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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February 18, 2020

Nine years! 20% off all Scheepjes until 25 February <3

In four short days, Holland Road Yarn Co turns 9. Which means Knitsch Yarns is now in the double digits, a whole ten years old.

It's been an incredible ride, and an enormous pleasure to share so many wonderful yarns with you. 

To celebrate, i'm giving you 20% off all Scheepjes yarn for a week (excluding mini sets). Now is an excellent time to try out one of their lovely cotton yarns, or cast on with Metropolis. I've just added Maxi Sugar Rush to the online store, a delicate yet super strong lace weight cotton. 

Here's a few ideas for you - all of these projects will come in at the $30 - $40 mark for pattern and yarn if you use Sugar Rush. Bargain!

Leadlight by Amy van de Laar

Wispy Cardi by Hannah Fettig

Sumile by Eri

Sadly on my hunt for lace weight garments, there was a distinct lack in availability of sizes over XXL. If you are a designer and would like to work on a size inclusive lace weight garment, let me know! I'm happy to offer yarn support. 

20% off discount is automatically applied at checkout, cannot be used with other codes.

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January 28, 2020

Knits for hot days

As originally sent out in my weekly newsletter, enjoy!

My original plan for this email has gone right out the window, as I slowly melt in today's heat. Instead of talking about colourwork, let's have a meander through yarn a bit better suited to these hot days: cotton and linen.
A queue of Scheepjes cotton yarn, from Gentle Primrose at the front to Apple Blossom at the back

I really, really love Scheepjes Organicon. I know i've waxed lyrical about it before, but really it's impossible to overstate how much I love this yarn. Not only for it's wonderful softness and drape, but also for it's ethical production standards. 

As many of use grow ever more concerned with climate change and the impact our lifestyles have on the environment, making conscious decisions about the yarns we buy is increasingly important. Making is central to lives of many of us: it feeds our brains and wellbeing and forms an important part of who we are. 

A pair of hands hold out three cotton buds

So if, like me, you're looking to reduce your household waste, create for the long-term and make better choices for the planet, here's some key facts about Scheepjes Organicon:
  • "Scheepjes Organicon holds the GOTS certification which guarantees through traceability that the cotton has been grown on organic certified fields without the use of chemical fertilisers, farmed in a sustainable manner and in a way that ensures the continuing fertility of the land it is grown on. The dyes used are also GOTS-certified and have the highest sustainability index possible for textile manufacture.

  • By harnessing a 100% biological wastewater treatment approach in the production process of Scheepjes Organicon, wastewater from the production of this yarn is safely recycled and repurposed.

  • A vegan friendly yarn is one that contains no animal products or by-products. From the dyes used to colour this yarn, to its 100% plant-based fibre, Scheepjes Organicon respects the welfare of animals and offers a high-quality alternative for all conscious crafters."
-- from the Scheepjes website, January 2020

Lots of words, I know, but it's important. 

So, what to make?

Knit up some effortless washcloths:
Three square washcloths hang on a row of wood pegs, in pink, coral and cream
Soft cotton washcloth pattern from Purl Soho

Or linen stitch tea towels, pattern also from Purl Soho:
A natural white and red striped knit hand towel hanging on a cream wall

Or maybe you know someone expecting a baby and want something extra gentle for their skin:

A small baby sleeps while wearing a silver textured knit bonnet
Fingering Entrechat Bonnet by Lisa Chemery

I'm still working on my hand woven facecloths, but they are off the loom and waiting for me to cut and sew the edges. I'll update on those soon!

The full colour range of Scheepjes Organicon

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January 21, 2020

Little Women Knits

I originally wrote this for our regular newsletter, enjoy!

I'm sitting in my office at home, looking off at the blue sky and green hills out the window, contemplating what to write to you today. It was Wellington Anniversary yesterday, which means it feels like the official start to the work year for me (and you, if you're a local!) today. 

When I was on holiday I didn't knit a single stitch for a week. I read books, went to the beach and worked on a puzzle. As a compulsive maker it was a very strange occurence for me, but now that I think about it, I needed that time away from stitching in order to come back to it with renewed enthusiasm. 
Film still from Little Women, copyright CMTG

Along with lots of reading, i've been watching a lot of movies - including a trip out to see the new Little Women. It's full of fantastic knitwear, quilts and scenery, so of course I did some googling for patterns when I got home.

A triangular shawl wrapped around a mannequin, in dusky pink, mustard and brown

Beth's shawl has been released by the film's knitter, Jenn Monahan, and all proceeds from the pattern sale go towards a charity which trains women from rural communities to be solar engineers.

A triangular shawl with tassels wrapped around a mannequin, in teal blue with grey stripes

You can also make your own version of Jo's shawl - while it's designed for 4ply, I think it would be fantastic worked up in Quince & Co Chickadee Organic Heathers!

If you fancy a bit of crochet, there's an adorable pattern for Meg, Jo, Amy and Beth in amigurumi form:
Four amigurumi dolls
Little Women by Carla Mitrani

Read more about Jenn Monahan's work - she's also knit for The Darkest Hour among other films, so chances are you've seen it on-screen before. 


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