The yarn connection

If you have read this blog for some time, you’ll know that I left a corporate career in marketing about two years ago to pursue a more balanced lifestyle and to find a way to work in the area that I love:  knitting and yarn.  I also had a burning desire to help New Zealand’s yarn producers develop a larger presence in the global knitting community – our yarns were so good.  Why weren’t more people using them!?

Over the last two years I have been working on various initiatives to make the dream of a proper career in the knitting world come to fruition.  It has taken quite a while to a) build up people’s confidence in my abilities, and b) work out what I can actually do to make this work.  I think the efforts of the past two years have finally begun to pay off:

Firstly, I’m proud to tell you that I have accepted the agency for Stansborough‘s new knitting yarn, Mythral!  I’m so thankful and touched that Cheryl, Barry and Kiri are confident that I can help get their yarn out to the knitting and crocheting community!

A new yarn does not come on to the market every day, especially one that I love quite as much as this.  Knitting with it makes me giddy with excitement – the texture of this beautiful, unique wool, the colour, the way it knits into beautiful garments with definition, strength and resilience.  It’s one of my favourite yarns in the whole world.  So I view the agency for Stansborough as amazing opportunity for both Stansborough and myself.  And a great addition to the stable of yarns for knitters and crocheters!

Stansborough’s yarn is the only yarn brand that I represent as an agent.  The agency is a wholesale arrangement, directed at getting Stansborough yarns into quality yarn stores and outlets, and providing support to retailers so that they can effectively sell the yarn.  I won’t be selling the yarn on this blog, although retailers can obviously contact me (wsleong AT hotmail DOT co DOT nz) if they’d like to stock it in their stores!

Secondly, based on my success to date with publishing free patterns, and the fact that the thing that I enjoy the most about knitting is creating designs that bring out the yarn’s inner character, I’ve decided to take the plunge and become a professional designer.  I’m starting with accessories, and as my confidence and skill develops, I will eventually begin to release garment designs.  I’m extremely excited about this venture and am hoping I won’t fall flat on my face…

Designing in New Zealand yarns fulfils my personal ambition of supporting New Zealand-produced yarn brands and giving them a larger presence on the global knitting scene.  As you know, this blog is an independent voice about New Zealand-produced yarns.  It will continue to be so, but with the caveat that I do have an interest in one of them.

And so, to celebrate new beginnings, here’s my latest free pattern:

It’s a chunky scarf with loads of texture, and easy enough that it can be attempted by the basic beginner.  It’s in Stansborough’s Mythral, and boy, have I enjoyed knitting it!!  It’s called Cheryl’s scarf.  In honour of Cheryl Eldridge of Stansborough, for without all her hard work we would not have this gorgeous yarn to play with.

Close-up of pattern:

The pattern will be released in my next post, just to keep things tidy!

And finally, I want to take this opportunity to thank you again, for your wonderful support of my blog, and your confidence in my designs.  Because without you, this trip would have been so much harder.  Thank you! 😀

19 thoughts on “The yarn connection

  1. Congratulations and Yippee! 🙂 Okay, now I will have to research how I can order some New Zealand yarn to play with. 🙂

    1. 🙂 Thank you! If you are thinking of getting some Stansborough, I’ll be doing a fairly comprehensive post about it next. For starters, if you drop the lovely folks at Stansborough a line, you will be able to get hold of some of the Mythral 100% New Zealand wool, or the lamsbwool has now been loaded on to their e-store ( Holland Road Yarn Company ( is the first retail stockist of this yarn, but others are on their way too, including, hopefully, some US stores. Watch out for my next post which details the colours and performance of this yarn more fully. xx

  2. Designing is such fun! I love the stuff you’ve designed so far, and you’re so quick; it takes me ages to get a design to the test-knit stage. Love the look of the yarn too; just got to find the right pattern and enough money at the same time, lol

  3. Congratulations! I love the designs I’ve seen and look forward to more…
    Your talking about NZ yarns reminded me of the plight of small-scale indie dyers like me. It sounds ridiculous, but I often order yarns from overseas because it is hard to find NZ suppliers who cater to buyers who can neither afford nor store hundreds of kgs of yarn. I’d love to buy more homegrown yarns, but simply can’t find a company like, for example, Yarn Undyed in the UK. If you want to help, please put out the word to the yarn producers you know. Maybe someone will see that there might be a small, but worthwhile market right here at home.

  4. Brilliant, Fantastic!! Will they send to the UK? Nice to try some.

    And as for the professional designer string to your bow, you write patterns that are not only nice but you write in a way that is easy to understand xx

  5. Congratulations on being a part of the Stansborough family. I truly hope we can get some of the Mythral yarn over in the US. I’d love to knit and perhaps design with it.

    And I’m excited that you are getting into the designing game. Your patterns are delightful and I think it is wonderful that you are helping to promote NZ yarn. I certainly wish I was in a better position to do the same.

  6. Absolutely fantastic, congratulations and here’s hoping that your career in design is successful, enjoyable and rewarding………………which I’m in no doubt it will be all of these things………………so happy for you.

    lily x

  7. Needless to say I’m so proud of you and very, very excited! Whoopee! I’m looking forward to this adventure unfolding…. Congratulations and Good luck too! Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  8. Congratulations on your two new careers! It’s well worth leaving one’s “safe” job to pursue something you love, whether or not it works out as planned.

  9. Fabulous and congratulations….you have worked hard and deserve it 🙂 Your patterns are lovely and easy to follow I am sure you will be a huge success! The scarf looks unusual so I can’t wait to see the pattern. I think Sabine’s comment is a valid one for us over here too….so much wool and yet we have to go off shore to source undyed yarn. Pity there is a market opportunity for someone there 🙂

  10. You’ve had quite the accomplishment! Congratulations on all of your hard work and perseverance! I love learning about all of the different yarns there are around where you live and they are so beautiful. I’m hoping to try some eventually. Best of luck with your endeavors!

  11. I’ve only recently gotten to know your blog and am so glad I did! I, too, am just starting out as a designer — so many ideas, but patience, patience …. I love your new scarf design. It reminds me of church spires.

  12. Congratulations! That’s such fantastic news. You make that yarn sound so wonderfully luscious, I’ll have to try and seek some out once my bank balance looks healthier!

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