Handmade is one of our favourite events in the craft calendar. This year promises to be even better (and yes, I say that every year, and yes, it gets better every year). A new venue, a bigger marketplace, more classes and best of all: you get Monday off to relax, recover and enjoy the best of Wellington.
The Knit Lounge will be better than ever this year - but annual favourite, the giant knitting needles, will definitely make an appearance!
I'm even teaching a class this year: an introduction to knitting lace. We often have new knitters mention how they'd like to learn how to knit lace, but aren't confident enough to teach themselves. The class will cover basic stitches to form lace patterns, and how to read a chart.
There's a really great range of classes in the Yarn section of the programme - from absolute beginner to more technical workshops for the skilled knitter looking to refine their craft.
I can highly recommend booking early - often classes sell out super quickly. The Taste programme is always in hot demand, as is the Jewellery stream. What I love about Handmade is the opportunity to improve your skills in a craft you already enjoy, try out a new one you've been thinking about, hang with old friends, make new friends and meet some exceptional craft professionals.
Tickets are on sale now - hooray!
Day one of Handmade was super duper awesomely amazing! We're here all ready to go for day 2, pumped full of coffee and excited about hanging out with everyone.
Here's a few highlights:
Belinda created a new group of keen knitters
Our knit lounge was filled with knitters and crocheters...
Today we'll be spinning and drum carding and eating chocolate and drinking coffee. If you're around, feel free to come down and join in the fun - and you can still book classes for today. We had a great time at Pecha Kucha last night - for just $10 you can hear a bunch of great people talk about what they love.
If you aren't in Wellington - I hope you are having a lovely crafty weekend.
So yesterday this happened:
It was a wee bit exciting and surprising! Those giant knitting needles are in super hot demand - apparently they'll be on Breakfast tomorrow, Friday 31 May!
One of the interesting things about talking to journos about craft comes from them not being crafty themselves. For this story they were obviously looking for the line that handmade is cheaper - it isn't. Take into account your time and it will always work out to 'cost' more than if you buy something off the rack.
But that isn't why we love it so - we love the process, the pleasure of making, the joy of working with beautiful yarn to make something unique. The yarn for a cardigan or jersey usually works out to be the same cost as a reasonable quality commercially made product, with the bonus that you fit it exactly to your size and have exactly the style and colour you fancy.
I believe so strongly that if you are going to invest your valuable leisure time in craft, you should treat yourself to the best quality materials and tools that your budget allow. Hours and hours of knitting with crappy needles and awful yarn doesn't sound like much fun to me.
Anyway, back to the giant needles - they need giant yarn! And here's another 2kg ready to go for the weekend...
Oh, and we've had a few people ask after the yarn I mention in the article - it is Zealana Air, which is 40% brushtail possum, 40% cashmere and 20% mulberry silk. It is simply to die for - and we have plenty in stock. I'll be working to get it online for you as soon as I can, in the meantime feel free to get in touch if you would like more info.
And with perfect timing we've lined up a brand new set of Beginner Knitting classes - taught by the talented Julia Stanfield, the two sessions are 2pm - 4pm Saturday 6 & 13 July. At the end of the two sessions you will be knitting and purling like a pro, just in time to make yourself some cosy winter woollies. You can book quickly and painlessly right here. Hooray!
There's a whole heaps of activities you can join in on at the Knit Lounge at Handmade this Queen's Birthday weekend. We'll be bringing along loads of yarn, needles, and treats to play with. You'll find us along with half the shop's stock on the third floor of Te Papa - just follow the signs. And don't worry - the shop will also be open if you're in town for the weekend and feel like a leisurely squish and fondle.
The Ashford Joy spinning wheel will be there for you to try...
As will an Ashford SampleIt Loom...
And our wee instax camera - wear something you've knit and we'll add you to the Wall of Fame...
Also, the super popular giant knitting needles will be back!
Add in the chance to make super speedy pom poms to create a swathe of pom pom garlands & it'll look like yarn exploded all over the third floor of Te Papa.
On Saturday we're having a Ravelry and Twitter meet-up from 1pm - 3pm with free Ravelry badges. Sunday sees us spinning away from 1pm - 3pm - bring along your wheel or spindle for some fun with fibre. If you fancy hearing yours truly speak for 6 minutes about craft stuff then head along to the Pecha Kucha sessions - an absolute bargain of a fun time for only $10.
See you this weekend! It's going to be an absolute blast!