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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April 06, 2021

A yarny catch-up

I hope you managed to get some rest over the long weekend. Easter is one of my favourite holidays - cooler weather, no pressure to do anything (unlike Christmas!), and plenty of time to potter around. 

I'm really enjoying my knitting at the moment, maybe it has something to do with the extra few days' rest and new yarn on the shelves. I hope craft is bringing joy to your life at the moment too. 

After repeatedly wearing my newly finished Love Note, Easter gave the opportunity to get some photos of it! 
Tash stands in a garden with Elliott. She wears a dusty pink love note and olive pants

I used Dark Harbour Yarn and Union Fibre for mine, both picked up for this specific purpose at Capital Fibre Fest last year. It was such a pleasure to knit - lovely yarn and super quick. I know lots of you have already made one of these, and if you're wondering if the hype is worth it - it totally is! I'm already wearing it far more than anticipated. 
Tash stands in a garden with Elliott. She wears a dusty pink love note and olive pants

If you're new to Tincan Knits patterns, they are worth checking out. From beginner through to more advanced knitters their main focus is seamless knitting using circular needles. They have excellent instructions and do a great job of covering a large range of sizes. 
Three balls of Allino in silver, yellow and teal on a wood table
I've been wanting to bring some fresh new yarn to you, and here are two! 
BC Garn has been on my list for a long time, and is really brightening up the shelves. 

Firstly we have Allino, a cotton and linen blend yarn. in wonderful clear shades. Excellent for those who can't (or won't) knit or wear wool, the cotton softens the handle while you knit and the linen contributes excellent drape and strength. 

Secondly is Bio Balance, a neat 4 ply combo of cotton and wool. The cotton gives it a slightly rustic texture and lightness. One of the big wins in my book is how great Bio Balance is for our climate - the cotton means you can still knit great garments and wear them through NZ's milder winters. Add in that the cotton is GOTS certified and it's a winner all round!

A skein of sky blue Bio Balance lies across a skein of silver, red and navy

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March 31, 2020

An update: shipping during lockdown / rāhui in NZ

A few years ago, the mister and I used to semi-seriously joke about what we would during the zombie apocalypse (we were watching a lot of the Walking Dead at that point). I always commented on how great it was I could make clothing in order to keep us dressed and warm, while he lamented only really having computer skills which wouldn't be much use when IT infrastructure no longer functioned. 

While this isn't the zombie apocalypse, there are some odd parallels now with those conversations we had. 

Over the last three weeks my entire life has undergone a major shift, part of it planned for, part of it wholly unexpected. 

I've recently started a new job, one i'm really excited about. It signalled some major changes for us: navigating a world where i'm not able to do life admin during the day, Elliott spending more time at daycare and the mister taking on more responsibility for making sure our home life functions. 

So when it was quickly becoming clear that our life would shift even further from our comfort zone, I clung to the one constant that has been present for the last ten years: the shop, and sending out yarn to you. 

I told myself that with the yarn being in my house, it meant I could safely send out your orders as I didn't have to travel to do so. I reassured myself that as long as the couriers told me they would still collect and deliver, I was ok. That this one thing I knew how to do in this strange new world would carry on as usual. 

When Elliott was tiny and life was really hard, I took great comfort in work, as it was something I could achieve and do well when everything else was out of my control. 

Last week, as the mister went to work long days for the 8th, 9th, 10th day in a row, and I found myself sitting in our home office trying to learn my way around foreign concepts while Elliott had a meltdown, I took comfort in the same way. 

Turns out that wasn't the best decision: for you, my wonderful customers, for our society at large, nor for the couriers who are dealing with the same unprecedented situation as we are. Couriers in particular deserve not to be constantly placing themselves at risk simply because we want some extra comfort in the consumption we've grown so accustomed to in the modern world. 

Arohamai, dear friends. As of today I'm no longer shipping orders and won't resume until the rāhui / lockdown is lifted. It's the responsible thing to do. Right now our priority should be doing our best to ensure the collective wellness of the country, rather than focusing on ourselves as individuals. 

By all means take care of yourselves, which at this time is an incredibly generous act: by looking after yourself, your mental health, your general health, by keeping 2 metres distant from those outside your bubble, you are demonstrating how much you care. It's scary and hard and difficult to navigate. I'm right there with you. 

xx Tash


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