The Majacraft Overdrive Revolution Begins

The Majacraft Overdrive Revolution Begins

If you caught our Fiberygoodness live broadcast last night you will have seen this already, the Overdrive, the bigass bobbin and spinning head that is now (probably permanently) afixed to my One Wheel, (my Aura). This is my baby come home! Over the last year of being let into sharing this process with Majacraft, I can tell you, it was like christmas at my house when this finally arrived. It took almost exactly a year from ‘first contact’, and discussing what features and systems a giant Majacraft bobbin would need, to make it something super special.It needed to work well as a ‘production’ wheel as well as keep the Aura characteristics that make it ideal for constructing the architectural yarns I am currently working on and the art yarns that I know many people enjoy spinning. Good things take time, no, I mean.. amazing things! It was so worth the wait. This has the features I already loved about my Aura, large scale. Bypassable orifice and guides, amazing tensioning system, easy treadling, and great visual presence too. And it spins so well, there is almost no transition to make between spinning on the Aura and spinning on the Overdrive, the same tension, the same fine responsiveness, no big difference in weight as the bobbin fills, it treadles the same way throughout. Having spun on ‘other’ large capacity wheels I can say for certain that the difference is the same as if you were to compare say, driving a tractor and then hopping in a Rolls Royce and taking it for a spin, it almost drives itself. But unlike the Rolls, this is no elitist item, if you are used to the Aura you will find this works exactly the same way, but  this is not exclusive to the Aura, for Rose and Suzie owners, Andy has designed it so it will fit these wheels too, effectively turning them into Aura style production spinners with a simple (2 minutes max) head exchange.   You can find more details about the Overdrive on the Majacraft blog and the Product page on their website. Another super fun part was planning the whole release-launch of this product, and again, I was grateful to be included in that, we found some cool stuff! Like the Bachman Turner OVERDRIVE track Andy posted with the teaser! I wonder how many people see the connection there now? It was a bit obscure.. and you were lucky you didnt get the 70’s video version with the big moustaches and skin tight silk jeans.. OMG! Well lucky THEN, because I am sharing it with you now! I had suggested to Andy that he should sport one of those ‘special’ moustaches for the...

Read More

Alpaca Milestones Summer Wool Days

Alpaca Milestones Summer Wool Days

Finally we seem to have achieved something that resembles summer here in the Netherlands! Blue sky, warm sun, birds singing (at least in our garden) annoyingly peeping and dive bombing the cat. Apart from that though, it’s now definately a time to be outside. So last weekend I packed up my wheel, some Fiber, and my hand combs, and went off to enjoy the Summer Wool Day at my friends Alpaca farm in Ridderkerk. It’s always a pleasure to visit with Marian, not to mention the amazing Fiber she always has! I’m talking really fabulous quality alpaca fleece. It was Marian’s Fiber that I used for my Lord of the Rings concept yarns, my favourite of which is actually one of the simplest, hand combed white alpaca with a silver thread. It has the most amazing drape and definition and I am SO still hoarding it 🙂 Back to the day 🙂 It was gorgeously sunny, and populated with some amazing people, I enjoyed seeing some familiar faces, and sitting in the shade with Patty to spin, and (I am quite proud of this) I also managed not to maim her with my hand combs as I paused my spinning to comb the next bunch of fiber. Just as well too as she needed some concentration to work on her band weaving! I really like combing alpaca, I think it gives a much nicer preparation for the yarn, less fluffy, and I think it enhances the drape, or maybe thats just me 🙂  And I also usually blend in a bit of sparkle as I am combing too. In this case I also added an extra colour as well to make a nice reddish brown. Sophie was also with us from Belgium, and was curious about the hand combing, she tried it out on some newly acquired Ouessant fiber (I very nearly bought the black fleece!) This is a lovely fiber, from such a cute sheep – read about them HERE if youre curious too 🙂  As you can see in the pic, Sophie found that combing it worked really nicely!   The hosts of the day, Douglas and Marian, also took a tour to see the Alpaca, including a week old cria.  This is a working farm with a focus on producing top quality fiber, while they remain very much animal focussed, with the wellbeing of the flock, coupled with care for the environment, being one of their primary interests. You can visit them too, at least, virtually: at their Alpaca Milestones website. These ‘Summer Wool’ days are an annual event at Marians, and I can totally recommend going next year, such a lovely atmosphere there, and of course, awesome...

Read More

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...

Read More

The One Wheel. A Mission and a Half

The One Wheel. A Mission and a Half

Last month I did a big thing. Well it was big for me at least! I had been thinking about it for a while but was very uncertain about if it would fly or plummet screaming into the firey heart of Mount Doom in the biggest crash and burn in the history of er.. crashy and burny stuff.   I had been dreaming for ages about a new spinning wheel. Not just any wheel, but what I fondly renamed (in my head) The One Wheel to Rule them ALL (mwahahahaha!) the Majacraft Aura. I absolutely became obbessed with fell in love with my precioussssss the look of this wheel. Its made with beautiful Rimu timbers, native to my homeland New Zealand,  it also fills me with pride that Kiwis (New Zealanders) are producing such quality equipment as this, and Majacraft, along with Lexi Boeger (Pluckyfluff) designed this in a stunning organic looking form that is also incredibly functional. SO functional in fact that it earns its One Wheel title (IMO) because it is capable of spinning a huge range of yarns, its so very adjustable that it can be used for many different styles of yarns, and particularly the big chunky art yarns with crazy integrated objects – exactly what I couldnt do with my reliable but small orificed Ashford. I was already selling my yarns quite happily in my Etsy store, but then I discovered crowd funding. People make a project, and ‘the crowd’ (aka internet people) fund it! Project makers offer ‘perks’ or items in return for financial support for their projects.  I liked Indiegogo, it has a big range of fundraisers running and lots of funky arty indie projects. I made the decision to close my eyes and take the leap! I wrote the story of the One Wheel, and made my presentation video to go with it; described by some as ‘epic’ I hoped like hell that I wasnt going to annoy Majacraft with my odd references to Lord of the Rings. I found out later that Andrew Poad himself is something of a major LOTR fan too, the whole thing ended up quite serendipitous 🙂 breathe in, breathe out, calm and centered…. calm and centered….. Anyway.. 🙂 I made my campaign, my One Wheel Fundraiser! I had listed a range of ‘perks’ at different prices, mostly including at least one skein of handspun yarn. I hoped someone would like it and I was a bunch of jittery nerves by the time I hit the ‘go live’ button!  But it worked. It really actually worked! I did quite a bit of researching, looking at other campaigns and figuring out what was cool and what wasnt,...

Read More