arrive so I can cast on and ideas for expanding my designing!  I'm sure there will be inspiration aplenty as we head into our first Canadian winter.  Watch this space for news!

~ Amber ~

Ps. It appears this post never published when I wrote it a few weeks ago...unfortunately I only checked and found out today.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Shift in Hemisphere...

Earlier in the year I vaguely mentioned some major changes that were going to happen in our lives this year.  The first one was a big change of job for both J and me with the sale of his parent's business (we both worked for/with them for the past 9+ years).

But now, the real major change is upon us - we're moving to Canada!

This photo was taken by J earlier this year at the local Aerodrome when they had a WWI Air Show/display on.  He thought it was very fitting, considering our plans for this year.

This is a big deal for us as it's not just 'across the ditch' (to Australia - the common thing NZers do), it's a complete change of hemispheres and we will be leaving all our extended family behind.  We're going on a one-way ticket with a very flexible idea of when we will be coming back home!

We leave New Zealand in just under three weeks at the begining of August which should give us a bit of time to settle in etc before the girls start the new school year there in September.

School's on holiday at the moment and as we leave the week after Term 3 starts, there wasn't much point them going back to school here.  This also means I have three very excited and nervous girls to try and keep busy while I trying to pack up our life and sell all our furniture.  Things are very busy for us right now!

Hopefully the next post on this blog will be made from the hot and humid Summer going on in Ontario when we're finally settled!

PS:  Do you think it's terrible that I'm looking forward to having a 'real' winter where my knits might actually get worn?  (The girls love wearing my knits, they just never seem to get really cold enough to get good use out of them.  Today, for example, they're outside in shorts and singlets and it's the middle of July!)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


The sample I sent away for photos to go with the pattern I had published in Knit Now magazine, Tadpole Romper, arrived back in the post last week.  This also meant that the rights to the pattern have reverted back to me and I can now offer it for sale on Ravelry!

As I wasn't allowed to use the professional photos taken for the magazine in my pattern and I knew the sample would be too big for my Little Man yet, I made another romper for him to wear now.

He looks just gorgeous in it and is so snuggly warm - like a cuddly teddy bear according to his Pop.  He definitely gets the comments when I take him out wearing it!

This one I knit in Red Riding Hood Yarns' Belle in the Spruced Up colourway from last year's Winter Yarn Club.

It's a perfect pattern for a coming home outfit for any newborn!
Sized for NB-24mths

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Most people that use Google Reader probably know that it'll be ending next month (or is it the end of this month?)  I had it pointed out via several blogs I follow a few months back and was recommended to use Bloglovin' instead.

So far, I like it a lot better than Google reader - mainly because I can see each post in it's own blog rather than all listed together in the reader  (I like seeing the pretty layouts!)

If you're one of those still using Google Reader, then now's a good time to change!  And if you've already changed to Bloglovin' how have you found it to use?

Either way you can follow my blog with Bloglovin!


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