Kākā Hap

This blog post has been a long time in the making! It started when Kat visited from America and broke my cold-sheeping resolution. I progressed through my hap fairly quickly (helped by by a few sick days) and I’ve already posted about the challenges I encountered here. Kat, however, had to contend with moving cities and sticky hot weather back in America and, understandably, took a while to finish hers. Check out Kat’s beautiful version here – I love her kingfisher colourway!

I also took forever to photograph mine. Fortuntely my family were in town last weekend and my sister took photos for me on a trip to Zealandia – where there were plenty of kākā, the birds that inspired my colourway!

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Me and a kākā, the bird who’s colours I used for my Nut Hap © Emma Hill

Having a lag between finishing a project and blogging about it does have a certain advantage. I know what it’s like to wear now and this is not a hap that one wears lightly – and I mean that in both senses of the word.

There’s 700g of yarn in this scarf. I made the hap longer to ensure I got the same look as the original, but even if I hadn’t, it would still be a lot of yarn. That’s a fair amount of weight to be carrying around.

It’s also a weighty visual statement. I’ve had a couple of people comment that it reminds them of religious or academic robes. It doesn’t really go with a lot in my wardrobe and it’s enough of a statement that it needs a fairly simple outfit.

That said, it’s an incredibly comforting scarf to wear. The length means it can be wrapped around three times, keeping out even gale force winds (ask me know I know that one!) And I constantly finding myself tucking my fingertips into the open ends of the tucks, an oddly soothing act.

Anyway, enough jibberjabber, here’s the photos!

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The full length in all its clerical glory © Emma Hill

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© Emma Hill

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© Emma Hill

#mostworn

During #slowfashionoctober, someone (and I can’t for the life of me remember who) commented that there was no greater compliment for a handknit gift than for it to pill. The pilling was a sign of how much the gift had been worn. I immediately thought ‘well, not if you buy the right yarn’ and then remembered my two favourite cardigans are pilling like there’s no tomorrow and I’m still wearing them.

It got me thinking – the vast majority of knits we see on Instagram and Ravelry are new creations, fresh off the needles. What do those lovely knits look like after they’ve been worn for a while? Did the garter stitch section droop? Did that merino yarn pill? Did that dye fade? More so, I thought it was about time we cherished clothes that are looking a little worn in. With all this in mind, I’m introducing: the #mostworn blogalong. Continue reading

Yarnalong: The Big Smoke & Dave

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Knitting: Dave socks by Rachel Coopey in Patons Patonyle

Yip, Dave socks again. It’s a good pattern. I’ve accidentally altered them – I did a 1×1 twisted rib instead of 2×2 because I thought I knew the pattern better than I did. No biggie.

Also, how bright is that yellow?

Reading: The Big Smoke New Zealand Cities, 1840–1920 by Ben Schrader

This is both school and pleasure – Ben is a great writer and easy to read. It’s also about bloody time we had an urban history in New Zealand, so it’s all good news.

See what everyone else is knitting and reading over on the original Yarnalong.

Baable Hat #istandwithdonna

Okay, I’m not going to lie: it’s kind of fun when there’s a scandal in the knitting world. Because we hardly ever have them. Most of the time, it’s love and rainbows and happiness. So when something scandalous does happen, it’s delicious. Hunting down the original post, getting caught up in the outrage, feeling part of a community. It’s new, it’s different, it’s exhilarating.

Until you remember there’s real people being affected. Continue reading

An Ode to Missing Knits

Is there anything more heartbreaking than spending hours, days, or weeks on a knitted garment and then…losing it? Whether through misplacement, theft, or destruction, the loss of a beloved handmade garment is always tough.

Over the years, I’ve lost my fair share of knitted garments.

Item: Mariposa Mitts

Ooooo Pretty

Fate: Unknown

Story: Ever had a yarn and pattern match up perfectly? And then had the perfect buttons to finish off the project in your collection? And then be delighted with the absolute perfect result? And then freaking lost it?

That’s what happened to these babies. I somehow lost them in the move to Australia. If I’m lucky, they’re in a box in my Dad’s basement.

Will I make them again? I have the yarn. I have the pattern. But not those perfect buttons….

Item: Clapotis Scarf

Clapotis

Fate: Left in a Wellington cafe

The Story: This is a bit of a sad one. My then-boyfriend had bought me the yarn as a Christmas present. He’d taken me to a yarn shop and told me to buy yarn, which was sweet of him. I used it to make Clapotis and then a few weeks later, I lost it on a trip to Wellington. I was distraught; it already felt like we were on the rocks and I imagined that my lost scarf would become Desdemona’s handkerchief. I may have being overdramatic.

Will I make it again?  I did make a Clapotis for my sister (in red), but I don’t think I could make one for myself again.

Item: Josephine Wristwarmers

Josephine

Fate: Shrunk in the wash

Story: I knit up the Josephine wristwarmers as a test pattern for the wool shop I was working at. I hadn’t quite got gauge and they were always a little tight. Then I put them through the wash and the were so tight, they limited the passage of blood to my fingers. They were still gorgeous though and were gifted to a friend I knew would wear them.

Will I make it again? I just did!

Item: Indian Summer Hat

Fate: Lost (twice)

Story: I’ve twice made and lost this hat. It’s truly ridiculous. The first time was in a glorious dusky purple with beautiful buttons with flowers on it. The second was the demin blue . Each time I’ve lost them, it’s been a complete mystery – I’m fairly sure it’s just slid straight off my head without me noticing.

Will I make it again? I’ve made this pattern three or four times now, but I still want to make it again, because it’s the perfect summer hat for stopping my part getting sunburnt and for hiding the fact I have not done my hair.

Is it better to have loved and lost?

Each of these items, I truly loved. But if that was so, how did I lose them? Because I loved wearing them, they left the house, and thus the opportunity to lose them arose. Better to have loved, (worn), and lost, that never to have loved (worn) at all.

What about you? Have you lost a much-loved knitted item? Would you reknit it?

Yarnalong: Sleep, Rome, Ursula & Decca

Reading: The House of Sleep by Jonathan Coe

To read more books that I want to read (rather than should read), I’ve started with someone else’s favourite book. In a recent Pom Pom Quarterly podcast (or should I say Pomcast), their top three list concerned books they would read and re-read. Sophie recommended The House of Sleep and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. The characters are all mildly flawed and a little creepy, but in a very entrancing manner.

Listening: Knit.fm and Death of the Republic

Knit.fm is still my go-to morning drive podcast and I’m learning so much. This week I learnt I’d been picking up stitches wrong for my entire knitting life. I can’t recommend it enough to knitters.

Death of the Republic is another Hardcore History podcast concerning the fall of the Roman Empire. It’s another marathon, but with a road trip at the weekend, I’m a far way through.

Knitting: Ursula & – gasp – Decca

Ursula is still inching along (steeked last week, scary, scary), but a couple of weeks back, I broke from the queue a little and cast on Rachel Coopey’s Decca socks with Little Dipper Yarns Bootes Sock Yarn in a delicious colour I can’t remember the name of.

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New Coop socks with new CoopKnits bag – and my owl row counter, because apparently, I cannot be relied upon to count to four.