Needles that Knit – an excerpt – by Rev. A Russell Tomlin

The following is an excerpt from the booklet – “Needles that Knit” – by the Rev. A Russell Tomlin. This charming booklet I found in a second-hand book shop. The date is unknown.

The Message of the Needles

“We are to listen to the message of the needles – the message of the needles that knit.

What a fascinating diversion knitting is. How lost the ladies, in particular, would often be but for the happy occupation. how it supplies them with many hours of interesting, captivating thought and labour. How it redeems, with pleasant exercise, moments that otherwise would be heavy, tedious and long. “What do you do to pass away the time, ” someone enquired of an old Scotch couple who lived in a quiet little cottage in some far-away corner of Scotland. “Well, ” came the reply, “sometimes we just sits and thinks, and sometimes we just sits.” But on the whole, ladies do not like that quiet type of life. They like to be busy, and to be busy even in those moments, when they need not be busy. So they take up the needle, the knitting needle, and by its swift and clever use, turn the empty hour into redemptive, if diverting activity.

“Silent is the house. I sit
In the firelight and knit.
At my ball of soft, grey wool,
Two grey kittens gently pull-
Pulling back my thoughts as well
From that distant, red-rimmed hell
And hot tears the stitches blur
As I knit a comforter.

‘Comforter’ they call it-yes,
Such it is for my distress.
For it gives my restless hands
Blessed work. God understands
How we women yearn to be
Doing something ceaselessly.
Anything but just to wait
Idly for a clicking gate!”

But what is the message of the needles? It is a message that tells us we are all ‘knitters’ – weavers. That consciously or un-consciously, we are bringing together a pattern, a fabric called life, character, soul. That, like a garment in process, our lives move on to some completed plan, some definite design and end. We are weavers, knitters, and someday life will reveal the whole.”

Ambrosia Cowl by Katya Frankel

Here’s a pic of my gorgeous daughter modelling my finished WIP – the Ambrosia Cowl by Katya Frankel.

I used one ball of Naturally Yarns – Karamea – a blend of 75% merino, 15% alpaca and 10% possum.  It is an 8 ply yarn with 104m/114 yards per ball.

The yarn that Frankel uses is a 10-12 ply so hers was a lot bigger/taller than mine.  8 ply makes a good kid’s size or for a lady with a slim neck.  🙂

Okay – so one WIP finished – about a dozen to go!

Welcome to the Revamped ‘Sweet Yarns’ Blog

The Journey so far….

In 2007, I started a little online business – American Yarns.

In 2010, this changed to Yarn Over

In 2015, I started Sweet Yarns NZ

and now….

Sweet Yarns Australia

This blog is a collection of all of my valuable posts and patterns from my years in the knitting and crochet business.  Enjoy reading and downloading these patterns.

I look forward to uploading more patterns when I can and sharing my personal knitting, crochet, spinning and sewing projects.

Feel free to follow me on Facebook!

With Love,


FREE Knitting Pattern – Waikiwi Sock Yarn

Do you love to knit socks? Waikiwi sock yarn from New Zealand is a lovely blend of merino, alpaca, possum and nylon. It gives great stitch definition and is long-lasting due to the nylon content. It makes a lovely warm sock that is beautifully soft on your feet.

You will need two balls for an average pair of women’s socks, 3 if you’re knitting for a man.

To download your free cabled sock pattern, please click on the link below:

Free Pattern – Waikiwi cabled socks – N1181

Patons USA – Sequin Lace Shawl

One of our regulars Jeannine brought in her second Boneyard Shawl for show and tell today.

She knitted it in the silver colourway of the lovely and affordable Patons Lace Sequin yarn – it is a blend of wool, mohair and acrylic and has the sequins spun right into it.

She used 3 x 100g balls