Cosy Autumn and Winter Makes

I’ve always enjoyed learning to make new things and the two seasons have been really good on that front.

First thing that I wanted to learn to make this year was to learn to make socks. I did not get a good result when I attempted to teach myself. When a class was announced at a local yarn store, I did not think twice before signing up. The yarn and the needles were part of the class.

Good thing I did because, not only did I learn to make the socks, i really enjoyed it as well as one colour transitioned to another .Whats so exciting is that they fit my foot perfectly!.Im still learning to do the Kitchener stitch perfectly though.

A local yarn store advertised for sample knitters and I applied and got to make a sample blanket.The yarn and pattern were given to me by the yarn store plus paid to make the blanket.

Honestly it was so fun to work on once I got hang of all the repeats right. The yarn was really lovely to work with as well.

What I really liked about this blanket was that the edging on the blanket was also a chevron.

By the time I finished this blanket, this yarn store decided to move to a near by town . So I took a bus to go there to return the blanket which turned out to be another adventure!

I also made a pony tail headband to wear when walking Amber . The yarn is Malabrigo Rios in the colourway Lotus. Its really cozy and warm to wear.

I also tried my hand at candle pouring. Which was really fun too.Ive been using these candles I made constantly

I also took a Botanical Skin care Workshop with Tuwahiwi Botanicals , which was a wonderful workshop and I learnt a lot of face oils .

Of course I had to knit face clothes for these natural powders. They are 100% cotton yarn and such a fun easy pattern to knit from. You can find the pattern on the Knit Picks Website called Slant Dishcloth

This work shop took me straight back to the days when my mom and I used to make all sorts of natural skincare powders.

My dad would tirelessly went to the local native medicine shop to get all the things from our long list of ingredients. Some of the ingredients we often collected from the plants growing wildly near our home.Beautiful carefree days to reminiscence and cherish the love that went into my upbringing.

Looking back at all these things it feels like a very productive season.

Autumn memories

Its been a while since I wrote on my blog. My last post was in March 2019! I did not mean to be away for so long. But I have been busy doing things and not so regular in updating the blog

It was the school holidays. I happened to stumble on a book called How to Hygge by Signe Johansen in the library online and promptly downloaded my first ever e -book loan from the library.

I have read a couple books on the Danish concept of Hygge but nothing spoke to me the way this book did . So I decided to put some of the things into practice .It really helped, I must admit.

I added cushions and a faux fur throw to cozy up our couch ,

Used dried lavender from our lavender plant for our kitchen counter

dried hydrangeas from our garden in the hall

greenery from pothos plants that I have been propagating, pine cones that I found in our walk in the Christchurch Botanic Garden

some fairy lights and some candles I made at a Workshop

Beginning of Autumn, we spent a day walking around the Christchurch Botanical gardens. Every season there is something to enjoy at the gardens, but my favourite times to visit there are Autumn and Spring.

The colours are just spectacular during this time. I’m sharing some of my favourite pictures my son shot.

Walking around the Rose garden ,the roses and the scent of roses pervading all over the garden was glorious.

We spent a good amount of time watching the ducks chase each other on the water

While the geese glided around seemingly oblivious to the commotion happening around

This swan was so graceful in the water

Creating a cozy space, having greenery inside the home, taking note of the things in nature really helped me, to focus on the beauty of simple things and take pleasure in them.

Also, during this time, a friend and I together , started a knit / craft and chat that like to call the Knit2together group in my home . This turned out to be a simple yet cozy way to connect with the ladies in my church doing something we all loved.

Practising gratitude, enjoying the seasons , connecting with nature and other people made Autumn a very lovely season for me.

Being intentional this way also helped me to forget dreading the approach of Winter .(which I would always do and work myself into a knot)

Bobble Cowl

The thought of knitting with two colours of yarn was somehow intimidating to me , that I never attempted to even try it. Then I saw one of the ladies in church wearing a similar looking cowl in lovely earthen colours that I was tempted to give it a try.

It always takes some time for me to work up the courage to try new things. Once I start,I always realise that it was not as hard as I thought of it in my head! (Over thinker alert right here ). Sometimes , simply just doing it is best.

When I went searching for an easy -ish free pattern on Ravelry , this pattern came up in the search. I decided to make this pattern only because it came with the tip to look up ‘Blister Stitch ‘on You tube ,which proved to be super helpful.

I decided to use the scrumptious Nunnaba gradient and Naturally Tweed I had in my stash . Once I got an understanding the stitch pattern down, it was a pleasure to work on and proved to be a quick finish.

I made a few additional rows than the pattern called for as I wanted the gradient yarn to come through.

I couldn’t however, figure out how to do the jobless join in this cowl . Its ok I think ,as when I’m wearing it, it may not be that visible .

This cowl is so so soft. I love it.

Surprisingly for this project ,I did not use up all the yarn in the gradient yarn like I wanted to.I also have a little more of the brown tweed left over as well.

Pattern Details :

Pattern : Bobble Cowl by Ina Aleksandrova

Needles : US 7 – 4.5 mm Chiagoo Needles

Yarn :Nunnaba Artisan Yarn White Gum Wool 8ply in the Shabby Rose Colourway

Boneyard Shawl

This shawl started as a knit along with my friend. We both decided to use Rosewood Wool , mine is 12 ply while hers is 8 ply I think.

Soon after , she started working at a school and I left for India, our knit along kind of took the back seat.

Coming back from India dealing with all the change in weather and home sickness, I started knitting on it  with  Amber sitting on my feet for company acting as a little smooshy cushion  , listening to podcasts , munching on Nagercoil banana chips….

(  I mention Nagercoil chips in particular because ,there is a huge difference between Lakshmi Vilas Nagercoil Banana chips and Banana chips available in other parts of the country. Nothing comes close to it and it is one of the those comforting taste of home food)

Also because knitting on this shawl was more like eating chips, cannot stop with one.`And before I knew it I had finished  two  of the three skeins I had, along with my stash of chips I brought back with me from India..

Then I had a chance to go to an afternoon to Handy Dandy craft group at the library and in the almost two and a half hours I was there, I had reached the end of the third ball and only the border was left to be done.

Back home, little more knitting and   just like that this shawl was done. Much like the  packet of banana chips that finished before realisation came about! (So regretted not getting more of this taste of home , and now that I write about it, I’m craving for some ) 

Project Details:

Pattern : Boneyard Shawl by Stephen West

Needles : 4.5 mm Chiagoo Fixed Circulars

Yarn : Rosewood wool Romney Aran in Shepherd’s Delight Colourway.

Antler Hat

Every single winter since I came to New Zealand, I’ve wanted to get a cabled hat. A cream one. Now I’m not big on wearing hats but that’s another story. Anyways, every time I see a cream cabled hat in Kmart, I’d come with some excuse not to get it .The underlining  fact behind all those excuses is one and only reason .And that is ,like every maker, I always think I can totally make that  .

Only, I never get around to making it because I’m distracted by something or the other . Another reason I’ve realised over time is that when something intimidates me, I keep putting it off until I work up enough courage to tackle it. Thats what happened to the cabled hat as well.

Then in one of the video podcasts I watch, I saw a baby cabled hat and heard of the Antler hat pattern from Tin can Knits.Since this site is widely spoken of as a beginner friendly pattern site, I decided to give the baby Antler hat a go, the smaller size seemed less intimidating. The sizes run from baby to adult size.

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A few false starts later, it was smooth sailing. I still made a few mistakes because I was too tired   and sleepy to count properly or distracted.

I used one whole skein of Heritage Polwarth   and 5 mm Chiagoo needles.

Project Details :

Yarn : Heritage Polwarth 8 ply  shade : 404 Karr Pink  Batch 103932-33

Needles : 4mm and 5mm Chiagoo needles

Pattern : Antler Hat by Alexa Ludeman

Tid Bit : “Now I’d actually pay you to make me something like that ”  Those words coming from an usually disinterested teen is high praise  I think and says a lot about the pattern 🙂

DSC_0349This hyacinth plant is special because  it reminds me of a friend who came by to spend half a day with me. When she came to visit me, she brought this lovely hyacinth plant for me. I never knew hyacinths had such  sweet scent before then.We shared a meal, learned a little bit about each other, exchanged recipes and bid good bye.

When the flowers withered, I planted  the bulbs and did not remember  about them until I saw the flowers.

They remind me of  a lovely time and also that spring is slowly making her entrance .Can’t wait to see the earth bloom and come alive with flowers of different colours.

WIP: End of the year catch up

Schools have closed for the the year .The summer sun , the wildflowers , the roses ,hydrangeas and the lavender blooming  in my garden are keeping  me  very happy.

I’m sewing a lot more than I used to do.Finally I feel like I have a desire to sew and that came about with learning to sew this drawstring bag.

The unlimited possibilities that this pattern offers is its allure I believe.I made one more for Lil B’s Teacher to put her year end gift in.

I have now claimed my dinning table as my sewing set up with my machine, cutting mat and ironing all in one place.I can just sit and sew whenever I feel like it .

I’m also doing a modern mash up quilt- along.

I like Quilt -alongs/sew alongs because they often break down the big tasks into little do-able bits . Not just that, it is a great opportunity to learn from other people, being able to see the different versions of a block, in the comfort of my home.

These are the blocks I’ve made so far.

I’ve learnt to draw colours from an inspiration picture and work on it. Its hard but I’m trying .Choosing fabric has been the hardest part for me so far.

Knitting and crochet  have definitely taken a back seat. That does not mean I’m not doing them at all.

I’m testing the waters at the moment and trying to find out what sock knitting is all about. I want to know if it is for me, if yes, I want to see if I like cuff -down or toe up better. I want to give it a go once and see what the hype is about,  That ,and sock yarn is so pretty .

I asked for help on a FB group  and they directed me to this sock along.

Using DPNs seemed like a good idea at the time I started ,but now I wondering if I should have started with  circulars and magic loop.

I’m hopeful using DPNs will get easier once I get the hang of it. Not only that, it feels so cool knitting with five 2.5 mm toothpicks needles 🙂

There may have been a bout of startitis and I didn’t know ?.Podcasts and pretty sock yarn are to blame. I  started  the weekender blanket using some minis I had got at Unwind last year ,

 then I discovered  hedgehog fibres sock minis and I can feel a ‘mini’ obsession coming up to take hold of me.

Secret Santa gifts

Last year I enjoyed my  Secret Santa Gift so much that I decided to participate this year as well.

After a lot of pondering, I decided on the Three Colour Cashmere Cowl for her. I’d seen a lot of different versions and thought it  would be perfect for my secret santa partner. I had  also wanted to make this pattern forever. It seemed simple enough and I was confident I could handle it even if it was my  first time.

I ordered the yarn , got to work right away. As I was working section B of the pattern , I realised that it was going to end up as a chunky large knit. I had completely missed taking note  of the fact that the pattern required a fingering  weight yarn. duh!

It was also about this time I realised that I did not have a lot of time to order yarn I wanted to make it with  and make same pattern again.  Change of plan happened and actually turned out better than plan A.

The  One Row Lace Scarf  that I started turned out to be a better choice as its summer time here , this scarf is light and airy and my partner wouldn’t need to wait until Winter to use her gift.

This is my first fingering weight knit project. and I love how light and warm it turned out to be.


Project Details :

Pattern:   One Row Lace Scarf

Yarn: Feather Brush Yarn  Fingering ,Colourway :Tiara (Merino/Silk 50/50)

Needles:  4.5 mm Chiaogo Needles

I also made her  my absolute favourite drawstring bag pattern from In Colour Order blog  renamed Hold and Cherish project bag to hold all the little treats I put in for her .

She can  use it as a project bag to hold small projects like a hat or socks later on.A gift within a gift is always a welcome surprise, no?

 I  had been holding on to this  fat quarter bundle for a long time.It was one of the very first purchases   from a quaint little quilt fabric and notions shop called Forget me Knots not very far away from my home. Finally it has been put to good use.

The size of this drawstring bag is slightly smaller from the Everything  Size that is in the tutorial. I had to adjust the size to match the directional print . For the drawstring I used a nice festive ribbon that a very kind salesperson pointed out to me as I was searching for a matching ribbon at the store..

I really hope my secret santa partner really liked this little package as I was not able go  watch her unwrap the gift.