Fun times…

Well, they do say time flies when you are having fun, don’t they?

We  have enjoy the glorious autumnal colour display and the misty and foggy  mornings…but sadly autumn is making its exit, so knitting is high on everyone’s agenda at the moment it seems…

Boxes of yarn arrive weekly and the shelves are bursting with colour and texture. The shop is buzzing with new customers and regulars topping up their stash and planning out new projects. I have been now in the shop almost 4 months and over the last few weeks, it has been getting noticeably busier. Saturdays  a lot of customers  make the trip from Melbourne and it is so lovely to meet online customers in person. This is certainly the best part of having a bricks and mortar shop…there is a vibrant energy when knitters get together…The enthusiasm is infectious and we all share the same passion for all things yarny and Ravelry. And if someone doesn’t know Ravelry yet, well, then we certainly don’t hesitate to introduce them to the time-wasting delights of this site. A life without Ravelry? Unthinkable…Don’ you agree?

Outside of the shop, life has gotten busier too it seems…the kids are thriving and enjoying school and all their many activities, coming home bouncing, boisterous and loud. As the temperatures drop, we all had to scramble through our winter boxes in search of last year’s woollens to assess who needs what this year. Who’s arms have grown the most? Who’s head does not fit into last year’s beanie? Well, these growing bodies sure keep me busy…So a few new knits have already been cast on and off and more are in my project list. I  have almost completed my last  custom orders, so its time for an indulgent knit or two.

So lets start you off with some of our new yarns and colours in the shop, some oldies that are making a fresh appearance and some fabulous patterns that are making the headlines….

First up we have a yarn that has been part of ZigoZago since the beginnings but only played second fiddle to the super popular Cascade 220. I have used Lana d’Oro a couple of years ago for the cute vest  Like sleeves for kids, and thankfully, I made it big enough for my girl to still wear it. Knowing my girl and looking at the vest now, I am very pleased at how the yarn has worn. I mean, lets face it, pilling is part of the package when working with natural fibres, and some yarns pill more than others. While I can tolerate a certain amount of pilling, it is sometimes quite disheartening when a beloved projects looks like it has been chewed up after only a couple of wears….So, I have always been on the lookout for the perfect yarn for kids garments in particular. And while I have found a few, this humble skein has won me over. With a fibre content of 50/50 Wool and Alpaca, this 10-ply yarn it is soft without being too hairy and has a very gentle drape. It is not your luxurious fibre, but when it comes to choosing a solid, honest yarn for a much worn garment,  Lana d’Oro is right up there…

Lana d'Oro - Dawn
Lana d’Oro – Dawn
Lana d'Oro
Lana d’Oro

Abate {knit} a perfect boy jumper and Ease, the grown up version

Antler and Moss cardigan {knit} another cute kids cardi

Greyhaven Hat {knit}

X-stitch shrug {crochet}

Nanook {knit} a beautiful ladies cardi

Vancouver Fog {knit} some fancy mittens

My own Abate has been knit up and is going to its new home soon. I loved this pattern so much, I will have to make one for my own sweet boy…

Abate in Lana d'Oro - Hare
Abate in Lana d’Oro – Hare

And still from Cascade, lots of top ups of some old favourites in the popular 220 and a few new colours are now filling up the shelves…

220 in Pacific
220 in Pacific
220 in Turtle
220 in Turtle

220 is such a versatile yarn..It is sturdy and rustic and hard-wearing. And it felts beautifully…

French Press Felted Slippers {knit}

Rosebud {knit}

Little Coffee Bean Cardigan {knit}

Koolhaas {knit}

A very braidy cowl {knit}

We have also started stocking 220 Superwash and it is proving very popular with our local customers…

220 Superwash in Straw
220 Superwash in Straw
220 Superwash in Mauve
220 Superwash in Mauve

Another popular yarn when it comes to choose a hardy yarn is Eco Wool. The many natural hues seem to be very popular for a chunky man jumper, but it is equally fantastic for knitting up rustic blankets when you want to keep it muted and neutral.

Eco Wool in Silver Grey
Eco Wool in Silver Grey

Latte Baby Coat {knit} for the little ones…

Agnes {knit} a timeless piece..

Boot Cuffs {knit} a quick project

State Street Cowl {knit} chunky and cosy

Enso {knit} cosy and stylish coat

Hot Chocolate {knit} a cosy jumper for your girl

And while we are talking about chunky yarns, I am loving another chunky yarn that has arrived this week and make a grand entrance with its bold and luminous colours….yes, Malabrigo Chunky has finally arrived and the new base is just fantastic.

The new delivery is noticeably glowing and it has almost got a shine to it….so I can’t wait to cast on for a little project on the side…

With colours like Malabrigo, you just need a simple project to get the ‘whow’ effect. A beanie, a garter neck warmer or a chunky cowl is a wonderful way to sample this plush and soft gem.

Holland Cowl {knit}

Grown up cosy {knit} a quick project to make an entrance

I heart cables Thorpe  and Toasty Topper are my favourite chunky hats for Malabrigo..

And speaking of Malabrigo, Rios has also made a splash with the new colours in stock.

Rios in Ivy
Rios in Ivy
Rios in Lotus
Rios in Lotus

Rios is a great favourite with many because of its superb softness and for being superwash. It is a great yarn for beanies, cosy shawls and of course, garments. Superwash garments have the tendency to grow after its first wash and I have certainly found this to be true with Rios. If you make a garment with Rios, it certainly pays to factor this in when choosing a size.

Small things sweater {knit} a classic baby top

Cambio {knit} an easy vest

Dragon’s Rest Shaw {knit}

Over on the hand dyed front I must confess I am still in love with the luscious Road to China and it gives me a thrill every time I get new customers to give this little skein a pat. And often, one or two skeins find a new hope and a special project to delight.

On the weekends I have been sneaking an hour or two at the dye pots, still learning and playing with colours and discovering new yarn bases…gosh, it is addictive! Surprisingly, I have been drawn to the reds and purples and pinks, but I had a go at greens too…there is still so much to learn, but in the meantime, I have a gorgeous pile one one-of-a-kind skeins of my own creation.

Pinks
Pinks
hand dyed 3
Greens
hand dyed 6
Slouchy beanie in hand dyed Merino/Alpaca

hand dyed 4 hand dyed 5

I hope you have enjoyed this autumn weather, knitting up cosy accessories and warm jumpers for the chilly season. And there is still so much to do….

Stay warm,

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2 thoughts on “Fun times…

  1. Alex, it is so nice to hear from you again! I cannot believe those yarns you have been dying… when, for heaven’s sake did you find the time to do that???? I would love to dye some yarns, have you got a good book you can recommend, or a website? I did it decades ago with my mom, just onion peel and indigo… wow wow wow!

  2. As always, love your Ravelry suggestions paired with the yarns! Looking forward to making another visit soon to check out your new yarns in person.

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