June 27, 2013

More thoughts on Thermal.

Strange coincidence that shortly after having blogged about my first ever knit garmentThermal, we've got more stock of the same yarn I used for it - Naturally Haven. 

Why did I choose it? Because it was soft, had a beautiful hand, and was machine washable. It's safe to say that after 5 years of wear, it still looks fantastic. 


In the same line, we also now have Naturally's Waikiwi on the shelves. The best thing about Waikiwi? It's PERFECT for socks. A mix of NZ merino, possum, nylon and silk mean it is designed for the wear and tear socks are subjected to. It almost seems a shame just to put it on your feet, though. Wouldn't it also make a glorious Thermal? I think so. 


I'm trying to force myself to finish knitting my second  Rocky Coast before casting on anything new...but with all this exciting stock arriving, it's proving a challenge! Knitting and daydreaming about future projects will have to do for now.


I'm having a weird old weird day. If you're having one as well, or simply feel like getting out of the house, it's knit night tonight (Thursday). Come on by for some yarn squishing, knitting and tea. And toffee pops. And whatever else I can rummage up for you. We'll be here, knitting, from 7pm - 9pm.

xx Tash

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June 24, 2013

Warm Woollen Mittens

Is it 'woollen' or 'woolen'? I don't know. Either way, it's definitely time to be wearing them. I've never been much of mitten knitter. I'm not sure why. 

So I asked on Facebook for some pattern suggestions, and here's what was suggested:


Susie Rogers Reading Mitts by Susie Rogers (free!)


Birdies Mitts by Julia Davies (free pattern!)


Rainbow Kid Mittens by Emilie Williams (free pattern!)


Snap Dragon Flip-top Mitts by Ysolda Teague


And one person requested an image of kittens in mittens, so how about kittens on mittens?

Meow Mitts by Tiny Owl Knits


Happy knitting!

xx Tash

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June 12, 2013

Pattern round up: for the bebes

A pretty common scenario for us is to have mums-to-be come in looking for patterns for an excited knitter in the family to knit for the much anticipated baby. In our experience, the person wanting to knit is accustomed to patterns knit flat and seamed rather than in the round. They are after simple construction and no unfamiliar terms or techniques.

On the other hand, the person who is going to be dressing the baby everyday wants beautiful hand knits in nice yarns. After being asked by a friend on Twitter for some suggestions, I thought the easiest way was to put together a post of great patterns that will work for both parties. My tip: print off the pattern and either buy or make gentle suggestions as to the kind of yarn you would like to use. In the past people knit with acrylic because it was machine washable - these days the wool cycle on the newer generation washing machines is gentle enough for hand wash only yarns. Natural fibres are always, always better than acrylic. Acrylic is essentially plastic, and who wants to wear plastic?

As much as I can i've linked to patterns on public websites. Some are from Ravelry though - which you do need to sign up for. Even if you aren't planning to knit yourself, I highly recommend creating an account and having a browse through the pattern database.

10ply / Aran weight cardigan, free pattern, Ravelry link

10ply / Aran weight cardigan, free pattern, Ravelry link

3ply/light fingering weight, free pattern, pdf link

If you're after a fantastic collection of small-people patterns, you can't really go past Just Jussi's Garter Stitch Plain and Simple booklet. We have copies in-store, or you can download the pdf booklet directly from Justine's site. We've just ordered loads more Cascade 220 Sport which is perfect for these patterns.

Garter Stitch Plain and Simple by Justine Turner of Just Jussi

If you have any questions or need a helping hand making yarn and pattern selections - please ask! It's what we love to help with!

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June 07, 2013

Post-Handmade: thank you!

 Each year Handmade gets better and better, and this year was no different. One of the most amazing things is how Handmade brings together a huge range of New Zealand talent to meet in one place. It was such a joy and an honour to be part of such an excellent event that really celebrates the best of our local makers. 

Even better was meeting so many people - and catching up with our favourite customers (that would be all of you, of course!).

Seeing as the Knit Lounge at Handmade was packed with knitters and makers all last weekend, we aren't organising any World Wide Knit in Public day events. However Saturday Sit & Knit will be on as usual for your sitting and knitting (or crocheting) pleasure. I feel like we're slowly getting to the point now where so many of us knit in public on a regular basis that it's not a big deal. 

When I first started knitting seriously six years ago, knitting in public was unheard of. Thanks to events like WWKiP and Handmade it isn't as unusual now, which is wonderful. We shouldn't be ashamed of our craft and while there is a way to go before it is no longer in the 'nana craft' basket, times and perceptions are certainly changing. 

There's heaps for us to catch you up on - loads of new stock and exciting classes in the works. One of these of course is the Beginner Knitting sessions - we invite you to join the club! It's pretty wonderful! 

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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!


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