Posts Tagged ‘wool’

Simply practical pots from Karoro

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

Knitters, keep your yarn (and your sanity) safe with these beautiful pottery yarn bowls from West Coast potter Karoro. There’s a lovely range of styles to choose from: single or double directional “hook” cut-outs, with or without lids, and a variety of pleasing glazes.

karoro blog


Choose your Karoro yarn bowl today »


Midwinter Woolfeast is here again!

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

Heads up Christchurch yarnsters!

The Midwinter Woolfeast is here again – your opportunity to buy from some of New Zealand’s most talented fibre artists and indie yarn dyers.

Come along to Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre for a day of visual, tactile and culinary treats and immerse yourself in the colour and opulence of the modern world of woolcraft. Learn a new craft skill and stay for some yummy refreshments.

Date: Saturday June 17
Time: 10am-5pm
Place: Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre, 341 Halswell Road, Halswell.
Cost: Free entry
More information:

midwinter woolfeast

Brrrr! Got your winter warmers sorted?

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

apricot blog


Purchase gloves and arm warmers here »


Some bunny will love this

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

How could this chap fail to bring a smile to your face? Sandra of The Felted Room makes her characterful and colourful cushions from sustainable or recycled materials. They make a perfect gift and look great in any setting, from nursery to lounge.

feltedroom blog


See more from The Felted Room »


Saisei: the beauty of vintage kimono, reborn

Monday, March 27th, 2017

Saisei means “reborn” in Japanese, and it’s a name which perfectly reflects Wellington maker Hana Yoshida’s work. Hana’s beautiful clothing and accessories were born from her grandmother’s collection of vintage kimono and they continue today with the vintage kimono and fabric she still sources from Japan. Hana says: “When I unpick kimono, I think of somebody in Japan who spent days to hand sew the kimono for her loved ones. I think of someone who wore it with much care and love.”

saisei hana


saisei rings

What do you make?
I upcycle and repurpose vintage Japanese kimono fabrics into modern and stylish clothing and accessories.

How did you get into your craft?
I am originally from Japan. When I went back to Japan last year, my mum mentioned loads of kimono that were left in my grandmother’s wardrobes. They had been there for decades since my grandmother passed away. As a lot of women did in the old days, she used to hand sew kimono for her whole family. She was a very good seamstress, so that often kimono retailers asked her to make kimono for their clients when they received custom made orders. She also taught students how to hand sew kimono at her home. My father still remembers her students coming to their house to learn kimono making. I was blown away by the beauty of the craftsmanship and fabric itself and decided to bring some back to New Zealand.

I have been always into making stuff myself. When I was kid, I used to knit a lot of things and I learnt basic sewing skills at my university. My earliest memory of recycling is making a bag out of my old jeans. So when I got my grandmother’s kimono, I started making some scarves and cushion covers with them. This is how it all started last year. Now I used up all of my grandmother’s silk, so I purchase fabric in Japan and get it shipped to New Zealand.

Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
No, except for at my university when I learnt basic skills as part of my Education/Teaching course. I’m self taught, so learnt a lot by trial and error! I also take private lessons from professionals.

saisei pattern

saisei textiles

Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
My favourite material is pre-loved and antique kimono silk. It’s getting rarer because most modern Japanese people have stopped wearing traditional kimono except for special ceremonies or events. So traditional kimono hand-crafting is in decline and there are fewer people who can pass on the techniques of crafting and dyeing kimono to the next generation.

Aizome boro cotton is also special to me. “Boro” means patched. In the old days, when the fabric was damaged, people didn’t throw it away. They patched the damaged area and kept on using it for a long time. So the cotton has a huge amount of character and really interesting textures. Nowadays, these textiles are loved and highly regarded by many all around the world.

My favourite process is creating the right patterns. It takes a long time and uses a lot of paper and sample fabrics. I repeat amending the patterns until I make the right ones. It is a long process, but really satisfying in the end.

Tell us about the techniques involved in producing one of your pieces
I purchase vintage kimono fabric from Japan. Some are actual pre-worn kimono and some are vintage kimono silks that are in bolts and never sewn or worn before.

The sewn kimono are unpicked (this can take around four hours) before being hand washed. Then they are dried in the shade and ironed gently. This is done before making anything. To make my capes, I make outer wool fabric and linings separately. The vintage kimono silk is used exclusively to make the linings of the capes. Because of the width of the silk (usually around 36cm), I cut up the silk into 8-9 pieces and sew them together to make one lining. Then darts and a collar are made. Finally I sew the lining, the outer wool and collar together.

saisei cutting

saisei cape

saisei capes

What inspires you?
Tattoo arts, 50s-70s vintage fashion.

Is there a philosophy behind your work?
I would like more people to enjoy the beauty and craftsmanship of kimono fabric in their daily life.

Tell us about your pets:
We have a cat called Rika. We got her from the Cat’s Protection League as a kitten back in 2002, so she’s an old cat now. We have two little kids so Rika gets less attention than she used to, however when the kids are in bed she likes to sit on my lap and fall asleep.

What was the last handmade item you bought and what attracted you to it?
A flowering branch necklace on Felt from a maker in Nelson. This pendant top was about 6cm and looked just like plum flowers. I liked the oriental feel to it. I wear it on my market days.

What’s in store for the rest of 2017?
There will be more capes and reversible silk cardigans. I would like to add dresses as well, but I will see. Also men’s organic cotton T-shirts with Aizome cotton pockets.


Hana will be holding a stall at Wellington Underground Market on Saturday 1 April, from 10am to 4pm. This is one of only a handful of markets that Hana will do this year, and it’s a good opportunity to see and try on her garments. Hana will also have sample fabrics on the day, so you can choose fabrics for you own special cape or cardigan.

Hana has also very generously offered a prize for one lucky Felt reader of this lovely autumnal scarf. This vibrant silk scarf with an orange leaf pattern, measuring 17cm x 180cm, was made with 100% vintage Japanese kimono silk. The silk was hand woven and hand printed in Kyoto, Japan.


To be in to win this gorgeous handcrafted prize, simply leave a comment telling us what appeals to you about Hana’s story and her reborn creations. The draw will be made on Friday 7 April and is open to New Zealand residents only.


Explore Hana Yoshida’s beautiful work on Felt »


saisei cardigan

Needles needing a yarn?

Monday, March 27th, 2017

If your needles are itching to knit some cosy accessories for your and your loved ones, we’ve got the yarns

crock blog

trubywool blog

spunout blog

littlereds blog

Keeshond dog and alpaca yarn by Crock | Naturally dyed merino/nylon sock yarn by Truby Wool | Textural handspun yarn by Spunout | Hand dyed merino yarn by Little Red’s Yarn


Purchase beautiful yarns here »


Need a pattern? We’ve got that covered too! »


A sweet surprise

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

This absolutely gorgeous wee butterfly frock from Iwi Babe has a sweet surprise on the back: a pair of beautiful wings that flutter and catch the breeze as your little one plays. How cute is that?



We’ve teamed it with a gorgeous matching Christmas gift – a stunning hand felted monarch butterfly fairy from Tweedledee. Hang it on the tree and then let it loose to brighten up your child’s bedroom.

tweedledeenz blog


See more from Iwi Babe here »

See more from Tweedledee »


Elvis is in the building

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

lillypadnz blog


See The King here »


A glimpse into The Felted Room: the tactile, textile imaginarium of Sandra Grieve

Monday, June 20th, 2016

Sandra Grieve of The Felted Room is a mixed media artist who designs and creates eco friendly artworks: unique textile creations, needle felted sculptures, designer cat and dog beds, wedding boutonnieres, and much more – all from her cosy workroom in Wanganui.

Sandra Grieve of The Felted Room in her studio

What do you make?
Original mushroom, butterfly and dragonfly textile art, designer cat and dog beds, wedding boutonnieres, fibre sculptures made with New Zealand wools, fabrics and recycled treasures.

How did you get into your craft?
Ever since I was a little girl I would paint, draw and sew. My Mum was a florist and I used to go into her work and watch her create for many years.

After being a graphic designer for 15 years, I took a break from that to homeschool my son, and while doing that I came across a tiny little needle felted dog sitting on a staircase in an interior design magazine. I thought he was just gorgeous and so realistic, like a tiny dog that had shrunk. I literally went out straight away brought felting needles and wool, sat down and had a go at making one. That was the start of it all.

Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
No, I’m completely self taught.


Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
Anything old, whether it’s fabric, thread or jewellery to embellish. My sewing machine is special as it reminds me of my Grandma every time I use it. She left me her sewing box and scissors which I use daily, and dearly treasure.

New Zealand wools are gorgeous to work with. I get huge enjoyment from using them for needle felting. Just the fact that it’s such an ancient art – using various very sharp specialised barbed needles which you work into raw wool, causing the fibres to bind and compress together to form your desired shape – this can take anything from hours, days or weeks to complete.

I love the fact that the materials I use are vintage, natural, recycled, upcycled, eco friendly or New Zealand made wherever possible.

What inspires you?
A beautiful blue sky sunshiny day right through to a overcast rain filled day. Nature is all inspiring to me, boundless colours found everywhere. Gorgeous pieces of fabric. My big brother and my son who always has a smile on his face and un-dwindling encouragement and support for his Mama. I’m also inspired by my Grandma who was a professional seamstress and loved to create many things.

Is there a philosophy behind your work?
I enjoy designing and creating original pieces. When you’re buying from The Felted Room you can know that everything is made with love and attention to detail. I love the fact that the materials I use are vintage, natural, recycled, upcycled, eco friendly or New Zealand made wherever possible. If it puts a smile on someone’s face, then that’s even better.


Sandra Grieve of The Felted Room in her studio

The Felted Room

Describe your creative process:
Usually ideas just pop into my head! Usually after a lovely long sleep, although sometimes waking early to sketch out a thought on paper before going back to sleep. I create what feels right, especially when working with wool. My sculptures usually just evolve themselves into being as if they take on a life of their own.

Describe your workspace:
My workspace is a small but cute room under my house, built for me by my Dad. It still has the original stairs in the corner that make great storage. The room is filled top to bottom with all sorts of treasures. I’m surrounded by some of my work, my favourites being a large needle felted white rabbit and a giant moth that I adorned with a small antique silver ornate belt clip and mirror, that my Grandma rescued from the fire when she was a little girl.

All the furniture is recycled or upcycled: wardrobes with shelves added to store my wool, an old dining table cut to make shelves, and the drawers from my workbench were the town clerk’s in the 50s! Dad added a rimu top. Even my sewing table was made for me by Dad when I was in my 20s. You can shut yourself away in this space and totally lose yourself to the outside world, it’s lovely.

pic10 blog

pic6 blog

Five words that describe your mind:
Imaginative, calm, grateful, flexible, creative.

What’s your favourite childhood book and why?
Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish. I loved how she was different to everyone else, Amelia thought and did things differently… a little like me only I wouldn’t go so far as to peg my lightbulbs out on the clothesline!

Who is your hero/heroine? Why?
Lesley Eru is a truly inspiring person to me. She started her own business, Iron Alley, here in Wanganui. She always uplifts, encourages and empowers you. Lesley is living proof that with hard work, focus and determination you can succeed in what you set out to do with amazing results. Stay on track, start strong and finish stronger.

A favourite quote:
“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” – Albert Einstein.

Tell us about your pets:
Sherbert and Luna are my British Shorthair cats and I just adore them. They were the inspiration behind my cat beds’ design and production, as they never wanted to go into cat beds I’d brought for them. So, I designed these and they absolutely love them – in fact its hard to get them out sometimes! From that I designed the small dog bed for my Italian Greyhound Chakotay so he wouldn’t feel left out either.

pic9 blog

pic8 blog

What would your advice be for those starting out in a crafty business?
Have diversity with your products. Good photos are essential, and using social media like Facebook. Designing and creating things you love, and having a passion for your craft is a must.

What was the last handmade item you bought and what attracted you to it?
A small cat, it was so sweet I bought it and now use it for a pin cushion, it’s super cute and different.

What’s in store for the rest of 2016?
Exciting things are ahead, with so many new ideas waiting to come to life and be made for my shop The Felted Room, I can’t wait!

Sandra has very kindly offered a prize for one lucky Felt reader of this stunning moth textile art wall hanging (below). This beautiful creature has wings fashioned out of gorgeous vintage floral and magenta velvet fabrics, and her body is a vintage brown faux fur with glass eyes and wire antennae. Measuring 34cm x 19cm, she’ll look stunning hung on the wall or simply placed around your home as if ready to take flight.

To be in to win, simply leave a comment telling us what you like about Sandra’s story and creations. The draw will be made on Friday 1 July and is open to New Zealand residents only.


See more from The Felted Room on Felt »


prizedrawpic1 blog

Yarns of the rich and famous

Saturday, June 18th, 2016

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…

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

Audrey Hepburn
Joan Crawford

Audrey Hepburn and Joan Crawford

Franklin D And Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II

Sarah Jessica Parker
George Lucas

Sarah Jessica Parker and George Lucas

Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly

Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood

Inspired? Then check out our gorgeous range of artisan yarns and beautiful patterns. Good luck and go to it! :-)


Find lovely local yarns on Felt »

Purchase perfect patterns on Felt »