After two very short work weeks, we are now well and truly faced with the chilly days of winter. This year, knitting is really coming to the fore - stories abound of knitwear in fashion, the arm knitting craze, how knitting is good for mental health.
I managed to get away for a much needed break over the Easter and ANZAC weekends, to recharge the batteries and think about where to next for the shop. I never usually read the paper, but I cast my eye over the Sunday Star Times on Easter Sunday. To read the following in the Sunday magazine fashion section:
Stuff like this makes me incredibly grumpy. It certainly isn't only 'Nanas' who knit, and you can absolutely knit very fine gauge garments by hand. This is what we're about - teaching people about the new generation of knitting and knitters, demonstrating what a therapeutic and productive outlet handcrafts can be in a modern, fast-paced world.
And it's about time we got ourselves organised with some classes, so here we are: the first class in our Winter season, is for beginner knitters.
Don't burden your grandmother with knitting for you: she has worked hard all her life. Buy her some nice yarn to knit something for herself with; learn how to knit your own beautiful garments. It's rewarding, it connects you with a new community of interesting people, and honestly most of our regular knitters are well below retirement age. Learn how to knit that super bulky scarf you're lusting after at a fraction the price and 150% the enjoyment.
The class will cover casting on, knit, purl, and casting off. Plus anything in between that might intrigue a new knitter. We will provide needles and yarn to get you started, and then we can discuss what you might need to get going on a first project.
Date: Saturday 10 May
1pm - 3.30pm
Holland Road Yarn Company, Upstairs, Grand Arcade, 16 Willis Street
$20 for the session including yarn & needles to get you started. Oh, and tea and coffee and cake!
Bookings can be made online or in-store. Cancellations up to a week in advance will receive a full refund, less than a week 50% refund, cancellations on the day will receive no refund, sorry!
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!
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!