Archive for the ‘books’ Category

New pattern: Moccs

Friday, October 10th, 2014


Here’s something I’ve been working on: Moccs.  The pattern is now available to buy on Ravelry here.

They come in 2 sizes, and they’re not felted, just knit, a quick one at that. Perfect for the upcoming holiday season; something to tuck in a bag for a weekend away, or to slip on your feet for an evening on the couch.

Here’s another pic. They’re made with the ultra-luscious Blue Sky Alpacas Extra, just one skein. You could probably make 3 pair from two skeins.

The idea came to me a year ago after I made these baby booties for my book Knitting Gifts For Baby

Memories of family road trips to New Mexico were the inspiration. Stopping at road side stand to buy a sweet little pair of hand made leather moccasins.

Why should babies have all the fun?

I’ve also just finished another project I love. This time not my pattern. It’s Running Stitch Skirt by Yumiko Sakurai of the blog harumidoridesigns

There’s a little of the Southwest/Sundance catalog about this design too, isn’t there?

photo courtesy of Interweave

I love love my skirt which I made in Rowan Purelife Revive (gorgeous recycled yarn, one third each silk, cotton and rayon), the slip stitch stripes in Habu Cotton Gima. It’s knit sideways in reverse stockinette. The only features I altered were the back seam and waistband. The pattern called for a drawstring but I prefer a hem with elastic inserted. And instead of sewing the back seam I finished it with a three-needle bind off, seam on the outside. Apologies for this strange angle, a skirt selfie is tough! you get the picture.

My friend Paula made one in Euroflax linen, and another in wool. A skirt is such a great project and they’re surprisingly flattering provided they have enough width to not be tight too across the rear. That’s the secret. This is a wonderful design.

Happy knitting!

xox Mel

popping in

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

Hello Friends,

First, an announcement: all of my yarn that can be seen on South Seas Knitting can now be bought from Wildfiber, my former store, which almost closed but was rescued at the last minute by two lovely ladies, Teri and Claudia. They don’t yet have e-commerce up and running but I’ll bet if you called or email them they would send you whatever you want.

I have been a recalcitrant blogger, I know. It’s because of life’s changes that we must all go through and there’ve been many in the past year. When I popped in to say hello last October, I was in New Zealand for the funeral of my only sibling, my sister, Robyn, who had been unexpectedly diagnosed with cancer a few months before, and whom I thankfully came to New Zealand to see a month before she passed away. Writing this, I still can hardly believe she’s gone. Thankfully, I am still connected to her through my nephew and niece, both of whom I adore, and who have two gorgeous children apiece.

Here are my nephew Joe’s two kids wearing their hats I knitted for them. Ruben’s hat is the one from my last post, that I had to make all over again due to the twisted stitches. Lucia’s is the Blue Sky Alpacas Kitty Hat, a genius design by Lisa Whiting. I love this hat so much I’ve made another one for my niece’s little girl.



At the end of last year I embarked on a major knitting project. After spending three years writing my two latest books, I fancied following someone else’s pattern for a change, so I went searching for something to use up my enormous stash of Koigu. I decided on Hue Shift Afghan by Kerin Dimeler-Laurence.

It uses 10 shades, with 100 permutations. I love the way Kerin combined the colors and it’s the best use of mitered squares I’ve even seen. It’s made of four sections. The only sewing is the connection of these 4 squares. I knit the whole blanket on 2 size US 5 double pointed needles [I have a habit of using the shortest needles I can whenever I can and often use a couple of dpns]

Here’s my blanket when I was about to begin the 4th and final square. I could barely believe I’d gotten this far.

and here it is, finished with the 10 rows of garter stitch edging. I made it for my son, Pete.


Before I parted ways with my glorious and beloved stash of yarn sold to Wildfiber, they invited me to participate in a pop up store. so. much. fun.

Over three days I saw many of my friends and former customers. It was like having a knitting shop all over again. And part of having that all-over-again-feeling, was the exhaustion at the end of each day!

There was Mary, wearing her Everyday Cardigan from Knitting Everyday Finery


and Karen wearing Wandering Cable Scarf. (I recently added this pattern to Ravelry). How pretty is this pink and yellow colour combination?

Now I’ll leave you with a peek in a corner of our garden at our tiny house in Santa Monica. We are now living in it. It is very very small, but I’ve been reminded that I’m a spoiled Kiwi-Californian who is used to space. We’ve made a gorgeous little garden, full of the drought tolerant plants I love so much, and 5 New Zealand pohutukawa trees in pots.


topsy turvy book giveaway

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Update August 30.

Hi Everyone,

Thank you to everyone who left a comment to win Topsy-Turvy Inside-Out Knit Toys!  The competition is now closed.

I’m visiting old friends outside Auckland for the weekend. I’ll be back and will announce the lucky winner on Monday. Stay tuned!

Hey, look who showed up on my doorstep today.

Mrs Squirrel and Mr Penguin are my latest knitting project and they’re from the loveliest book, Topsy-Turvy Inside-Out knit toys, by Susan B Anderson. Susan has such a wonderful sense of fun and this book is just sheer cuteness from cover to cover. All of the toys double as something else. For example, the squirrel transforms into a cute hedgehog (below) and that egg he’s looking at has the penguin inside.

My husband requested the penguin on looking through the book and he laughed out loud when I showed him the finished toy. What joy. I can’t wait to give them to my niece’s children in New Zealand.

Here’s the cover of Susan’s book.

Susan has four kids, and it must be really fun to have her as mom, because she is wonderfully inventive. You can visit her blog here and see her designs on Ravelry here

I want to make so many of these toys! Next comes this dog and doghouse…


and I can’t wait to make this: first it’s an egg…

next it’s an alligator…

The thing I love about these toys is that they’re educational as well as cute.

Here’s how the penguin works as per the illustration in the book. As well as the patterns, the book has clear photos of techniques. Everything is there.

The icebergs in this just tickle me. I happen to love penguins because like me, they’re from the southern hemisphere.

and now for more pics of Squirrel who wants you to see her acorn…

and her tail…

The hedgehog is adorable. For her spikes I learned how to make twisted loops which I’ve never attempted before.

I used different yarns from those Susan recommended. That’s the great thing about these toys. You can use bits and pieces from your stash.

My squirrel/hedgehog is made with Koigu KPM and the penguin/egg with Cascade 220.

So now for the giveaway. If you leave a comment, you’ll be in the drawer to win a copy of this gorgeous book.

[I’m sorry but it’s only available to readers in the USA].  The giveaway will close Friday August 30, at noon Pacific time.

happy knitting, everyone!

xo Mel