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.