Make a difference

Aardvark, Brit makers of swelegant letterpress prints, have a new craft manifesto out. And today only, it’s half price with the discount code CRAFTY50 (‘today’ being variable wherever you are in the world, that’s until midnight GMT Thursday 4 October).

Ain’t it grand?



Vintage love

So, I’ve had this guest post up on the Holland Road Yarn Company blog for a couple of weeks now, where I riff about the oh so covetable Vintage wool from Skeinz. And I’m finally getting around to linking to it here (just click on the photo to read it).


Vintage love


Sat sit ‘n’ knit mitts

100 per cent cosy: Sat sit 'n' knit mitts - click on the pic to go to the project page on Ravelry

100 per cent cosy: Sat sit ‘n’ knit mitts – click on the pic to go to the project page on Ravelry

These mitts are made for fondling. Seventy per cent merino and 30 per cent cashmere equals 100 per cent cosy hands. Yay!

I love how they look. They’re quite elegant. And the double moss stitch gives them a lovely nubbly texture. Plus, there’s something about their shortness that’s very wearable.

The pattern is Emerald Green Handwarmers on the CreativeYarn blog. It’s free, it’s really cute, and easier’n an easy thing, making it a great project for beginner knitters. Great for gifts, too. They’re quick to make – you could easily pump out a pair in a lazy day with a box set. And they’re super economical on yarn. I only used 25g, that’s a grand total of 64m.

Besides… who wouldn’t want a pair of these? Someone wore a pair to a Saturday sit ‘n’ knit a few weeks back. Before the session was out most of us were hunting out the perfect yarn to make some ourselves.

I chose Zealana Willow, a slightly fuzzy, super strokable double knit. The colour is Pinot Noir, and you can buy it online or in person from the Holland Road Yarn Company. Step to it!


Sitting and knitting

Saturdays have a well-worn groove: listening to Radio New Zealand, shopping for vegetables at the Hutt Riverside Market, and knitting at the Holland Road Yarn Company.

They anchor me. Without them, it doesn’t feel like the weekend.

Saturday Sit ‘n’ Knit is the newest addition to the mix, but it’s already vital to my equilibrium – soothing away the tail end of a working week’s grumpiness and relaxing me into the right frame of mind to make the most of my home time.

Tash Barneveld has created a wonderful, vibrant space in her indie yarn store, bursting with colour and glorious yarn. It draws in knitters like… well, maybe I won’t use that simile, seeing as moths and wool don’t mix… but you know what I mean, eh?

As well as all the yarny goodness, there are comfy chairs to curl up in, solid tunes, knitterly journals and crafty accoutrements, and – often – cake and cups of tea. It’s not just for knitters, either. There’s no discrimination here. Tash encourages wool lovers of all kinds to come and hang out.

As for me, it’s my third place – not home, not work, but somewhere in-between. Warm, welcoming, just a short stroll from my flat, HRYC is at the heart of this amazing rich community I’m so glad to be a part of.

I’ve made lovely friends, regulars who come and knit in the shop most weeks, and others who just pop in when they can. It’s a pleasure to catch up, chat, see what they’re making, hear about their kids/partners/jobs… whatever.

Every now and again a brand new person sits down and joins us. That’s always a treat, like sharing a delightful secret.

We talk food and cycling and work and families and flatmates and films and patterns… and feed our yarn addictions. It’s fabulous.

So thanks Tash, and all the lovely Holland Road knitters. You guys rock my world, for real. xxx

How about you? Do you do anything special to shrug off work and get you in the mood for the weekend? Share your Saturday rituals in the comments.

Don McGlashan also rocks my world.

Find out more about visiting Holland Road Yarn Company, on Saturdays and other days


This is what obsession looks like.

This was the year I fell in love with knitting all over again. I tumbled back into it, head over heels, stalking my favourite designers online, swooning over colour and texture and pattern and drape.

I knitted, and I knitted, and I knitted. Squishy soft alpaca, sturdy cotton, bonny, bouncy merino and dreamy silks.

I knitted hats. I knitted mittens. I knitted shawls and scarves and blankets for babies. I knitted a star. I even knitted dishcloths.

I knitted 5.64 km of yarn.

And I loved every freaking minute of it.

photo of yellow lace baby blanket

Baby Chalice Blanket

photo of second lace baby blanket in another colour

I liked it so much I made two

p[hoto of blue lace shawl


[hoto of yellow lace shawl


Aviatrix baby hat by Justine Turner

Aviatrix baby hat by Justine Turner

Lace textured fingerless mittens knitted in pink wool

Cafe au lait mitts

photo of knitted woollen beret

Early morning beret by Hannah Fettig

more mittens

More mittens

Hitchhiker by Martina Behm

Hitchhiker by Martina Behm

another hitchhiker shawl

and another…

Blue Whale by Stephen West

Blue Whale by Stephen West

Travelling Woman

Travelling Woman

Hogwart's Express by Susan Ashcroft

Hogwart’s Express by Susan Ashcroft

Rainbow Jackson blanket - designed by Tash of Holland Road Yarn Company fame

Rainbow Jackson blanket – designed by Tash of Holland Road Yarn Company fame

Cotton dishcloths in multiple hues... number one

Cotton dishcloths in multiple hues… number one

... two

… two

... and three of many

… and three of many



Charlize shawl

Charlize shawl

Millie modelling the hat I knitted Anders for Christmas

Millie modelling the hat I knitted Anders for Christmas


A year in knitting

This is what obsession looks like.This was the year I fell in love with knitting all over again. I tumbled back into it, head over heels, stalking my favourite designers online, swooning over colour and texture and pattern and drape.I knitted, and…


Friday list: 28 September 2012

This is for the wonderfully talented Emma of Emma Makes, whose regular Friday lists fill my head with creative dreams and in inspire me to at least think about being more productive in my out-of-office time.
  • Work. Sigh. I’ll be at the computer for most of the day, trying to tick off some of the things on my ever-expanding to-do list. Top of the list is creating a social media return on investment spreadsheet
  • Walk to Cuba St at lunchtime for some sunshine and the Spontaneous Saddleback Sonnet Session – a poetry reading to promote the Tieke’s chances of winning Bird of the Year. My former flatmate Jackson is the bird’s champion, so I know the event will be awesome
  • Write a blog post!
  • Download a sock pattern from Ravelry and try to decipher it (first step towards conquering fear of sock knitting)
  • Cook a Thai red curry with the beef shortribs I took out of the freezer earlier in the week. Then portion it up and put it back in the freezer for weekday lunches and those nights when cooking is too hard
  • Bake a sausage and egg pie to take on a weekend jaunt to Nga Manu nature reserve in Waikanae, to picnic and feed the eels
  • Get started on the laundry so I can hang it out on the line first thing tomorrow
  • Knit at least two more chevrons of the rainbow baby blanket I’m working on. Isn’t the pattern fabulous? It was designed by the incredibly talented Tash of Petone’s Holland Road Yarn Company and it’s such fun to knit. The colours make me super happy. If you want to make one too, you can find the (free!) pattern right here on the HRYC website