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This free beanie pattern was based on Gina Doherty’s Skull Hat pattern, with a few changes to the border. I cast on 98 stitches using 3.25mm needles for the inner layer and 3.75mm needles for the outer layer of the hat, hoping this would be the right size for an eight month old. My tension wasn’t great on the fair isle, I pulled it too tight and as a consequence think it’s more a 3 month old size. Live and learn!I shaped the top using Jennifer Lee’s “Sandy” crown shaping.

sky, pirate beanie 008

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So many new things to learn when trying your hand at 2 ply wool lace knitting. Rather than buying special needles I found some very pointy, double ended needles and blocked one end with a rubber band. Then it was how to read a graph rather than each row of the pattern being written out. I did a fairly simple horseshoe lace, apparently in the ‘Shetland style’, so the return row was garter stitch meaning the pattern was the same on both sides. Enjoyed it but couldn’t read and knit at the same time because everything was a bit small and fiddly. Had a go at blocking the finished scarf so it was washed and dried stretched out so the pattern showed up more. Good to have a try, the wool feels very soft but quite tickly.

touch 2 ply lace scarf 004touch 2 ply lace scarf 010touch 2 ply lace scarf 020a

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I  went a bit crazy at the online lolly shop looking for fish themed lollies, who knew you could buy black currant flavoured penguins? Putting the cake together I had a few bad moments when I thought I’d cut the cake wrong and had a backwards 4. I actually flipped it twice before I clicked that I was getting confused for nothing – see in the bottom two photos what happens when you rotate a number 4.

newborn vest Lydia's 4th birthday 014newborn vest Lydia's 4th birthday 009newborn vest Lydia's 4th birthday 005newborn vest Lydia's 4th birthday 012

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A young friend had been collecting novelty Christmas fabrics and had amassed three bags of “all sorts,” to one day make into quilts for her children. The challenge eventually came my way to think of a way to put the eclectic mix together into three quilts. Here’s what resulted …

three christmas quilts 016three christmas quilts 013three christmas quilts 012three christmas quilts 020

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I found this leaflet pattern in the op shop which looks way too retro. The basic pattern is perfect to knit up for children 6 – 12 years, so here is a modern take on an old pattern.

vest page 1vest page 2child's vest pattern 001

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I recently made these wraps with a group and thought I’d share what we used and where I found the things I needed here in NZ. The refined yellow beeswax pellets are from NZ Beeswax Ltd in Geraldine, the damar gum (instead of pine resin, it still gives the wrap it’s tackiness) is from ‘Shaman’s Garden’ in Nelson, and good old coconut oil from the supermarket. Below is the recipe we followed:

Wax Wraps: You need these approximate proportions

  • Fabric: wax mix is enough to do quarter of a metre, cut 50cm x 33 cm and 25cm x 33cm (or any dimensions you want!)
  • 40g bees wax (55 pellets)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil (you can use olive oil but it may wash out too easily later on)
  • Optional is a sprinkle of damar gum or pine resin for tackiness


  • Spread 1 Tbsp coconut oil over your fabric.
  • Lay it in a clean tray and sprinkle with cut up/grated bees wax and a pinch of gum
  • Melt in a moderate/low oven until melted
  • Brush it over with a baster to mix the wax and oil and gum, may need to reheat if it cooled and went lumpy.
  • Carry tray to a line and hang dripping fabric on line to cool.

NB: I used an old electric frying pan and melted the wax, oil and gum first, then added the fabric and stirred it around.

NOTE: Beeswax will discolour if over- heated. You can re-wax your wrap if it loses its tackiness over time. To clean, wipe over with a wet cloth or run under cold water and leave on bench to dry before storing. Don’t wash with hot soapy water or it will disperse your wax (not good).

bees wax wraps 002

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I use an old electric frying pan and just wipe it out afterwards. Can be done in an oven tray.

bees wax wraps 009

Using an old silicon baster, you’ll never get your good one clean!

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It will leave beeswax residue on what you hang it on so don’t use your good clothes rack!

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The wrap is great for the 1 kg block of cheese

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There’s something about pockets on a plain cardigan that takes it up a level. Here’s a simple ‘pocket pattern’ to add to any plain pattern you already have. I’ve knitted in an ‘L’ but you can knit on anything that will fit.

Pockets for Child’s Cardigan

Cast on 18 stitches and knit 1 row

Increase each end of the next 3 rows as you work in stocking stitch, (24 stitches)

Stocking stitch another 20 rows

Rib k1, p1 for 6 rows then cast off.

Pin then stitch to your cardigan about 4 rows above the rib or wherever you think it looks right!

cardigan pockets (and kumara) 005cardigan pockets (and kumara) 004


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