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,