Hi – I’m Sonja and on this site you will find my reflections about knitting and now, my other craft activities. My mother, Margaret Stove QSM has been a professional knitting designer for most of my adult life and my daughter Tash owns Holland Road Yarn Company and was an indie yarn dyer.

I started this blog in 2012 but it languished after some initial posts. I refreshed it while living in Malaysia in 2018 with a focus knitting topics that appealed to me. A planned short term return to New Zealand for a work contract was overtaken by Covid and over the following three years my husband and I bought a new house in Carterton in the Wairarapa and have gradually relocated back. A key reason I have started to write again has been my experience of bowel cancer (which has it’s own page)

My memory of my first successful attempt at knitting  is still fairly vivid. I was about six years old and my grandmother (my mother’s mother)  taught me using two very short green plastic pointy spikes  out of a plastic flower creating kit my grandad (my father’s father)had given me. The wool I used was re-cycled and a rather grubby pink . I must have knitted about ten rows of about 20 stitches successfully although I needed Grandma to start the first couple of stitches on each row.

That project was followed (I think) by a dark green garter stitch scarf that became my first UFO. My first completed project was a red doll’s coat and hat – also done in recycled yarn. That was the project where I learned to purl. Mum had to find some related yarn to finish it so I also learnt early the importance of batch.

Other memorable projects from my teens included a jersey for my little brother out of really yucky wool (learning: don’t skimp on rib) a long cream handspun cardigan (learning: mothers get upset if you use wool they have spun for another project) and my deep red sixth form jersey (learning: think about ply (it was 4ply) as well as finding the perfect red.)

Some of my other early knitting adventures will be the stuff of posts on this blog but suffice to say that I was never a particularly passionate or committed knitter. It was a skill I rather took for granted and after a range of projects when my four older children were under ten years old, designed to keep us all warm, there was quite a significant hiatus is my knitting journey. The odd new UFO got started as inspiration struck but that was it,  until about nine years ago.

I guess there there were multiple things that contributed to my picking up needles again. The first was just having more time as the kids got older. I  had always loved that long  cream handspun cardigan and I began to have a yen for something similar to snuggle into when I got home from work. I discovered sock knitting and the wonder of portable projects. And last but obviously not least I was drawn into maintaining my mother’s knitting legacy and supporting my daughter in creating a new one.

Six years ago as my stash continued to grow and my project list expanded I often found myself a little bemused that I had become so immersed in this.  There is a part of me that stands back and shakes her head at just what have I got myself into. Particularly as I found myself frequently being treated as the expert when working alongside other knitters – helping interpret patterns, rescuing mistakes and demonstrating techniques. And so it seemed obvious that I used my real life skill (web project management) to reflect on my de facto accidental skill – being a knitter.

2 thoughts on “About me”

  1. Could you help me please. I am a very very basic knitter and I have started the Basic Prem Singlet. I have completed to 8 rows of one shoulder. The pattern says…… next, join yarn and pick up the 18 sts.
    Do I place the stitches on a holder and cut the yarn off and re join to the other side? TIA

    1. That is a tricky instruction – it took me a bit to figure it out too. Yes you do need to cut the yarn and start it on the stitch holder stitches. Depending on the needles you are using you can just leave the 18 stitches from the first shoulder on the end of your needle while you are working back and forth which makes it a bit easier to see where you are up to when you cast the neck stitches on and knit across to pick them up again.

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