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Majacraft Magic with Nanny and Ewe 2012

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).

Lake Dewar camp


These two ladies are amazing! Not only beautiful and talented but full of energy and ideas as well.

Mandie Chandler


Janet Knoop


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.

Setting up


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.

Mandie's fibre


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!

Donni setting up


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.

Heather setting up


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!



Day two

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.

Wool combs


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.

Weaving workshop


Robyn’s felting classes resulted in some lovely felted flowers and really beautiful little vessels.

Felt workshop


Heather’s fleece preparation class was very popular with many taking the opportunity to learn and consolidate information about fleece selection and treatment.

Fibre preparation


Carmel’s sock class incorporated setting up a spinning wheel for making yarn suitable for socks. She has to be Australia’s sock guru.

Sock workshop


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.

Moebius workshop


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.

Batts and yarns


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.

Dinner time


Following this Owen gave a presentation about Majacraft and some of the wonderful countries and spinners we have visited around the world.

Day Three

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.

The view...


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.

Fibre Danish


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.


Otilie's scarf


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.


Helen's weaving


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.

Dividing the Danish


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:

Rona's hat


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.


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  1. Oh Glynis, what a wonderful account of the weekend, thank you. It was great to spend time with both you and Owen, I had a ball! Thanks for reminding me, I must post my pic of the danish yarn on Rav:) Looking forward to catching up in 2013!

  2. It was a ‘lovely and lively’ ;P weekend G & O. As always, I love catching up with you two wild spinners.

  3. Glynis and Owen…..THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for entrusting the organisation of this Camp to Nanny and I!!! A wonderful time was had by all, and everyone who attended is truly all the richer for gathering together for the weekend xoxo

  4. Where is this held in Australia and how can I get information re 2013 venue
    denise brown

  5. Hi Denise,

    Try contacting Mandie at Ewe Give Me the Knits – she was the primary organiser so this year will be dependent on her energy!

  6. Well it really is back to the dwnirag board because I figured out that my weft yarn is too small, which made the pattern a warp faced pattern and also changed the pattern to be squatty instead of square. In the meantime, because I decided to sell that loom, I pulled the warp off the loom and it’s chained and sitting in a bag. Honestly, I don’t think this is the weight of yarn I’d want in a jacket and I definitely wouldn’t want to make it in cotton. I’d like to make the jacket in a thinner yarn, with some depth of color, maybe a navy blue and turquoise with a little hot pink. This yarn was a medium green 10/2 or 8/2 cotton. I was trying for a shiny weft which would have accentuated the design in the middle of the squares but it was a flop for what I was trying for. I’m thinking a thin wool or even silk would be really nice. Maybe semi solid colors to give it some depth.

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