Remember, a couple of weeks ago, I was all in a tizz about what to knit next? Well, it’s funny how things work out. I’ve had a complete turnaround and am now casting on like there’s no tomorrow! By sheer coincidence, the three things on my needles (not including my long-suffering Wispy Cardi) were all designed down-under. Two by New Zealand designers and one by an Australian. And, I’m loving them all.

Bella Mia by Sarah Ronchetti (image used with permission)

The first is very nearly finished. It is the newly released Bella Mia by Sarah Ronchetti. That’s her sweet daughter in the photo above. I’ve been enjoying Sarah’s blog and her new designs for a while now and when she asked her readers to suggest names for this pattern I was thrilled when she used a variety of a name I’d suggested! I was even more thrilled when she gifted me the pattern as a thank you! Did you know you can do that on Ravelry? I didn’t, isn’t it a cool idea?!

Bella Mia
The pattern comes as an e-book, with instructions to knit it in two weights; fingering (4ply) and worsted. My wee Tess needs a light-weight sweater, so I’ve decided to go with the fingering version. Alas, I didn’t have anything in my stash that would work, so I had to buy some totally divine Fyberspates Sheila’s Sock in the Damson colourway. Oh my goodness, I am so in love with this yarn! It is 100% Merino, high twisted, hand-painted yarn, and look at that colour! It has knitted up beautifully and I have totally loved every stitch.

Bella Mia
Bella Mia has five buttons, three on the shoulder and one on each of the pockets, and these vintage beauties from my button hoard will be perfect. I am rather wishing this sweater was for me! The pattern has been a pleasure to follow. I’ve not made any changes. It is seamless, knitted from the top and the details on the shoulder, side “seams” and down the raglan increases are just lovely. Just a sleeve and pockets to go…. 
Everyday Cardigan by Mel Clark (image used with permission – copyright Helen Bankers)
The next thing I cast on was the Everyday Cardigan by Mel Clark. Isn’t it fab?! You can wear it open or closed. I am knitting it with my cousin Rach and my sister Suse, as a tiny family kal. They are both in New Zealand so we have to chat about our progress by email. Rach has raced away with hers and left Suse and I in the dust. She is using the yarn recommended by the pattern, 220 yarn by Cascade Yarns, in a beautiful celery colourway. Yum. Suse thought she had yarn, but it was too heavy, so is getting some more…. Come on Suse! You can catch up, I have only done this much …..

Everyday Cardigan
Hmmmm…. not much! The cardigan is seamless and knit from the bottom. Rach is onto ribbing for a sleeve already! It sounds fun, twisted purl stitches…

The Everyday Cardigan has a gauge of 22 stitches over 4″ and I’ve found some Rowan Purelife British Sheepbreeds in my stash. It’s the undyed wool of Jacob sheep and I’m loving the tweedy effect. I think it will be a great casual cardy and I found some wonderful handmade, hand painted, clay buttons when we were away the other weekend. One of these should look fantastic on the front. I’m a loose knitter so I’m using 3.75mm needles to get gauge and crossing my fingers I’ve got enough yarn. I got this on sale, I’m not even sure I can get any more…..

And, the reason I haven’t made more progress on my cardigan is because I cast on that lovely navy and pink yoke above. It’s terribly addictive to knit and this was an evening’s work. It’s going to be a Milo, that famous pattern by Georgie Hallam. Today, there are 4177 Milo’s on Ravelry! I have been meaning to knit one for ages and decided to do it when I heard it was Milo May – basically, make a Milo during May. Initially, I was dubious that I’d get it done by the end of the month, but after my progress last night, I’m more optimistic. Especially if I can’t put it down!

This pattern is a great stash buster and that makes me happy. I’ve used some ancient NZ navy Red Heart wool (can you even get it anymore?) together with a lonely ball of coral/pink Caressa, which seems to be discontinued. The garter stripes are looking awesome – it’s only little, another 21″ chest for Tess, and will be super pretty I think. My other girls agree and have already put in requests for their own Milos too :) I’m planning on doing an owl cable down the front, there are about six cables in the pattern to choose from, and finish it off with some little button eyes.

So that’s what’s on my needles. I am really enjoying having a couple of projects on the go, starting new ones as others get close to being finished. Some big, some small. I just NEED a couple more project bags to cope with all these wip’s … I’m thinking another couple of box bags… Have you made yours yet?

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