The Majacraft Blog The official blog of Majacraft

1Feb/180

New Year, New Bobbin Colour!

What a wonderful way to welcome in a new year! I have just closed voting and spent some (considerable) time! counting all the votes that were made to choose the Special Edition Bobbin colour of 2018! I am excited and I can tell you that it wasnt till I was about three quarters through the vote counting that I started to see a preference, it was suspenseful :)

Here are the four colours we picked to choose from:

Previous years have seen Lime Green, Purple, Pink, and an extra to celebrate our Anniversary in Lilac. When we chose the above colours it was with the hope that any of those colours would look wonderful with the already collected previous year colours too. I did have my own preference but I am not going to say what it was :D except I am glad I didnt have to vote as I really loved all the colours! The ones not chosen will be reprieved next year as options too so if your favourite wasnt chosen this year, it could be in 2019!

Heres a quick preview of past colours... and then I will reveal the new one!

And the 2018 Winner is....

I love it!

Here is my very rough photoshop impression of how the bobbins could look :)  

Thank you so much to everyone! And of course we cannot leave without a draw for five lucky bobbin recipients! Congratulations to...

Brenda Trammell

Lyndon Bradford Regan

Janine Studholme

Helena Wild

Cheryl Feary

We will go ahead and get these bobbins created to just the right colour (Eastern Blue!!) and we will send them to our draw winners and let you all know when they are available!

 

Filed under: Announcements No Comments
2Nov/170

Aura Club Extreme Yarn Challenge

Things have been pretty exciting over the last month in the Aura Club, as we have been running an 'Extreme Yarn' challenge! The Aura is a wheel that is MADE for extremes, it handles the biggest, bulkiest, most textured of yarns, taking it all in it's stride with rarely any need to hand wind onto the bobbin or even worry about it all fitting. We knew this already, but this challenge has also shown us the huge range of the Aura wheels and the people who own them! We saw extreme fine (Anne Lies) to extreme texture and colour (Joelle McCarthy), we have seen extreme plants, such as the nettle spun by Judy Kavanagh, the flax by Samantha Gehrmann, or the fresh grass spun by Isla Fabu.

We saw some extreme 'firsts' with such as Isabelle Rovero's very first yarn, and Sandi Hicks taking raw fleece to spun yarn for the first time. And we also saw some extreme colours and textures. I was blown away by Anne Lies super fine lace weight, I can only imagine the time that went into spinning that, and the control of the fiber, and then she came with the other extreme of the super textured bulky with the sheep add ins! Amazing :)

I will let the images below speak for themselves and I hope you enjoy the gallery! Clicking the pic will take you to the info :)

Before we go however, I just want to thank everyone who participated in this challenge, it has been eye poppingly exciting to see the level of innovation and experimentation people are coming up with, and I am very happy to say that every single yarn you see below was spun on an Aura! We started this club because we feel the Aura is a unique wheel that really allows Aura spinners the range needed to spin anything they can imagine, and this challenge has proven that Aura spinners have some amazing imaginations. I wish I could offer everyone a prize in the draw! I am grateful for all who participated sharing their work and inspiration with us. But now, I will draw the winner...!

And the prize of the awesome new Majacraft Niddy Noddy goes to..... 

Congratulations Samantha! We will contact you for postal info very soon!

Now lets enjoy the amazing entries!

28Oct/173

UK Fibre Retreat

Glynis and Owen are now home safe and sound again after their international travels, in which they had many adventures (and I am pretty sure Owen also caught some fish!). We shared some of their journey on our Facebook page, and in this post, Glynis shares with us a more in depth look at the retreat they attended in the UK, organised by Ruth of 'The Wheel Ewe.'  Thank you Glynis for sharing this with us!

                                                                         Statue at Bridlington Bay

 

With jet lag forgotten we can now reflect on the amazing Wheel Ewe Retreat that we attended in Edinburgh early in October. It was held at the very nice Capital Hotel, which provided us with excellent rooms and very good meals over the two days. Rooms for the workshops were spacious, well lit and nicely warm. Organised superbly by Ruth Robinson owner of The Wheel Ewe, the retreat attracted spinners from all around the UK as well as from Europe. So keen were many of them that they started arriving a couple of days before the  scheduled start.

Ruth had brought together a great mix of tutors with a huge amount of expertise and experience.  All of them are published authors of books on their specialist subjects.
Jane Deane kicked the retreat off with a journaling class. We were given wooden covers with a number of pages to insert once we had woven the cover design which was based on the style of Scottish artist, Charles Rennie Macintosh.

Journalling class with Jane Deane

Jane gave us a base picture that we were to look at closely and she directed us how make our way far enough into the picture  that we could design a yarn depicting the chosen part. There was heaps of fibre in all the possible colours for us to spin yarns for either of the two pictures supplied. It was a great exercise that was enjoyed by all.


During the event Jane also taught  spinning exotic fibres and it sounded as though the wallaby was a real challenge. I saw some great examples of the outcomes though.
Sarah Howard and Elisabeth Kendrick were there to teach several weaving classes which included pattern making and of were based around a rigid heddle loom.  The range of garments that these ladies had on display to show the possibilities of a simple loom was amazing. Every day they both appeared in some new and beautiful garment. This is Sarah wearing one of her woven garments.


DJ Stefek from the Shetland Islands inspired all in her Turkish spindling classes and  the beautiful fine work done by both her and her students was fantastic.

DJ Stefek spindling class

Janet Renouf Miller had silk spinning as her specialist subject and a wide range of options for using silk in spinning were taught.

Ruth herself taught an art yarn class, with tail spinning and also a brand new technique that she had  discovered herself. This was a fun class that I was pleased to have the opportunity to attend.

Ruth had asked me to show how to spin on a stylus and I must say the students were very fast learners and I think all mastered the technique very quickly. We spun merino sliver,  colourful rolags from the blending board, and lastly cotton sliver which is well suited to stylus spinning. This fibre caused a little perturbation, but again all turned out a good yarn.


Owen spent his time checking wheels for everyone which certainly was much appreciated. He had also prepared a short presentation for the attendees to see the Majacraft factory in operation and to see the people who make our products, Andy, Rob, Lance, Andrea, and Amanda, with Dylan and Toni helping out when needed.

Probably the best thing about retreats is the opportunity to meet and learn with other people who share your passion, and we absolutely loved meeting so many new friends.
We want to thank Ruth, her husband Jonathan, son Nathan, and daughters Sarah Jane and Anita, and friend Alex, for all their efforts in planning and delivering such a wonderful retreat. I do hope there will be more and fingers crossed that we will be invited to attend again.

 

18Oct/170

The Return of the Loom

Last week we relaunched our Dynamic Heddle weaving loom, the Majacraft variation on a rigid heddle loom. We created this loom some years ago, and included innovations we are still very proud of such as the variable dent reeds (hence 'dynamic!') and the rare earth magnet heddle attachment which makes the heddle super easy to move into each weaving position. Now, after a short hiatus we have tweaked the design and streamlined our hand building processes to re-release this loom for sale again!

This is a loom that has a huge range. Because of the variable dent reed it is possible to warp it with very bulky yarns, and if you are making a wearable item from your art yarns and bulky yarns you will find this gives your piece a fantastic drape along the length of it, rather than sitting flat, which is what usually happens when your bulky yarns are in your weft sitting across the width of the weave. In fact you can even almost keep the effect of wearing your handspun skein around your neck if you use a fine yarn in your weft and the art skein in your warp.

 

You can also use the variable dent reed to use a variety of thickness yarns in your warp, which gives the opportunity to create texture and interest in your piece.

With this loom you have a lot of freedom to play around and experiment with your yarns!

But not only can you get experimental with your unusual yarns and materials, you can also enjoy the ease of use with this loom creating more 'traditional' weavings, selecting a finer reed set (10 or 12 dent reeds are great for this!) and even adding a second heddle to create a wide range of patterns in your weaving. The following image is some double heddle weaving by Annick Keters (Belgium) created as a practice piece.

Double heddle weaving cloth detail

Double heddle weaving cloth detail

We are very happy to have this loom return to our product range, and are excited to continue seeing the amazing weavings people are creating with it. If you would like to see more incredible creations made possible with this loom and the creativity of current loom owners you can also visit our Dynamic Heddle Loom Facebook group, there is some wonderful inspiration being shared there and its a fun group for Majacraft Loom owners. If you are ready to become a Dynamic Heddle Loom owner youself  (yay!) you can now place your order with any of our wonderful Majacraft Dealers , they are also happy to help you in making choices on reed selection and accessories for your loom.

Happy Weaving!

Suzy

 

21Sep/173

21st Anniversary Celebrations at Majacraft!

September 2017 marks 21 years since the Poads started with Majacraft, and we have been making the best spinning wheels and tools we can make ever since! It is very rewarding to see some of the wheels made in those early days still out and about with their spinners, and just as rewarding to have been able to further develop and evolve Majacraft Wheels into our newest models, shipping all over the world!

We would like to mark this special occasion with something special and we have been busy planning some awesome anniversary treats this month. In fact, we are so thrilled to have reached this milestone, that we have decided to keep the celebrations going till the end of the year! Starting on the 20th of September and running through till 20 Dec 2017, we will be sending out free gifts with every Majacraft Wheel order you place with us! Keep reading for more details..

And what will those special gifts be? We would like to share with you two brand new products that will be launched during this celebration. These two products will be sent out initially as gifts with Wheel orders, but  after 1 October we will also be making them available to all our customers via our wonderful dealers worldwide.

Firstly we are proud to introduce our new Niddy Noddy! This Rimu and Bamboo niddy noddy is lightweight, easy to use, and comes apart to flat pack when you're out and about or when not in use. It will give you a standard 1.5m skein. The ends are made of curved, lightweight bamboo and they are easily fitted to the Rimu centre post with easy tighten bolts.

We also bring you a bonus bobbin! Lilac is a favourite of Glynis Poad, her grandmother grew Lilacs in her garden :) And so we have honoured her with her own Special Edition 21st Celebration Bobbin colour, a gift to every customer ordering a new Majacraft wheel  (except the Aura) during our celebration months! These will also be available to order from your local Majacraft Dealer from October 1st.

We will be offering a Special Gift with every Majacraft Spinning Wheel order made between 20 Sept to 20 Dec 2017

 

With your wheel purchase you will receive:

  • With all wheels (except the Aura)
    • The brand new Majacraft Niddy Noddy:
    • 2 Special Edition 21st Celebration Lilac Bobbins
  • With your Aura order:

This special occassion Gift offer is available on all spinning wheel orders made between 20 Sept to 20 Dec 2017. If you have been thinking about treating yourself and your fibre to a wonderful new wheel, this is a great time to make your order and pick up some extra goodies!

 

9Sep/179

New: Join The Aura Club!

If you are a Majacraft Aura owner, or considering becoming one. then we have something new to share with you! This is such a unique wheel, from its beautiful modern styling and New Zealand native timber materials, to the amazing 'modified double drive' system that give you detailed control for 'set and forget' spinning.

Because this wheel is so different, we wanted to celebrate it with you, Aura owners! We have created an exclusive Club, a place where we can: share news and updates on the Aura, welcome you to participate in monthly events, live streams, and challenges (with prizes!), where we can offer you occasional discounts specifically for Aura owners, and where you can share your own Aura adventures with us, and your fellow Aura owners.

We have also created something really special to gift you with your Aura Club Membership, we have designed a really useful (and decorative) little Wheel Hanger which we will post to you (no charge) on registration with the Aura Club.

If you are already a Registered Aura Owner please follow this LINK to register for the Aura Club. If you are a new Aura owner or about to become one (congratulations!) then just Register your Wheel on the link provided with it and you will be signed up for the Aura Club at the same time.  Once you have completed your Registration you will receive the link to gain entry to the Majacraft Aura Club (Closed Group) on Facebook.

We hope you will enjoy the upcoming activities and events we have planned! Our first kickoff event is a Live Stream on the 18th of September at 1pm (New Zealand Time) which will include some exclusive video of how and where your Aura is 'born', a tour of the Majacraft Workshops where your wheels are hand crafted by our small team!

We hope you and your Aura can join us for this, and future Aura Club Events!

See you soon!

 

 

 

14Jun/171

Its All About the Bags!

I have to admit to having a 'thing' about bags. If I ever feel like shopping for something really exciting, it always involves bags..  I have even purchased power tools purely because they came in a cute bag.. So of course, when Majacraft brings out a new bag it has to be news!

I frequently enjoy the excellent quality and protection the Little Gem bag provides when I am travelling..

Everything fits and there is room for bobbins and fibre, and I know it is protected and safe as well as being easy to pick up and carry!

Majacraft also offers bags of the same sturdy quality for the Rose and Suzie wheels, for the Fusion Engine, as well as a fitted bag for the Dynamic Heddle Loom (and yes the loom will be returning soon!).

And now we have a brand new bag! And I personally love this one so much I would even use it as a project bag just because it is so cool... However its REAL purpose is to store and protect your second Fusion Engine drum when not installed in your carder! This bag is purpose designed to fit that extra drum snuggly and securely, the solid quality zip is angled to make it very easy to take your drum in and out with no damage from sliding and no risk to your fingers either.

We know many of our Fusion Engine customers have either purchased both 72 and 128 tpi drums, or have later come back for the 'other' drum to extend the range of fibers they can card. (We have a nice little post here on how to choose the right carding cloth for your fibre)  The easy method of swapping drums means you can easily mix and match your carder to your stash. And now we have solved the problem of storing and transporting that second drum with this purpose made bag. And yes... I think I may also be purchasing an extra bag for my projects and spindles too (serious bag lady stuff here).. the carry handle on top makes it even more appealing for multi purposing!

Please contact your dealer for pricing in your country. We hope you will love this bag too!

Till next time,
Suzy

 

11Apr/174

Contact Us!

This is a little public service announcement post, prompted by some unexpected website issues (argh technology!)  It seems that our contact form is not working as it should, and while we are receiving your messages from the contact form, it is not sending us your email address with your message so we can't respond!

If you have tried to contact us in the last few weeks and NOT heard back, please send us an email direct to support@majacrtaft.co.nz so we can respond to you by reply mail.

We are very sorry about this, the problem is being worked on and hopefully resolved very soon! Meantime we are going to take some deep breaths we hope you will also enjoy a quiet moment at the beach with Suzys shell circle weave :)

 

Filed under: other stuff 4 Comments
27Feb/174

Majacraft Livestreams are coming!

Starting next month Majacraft will be hosting some special live broadcasts to both showcase their wheels and tools as well as answer your questions. Are you thinking of buying a wheel but aren’t sure which one is right for you? Or do you already have your Majacraft wheel and want to get some tips and tricks on making the most of it? Maybe you have a problem and could use some troubleshooting? Glynis Poad and Suzy Brown will be hosting these sessions, and we aim to make them informative and interactive, everyone is welcome! There will be a Q&A time during each livestream, so please send in your questions before the event, or join the chat on the day to ask! For anyone unable to attend please still post your questions on the event page and we will answer them during the livestream for you to watch later.

Following the live sessions, all videos will remain available as recordings on the Majacraft YouTube channel, come back and rewatch anytime.

Each session will run via YouTube, anyone can view, and if you want to join the live chat alongside the stream you only need to be logged into your YouTube account to participate.  We will post links to each session here on the blog once we have those set up, and we will also create a Facebook Event for each session, you will be able to find the links there too and  you will get a reminder when we are about to start! You are invited to ask your questions either during the event or earlier by posting on the Event page, we would love to know what you are most interested in!

Please make sure you are following our Facebook page for further updates on these live events!

March 27

1pm NZ Time
(Sunday 26 March 5pm US Pacific Time, Sunday 8pm Eastern Time)

Topic: Majacraft Wheels 101

Answering the FAQs on basic wheel use and Maintenance
Attaching and removing your flyer
Threading the flyer and different Majacraft orifices
Where to oil (and not oil) your wheel
Drive Band Maintenance - when to replace and when to cut and rejoin (for stretched bands)
Tension cord- to cross or not to cross?
Spinning head height

3 April

1pm NZ Time
(Sunday 2 April 6pm US Pacific Time, Sunday 9pm Eastern Time)

Topic: Wheel Focus: Get to know your Rose

New Rose Assembly Tips
What can you spin on a Rose?
Tension - scotch tension explained
Head adjustments for best spinning results
Accessories for the Rose

10 April

1pm, NZ Time
(Sunday 9 April 6pm US Pacific Time, Sunday 9pm Eastern Time)

Topic: Wheel Focus: The magic of the Little Gem

Why this is such a great travel wheel
Drive bands - direction and twist
Tips for easy treadling
Drive Band troubleshooting - when to replace?
Accessories

8 May

1pm NZ Time
(Sunday  7 May 6pm US Pacific Time, Sunday 9pm Eastern Time)

Topic: What’s on our wheels?

Glynis and Suzy share their spinning, show you their stash, and put their Majacraft wheels through their paces to show you what they are spinning and how they have their wheels set up for it. Share your pics and ask your questions during the livestream!

15 May

1pm NZ Time
(Sunday 14 May 6pm US Pacific Time, Sunday 9pm Eastern Time)

Topic:  The Suzie’s  - to Pro or not to Pro, what is the difference?

New wheel assembly tips
The history of Majacraft and the Suzie Wheel
Accessories for the Suzie and Suzie Pro
How do you choose between the Rose, the Suzie or the Aura?

22 May

1pm NZ time
(Sunday 21 May 6pm US Pacific Time, Sunday 9pm Eastern Time)

Topic: the Awesome Aura

What makes this ‘THE’ Majacraft wheel for spinning designer yarns
Assembly tips for the Aura
Modified Double Drive explained
Adjusting your wheel to suit your spinning
Expanding your range with the right accessories
The stylus kit - how great is this for longdraw on the Aura! Head tilting for max effect
Troubleshooting and wheel maintenance

3Feb/173

And the winner is….

We have been waiting (on the edge of our seats!) for the results of our big VOTE to determine the colour of this years Special Edition bobbin!

You too?

Waiting for me to mention what that result is? :D

We had an overwhelming response on the Facebook page, and a clear majority DID emerge from the four possible options which where these:

And I would just like to take this moment to mention that Andy now owes me a coffee! (lets make that a Latte thanks Andy, with some cinnamon on top) because THE WINNER IS!.....

Yes, ROSEBRIGHT!   This amazing colour, reminiscent of vibrant fuschia's and richly iced cupcakes, will bring a new excitement to our wheels and spinning this year!

Here are the overall results as best as we can count:

Rosebright 97

Caelestis 83

Phosphore 63

Cyrtherean Bloom 8

So despite Andrews overt and for me, steamed milk and coffee rich attempt to turn the voting Phosphorewards, the Rosebrights made a majority and will become the 2017 Limited Edition bobbin colour of the year! Yay! And it is going to look wonderful next to the previous purple and green.

However there is yet hope for Andrews oranges, we will reprise the two runners up in next years voting selection and Phosphore and Cyrtherean Bloom will have another opportunity to shine as you vote for 2018 :)

And now you may be wondering just who the lucky FIVE will be, the five winners of the first RoseBright Bobbins?!

Here are the names! Congratulations! If your name is here, please contact us at support@majacraft.co.nz as soon as you can with your postal address and the subject line 'Rosebright Bobbin Winner'

Linda Shevel

Jeanette Bastian

Sandra Morris Jager

Géraldine Deleuze 

Monica Ann McDonald

Thank you ALL so much for your participation, we will let you know when the bobbins are made and ready to ship. Happy spinning in 2017!