Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Yule Be Right Mate!

All the best for the season from Skeinz

 Here in the balmy Hawkes Bay we have been enjoying a run of tropical weather - warm sunny days with still balmy nights - real Pacific Island paradise stuff.  Great for when you are on holiday, not quite so comfortable when you are perspiring away in a yarn mill.  However the crew here at Skeinz are all looking forward to a well earned Summer break. 

The closest thing to festive logs or cones yule see around here!
Whilst the mill and Bricks & Mortar store in Husheer Place will be closed from midday on Friday 21st (assuming of course the Mayans haven't already dealt to us by then) reopening Monday the 7th of January, www.skeinz.com is still open for business.  Just please be aware that deliveries will be slower than usual due to the public holidays - but a Skeinz staffer will be in over the holidays to clear & dispatch your orders for that well deserved yarn fix.

The best we can do for snow when it's 30 degrees - and that Celsius!
I just want to take the time to thank everyone who has supported skeinz this year.  Whilst many businesses have struggled in the current climate - the support of our Skeinz customers have meant we have continued to grow.  It has been very satisfying over the past few weeks to start working on new plans, ranges, colours & events for 2013 - only made possible because of your support.  So from the front line team at Skeinz: Robynne, Mary, Suzanne, & myself - THANK YOU.

In the meantime enjoy this little collection of images from the Mill entitled - "Yule be Right Mate"
What the Mill can rustle up in the way of a Christmas Tree

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Day at the Races

Essam (foreground) our dye house master with Peter, our engineer, studying the race day form.
I wanted to show you a few of the faces that make all the incredible yarn we have here at Skeinz.  This year to celebrate Christmas we all headed 40 minutes south to the Waipukurau country Christmas race day.  It was a chance for the girls to get of their hat's & fascinators & for the guys to pretend to know what they are doing when it comes to placing a bet!

Anne, Dot & Piri - all part of the finishing team who handle the yarns after they have been milled.

Karen looked great in her fascinator!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Season's Upside Down

Our very own 'Sliver Snow'
 One of the strange conundrums we grow up with here in New Zealand is all the Winter imagery around the Christmas holiday.  For us, Christmas falls in the middle of Summer.  So instead of cold dark days & nights - think sunshine, barbeques, & heading to the beach.  It also means that from a knit perspective it is more fine yarns & lighter projects - but that's not to say we aren't thinking knitting.  I personally love catching up on my reading, researching Ravelry projects & planning my projects for the New Year.  At skeinz.com we have also set up a super holiday specials category - yarns at extra special prices regardless of where in the world you might be.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Crafting for Christmas

From Annemarie's Crochet Blog, these trees would look great in Skeinz Urban
There is still time to get the needles & hooks working to add a little yarn pleasure to your Christmas.
The first port of call for patterns has to be Ravelry. 

Just enter Christmas into the pattern search criteria & quicker than Rudolphs whisker you'll have thousands of patterns to choose from.  Here is a selection of my favourites - all of which would work well with Skeinz yarn.

Christmas Bells - Pattern by Debbie McGrath
You can even knit Santa!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Yarn, yarn & more yarn!

At last I come up for air! I have been downstairs checking stocks in the warehouse, forward orders & what’s new - so much to do after being away.

Firstly on the restocking front: I have updated stocks in Vintage, Harvest, Perendale, Southlander, Urban, Merino Soft, Moondance & Naked. There are still lines yet to be received, but much of the colours in the ranges have been updated. Harvest is now down to the last colours - so stock up as I can’t guarantee that it will be respun in the new year. Also the base stock of Moondance has now all being dyed up - so what we have in stock is it before it to disappears.
Naked Skeinz: A new spin batch of the DK MW has been booked in, so it is coming. So to is the organic - raw materials have been the hold up here. Good news is Naked Possum is now back, as too is Naked Sock.
Vineyard Colours.jpg
The 6 new colours in the Vineyard Series
So what’s new Pussycat?

A new Limited Edition range under the Skeinz Label - Vineyard colours. A classic 100% Wool Shetland style 4ply in colours that reflect the HB vineyards where we live. Perfect to be knitted on their own or ideal for colour work - very sharply priced at $4.00 a 50gm ball.

We also have a new URBAN colour - Leafy Mint is one of my favourite colours from the Perendale range & we also used this in Daisy Chain (called Sorbet) as well. It’s great to have it in the MW Urban range as it is the perfect contrast to Clover, Ice, & Pale Pink. It is also a great Baby shade.
MS Coconut Ice.jpg
babes will look sweet in a little Coconut Ice
Speaking of babies….

The last of the ‘Ice’ Limited Edition colourways for Merino Soft has arrived - Called Coconut Ice, it is the classic combination of Baby Pink & white. It’s been in the shop for a week & it’s just romping out the door - it too has the special LE pricing of just $4.50 a 50gm ball.

SK Kid Hibiscus DK.jpg
Vibrant Hibiscus wool/kid DK
Also romping is the Skeinz Wool/Kid mohair DK. The random colours have really sparked up our Spring knitting & having now seen a number of finished items, reports back from knitters is they love the extra softness & drape the Kid adds to the blend. So we have added a few Solid shades to the range.

First is Hibiscus - a reddy orange or orangey red (depending on your point of view!), it looks amazing with Boa, secondly is Pesto, a rich zingy citrusy Lime green & lastly a moorish Chocolate brown. All are great value at $4 a ball

SK Kid Pesto DK.jpg
Add some punch with some Pesto

If you like the zing of Pesto - it has also been dyed off in a LE colourway in Whisper Mohair alongside SeaSpray. These colours will brighten up your wardrobe or add some flash to your homewares.

Whisper Seaspray LE.jpg
Stylish SeaSpray

If you want to buy Skeinz yarn for gifts, we will gift wrap them for you for free. The fine print for this is: Each recipient will have to be done as a separate order - we can’t bundle orders together for free postage (unless your order more than $50 per individual). Also if you are wishing to send/receive from Overseas - we too are bound by the overseas postage deadlines for Christmas. Here in NZ, however it’s business as usual!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Knit Romney!

You win just for having such a great name Mr. Romney!

I was very fortunate to live in USA as an exchange student in the late 1980's & ever since I have had a fascination with American politics.  Let's face it it is so much more interesting than our Kiwi version.

November is medical conference season for my husband and now that our boys are old enough to have some 'Granny' time, we head away tomorrow for 12 days up in Chicago.  This means that every 4 years we hit the US in the middle of election fever.  I couldn't let this go.  Firstly we are heading to Obama country so it may seem a little arse about face that we are having a promotion using Mitt Romney. But lets face it, when you have the same surname as New Zealand most populous sheep breed - well I'm sorry I just can't let that one go.  So it's Knit Romney time at skeinz.com - with discounts on all our Southlander hanks, made from NZ's very own Romney sheep.

So win or lose Mitt - just for your name your a winner on our book - Knit on Mr Romney!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Freaky Fibre

The 'Creepy Carder'
What a cow would wear to a knit Halloween party!
 In honour of Halloween today I thought I would try & find the freakiest, most goulish images around the mill that I could, but after I realised that that included posting pictures of most of the staff I thought better of it and stuck to the fibre!!

Pumpkin anyone?

Bubble, bubble, toil & trouble

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Desk Duty

A desk tidy is needed!
In my bid to be more disciplined about posting more often, & getting as much done for Spring & Summer arrivals here in Napier, I have been pretty busy.  So today I am pulling desk duty to get through as much as I can.  As mentioned previously, we are now signed up as a Ccampaign for Wool partner & we are very excited about what we can do to spread the wool message.

So as you can see I have received some marketing material from CFW including some bumper stickers. 

My marketing material from CFW

Do you want one?  If so - when you place your order at skeinz.com, just enter 'Bumper' in the comments box & we will include one in your order! 

We'll also enter you into the draw for the Shades of Winter book.
My next job after posting this is to swatch up the cream wool yarn sitting next to the CFW material - I am sooooo excited about this, we are experimenting with some finer micron single origin wool yarns - this is where I need 'squish-ivision', it is just divinely soft - yum!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Fall of Spring

Spring/Fall Newsletter 2012

This is the beautiful thing about having an international yarn business - it's always knitting weather somewhere!  As the mercury starts rising here in the Southern hemisphere, for our friends in the North temperatures are starting to cool off & needles are starting to clack even more frantically.

Bolero in Village 'Boa' with 'Dex' in the background
At Skeinz the Mill has been very busy, I have been getting restocked after a busy New Zealand Winter & the theme of the new Spring/Fall yarns is certainly colour!  Earlier in the year I put together a collection of random shades in a collection of brights, tonals & neutral colours.  These colours have been used across a variety of different yarns to create a vibrant collection to help get your bursting into Spring or cosied up in Fall.

A Carnival of Colour!

The Village Collection
One of the new ranges to feature these colours is Village.  Village is a brushed alpaca yarn with a little wool for structure, it's super soft & knits up as a light worsted/worsted weight (8-12ply).  This blend is great as it give all the luxurious softness with out 'hairiness', so it is suitable for projects from children's garments all the way through to blankets, home wares, wraps & scarves. One of the very best things about Village is the price - just $5 a 50gm 122m ball!

Skeinz Wool/Kid in 'Ark'
 If your preferences run to smoother yarns, we have just spun a limited edition run of a light worsted (8ply/DK) yarn which is a 3 fold twist - two folds of 100% NZ wool & the third of Kid Mohair & Merino.  The result is a yarn that has a subtle sheen & extra drape created from the Kid/Merino fold.  This yarn is ideal for any garment project & also good if you have a design which requires a little extra drape.  Great value too for larger projects at just $4 a 50gm 101m ball.

Skeinz Sock/Lace in 'Bus' & 'Ark'
Just when you thought that you have had enough colour we have even more to show you!  Under the Skeinz Original label is a special ultra fine sock/lace.  What sock & lace!!!  Yes - Sock & Lace.  Sock because the yarn has 20% nylon making it ideal for light weight socks for hose & lace because the yarn is fine spun 3ply laceweight with ultra fine Merino & Possum for extra softness.  This a uniquely Kiwi yarn & one we are very proud of.  It's in 4 colours, two brights & two softer tonals.  An insanely amazing price of just $6 a 50gm 312m ball.  Very limited stocks of this product available.

Getting in the Mood

Moody Hues - A kiwi original yarn
Another uniquely Kiwi yarn using possum fibre is our Moody Hues.  A light worsted/aran (8ply-10ply) weight yarn which is a blend of Merino, Alpaca & Possum.  We have 4 random print colours to reflect 4 very different moods.  These yarns have been in store a few months and are selling like hot cakes.  If you haven't knitted with a possum yarn before - this is a great yarn to try, well priced and you only need a couple of balls for a beanie or cowl.

Luxury Lodge

Em models a slouch beanie in The Lodge
If you are wanting a quick Winter knit in a wool yarn that is very soft with a rustic twist we would love you to meet The Lodge.  Inspired by the colours & textures of New Zealand, The Lodge is a 12ply/Worsted weight yarn with a tweed effect.  It has a superb handle, so suitable to be worn against the skin in a cowl, hat or scarf, but I think The Lodge is crying out for a chunky cabled jumper or jacket to snuggle into on a cold Winters evening.  the Lodge is currently on sale with a whopping $1.50 off per ball.

The Lodge - a collection of great rustic colours

Campaign For Wool

Skeinz is very proud to now have a partner agreement in the Campaign for Wool.  If you aren't familiar with the campaign, this was launched by HRH Prince of Wales to increase the global awareness of the wonder fibre that is wool.  It's renewable, reliable & it's uses across a variety of industries is immense.  As a wool spinner & yarn retailer we are very passionate about wool.  We spin much of our wool yarns from raw fleece & we are proud of all the variety we can obtain in our wool yarns.  Make sure you check out the CFW website & join them on Facebook.

Campaign for Wool Prize Giveaway

To celebrate our membership as a CFW partner we are giving away a copy of Shades of Winter: Knitting with Wool by Ewa K. Andinsson, Ingalill Johansson.  It is a book packed with classical Scandinavian designs all with a contemporary twist.  Yet to be released, we have pre-ordered this book & will be making the draw on the 30th of November.  All you have to do is make an order with Skeinz.com & have it include one of the following ranges: The Lodge, Southlander, Vintage, Prism, Merino Soft, Moody Hues or Perendale.

One of my goals from now on is to get better organised at our social media - I am handicapped in this area (anyone who's friends with me on Facebook will know this!) but I am working hard on this flaw - so if you wanted to get hooked into all the places you can find Skeinz....we're on Facebook, also make sure you join our Ravelry group (my only social media success) & I promise to be more diligent about updating the blog!!
In the meantime... Keep calm & cast on!
Cheers Maree xx

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Getting Cosy

 We are excited to get behind the Creative Napier Tree Cosy event again this year.  This is where knitters & crocheters 'yarn bomb' the palm trees down Napier's Emerson street.  Last year saw the bright wooly creattions capture the hearts & minds of locals & visitors alike.
If you think you's like to whip up a fun tree cosy, it can be something as small (like the collar pictured above) or as large as you like.  The theme this year is HOT - contact me at Skeinz & get knitting!  Cosies go up on the 22nd of September.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

KAN and Penguins

Stocking up at the KAN market
Knit August Nights 3 wouldn't be the success it is without the support from Skeinz.  You can check out some of the happenings at KAN:3 here, meanwhile the staff at Skeinz, especially Mary, Peter, Robynne & Ian were all kept very busy feeding the yarn addictions of the Kan-annites.

Skeinz hosts two tours & also appears at the knitters market on the final day.  It was a great event & a great way for us to introduce new yarns to a committed yarn public, that just ate them up.

Skeinz has also been featuring in the media again, with a 3 page article in Country Threads Magazine & in a recent edition of The Twist Collective about the penguin project.

Speaking of which - the below are photo's of the Havelock North Scout troop building Little Blue penguin burrows for Cape Sanctuary - all made possible from the donation for the Skeinz Penguin Fund.  So if you have knitted for or bought a penguin - this is all your good work too!

Thank you to Tamsin Ward-Smith from cape Sanctuary for the images.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Show & Tell

The Poplar Scarf using Harvest Saffron

We are also luck to have a number of designers now using Skeinz yarns to showcase their new designs.  A few recent releases are:

Simply Beautiful
The Poplar is a pattern collection by Julia Stanfied The Scarf features Harvest Saffron & her Poplar baby Blanket features Merino Soft Baby Leaf - all patterns are simple, classical & a valuable additional to your pattern collection.

A must have for busy boys
Also new to the designing fold is Sarah Ronchetti - her Zipped Up vest is a must have to any mother with busy boys or girls this Winter.  Seen knitted here in Harvest New Leaf.

So cool you'd want one in every colour imaginable!
Lastly in this designing Trio is Rhiannon McCulloch - she designs under the Theatre of Yarns umbrella & has recently released Gangstar - a great childens pattern.  Fun funky & very practical.  Knitted here in Harvest Geranium & Urban Coffee.

Make sure you support these local designers in purchasing their patterns & we hope to bring you regular show & tell updates of what is happening with our budding designers downunder.

If you are a knit designer & have a pattern you would like us to share - email me & we will add you to our show & tell roll call!

Friday, April 27, 2012

First Funds Distributed!

L-R: Neil from Forest & Bird, Brendan from Skeinz, Tamsin from Cape Sanctuary

We have been very excited this week to have distributed the first funds raised by the Skeinz Penguin Rescue Fund.  Three thousand dollars was divided between Forest & Bird who will use the money towards the BOP Shorebird clean up fund - helping the penguins that had their homes destroyed by the Rena spill & Tamsin Ward-Smith from Cape Sanctuary, who overseas a Little Blue Penguin burrowing programme, helping LBP get re-established around Hawkes Bay coastline.

We are still working on our fundraising efforts & Flip, our very popular LBP mascot which has the authentic penguin call is now back in stock.  So if you are stuck for a gift for a friend or family member - give them a Skeinz Penguin mascot & continue to keep helping the penguins!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Good Energy

Our jumpers in the Mercury campaign
If you were anything like me - I almost dropped my drink & fell off my chair when I saw the new Mercury Energy 'Good Energy'  TV commercials air recently.  If you haven't seen the commercial - watch here for yourself. 

Peggy with her LBD
We are thrilled that the team at Mercury Energy think our penguin project has 'Good Energy' - we have sent the team at Mercury their very own Peggy complete with her own wardrobe, including the LBD pictured above.  Make sure you check out Mercury's website & the fundraising they are doing for Starship hospital.

On the Skeinz Penguin Rescue Fund fundraising front - we are about to hand over two cheques.  Both parties have been contacted & we are just co-ordinating the handover with their representatives - so watch this space.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hiding in plain sight.

My version of the Nicklas Cardigan from MillaMia.
When you work around so much yarn like I do you have to become very hardened to temptation & a sort of 'Yarn Blindness' starts setting in after a while.  Like an addict you start prowling around the mill seeking new yarns, new fibres, new colours - all to feed that need of what is next, new & exciting.

Over the non existent Summer months in Hawkes Bay, I took on a small commission piece for a friend.  Usually I avoid these as I barely have time to do my own knitting, or knitting for Skeinz, but in this case I was caught at an overally generous moment & agreed to knit a toddler cardigan, on the proviso that I had no fixed deadline. I was provided the pattern & as the sex of the child was undetermined, I got free reign on the colours. Merino Soft White, Navy & Lime.

Nicklas Cardigan from MillaMia.com
The pattern (from MillaMia) printed in the May 2011 issue of the Australian WW was designed for 4ply merino - so our Merino Soft fit the bill perfectly.  Now Merino Soft is one of our oldest yarn ranges.  NZ babies have been enveloped by its gentle caress for decades & I hadn't knitted a project in it for years.  So I cast on the project in late Spring & slowing chipped away at it over the holiday months completing it last week.  This is when the revelation happened.  The more I worked on this, the more I kept thinking how good the yarn was to work with.  How soft, great stitch definition, excellent bold colours.  Where on earth had this wonder yarn being hiding?

Swatching & prep work for Cria
Just as I was completing this project I was also swatching for another.  A knit along with a couple of friends of Ysolda Teague's Cria from her book Little Red in the City.  I swatched Prism Limited edition colour Dark Cerise, Harvest's New Leaf, Vintage. All reached the required gauge - just, but they weren't quite right.  Then again, like a blinding light it hit me - Merino Soft.  So  I swatched Merino Soft Barney Purple & the reached the required gauge effortlessly.  How could this be - why have I not seen this yarn before?
Like a blind woman after cataract surgery I was seeing what was right in from of me fresh again in a new radiant light.  Merino Soft 4ply - Hiding in plain sight.