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

mirri_mitts_gray_7_small

 

 

Or this lovely elegant shawl;

quince-co-paper-bird-leah-thibault-knitting-pattern-tern-1_small2

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

hillandale4_small2

We also have new colours in Malabrigo Rios

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

pk-sitkaspruce-01_small2

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

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

IMG_6523square_small2

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.

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.

pam1

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

image_small_best_fit.jpg

 

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

3_small_best_fit.JPG

 

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

2016-04-23_11-1.31.36-3_small_best_fit.jpg

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

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

state_st_cowl_small2.jpg

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

IMG_6611_medium.jpg

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

cropped-shop91.jpg

 

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.

summer1

 

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?

 

boys

 

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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Hibernation.

I love school holidays!

During the school term we are usually busy ticking boxes, driving to and fro, multi-tasking and planning all sorts of things….school lunches, dinners, after school activities and who goes where and when. While of course this is part of every parents reality in our busy lives, school holidays are a welcome break from it all for me…

I do love to go away on a little camping adventure, but this year we are focussing every single spare moment on building our house. So, weekends and holiday are home bound for us.  And these holidays more so than ever. You see, on the last day of school, my son came down with the Chicken Pox. And so started our almost 3 weeks of quarantine as all three turned spotty. It could have been a disaster. But to their credit, they handled it extremely well and made up some hilarious games. We had so much time on our hands that we managed to weed the entire garden and made cubbies in every corner of the house. I threw in some yummy treats, lots of popcorn and chocolate cake and a few movies. The kids thought I was the best and could not believe their luck.  I cleaned the house more that I care to admit, sorted books and washed legos (the cat weed in  it..).

Sometimes you can turn a crappy situation into a positive. We came together as a unit again, regrouped, cuddled and ate popcorn on the couch. They played together more than ever. Because there was no one else….

Admittedly, I didn’t get to knit as much as I would have if we had gone to the beach for a week. But I did finish my linen scarf and also a little pair of baby pants in this delicious yarn Savannah. I got a new baby nephew, a most beautiful little boy called Remy. I have yet to meet him and give him a cuddle and I can’t wait to smell that delicious baby scent…

And today, everyone went back to school. With excitement and butterflies in their tummies…Me too, as I have the house all to myself today and it is soooo good. A most glorious spring day it is….

And speaking of spring, we have been enjoying our yearly flower explosion in our garden with the most beautiful display of colour imaginable. All shades of pink, yellow and orange. The colours crisp and sharp and so luminous you cannot help but want to brighten up your own wardrobe to match our happy environment. I savour it even more knowing that too soon all will be dead and dry again.

I have been busily unpacking all my Cottons and arranging them in the shelves. Cascade’s Ultra Pima is adding a pop of colour to the shop.

And it is tempting me in all sorts of ways…

Cranberry
Cranberry
ultra pima1
Jade
ultra pima2
Turquoise
ultra pima4
Gold

 

Do these colours not sing to your of flowers, blue skies and golden sunshine?

Here are some ideas in case you haven’t got your needles out already, eager to get cracking on some happy spring projects.

Gemini  and Buttercup {two of my all-time favourites. Very flattering and perfect for hot days}

Chinook Scarf {if you are anything like me, you can’t go through spring without something around your neck}

Leafy Baby Blanket {even summer babies need a heirloom blankie}

Primrose {perfectly girly}

Summer Waves Cardi {simple cardi with a beautiful detail}

Ruched Yoke Tee {beautiful neckline}

Rose Garden Shawl {elegant and stunning}

Spa Towel {if you really only want a small project}

Are you inspired yet?

I hope you are all enjoying this glorious season! Too soon it will be too hot….but come to think of it….cotton is much better to knit with on a sandy beach…..

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Crisp.

On a day like today, I can virtually smell the seasons change in the air. And while the flies and bees are buzzing around, so are we…there is great energy in the air and we are finding ourselves spending more and more time outside. As we are not spending as much time on the couch hibernating, my knitting time has drastically been reduced. I am on my last rows of a big girl cardi for my girl in a squishy soft merino but I am so glad to see the end of it…my attention is already moving on to different things…

I have cast on the cute Biscotti tunic for myself in my favourite spring yarn Savannah. While still 50% Wool, it boasts 20% Cotton as well as 15% each of Linen and Soy. The yarn is rustic, slubby and beautifully soft and a dream to knit with. It will make this top just so comfy to wear. Now, if only I could sit down for a while, I would have it knit up in no time…

Savannah
Savannah

Savannah also makes a perfect yarn for baby garments. Spring and summer babies still need some  handmade love to wear, I think, and these little baby pants are not only  super cute but just so practical.

Basic Baby Pants in Savannah
Basic Baby Pants in Savannah

A garment knit with Savannah becomes something that you put on when you want to feel cosy on a lazy weekend….

Blank Canvas {by Ysolda Teague}

Sycamore Vest {by Hannah Fettig}

Linden Shawl {by Courtney Kelley}

Schieffelin Shawl {by Kate Gagnon Osborn}

Sweet Peasy {by Heidi Kirrmaier}

The change of season has also brought in another very much anticipated yarn.

Louet Euroflax is a 100% wet spun Linen and on the skein, it feels as expected. Ropey and hard. I was a little bit apprehensive to knit with it, although I just adore Linen as a fabric and love the idea of knitting cool accessories with it…but I am a die-hard wool knitter and the warmer weather usually does not stop me from knitting winter projects. But then I started spotting projects like this cool Ombre Tank. And linen tunics. And lacy summer scarfs…

Ombre Tank
Ombre Tank

And so the Linen has arrived and the colours are just divine! They are vibrant and saturated and I love them all..

louet ginger
Euroflax in Natural and Ginger

Euroflax
Euroflax
louet shamrock
Euroflax in Shamrock

So, of course I had to  sample a skein to be completely head over heels with this fibre. Just one little sneaky skein in Eggplant is mine now and I am whipping up a little Diagonal Lace Scarf, which is coming along nicely.  And yes, I can now officially confirm that I truly love knitting with Linen. Or at least with Euroflax Linen. While it is a bit hard to begin with, it starts to soften even as you knit with it…and it will continue to soften with every wash. And a garment knit with it is hardy. It wears so easily and you can throw it in the machine and dryer and you will love it even more…so I have been told.

Diagonal Lace Scarf in Eggplant
Diagonal Lace Scarf in Eggplant

One of the most knit garments using linen must be the tunic. Personally, I love wearing layers and floaty and airy tunics can be very flattering and stylish. Linen tops are also wonderful to wear in the blazing sun to cover up shoulders and arms without feeling sticky on the skin.

Here are some tunics and other tops you might want to try.

Pipit {by Heidi Kirrmaier}

Liesl {by Julie Weisenberger}

East End {by Alicia Plummer}

Sara Tunic {by Kelly Mac}

Silken Straw Summer Sweater {by Purl Soho}

Surrounding Tank {by Hannah Fettig}

Chambers Street {by Kirsten Kapur}

Leger {by Espace Tricot}

Leger
Leger

And if tunics and tops are not your thing, totes and bags are the next best thing for this sturdy fibre..

Knit Tote {by PurlSoho}

Knit Tote
Knit Tote

Linen Bag {by Hannah Ingalls}

Net Duffle Bag

Other important Shop News would be the arrival of  SOAK to our selection….just in time for the great change of wardrobe…I have started washing all my winter wollens, ready to be packed away till next year. SOAK is a delicately scented wool wash for all your knit wear and delicates. I love the fact that it does not have to be rinsed out and leaves your garments smelling beautifully (if you are not into scents, then we also have an unscented version). Over the next few weeks all orders will have a little SOAK sample included in the parcel, so you can add a fresh scent to your wash.

We have also topped up all our Knitting Needles and Crochet Hooks. Both Knit Pro and Addi are proving to be very popular and we now also stock the beautifully presented Amour Crochet Hooks with their soft handles and smooth hooks. As summer approaches, Crochet is on the up again, and for good reason…nothing like sitting by the beach and hooking on a ripple blanket for me…

On that note, I will leave you to pull the rest of my weeds….before I can justify another inch of knitting….

Enjoy this wonderful weekend!

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PS: The website is under construction, with the new website going live in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned for some hot Grand Opening Giveaways and Discounts….