January 31, 2024

Time to use your hands

We've made it almost the whole way through January, and for those of us with kids, we thankfully are now heading back into regular schedules again. Both me and my kids have a hard time with a lack of structure in these long school holidays, so it'll be good to get back to predictability once more.

Something that really spoke to me this week was a reel on Instagram about the concept of 'Effort Driven Reward Cycle'. It was a real lightbulb moment and flicked a switch on why i've been feeling quite frustrated recently - so i'm sharing in the hope it helps you, too!

As makers we're aware that knitting or crocheting or crafting generally helps us feel better. The theory is, actively doing things with our hands connects us directly to the work we are doing and therefore the reward is greater. We feel a distinct sense of achievement after baking something that requires kneading, or getting our hands in the dirt while gardening, than, say sitting at a computer typing (hello!).

Socks Yeah yarn hanging on a pegboard wall
Socks Yeah yarn hanging on a pegboard wall

Which prompted me to finally get the drill out and put up another peg board in the garage ahead of open day this weekend - the enormous satisfaction of having put the board up, filled it with yarn and then seeing it every time I go in the garage has been a massive lift to my mood.

This week, I encourage you to step away from your screen for half an hour and do something completely involved with your hands. Bake bread, knit, spin, paint, plant flowers.

A sea glass hat that's not quite finished
A sea glass hat that's not quite finished

While i've been busy juggling kids and work, i've been making things to use up odds and ends of yarn. The latest of which is a Sea Glass hat by Wool and Pine - a hat version of their famous tee and sweater patterns. It's free when you sign up for their newsletter (and included in either of those garment patterns, too).

The next big project on the needles will be a Voyage Cardigan - the bright colours and chance to use up even more leftovers is very appealing!

Voyage Cardigan by Wool and Pine

Chances are i'll use a mix of random bits, plus some nicely woolly Jamieson & Smith 2 ply Jumper Weight to help hold the colour work together in the steek.


Shetland Dreaming

Around this time of year, I start dreaming of moving to Shetland for six months, where it's lovely and cool all the time. Turns out, my Shetland relatives are from the beautiful Northmavine, up in the north-west of Shetland. I'll manage to get there in person one day, but for now will have to make do with browsing online and reading the great publications by 60 North.

A stack of Shetland Wool Adventures Journals, and a Fair Isle Nurse book
A stack of Shetland Wool Adventures Journals, and a Fair Isle Nurse book

We now have the new edition of the Shetland Wool Adventures Journal, volume 5, along with more copies of volumes 3 and 4. I also have one lucky last copy of A Fair Isle Nurse - a memoir about being the only nurse on Fair Isle, Shetland in the 1960s.

For more Shetland dreaming of cooler climes, there's still copies of Grand Shetland Adventure Knits available, and we have sale copies of The Shetland Trader: Book 3 as part of Pom Pom's closing sale.

SALE The Shetland Trader: Book 3 by Gudrun Johnston

Have a wonderful week,


Read more →

January 18, 2024

Happy new year, with new discounts!

Ngā mihi o te tau hau - happy new year! 

I had the great fortune late last year of spending a week with all four of my siblings for the first time since early 2020. 

Much needed time spent among the trees

And that was it - a short trip up the line and back again, before heading back to the proper job on 3 January. Despite its shortness, I managed to carve out time to do things I enjoy (reading, knitting, sewing, and making stuff), things that needed to be done (weeding the garden and clearing out general stuff), and thinking about what I want 2024 to be. 

I hope you had something similar. Even if it wasn't a trip away, or a big long break from whatever occupies most of your time, maybe you had the chance to clear your mind of daily life for a spell. 

One thing that was finally ticked off my to-do list was a solution to a problem that has been floating around for years. How to offer some sort of discount to those of you who want to buy yarn to make a garment, especially larger size garments, without some complicated admin on my end. Something that allowed for a range of prices, so wasn't locked to a certain dollar spend. My thinking is that the reward of a discount shouldn't be exclusive to those who have a greater disposable income to start with. Blame the bleeding liberal heart of mine for that one.


Introducing our new, permanent,
discount structure!

Easy as that. The items don't all have to be the same to qualify, there's no minimum spend, and the discount is automatically applied at checkout. And there's no exclusions.

For orders with quantities that fall in-between these levels, the discount will be the lower number. So 8 items will get the 5% savings, 12 items will get 10% off. 

It's an imperfect solution in trying to make things a bit more equitable across sizes and financial ability to buy lovely yarn. But imperfect is better than nothing!

Read more →

January 11, 2024

Summer projects for warm-weather making

With summer in full swing, i'm thinking about what to make with the beautiful BC Garn Allino we have in stock. 

Silver, yellow and turquoise BC Garn Allino

Allino is a blend of linen and cotton, making it cool and robust (the linen adds extra strength). Aside from making excellent dish cloths thanks to the extra scrubby ability from the linen, it is wonderful for a whole range of projects. 

Crochet Project Bags
First up is a freebie, and a good chance to practice crochet if you're new to the craft or a bit rusty. The Crocheted Project Bag by Jessica Gore is available to download for free on the Sweater Collective website, and Allino would give nice structure to help the bag stand up. 
Another crochet project, the Limonata pullover is found in both the Summer 2023 issue of Pom Pom and in the Pom Pom Crochet Anthology. Made up of sunny motifs, you could carry this one around in your crochet project bag for making circles while out and about. 
For the knitters, Jessie Maed's Outline Raglan will let the drapey linen / cotton combo of Allino shine. Nice and simple knitting, too, for post-holiday brains. 
Sari Nordlund's Cephisso cami is a cool layering piece. While it's designed for two yarns held together, these come to a DK weight so will work for Allino (make sure to check gauge). 
A few of you have asked if I'll be getting in Sari's new book - and it is on the list. Pre-orders will available in the coming weeks.
Finally, a boxy tee by Veera Välimäki in the form of Hiesu Sweater. Allino will make the texture a bit crisper, and this one is about to go on my needles. 
For Southern Hemisphere friends, I hope you are staying cool and enjoying the good weather!

Read more →

September 25, 2023

Trend spotting: Vests

Kia ora! Here in Aotearoa New Zealand we are well into Spring, and for the last month or so i've been drafting this post. Time to get it onto the blog and shared with you. 
So, vests - they seem to be the latest thing in fashion this year, and so expect to see a lot more of them around. I thought a run-down of some of my off-the-rack faves followed by options for handmade would be useful. The thing I like the most about current styles is that they are nice and boxy. As someone with boobs, I find fitted vests tricky to wear. Boxy vests also means not having to give up comfy slouchy tops and tees, either.
Buy it: 
Sleeveless in Seattle vest
Twenty Seven Names Sleeveless in Seattle Vest
Make it:
Buy it:
Make it:
Make it:
Buy it:
Make it:
Yu by Valerie Ng, in Neons and Neutrals
Make it: 
Vests give us the chance to wear hand knits in these weird transition seasons that can be both hot and cold and everything in between. For the sleeve averse, it means no sleeves (hooray) and also much quicker knitting than a full sweater. 
Happy knitting!

Read more →

June 29, 2021

Bubble cardigan KAL

A couple of weeks ago, I talked about wanting to knit all the things....and then this week, Stephen West came out with the Bubble Cardigan. 

Stephen West in his new bubble cardigan design

Oh sweet woolliness above, I am in love. Doesn't it look so perfectly squishy and an excellent use of all those single skeins of 4ply we have floating around? 

Because I can't help myself, and I know you can't either, let's do a KAL! 

Bubble cardigan KAL

use the hashtag #dutchbubbleKAL on instagram to join us

There are prizes! 
They will be drawn at random, all you have to do is tag your project progress and we'll put you in the draw.

KAL will run from today until the end of August, and we can't wait to see your colour combos.
$100 gift voucher for Holland Road Yarn Co 
Copy of 52 Weeks of Shawls
plus a few other things Tash can rustle up...tbc!

Read more →