Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Just Cruisin'

Vintage Combinations - celebrating Cruising & Art deco

We are very lucky here at The Yarn Kitchen.  Our Mill is based in Napier, Hawkes Bay on New Zealand east coast.  It's sunny, coastal and historic, having the largest concentration of original Art Deco architecture in the Southern hemisphere.

Around 50 ships dock in Napier during Cruise Season
This means that from Spring through to early Autumn, Napier hosts tens of thousands of cruise ship visitors.  We see plenty of them at our Skeinz Shop and they add colour and vibrancy to our lovely city.

Art Deco Napier - Our Mill Technical Direcor Ian Kelly picture in the Red MG with his wife Maureen.
I often blog about where our inspiration comes from for colours and ranges: Nature, sunsets, places, people - in this case it is those visitors who we welcome to our shores to soak up the Art Deco splendor and sunshine of our fair city.

The Vintage Cruise Collection
The obvious yarn choice for this limited edition was Vintage, one of our first Skeinz yarn's and one that took it's inspiration directly from the Art Deco culture here.  So the next step was finding colours that reflected - what if Deco went not just seaside, but ship side?

The ultimate nautical combo: Navy with Porcelain & Carmine
Having a Navy in the range was colour choice #1.  Navy is a colour that has been out of vogue in recent years, but for our Cruise collection navy, we juice the colour up so it has an almost indigo edge to it - it's rich and saturated, without being bleak or cold.  Teamed up with Carmine and Porcelain from the Vintage range it makes the perfect nautical trio - vintage, retro, classic.

Great friends:  Grey with Coral & Aqua
Colour #2 in contrast is the palest shades of Grey.  It's that slight whisper of Spring sea fog that often greats the ships as they arrive into port.  It's a subtle colour that makes an amazing contrast, it's less blue than Pewter and goes with all the other colours in the collection.

Aqua with Porcelain & Oilskin
Aqua with Sweetcorn & Grey

From fog to foam, colour #3 is just called Aqua and it is taken from the colour that the ocean around the Napier Port takes on during a fine still morning.  It's a chameleon colour, changing it's mood depending on who it is paired with, looking chic and classical when out with Vintage Oilskin and Porcelain, slightly flirty when playing with Vintage Grey and Sweetcorn and looking dangerous when out on the town with Vintage Navy & Nasturtium.

Coral is the ultimate party girl - here with Sweetcorn & Pistachio
Lastly, by no means least, is Coral, our 4th and last colour in the collection.  This is the party girl who makes sure everyone is having fun whilst on board and on shore. Playful when with Pistachio & Sweetcorn, sophisticated when she is with her cabin mates:  Grey, Navy & Aqua.  Coral is that colour which will liven up your wardrobe & wants to have fun.
So if you are cruising this season & are visiting Napier - we'd love to see you.  Check out our website for opening hours & Bon Voyage!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Getting Scrappy

The' Scraps Bag Blanket' get started last night
When you are a prolific knitter, as I am, the inevitable happens... Leftovers and scraps.
Anything from two or three balls from a garment project or half a ball or a wee butterfly of colour surviving after a nail biting round of yardage chicken. It's rare that you don't end up with some scraps after your yarn meal.

I recycle the wool scouring bags that arrive at the mill for project and scrap bags.
Mine end up in a cotton wool scouring bag, and if I'm honest, there's more than one rolling around my stash cupboard. I give a massive amount away, especially the smaller amounts, to my aunt who loves knitting these incredible baby and children's beanies for families of the East Coast, north of my home town of Gisborne. She's knitted hundreds of them and they are so well received. Others knit charity blankets or the classic fish and chip jumpers.

Just a small sample of the incredible beanies knitted by my aunt.
For me, I decided several years ago to use all those scraps to knit or crochet projects to make our own home comfortable. There is something very homely and special about items made for comfort, made by you, in your home for the pleasure of your family and friends. They grace the backs of our couch, on the couch, on the beds and loved by myself, the boys' and the animals of our home in equal measure.

Just a couple of the 'Scrappy' projects from last summer.
The thought of knitting in a NZ Summer isn't for all, for me the ritual of doing some yarn craft at night is very much part of my evening 'sleep hygiene' routine and during the school holidays, having a project in my bag to whip out at the beach, pool or over the festive break is welcome. Much talk has been around 'mindfullness' like it is something very new or trendy, but as crafters we all know, and have known for generations, that this is so much more than a 'quaint pastime', I am just so pleased that the mainstream have now caught up. Whatever brings you to hte yarn craft door, we will always welcome you with open arms, needles, hooks and yarn!

This is the blanket from a couple of years ago - it is my son's favourite.
So as the sunshine days become longer and brighter, a cotton bag had been retrieved, a hook dusted off and the beginnings of an organic square design started.

One of my first 'scrappy' projects - a log cabin cushion.

What are you doing this summer?

Over out our Skeinz Facebook page and Ravelry group we are holding a post and win competition.

Summer Post & Win Competition.

So what is your Summer project - what have you done in the past or what do you have planned?
Post completed or planning and WiP progress images into the Facebook or Ravelry thread - every post gives you an entry into the draw.
We will draw this at the end of January - so you have plenty of time and the prize will be an amazing DK colour collection made up of over 20 balls of Skeinz yarn. You can choose from one of three themes: Rainbow Child, Contemporary Chic or Down to Earth...
Post away - spot prizes will be drawn across the Summer - so good luck!