Saturday, 10 May 2014

My First Design

10 May 2014
YAY!  Finally I've done it.  Please view left to see MY FIRST DESIGN.
I'm calling it something really fancy (not), the Zig Zag Scarf.  Although a couple of people have said it looks like a snake winding it's way through the scarf

Thank you so much to my pattern testers, Debbie and Ellen.  It actually took Ellen a while, because once she got the first few lines of the chart, she either continued on auto pilot without the pattern, or as I had suspected, took liberties and did her own thing/variation. (That's okay, she is a talented knitter and sometimes that's what clever people do). Never mind, eventually she did the painstaking proof reading/knitting bit.

Just reading through the history of this post and I can see that it has taken some time hasn't it?  It was all so simple in my head ...

Never mind, I got there in the end and my next post when I work out how, will be to publish the pattern for the scarf.  Given that it was yarn from Spotlight that I used, I contacted Spotlight to see if they would be interested in using it for there next 'Feel the Yarn' issue.  They said to leave my details and if they were interested someone would contact me.  That was a few months ago, and I've heard nothing, so I guess the answer is NO.

As you can see, although not quite as clearly, I have also done a Zig Zag beanie to match. So far the pattern is only hand written.  I still have to computerise it.

Anyway, now I can move this post from 'On The Needles' and hit the 'Publish' button. 

 04.03.2014   Hmmm, Things seem to have stalled a bit.  I'm happy with the outcome, I'm just waiting on the pattern testers now.  Given that they are doing me the favour, I can't really rush them can I?  Thankyou Debbie, she has found one small error in the abbreviations, which is not surprising, given the number I've times I've chopped and changed, tweaked and twerked (can I say twerk?) the pattern.

12.02.2014   Just about there ...

I think I've finally got it.  I spent the weekend trying the new version on some fresh yarn and all the roll problems have gone.  Like I said in my last post, not quite the visual I was after, but I guess that's the nature of the stitches combination.  I've still got the zig zag and the roll along one edge.  It's just the reverse stocking stitch has been replaced with garter stitch.

Two things left to go ...

I found a new written pattern tester and I'm just waiting for them to complete the testing and get back to me. (though I fear my chart tester may be taking liberties with her own creative side).

The other thing is the yarn I'm going to use.  spotlight have informed me that moda vera 'Bailey' is not returning this year and perhaps I should try 'Dianthe'.  Dear Spotlight, if you are reading this, feel free to send me some 'Dianthe' if you are interested at all in my pattern

01.02.2014  The saga continues.

Still going ... My chart tester and I were both having the problem of the right hand side rolling in. Between us we've tried an extra stitch when turning from zig to zag, an extra moss stitch on the inside edge, an extra moss stitch on the outside edge.  A lot better, but still not quite.  Oh, and I've gone up a needle size.  Now we're trying garter stitch in lieu of the reverse stocking stitch.  Not quite the visual I was after, but now there is no inward roll, just the roll outwards, which is good, because then the ridge up the edge is nicely rounded, like the zig zag.

The re knits are getting longer.  I've discovered that you need more than 1 zig and zag is required to get the full effect of any design change.

My written pattern tester has dropped out.  The large needles are too painful for the arthritis.  I'm glad she didn't get too far as the pattern has changed a few times and probably will a few more before we get the finished product.  All was not lost though, Coralie did suggest a couple of better ways to write the instructions.  I do want them to be easy to read, so I might just take up a couple of the suggestions.  I don't think it should be too hard to find someone else.  This is meant to be fun, perhaps a little frustrating, but definitely not physically painful.  Coralie, I do thank you for your efforts.

07.01.2014  Zig Zag Scarf

Finally a couple of photos and nearly there.

It's actually coming together now.  After numerous false starts and much cursing at the computer, not only am I moving forward with the knitting (I'm on to the second ball of yarn) but I also just about have the pattern written and charted.

I've found someone who is willing to test drive the charted pattern, now I just have to find a volunteer for the written pattern.

Dec 2013
No photos yet, but I'm trying to design, write and create my first scarf pattern.  To date it's one step forward and two steps back.  Trying to work out the right number of stitches, what size needles, when to zig, when to zag, ...
Trying to get the picture from my head to reality is not going quite as smoothly as I had desired, but hopefully my stubbornness will see me through.

Monday, 10 March 2014

My First Market Stall

For those of you who have already been to Knit and a Bit's Facebook page, you'll be aware that I was camping at Wedderburn for the Labour Day long weekend.  The Wedderburn tourist centre was putting on their annual detector jamboree, for all those that like to find all that glitters that is gold.  Okay, they were actually looking for tokens for the jamboree, but the winner of that competition won a brand new Minelab detector so they can find the real gold.
Some of us are not so in to that kind of stuff, so Wedderburn Tourism Inc also organises a town garage sale.  For a token donation the community information centre let me set up a stall under their verandah. 

My very first market stall!!!

Gina, Gina quite contrary, how did my market go?

Unfortunately, whilst I approached it with a little fear, excitement and nervousness, and with an attitude that this would be a learning curve, and that even if I didn't sell anything, hopefully I would meet lots of people and have a good chinwag, I must admit that I was a teensy bit disappointed.  I think so many people had such high hopes for me that I wonder if I let them down??? 

I actually didn't realise just how much stuff I had.  My daughter helped me with the pricing.  We tried to work out an average between a small trash and treasure market and a higher end craft market for pricing as I'm not going to rewrite price tags for every different type of market and location that I might do.  This market caper must after all, be enjoyable and not too much of a chore.  As we pulled things out of the bags to price, photograph and add to the Facebook page I was about to launch (see previous post) I started to think that just one table may not be enough.  Turns out I was right, but thankfully the ladies at the Wedderburn information centre left a table out for me to add to the fold up table I took with me.
Talk about location, location, location.  The town map of all the garage sales  was not released until 9 am from the info centre on Saturday morning, so EVERYONE had to walk past my stall to get a copy.  Turns out that didn't help with the sales tho'.
First of all, I think that most of the people there were actually there for a school reunion (1950 to 1961), so most of the ladies already knew how to knit whatever they might want or need.  In fact I hate to think of how many centuries of knitting experience was milling around.  Quite daunting to think about it! Did I mention the info centre is in the old former Wedderburn school?
Secondly, it was a stinking hot day, so who in there right mind would want to buy a beanie or scarf???  which would perhaps explain why my two sales for the day were a tea cosy and a dish cloth.

Day two of the jamboree was Sunday and I was just going to relax, do a bit of knitting and wander around Hard Hill, but Robyn the amazing organiser and powerhouse of energy for the jamboree suggested I set up a stall near the stage and see how I go.  Oh well I thought, why not.  Being a family day, there were quite a number of people milling around.  Another stinking hot day, but this beautiful little blond girl, I'm guessing about 10 year old, came up and fell in love with a chevron beanie and scarf set.  She tried on the beanie and without trying to sell it, I do have to admit that it looked like it was made just for her.  thankfully some other people around me thought and said the same thing, so her Dad bought the set for her.  Despite the heat, she ran around most of the day with the beanie on.  A while later one of the campers at Hard Hill came up and bought a scarf and some baby sandals.

So all in all, not a bad weekend.  Unfortunately the photos I took of my stall, my first buyer and the gorgeous little girl are away in the clouds, or somewhere other than on my camera or on this blog.

But perhaps the best bit of all ... I've been invited back in October to have a stall at the Wedderburn New Age / Farmers' / Craft market!  Stay tuned for more info or go to for more info on last year's New Age market day.


Well, after my family gave me these items for Christmas 2013 I decided I had to get a bit of a move on and try and do something productive with Knit and A bit. Not sure if you can see in the photo, but the business cards have the blog address on them.  That's not a problem, because hey! I'm already here blogging away.  But the cards also have a face book address on them.  Oops, no face book page, so I can't give out any cards until I get the page going.  It took a bit of work and chopping and changing my mind on how to present it, but in the end I had to press the launch button (a bit like hitting the GO button for this blog).  May I proudly present to you .  I hope this link will lead you to my little store on Facebook and that you will hit the 'Like' button and share me around.
Please feel free to give me feedback as I'm not really sure how it looks from the outside world. 
I think it looks and reads okay from a computer, but I'm not sure how to access the albums from a mobile.
Any hints and tips would be greatly appreciated.
Now, I just have to work out the balance between blogging and Facebooking, more of this, less of that, or the other way around.  Any ideas?  Please feel free to comment.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Berwick Show 2014


So excited after umming and ahing about wether I could be bothered entering anything in the show this year, I'm so glad I did. 
It's been a really busy couple of weeks, with celebrating Mum turning a significant birthday number, family visiting and then going camping.  I didn't even get to the show until 2 o'clock this afternoon.  This left me barely 2 hours to have a look at all the other talented crafty people's work, have my Dagwood Dog (can NOT go to show and not have a dagwood) and enjoy watching the wood chopping.

The scarf is knitted from 'Chelsea' by Heirloom, a blend of 70% wool / 30% bamboo.  I do like the way it was displayed on the wall.  The beret is 30% possum / 70% merino.  The tea cosy is just that fluffy stuff you can get anywhere.

The knitted tea cosy competition - 1st & 3rd place

Now I must concentrate on finishing the zig zag scarf that is currently 'On the Needles' as well as getting ready for my first stall in a couple of weeks and launching a facebook page.  Oh dear, where's a tech whiz when you need one ...

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Xmas 2013

Gosh, it's been a little while since I've written.  I have so much to say, so little time. 

I actually had 9 days off over Christmas, but didn't get a single stitch knitted!  Not for want of trying though, as one would have thought that camping by a river would allow lots of craft time.  Not so.  Travelling, jet skiing, trying to get jet ski going, back and forth to town for new fuel, new oil, this town and that town trying to find the right spark plugs, getting the jet ski over 40 mph, finally getting it to 65 mph, ..., swimming in the river.  Add to that one still has to cook and clean.  Washing was all by hand then run through the hand wringer on the back of the van.  By the time I got time to myself in the afternoons, I was too weary to knit.

I am very proud of my Christmas dinner though, one of the best roasts I have ever done.  It was in the caravan oven, which is as slow as a wet week, (nearly 4 hours for a 1.5 kg lamb shoulder), but the meat just fell away when the knife went near it.  And the roast spuds and pumpkin turned out brilliantly.  Wow, both meat and potatoes turned out perfectly.  Pat on the back to me!


How spoiled am I?  Look what I got from family.  A 'Knit and A bit' t-shirt, calico project bag and a box of business cards.  I could have cried.  Actually I'm a bit teary writing this, thinking how lucky I am to have such thoughtful people in my life.