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!

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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!

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June 15, 2021

Yarny news and pattern round up

Over the last week i've had very itchy fingers, want to cast on all the things!

Firstly there's the great new release from Cinthia Vallet - Josie the Turtle. 
As big fans of Franklin the turtle stories, Elliott has asked for to be made as soon as humanly possible.

Then there's the very cosy looking Odds and Ends cardigan from Tina Tse - an excellent way to use up all those random bits of yarn around the house. 

Casting on a pair of socks for me is just right kind of comfort knitting - so I finally settled on making the Lempi socks by Rachel Coopey from 52 Weeks of Socks

I'm still constantly flipping through 52 Weeks of Shawls as well, trying to decide which I want to wrap up in the most - I think it may have to be Quicksand by Hanna Maciejewska: 

And while we don't stock Brooklyn Tweed yarn any longer, that doesn't stop me lusting after their beautiful patterns. Chabot by Alma Ball is already my dream wardrobe - so maybe I should finally cast this on too?

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May 10, 2021

It feels a lot like knitting weather!

I'm enjoying the wet weather, the leaves on my street turning bright shades of yellow and red, and pulling on my hand knit socks. My day job is getting extra busy, and the Mister celebrates a milestone birthday this week, so while i've made progress on Lucky Pieces, there's no photo to share in today's email.

Instead, thanks to Jenny, I have her current WIP to show you, and a great range of pattern ideas. 

A red and pink striped shawl in progress, next to the open pattern page in 52 Weeks of Shawls
Jenny is knitting Ruf from 52 Weeks of Shawls in BC Garn Bio Balance. She had the brilliant idea of combining the Red with Pale Red for a wonderfully tonal shawl. 

I've raved about how much I love Bio Balance before, so here's some more pattern ideas for working with it:

Elizabeth wears a top-down colourwork short sleeve sweater
Māia top by Amikihia knits [Ravelry link]

A short sleeve mustard knit tee on a mannequin in front of a brick wall
Deren Sweater by Jacqueline Cieslak from Embody 

A hand knit shoulder of a short sleeve sweater with bobble pattern
Maya top by Gavriella [Ravelry link]

A woman sits on the beach dunes wearing the Herbalist v-neck tank
Herbalist tank by Nataliya from Making - Dawn

Bio Balance is perfect for our mild climate and can carry you through the seasons in one wonderfully balanced yarn. 

We've managed to secure a second shipment of 52 Weeks of Shawls as well, so if you missed out on the first lot, pre-orders are open for round two. 

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April 20, 2021

Lucky Pieces and life lessons

This last week i've started knitting Lucky Pieces from the latest issue of Pom Pom Quarterly. I sat down, cast my eyes over the instructions, and excitedly started knitting. I couldn't wait to see the pattern emerge from the entrelac shapes, turning from squares into rectangles then bright pinwheels against the neutral ground.

A back view of Lucky Pieces, an entrelac pattern making up a series of crosses on a light background

But. But. 

Having never knit entrelac before, and being anxious to get started, I didn't read the instructions properly. I read the first section, followed the guidance, and didn't read further. Such was my downfall ... and regret.
A collection of triangles in bright yarns on a circular needle
I hadn't read the instructions properly. So I ended up with this beautiful mess of ends, and unconnected triangles. At some point in this process, I thought maybe I had it wrong, but kept going anyway...only to eventually think I really should double check. To find that yes, I had mis-read and got it all wrong. 

Which is a great life lesson, one taught repeatedly to us through craft. Sometimes we don't quite understand the instructions. Sometimes we think they say one thing because that's what we are expecting, when really the designer wants to take us in a different direction. Realising we got it wrong can be frustrating and feel like we've wasted time, or somehow failed. But there's much to be said in sharing failure. 

Sometimes, we get stuff wrong. The important part is understanding where we went wrong, learning from it, and trying again. It's how we learn. Even in the beautiful mess, I started to learn about the technique and the basic theory of how to form the shapes. So it wasn't a complete loss. 
Close up for the first two rows of entrelac knitting in grey and bright colours
There's still a mistake here, but this time I know I can go back and fix it. I've been re-using the yarn from the beautiful mistake to avoid wastage - especially as my goal for this project was to use up ends of yarn from previous FOs.
There's still a lot of ends to weave in as I learn the best way to manage all the colours within the entrelac structure. But i'm looking forward to watching this grow, and continuing to learn from my mistakes. 
New stuff has arrived this week!
The cover of Dawn Making issue 11 and two balls of Lopi in grey-blue and dark green

I finally managed to get my hands on a bit more Lettlopi, so have topped up all the colours I could, and added some new ones. If you're planning a project with Lopi this winter, I recommend getting in touch with the colour and quantity you're after so we can let you know when we can get more. 

Also being released this week is the new issue of Making! Jenny and I caught up today as she was packing your orders and we had a good flick through picking out all the projects we want to make. I love that it's a mix of all crafts, interesting stories and beautiful photography. The Dawn issue is uplifting and bright, and release date is this Friday. 
To end with today, I hope we wear our values on our sleeve here at HRYC. Sometimes it bears repeating though, so:
Covid is real - Black Lives Matter - Vaccines work - Trans women are women - Gender equity is well overdue - Racism is unacceptable - All work has value - And I could go on.

Sometimes I get stuff wrong. I believe that businesses should be held accountable and I certainly try to hold myself accountable. I make decisions about what we stock based on a range of criteria, and ethics is one of them. 

By the way - you are excellent, smart, funny, and have great stories to share. I appreciate your taking the time to read our updates, whether you shop with us or not. 

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