Australian Sheep and Wool Show

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http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/cardinia-wrap

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Off To The Show

No turning back now with The Australian Sheep and Wool Show on this weekend in Bendigo, 15-17th July. Super girl is pulling out every one of her Super Powers to make this happen and Superman has been helping out in the wings as well. There are also some very special fairies who have been helping out and working their magic. I am filled with gratitude. x

Over this busy weekend, and by special request, I bring you the recipe that will serve perfectly well for breakfast, lunch and let’s say, supper, over this busy weekend. This one ticks all the boxes. Nuts and eggs are protein right? Bread, well no need to put toast in the toaster. Fruit, tick. Vegetables? Herbs are vegetables yes?

Lemon, Almond and Rosemary Cake

Adapted from Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons by Diana Henry

Rewritten by Crazy Lady, Pickled (sometimes?!)

Get this whiz bang crazy idea…. no need to preheat the oven. Awesome huh? One more row of knitting squeezed in there right at the start.

3/4 cup stale white bread….. some kind of lovely sourdough that the wretched children didn’t finish a few days ago. Perfect!

3/4 cup almonds.  Skins on, chuck them in.

3/4 cup sugar. Don’t judge me. Loving this 3/4 thing? Beautiful consistency, easy on the brain.

2 teaspoons rosemary leaves

Whiz all that up in the food processor. Leave it a bit narly. It seems healthier that way.

Add:

grated zest of 1 lemon

3/4 cup olive oil

4 eggs….. if you can get the girls to lay in this weather, lucky you!

2 teaspoons baking powder

Pour into prepared, lined cake tin and put into the cold oven at 180 degrees. Bake 45-50 min. Cool cake in tin.

While it is baking make a naughty but necessary syrup:

In a small saucepan;

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup sugar

2 sprigs rosemary

Stir to dissolve sugar then boil syrup for 5 minutes. Leave rosemary to diffuse then pour evenly over warm cake.

Done Blossoms! Fit for a Queen!IMG_4059

And a bit more pattern research before the weekend;

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http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/void-2

This is being knitted up in everything Mad Tosh including Merino Light, Pashmina, and Vintage.

 

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http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/winter-mists-wrap

This gorgeous wrap in Malabrigo baby silkpaca

 

Picture: Miki Barlok
Picture: Miki Barlok

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/scarfy-thing-2

And this lovely free pattern with Hedgehog Fibres Sock

 

All the very best and do come and say Hi at the Show if you are planning to come. Otherwise call and make a time to drop in to the studio in Castlemaine on 0417 588 288.

See you soon,

Pam.

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New Stock Arrives With Wishes

Follow Supergirl’s adventures to the Australian Sheep and Wool Show 15 -17 July

 

School holidays always bring with them the promise of getting lots of things achieved, fun outings, lovely family bonding moments and long stretches of relaxation.

And then, in our house the reality sets in: Arguments over music, pop versus techno played in high volume competition between thin walls.  The great fine liner scandal of July 1st where it was discovered that probably a good 12 months ago at least, a packet of fine liner pens was ‘borrowed’ by the 9 year old from her brother’s bedroom and did not return them.  You may have heard about this on the ABC news.  And then there was the end of financial year cup shortage where, after a massive stocktake, all cups were accounted for in the 15 year old’s bedroom. All dirty of course. And so between refereeing and my in-house taxi service that puts Uber to shame, not a whole lot of knitting gets done.

As a side note to any local Uber enquiries, I am just ironing out policies regarding the middle passenger issues such as, if the leg of a side passenger happens to touch the middle passenger or if a side passenger accidentally happens to lean towards the middle position rather than to the window or if the belongings of the middle passenger might encroach into side passenger territory ….. Gotta love School Holidays!

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And so to my wishes….

 

With lovely shades of MadelineTosh Sock, I would love this;

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http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/shikakkei

Or in Malabrigo Baby Silkpaca, this free pattern would knit up like a floaty cloud;

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http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/seashell-5

In MadelinTosh Merino Light;

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http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/kallara

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http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/frozen-silver

My MadelineTosh Vintage choice at the moment would be;

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http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/creature-comforts-cardi

And then, in between, I would love to knit this up as a thank you gift for someone very nice in Malabrigo Rios;

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http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/a-beer-on-the-dock

I’d love to know what you’re working on, are you making wishes for the Sheep and Wool Show too?

Here’s to some peaceful time surrounded by lovely yarn and harmonious children!

Pam

 

Mid winter wooliness

Bargains!

Plenty of gorgeous discounted yarns are currently available at the shop, making way for some new arrivals in readiness for the Australian Sheep and Wool Show coming up on July 15-17. Take a peek at the lovely Namaste range for all your needles and accessory storage. We have various cascade ranges available at reduced prices and the bright and fun Malabrigo Gruesa for a quick and chunky last minute gift or super fast knit. There are some luxury items available too such as The Fibre Company’s Canopy Worsted and Malabrigo Silky Merino.

New Arrivals

With new stock of MadelineTosh Merino Light and Sock at ZigoZago now, here is a fun and simple shawl idea;

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/party-on-my-needlesweb_Party_04_small_best_fit-1

Or some lovely fingerless gloves;

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mirri-mitts

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Or this lovely elegant shawl;

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http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/paper-bird

And with MadelineTosh Vintage, wouldn’t this be lovely

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mailinIMG_6043_small2.JPG

Or this;

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/hill–dale-cowl

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We also have new colours in Malabrigo Rios

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sitka-spruce-2

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and the beautiful lace Malabrigo Silkpaca which is like knitting a cloud.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/the-millers-daughter-2

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So do check out the possibilities and if you’re in Castlemaine or plain to visit, do call on 0417 588 288 to arrange a visit.

Happy Knitting!

Pam

New Beginnings.

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So. We are back. Not that we ever went anywhere, but over the past few years the blog has been left a bit dormant. Life has a habit of doing that. Redirecting our focus and leaving things behind. But the love of yarn and a good knitting pattern has never quite left and I have diligently knitted little projects here and there.

6 months ago I decided to go back to study and my focus has once again shifted away from my passion for ZIGOZAGO, amazing yarns and hours spent knitting. I felt the business deserved more attention and I am so happy that I have my dear friend Pam who was very keen to put her own stamp onto the business. So as of now, Pam has taken over ZIGOZAGO and will be putting her love and passion for fine yarns and showing off her own creations on the blog.

Pam is a very accomplished knitter and has whipped up some amazing pieces with our yarn. She has a keen eye for detail and beautiful taste when it comes to combining colours and I am sure she will be able to inspire many of our readers.

I will pass now pass the baton to Pam so she can introduce herself and show off some of her latest pieces.

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http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/robin-ulrich-studio

pam3

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/kozue

pam2

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/momo

Thanks Alex!

I have knitted forever… not always appreciated pieces however… like the socks I lovingly knitted for my children that they wore without shoes and played on freshly mown grass!  Or the beanies that they have worn to school, never to be seen again. Or that piece that I accidentally felted in the new washing machine. Note delicates and woollens are separate cycles. Aargh! the woollen cycle, should have picked the woollen cycle!!!

But knitting on regardless, and made all the more satisfying with beautiful yarns and so the steep learning curve is in taking on social media and small business management, so bear with me. Luckily there are teenagers in our house who are sometimes willing to help with the Instagram and Facebook worlds but staying on their right side is the tricky bit.

A huge Thank you to Alex for her patience and kindness as all the handover has happened at a very sad and difficult time for our own family and her understanding has not been unnoticed.  I wish her and her beautiful family the best for their adventures ahead.

With new stock of MadelineTosh Merino Light and Sock yarn arriving soon……some shawl ideas….

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/lilli-pilli

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http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/imbue

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http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/ysabel

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Or for something a little chunkier and quicker with The Fibre Company’s Tundra…..

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/state-street-cowl

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http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/gap-tastic-cowl

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And so ZIGOZAGO will move into the future still stocking gorgeous yarns, hopefully still offering useful advice and pattern suggestions and still interested in your ideas and yarn wishes.

Best wishes and I look forward to hearing from you,

If you are in Castlemaine at any time, call and make a time to come and visit our studio shop, 0417 588 288

Pam

 

 

 

 

 

 

Favourites

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I am entering my blog space with butterflies in my tummy….it has been such a long time and life has been such a whirlwind this year. In fact, 2014 will probably go down in history for us.

Sometimes I feel like I am permanently under water. Treading frantically, barley coming up for air. From the epic house construction (work is still going on), the fire in our rental at the beginning of the year, moving several times, unpacking and repacking, moving several times, overseas visitors and generally busy kid and shop wrangling. Amidst all that, I decided to give my health and fitness a 40 year old overhaul which has taken me on a journey I didn’t expect to take. And tangled up in all of this crazy happening were countless stitches, that helped me stay sane. Cast ons and and cast off, a few rows of crochet and the elusive search of my sewing machine pedal…

I will end this tumultuous year on a somewhat ambivalent note. I have made the difficult decision to close my shop in Castlemaine. It has been the most rewarding and challenging 2 years growing my business. I have met some amazingly creative and prolific ladies, who have loyally visited the shop and make it their destination for crafty catch ups. Wonderful customers who share the same passion and yes, obsession with beautiful fibres and vibrant colours. But running a shop with a young family has been challenging.

A few months ago we have embarked on a journey for our 9 year old boy, who has been diagnosed with a Auditory Processing Disorder. Over the next 12 months we will be spending a lot of time travelling to Melbourne for his treatment. Taking the shop back to my home studio will enable me to be more flexible with our appointment times whilst still being able to provide the same service to my loyal customers.

However, I am looking forward to have knitting nights from home and the occasional ‘yarn tasting’ for our local gang…so if you are in the area and would like to be informed of our informal gatherings, make sure you are connected with ZigoZago via Facebook or send me an email so that I can add you to our mailing list.

Reducing my stock and consolidating our featured brands means one thing however: I will return to my passion and concentrate on select brands of hand dyed yarns and coveted dyers. Yes, this means more Madelinetosh…

While I get ready for new yarn, you can enjoy a large range of discounted yarns from the shop stock. Most Cascade is on sale, as well as Noro. More yarns will be added to the list to make space for some new goodies.

I have started going through my ever growing Ravelry favourites and my extensive stash of single skeins. Part of packing up my large ‘storage’ space, I need to also reduce my personal stash…so this summer, I am going to attempt to go through the favourites and pick some small projects to keep me busy…Really, perfect to spend some leisurely summer time whipping up some small projects, don’t you think?

So here is a little sample of my list of my favourite patterns that I am planning to knit up will all those single skeins floating about.

 

Cowls:

Lines and Corners

Mirepoix Cowl

Wandering Cowl

 

Shawls: 

 

Graphic Kerchief

 

Frisson

Unruly

Antarktis

I also have a few sample skeins of sock yarns. So this Christmas, the kids will all be getting a pair of socks, since they have all outgrown their old pairs. My favourite go to sock pattern for the kids is the Churchmouse Classic Basic Sock pattern. A super simple pattern with plenty of detailed instructions for the beginner sock knitter. More sock ideas:

Striped Crew Sock

Cozy Socks

Camp & Trail Socks

Fingerless Mittens is another favourite quick knit. All you need is one skein so you can really splurge on a beautiful and luxurious yarn.

 

et frais

 

Spate

A time to reap

Apis Dorata

As the year comes to an end, I feel gratified that I am cleaning, tidying and sorting. There is nothing nicer to tie up loose ends so to speak. The pleasure is much sweeter when we get to start a new book, a new project and dream up some new ideas, don’t you think?

Wishing you a wonderful, relaxing and sunny festive season.

 

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Fresh.

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Finally I have found my way back to this precious space of mine….blogging, a very personal collection of my favourite patterns, yarns and sometimes simply life. With a few of my other passions thrown in.

I have been absent for quite some time now, and a few wonderful readers have taken their time to email me, wondering if everything is ok, and how they miss my posts. You can imagine how touched I was my their genuine concern. So, thank you for pulling me out of my everyday. To help me refocus my attention to this space and what it holds for me and you.

But I guess, I do owe you a brief explanation why I have left so many friends and readers hanging?

Well, without boring you with all the minute details, since the summer holidays, life has been incredibly busy, with a few wobblies thrown it for good measure. Mums with small children will be able to empathise with the often challenging phases kids go through. After a few years of blissful cooperation, my two little ones have moved into the age of rivalry and arguments, one definitely becoming an actor the other possibly an argumentative lawyer or a meticulous engineer…in the meantime, I am spending way too much time in arbitration… Don’t get me wrong, they are gorgeous and we are having fun times, but parenting them is requiring a sharp and fair mind and lots of activities to keep their boisterous bodies occupied….Meanwhile, my big girl is watching the shenanigans with disbelief, whilst inching slowly towards pre-teendom….another whole new world….

Once the summer holidays were survived, we had a small house fire, which turned our life upside down for quite a few weeks and we are still living in a state of dishevelment….as we are renting and will be leaving by May, no repairs or painting are being offered…and the building of our own house is coming with its own set of issues….

To top it all, I have been trying to get some of my health issues sorted and get fitter and leaner. Since turning 40, I have been working on my personal bucket list and I have been chipping away at setting myself up to turn my 40ties into the best years to come.

Have you got a bucket list? What would your bucket list look like? If money or health were not objection, what would you do? Of course, besides investing in delicious yarns and spend your day knitting in a mountain cabin, overlooking the Alps and in front of a wood fire? I challenge you to have a think about that and do share. Besides sharing some of my favourite patterns and delicious yarns, I would love to share some of my to 10 bucket list items…and even tell you how I go about ticking some of the boxes. Would you allow me to do that?

 

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In the meantime, I am back with my needles in hand, once again with more than one project started….my knitting season has truly begun, and as it is, I am covering the basics first. My little boy needs a new winter woolly, and he has decided he preferred a cardigan over a jumper and it had to have a zipper, not buttons. Okay then….

I am knitting him the beautiful Billa Jacket, a hoodie, designed by my very talented friend Ambah. If you haven’t seen Ambah’s patterns yet, you better check her Ravelry page out, as she is  a woman on a knitting mission. Stunning patterns in the most delicious colours….Billa is however her first garment, and it is a winner on so many fronts. First, its seamless, top-down constructions makes it an almost no brainer. There is some very clever detailing and some new techniques that will give you a beautifully finished jacked for your child. Play with colour or leave it plain, there are tons of possibilities. In my mind I had the colours already picked and was looking forward to some colour work…but to my surprise, he picked a very….mature colour….Cascade 220 Superwash in Army Green….A great hardwearing yarn it is, so I am happy to oblige…and he will look super cute, a little bit like a leprechaun…Another great zipper cardie would be ‘Just Chill‘ if you are not keen on the hood…

My girl is growing too fast, almost needing small adult sized patterns….She has discovered a love for turtle necks and chunky knits. I had my eye on Hot Chocolate and its grown up version Caramel Latte. So a Hot Chocolate it is for her….in the squishy Madelinetosh Chunky, a yarn that I would love to have in the shop this winter…..a perfect Aran weight yarn and for her, another forest green called Moorland….

Another little knit, that is sitting patiently is a little sample knit in our stunning Meadow yarn by the fibre company. Checkerboard Lace Scarf by the talented ladies at Purl Soho. It is a great knit, but you do need to be focused….definitely not one for the Friday night movie session…

So what else is on my knitting wish list?

I am more and more drawn to very classic, simple lines this year. Lila, combined with the buttery Swans Island is close to perfection..

Lila
Lila

A cowl that has sparked my imagination, is this Wandering Cowl. Beautifully shaped and with a wandering cable pattern, I love the natural colour…I imagine a Cascade Eco wool or a subtly died Tosh Vintage.

Wandering Cowl
Wandering Lines

While I have fallen in love with shawls, cowls are really the most practical garment in the knitting world in my mind. Especially the super-long ones, that can be wrapped around the neck and keeping it all protected from a cold wind…

Now. I am not normally a bright colours girl. I have spent too many teenage years covered in black and then in Melbourne, to really move too far away from it…But I have discovered colours, and to my own surprise, I am drawn to hot pinks and fuchsias….like Road to China in Rhodolite…And imagine being wrapped up in this beautiful cowl, all cashmere, silk, alpaca and camel softness???

Lines and Corners
Lines and Corners

 

And finally, one last accessory that gets me through the colder season are fingerless mittens….just great for going on long walks in the morning..they do have to be well-fitting though…and soft!

Second Skin Armwarmers
Second Skin Armwarmers

These are knit in the incredibly soft Dream in Colour ‘Perfectly Posh’ and if you haven’t tried this lush yarn yet, these are a perfect project to test this yarn.

There are so many patterns that are standing out for me….I would be happy to get these on my needles before the cold hits.

 

Has your knitting season started?

 

Best wishes,

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