If your needles are itching to knit some cosy accessories for your and your loved ones, we’ve got the yarns…
If your needles are itching to knit some cosy accessories for your and your loved ones, we’ve got the yarns…
We’re all for hunkering down inside on rainy days like these! What you need now are some crafty projects to settle in with. Felt has a great range of materials, tools, patterns and kits to get you started – here’s a few to tempt you!
Gorgeous watercolour paints from Celia Wilson, made from locally-sourced pigments.
Fabulous customisable stretched artist’s canvases, boards & blocks from Stretched.
Lovely yarns from a variety of very interesting creatures, hand dyed by Crock.
Cosy winter knitting patterns from Honeycakes too!
Or maybe cross stitch is more your thing? Teribear has you sorted.
And how about some fabulous cookie cutters from Making It for rainy day baking? Mmmm, cookies…
Feeling inspired? Check out the whole creative range in our Leisure and Activities pages today!
It’s World Wide Knit in Public Day, hurrah!
Get your needles out and join a host of famous folk from Hollywood, politics, literary circles, and even royalty who’ve been caught on camera yarn-handed…
Audrey Hepburn and Joan Crawford
Queen Elizabeth II
Sarah Jessica Parker and George Lucas
This Saturday is World Wide Knit in Public Day, and there are events on around the country to celebrate!
Here in Christchurch we’d like to give a shout-out to the Midwinter Woolfeast, where they’ll be celebrating yarn in style with a gathering of New Zealand’s most talented fibre artists and indie yarn dyers – and Felt will be there too!
You can catch Midwinter Woolfeast from 10am to 5pm at the newly-built Te Hapua: Halswell Centre, 341 Halswell Rd, Halswell, Christchurch. Admission is free. For more information, check out their website (and you can find out about other official World Wide Knit in Public Day events on their webpage and in our What’s on This Week post).
And if you like more of a mix in your craft, make sure you also scoot over to Stash reHash (yep, it’s a busy day for Christchurch crafters, you can even get knitting on a bus!), where it’s all happening from 11am to 2pm at St Mark’s Church, Withells Road, Avonhead. This year’s Stash reHash promises to be bursting with sewing goodies in need of new homes, and it’s all in support of Arthritis New Zealand. Entry is by gold coin donation and you can find more details here.
Suz Grimwood listed her Chain Gang products on Felt just one month before her third daughter was born in an ‘it’s now or never’ moment. Nearly a year on, she has enjoyed selling her throws and scarves online and in stores amidst the craziness of parenting. With a background in graphic design and magazine work she has always loved making things – and is proud to bring us her beautiful, incredibly soft, super-chunky knits. Winter is coming, so check out what’s in store and be tempted!
What do you make?
I make chunky knit throws and scarves using New Zealand merino wool.
How did you get into your craft?
My Mum! I grew up learning macrame as a preschooler, knitting myself jerseys in primary school and sewing clothes as a teenager. Making things makes me happy – so being able to sell what I love to make just makes sense.
Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
I have a degree in Visual Communications and have been a graphic designer for over 10 years – but no specific training in knitting – just my Mum (and the internet when I want to learn a new stitch!)
Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
My favourite materials for my Chain Gang products are the huge sacks of merino wool that I have stashed all over the place! No one can resist touching it, it’s amazingly soft and snuggly. I love that the wool comes from sheep in the South Island, and that I’m supporting another local business in the process.
My favourite tools would have to be my hands! And some pretty large knitting needles. A measuring tape can come in handy too. And I must give a mention to my trusty Mac – as without it I couldn’t bring all the creative mess together to sell what I make online.
My process in most cases starts with a bit of online inspiration or just sitting down with a pen and notebook and doodling my ideas. From there I just start experimenting with the wool. One thing I’ve learnt is to be prepared to make prototypes, and to be prepared to undo (a lot) and start again. No pain, no gain right? Not everything works perfectly the first time and starting again can be hard – but in the end it’s always worth it when you can be proud of the finished product.
Not everything works perfectly the first time and starting again can be hard – but in the end it’s always worth it when you can be proud of the finished product.
What inspires you?
People that are passionate about what they do, other crafters, Pinterest, children’s books, art, magazines…
Is there a philosophy behind your work?
Use what you have in your hands, start with what you’ve got, what you’re good at or what you already know and go from there. For me in the busy/crazy stage of life that I’m in with young children, my products are achievable for me to make because I can do the majority of what I make myself – and fit it in around everything else that’s going on!
Describe your workspace:
A creative mess, which takes over the whole house! We converted half of our garage into a studio space which I am so lucky to have. Unfortunately my default setting is a bit messy, so even though I am constantly buying more storage items in the hope that one day my studio will be tidy – actually that will probably never happen! (So jealous of those tidy craft rooms online. Who are these people?) Even though I have a studio, at the moment most of my knitting is actually done in my lounge late at night when everyone is (finally) sleeping. And all my computer time is done inside too!
Five words that describe your mind:
I’m a visualiser, detail-focussed, creative, messy, dreamer.
Your favourite feedback from a customer:
I love all my feedback! Sometimes online sales can be a bit lonely as not everyone sends a message or gives feedback. When people email with a lovely comment about my service and how much they love their purchase I am totally stoked! Once a customer that had no computer or email address got her sister to search me out on her behalf and visited me in person to purchase a throw. She then emailed (via her sister again) to say how thrilled she was with it. It’s really nice to meet the people that buy your products. I also have a customer who loves his throw so much he asked me to custom make a scarf so he can wear it out of the house!
What are you currently listening to?
I hardly ever put music on! But I do listen to RDU in the car.
What’s your favourite childhood book and why?
Mr. Gumpy’s Outing by John Burningham and Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins as I love the illustrations. A favourite book that I read my children now is Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett. The illustrations by Jon Klassen are amazing.
What are you reading now?
Many, many children’s books, over and over again! Otherwise I mostly flick through various home magazines and Frankie.
Who is your hero/heroine?
The main character from the book Extra Yarn! Definitely read it. She is an ordinary girl who changes a colourless town into a vibrant place with her knitting! She totally believes in herself and what she does – and isn’t swayed by money or put off by negativity.
A favourite quote:
Bloom where you are planted.
Do you have any pets?
No, but the amount of wool I have – you’d think we own a flock of sheep out the back!
If you were a crafty superhero, what would your name and superpower be?
The Woollenator. My superpower would be that everything is magically clean and tidy after a crafting session!
What would your advice be for those starting out in a crafty business?
Just start with what you have and build from there. I often talk myself out of ideas because ‘everyone else is already doing it’ or ‘you can already buy it cheaper elsewhere’ – but in reality there are still people who seek out beautiful New Zealand made items and will love what you do. Although I have a tendency to want to get things perfect, I do think it’s great to just get your product out there. It’s great to get feedback and encouragement from doing markets. Or start by giving your products as a gift to friends and family so they can trial them before you sell them. I am fairly avoidant of social media – but if you do that well it’s huge!
What was the last handmade item you bought and what attracted you to it?
A couple of cute prints by Katie of In My Backyard. I just love her illustrations. She’s such a talent – who I studied with back in the day!
What’s in store for the winter season of 2016?
Throws, available in two sizes and two styles – garter and rib stitch, plus the ever-popular double infinity scarves. New this season will be some extra long scarves for both men and women – and a couple of new colours, cobalt blue and moss green. I am also experimenting with knitwear. So if time allows, watch this space and there may be some new wearable pieces in my shop. If you’re interested, please get in touch!
Suz has generously offered one of her stylish and super snuggly infinity scarves (pictured above) as a prize for one lucky Felt reader. These chunky knit double-infinity scarves are made of beautifully soft 100% NZ merino wool – and the winner gets to choose the colour! (Choose from creamy white, light grey, grey-brown, turquoise or cobalt blue.) To be in to win, simply leave a comment telling us what you like about Suz’s story and her gorgeous scarves and throws. The draw will be made on Friday 6 May and is open to New Zealand residents only.
It’s a knitter’s dream: the knit designer/yarn dyer collab! Libby from Truly Myrtle Designs created the most stunning, modern shawl with Rosewood Wool Romney 3 ply, and together they’ve created this fabulous Joss Shawl kit for you to make your own.
The pack includes two 100g balls of Romney 3 ply wool, enough to complete your shawl, and the Joss pattern emailed to you (as well as a digital copy in your Ravelry library).
There are two colour ways to choose from: Libby’s original design in Helter Skelter and My She’s Grown (so popular it’s now on pre-order, shipping the week of 7 March), or the gorgeous dark teal and mustard combo of In the Deep and Harvest Sun.
It’s perfect timing for an indulgent autumn project – order yours now!
Brrr! There’s a dusting of snow outside this morning in Christchurch and the chill is bracing. Growing up further north, I never saw snow in town so I still get a childlike delight when I open the curtains and find the world has been frosted white.
Here’s a small pictorial celebration of snow, just because. Stay warm everyone!
While we’re featuring the beautiful hand-dyed yarns of Rosewood Wool this fortnight, we thought we’d draw your attention to the lovely range of knitting patterns and crochet patterns available on Felt. Here’s just a small selection of gorgeous knitwear and crocheted items you could be making:
We’ve got patterns for all sorts of winter projects and all sorts of recipients here on Felt – have a wander through our patterns and kits pages and find something to keep those crafty fingers busy!
Hi, my name is Jo and I’m a knitwit. There it is, I’ve said it. I work for New Zealand’s home of handmade and I do not possess the powers of yarn-wrangling. I have not the fibre foo. My knitting is knotted.
I can knit a few basic stitches at an embarrassingly slow speed, but when I really fall over is as soon as a mistake happens. If a stitch glitch befalls me, I’m lost. I’m a goner. I lack the kind of mathematical/puzzle-solving/pattern-recognising brain to sort it out. Such is my crafting shame.
Anyway, woe is me, bring out the tiny fluffy violins, ya de ya de yah. I have the good sense to know when I’m beat (or maybe not, after more than half my lifetime’s trying) and I’ve given away my needles and concentrated on the maker-y skills I do seem to have the brain/co-ordination for.
What I’m trying to say (apart from having a bit of a maker-moan) is that I have the utmost, sincere, awe-filled respect for knitters. Crocheters too. Lucy, my Mum, numerous other acquaintances, all you clever Felt yarnsters… you lot are super-powered, honestly. You’re awesome. Give yourselves a pat on the back. (With your own gorgeous gloves on, probably.)
Thankfully I’m not left to languish in the cold without lovely handcrafted woollies though, because there’s a bevy of awesome knitters and crack-crocheters to be found on Felt. Phew!
The tough bit is choosing among their gorgeous creations – our gloves and armwarmers, scarves and shawls, hats and headwear and socks and legwarmers pages in our new jewellery and fashion category are bursting with candidates.
Be prepared and be warm this winter with lovely local handmade woolly accessories from Felt.