and each family member receives a lovingly made handmade item and in return, the tradition goes that each and every other family member also does the same and what beautiful and sometimes hilarious things have been given over the years ( I still have my foot massage voucher from 2008 that appears to have expired. Apparently 15 year old boys do not massage their mum’s feet. That would be too weird!)….however, this year things are not quite so organised and so I present to you some down sized gift ideas that I think there could still be time to smash off the needles.
I can’t wait to watch this film. I wonder if anyone has seen it yet? It talks about the way our passion for yarn connects us with humanity and that our connection with yarn is a metaphor for life . Pretty cool huh?
Speaking of metaphors, it had not been a very good week in ZigoZago land recently. There were a few issues to deal with, as sometimes there are. One of those was that the ZigoZago mobile (aka my car) decided to nearly kill me!! Whilst passing a sheep truck!!! Now there’s a metaphor!! A rather large chunk of metal that connects the wheel to the other bits and bobs decided to break into two. Now that wouldn’t happen if cars were made out of something more elastic and giving such as….. well, that’s just being silly isn’t it?!
Then, whilst sitting at my desk, strange gurgling sounds started coming from the nearby bathroom. Hmmm, they continued and became louder and so I decided to inspect. Sewerage yep, sewerage bursting forth from our toilet 4 feet up the walls and all over the floor. An exploding toilet no less. Now that’s what I call a metaphor!!!
The culprit was found in a nearby property where someone else’s blocked loo had been cleared by the local water company by blasting the blockage via, yep, our toilet. Lovely.
Anyway, the situation was dealt with by a cleaner contracted by the water company to deal with their mess (where can I get a permanent one of those for all of the messes?) and he arrived late that evening. He was THE happiest, nicest, most positive person with a brilliant sense of humour. He rectified (is that too crude a pun?) the situation and in so doing, reversed the metaphor. Yay!
A true gem of a lady came to the end of her piece of string last week. Someone who quietly went about weaving real magic into the lives of all she met. Not someone who would be remembered on the news or on any social media site, but who was a true super woman . Pure Gold and the very best friend of someone equally as golden who will miss her terribly.
Another superhero gone from this world.
So with thoughts of true superhero powers in my mind, I hope she would like this and think of it as a bit of fun to be had over another cuppa.
The super power wishes of crafters
Responses From our recent fibre craft census with many thanks for joining in the fun.
knitting all the stockinette stitch with the click of a finger.
the ability to wiggle my nose and get the sewing up part done.
weave 10 projects at once
to be able to write patterns and knit faster
fixing a lace mistake many rows back
the ability to make time stand still so I could get more knitting done!
finding the right pattern and yarn combo in my stash with zero procrastination
to be able to knit 2-4 ply adult garments overnight, that fit perfectly and never pill or lose their shape.
Dyeing. I’d love to dye my own as beautifully as my favourite dyers do
To learn sewing
faster fingers to do all the crafts I love and learn more
to stretch time. Or warp a loom in under 5 minutes without stuffing it up.
Even tension on my stitches
knitting in the round
To snap my fingers and have it all cut out and ready to sew
And to sum it all up: ‘Something akin to the Flash!’
ZigoZago will now be open Saturdays 10 – 2 during Victorian School Term 4
Check the website for details. http://www.zigozago.com.au
New stock of Malabrigo, The Fibre Company, Cascade and arriving soon, Papiput.
Well a huge thanks to those of you who turned their backs on the general mayhem and backstabbing involved in the recent Census shamozzle and headed straight to the far more fun, but equally senseless fibre craft census. After all, how many of those real Census questions would shed any light on our true interests and passions and provide any real detail on the future needs of our nation. Not to mention the time wasted on trying to remember my children’s birth dates when I could have been knitting!!!!
Now, if I had anything to do with shaping our country’s future, I would give many of our respondent’s some time off and some free therapy (in whatever bottle they choose!!) for their absolute commitment to their art and sheer resilience in trying times when dealing with natural disasters of the fibre kind.
Disasters, mistakes, mishaps, and ‘organic, ‘rustic’ design features
In knitting, weaving, crochet, sewing and embroidery, and general fibre crafting, it seems we are a very brave bunch. Here’s a summary of responses.
moths and other bugs grrrrr!!!
getting that gauge wrong resulting in items too big, too small or ….well…just wrong. blah!!
using the wrong product for the project, such as machine washable wool for felting or woven fabric where there should have been some stretch.
‘just not catching on’ the first time around, sewing, crochet, first jumpers, first blankets, doonas….. oh dear.
knitting mistakes in mohair that would not agree to being undone !
imperfect gifts. …No way. Never.
procrastination and indecision ….damn
murky, yucky, unusable brown dye pots..yeew!
Being scalped whilst spinning. Yikes!!!
cutting holes in lovely completed knitted items whilst sewing on buttons. I could cry.
trying to teach friends!
And the gold medals for perseverance go to those who have made so many mistakes that they recognise them as their old friend who has come to visit again . Cheers to you all the ‘can’t recall, maybe too many’s’ or the ‘every time……every time’. Your unwithering commitment and optimism is hereby rewarded.
And to those of you who seem to be in denial… Mrs ‘design features’ and Mrs ‘Ugh. no – I try not to think about it’. You also receive a medal for absolute supreme optimism. Well done!!
And my disasters? Oh I’m with Mrs ‘Too many’ e.g.. the recent hat disaster involving casting on the yardage amount instead of the cast on amount. Yes, read it again. 170 yards NOT 170 stitches. It is for a human, not an elephant.
And the final words go to miss Rocket, who when gifted a very fine hand sewn dress from her Grandmother who had lovingly sewed many lovely details (well, in Rocket’s defence it maybe was a little’busy’), called her to say, ‘Thanks for the dress Granny Sue. But I don’t like it!’
Go well happy crafters. Stay Brave and Strong!
Castlemaine Studio open 10 – 2 Saturday 20th and 27th August
Call or text 0417 588 288 for details
New stock of Cascade Magnum and Eco Alpaca and Malabrigo Rios, Sock, and Silkpaca Lace
It occurred to me recently while watching the lovely English series, ‘Our Zoo’, http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04gvbkzthe based on the founding of Chester Zoo in the 1930’s, that I was completely drawn into the show by the stunning knits of the era.
A search on ravelry revealed many possibilities for replicating these gorgeous 1930’s designs.
I then got to thinking of the many sources of inspiration on the screen such as the current trend for all things Outlander https://www.starz.com/series/outlander/episodes, where in my house I watch to see what Claire is wearing in the numbingly cold but beautiful Scottish highlands while Paul watches to see what Claire is NOT wearing!
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.
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!
And a bit more pattern research before the weekend;
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!
And so to my wishes….
With lovely shades of MadelineTosh Sock, I would love this;
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.
With new stock of MadelineTosh Merino Light and Sock at ZigoZago now, here is a fun and simple shawl idea;
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.
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….
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.
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:
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.