The Majacraft Blog The official blog of Majacraft

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.

 

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/1711

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!

 

 

 

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!

 

22Jan/170

Majacraft Retreat UK 2017

We have wonderful adventures coming up this year, one of them being the opportunity to be involved in the Majacraft Retreat being held in the UK this October. The lovely Ruth of 'The Wheel Ewe' has organised an exciting event that will not only showcase Majacraft tools and equipment, it will create a wonderful opportunity for those in attendance to learn and participate in an excellent range of workshops.

Glynis and Owen will be travelling over to the UK and will be at the retreat to share their deep knowledge of all their spinning wheels, tools and equipment. You can learn how to get the best out of your wheel, share some fab lace spinning with the amazing Stylus accessory, and you can find out how to maintain your wheel to keep it running as good as new.

During the retreat you can also participate in a wonderful range of workshops! Jane Deane will be there for Colour Blending and Yarn Design,  Janet Renouf-Miller is sharing her knowledge of exotic fibres and silks, Elisabeth Kendrick and Sarah Howard are running weaving workshops, including one specific to the Majacraft Dynamic Heddle loom. Dj Stefek will be teaching spindle spinning with the Turkish spindle, and Ruth Robinson will be running spinning workshops for beginners.

If you are anywhere near Edinburgh, or are looking for a fantastic fibre fun filled destination for your travels this year, we are sure you will enjoy the Retreat and this wonderfully rich line up of teachers and subjects! You can read more about the event on Ruths website:

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20Feb/164

Majacraft Magic Camp 2016 Report

It's been a few days since we all reluctantly re-packed our bags and returned home from Majacraft Camp. Time to reflect on the wonderful atmosphere and marvellous things learned, as well as the good feeling of having spent time with old friends and new.

Firstly I would like to thank the Poads for the incredible amount of work and organisational powers they put into making this years camp happen for us! And in the usual Poad style there were so many carefully thought out personal touches to the weekend that really helped create a wonderfully welcoming atmosphere and set the scene for everyone to feel part of our camp community. For example, not only did we all get a well stocked goodie bag on arrival, but so did my son, complete with bubbles! Our food needs were extremely well catered for (again a family effort as well) and we had a fantastic program to enjoy over the weekend. We were well looked after!

Everyone started together in the main auditorium, the weekend long activity of journaling, sample collecting, and prettifying of the pages was kicked off by Michele Peddie, she inspired us to look at our inspirations differently with some fun exercises and the opportunity to choose images, colours, and ideas that we  could draw from later.


This initial activity was followed by (of course) Happy Hour, with much happiness in evidence! This was the feeling that pervaded the whole weekend, everyone was relaxed, pockets of spinners were scattered around the area with wheels and fluff, classes were running, the sun was shining, learning was going on and discoveries being made.

Chantelle Hill was teaching her fabulous crochet class (which I wish I could have attended myself) and I heard how much people were enjoying the techniques she was sharing.

 

Janet Knoop was amazing and everyone loved her Colour Class (even Melissa who had to deal with some bad news about her relationship with Orange!), and the tassle class results were magnificent! I cant tell you how much I loved each and every one of these glorious creations made under Janet's careful guidance.

 

I was very lucky on the Sunday to attend Pat Olds class, it was mindblowing and I needed more coffee partway through to sustain me! How wonderful to start with a bunch of leaves, turn them into a flat woven piece and then the magic of shaping that into a 3d vessel! These traditional pieces were made for food containers, and apparently those much more skilled than myself can make one in a very short time indeed (minutes not hours!). There is something extremely satisfying to make a useable and beautiful object from things we can find and grow in our environment.

Angela Daish was also busy filling hearts and minds with the joys of finger weaving! Her creativity and ideas are always interesting and the enthusiasm she brings to her projects is infectious. I am sure this is a technique we will be seeing more of!

Upstairs was the domain of the lovely Tracy White of Inspire Fibres, she brought her in depth knowledge and expertise to this workshop on Fleece, participants learned about fleece selection, skirting, and sorting wool for hand spinners. This is such a valuable area of education in our craft, and so relevant to us here in New Zealand were we have such easy access to whole fleeces direct from the farm. Tracys expertise as a wool classer is a wonderful asset to us!

There was also much spinning over the weekend, and I taught two classes on the Saturday in which we explored some Chain plying (Navajo ply), faux boucle making, and creating texture effects in yarn. Everyone used three different kinds of fibers in their singles and then we played with how these work with different ply techniques. For some this was their first attempt at chain plying and for others this was a new way of making loops in their textured yarns. The results were outstanding! Ian Hitch made a particularly stunning skein which I am so sorry I failed to photograph (I was a little busy with technique support to remember my camera) and it was really exciting to see how many very different yarns resulted from everyone playing with these techniques with their own colours and fibers. We had 50 something students in the spin class on Saturday and it was a fantastic experience to meet everyone, even my head was spinning by the end of the day :)

 

Then of course there was all the extra stuff going on around the Camp. Andrew spent pretty much the entire weekend in the workshop corner, busy with wheel maintenance and troubleshooting the queue of what looked like every kind of Majacraft wheel ever made!  It was an impressive effort and the wheels left camp refreshed and just like new again.

I would love to share more photos with you from camp, and I wish I had some of Glynis and Owen and the Majacraft team to share, but to be honest, they were all so busy it was hard to catch them! I will be making a little Camp Movie of the rest of my photos and will post it on our You Tube channel next week, but there are most likely gaps where I missed people,  so if you have images you would also like to share please email them to me at suzy@woolwench.com and I would love to include them in the collage!

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