April 16, 2014

Handmade is back for 2014!

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!

Read more →

June 02, 2013

Handmade 2013: day one

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. 

Read more →

May 30, 2013

Giant knitting and tiny Tash

 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!

Happy knitting!


Read more →

May 28, 2013

Handmade 2013: plots and plans

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!

Read more →

May 21, 2013

Handmade 2013: Another giveaway!

With only 9 knitting days until Handmade 2013, it's time for a second giveaway. Hooray!

For some reason this time of year is tough on lots of people. Heading into winter means lots of colds, crankiness and life trickiness. There are people I admire hugely who get on and deal with hardship with such grace and barely a murmur of complaint. Be it your Mum who is always there to lend a hand when you need it, or your partner putting up with your stress-induced grumpiness (thinking of myself, here), we all have someone in our lives that really deserves a treat. Someone who just quietly gets on with it, someone who should be given the world in reward.

We have a Twice As Nice pass to Handmade 2013 to giveaway to one special person. To sweeten the deal, we're going to add in two vouchers for High Tea at Sweet Pea in Petone and a bag of knitty goodies. 

A Twice as Nice Pass allows you to choose 2 masterclasses & 2 lectures from the full weekend programme.  Classes can be selected on any day, any time.

What we'd like for you to do is nominate someone. Tell us about an amazing person who blows you away, but never seems to treat themselves to a break. Someone you think would really love to spend a weekend learning and making, but wouldn't otherwise be able to get themselves along to Handmade. 

The one catch is that they either need to be Wellington based or able to get themselves to Wellington for Queen's Birthday weekend. 

How do you nominate someone?

Send us an email at or send us a facebook message with the subject line: 'Handmade Nomination' and tell us about the person you think should win. Be sure to include their email address and contact number if you can. The person who nominates the winner will also receive treats! Hooray!

Entries are open from now until 5pm Monday 27 May, and the winner will be notified by email on Tuesday 28 May. If the winner cannot be contacted by 5pm Wednesday 29 May, a new winner will be selected. No doubt it'll be a tough choice, but we'll do our best to select the most deserving nominee and the decision will be final. The winner will be put in contact with the Handmade 2013 team in order to arrange the delivery of the Twice As Nice pass and selection of classes. 

Read more →