April 29, 2010

WIP - Haruni

I have to admit - shawls, in the past, haven't been my strong point. Sometimes it really is that hard to count to 5. Or 8. Or whatever.

But I am determined. Shawls are that much more interesting than scarves, and yet I can wear it like a scarf. To be honest, i'm not a big fan of drape-it-round-your-shoulders-like-in-the-1800s way of wearing them. Although that could always change - i'm not one to stand completely fast in my fashion opinions.

So, it is with baited breath I knit Haruni. Normally I am a product knitter - I knit stuff because I want it, and I want it yesterday. The thing that attracted me to Haruni, though, was the large leaf edging. Hmmm, that looks like a tasty challenge, I thought.

Haruni, by Emily Ross, knit in Knitsch Yarns Beauregarde

I haven't reached that part of the chart yet. I'll update you once I do!

Food for thought

Over at Scoutie girl, there is a very well-thought piece on paying the true value of 'stuff', and being more considerate of the 'stuff' we buy.

Though my involvement with Craft2.0, this issue comes up constantly. About the people who poke and prod our crafters' precious things and say 'I could make this myself' or, 'Wow, that's a bit expensive.'

I'm curious as to if said people do go home and make the item themselves. Or, if they consider the time and effort gone into creating beautiful things. From the concept, to buying or making the materials, to the careful attention given to the small details, to the packaging, the emails, the customer service...

There is so much we don't see of the process of making - in fact, the majority of the time all we see is the finished product. Surprise is often the first reaction when I tell people what I do. The second question they ask is, 'oh, so you knit stuff and sell it?'

Most tend to be taken aback when I explain how much I would charge for a pair of hand knit socks if I were to fully value my time. Somewhere in the region of $400.

I suppose the point I am trying to make is - what we create is of value. Everything you knit (or sew, or crochet) is of value. In fact, it is the unique and one of a kind qualities push that value up even further. We invest ourselves in everything we make, and should be proud of what we produce. Even if we feel it is imperfect - think of the value of the lessons learned through making mistakes. Virtually everything I sew, or knit, or whatever, has something wrong with it - but that is just part and parcel of the hand made process.

Moral of the story: everything you create is worth something - don't devalue it. And recognise the hard work of others.

Disclaimer: This isn't a rant, or something I needed to say to prove a point to anyone. Just puttin' it out there :D

April 26, 2010

It's a tree! The PRIZE!

With a fizz and a pop a couple nights ago, I was thinking about it's a tree. It happens a lot.
And with that thinking, I wondered, what else could Knitsch contribute to the project to make it a bit more exciting? (As if it isn't already! Whatis it going to look like with all the random contributions??)

How about a prize?

An awesome, amazing, but as yet Secret Prize?

How about, every time you contribute an item to It's a tree, you gain an entry to the Secret Prize draw?

Aaand it's done!

Knitsch Yarns is donating a super fabulous amazing Secret Prize to one lucky winner. The prize draw will happen LIVE at Craft2.0 on 12 June, at the New Dowse in Lower Hutt. Each item contributed will gain the crafter one entry into the draw.


April 24, 2010

My dad in colour

Sometimes it is really hard to be imaginative and creative because it takes a certain level of emotional energy which with all that has been going on around here lately is in short supply. But there is also a point when you think you have to be to actually help yourself re-create.

My dad (Tash's Grandad) is in hospital with pneumonia. He's been having chemotherapy the last couple of months and picked up a cold bug - quite possibly from us - a few weeks back at my Mum's birthday party.

This morning I was thinking maybe I'd make him something - a scarf or some socks - even though he is loosing all his hair I know he doesn't want a beanie. And I was thinking about a colour - and I realised there is a difference between "what is your favorite colour?" and "what colour/s are you?". When I think of a colour and my dad - I think of him taking a photo of a native tree wearing a rust colour polo shirt with the spring greens and deep brown of mountain beech behind him, I think of him walking in the door in khaki/olivey green trousers and a dark swandri, I think of oil on his hands from fixing engines, the brown of boot leather and a particular yellow of his prescription sunglass lens.

I'm not quite sure what the wool will look like when I dye it but somehow it will remind me of all those colours - and it will be gentle to the touch, but durable and strong just like he has been for us.

So what colours do you think of when you think of the special people in your life?

April 22, 2010

Labels etcetera

Cinque Terre, Izzy, Cherry Ripe and Hanny Pants waiting to be labelled

There are some things I put off doing all the time. One of those things is labelling skeins. The downfall of this is that I end up having piles to do and it takes frigging ages.

Thank goodness for podcasts!

April 21, 2010

More leaves, and leaves

And again, the leaves continue falling from the trees and my camera begs to be taken out.

I thought the soft knitted leaves for It's a tree would be a nice contract for the crisp, dry leaves on the ground.

I can't wait for more leaves to arrive so the pile of knitted leaves is as big as the real ones!

April 20, 2010

Autumnal Yellows

I've done quite a bit of knitting with Kowhai lately. It's so lovely and warm - nothing like a bit of golden yellow to warm that slight chill in the air.

This morning I noticed that the backyard was covered in leaves...so the camera came out...

I hope that where ever you are at the moment, you are enjoying some sunshine!

PS - on the subject of trees, the patterns for it's a tree are up. I'm knitting a leafy storm!

April 19, 2010

I heart Wellington

I do, really.

I love how these Para Matchitt poles stand against the sky on the City to Sea bridge. Inspiration for a colour, perhaps?

One of those days...

The laptop got cranky. The car got cranky.

So off for a walk for coffee and some time out.

Some days, you just have to leave the knitting alone.

April 18, 2010

It's a tree!

Knitsch, OutdoorKnit, Craft2.0 and the New Dowse are excited to reveal:

It's a tree!

This is a collaborative community project, which means we need you.

The idea is this:

there are a few very tall lamp posts outside the New Dowse in Lower Hutt, and OutdoorKnit decided it would be a pretty fun idea to turn them into something different...trees!

What OutdoorKnit needs is lots of knitted, crochet or even sewn flowers, leaves and native birds to cover these 'trees'. The best medium for this is acrylic - it wears better when the weather gets a bit grotty.

I've been knitting away over the past few weeks to get my pile of leaves and flowers ready. Watch this space for suggested patterns, installation dates and how to get your contribution added to the tree.

April 16, 2010

For the love of Endpaper Mitts

Because they're pretty. My endpaper mitts don't match - one is in Silver lining and Chelsea, the other in Silver Lining and Kowhai. They're a tad small for me so will probably just be used as samples. I love how Silver Lining complements each colour, and the single colour stitches bring out the slight changes in tone.

For those who think fair isle is tricky - it really isn't. It's all about finding how to hold two colours that is comfortable for you. I started out with a colour in each hand, but couldn't quite get the rhythm down. Holding both in one hand, with silver lining held normally, and the second colour sitting just below it to be picked up when needed, worked for me. The good thing with the Endpaper Mitts pattern is that you don't need to worry too much about twisting at the back to carry a colour across, so it's a good project to learn on. 

And it's pretty. 

Did I mention it's pretty?

April 15, 2010

Cinque Terre - Part 2

As Cafe Chick asked in the previous Cinque Terre post, 'What does it look like?'

Well, here is my Jekyll and Hyde in Cinque Terre:

It's a pretty full-on colour, which is why Jekyll and Hyde was kind of the perfect pattern - i'm in two minds about this colour way. Somedays I love it, the way the pinks, blues, yellows, greens mingle with each other. Somedays, I find it much less appealing. Check out the heel and how the colours match up, compared with in the pattern stitch how it gets all mushed together. 

If I were to knit with it again, I'd probably go for a less 'busy' stitch. But hey, i'm still pretty pleased with how it turned out. For today, anyway.

April 14, 2010

Shop Update!

A few days ago there was a shop update (yes, i'm a little tardy in blogging it).

There are some scrumptious new colours, my faves being Beauregarde (as in, 'You're turning violet, Violet!'), and Harvey Wallbanger.

Dyeing new colours has got to be one of my favourite things about this wool business. I'm already plotting more - it simply never ends. But I'm curious - do you prefer more, or less choice when it comes to colours? Are there any colours you are lusting after in sock weight but I haven't dyed it yet? Let me know!

April 12, 2010

Crafternoon Tea with Granny G - the Knitsch episode

After many attempts to both be free on one evening, Genny and I finally managed to have a bit of a chin-wag about all things knit graffiti, hand dyed and fibre arty.

I was determined that I would not listen to it, as I was certain i'd said the same thing over and over again.

Seeing as I had a lazy Sunday afternoon ahead of me, armed with laptop, knitting and a dash of apprehension, listened to my interview. It wasn't so bad as expected, and the interview itself was more like a chat with a new friend about shared passions.

Crafternoon Tea with Granny G can be downloaded (for free!) through iTunes or through her website. It really is worth tuning in each week, each interviewee is so fascinating and Genny is rather inspiring herself. There is something rather mesmerising about Genny's voice, so it's not hard to get lost in her podcast and suddenly realise several hours have disappeared.

 So grab a cuppa, your knitting and a quiet corner, and enjoy.

April 11, 2010

Brownies make the world go round

Last night a friend hosted a bit of a get together for dinner, and I was put in charge of pudding.

As a result of the dinner, and the following escapades, today has been a rather slow and lazy Sunday.

So, here is the recipe for the most fantastically rich brownies ever (and they can be gluten free - just switch for GF flour)

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups sugar (I only used 1 3/4, but i've heard they're fine with only 1 cup too)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
4 eggs
225g butter, softened

Sift together all the dry ingredients in one bowl, and mix together all the wet ingredients in another. Make a well in the centre of the dry, add the wet, and mix until combined.

Bake at 180 degrees celsius for about 25 minutes. Yum!

April 10, 2010

Monkey Business

I've blogged before about the continuing obsession with Cookie A's Monkey socks. So of course, here is, yet another, Monkey. 

Mystery Machine is right up there in my favourite Knitsch colours, and as this Monkey grew, the more I loved it. The purple seems to peek in to see what's going on, and then retreat again in the heel. 

I've seen photos of a pretty fantastic Jay Walker in Mystery Machine, too - and it looks different again. Seeing the yarn knitted up is so exciting - so please add TashB (that's me!) as a friend on Ravelry so I can see, or better yet, join the Knitsch Yarns group and share with everyone :D

April 09, 2010

Extra Curricular

How wonderful is it to receive exciting mail? You know, the kind that isn't a bill or bank statement or some such?

Today my copy of Extra Curricular volume 2 arrived. EXCITEMENT. I've seen it in a few shops now and managed to refrain doing anything than having a quick peek at the pictures.

I'm rather looking forward to sitting down with a cup of tea, the last Easter eggs and having a proper read.

April 08, 2010

Cinque Terre - the place behind the name

Seeing as i'm currently knitting with Cinque Terre, the colour, how about a few photos of the place that inspired the name?

See those houses? They were a vision of colour - warm oranges, yellows, pastel greens and blues, all perched on the side of massive hills.


April 07, 2010

Cosy CraftUp

Once upon a time, I lived in Wellington. I loved it - loved walking the streets, popping in to Midnight Espresso or Deluxe to loiter over a coffee and read, mooching around looking at beautiful things and spying great graffiti. I'm now resident in another great place, the one and only Petone, but I do so miss being close to central Wellington.

Last night I had the great pleasure of joining some crafty types for a CraftUp at Blondini's, upstairs at the Embassy. Driving in, the city showed me all the reasons why I love it - moody winter clouds, grey buildings and shining yellow lights. I adore being so close to the hills and the sea, and being able to walk from one end to the other.

(That's a sock in Cinque Terre on the table...almost done!)
It was a perfect evening for red wine, brownies, crafting and talking about crafty business and general gossip. The craft community really are so open and welcoming, and I always go away from catch ups with a big smile on my face. Last night in particular, a few plots were planned...so there is plenty to go on with in the background!

April 03, 2010

Mainland mission

I hope you're all enjoying a lovely relaxing Easter weekend. This year seems to be a perfect demonstration of why Easter trading should stay just how it is in New Zealand - all shops closed on Friday and Sunday. Having caught a bad cold there is nothing but to sit on the couch, watch movies and knit.

To continue the week of Grandma, here are a few photos of the weekend away to celebrate Margaret's birthday. Have a great weekend, and travel safe if you are heading away xx
The best chocolate cake EVER 

The cows were quite keen on having cake
Drive out from Christchurch to Arthur's Pass

View of the beautiful Rakaia River