Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life

A yarny update

25 Comments

Hello!  Happy Weekend!

Well, it has been an interesting few weeks on the knitting front, and I thought it is about time we talked about happy knitting news!  In short order, the highlights have been as follows:

  • I started my contract (hooray! Not knitting, but I thought I’d mention it.  I’m really enjoying being there too).
  • I finally found a heel for Mary Mary that I like and importantly, that other knitters will like (currently feverishly knitting the 3rd sample of Mary Mary that includes the new heel).
  • Very excitingly, I received some Yarn!
  • Feedspot nominated Kiwiyarns Knits among the Top 100 Knitting Blogs for Knitters and Crocheters!  I was a bit leery when I received the news, thinking it was spam, but having checked it out, and seeing what good company I keep, I’m really happy about this nomination!  This is very much thanks to all of you who read my blog.  Thank you very much for reading!
  • Designing is finally happening again, to great happiness.

So let’s get into details.  First up, The Yarn!

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This is a glorious bundle of squish – New Zealand made yarns compliments of Naturally Yarns, sent to me for review. Lucky me!

I haven’t yet had a chance to get into them properly, but I hope to have time to do that in the next couple of weeks. Here’s a very quick look at them for the time being:

Otira (40% NZ Merino/ 35% Tencel/ 25% Possum)

This new yarn was released in February.  Having read about the unenvironmentally-friendly manufacturing methods for bamboo and rayon fibre, I was concerned about the environmental friendliness of the Tencel content. However, this article from Ecomall has assured my fears that of any manmade fibre, Tencel is probably the best choice.

Tencel is the brand name for lyocell produced by Lenzing AG.  Lyocell is a fibre made from wood.  It is important to note that it’s the brand Tencel, manufactured by Lenzing AG that has been given this approval from environmental agencies, and not all lyocell.

Lenzing AG, which owns the Tencel brand, undertakes extremely careful manufacturing methods to prevent harmful chemicals from entering the environment in the manufacture of Tencel.  In addition, the wood it sources all comes from sustainable sources. Here’s another interesting article I read from OrganicClothing.blogs.com if you would like to know more about Tencel and production processes surrounding this brand.

Amuri (75% Pure NZ Merino, 25% Possum)

I have not yet knitted with this possum blend yarn.  It is the most halo’y of all the possum blends I have come across and has an interesting single ply construction that looks like the wool was softly felted.  It will be interesting to see how it performs!

Waikiwi (55% NZ Merino, 20% Nylon, 15% Alpaca, 10% Possum)

Billed as a sock yarn, I haven’t yet knit a sock out of this yarn, so it will be interesting to do some intensive swatching!

Harmony 8 ply (100% New Zealand merino wool)

Again, a very interesting single-ply, felted construction.  This yarn is available in 8 ply and 10 ply natural shades (not completely naturally coloured, as the natural wool is colour adjusted with dye to keep it consistent from season to season), in colour, and in tweed.  It’s incredibly squishy and I have to admit, is the first of the yarns to be put on the swift to be balled ready for knitting!

Most of the colours shown above are from their range of new colours out this season.

Also, you will soon get a chance to win this beautiful skein on Circus Tonic Handmade Revelry Sock:

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Hannah and I have been talking bird colours.  I asked if she would be interested in doing an interview on Kiwiyarns Knits, and she very kindly said yes!  She is one of the most amazingly generous people I have met – she decided to also include a skein of a custom-dyed sock yarn as part of our interview.  This colourway is called Silvereye (also called White-Eye or Wax-Eye) – inspired by the adorable little bird that can be found in both Australia and New Zealand.  The image of a Silvereye below is taken from Ordinary Goodness’s delightful blog which features a lot of New Zealand birdlife.  I know the Lynley wouldn’t mind if I used her photo.  Thanks Lynley!

Watch out for our interview soon.  I’ll also be giving away a free copy of my new sock pattern, Mary Mary.

I have also been working with Mary at Maniototo Wool to design a child’s poncho.  Here’s a sneaky peek:

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I’m really glad that I got a chance to work with Mary on this design.  I’ll show it in full detail when the pattern is complete.  The DK yarn in particular is delightful to work with and I’m very excited to use more of it in future designs!

As you can see, there is quite a backlog of things to catch up on, so now that life is “somewhat” on a more even keel, there should be some interesting reads to be had in the near future!

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Author: kiwiyarns

Welcome to my blog where I talk about knitting in New Zealand and the beautiful yarns you can find here.

25 thoughts on “A yarny update

  1. We’re both doing the same thing at the moment. I just released my latest blog post too! Congratulations on your inclusion in the top 100 knitting blogs. I was on the list but not as far up as you 🙂 You’re so lucky getting to review all that gorgeous yarn. Lincraft (which is a department store for yarn, crafts and linen in Australia) contacted me last week as they found my blog. They’re sending me a yarn and pattern kit with a view to me reviewing it and then they’ll feature it on their website. I’ll have to hurry up and finish these three sock test pattern knits that I’m doing 🙂 Hope the contract leads to bigger and better things for you to 🙂

  2. Well, wow and glory! Fantastic! So very, very well deserved. And a competition! And what a beautiful prize. I feel blessed to be surrounded, even if vicariously, by this abundance. Well done Girl.
    And the wool! Oh my! I’m going off to explore.

  3. So pleased to read this post from you! Good news on all fronts!

  4. Good to read a very happy post from you.

  5. It’s great to hear your good news and I’m looking forward to your yarn reviews. I have some Waikiwi on hand but have not yet knit it.

  6. It’s wonderful that you’re working again and that things look to be going well in other ways as well. Love the silvereye photo, later in the year we’ll have tonnes of them on our grapevine.

  7. By the way, I wanted to thank you for sharing your research and knowledge on Tencel. I’ve not knitted with it but I have bought a few skeins with no idea of what it is or where it sits in the world.
    Cheers

  8. Yay! Good company indeed!
    Well done! You certainly have my vote!

  9. Congrats for being in the top 100 best knitting blogs!!! And getting started with your contract. What fun to be given all that wonderful yarn to work with. You’ll do right by it for sure. Will enjoy keeping up with your progress. Thanks.

  10. Wonderful news! And congratulations for being in the top 100 best knitting blogs. I’m looking forward to seeing your creations!

  11. Oh my the Waxeye colourway is just glorious, the subtleness of those colours! Looking forward to more about this yarn 🙂

  12. You got the contract! Hurray! I’m glad that burden is off of your back.

    When I was visiting in 2010 I bought some Harmony in 10 ply. It’s been wound just recently for swatch. I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it. So far, I am happy with how squishy it is.

  13. Thanks for talking about the ethics of how yarn is made! I’ve been wanting to look into that more and decide which is better to use- manmade or natural fibers. I’ll have to check out the link you provided!

  14. Thanks for the info about Tencel!

  15. I have used both the Waikiwi (for fingerless mitts several times) and the Amuri (for fingerless mitts and hats. I enjoyed working with both, the Amuri knits with a wonderful halo and friends who have made garments with it love the results. I have several lots of Waikiwi in my stash for socks, just haven’t had a chance to make them yet. What fun you will have trying these yarns out.

    Congrats on the new contract, I know that will take a big weight off your shoulders.

  16. CONGRATULATIONS!

    DAMN, so many folks of my RSS feeds are there! This is an absolutely AWESOME LIST!!! Consider yourself tackle-hugged … 🙂

    I absolutely love your new yarn. The colours are so beautiful … especially the green on the right and the purple next to it. Yum!

    Very curious about your little poncho!!

    Lots and lots of love! (CONGRATS for the job and HOORAY for loving it!)

  17. Happy, happy post! Yea!

  18. Congrats on the new contract – more money to buy yarn with!

  19. Hello,
    Thank you for your very informative blog. I am from Australia and new to knitting. Only started about 18mts ago. Have visited your beautiful country seven times and love it!. In 2014 visited south island and purchased several skeins of touch possum yarn. In fact it was quite a few. I first knitted a vest using only 2 skeins. This left 6 skeins of differing colours and hooray I finished a knee rug Last night – 7 months knitting . I only get to do a small bit each night. I also purchased 6 balls of Zealana Air lace weight and knitted a sleeveless top from their knitting book . Absolutely gorgeous and light. Both these yarns are wonderful. Now to this year – visited north island in Feb – checked out all the wool shops we found. Unfortunately the brands of possum wool they were carrying were all slightly scratchy to the feel. They are advertised as possum /merino but I did not see a single merino sheep where we travelled. I think that unfortunately they have been blending with some of the broader micron crossbred sheep and this has resulted in an inferior yarn. This is a shame as knitting has enjoyed a resurgence and once people knit and find the yarn “Itchy” they won’t try again. I ended up purchasing some “Misti Alpacca” which feels divine. Many thanks again for your blog. It is very helpful to a beginner like myself.

  20. Hey that’s all good news. Great Company indeed, and well deserved.

  21. I love your blog, and the thoughtful comments, and your willingness to share. I have been thinking about a previous post where you pointed out the dilemma of charging vs not charging for your designs. I for one am willing to pay for an original design, knowing that you are trying to make a living at what you love to do. How much to charge? I recently paid $8 US for a 3-page hard copy pattern, so maybe $4 for an online pattern? Hmm, I don’t know the going rate… In fact, when i get to knitting a project with one of your patterns that I saved, i will send you a few $$$!

    • Well, that’s just the issue – online patterns charge just as much if not more than printed ones! Patterns on Ravelry are usually between US$6 – US$7 for a pattern. I think that is a lot to charge. My thinking is settling closer to the US$5 mark. The only thing with charging under market rate is that sometimes people think your pattern is no good because you aren’t charging the same as others. That isn’t the case of course. Dilemma!