Recently we had the opportunity to engrave another custom wheel, this time a Rose for our friend Anna Josefsson. I was very pleased with how it came out, particularly the little frog on the handle nut! This was the first time we had tried engraving on to the nut and it was very encouraging to see it work so well.
Until next time
Over the past few days we have had the pleasure of hosting the lovely Joan Ruane, cotton spinning guru from Arizona USA. She has been in NZ teaching some workshops and catching up with friends made during her time living here in the 70s.
Joan was a wonderful source of information and ideas which she freely gave. We spent quite some time working with her making little tweaks to our lace spinning tools to refine them further still. What was fascinating for both her and us was the amount of things that Majacraft make that she and spinners around her didn’t know about. The stylus, High speed head and flyer varieties were all a pleasant surprise for her.
She also gave our local club an excellent talk and demonstration of cotton spinning and the members were buzzing afterwards. Cotton is not spun a lot in NZ and this was a real eye opener to the possibilities.
In the evening we had Pat Old (past Creative Fibre President, author of “In A Spin”, and tutor of note) around to chat with Joan further. We had a great night and Joan was very generous with her knowledge.
She was a wonderful guest and if you are interested in inviting Joan to teach, we would wholeheartedly recommend her. Find her at www.cottonspinning.com
Until next time
Our friend Wooldancer (Michelle Snowdon) in Australia posted a very nice video to YouTube recently of Fibre Art Rolags she is producing. The work she is creating is very beautiful and I have included the link below. I found it really inspirational what talented people like Michelle are creating on their Auras.
I have also added a link to this video in the video resources area of the Majacraft web site - it can be found under "Inspiration".
You may wish to keep an eye on her YouTube channel as she is indicating this is the first of a series. Thanks Michelle!
Rob has been in India for the last week and from what I have seen on Facebook, it looks like he has been having an awesome time around Rajastan and Northern India. Here are a couple of pictures he has shared recently.
If you are ever interested in taking part in our journeys to India, drop us a line. I went about three years ago and found it to be a fascinating and quite profound place to visit so, if you are on the fence ... Do IT!
Several years ago, we created a custom Aura for our good friend Therese Cruz. She provided the design which was drawn by a Dutch artist Mark Storm.
So anyway, long story short , I am looking around for inspiration on Bing images this morning and I come across this site amongst the search results!
I recommend visiting the link below to see more of the images.
Until next time
Our friend Esther of JazzTurtle fame appears in an ABC segment showing how to do tailspinning (and she uses and Aura ! ). Go Esther!
Until next time
One of my Facebook friends is Woolwench (Suzy) who is based in Holland. She is also the owner of "The One Wheel" limited edition Aura that we built last year for her Kickstarter campaign. She recently posted on her Facebook page pictures of a new yarn she had produced which she has called "Shelob". Here is her story about the yarnI dreamt about this yarn, and it was one of those dreams where everything just happens magically, which of course I discovered as I was spinning it and realised it would have been much easier if I had an extra hand or more fingers. My goal was a very lumpy yarn wrapped in silk just like a spider cocoon, in my dream I had seen the fine cobwebby silk fibers wrapping around the yarn and encasing it in a thin layer. It was a bit like how a spider wraps its prey in silk, somewhat gruesome but hey, it was a dream and they can be weird right! It was tricky to spin, I first corespun a single, then coilspun it to make a coiled yarn, and then coil spun that again, in my left hand, while drafting a silk hankie with my right to wrap around the outside of it, spreading it back along the yarn to open out the silk fibers. I used a commercial spun eyelash thread as the core to add extra texture too. I also made a second yarn using a black sparkly base yarn with a white silk layer over it, hoping for an even more spidery look - I am going to add this to my LOTR yarn collection and have named it Shelob, for the giant spider that Frodo met in the Two Towers book.
Here are some pictures of a Shelob style yarn that was the first iteration of the design
I find it amazing to see what people around the world are creating with Majacraft tools and what we in a small way are part of so congratulations Suzy and thank you for sharing it with us.
Suzy is "WoolWench Handspun Yarn" on Facebook if you would like to connect with her and see what she has been up to recently or visit her site at www.woolwench.com
Until next time
Lake Dewar Lodge was the beautiful venue for the Australian 2012 Majacraft Magic Camp, organised for us by Mandie (of Ewe Give Me the Knits) and Janet (of Nanny’s Spin on Things).
These two ladies are amazing! Not only beautiful and talented but full of energy and ideas as well.
We were due to arrive for mid afternoon on the Friday when all the traders were gathered to set up their stalls ready for the onslaught when the keen group of spinning ladies arrived.
There was a lovely variety of wares on sale – Janet had fibre in abundance and hanks of her fabulous art yarns which were being snapped up as scarves as most of us were unprepared for the cold snap which arrived with us. Mandie had her delightful colourful and interesting blends, magic balls from the Beastie, as well as needles and interesting yarns.
Robyn Steel Strickland, one of the excellent tutors, had felting accessories as well as her lovely little book – “Felt” – which I hastened to get a signed copy of.
Carmel Hanna , Madame Sock inAustraliaI believe, had sock yarns and fibres for making such yarns, as well as intricately and interestingly dyed yarn for special effects. The lovely and lively Donni Grant of Moggy and Me had a table full of weaving goodie bags. Ooh it became hard to resist for so many people!
Heather and Pete Dunn came along with their Unicorn fibre cleaning products, alpaca and merino fibre and Heather’s gorgeous natural hand dyed merino clothing range. These are done with natural dyes using leaves and other native bush plants for decorative effect.
As you can imagine the scene resembled an opening day of Harrods’s sale once the ladies appeared. And then there was FOOD! Wow the caterers did their best to tempt us with some delightfully yummy treats such as these mini pavlova which, as everyone knows ( J ), originated in New Zealand. I have to say that the Aussies have perfected our techniques and we would be hard pressed to choose a winner now. Please note the NZ kiwifruit on top!
On Saturday the day was organised into two workshops per tutor and everyone could choose where and when they went, so it was very free form for all of us.
I showed the use of wool combs and hackles in the room next door to Donni who was teaching about using a rigid heddle loom for dramatic effect. Some stunning work appeared with people using their art yarns as weft. Helen worked on this beautiful weaving.
Robyn’s felting classes resulted in some lovely felted flowers and really beautiful little vessels.
Heather’s fleece preparation class was very popular with many taking the opportunity to learn and consolidate information about fleece selection and treatment.
Carmel’s sock class incorporated setting up a spinning wheel for making yarn suitable for socks. She has to be Australia’s sock guru.
Bernadette is an enthusiastic knitter of moebius scarves and garments but she specialises in Cat Bhordhi’s cast on method. Pretty much everyone wanted to learn this technique so Bernadette was in big demand all weekend.
Janet makes the most marvellous batts and then art yarns with superb skill. She is one of the leading exponents with an Aura and can really make the wheel sing.
People who attended her classes learned how to make beautiful batts as well as luscious yarns. On Saturday evening after dinner Robyn ran a fun fibre quiz. Competition was fierce and every correct answer won a ticket in the final draw for prizes. Questions such as which region was the birthplace of felt, and what do maidens and an orifice have in common, were debated with everyone pulling in big hauls of tickets. Nanny and Ewe had assembled a big pile of prizes and a good number of people had their numbers pulled from the hat.
Following this Owen gave a presentation about Majacraft and some of the wonderful countries and spinners we have visited around the world.
On Sunday morning the classes ran again which gave everyone the chance of either repeating a class or trying a new one. There was much coming and going.
Hot scones for morning tea helped us face the chill of the air outside. We had a very light snowfall – well it didn’t stay on the ground, then we had a hail storm, so the weather was perfect for sitting inside doing what we all love best.
I have to say the food was absolutely great all weekend, with wine from the local St Anne’s winery nearby, and endless tea and coffee. Just super.
During the weekend we all helped towards making a fibre Danish which was split up and handed out to all under Janet’s supervision. Vivian and her daughter Otilie put in a lot of time on it.
Otilie was rightly very proud of her first weaving project. At just 10 years of age she was the youngest participant at camp and we all enjoyed having her there.
She also did some spinning on a Pioneer, so is well on the way to becoming an excellent craftsperson.
Helen did some marvellous weaving on her new loom.
Mandie and Suzy divided up the Danish and we each had a bag full to take home with the results to be shown on Ravelry.
You will have seen on earlier posts to our blog that Rona has been weaving hats – she brought along her latest creation for us to see, and here it is:
One quote over the weekend that really touched me was, “I came knowing no one and have left with a lot of friends”. It really was a lovely weekend and we thank Mandie and Janet, and all the attendees for making it such a wonderful event.
The title says it all really!
Lexi Boeger aka Pluckyfluff is hosting a camp over the weekend of October 27 and 28. I have had the good fortune to take part in one of Lexi's classes/camps and she is AWESOME! She has Auras to try as well as the Dynamic Heddle loom. It appears as though spaces are limited so if you would like to take part in a weekend to remember then I suggest enrolling soon.
Camp Fluckyfluff on Facebook
Bendigo has come and gone and I have been hearing lots of interesting stories from the people who were able to attend. Several of our dealers had the new looms on their stands to demonstrate and sell.
So here are the first two people in the world to own the looms, Joy Dove and Tricia Costello. I sincerely want to thank you both for trusting in what we craft. I hope that you get years and years of creative pleasure from them.
And here are the first two bundles of joy!
If you are on Ravelry, there is a thread in the Majacraft fans group discussing the loom and I have made a couple of comments with tidbits there - I guess I have set up a little treasure hunt for you! More loom news will follow soon...
Until next time