Time to celebrate

Can you believe it is August 1 already and what is August 1 in the Southern Hemisphere? That’s right, it is the horses’ birthday.

It started me thinking why this day in particular was designated for all of our equine friends to celebrate being a year older.

To find out, I turned to my best friend ‘Google’ and this was what I discovered.

 

The reason for the selection of the first day of August in the Southern Hemisphere, as opposed to say the first day of January, May or November, is that historically, the weather at the commencement of September is just beginning to warm up, prompting mares to … ‘come into season’.

A mare’s ‘season’ is stimulated by the presence of extended daylight, nature intending that foals be born 11 months later through spring and summer when feed is plentiful so that mares can produce good supplies of nutritious milk.

… mares successfully bred early in September will produce foals in early August.

http://www.pedigree-dynamics.com.au/
why-is-the-horses-birthday-1st-august
accessed July 21, 2017

In the Northern Hemisphere, January 1 is the day the horses celebrate.

As an extension of this little bit of trivia, I wondered what, if anything, could be knitted from horse hair and the answer was in fact, not a lot, as the hair is too short and too coarse.

However as with everything, humans never give up and some people have tried and been successful, gathering the winter undercoat of their horses and spinning the hair with wool or alpaca.

The Curly Horse. Photo: http://www.yarraleigh.com.au/wp-content/gallery/moonlight/moonlight-dec-2010-12

An article by Leslie Ordal, “Spinning Horsehair“, explains how she discovered hair from the curly horse breed and what she did with it.

Photo: http://www.bergdalaspinnhus.com/tageleng.html

Woven fabric using the long hair from the horse’s tail seemed more common than spinning it into yarn and some truly interesting garments were discovered by Kerstin Froberg, a professional weaver from the south of Sweden.

More of these unusual garments can be viewed here.

 

 

 

 


 

Enough of horses, it is now time to get down to business and to give you a project update.

There hasn’t been much project pandemonium going on at Grammazoo’s with school holidays upon us. I haven’t been totally slack though as my mystery project is taking shape.

Did you have a think about what this could be? Well this month all will be revealed along with pattern details and more.

If you guessed this to be a doll, you were quite right. The pattern comes from Sarah Gasson, an English designer extraordinaire of all manner of dolls, teddies and other toy animals.

The true beauty of her patterns is that they are totally interchangeable, with all of the clothes fitting each of the beautiful dolls.

This little lady will start life as a ballerina, but will have a complete wardrobe by the time I am finished.

The first set of clothes is finished (above), the next, a onesie and a pair of slippers is under way. A summer dress and cardigan, pinafore and jumper, and fairy outfit will complete her wardrobe before she leaves Grammazoo for her new life.

The other thing I completed this month was my third crochet  project, a cocoon for a premie or newborn baby.

With no new babies due any time soon, I am offering this for sale at just $30.

It is made with love from Moda Vera “Shiver”, 100% acrylic. Price includes postage and packaging. Contact Grammazoo if you are interested.

My project cupboard is full to overflowing at the moment so it really is time to knuckle down and get to work.

Particularly as two new bundles of yarn arrived just this week.

 


How true is this? The were a few expletives flying last weekend as I had to undo and repair a project I am knitting in the round on four needles. Not only had I made a mistake a little way back, but every time I turned the work, the stitches would fall from the needles and create more holes than I already had.


LoveKnittingDuring WWII, British secret agent Phyllis Doyle, kept her codes in her knitting bag which she took everywhere with her.

Phyllis Doyle.

Ms Doyle joined the WAAF in 1941 aged 20, as a flight mechanic. Because of her fluency in French (her father was a French doctor), it wasn’t long before she undertook ‘spy’ training.

She was parachuted into France and was able to move around the countryside on the pretext of ‘selling soap’.

During her time in Normandy, Ms Doyle sent 135 messages about Nazi troop positions to the Allies in preparation for the D-Day operations.

Her codes were hidden in her knitting where she carried silk yarn. She would tie knots in the yarn to pass on the code after which she used a knitting needle to stuff the yarn into a flat shoe lace ready for sending.

To read more about this amazing lady go to http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/world-war-two/11248032/Wartime-spy-finally-accepts-she-is-a-French-heroine.html


300 X 250 bannerOne of the things I find very tedious about knitting is after you have finished your project and sewn it all together, you then have to weave in those pesky hanging ends.

I was never taught a particular way to weave in the ends of my work but since starting this blog, I have discovered many interesting techniques, among them, this little tutorial which shows there are any number of ways to finish your work neatly and securely.

Its step-by-step instructions, with photographs are easy to follow and you can either print it off or bookmark the page in your browser window for convenience. Check out this website for more.


Well, that is about all Grammazoo has for you this month, but before I finish I have to show you our potential CPA, Mr Arthur Polak.

Artie is growing way too fast and I reckon he will be walking by the time he comes to visit this week. Then we are all going to know we are alive.

I hope you all have a wonderful month. If you think of anything you would like to talk about or want to see, feel free to email me at suzanne@grammazoo.com.au

Until then,

 

 

A winter’s tale

Although you would never believe it, one month of winter is already done and dusted.

Photo shows winter sun in Dubbo
The sun has been shining for weeks and the only hint that winter is around is the long shadows in the late afternoon.

I don’t know what it is like where you live, but here in Dubbo, we are still experiencing quite warm temperatures.

The only hint that winter is about, is that the shadows get very long in the afternoons and it cools down considerably about 3.30pm.

Despite the milder weather, plenty of knitting is getting done at Grammazoo’s. What about at your place? How are your winter projects progressing?

Continue reading “A winter’s tale”

Been a while

It has been a while since my last post, Easter no less. I am sorry for that, but sometimes life just gets in the way of all best laid plans.

Needless to say, I have still been busy knitting and with so many projects on the go, I thought projects, (yours and mine), would be as good as any place to start, particularly as I have even managed to finish a few.

A plastic bag full of the hoodie in its many pieces, some still under construction
The hoodie in its many pieces, some still under construction

Not sure if you remember the pile of pieces I had with me while visiting Melbourne during the last school holidays.

They were to be a hoody for my little man (who, by the way, turned one this month).

Finishing off has never been one of my strongest points, and it soon became clear the hoodie wasn’t going to come together by itself.

The hoodie sewn together in its entirety, with matching bootees
I finally got all the pieces sewn together and this was the end result

And no, I don’t have any hints to make it easier. I only wish!

I bit the bullet and set to work on a rainy Saturday afternoon in front of the footy. The result was very pleasing (as was the result of the footy, I think it was the weekend Collingwood did Geelong’s head in, ha ha).

Continue reading “Been a while”

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to you all, I hope you have a holy and happy holiday, and that the Easter bunny is very kind to you all.

Like many of us at this time of year, Grammazoo is spending time with her grandie.

Melbourne has been my destination this holidays and before I left home, I went through my stash and packed up all my current projects to bring with me.

I had trouble fitting the clothes in, but I am happy to say,  it hasn’t all been a wasted effort as I have managed to finish (the knitting at least) of all of Arthur’s current projects, knitted a couple of egg cosies for the Etsy shop and started a winter beanie for moi.

I have even spread to the floor of Travis’ lounge room.

Travis’ house is beginning to look like mine with bags of wool all over the place. Ha ha.

With resources a little limited while away, I thought this week we would do something different and have a bit of fun.

After all, that is what holidays are all about.

A dinosaur egg cosy in the making.

Let’s start with a quiz. The one I  chose was pretty easy, although I even managed to blow a couple of answers.

I liked it as it actually gave an explanation for each correct answer, so if you were like me and blew an answer, all was explained.

If you click on the following link, it will take you straight there, http://www.funtrivia.com/html5/specific.cfm?poolid=15323

Good luck!

And now something for the kids. Have any of you tried finger knitting? I’ve done the arm knitting thing, so thought this would be ideal to fill in some holiday hours with the kiddlywinks.

Mind you, my own granddaughter just looked at me with disdain when I suggested she have a go.

Personally I have never done finger knitting before, that I can remember anyway, so went straight to youtube to find a tutorial.

This link was the first I came across and explained it very simply. Well, I managed it, so that says something, and crikey, it was easy!

I then went a step further and found a little project that even the littlest grandie (except mine) could manage with a bit of help from grandma. There is nothing  prettier than a butterfly?

I just had to make it. It was so simple and literally took me about half an hour. I still couldn’t tempt the GD but hope you have more luck with your grandies.

If you don’t like this particular project, there are heaps more on youtube. I am sure you will be able to find something to keep each of your grandies happy.

I will be back to normal (whatever that is) next week, so until then, have a wonderful Easter and for those of you travelling, please travel safely.

 

 


 

I did, have achieved a lot, and am very happy!

 

 

Grand opening

Ta dah!

Finally, the grand opening of ‘grammazooknits’ on etsy.com.au has been achieved. The stock is small, but the ideas are huge with more to be added as the weeks roll by.

These little fellows are just a few of the ideas I have actually worked at this stage. I have ideas for many more and the plan is to eventually write patterns for each and sell the patterns. They are simple to knit, but even I don’t want to spend my whole life knitting.

If you have any other ideas for egg cosies, let me know and I will have a go at making them.

Take a peek at what I have done so far by clicking on the link below: https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/grammazooknits

Thank you all for your support


How very true these few words are.

Actions always say a lot more than mere words which can be rolled off the tip of the tongue without, in some cases, too much thought.

 

 

 


Continue reading “Grand opening”

Big is back

An article crossed my desk last week and at first I dismissed it, but since starting this blog, I have noticed that yarns are getting thicker and patterns similarly, accommodate these thicker yarns.

Personally I have always gone for the finer yarns, in many cases preferring to wear machine knitted garments over the bulkier hand knit.

Being small, I find the thicker yarns make me look bigger than I really want to look.

However, it seems, I have to find a compromise as according to the dictates of fashion, big is back.

Mind you, some of these designs leave a lot to be desired and by the look on the models’ faces, I feel they think the same. However, it is interesting that this could be the way we are headed.

Click here to read the article and check out more of the designs. Leave me a message, I would love to know what you think.


Continue reading “Big is back”

Time flies …

Hello again,

I am not sure where my time goes, but go it does and as I find the end of March getter nearer, I really have to get my ‘a into g’.

I have been very busy trying to finish of my many projects, as well as getting ready to open my shop on Etsy.

Peter the Penguin has finally been completed and I am really chuffed with the result.

It is his eyes that make him so distinctive. They are a real feature of all of Amanda Berry’s designs.

Arthur’s tank top is almost there (see Grammazoo’s good advice below).

I have struggled with this project because of the way the Alpaca has knitted up, but after reading an article about Alpacas and their wool, I understand the problem and why.

I still have some of this beautiful wool left for another project and am hoping with my new-found knowledge, I will manage a far better result.

The stock for the Etsy opening has been the main focus of my work this week. While the little items don’t take a lot of time to knit, finishing them off does, particularly when you leave them all to be finished at once …


Continue reading “Time flies …”

The luck of the Irish

Thankyou for stopping by on this great day for the Irish.

Grammazoo has been busy finishing off and prioritising projects this week, as well as preparing for the grand opening of her shop at Etsy.com.au

Preparation for the shop has taken longer than first thought, so I have delayed the opening until the beginning of April. Knitting and finishing of stock is continuing so I can really do this properly.

Lowest prices on the best yarn - guaranteed at knitpicks.com

Continue reading “The luck of the Irish”

Project pandemonium

Oh my lordy, Grammazoo has got herself so busy she doesn’t know where to start next. She has so many projects on the go and so many lined up, it is time to stop, take a giant breath and put some order into the things she wants to share with you all.

Back of Arthur's tank top
Take two

Little Arthur’s retro tank top is finally about halfway done and I have a confession to make. I did a retake on this one.

The pattern I originally designed to break up the simplicity of the design just did not work with this particular yarn. To cut a long story short, I ripped the whole thing out and literally started again.

Continue reading “Project pandemonium”