Sunday, December 22, 2013

Happy Holidays!

Renly has been my yarn assistant for the day!
I have opened today primarily to catch passengers of the Cruise ship currently docked here.  Really I was expecting it to be quiet, calm, relaxed.  I bought my wee pup in, Renly, for company.  I packed my knitting.  Had the iPod playlist sorted.

Since 9.30am (we open at 10am) I have been frantic!  A steady stream of customers, locals & places far flung, a phone that's been running off the hook & lots & lots of yarn!

So now that I have managed to catch my breath, I just wanted to wish everyone a very festive holiday season.  I hope you have some time to put your feet up & knit.  Our shop will be now closed until the 13th of January, but the web store will be up & running for orders, just expect some delivery delays due to the statutory holidays in this part of the world at this time of year.

Merry Christmas from the Skeinz Team! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Summer Lovin'...

Now available at - Waipatiki Sliver 24 micron
 In last weeks post I give you a glimpse of where some of the inspiration comes from for colour selection when we create new ranges, you never know where inspiration may strike.  The other beautiful thing about our Skeinz is much of our 'trial' product ends up there for you to purchase & create your own inspirations.

 The terracotta and aqua transition comes to life after it is handspun.
Waipatiki - the NZ beach themed sliver that has been available for the last two weeks has been selling like hot cakes.  One of our shop regulars bought this in for me to have a look at this morning - she has spun the yarn & knitted a small hat as a test knit before she goes onto a larger project.  She was unsure about the terracotta/aqua transition and toyed with the idea if plucking it out before spinning.  But once she spun & plied her work together she saw the genius of the two colours & is just thrilled.  So I made sure I snapped her work so you can see what can be achieved.

Yes I get to knit at work - it is work - honest!!
It's also so important for me to see what everyone is doing, it lets me know whether we are on the right track.  This week as the silly season ramps up, I have been seen at various events with one of my Skeinz test swatches.  Testing on a new dye technique, I have been swatching to see what the yarn looks like knitted up across various stitch patterns.  It's the perfect knitting for this time of year, as distractions are common & alcoholic beverages are plentiful!  So on that note - make sure you select your festive season projects accordingly & may I suggest you don't start that intricate lace shawl until the New Year!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Constantly Craving Colour

Colour , tones & shapes from nature help in the inspiration process.
Whilst some parts of the mill are busy getting orders completed and wound up (pun intended) before Christmas, I am busy working on all the developments for 2014.  One of the constants is searching for what colours either own their own or in combination that will give you that knitting itch & have you craving to cast on.
The Left hand colours trend to Vintage whilst the Right hand colours are full of possibility

Already on the right track...
Inspiration has many guises.  Events, weather, nature, fashion, trend reports.  All the information is gathered and then we tinker. Colours that you wouldn't imagine going together two years ago are potential bedfellows who's courtship is yet to be decided.
Colours seen here can lead to....
Clashes, catastrophe or the perfect match
This is where you try, dye, spin & play some more.  It really is great fun!  That's what is great about being a home spinner - I can fiddle with combinations at home.  
The combination of Hydrangea & Fennel flowers
Nature is so good at doing this - she puts things together that more often than not just work - the trick is for us to take her inspiration & translate it into yarn. So on that note I will take my leave & start stalking Mathew, I feel a yarn trial coming on...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Whats New Pussy Cat...

The great Texas yarn massacre!
This image arrived in my inbox from Lyn of her cheeky feline after it had been exploring in her knitting bag.  It got me to thinking about our pets, knits and what we could be doing for them this holiday period.
Renly looking regal in his Crocheted jumper
For the first time this year my husband allowed me to make a jumper for our Bulldog puppy to keep him warm over the Winter months - up until them I had been having to keep myself content with knitting for my best friends Devon Rex cat, (not the she particularly liked the outcome!).
Lily the Devon Rex wasn't especially keen about her jumpers.
There are though many wonderful patterns out there to knit for our pets - so I thought I would compile some links for you to get inspired about that projects you might want to cast on for your furry friends.
A plush sweater for a plush pussy.
Cats Love Sweaters by Christine Landry
A customizable free pattern to knit for your favourite feline - but be careful, these fashionistas can be fickle, make your yarn selections wisely!

Hooded up & ready for action!
If your cat has a more streetwise sense of fashion then you have to check out the Cat Hoodie by Kristin Roach.  With this pattern you'll have the toughest looking tabby in town.
You can be quite the smart Chihuahua about town in this.
If it's a dog you like to knit for you are spoiled for choice - there are patterns for little dogs (ie smaller than your average cat!) my personal favourite was this Nordic Dog sweater by The Knitting Traveler

Bright & Breezy 
If your dog is a little larger - I just love the Rainbow Pooch Sweater - as you could personalise it to reflect the mood of your particular pooch.

Or if you feeling like pushing the envelope you could always go for something a little more adventurous....
Dogosaurus Rex.... Really?!
Lion Dog... Hmmmmm
Lastly - a Hot Dog!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Summer Charity

These stunning blankets are knitted by Sekinz stalwart Rae for the Wgtn Neo-Natal Trust
As the mercury climbs in this part or the world, you often don't feel much like knitting, or you want projects that don't test the mind & can be put down & restarted with the minimum of fuss.
Charity knitting is perfect for Summer time projects.  Whether is blankets squares or baby beanies for your local SCIBU, this knitting checks all the boxes & is always greatly appreciated.

Knitting for Prem's - Available from Skeinz
Skeinz has been supporting Wellington's Neo-Natal Trust by stocking their beautiful pattern book for Preemies.  We are selling them for just $15 & it's a great addition for your own knit library or as a gift.  The ribbed beanie featured in the book is a SCIBU staple, and the going home set is totally adorable.

Bright Penguin Jumpers Needed!
Charity blankets are also brilliant stash busters - we have donated blankets to babies, surgical wards & hospice.  Also if you are wanting to knit Penguin Jumpers for our Penguin Fundraising efforts - we'd love to accept them in the brightest colours you have.  The Mascots have been a hot item for Christmas gifts this year - I am really looking forward to distributing our Penguin funds in the New Year.

Our second Dollar Day yarn - Sold Out in just a few hours!
At Skeinz we try to have yarns which are prices especially for charity knitting.  If you have an eye for a bargain then bookmark our new Dollar Days page on our website.  These are randomly selected yarns, on randomly selected days, which for 24 hours or until they sell out, are just ONE dollar - yes - ONE dollar!  The first two yarns evaporated - so to make sure you don't miss out, join our Ravelry or Facebook group, where I will be posting the Dollar Day yarns.  If you want to start knitting for charity & don't quite know where to be sending your knitting, drop us a line and we can point you in the right direction, so don't put those needles away just yet & cast on for charity.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Getting Sorted for Santa

A glimpse of our Christmas table in the shop.
I have decided to get festive this year st Skeinz.  In previous years we have been a little subdued, not really embracing the Christmas spirit, however this year we are seeing more and more people buying fibre related gifts - so time to get sorted for Santa!

Our Smart looking new Gift Vouchers

The decorations are up in the shop, and I have created a special tab on the website with Needles, Notions & Gifts.  We have the beautiful Brittany Needles, our penguin mascots, Learn to Knit kits for kids, a couple of special pattern books, some lovely silk needle cases & brand new Skeinz Gift Vouchers!

Earn Stash Cash vouchers with every $50 you spend this Christmas.
On top of all this - every $50 you spend at Skeinz will earn you a $5 'Skeinz Stash Cash' voucher, which can be used in store or online, save them up or pass them on, it's up to you.
So if you have a knitter, crocheter, weaver or spinner in your life, I hope we have something that might entice them....

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Spring Show and Tell

This blanket has been made entirely with Skeinz Yarn by Christine.  She has even personalised all the street address to locations that have meaning for her family
The Ravelry forum, the Skeinz shop & our inbox's have been overflowing with wonderful images of projects all completed with Skeinz yarn.  It looks like the needles & hooks have been working overtime lately, I know mine have.  We LOVE seeing all your projects, they help inspire us seeing what can be done using Skeinz yarns.  So I thought I would put a gallery together of projects that we have enjoyed recently.  Some are recently released designs, others are heirloom projects, some a little more whimsical.... Enjoy!
Julia's Never Ending Man Blanket is super in Southlander
Beatnik knitted by Mel in Vintage Cadet Blue
Local lady Hester has Crocheted this stacker toy in Perendale 
Lynley from Papmoa posted this stunning Milo using Urban Leafy Mint
Ringmaster by Rhiannon McCulloch in Vintage Portwine available now for pre-order

A Stunning Blanket in Polwarth made by Stevie
My son Hugo modelling my Kids Cowl in Texas

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Finally.... Introducing Filigree

Donuts of deliciousness!
After I know plenty of teasing I am so pleased to announce that the new Vintage Filigree is finally here!
Mie by April George is the perfect pattern for Vintage
Eight of our delicious Vintage colours have been replicated into a dewy soft halo of Kid Mohair, Silk & Alpaca.  You can knit on it's own, double strand with Vintage DK or knit projects with both weights, whatever your fancy I know you will fall in love with Filigree.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Crucci Crush

Landscape (left) & Gorgeous (right) add some spice to the Skeinz shelves!
If you have been a knitter in New Zealand at anytime over the last 30 years you'll remember & love Crucci.  This is a classic kiwi yarn brand which has been bringing innovative yarns to knitters for decades and now at Skeinz we are delighted to be able to offer Crucci yarns to you.

My Shrug knitted in Crucci Landscape
In a special brand partnership, we have 3 yarns which really suit the Skeinz brand ethos - Bright, vibrant & fun!  The first is Crucci Landscapes, a 10ply wool alpaca (75/25) blend done in contemporary random shades.  This means you can use them across a wide variety of ages and genres & it knits up like a dream, I knitted a shrug in it & just thrash it, so I am quite smitten with Landscape.

The bright jewel colours of Crucci Angora
If brighter is better - the you are spoiled for choice between the zany bespoke handspun look of Gorgeous 12ply or the rich jewel colours of Crucci Angora.  All yarns are available now for a limited time, at very special partnership prices.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Remembering Rena

The Penguin 'Dressing Table'

It is hard to believe that this time 2 years ago we were in the heart of the chaos that was caused when the Rena ran aground off the coast of Tauranga.  From this disaster the Skeinz Penguin Rescue fund was created after a small local campaign to gather some knitted jumpers to aid the penguins caught in the disaster went viral.
Five thousand jumpers & many more dollars later - Skeinz has been delighted to help NZ Forest & Bird with funds to clean up the BOP back it's pristine best & we are now helping penguins here in Hawkes Bay get reestablished back onto Cape Kidnappers.  It was great to have a follow up piece on Sunrise Breakfast Television in Australia (view here) & I have also set up a separate Flickr page of all the penguin related images from the work that has been done.
So if you are looking for a great gift idea for someone special this Christmas - pop over to and grab yourself one of our penguin mascots!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Just Like Christmas

Alpine & Merlot with a shawl pattern I have in my queue.

Spring time for us is the chance to catch our breath and work on the new season yarns.  Vintage Filigree which has been in the pipeline since May is almost here.  The labels arrived today & I couldn't help myself by mocking up the couple of sample balls I had cluttering the office.  With any luck, I will have the stock to load up this time next week - Exciting!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


The Heritage Pack for our lucky 500th Ravelry Group Member

Congratulations to Melanie Watt from Wanganui, she was Skeinz 500th member of our Ravelry group & we wanted to treat her with a surprise Heritage parcel of the new Heritage Polwarth colours with their match Brushed Mohair partners.

What's Ravelry?  
Ravelry is the largest online knitting community.  If you like to knit, crochet, weave or spin, you'll love Ravelry.  The online pattern & yarn database is extensive, easy to refine your searches and will soon become an invaluable resource.  It's also a great place to meet other crafty people & keep in touch with us - our Skeinz group is where we update news first & where you can ask questions, chat & figure stuff out.  So not a Ravelry member?  Join today - it's quick, easy & free.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

From Point A to Point B

These are the Grey clouds I like to see.  Naked Brushed Mohair.

It's quite a faff making yarn. We are unique as we make yarn from raw fibre, nursing it along every step in the process. This can mean sometimes up to 8 - 10 steps for you have a finished ball of yarn ready to knit.

Matthew doing his best Yeti impersonation!
The man at the beginning of this process is Matthew August.  He's our Technical Manager, fibre hunter, sliver 'cook', spinning problem solver.  Often found lurking about the bales with a hook in his hand, Matthew is the man who gets to see the fibre in it's rawest form, but also has to visualize the potential yarn.  He's the poor bloke who has to field endless questions from me about mixing, spinning, twisting & blending & I am sure quivers each time I materialize in this office or hunt him down in the Mill & utter "can I pick your brains for a sec Matthew".  So next time you have a ball of Skeinz yarn in your hand, think of poor Matthew - the man who heads up the "Point A" team!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Get Grabbing!

Hook into it! Grabone on today!

Today is our annual Grabone deal!  It's a great way to save on Skeinz yarn & we only do this deal once a year.  So for today only you can buy a Grabone voucher for just $20 and receive $40 worth of yarn.
These vouchers can be redeemed online or in store.
Tell everyone - we only have a limited number of vouchers available!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Spring Designer Showcase

Rose de Reims by Justine Turner using Heritage Organic Merino
Much knitting has been a foot downunder during our Winter & we are now seeing a selection a beautiful designs being launched - many using Skeinz yarns.  So it was time to give these very cleaver designers a push & let you all know what a wealth of talent we have out there.
Ringmasters Jacket by Rhiannon McCulloch from Doomsday Knit - Pre-orders now available.
Alec by Sarah Ronchetti - Perfect in Vintage DK
Sullivan Street from Julia Stanfield & precious in Moody Hues Possum/Merino
Tane by Kylie Bates using Naked Skeinz DK or Urban