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.

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”

3D shoes

Hello and welcome back to another week

Grammazoo’s second email will be delivered to your inbox Wednesday with lots of things not featured on the website or on Facebook.

Featured at the top of the list is the monthly pattern for members only. I can’t wait to show you.

It is something for the young and the young at heart. It is easy to knit, and is something you can dress up or down.

Make sure you don’t miss out, it isn’t too late to subscribe.

Out of the mouths of babes

Lowest prices on the best yarn - guaranteed at knitpicks.comI love my little quote book by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and this next quote just goes to show how much notice children actually do take of what is going on around them.

I am not sure I would take my knitting while going shopping or to the bank, but this little girl has obviously noticed the therapeutic affect knitting has on her mother, and felt it would certainly help the little boy’s mother.

It is the working man who is the happy man.
It is the idle man who is the miserable man.

Benjamin Franklin

My daughter and I were trapped in a seemingly endless bank line. Now me, I’m an experienced mother. I had a children’s book, a baggie of snacks, and my knitting in my purse. I’ve been in this line before and now I come prepared. The woman in line ahead of us had come with nothing but her son and her wits, and she was showing clear signs of not only losing her temper but also developing a twitch over one eye. My daughter watched the woman become increasingly agitated and finally commented to the woman’s son, “your mum should get some knitting; that’s what my mummy looks like without it”.

I recognise that knitting can improve my mood
in trying circumstances.

Stephanie Pearl – McPhee

3D knitted shoes, what next?

There isn’t much that can’t be printed or in this case, knitted in 3D these days.

These shoes sound incredibly comfortable, particularly as you can buy one for each foot completely separately.

Cutting down on waste, they are certainly eco-friendly, but I wonder about their practicality.

How weatherproof would they be? I know with sneakers that I have had with a knitted component, my feet still get awfully wet in winter and what’s more, I go through the toes in next to no time.

I understand that perhaps I walk a little differently to others, but it is still a problem for me. Wouldn’t it be the same for these shoes?

There is also no mention of cost, only that they are cost-effective to make. Nah, give me leather anytime.

Have a read of the article and let me know what do you think?

Pattern of the week – Child’s cushion by Amanda Berry

These are just some of the lovely cushion designs by Amanda Berry.

This week’s pattern is something different, a cushion or pillow for the children’s room or family room, but definitely for the children.

In my travels on Google, I found a series of cushions by designer Amanda Berry that I thought you would really like.Wool Yarn from Knit Picks

They are perfect on a child’s bed or chair and there are so many to choose from, each child is able to choose their own.

Amanda Berry’s designs all feature the enormous, odd eyes that are immediately irresistible.

For my mind, I fell in love with the penguin. I have already named him Peter and am very happy to share him with you.

For a copy of Amanda Berry’s Penguin Cushion pattern go to grammazoo.com.au/patterns/

Please be aware that this pattern is copyrighted and cannot be sold on. I have paid for the privilege of its use and am sharing with you for your use only.

Did you know – there is a giant, pink rabbit in the Alps?

The pink rabbit. If you Google pink rabbit, Gelatin, you will be able to read lots more.

And no, I have not been drinking, yet!

There is a giant, hand-knitted pink rabbit clinging to the side of the Alps near Piedmont in Italy.

This giant pink ‘Bugs’ was created by the Gelatin Collective, a group of four artists from Vienna in Austria.

These guys are known for their very large and often strange works, and this piece is meant to make people feel small, in the vein of Gulliver.

The 61 metre (200 foot), long, pink knitted rabbit – ‘Hase’ – was created using 1000 kg of pink wool, and took dozens of ‘grannies’ more than a year to knit the basic shape. It took a further seven weeks to stuff and put it in place. It makes the pink pussy hats look very small to be sure.

A big tourist attraction in the Alps, it is not just for looking at or walking around. You are actually encouraged to explore and climb it, even take a picnic on its belly.

The collective hopes that the sculpture will exist for 20 years. I will be interested to see how the fabric stands up to the elements. It is free for the public to explore.

T-shirt yarn project

Please remember I adapted this pattern from a crochet pattern. To see the crochet pattern go to http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/hug-me-or-else-t-shirt-yarn-monster


You will be pleased to know my T-shirt yarn project is finally finished and I have a scary monster for my new puppies to play with.

They love it and have already taken the button-eyes off and chewed them to pieces. As I write the monster is taking a breather in the back yard. Both dogs are out of the heat and under the airconditioning, waiting for dinner.

I think when you see the end result, you will appreciate why the little hand bag wouldn’t have worked.

The monster has lumps and bumps where there shouldn’t be, compliments of the seams in the T-shirts I used.

This is the original crochet monster by Recoverista on Ravelry.

It works well for a scary monster, but the clutch is far too elegant and as I have mentioned in an earlier post, either seamless T-shirts or commercially-produced T-shirt yarn would be best for that particular project.

A knitting pattern for the monster will be available for download on the pattern page by the end of the week if you are interested in having a go. It is not perfect, and if you have any suggestions to modify it, please let me know.


Weekend project update

Aagh the never-ending weekend project. How you must dread it.

I must admit this one intrigued me, no needle sizes, no ply suggested, it was anyone’s guess. The fact it came from two centuries ago, was enough for me to try it.

I used a 4ply Alpaca blend with 4mm straight needles and knitted my little piece of 19th Century pattern with the following result.

It was very pretty to be sure, and with enough length would make a very beautiful, false collar with its little picket edge for a jumper, or really any other round necked garment. What do you envisage for this little piece of history?

I would love to know and I am sure there are a lot of others in the same boat out there. Thank you for having a go.



Welcome Tiger

Standoff at the OK corral.

It was dogs at 10 paces at Grammazoo’s yesterday.

We have acquired a new member to the family and the fabulous Pi is none to impressed. But Tiger is here to stay, so she will just have to get used to the idea.

Tiger is a kelpie x coolie, just seven weeks old and for all the world looks just like a hyena.

Like all babies, Tiger still spends a lot of time asleep.

I did think of calling him Hy, but I thought Pi and Hy was a bit much.

We now have two sheep dogs in the family and no sheep for them to round up which can be a problem, but lots of walks and hopefully, when Pi comes around, lots of chasing around in the back yard will wear them both out.

Continue reading “Welcome Tiger”

It’s Friday

Happy weekend from Grammazoo!

Weekend’s mean it is time for our next small project and this weekend we are going to recycle some old t-shirts by shredding them and using the cut pieces as yarn to make something new and useful. Interested?

Of course, you can buy t-shirt yarn by the cone, but I thought it would be far more fun to recycle some old ones and see what we get.

Continue reading “It’s Friday”

Happy Monday

Welcome back

LoveKnittingHope you all had a nice relaxing weekend.

There wasn’t much knitting done at Grammazoo’s during the weekend because it was hot, very hot. With clear blue skies and the sun beating down, the temperature reached 44 degrees on Saturday and 42 degrees on Sunday. Some relief came on Sunday afternoon when a change came through and believe me, it was more than welcome.

Precious Pi and I got up early for our walk as usual this morning and it was almost cold, I say almost, but it was definitely a lot cooler than it’s been for some time. Phew!!

With a new week coming Grammazoo has many more goodies just for you, but first, I am curious as to how your Valentine Day’s project went. Did you have a go at the rose or the little heart?

Having never felted before, I opted for the rose as a chance to try something new. Knitting the rose was easy but the suggestion I put it in the washing machine in hot, soapy water, all on its own, didn’t do much for me.

Continue reading “Happy Monday”