Stitch some Ever After Gauntlets and a Eek Posy Cosy in #ShopShowcase with Skeinz in Napier, New Zealand.
How did you get started?
Skeinz is the retail face of the Design Spun spinning mill. For twenty five years the mill had a mill store selling oddments and batch ends, it was decided to revamp the store after we saw a demand to sell mill direct yarns to the wider public on the internet.
All the yarns are made onsite from locally sourced fibres where possible. As LYS started closing and shipping for yarn was increasing we wanted to be able to provide premium quality yarns which we had made to knitters everywhere.
Where are you located?
We are in Napier, in the Hawkes Bay region of New Zealand's North Island. Napier is known for its Art Deco architecture (the largest collection of buildings in the Southern Hemisphere and the second only to Miami internationally) wine (second largest wine region in NZ) and it is the wool hub for the North Island wool industry.
The store is located on our mill site in Onekawa, central Napier. Just seven minutes from the CBD. Customers can shop and from a specially installed window peak into the mill to see what is going on.
Which products do you specialise in?
Natural fibre yarns are our specialty. Especially wool yarns, Alpaca, Mohair and other rare fibres. We also make single or regional origin wool yarns: Like Organic Merino, Polwarth, Cheviot, Perendale, even rare breed Merino yarns from Arapawa or Stewart Island Merino's.
Without us sourcing these parcels of fibre for hand knitting yarns, they would be lost into the bulk wool clip and gone into basic carpet or textile production. We liberate it an create something very special.
Do you have a particular favorite product that you sell?
I love our classic Vintage Premium DK. It's made from long staple New Zealand crossbred yarn in a 4 fold construction. It has excellent structure when knitted, amazing stitch definition, wears incredibly well and has a lovely range of contemporary colours. followed very closely by our Silver Lining Rare Breed Merino collection - this is fine Merino which is so buttery to knit with and utterly squishable to wear.
What's on the stereo?
Classic easy listening with a kiwi bent.
In the Skeinz office where all the plotting and planning happens loud music is always guaranteed, currently deep house lounge...
Where else should we visit in your area?
If you are in Napier in late August attending Knit August Nights is a must - it's the largest knit/yarn retreat in New Zealand (www.knitaugustnights.co.nz)
You should also check out the Hawkes Bay Art Trail, a guide of all the other artisans working in the region & take the time to do an Art Deco walking tour. That is all before you head to one of the over three dozen wineries for a tasting or have some lunch.
Do you host any workshops, classes or special events?
Skeinz created the Skeinz Penguin Fund after the Rena oil spill disaster in 2011. Thousands of sweaters were knitted to aid the penguins during the clean up, of course way more than what was required. These sweaters were then sold on penguin mascots and all the profits went towards clean up of Little Blue penguin habitats in the effected areas and latterly to nesting projects at Cape Sanctuary in Cape Kidnappers for the Little Blue penguins & on penguin education on & around the Napier foreshore to help protect the urban population of Little Blue penguins that live around our urban coastline.
Skeinz is the major sponsor of Knit August Nights (August 26th - 28th 2016), this year there are 15 classes from both locally and internationally renown tutors. We open the mill up to the public so you can peak behind the scenes to see how yarn is made & ask the experts about the process.
Is there anything else you'd like us to know?
We are very active on Instagram with two accounts:
skeinzyarn - is what is happening in the shop.
yarnkitchen - is what is happening behind the closed doors in the mill.
Skeinz is also the largest supplier of Naked yarns to the Indie dye movement in Australasia (and growing rapidly abroard). We make a variety of undyed natural yarns in smaller accessible packs for small bespoke dyers to unleash their amazing creativity on.
Do you have a favorite craft, art or supply shop in your town that we should feature? Send us a message!