10 October 2010

Another new pattern!

The new patterns are coming thick and fast at the moment, with two more in the testing process and two more about to be. I'd like to say that I'm writing things this quickly, but many of these are patterns that I've been working on for some time, and are now just about ready to release. The latest is another baby hat and mitts set.

Like the barley twist hat and mitts set, these are knit in the round. Suitable for any 4ply or 5ply yarn, these are great in our merino soft baby wool or forever green elan organic merino. If you buy the yarn from us, then the patterns are free. All patterns and yarns are available on our site http://www.nzwools.co.uk

22 September 2010

New pattern out now!

My latest new knitting pattern has just been released after being tested by my wonderful testers (thank you!) I'm really pleased with it, and hope that you will be too.

You should be able to find it here.
As will all my paid for patterns, you can get it free if you buy your yarn from me, simply place and order for yarn, and I'll send you a code to download the pattern free of charge.
Look out for another new pattern in the next few days.....

06 September 2010

NZ Wools is one!

And to celebrate we're having a bit of a sale, there's 10% everything on the site for the whole of September. Don't forget postage is free worldwide too, so it's worth having a look.

It's been a while..

Well it's been a while since my last post, since Little babe made an appearence on 23rd of April, I haven't really had much time for posting on here. She turned out to be a little girl, and we've called her Lena Jo, she's a total sweetheart, and her big brother's love her.
Although things have been quiet for the last few months, on the NZ Wools front, I've been working on quite a bit of new stuff. I have a number of new patterns in the pipeline, that are at the testing stage now. (Let me know if you'd like to test a pattern) and a few new ideas that have yet to be created. I've also got a lot of new knitting and crochet accessories to add and there will be some new yarn added soon.

07 April 2010

More pattern testing

Well my crochet patterns for the Imogen, Hamish and Oliver shoes are now all tested and re-written ready to download. My testers were all fantastic, and having been through the process now, I think that it improved my pattern writing skills, as well as the patterns in question, so that's got to be a good thing. The end results are great too, and there are some great pictures on Ravelry of their versions.

I'm now trying to get little babe's going home cardi tested, haven't got any one signed up as yet (let me know if you'd be interested) but hopefully I'll have some volunteers soon. It's a lacy-cabled cardigan, to fit three sizes from newborn to 12 months, and this is a knit pattern rather than crochet. There are photos of it further down in my blog. As yet, it's un-named, so if you have any suggestions.....

Only three weeks (less in fact) until little babe is due to arrive now, so hopefully it won't be long until I can actually have a model for a couple of pics!

18 March 2010

Finished items!

This hasn't really got a lot to do with the store, but I've finally got some finished items to share with you. First of all is my shawl, I'm really pleased with this, and it's only taken me a month and a half, which isn't too bad really:

I'm just glad that I've done it in plenty of time for little babe's arrival, especially seeing as I have a few other things that I want to make before he or she puts in an appearance. The other thing that I've made is a little cardigan for little babe to come home from the hospital in. I've used Elan Forever Green again, which is such a lovely yarn to knit with, and I'm working on the pattern at the moment, and hopefully once tested, it will be available. If I don't run out of time that is!
I'm really pleased with the way this has come out, the buttons look a bit large, but I couldn't resist, I got them from incy wincy stitches, and I think that they are fab. Certainly perfect for something a bit special like this.

I'm not the only one finishing projects either, my test knitters have also been doing lots of hard work for me. So far the shoes have all been tested by at least one person, and they're looking great. Hoping that some of the cardigans will be finished soon too.

11 March 2010

Patterns ready to test

I'm so busy at the moment, it's just crazy. Not only have I nearly finished the shawl, but I've also nearly finished the coming home cardigan for little babe. Good job really as I've less than seven weeks to the due date!
I've also now got three more patterns ready to test, this time it's crochet patterns, and I've made three different styles:

The "Hamish" sandal

The "Imogen" Shoe

and The "Oliver" Shoe

If you would be interested in testing any of them let me know, they are all crochet, and are available either with US or British directions.

As well as all of this knitting and crochet activity, I've been adding to the range of products on the site. We've now got a far bigger selection of knitting accessories, including stitch counters, stitch holders and cable needles. We've also now got flexible Tunisian crochet hooks, if you want to try something a bit different.

03 March 2010

Competition on NZ Wools

Just a quick one to let you know that this month every order placed with http://www.nzwools.co.uk will be entered into a competition to win either a crochet hook or knitting needle case.
Made from silk these wrap cases are the ideal way to keep your hooks or needles in order. Just remember to state which you would prefer, if you win, when placing an order.

21 February 2010

Pattern testing

Well I've finally got myself into gear and started to look at my patterns, I've re-written one already, and renamed it too. So now I'm getting people to test it for me, especially as I've finally sorted out extra sizes. At the moment I'm working on a second pattern, the crochet wrap cardigan, which I've also re-named. If you would be interested in testing any of my patterns for me, please let me know, you can contact me via http://www.nzwools.co.uk

Other than that I'm busy working on things for little babe, I can't believe how fast time is flying by, but at least some of the important things, like the shawl aren't that far off being finished. It's looking really good too, I'm really pleased with the result so far:

19 February 2010

Trying out some of our yarns.

I've got a 101 things (at least) to get done before baby number three arrives at the end of April, but I couldn't resist having a go at a knit along on Ravelry. I needed a new soaker for Mahe, and I wanted a chance to knit with one of our bulky yarns, so it seemed ideal.

The actual knitting only took a couple of days, and I was really pleased with the finished item, the yarn looks really good knitted up. I'm planning on doing Kai a jumper in the same yarn, because it looks so lovely and warm, if it doesn't all sell out before I get chance that is!

13 February 2010

I love ewe; a woolly valentine

I meant to get M a card in town the other day, but of course, I didn't. So what's a girl to do, it's valentine's day tomorrow and the shops I can walk to are next to useless. I can knit one of course! So with a scrap of red wool, a bit of glue and some cocktail sticks, and what do you know I've got a lovely knitted valentine card. It's not really a pattern, but should you wish to knit a heart for yourself, you can find the pattern via the free patterns link on our site.

10 February 2010

A new pattern

Well, that might be a bit of an exaggeration actually, as yet there is no new pattern, just an idea... But I'm about to start working on a new pattern for a cardigan for little babe, and once it's done, I will of course be sharing it with you all.
I'm going for a straight forward v neck cardigan with raglan sleeves for this one, with a thin cable detail up each side of the front. All I can say for sure is that I know what colour I'm going for, being as I don't know what flavour little babe will be, I thought that I'd go for a nice neutral yellow colour, and so I'm using the Asana Yellow from the Forever Green Elan range. I'll up date you when I've actually started knitting some of it.

07 February 2010

Why use 100% pure new wool?

There are many lovely acrylic yarns on the market today, and often they are cheaper and easier to wash than pure wool. So, why would anybody want to use 100% pure wool instead?

There are a number of advantages to wool, that acrylic, and other synthetic yarns just can't match.

Pure wool is a natural fibre and so it breaths, this has two advantages, it helps to keep you warmer in cold weather, and cooler in warmer weather.

Wool also wears better, and so lasts longer than acrylic yarns, it's less likely to pill and far more likely to keep it's shape than it's synthetic counterparts. Special baby items made from wool can be passed on, and used by many different babies, while still looking as good as new, while your own favourite cardigan or jumper will last longer, and look good for longer if made out of wool.

Wool is also a natural fibre, so it is less likely that people will have any allergy issues with it. Our Forever Green √Član Organic Merino in particular, is ideal as a baby yarn,being soft, natural and so is perfect next to a newborn babies sensitive skin.

This yarn will need hand washing, so if you are looking for something that is a little easier to care for, then the Merino Soft 4ply baby wool, which is machine washable, is an ideal yarn to consider. It is also very soft, and ideal for creating baby wear, or treating yourself to something special.

Many parents like to use cloth nappies for their children, as they do not like to have the chemicals found in disposable nappies next to their children's delicate skin. Wool makes a fantastic fibre to create a nappy cover or wrap from, due to it's ability to breathe, repel water, and yet absorb moisture at a microscopic level. The same fibre that can keep sheep warm and dry or cool and dry depending on the weather, is perfect for keeping your baby comfortable and dry. Our DK, aran and chunky weight wools are perfect for hand knit or crochet wraps, soakers, shorties and longies.

Being a natural fibre, it is far kinder to the environment to produce than synthetic counterparts. Combined with its other benefits, perhaps the questions should not by why use 100% pure wool, but why wouldn't you use 100% pure wool?

Dying to tell you more...

Well, I've now managed to actually knit something from the yarn that I dyed, and on the whole I'm quite pleased with the results. The self striping effect worked far better than I had hoped, and I think that these little socks have come out very well.

As ever, there are a few little things that I would change next time I have a go at this, mainly the blue colour. Although it came out nice and strongly as I had hoped, it wasn't quite the shade of blue that I was looking for. I don't know if I can create that shade using food colouring, but I'll have to have a play and see what happens.
My next plan is to try a more random, variegated colour scheme, I think a mixture of yellows and oranges, quite subtle tones this time, might be nice for a few baby items. I'll certainly give the self striping a go in the future though.

27 January 2010

A first adventure in dying....

I've been dying (sorry) to try my hand at dying my own wool for quite a while, and although there are a few projects that I'd like some hand dyed yarn for, at the moment, I can't find any undyed 10ply yarn, and it's probably best not to practice (play) with the stuff I really want any way. I had got some undyed 2-3ish ply on a cone though, and thought that I could have some fun with some food colour......
First of all I wound my wool into a skein, as I want it to be self striping, I set chairs about 2.5m apart, and wound the wool around the backs. I secured it with little bits of wool at various intervals, so it wouldn't get too knotted.
Next I soaked it in about a cup of water and cup of white vinegar for about an hour and a half.
Then I mixed my colours in old jam jars, half a cup of vinegar, a cup of water and about 30 drops of each colour into each jar. It sounds like quite a bit, but I'm hoping for a really strong colour. I'm using hansells food colouring, red and blue.
I squeezed the water out of the wool, and put roughly half into each jar.
I then placed them into the microwave and zapped them for 1 min, then moved the yarn slightly so that the white bit was now in the colour.

I continued to zap in minute intervals moving the wool each time, so that the middle bit had plenty of exposure to the dye.
I'm not sure exactly how long it took, but after a while the water in the red jar became clear, and the blue one clearish. I then tipped the lot into the sink, and once it had cooled a bit, rinsed it with clean water.

After squeezing the water out I hung it to dry, and later on, I'll be winding into a ball.
The next plan is to knit a pair of little baby socks with it, and see if the self striping effect actually works........
More pics to follow.

24 January 2010

Shawl time

For both of the boys I made a crochet shawl, so for bump, I obviously want to do the same. I've suddenly realised that I have three months (ish) to get that done in, and as it is going to take me quite a while, I thought that I'd better get on with it.
I've added a little progress bar to the side of the blog, linked to Ravelry, so you can see how I'm getting on, although as it is so large, judging the progress is quite hard really.

22 January 2010

Lots of lovely new yarn.

My lovely new yarn has finally arrived, I love this wool and I'm going to have to be really careful that I don't end up using it myself, the temptation to do that is huge though.
The Forever Green Elan Organic merino is so soft, and the colours are fantastic, not just your usual baby pinks and blues. I think that little babe might be getting a few things made from it.

The other yarn is the 4ply merino soft baby wool, again it's beautifully soft. This yarn comes in some really quite vibrant shades though; hot pink, dark green, red, black and navy, as well as a softer minty blue option. I quite like the idea of dressing babies in slightly more exciting colours, so I think I'll be dipping into this little lot too.

To be honest, although both are "baby" yarns, I'd be seriously tempted to make myself something from them too, they're so lovely and soft!

17 January 2010

MORE new stock

Finally I seem to be getting all the new stock in that I've been waiting for. Lots of new neeldes and hooks arrived yesterday. I've now got 100 cm circular needles, as well as the 50 cm. (More sizes to follow later) Bamboo dpns have also arrived and some bamboo tunisian crochet hooks. I haven't actually tried tunisisan crochet (or afgan stitch) myself, but I'm going to give it a go. They are the funniest looking things though, knitting needle at one end and crochet hook at the other.

I've had an email to say that I've got lots of lovely wool on the way too, should be leaving the mill on Monday, on route to me, so it won't be long until it's here. How exciting, it will just be a case of trying to avoid using it all myself now.....

14 January 2010


Well I've finally got around to adding a few more hand made items to the site, new born baby socks. One pair knit in the lovely Merino Soft 4ply, and the other in Forever Green Elan Organic Merino. Both are lovely and soft, just right for baby's skin. There are only two colour choices at the moment, but I will be adding more later, and I can custom make them, if anyone wants something specific.

10 January 2010

Baby shoes

I've finally got around to finishing and listing some hand made items on the shop. There will be more to follow, but to begin with I've got a few hand crochet baby shoes, made by me with our lovely soft yarns. I've used both the Merino Soft 4ply and the Elan Forever Green Organic Merino.
They fit from newborn to around 6 months.

08 January 2010

Are you a WAHM?

Christmas and New Year has been very busy this end of the world, but I'm back now. I should have a lot of exciting new things to tell you about over the next week or so, watch this space....
Just thought I'd mention another website that I'm involved with though, the wahm directory.

If you are a work at home Mum, and would like a free listing on the site, just let me know. You can also use the forum and photo options to promote your work. Have a look at the site and drop me an email if you want to be included, or know someone who should be.