Phew!

Phew!

A new newsletter is out! And I like this one a lot! But I swear, I start these things thinking it will take me, you know, an hour, tops.. 😀 I am clearly seriously time awareness challenged. Its like, ten DAYS later and I finish it! But guess what, I love making this stuff, if I wouldnt miss spinning so much, I would be making these fulltime 🙂 Now I think of it, when was was back in New Zealand, I was a Communications Lecturer, teaching all aspects of communications (Business and Interpersonal) to Degree students in all different fields. And while I really enjoyed the class time and interaction, what I loved most about the job was sitting at my desk, coffee to hand, music playing, creating the worksheets, class material, and lesson plans. That says something really, doesn’t it 🙂 I am a coffee addicted desk jockey bossy pants. Nite nite...

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Turning Ground Hog Day into Fluffy Unicorn Day

Turning Ground Hog Day into Fluffy Unicorn Day

I just realised how time passes so quickly… I swear, honestly, sometimes it feels like groundhog day in my house! Same routine, same scenery, same activities, same supermarket, same post office, same laundry pile same food same things to pick up off the floor same… well.. same life! When its like that and you think back over the past couple of weeks, it seems like it was really just all one day with no distinguishing features to make it stand out from the line up.  Sounds more dull than a dull thing doesnt it. Well luckily I can find a few things to give me a kick in the pants and un-ground-hog day my life! In fact, one of them is in full view most of the time, and even when I am not using it, a simple glance is enough to remind me of some exciting, and more than redeeming experiences of recent life in the WoolWench house! (If youre wondering, its still all here! Indiegogo )I mean, right now, its post summer vacation blues, and the regular routine has started up full steam, with school runs, early mornings, and the usual ‘what are we eating tonight’ brain-bleed. I also have the tail end of a migraine still haunting me, and the anticipation of the near future dread of the dark cold winter mornings looming in front of me. Maybe I am not alone in this! We were lucky in New Zealand to have longer days in winter than we get here in Holland, and I never took my daughter to school in what felt like the middle of the night, while here in Holland, I know that around Christmas time it will be just that. Now this isnt a total bitch-fest for me, there is the consolation of all the white twinkling christmas lights being out, the potential promise of snow, the hot chocolate and the glowing christmas tree. (love all that!!) Its just, I am not a morning person, thats the hard part! But I am already thinking about how to manage the dark days. Its kinda lame… But there ya go, its me. So when I need a pick-me-up I can glance over at my beautiful wheel, with its amazing Elvish engraving, its lovely warm colour and beautiful rounded edges. *aahhh* There is nothing Ground-hog Dayish about that wheel or the events surrounding its journey here. That also reminds me of the wonderful weekend when it was delivered, during the JazzTurtle workshop, a truly amazing experience in itself ! I loved the yarns everyone made and all the stuff I learned and the contacts I made. That in turn reminds me of that weekend being...

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Glastonbury. It Rocks!

Glastonbury. It Rocks!

What an incredible place! Everything about Glastonbury took me zooming back to my childhood, it was like uber-everything my hippie parents ever wanted us to share and enjoy, ALL IN ONE PLACE! What a time warp! There were the incredible bookshops, filled with books on mysticism, paganism, spirituality, natural healing, and classic literature. There were amazing crystal and precious stone shops, and the most incredible natural healing shop filled with all the wonderful scents you could imagine. Even the public library was a.m.a.z.i.n.g! At the end of a series of incense wafted courtyards through the healing center. I found it after eating a delicious chilli (that I swear has come straight out of my mums Whole Earth CookBook) at a vegetarian restaurant 🙂 What a day!   And of course, I was there for the Wool Festival 😉 I did some shopping. My husband did have to point out the irony of having travelled all the way from Holland to the Wool Festival so I could buy a DUTCH MADE spindle….  So ok, I can see how he could be a ‘little’ confused about that.  I bought it from Hedgehog Equipment, and it was hard to pass by all their other goodies!  However no one could reasonably question THIS: Some beautifully dyed Romney, Wensleydale, and Gotland locks from Sara’s Texture Crafts. I totally couldnt resist these colours, and they are now added to my stash. This will be my treat to myself when I get some ‘me time’! I also barely resisted the stunning dolls and creatures from JennyMade, and I thought the wonderful colours and yarns from Jillybean Yarns were really stunning. It was also lovely to have the chance to say Hi to Amanda Hannaford of Manda Crafts, I had attended a workshop she ran here in Holland earlier this year, and I hope to take more, Amanda is incredibly knowledgable and such a skilled spinner, I dont think there is anything she cant do with wool! At that workshop she showed me how to spin boucle, and shared so much information, she is a great teacher. Heres just a few of the cards and brochures I picked up!   After doing the rounds of the stands and displays we went on up the hill to a field with a perfect view of the ancient Glastonbury Tor. The hill is said to have once been the mythical Island of Avalon, and if youre a Marion Zimmer Bradley fan, you will have read one of (IMO) the best books about Avalon and the Priestesses who lived there. Its really no wonder the town is so mystically focussed, its surrounded by some of the most powerful mythologies of English Folklore....

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Holiday update

Holiday update

What an awesome vacation. I really love England, particularly rural England, the countryside is so pretty, dotted with gorgeous little villages and farmhouses, just like out of a storybook! We have been out driving around taking in the scenery, took the little guy on a Gruffalo hunt in a pretty forest (and he even made a nice little mouse house!). We walked Salisbury and of course, visited the Cathedral, what an awe inspiring place that is, I love being somewhere like that and imagining all the people who have been there before me, almost a thousand years worth of people living their lives in and around that Cathedral. Its humbling but refreshes my whole perspective on life the universe, and everything.. I am also a history geek, progressing from my teen  years of reading romanticised historic fiction to studying it at university, its so endlessly fascinating!  I also found a real modern treasure in Salisbury, a rebfurbished Mill House that now houses  a gallery, and many artist studios; jewellery makers, a glass blower, milliner, weaver, painters and photographer, AND a fabulous little yarn store! I was so inspired, its exactly the kind of place I would love to have my own studio, it had such an open and creative atmosphere there. I bought some excellent knitting needles and had a nice yak with Heather. She runs lots of workshops there as well as a couple of Knit and Knatter groups each week. It was great to hear that knitting is just getting more and more popular here, particularly among the 20 somethings generation, and I could see in her shop that there is plenty of local inspiration here to get people started as well as all the practical help needed.  I was feeling really inspired after my visit to Born to Knit, and so I finished off knitting up that Gotland lockspun Gandalf the Grey Firework yarn I started earlier, and it ended up a nice cowl/hood, I wanted it to be somewhat LOTR-ish 🙂 I am pretty pleased with it and love the texture and chunkiness of it. Yesterday we went to Bath and spent some time with the wonderful Virginia (my kiwi mate who sews like you wouldnt believe).  Bath is beautiful. Coming over the hill towards the city you get a stunning view of a city spread out below you along a river, almost glowing as every building is created with the local Bath Stone, which ages into a light creamy rusty colour. It felt a lot like Florence actually!  We drove into the center and went in search of the Baths, ancient roman bath houses which must have helped them feel just  little bit at...

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Handspun Yarn Crochet Hoop Earring Kits!

Handspun Yarn Crochet Hoop Earring Kits!

Heres a heads-up pre-release sneak peek for WoolWench blog readers! I was taking yarn photos today when my order of circular hoop earrings arrived with the post (YAY). So I thought I’d take a quick pic to show you the kinds of things I have planned to put into my DIY Crochet Earrings kits! I have a range of earring sizes, 5, 6 and 7cm circle hoops  (1.9, 2.3 and 2.7 inch) and for something a little different, I also found some really cute square hoops (about 3cm across – 1.2inch), that are also super fun to crochet! Also I am having a lovely time making mini skiens of finespun yarn, working on colour blending within a small yardage so your earrings will have beautiful colours blending around the hoop. The mini skeins look really cute XD. While I am on holiday I will be making these on my spindle, perfect for smaller quantities! Also, I love my spindle, and this is a great reason to be using it 🙂 Along with the hoops and yarns will be lots of other choices for you, when I have the kits ready you will be able to pick from a range of colour coordinated beads, my handpainted wooden hearts, sweet feature beads such as the owls, or pretty delft blues, in fact anything my magpie eye spots while I am out shopping! I will make up kits with enough stuff for you to make a complete pair of earrings, including an instruction card, all you need to supply is the crochet hook (2.5mm) and a little glue if you choose a set with the wooden handpainted details. I am not sure if I want to add these to my Etsy store just now, so at least between now and Christmas, I will be selling these through my Facebook page and will occasionally post batch photos here on my blog. I will do the same with the completed earrings, as I make them I will post to my FB page, so keep an eye on that if you want a pair pre-made. If youre interested in buying some, the finished earrings will be priced between $12-$25 US (depending on materials and complexity) and the kits will be priced between $6-$14, also depending on the contents of the kit – the more expensive ones will have things like handspun silk, and special ‘jewel’ beads! Postage is just $2.50 worldwide on all earrings and kits (up to three pairs per order, 3+ will be $5 postage) If you want to make sure you get your own kit I will be working on them over the next week and will post here when they are...

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