Aroha Knits Revamping + FREE New Pattern

What busy and stressful these past few months have been! Between traveling back to the States for a visa renewal, hosting a second round of the 5 Shawls, 5 Days challenge, taking part in Master Brand and really taking a good look at what it is I want to do and where I want to take Aroha Knits, I am exhausted!

But I'm also on fire and excited to be pushing Aroha Knits into a new direction. So what's new? 

Well let's start with the obvious, the MAJOR facelift. Before Aroha Knits was pink, now it's blue! I've been working closely with Chelsea Fitch of knitfitch.com on my visual branding - she not only created my new logo, but she also helped me determine my visual story, the colors, the imagery, the feel... I'm still working on updating my Instagram to be taking that same direction, but my website finally feels as it should be! Yay! You'll also hopefully find that it's much easier to navigate around now. Depending on who you are and what magic you like to create (knitters, aspiring designers and indie yarn dyers), you'll find a section catered to you and how you would like to experience Aroha Knits.

My patterns have also gotten a change as well. You'll be able to see the new look in the FREE download I have for you in this blog post.

PATTERN NO LONGER AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD

But I think the biggest change and shift that Aroha Knits has experienced is... my why. Why do I do what I do? What drives me? What's my mission in this industry? What mark do I want to leave behind? I shared my story on Instagram but I'm going to write it here again for you to take it all at once.

My mission is to evolve and to grow. I am passionate about the transformative magic of knitting in all its forms; from transforming yarn into unique hand knit designs, to transforming my life from dissatisfaction to fulfillment, to empowering other magic-makers to make similar transformations.

I love putting myself right in the middle of the creation process of transforming yarn into a unique hand knit design. Watching and feeling the stitches coming together to create a tapestry of color and texture is such a magical feeling, one that’s easy to get addicted to and lost in, and it’s always an extremely satisfying moment when I take my project off of the blocking mats and think, “Wow, I thought of this idea and I made it come to life!”. Designing quietens my anxiety and combats depression, and honestly, it also makes me feel productive and that I’m contributing to the betterment of society. I incorporate personal stories and my cultural heritage into my designs so that I don’t create “just another pattern”, but something with meaning and significance, to leave a long-lasting mark in the fiber community. I want to leave my legacy in the fiber community, even after I’m long gone, to be known as the designer who drew upon her Maori heritage to create unique designs. 

I strive for a life of financial self-reliance on my design work, so I can continue to do what I love the most, making transformations happen. Like Merlin of Camelot, I like to lock myself away in my tower for days in order to create magic without distraction, then venturing out at the end to share my creations, and knowledge, with the community. Designing transformed my life from dissatisfaction to fulfillment, so of course I have the drive to do the work needed in order for me to be able to continue to do so. It’s challenging to make a living as a designer in the industry’s current state, but I want to play a part in shifting the perception that a designer’s work is worth paying for and that we are unapologetic about making it a career choice.

Part of creating magic is teaching others how to use their internal spark to manifest their own transformations. I don’t want to keep what I’ve learned all to myself - it’s greedy, selfish and only serves to hinder me in the long run. “A rising tide lifts all boats”. That’s why I strive to be generous with my knowledge of knitting and design; being a catalyst for people’s transformations is extremely rewarding and empowering the community, even a little bit a time, strengthens the fiber industry as a whole. Because I’ve experienced first hand the rewards that knitting and designing have brought to my life, not just financially but also mentally and emotionally, I want to empower others to push past their fears and self-doubts to discover the same rewards for themselves, whether it’s in knitting or designing. There is magic to be found in both knitting another designer’s pattern and creating your own; both involve transforming yarn into a project you can feel proud of, boosting your confidence and creativity. It doesn't matter how: use your creativity to make transformations happen!

Transforming yarn, transforming my life and transforming you: it’s these three aspects that help me leap out of bed every morning and push me past my own fears and self-doubts to ignite magic and spark transformations.  

So, in honor of my new mission of making transformations happen, here's a free pattern for you to download so you can start transforming your yarn too! This pattern has been fully tech-edited, test knit, complete with photos and a special link to a private page for video tutorials on any of the more fiddly stitches. So you're basically getting the quality of a paid-for pattern, for FREE!

PATTERN NO LONGER AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD

I would love to hear your thoughts magic-makers! Do you love the change as much as I do? I feel so excited to be taking you on a new journey with me!

Chrysanthemum Shawl Beta Release

This week I’m bringing you a special treat—a free pattern! The Chrysanthemum Shawl is one of my latest collaboration pieces. This one is between the talented Amelia Putri, of Papiput Yarns, and me!

Amelia Putri has the amazing title of being Indonesia’s FIRST independent yarn dyer. Her mission is to introduce knitting to her community, and introduce the knitting community to Indonesian culture. We have both been huge admirers of each other’s work, so a collaboration was bound to happen.

Amelia’s contribution, to this project, is a skein of her wonderfully fabulous Silky Merino lace-weight yarn: 766 yards of soft, silky goodness. Even better, she created a special colorway for this collaboration that we named Ayu Wahine, “Beautiful Woman”, a combination of Japanese and Maori words.

The resulting piece is the Chrysanthemum Shawl, an all-over lace piece featuring four different lace patterns coming together to form a painting of elegance, grace and beauty. Pair it up with your favorite skeins of lace-weight yarn and you’ll have an eye-catching shawl, which you’ll always want to wear.

The Chrysanthemum flower represents optimism and joy, two values that both Amelia and I hold dear! May this shawl bring you joy and positivity, as well as beauty, to your handmade wardrob!

A beta pattern means that the pattern has not been tested or edited, but pattern support is still available—email me if you have any questions or problems! The pattern will be available for free on my website until April 15th, by which time it will have been tech edited, corrected, and made available for purchase on Ravelry. 

Beta No Longer Available

And Special giveaway! You can also enter to win a skein of Papiput’s Silky Merino in Ayu Wahine! Just follow the rules below to be entered in! Giveaway ends April 8th.

Pata Shawl in Creative Knitting

Well, here it is! Another pattern in a magazine! At the beginning of 2015, I made it one of my goals to get at least one of my patterns into a knitting publication, and at the beginning of 2016, my managed to surpass that goal by getting three patterns accepted. One in Chicago Knits, Holla Knits! and now Creative Knitting. It wasn't all sunshine and roses, though, I had received way more rejections than acceptances but I'm learning what makes a good submission proposal and what gets me immediately in the rejection pile. 

But that is not what you are here for! You came here because you heard that I have a free pattern somewhere. And that I do indeed. Introducing the Pata Shawl!

Can you see the "water drops" in the leaves?

Pata is Maori for "drop of water", based off of the little bobbles in the lace resembling droplets. This is a crescent shawl with the same top-down construction as the Puaka Shawlette - yarn over increases are worked every row to achieve the shape. Blocking it helps stretch it into the proper form but even when the fabric relaxes (as it did in the sample photos here), it still makes for an elegant piece.

This shawl was chosen as the featured pattern of Creative Knitting's Spring Issue, meaning that it was selected for CK's upcoming KAL, starting this Friday. And as the featured pattern, it is being offered for free for a limited time. So if you download the pattern, consider also joining in on the KAL (pretty please, I'm sure it would make Kara, the editor, happy)!

1. Visit CreativeKnittingMagazine.com and click on the “Featured Pattern” tab. There, you'll find the Pata Shawl, available for as long as the summer 2016 issue is on the newsstand. Click “download,” and it's yours for free! 

2. Visit Annie's to purchase Plymouth Baby Alpaca Lace or Plymouth Linaza in the color of your choice. 

3. On January 22nd, visit the Creative Knitting Fans Group on Ravelry to get started.

Free Beta Download: Nakahi Shawl

If Crocodile Dundee was the type to wear shawls, it would probably be this one. The overlapping decreases in the lace stitch create a scale like quality in the fabric and pair it up with an eccentric, hand-dyed yarn, you find yourself with a Nakahi (Maori for snake). The lace pattern is easy to memorize, making for a great relaxing and mindless knit. This is also a quick knit due to decreases used to form the wedges, so the stitch count never gets overwhelming and you'll find that the rows just fly by. The Nakahi Shawl makes for a perfect accessory for those who love working with variegated, stippled or other eccentric color-ways.

The shawl was knit up in The Yarns of Rhichard Devrieze's Peppino, in the color-way Visions of Paradise. To learn more about this eccentric little yarn and for a chance to win a skein of this yarn, see my video and written review here.

Beta Not Longer available

The beta will be available as free download until December 11th, so make sure to save the pdf onto your desktop. All I ask in return is that you add the pattern to your faves on Ravelry! Sign up for the Newsletter for Knitters so you can receive notification of the official release and get an exclusive discount of the official pattern (and you'll get a free download of the SeaShell Shawl)!

Additionally, I’m hosting a mini-KAL for the beta release of the Nakahi shawl to help you get your holiday knitting into gear. Whether you’re knitting for yourself or a loved one, knitting as a group really helps keep you on track and get your projects DONE! There will be prizes for those who participate! 

This mini KAL will run until December 21st, and the official pattern will be released live onto Ravelry December 28th. Please note that this will be a paid-for pattern (which will be tech edited, corrected for errors, contain updated photos). If you enjoyed knitting the shawl and want to support small indie designers, get the upgrade as a small thank you.


As a small heads up, the mega ultra Indie Designer Gift-a-Long 2015 sale ends tomorrow. Use the code giftalong2015 to get select designs 25% off. Click the link to get your GAL pattern now!

http://bit.ly/akgal

Combining Culture and Creativity: the Kumara Cowl

Today sees the release of the Kumara Cowl, a design that you'll be able to find in the new Holla Knits! issue. 

Let me take a moment to share the story behind this pattern: Kumara represents a lot of firsts for me. This was my first design proposal that I ever sent in and luckily, it happened to be my first acceptance. I've continued to submit plenty more design proposals to other magazines since then and have had to learn how to handle rejections (which I think I'm used to by now), but having my first design accepted really helped my motivation and confidence moving forward. So thank you Allyson for believing in my design!

Secondly, Kumara is my first pattern where I have incorporated a taniko motif into the design (I designed the Ngaru Hat after Kumura). Blending the Maori arts and knitwear designs has always been on the forefront of my mind ever since I picked up my needles to learn how to knit. 

Kumara is a seamless, tubular cowl that combines modern knitting with the Maori culture, with trendy stripes and a simple fair-isle motif that is rich in history and culture. The colorwork motif lends itself from Maori taniko designs, a form of traditional weaving. This particular patterning is called “rau kumara” or sweet potato leaves: an important stable food in Māori cuisine and is associated with the Māori god Rongomātāne, the god of peace. Long enough to be wrapped up cozily around the neck, you’ll be glad to have this piece in your wardrobe during the winter months!

I would like to thank two people for this design. Firstly, of course, Allyson Dykhuizen for accepting my design. It had been such a pleasure working with her - such great communication and friendly yet professional responses. I certainly hope I get the chance to work with her again in the future. Holla Knits! really encourages out of the box and unique designs, something that really forces the designer to step out of their comfort zone and try something new!

Secondly, I want to thank Julie Asselin for the yarn support. I used her yarn line Sevilla for the blue and gold sample and it was such a pleasure to work with. I'll be posting a Yarn Cakes and Tea episode about this later this week so I'll be able to gush more about it then!

You can get the Kumara Cowl pattern at the link below! I'll also be uploading it onto Craftsy and LoveKnitting later in the week (more purchasing options for the people!).

 photo Ee2BtK1441997260_zpsnhj0udec.jpg

But I won't be ending this post without a giveaway! Just leave a comment below (with your Rav ID) and I'll be picking out a winner at random this Friday! (Please note that the comments may not be mobile friendly. I'm still trying to fix the issue but you'll have to use a desktop computer in order to comment).

Puaka Shawlette Giveaway

This is the last pattern release for this month: another one-skein wonder project, but this time it's a shawl! The Puaka Shawlette is a dainty, delicate crescent shawl knit top-down, featuring a textured stockinette body and an intricate lace border. It's certain to be a stunner! I'll be choosing three winners from entries in my Ravelry forum, IG and FB accounts.

How to Enter

On the Ravelry Forum

(Because the mobile version of the blog isn't nice for comments, I'll be moving the blog entries to my Ravelry forum instead!)

1. Please join my Ravelry group!

2. Leave a comment on the giveaway post.

On Facebook

1. Please like the FB page!

2. Leave a comment on the giveaway post (with your Ravelry ID).

3. For an extra entry, feel free to share the post (just let me know you shared it because FB doesn't always notify me of it!).

On Instagram

1. Please follow me on IG!

2. Tag a friend in the comments! 

3. For an extra entry, feel free to share the post and tag me under the "Tag People" option (right under where you write the caption). That way I can better keep track of those entries.

And that's it! I'll be announcing/contacting the winners the day of the pattern release!