All posts by Sam Gilbert

Two new Zealana pattern books dropping this week!

To celebrate our lovely new colours throughout the Zealana Collection we have made two fantastic new pattern books with 16 gorgeous designs altogether. Take a browse on our website under “Yarns” here or follow us on Instagram and Facebook for inspiration and pics! We have collaborated with the ever talented team at Vogue Knitting, working with 12 fabulous designers including Yoko Hatta, Josh Bennett and Mari Lynn Patrick.


Symbiosis Blanket designed by Mari Lynn Patrick
We love the Symbiosis Blanket designed by Mari Lynn Patrick using Zealana Heron in colour “Cloud Blue”. Pattern is in the new Heron book!
Alcove Cardigan designed by Yok Hatta using Zealana Heron


Our new Heron book includes eight gorgeous patterns that perfectly show off the robust texture of our artisan heathered yarn. With 80% Fine New Zealand Merino and 20% sumptuously soft Brushtail Possum fibre, these garments will be ever so comfortable and cosy!


Dividing Line Shawl designed by Jacquiline van Dillen using Zealana Rimu using new colours ‘Kowhai’ and ‘Slate’ along with ‘Oceanwave’. This pattern is in the Rimu and Kauri Fingering book!


Our second book is a mixture of patterns using Fingering weight in two of our most popular blends – Kauri and Rimu. Both from our Performa series of yarns, Kauri is made using 60% Fine New Zealand Merino, 10% Silk and 30% Brushtail Possum whereas Rimu has 60% Fine New Zealand Merino and 40% Brushtail Possum. The addition of silk in Kauri creates a lustre in the finished fabric, and Rimu has slightly more of a fibre burst for the higher percentage of Possum. The benefit of these two fingering yarns is they are interchangeable, so you can mix and match any of the colours to work for all eight patterns in the new book!


Designed for men, the Habitat Pullover designed by Josh Bennett uses Zealana Heron in colours ‘Dark Navy’, ‘Firelight’ and ‘Silver’, pattern is in the new Heron book!


Belvedere Lace Shawl is designed by Yoko Hatta
The beautifully dainty Belvedere Lace Shawl is designed by Yoko Hatta using Zealana ‘Pearl’. This pattern is in the Rimu and Kauri Fingering book!


Get in touch with your local Zealana stockist to see if they are stocking the new books and colours! If your local yarn store doesn’t stock Zealana don’t worry, lots of our stockists do provide online shopping, otherwise feel free to let your local yarn shop know about our unique collection, they are more than welcome to get in touch!


 Overgrown Wrap designed by Karin Fernandes
The Overgrown Wrap designed by Karin Fernandes features beautiful cabling in Zealana Heron. This colourway is ‘Lichen’ and the pattern can be found in the new Heron Book!

Zealana in Italia!

The tiny hilltop town of Montisi, Italy welcomes groups of knitters every Fall.  Susan Wolcott, founder of Trips for Knitters has been organizing these retreats for the past decade, and Zealana has been a happy sponsor for the past two years.  Most of the knitters go to Montisi to soak up some of the famous Tuscan sun while improving their knitting skills, but they leave feeling a connection to the people in the town as well.  It’s not usually a tourist destination, so the local merchants gear up for the extra business and welcome the knitters back for another year.  The local gift shop stocks up on olive oil shampoo (it always sells out!), and the tiny grocery store even had special bags printed that could be used for knitting.

Photo source:
Photo credit: Elizabeth Cochran

Kennita Tully has been the teacher and designer for these retreats for several years now, and has made many friends in Montisi.  She wanted to do something special for the locals they work with for the retreat, so in 2015 she started work on the “Montisi Collection”, designing garments for specific individuals around their lifestyle.  She chose five people, interviewed them about their preferences in color and style, looked at other sweaters in their wardrobes and took measurements. Last month at the retreat, she presented the sweaters to their new owners.

Four of the garments were made with Zealana yarns:

Liz Cochran is a British expat who moved to Cortona to paint and is now a successful artist living in Montisi.  She teaches water colour to the knitters on retreat and hosts a historic walking tour of the town on Sunday mornings.  Liz is also an accomplished Blues singer with her own album.  Her elegant vest is knit in Zealana Air Lace in Burgundy.


Massimo is Liz’ partner and the property manager for the villa where we stay Villa Maddalena. He also plays guitar in a rock band on Friday nights.  His pullover is made with Kauri Fingering, in Blue Awa, Red Tuhi, Ashen and Dark Napo.  Zampa is Liz and Massimo’s very talented dog.  Since he goes everywhere with Massimo, he needed a matching sweater!


Roberto is the owner of a very unique restaurant in Montisi, called “Roberto’s”. He is a master sommelier and a follower of the slow food movement. The food he serves is all about where it comes from and how it affects us, preserving tradition and socialization during meals.  Roberto sources everything he serves from local farms and orchards, teaching the guests about the slow food movement as he serves his delicious meals. Kennita designed his cardigan using Kauri Worsted in Natural, for those cool days when he’s out looking for fresh buffalo mozzarella.


Kennita’s patterns will be available in December or early January – check or Kennita’s store on Ravelry for updates and her other designs.  She has already chosen five more Montisi residents for next year’s designs, when the Montisi Collection will become a book!


Photography of the garments by Steve Tully.