Red Riding Hood Yarns

6:02 AM 0 Comments

A talented mother-of-two that I know from a couple of forums I read (I'm not much of a conversationalist in forums except Ravelry) started up a yarn dyeing business last year.  Hannah's colours are always fantastic and sell out relatively fast.  She always uses quality yarn in a range of weights (4ply/fingering, 8ply/DK, 10ply/worsted) and I love the creativity of her dyeing themes!

If you haven't already, check out her blog to get an idea of her great colour ideas and if you're keen to buy, keep up to date with her yarn for sale over on the Facebook page.

This year Hannah is planning on doing a yarn club over winter and I'm fortunate enough to be one of the designers for a month's installment!  Her plan is to run it over three months - June, July & August - and each installment will include 200g of hand-dyed, superwash merino yarn (8ply/DK weight), a corresponding pattern and other special goodies.  She will be doing both boy's and girl's options and the patterns will be aimed at approx 3mths-5yrs.  Check here for more details.

I won't be ruining the surprise for those that take part, but I have to say that I've been working hard on my two patterns (boy and girl versions) lately, with testing already underway.  It's all very exciting for me as I've never done designing like this before (designing for a theme and having a deadline) and I don't know how people do it all the time for magazines and books!

So, make a note in your diary to stalk Hannah's Facebook page on May 1st so you can grab your spot when Hannah makes them available as there are limited numbers - you won't be disappointed!


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Sweet As...

6:43 PM 1 Comments

'Sweet as!' is a common saying among Kiwis (New Zealanders) which can be used in a variety of ways, usually in the place of words like 'awesome' and 'great', is also used to show agreement and to express that something is 'no problem!' (easy).  (Guess why I chose it for my patttern name!)
She didn't want to oblige when taking photos - but I think it gives a little character!

Sweet As... was my best-selling pattern on it's first day of release.  Probably because it's such a simple, yet versatile, pattern.  The lace-work hearts look great with a contrast-coloured top underneath which means you can knit it a size larger to be worn over a long-sleeved top in winter, then it can be worn again the following summer as a t-shirt by itself!

My favourite part of this top is the sleeves.  It took me a while to get the puff 'just right', but I'm quite happy with the result.  I do love the simplicity in knitting top-down raglan style tops, but you just can't get the same 'professional' look as you do with set-in sleeves (and in my opinion, a raglan, puff-sleeve just doesn't look right).  And those that might be worried about having to sew in those sleeves - don't, because there is no sewing or seaming required!  (If you're curious about how I do that, you'll just have to get the pattern and try it out!)

Baby sizes will be available soon written in 4ply/fingering yarn (the heart lace pattern worked out too big when done for smaller sizes in 8ply/DK).
I have plans to make this into a long-sleeved version at some stage also.

Sweet As... Pattern Details:
Approx age/chest measurement
3yrs 56cm/22"
4yrs 58.5cm/23"
5yrs 61cm/24"
6yrs 63.5cm/25"
7yrs 65.5cm/25.75"
8yrs 67cm/26.5"
9yrs 69cm/27.25"
10yrs 71cm/28"

Yarn Requirements:
8ply/DK yarn: approx 370-550yds/338-503m

22sts x 30rows on size 6/4.00mm needles over 10cm/4" in stocking stitch

Purchasing details:
Price: USD$5
Purchases are made via PayPal and a downloadable pdf link is emailed immediately.


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A Note from the Sporadic Blogger

6:22 PM 0 Comments

Isn't it funny how you think you'll have all this free time to get things done when the youngest starts school?  I think that must be why it feels like you have less time and things get neglected.

I had so many plans to be organised and have a 'routine' to my week so I would be able to get a little done on each thing I had planned with my time.  But that hasn't happened.

My days seem to disappear before I've realised they've started and by the end of it I feel that nothing planned was accomplished.  I have lists of sewing I want done, lists of knitting and designing I want done, painting the house that needs doing, general daily housework that needs doing, and all of it seems way behind schedule.

One routine that was planned has been happening - I'm the dog's best friend as she gets to go for a good walk around the block first thing once the girls are on the bus to school.  She's quite funny about it and sulks if we don't go (like on Tuesday when it was pouring with rain and I got wet enough just going to the bus stop and back!)

The knit designing has happened, but really only because I have a deadline.

The painting has been minimal (at my rate it will take several years to paint the interior).

But the sewing hasn't happened.  (Though I did make BigMiss a skirt, only because it was the same one I was doing with the sewing class at school and I needed to show them what we were working towards.)

And the housework only gets done if we're having visitors.

So if you don't hear from me for several weeks (as seems to be the case lately), I've just been rushing through each day trying to get a little of everything done and some things just have to wait.  (Though I might make use of the auto-post feature when I have a good stretch of free time.)


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Holland Road Yarn Company

1:01 AM , 1 Comments

Sometimes I think it would be nice to live in a city.  You have access to so much more like all the large chain stores (like Spotlight) and the smaller boutique shops.

One boutique shop I wish I was a little bit closer to has just opened in Petone. 

Holland Road Yarn Company is the 'bricks and mortar' store of Tash from Knitsch.  I'm super jealous of all the locals that can stop by whenever they feel like it and am just waiting for a spare day to head over that way for a nosey myself.  I think it must be every knitter's dream to run a yarn store and Tash seems to be doing a great job of it so far from all that I've read on Ravelry and Facebook.  She stocks a large range of yarn brands, Knit Pro needles, books and other yarn related stuff.  Check out the thread on Ravelry for all the details of the opening day they had and such.

If you happen to be in the Wellington area, make sure you stop by the shop.  Or, if you're like me and it won't happen for a while, you can always shop online!


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Crafting Adventures

4:08 PM , , 1 Comments

Please excuse the lack of photos to go with this post - my camera went on holiday (without me!) to Australia with the BIL (it can take underwater photos) and it only got back this weekend but hasn't made it's way home just yet.

I seem to be one of those "sometimes" bloggers lately.  Sporadic and not altogether interesting.

I suppose that's what happens when life gets busy.  Updating a blog (that you wonder who reads anyway) gets put at the bottom of the list.

So as I have a little spare time (procrastinating, actually.  I should be painting but I'm just waiting for my hands to thaw out - must be heading to winter) I thought I'd jump on here and update on my crafty adventures.

So, first up.
A lovely friend of mine mentioned that their boss' little girl was to be a flower girl at an uncle's wedding.  The dress was to be organized through a shop in Wellington (a good 2-2.5hrs drive from their house in the country) which is a bit of a hassle for a school aged girl.  It was mentioned that I have made wedding dresses and might be interested in sewing a flower girl dress for her.  So that is one thing I have been doing lately - sewing a cute flower girl dress in white dupion silk.  All I have left to do is put in the zip and it will be ready for picking up this Friday.

And along with the flower girl dress...
The bride-to-be rang me up last week and asked if I could hem a dress for her.  I said, "Sure!  Bring it round and I'll have a look at it!"  (I was thinking it would be a simple shorten the hem by an inch or so.)  Turns out she was to be a bridesmaid at her friend's wedding the weekend before her own wedding and the (full-length with a shaped front overlay) bridesmaid dress she was to wear needed to be made just-above-knee length!  And, if possible, can it be done by Tuesday? (this was Thursday afternoon)  No worries!  I had nothing much planned for the weekend and managed to get it all done.

I had to have it all done on Saturda as I didn't have the Monday free to sew, because...
My SIL and I went shopping for the day in Palmerson North.  It was also tied in with a visit to her SIL who had recently build a new house and I wanted inspiration for what colours etc to do our new interior.  We had a good visit to Spotlight (I wish we had one here - or at least a greater choice of fabric shops!) where I spent too much money and have a huge pile of fabric all intended for certain projects for clothing for the girls.  So I have more crafting planned for the near this space!

And the other crafty news I have...
Is that I am taking a sewing class.  As the teacher.  It's a little scary really.  The girls' school (which goes from new entrants to Y13, but only has about 100 students in total so isn't very big) asked if I would be interested in taking the Y6-8 (girls only - the boys weren't interested as they could do woodwork) for sewing once a week.  It is only to be half the class for half a term at a time so not too much hassle.  So with not much idea of what to do or where to start I took my first class last week Friday.  There were only three girls (which makes it easier to help individually when needed) and I spent the first lesson teaching them how to thread the sewing machine, what the parts were called, how to sew in a straight line/curves/corners and getting a general idea of what level of sewer they were (so I could decide what would be a suitable first project to make).  I wanted to make something useful for them and not too boring so decided on a basic elastic-waist skirt.  So the next lesson was spent learning how to place a pattern, cut fabric and start sewing it together.  I only have two more lessons with them so I'm hoping we get it finished in time!

And, lastly...
I finished my first Sweet As, Baby! prototype.  This is the baby version of my Sweet As... pattern, which I released on Ravelry last week (I will do a separate post on it later this week).  I'm partway through a second one at the moment and I'm hoping to get some cute photos of the them being worn by two gorgeous little 1yr olds!

I do also have some other exciting knitting/designing news.  But it's still a little bit secret at the moment.  I'll let you all know when I can!


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