Thursday, December 27, 2007

It's Holiday Time

So I will be eating, drinking, reading and knitting of course! As well as my other favourite thing to do, playing my autoharp.

So whatever you are doing, enjoy yourself and have fun and stay safe this holidays.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Alpaca Is So Soft

Good old fashioned fingerless gloves and made from the deliciously soft Bendigo Alpaca they are a ladies size as modeled by Janelle, no she didn't drink the red wine that was mine used for display purposes only.

A lovely icy blue purl beret made in Bendigo Rustic bluestone.

A newsboy cap also made in Bendigo Rustic. All are available for purchase in my Etsy Shop.

The Knitting Coven has had its Christmas break up party and lovely gifts exchanged, I was spoilt by the lovely Cindy a material box bag and some gorgeous socks made by Cindy. I will get some photos posted next time. I was secret santa to Katt and made her a pair of Dashing armwarmers in a very feminine dark purple, yes I knitted purple, just for Katt. I forgot to take a photo would you believe it, hopefully she will blog about them so I can link to it. A great time was had by all, lots of yummy food consumed, I swear I have put on kilos already and the fat man in the red suit hasn't even arrived yet!

Oh well that is about all for now till next time, happy knitting.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Not Another Hat!!

That is how I feel sometimes when I come here to blog, it is all about hats! Don't get me wrong, I love my hats and I am very proud of them and all, I just fear that my blog is becoming all about hats and nothing else.

Well today I can actually post about something else, gloves. You may remember how last time I mentioned that I was working on a glove pattern, well here is a photo of the first pair.

These were made from a lovely soft yarn called Boutique from Bendigo Woollen Mills it consists of 65% Wool, 25% Bluefaced Leicester Wool and 10% Mohair in coffee brown. I used 4mm needles which resulted in a looser fitting glove however I decided to drop down to a size 3mm and use Bendigo Rustic and this resulted in a tighter fitting glove. I also added a cabled lace pattern in the centre of the glove to add a bit of interest. Did I enjoy making them? Well put it this way, I wouldn't like to be making them everyday, the fingers are a bit of a pain in the bum and they are quite time consuming. I can see why 99% of gloves available for sale at Etsy are fingerless, they are much quicker and easier to make. At least these are knit in the round, even the fingers so there are no seams to sew.

The brown ones are available for sale in my shop but the second pair are on their way to the US, apparently it is getting a little bit chilly in some parts of the world right now.

Of course there have been hats made and these two are the latest, the first one is a customer order for an aviator hat with thicker tassles than my usual and a pom pom.

There have also been quite a few orders for different coloured flapper hats and this is one of the latest ones which I love. The customer chose the colours and it really was a great choice.

Till next time, happy knitting.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Three New Hats

Oh dear I just looked at the date of my last post and was shocked into posting about something, anything! Of course there have been lots of hat making, I would love to show you something different but I will have to save that for next time.

First up we have a brown aviator hat made from good old Bendigo Colonial 8ply.

Next we have what I call a chunky ski beanie made from Patons Inca.

Last but definately not least is my favourite hat, the Muse hat made from Bendigo Classic 12ply.

It appears that the rest of the world is cooling down so I have been getting a lot of orders at my shop which explains the lack of posting here, currently working on some black fingerless mens gloves. I have been asked to make some gloves with fingers so I am working on a pattern for funky but traditional gloves. It seems that fingerless gloves and mitts are very popular and no one is making the traditional glove anymore, with all those fingers I can easily see why! So hopefully they work out okay, I am knitting them in the round because I hate the thought of sewing all those seams.

I have also been approached about a possible wholesale opportunity with an Australian on line business, she is one of my customers and they are after handknitted longies, shorties and soakers for the cloth nappy community. Apparently the benefits of these soakers which are treated with lanolin are much more effective than the plastic pilchers in keeping baby dry and obviously much better for our planet. I haven't made a decision yet as we are still in early stages of discussions but it is exciting just the same as well as a little scary.
I probably would have to find a knitter who wanted to earn some extra $$$ to help me if I decide to do this as I am kept busy enough at the moment without taking on too much extra.

Hopefully it wont be as long between posts next time but until then, happy knitting.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Skulls Anyone?

Yes you heard right, skulls. I never thought that I would knit anything with skulls but here they are adorning a pair of fingerless gloves. Suzi will be so proud of me!
September seems black, well in my knitting anyway. The poncho is finished and ready to make its way to Hamburg in Germany, how cool is that. As a Beatles fan Hamburg is a well known town in their musical history.

Made from Bendigo Mystique 16 ply which is wool, mohair and alpaca and oh so soft and lovely but because it is a 16 ply it has plenty of body to it. I enjoyed knitting it so much that I might just make another to add to my shop.

A big week this week, I turned another year older on Monday and the weather was grey and of course it rained. Summed up my mood really, not so much about turning 41 but the fact that my footy team got absolutely annihilated on the weekend in a preliminary final. We were one game away from a spot in this Saturdays grand final, oh well for this weekend only GO THE CATS!!

The Bendigo Neon has arrived and so I am working on a pattern to use with this great wool. It is by no means soft, it is almost a bit scratchy but I have been swatching with it and it knits up well.

Oh well till next time, happy knitting.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


A lovely lady in the US asked me to make one of my aviator hats for her grand daughter but she wanted a scarf instead of the normal earflaps. So the scarf-hat was born, knitted in beautifully soft Heirloom merino magic in a bright lollipop pink shade.

Yet another version of my Aviator Hat, this one in Iris Blue Classic from Bendigo Woollen Mills.

Speaking of Bendigo Woollen Mills, you gotta check this out, Neon in fabulous variegated colours. I am going to go and add to the stash, this stuff looks awesome!

The kids are into the second week of holidays here in Tasmania so it is very busy, not to mention noisy. I at least have my knitting group today to give me some 'me time', can't wait. I also have two other orders to work on as well, a pair of fingerless gloves complete with skulls and a black poncho. I also have just designed and made a great pair of fingerless mitts which I hope to add to my Etsy shop. I have only made this sample pair yet but I am very happy with the end result, they were made from Bendigo Rustic Pacifica in 12 ply.

That is all for now I am off to check out that Neon!! Till next time, happy knitting.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Shhhhh! It Is a Secret

Yes underneath is the WIP of the secret santa present that we have each year at the knitting coven. The person and item will have to remain top secret until after our Christmas breakup party. Wow it sounds terrible talking about Christmas already but I do like to be organised and I thought that at least by starting early it will be finished well before time, fingers crossed.


You may remember that I made quite a few aviator hats last year in fair isle pattern. I sold a couple of them in my Etsy shop but since then there has been quite a lot of hoohah as to commercial patterns being used to make our wares, and since they were based on a Patons pattern I thought it best to ditch them. I have used a basic earflap hat shape and made it interesting by using variegated coloured wool. They are suitable for both males and females as Polly and Mr Polly are modelling beautifully for you all to see. I just wish that the Cleckheaton Country Prints was available here in Launceston to buy but I have had to source it online, it is such a lovely soft wool to knit with I am suprised that it isn't more popular.

I love the pooling on the crown of the raspberry/green one, it reminds me of the gods eyes (not sure what their correct name is, Cindy might know) we used to make as kids, you know the ones with the icecream sticks and brightly coloured yarns.

Till next time, happy knitting.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Creating Not Blogging!

Yes unfortunately when I fall off the face of the earth it means one thing that I am busy with my needles and wool! I have been filling up Shazzas Knits Etsy shop with lots of goodies so to save on picture load here, if you want to check out the latest head on over there and take a peek.

There has been plenty of personal knitting also, firstly there is a Panta for my SIL, she saw mine and wanted one for herself so finally here it is.

Next we have a Muse Hat that I made to wear to the football to watch my beloved North Melbourne play, in their colours of course.

I also discovered a new book and yummy wool put out by the people at
Cleckheaton. Yes their Vintage Hues range has got me in quite a spin and I am loving everything in this book and the wool is just so beautiful with its subtle colour changes. I feel like I am revisiting the 1980's working in entrelac as it was quite dominant in jumpers and vests back then. I clearly remember making Mr Brickie a vest in blue, black and grey entrelac. Anyway this is the starting of my Vintage Hues jacket which you may be surprised to see has a bit of maroon which is surely a purple shade but it is a colour I can live with as it is not the purple that I dislike with a passion, hehe!

So as you can see I have been having a lot of fun with my needles and what better way to spend the cold winter days and nights, till next time happy knitting.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

And The Winner Is..............

Larjmarj! I mean how could I go past 'Polly Styrina'. Now I know that you have made a couple of Muse hats so maybe you would like a newsgirl cap, but if you would like another Muse hat then that is ok too, I will be in touch to discuss the details. A big thankyou to everyone who entered, of course if you really would like one of my Muse Hats they are of course available for purchase in my Etsy store

Now you all know that I have a huge dislike for the colour purple but look at what I made this week.

Just because I wouldn't wear it doesn't mean that out there somewhere is a lover of purple who would love to add it to their wardrobe.

I also made another Newsgirl Cap, this one in a winter grey colour. I should call it Tasmania because it is exactly what our sky looks like at the moment, which is all a bit sad. The other hat is a Flapper hat which is a customer order which is about to be making its way over to the US.

So that is about it for now, till next time happy knitting.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

A Competition At Shazzas Knits

My dear friend Mary has been waiting patiently for me to finish these for her, they would keep getting put to the bottom of the 'must do' pile, but finally I cast off and gave them to her on Monday. She loves them because she is a purple and red girl, which is why when I saw this Opal colourway I immediately thought of her. The pattern is my good ol' faithful sock pattern, I still feel a plain pattern for self striping sock wool works best.

Another of my patterns, which happens to be my favourite is Muse Hat, I make and sell these over at my Etsy Shop. This was one of the first hats that I started selling there and I was surprised that they didn't sell as well as the other styles available. I had a rethink and decided to reshoot the photos and this time I positioned the hat slightly different on the *styro head, since doing so the Muse hats have been flying out of Shazzas house and into homes all over the country and world. How exciting!!

*I must give her a name a la Cindy's bare naked lady, so I have decided to hold a blog competition. Below are some pictures of as yet unnamed styro modelling the latest Muse Hat, suggest a name for her and the most original name that I like, will win! Win what you ask? Your very own Muse Hat, knitted by me in your choice of colour. I know that most readers of knitting blogs are in fact knitters and would probably like more wool, needles or even a pattern but I thought that for once wouldn't it be nice to have something handknit especially for you to wear, that was made lovingly by someone else. Even if you don't wear hats you can always put it away as a present for that hard to buy for person, so leave your answer in the comments or if you wish to stay anonymous, email me (email addy in my profile section) and next Saturday I will announce the winner. In the event of more than one person selecting the winning name I shall do a draw to determine the winner.

Leah, you asked me a question in my last posts comments about wool shops in Launceston, well unfortunately they are very light on. We have one specialty shop, Knits, Needles and Wool which is in Tattlers Arcade in the city centre and then of course there is Spotlight in Cimitere Street, which is everywhere anyway so not really special. I'm afraid that is it as far as knitting and/or wool stores here in Launceston, other than Waverly which you already know about, sad but true. I love Knits, Needles and Wool and it is where I do all my shopping except of course for my favourite online store in the world. Fellow Launcestonians if you know of any others please could you mention it in the comments so that Leah can read it there.

Till next time, happy knitting and good luck with the naming of the styro head.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

More Baby Pants

Thanks for all the lovely feedback I received for the baby pants. I forgot to mention in the last post which wool I used, it was Bendigo Classic which of course is now available to everyone as they have finally joined cyberspace. I received a few emails asking if I was going to sell the baby pants in my Etsy shop. If you are interested in the rainbow pants I have listed them as a custom made and will take orders for them, as there is a fair bit of knitting involved I thought that this would be easier than making a pair up in each size. I have just added these so that I could have an example of a plain pair.

If you look closely you will notice that the flower is knitted, not crocheted as it appears to be. I have just bought Nicky Epstein's Knitted Embellishments which is already starting to get that well used look.

It seems that I am not the only one who has a little business venture going on at the moment. My good friend Rachel has started Tall Grass Yarns and has some beautiful colours on offer and some very clever names she has chosen too!

Oh well that is about all for now, till next happy knitting.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

These little baby pants or longies make me think of that song, I wonder why? I had to fiddle around with an old baby leggings pattern to get the stripes measuring the same, the waistband to have a drawsting and I changed the narrow leg to a bootleg style. A lovely lady who bought one of my hats asked me to make these for her daughter, complete with the embroidered ladybug beetle on the leg. Janelle was giving me her, always honest, opinion of these while they were being made but even she admitted that they were very cute when finished! I swear that girl is my harshest critic but I do value her opinion as she is very artistic and knows what does and doesn't work.

Another Newsgirl Cap, this one made from
Patons Jet, I love the way the variegated Jet works with my caps and being wool and alpaca, very soft. I will be making some from Bendigo Alpaca soon. I am working on some new patterns too, so stay tuned!

The school holidays are almost over, phew! This second week has been a bit trying as they have all been sick, I suppose it is best to get the bugs over and done with before the second term begins. This is always a long, cold term with plenty of colds and flu's doing the rounds. Oh well till next time, happy knitting.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Introducing Blokey Beanie

I am able to unveil Blokey Beanie, the handsome thing that he is! I wanted a beanie that was masculine but a little different from the black fishermen ribbed that is quite common for mens beanies. Blokey is a skullcap fit in a twisted k1 p1 rib and made from 100% pure wool, but not any old wool, this is some of Katts hand dyed wool, which she is selling in her Etsy shop.

I only have this one in my Etsy shop at the moment but I do hope to make another shortly so that he won't be too lonely, but then again he is surrounded by all those gorgeous women! I still have to finish the baby pants and just when I thought there was light at the end of the knitting tunnel, I received two more orders. A newsgirl cap in green and a Panta headband, haven't made one of those for a while.

On an entirely different note, yesterday I received an email from a lovely lady just south of Newcastle. Now for those outside of Australia you may or may not have heard but there have been terrible storms in NSW which have caused havoc especially in Newcastle. This lady asked for my
shazzas sock pattern and had a couple of questions about sock knitting as she is wanting to give sock knitting a go. She mentioned how their area has been declared a natural disaster area and we can only begin to imagine how that would feel, but in this time of turmoil she was going to knit socks. This got me thinking how even in times of wild storms, which are causing so much devastation, knitting can bring a little peace and serenity to our lives. I will end this post with my thoughts and prayers to everyone in this country suffering from the effects of the storms but especially to a special knitter out there who hopefully is safe and knitting socks.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

I'm Dreaming Hats And Socks

Well that is how it seems here at Shazzas Knits at the moment. I have finished the 8ply socks that were an order, they are an old Patons Totem pattern knitted on 3mm needles giving them a nice firm fabric.

Now check out the awesome sock blockers that they are displayed on. Now obviously these are mens socks and the blockers are womens but look, they have 'Shazza' indented into them making them uniquely mine! Now I got them from a lovely lady Helen who is a blogger whose blog can be found here

So that is the sock dreaming part of this post, now for the hat dreaming. I have been busy making hats for my Etsy shop because they have been selling quite well. I am chuffed but at the same time there is always a little bit of 'oh what if they hate them?' each time I pack them up and mail them out. The photo below is of one of my newest ones which I love, it is made from Bendigo Rustic pacifica which is a beautiful opal blue colour.

There are many more but way too many to post here and besides anyone visiting my blog would curse me for all the photos.

So now you can maybe understand why I have hats and socks whirling around in my head at night. I am working on some mens hats made from some yummy camo wool hand dyed by Katt who is about to open her own Etsy store, aren't you Katt?? Head on over to her blog and demand ask her to ;) So hopefully I will have them to show you next time. Till then, happy knitting.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Oh Boy!

Life has been hectic to say the least around here, everything seems to happen at once. I was all ready to start my new jacket and in fact had cast on the stitches when within two days I received orders for three pairs of socks and one baby hat. I have finished the baby hat.

Isn't he so cute, he is my new little model for baby hats, I found him in Spotlight. Getting back to the hat it is knitted in 8ply merino wool and from the good old faithful 1970's Winter Warmers pattern book but I did make some adjustments as the person wanted it to have earflaps and the original pattern had some moss stitch above the ears which to me looked a bit strange.

The first of the socks in Opal using Shazzas Sock Pattern and you may notice that I am not using my old faithful bamboo dpns, this is because in my quest to find the perfect sock needles I discovered these which are available through Donni. The verdict? I love them and will be ordering some more in the not too distant future as they don't hurt my hands or wrists at all.

This is the first pair of two for a lady who wants them for her husband but thankfully she wanted thick socks, so these are from an old 1950's Patons knitting book of socks and they are 8ply but knitted on 3mm needles which gives them a lovely smooth, thick texture and are quite quick to knit also. I am waiting on some grey from Bendigo Woollen Mills as I didn't have any grey in my stash, what a good excuse to buy some more yummy wool from my favourite woollen mill. I sold four items from my Etsy Shop within a couple of days which gave me some spending money.

Oh well I must go and finish these socks, till next time,happy knitting.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Not Just Any Old Scarf

My 6 year old nephew came up to me last week and asked me if I could knit him a scarf. He told me the three colours he wanted in it and I am sure he was probably expecting a typical tri-colour striped scarf but of course I wanted to come up with something a little different. I decided to knit it sideways and instead of adding a normal fringe I chose i-cords instead which added a little something extra to the plain garter stitch. What do you think?

Now Janelle has put an order in for one but hers is to be much longer and in brown and blue tones to match her favourite pair of shoes, oh joy! No seriously I love it when my children ask me to make something for them as these days they like the store bought things and mums creations aren't as cool anymore.

Hopefully I can get it made before my new yarn from Bendigo Woollen Mills turns up for my new project. You may remember that I made this a couple of winters back in a green shade. Well I love it so much that I am going to make it in redcurrant from Bendy, a rustic red colour. I really am in awe of Joan McGowan-Michael and her designs, there is a great article in the latest Interweave Knits about her. Oh well I am off now to cast on for Janelles scarf, till next time happy knitting.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Slow Progress

Yes that would be me sewing a few more sections of Lizard Ridge together. The temperature is dropping and it will only be a matter of time before ol' Shazza is laying back on the couch sipping a merlot and want the warmth of a nice blanky to wrap around her. So I am trying to get it finished before I get to that point. Please tell me if I ever get the urge to make this or anything like it in the future just how much I hate sewing up knitting, I would rather be knitting. To top it all off it has to have a crochet edge around it as well and there are lots of annoying little ends to be sewn in also! But I am motivated, really I am, watch this space for developments.

Speaking of knitting, I have finished another Newsgirl Cap and this is now for sale over at My Shop. I hope to add a few more over the next few weeks so keep checking to see what is available.

The kids are back to school on Monday after having their Easter break so normal programming will resume, as in I can get near the computer occasionally without a screaming match and the house will no longer resemble a war zone. Well that is the plan anyway. Till next time, happy knitting.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Great Customer Service

I consider it a knitting bloggers duty to give credit when a manufacturer or store gives great customer service and I had just such an experience this week. You see it all started with this:

Oh dear these just weren't any old needle either they were my casein needles which to me are of equal quality to my old faithful tortoiseshells. These needles are made from a natural dairy product, the name casein is defined as protein of milk, the basis of cheese and if you put these little babies in your mouth there is a sour milk taste!

Anyhow these needles come with a lifetime guarantee, just like Tupperware, they break they replace. So I sent off my sad little needle and yesterday I received these in the mail.

So a huge big thanks to Swallow Needle Company and if anyone else is in the look out for some nice needles I can highly recommend this companys products and their service.

Now onto my knitting projects, well there have been many new hats and things since I last posted and if I post a picture of everything today you will curse me for all the photos so I will show a couple of them and if you want to check them all out they are all over at my Etsy shop.

The first one is my girly take on the newsboy cap which I call a Newsgirl Cap and the second is a simple headband which has been in my head for a while and I finally got around to making one up and seeing if it worked, I think it turned out ok. Not much else to report other than busy getting ready for Easter and if I don't get back here before then I wish everyone who reads this a very happy and blessed Easter, God bless xx