ChevGirl

Mum of three girls, obessed with knitting, sewing and craft.

Test Knitting 2014 so far….

I have done a few test knit’s for other designer’s so far this year with most of them being hats!

My first test knit was a top called Velma designed by Casey White. This is a sweet short sleeved top in a loose gauge so it grows fast on your needles. I made this for Ariana and she adores it.

 

My next test knit was a beautiful smooshy hat called “Aspiring” designed by Paula Henley from Koru Designs Aotearoa. It has a great stitch pattern in the body of the hat and a simple yet effective twist in the brim. I made this test kinit for Ariana and she loves it! Gosh I am lucky my 8 year old still tolerates her Mum’s knitting!

 

Next onto the needles was a hat called “Pollinator”  which is my friend Jo’s first foray into designing. Jo also hand dyes wool for sale as well as some other crafty items. Her business is called Meraki Studio NZ. This is a stunning cute design and Makayla was the lucky one to get this hat. The yarn I used was some I was gifted from Casey (who designed Velma above ^ ) and it suited the bee theme in colour and would suit Makayla.

The next test knit was for a new designer as well. Briony from Gradient has not one but TWO hat patterns in testing at the moment. I tested one of them called Fisherman’s Beach. It is a stunning hat that holds special significance to her in memory of her father. ♥ I love patterns that have a story or special meaning. This hat features a simple cable running up the length that is like the beach of waves and their are smaller wee waves with a clever stitch going around the body of the hat.

I gifted this hat to my cousin who raised a lot of money for Cancer Research by cutting her much loved dreads off. I hope her head is nice & warm now! The yarn I used for this project is hand dyed by Jo from Meraki Studio NZ who designed the Pollinator hat! We all tie in together nicely don’t we?!!!

 

** I have completed another test knit but I can’t share that one yet as it is top secret! I adore the pattern & my gradient hand dyeing I did for it but alas you all have to wait!

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Above – my second knitting pattern

In February I found a beautiful cable pattern of angel wings and felt so connected to it I had to make it into something. Designing a hat seemed very logical so I set to and designed a hat using the angel wings pattern. I had to do a bit of editing of it – from being in knitted in the round and not flat plus I changed one of the increases because I didn’t like the look it created.

I have had a busy team of wonderful test knitters who helped me iron out any problems in the pattern like with the layout, numbers and readability. Thank you team!

Angels have a real infinity & special place with me. On my journey to being a mother to three gorgeous daughters, I had three close consecutive miscarriage’s which really threw me upside down emotionally. Losing a pregnancy was surprisingly hard to go through however as time marches on, you realise you learn a lot about yourself and have empathy for others before & after you that also lose a pregnancy. The “Above” hat is symbolic of the three angels I have up above, that look over my three awesome girls with all sizes having three (or four) angel wings around the hat. The hat also is available in six sizes from toddler to large adult and in three yarn weights. On Monday the 14th of April I released the “Above” hat pattern and this week it has a introductory special price of $3USD (Usually $6USD) .

Some of the beautiful hats made in testing.

Some of the beautiful hats made in testing.

Above is a unisex slouch hat knit from the brim up. The pattern keeps the knit interesting with only one round of cable being used in the body of the hat and a simple twist cable in the brim. The hat is available in six sizes from toddler to large adult and in three yarn weights – fingering (4ply), DK (8ply) & worsted weight (10ply). This pattern would work best with plain, semi solid or gradient dyed wool to show the angel wings cable pattern off best. Skills Required: Knitting in the round with small circumference. Use small fixed circulars or magic loop. Beginner cable work. Gauge information : 4ply/Fingering Weight – 28 sts/10cm on 3.25mm needles 8ply/DK Weight – 22 sts/10cm on 4.5mm needles 10ply/Worsted Weight -18sts/10cm on 5mm needles

Sized from toddler - large adult and in three yarn weights. A beautiful comfortable hat for yourself or as a gift.

Sized from toddler – large adult and in three yarn weights. A beautiful comfortable hat for yourself or as a gift.

If you are on Ravlery, I would love to see your finished project and photos. I am “Chevgirl” on Ravlery and I am happy to help with any pattern support Thank you Kate :-)

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Kauri Hat

While I was having my pattern test knitted, I also test knitted a friend’s hat pattern called Kauri. It is a great man hat but equally perfect for us ladies too! Kauri is designed by my friend Gabriella Henry who has designed some very cool, versatile patterns. I have at least two of her patterns in my knitting queue waiting to get knitted!

 

Kauri

 

“Kauri is a fun and satisfying knit for the special man (or woman) in your life.

Featuring an interesting cable/twist panel reminiscent of tree branches, this cozy unisex beanie works up quickly, ideal for last minute gifting.”

I knitted one to fit my husband’s head (medium) in some hand dyed wool and all up it used 50g exactly!

dean 1

deanI am about to cast on another in a brown for a quick Christmas gift……photos later after Christmas!

ETA: Here is the hat I made for my youngest brother for Christmas modelled by my handsome husband again.

 

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Annie Gray

Annie Gray, my first pattern, was released on Monday!

A delicate top for a girl that loves comfort. The rib bodice will expand with your child as she grows and allow free movement when playing in the warmer months. The top can be  dress length for a younger child & as she grows it will become a tunic top. The lace is simple yet effective & with the addition of a ribbon tie it will dress up well for a party or special occasion. Your Annie Gray can have fixed straps or buttons for the straps to customise fit, ribbon or no ribbon and a singlet top or a babydoll tunic dress.

My Nana was a talented and prolific knitter who knitted for many a tourist and local as they visited her at the small craft market in my hometown. This pattern is named in her honour – Annabel Hewett nee Gray. Nana passed on tips & tricks to my Mum (her daughter in law) and in turn passed this information on to me. There was one jersey that all three of us worked on so Nana and her knitting skills are to be thanked!

Some of the beautiful Annie Gray's created through the testing phase.

Some of the beautiful Annie Gray’s created through the testing phase.

The pattern is available to buy as a PDF file on Ravelry. See the link on the left hand side to go to the pattern on Ravelry.

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Taylor Swift – RED Tour.

We were so lucky to get some free ticket’s to see Taylor Swift in concert on the 1st of December. Taylor Swift had kindly gifted alot of tickets to members of the NZDF and families. How awesome is she?!

Many names were entered into a ballot and with tonnes of luck our family was one of the lucky ones. My husband & I decided to keep the news to ourselves to surprise them. I think that Ariana would have worn herself out in anticipation anyway.

Very excited girls!! Outside Vector Arena, not long after we told them where we were going.

Very excited girls!! Outside Vector Arena, not long after we told them where we were going.

The show was amazing! Lots to look at with all the dancer’s on stage and screens. Taylor did a great job going around the crowd and making herself as close as she can to the 12, 000 people there to see her.

The girls and I.

The girls and I.

At our special ticket pick up point, the girls were able to write a special message to Taylor Swift to say thanks!

Ariana writing a message to Taylor Swift.

Ariana writing a message to Taylor Swift.

Excited!

Excited!

Some photos of the concert.

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Girls with Dad.

Girls with Dad.

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Annie Gray – my first pattern

A few months ago I had a knitting design pop into my head while on school holidays. I saw a little girls hip wee top and thought that would be cool to replicate into a knitting pattern. Well, that idea sat bouncing around in my head while I rushed other test knits and projects. I sat down eventually and nutted things out and then another idea worked it’s way out onto paper. Annie Gray is the babydoll/singlet top that is now a reality and is in the process of being test knitted by a  group of knitter’s to iron out kinks and make it an easy to read pattern with a great result. It is a nerve wracking time!

Here is a sneak peak of Annie Gray:

Annie Gray test collageRight, off I go to knit another sample for Makayla. Be back later.

Kate

 

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Recent Test Knitting

I have been busy test knitting a few patterns and some more than once!

In September, I test knitted a new pattern by Julia from Just One W.I.P. called Marji.

A cute modern cropped cardigan, featuring a textured garter stitch pattern.

* Perfect for layering all year long.
* Easy enough for a beginner knitter.
* Uses small amounts of yarn.
* Quick enough to knit for a last minute gift.

Go on and get yourself a copy of the pattern: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/marjie

Marji on Makayla

Marji on Makayla

I really love this photo of Makayla. Happy and showing her fun personality.

I really love this photo of Makayla. Happy and showing her fun personality.

Another test I have done recently is a new pattern just released yesterday and the first installment in a series of pattern’s based on the Von Trapp sisters from The Sound of Music. The pattern is called “Gretl” after the youngest of the family and sisters. It is a sweet shrug with a smocking stitch detail at the back and bell ruffle. I made one for Ariana first and then thought Holly would love one as she has grown out of her other shrugs. So then HAD to make another for middle sister Makayla! I love Makayla’s one especially as the smocking stitch looks fab in sparkle yarn.

Ariana’s Gretl took 101g  http://ravel.me/ChevGirl/gt2

Gretl Ariana collage

Holly’s Gretl used 53g of hand dyed yarn http://ravel.me/ChevGirl/gfh

Holly Gretl Collage

Then I made Makayla one in sparkle yarn – 83g http://ravel.me/ChevGirl/gfmt

Makayla Gretl collage

 

And then I cast on another! This one will be a Christmas Gift to a certain 3 yo niece. http://ravel.me/ChevGirl/gfjt

Red gretl collage

 

It is a quick item to knit as it is knit in a loose gauge. These one’s were on a 6mm  & 4.5mm needle using DK/8ply.

Go and check both of these patterns out!

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School Holiday Fun

School term is back (YAH!) and the last one for the year. The school holidays speed by with lots of fun and family times.

We had my nephews Christening ♥ and then in the first week the kid’s found the sprinkler and they had a blast on the lawn.

sprinkler fun

 

We went to movies and the girls went to the Zoo and then we visited my husband’s parents in Central North Island. Beautiful place!

ohakune collage

 

One morning the two big girls and Dean went for a ride on horses and a play at the play ground. The girls picked flower’s for Grandma from her garden and they helped Granddad get the free range chooks into their coop and feed them.

Holiday collage

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Buttons!

Recently I entered a competition on Buttons by Benji blog and I WON! Yippee!

I won the chance to design my own buttons and then have them. I designed them around a test knit I have just finished knitting called La Petite. Dusky pink and grey stripes in uneven stripes like the jersey.

My Vintage Haze buttons on the La Petite knit top.

My Vintage Haze buttons on the La Petite knit top.

Here are some more photo’s of the La Petite which is yet to be released.

Ariana in her new top.

Ariana in her new top.

I also won $20 credit to spend on more buttons. I chose these wee beauties.

buttons collage

 

Check out more new buttons on Buttons by Benji.

Kate XXX

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Garden Makeover

While my hubby took the two big kid’s to the Auckland Zoo, my friend & I attacked my garden. The weeds were banished quick smart into heaps which Holly loved carting around “helping”. The big spade was used to aerate the soil and break it up to plant seeds.

The stink part was transporting some fresh compost to the garden from our compost bin. Oh lordy, did it honk! We mixed this in with the soil already there as it would have been too much for seeds. We added in some seed raising mix and planted some rows of baby carrots, lettuce and radish and planted the lavender bush into the garden.  The rectangle garden then had some flower seeds around the edge to help combat bugs attacking the vegetables.

garden collage

In some cut up milk bottle container’s we planted a range of vegetable’s and some more butterfly enticing flowers. Now the fun is watching these all grow!

In the butterfly part of the garden we moved one swan plant from last year to be closer to the other two.  Some butterfly enticing seeds were planted at the driveway end.  We planted some more butterfly flower seeds in some containers and I will plant them in this garden later on. Some of these seeds were so delicate. The butterfly seeds were from a packet from the Butterflies for Tara showcase in June.

Butterfly Flower Seed Mix

Butterfly Flower Seed Mix

I had a play with my new DSLR camera and captured these photo’s of flowers in our garden. The rose & lavender were my gift’s from Mother’s Day from the girl’s and the other flower’s are just natural (wild) flower’s around the section.

flowers collageIt was quite therapeutic to get outside and do this. It looks great now and the kid’s were super impressed when they came home. My friend and I will sort out the front of the house and get some sunflower’s growing out there.

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