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!


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We Have Arrived!

12:07 PM 0 Comments

(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.


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A Shift in Hemisphere...

12:18 AM , 3 Comments

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!)


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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


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9:33 PM 1 Comments

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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Take Your Knitting to the Movies!

8:26 PM 1 Comments

Last week I got to have an evening out at the movies, which is a rare occurence for me, but it wasn't just any old evening at the movies - it was a special Lights Up Knitting session!

My (not quite) local theatre, The Embassy, is lucky enough to have a manager who knits and she decided a few months back to gauge interest in a 'lights on low' movie session.  There was definitely interest and the first Lights Up Knitting at The Embassy happened in April with such great response that it's shaping up to be a bi-monthly affair!

When I found out that The Great Gatsby was June's movie, I thought I should try and go (I'm rather fond of Leonardo DiCaprio...)  Then I was fortunate enough to win a ticket through Red Riding Hood Yarns so booked my sister-in-law in for a girls night out in Wellington!

It was a really enjoyable evening out.  Starting with the complimentary wine/mocktail we enjoyed while sitting in the Black Sparrow bar with our knitting and listening to 1920s live music before the movie. 

Some of the goodies we received

Then the special knitters goody bag we each received going in (put together by the fantastic Tash of Holland Road Yarn Company - a main sponsor of the event) as well as the spot prizes from other sponsors that were given out.
And ending with being able to say hi to some fellow knitters I'd previoulsy only met on Ravelry (I'm secretly a little jealous of their weekly knit together, there's not much of that going on over this side of the hill that I'm aware of - if only I lived a little closer to Wellington!)

If you're in the Wellington region and feel like a knitting night at the movies, check out the next session happening in August!  You can find all the details on the FaceBook page.

What interesting knitting events happen in your neck of the woods?  I'd love to hear about it!


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KAL with Me!

Did you know that I'm hosting a KAL (knit-a-long) for my patterns this month?  It's over in the Budding Designers Downunder group on Ravelry.  (You can find a discount code for 25% off all my patterns until this Friday over in the thread.)

And I even have a couple new designs that I've released in time for the KAL too!

You might remember a while ago that I designed a vest pattern for a new nephew of mine.  And then the pattern just sat there mostly written up but not finished.

Turns out having a little boy of my own to knit for is making me hurry up and finish the boy designs I have in process!

This one is called Billy and is available in sizes NB to 10 years.  You can purchase it through my Ravelry store for $US6.

The second pattern release from me this month is yet another waiting-for-me-to-get-around-to-it design. 

This one is a cowl that I knit for the MiddleMiss last winter, then I tweaked the pattern and knit one for the BigMiss and that's as far as I got - that one sat around waiting for buttons which only happened recently!

This pattern is called Herring and you can download it for free through my Ravelry store.

I'm also hosting an Accessories KAL this month in the same group so this pattern will be perfect to enter in that.

For the KAL I'm making another Billy for the Little Man as the one he's modelling is being sent off as a gift to a friend's new baby boy.  And I have to make another cowl - for the LittleMiss this time - so I might try enter that in the accessories KAL too!

Try join in either KAL - there's some good prizes to be won!


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New Designs!

3:31 PM 0 Comments

I figured it was about time I updated about my latest designs.

First up, the one I mentioned in my previous post being published in a magazine.

Photo copyright Practical Publishing

This is my Tadpole Romper and Booties set and it was published in the January edition of Knit Now magazine.  It's a UK-based magazine, though it is available here in most yarn shops.

I was super excited to have a design accepted into a real print magazine and I even had my yarn supplied direct from the company (Artesano Yarns - the superwash DK is very nice yarn to work with!)

My latest pattern I posted about before Christmas.

This tunic/dress is called Kahli and is very different to my normal design process - it is made in 11 different pieces that are sewn together rather than knit all in one piece.  This made it quite a challenge to grade for the different sizes and write up into an easy-to-follow pattern!

I released it at the beginning of this month and wanted to run a KAL for it, so I decided to start up a group on Ravelry for my designs!

I'm planning on running regular giveaways over there, the main one being a monthly draw for current WIP or FO (work-in-progress or finished-object) photos of my designs, so if you've knit any of my patterns or are planning to then make sure you join my group!

Somebody's not too impressed with a mobile baby!

And in other news, my Little Man is crawling!  Yep, at only 6 months old he's moving around quite well.  And at the same time the girls have decided to be really into playing with their Lego which gets left out on the floor for him to break (fortunately he doesn't put it in his mouth otherwise I'd ban them from playing with it!)


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Happy New Year!

10:05 PM 0 Comments

Ok, so I'm a little late to the party but better late than never right??

This year will be full of changes and new adventures for our family, starting with some major job changes happening in the next month, all going to plan.  I'm hoping this means I get more time to spend focussing on my knitting and pattern designing.

Little Miss being the baby also

School will be starting again next week for the girls and I'm really looking forward to the routine again.  Though it will be interesting to see how the Little Man handles it all - he's been far too spoilt with company over the last 7-8weeks of holidays!

Big Miss reading to the Little Man

I have plenty of pattern news I need to write about on here - in particular about a pattern that was printed in a magazine that came out this month!  But hopefully, cute baby photos will be ok for now...

Just over four months and he's already up on his knees!


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