The BIG book of Fibery Rainbows!

The BIG book of Fibery Rainbows!

I am very proud to announce that after some years of planning, writing, fiber prep, spinning, and photographing everything step by step, we (myself and Arlene)  have now officially launched our first Fiberygoodness.com Print Book!!  With foreword by Lexi Boeger (Pluckyfluff) this is a book for any fiber artist who loves colour, who is inspired by many colours together, in fact, if you love multicoloured fiber this book is for you! It is also for you if you are enraptured with the beauty that is blended fiber colour (or are curious about it!) as we take you through the process of creating your own colours from the primary three, with all the amazing optic richness that uniquely contains. There are so many GOOD reasons to blend rather than dye to get the colour you want, including the dynamic richness you can only find in this kind of blend (and the sparkles and silks you can add into it too!). If you are wondering what fiber prep tools you need, or are looking for new and exciting ways to use the tools you already have, we teamed up with Majacraft who supplied the beautiful tools you see in the many many full colour images (and who I believe make the best tools on the market today!) and packed the book with tutorials and step by step guides to combing for colour, organising your blending board rolags, creating stunning batts on a drum carder, and making the most of your hackle. This book is all about rainbows, but also much more, it is about how to create and use any multi coloured palettes and fiber preparations, and THEN we show you how to spin them to make the most of your colours! It is all about colour management from prep to finished yarn. The book includes a yarn recipe chapter to share ways to spin your colours, and concludes with a Gallery of finished rainbow projects to inspire you in ways to use your yarns. Please scroll down to view the flick through of the book and see what is in store for you! You can order from our website right HERE I am very proud to be able to tell you that this book was created entirely by myself and Arlene, we schemed it, wrote it, and I did all the photographs and layout myself too, order as print on demand from Amazon! It is a large, almost 200 page full colour book packed with information (everything I know!) and stunning images that will brighten your day and hopefully send you to your stash to play 🙂 We hope you will love it as much as we do!...

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Open Day with Woool! Yarn Store The Hague

Open Day with Woool! Yarn Store The Hague

It only takes about an hour to drive from here to The Hague. Its a really nice city, Dutch center of government, home of many embassies and diplomats, site of the wonderful Peace Palace, a truly international city. And this extends even to the yarn stores! Woool is a lovely little shop packed with fibery goodies and creative activities, Pauline runs regular workshops and knitting groups, and she has a great eye for colour, its a visual feast as soon as you walk off the narrow street and into this cosy shop. And today it was truly an international hub of creativity. During the open day today the shop was buzzing with activity, I found myself speaking to people from all over the globe, UK, US, Holland (of course!) I heard a South African accent, me the only Kiwi, and did I hear a Scottish lilt at some point? And the focus of the day, fibery creations. There were people poring over knitting patterns and books, discussion about stitches and designs, others browsing the yarns and making their selections, and there was a lot of interest in the activities of myself, doing some corespinning from a multi-mixed up batt, Victoria Logan was there with her stunning animal creations ( http://www.victorialogan.co.uk) Andre was spinning on his Louet, from various bags of raw wool originating from, among others,  the Dutch Blauwe Texelaar breed, and Patty, with her wonderful Saori looms, a great attraction that took everyones interest young and er, less young! In the above picture you can see Patti demonstrating the Saori Piccolo loom, it was a major hit with the kids that had come along with their mums, and it was impressive to see how fast they picked it up and started creating fabric! I am quite seriously wanting this loom pictured below, (this VERY LOOM) to be my own. See my name written all over it? SEE? Patty is a Saori Dealer, her website is still under construction but she can be contacted via the email address listed on her page Here . She is a very knowledgeable weaver and happy to answer questions (at least, she hasn’t gotten sick of me asking them all the time, yet!) Anyway, I did more than just drool over the loom, really! Here is the proof! Above is my spinning from the afternoon, a soft and super bulky chain ply (navajo ply) made from one of my batts, which I especially packed with extra sparkle! And here below, are some of the yarns that are now in stock at Woool, hanging on the wall! I do believe there were some sales involving my yarn, and some batts too I think, and I know Pauline...

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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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Sheep, cake, talk.

Sheep, cake, talk.

I’ve not been at the computer much today. Nor have I been slaving over a red hot spinning wheel. Nope, much sheepier than that. I had a message this morning that said something along the lines of “I have wool, can I come over?”. It was Esther, and even without wool a visit is welcome, but today she had two entire merino fleeces in her possession, both needing skirting and sorting, and she wanted to share! yes! Two big bag fulls of fleece, lunch, and several cups of coffee later, and we had some lovely soft and crimpy merino ready to wash. These kinds of jobs always go faster when there’s two pairs of hands and LOTS to talk about. The kids also had a lovely afternoon playing together 🙂 We topped it off with some delicious Dutch apple and almond pastries that my husband brought home with him. Luckily Esther didn’t seem to mind that I had tried to do my entire weeks worth of housework in the ten minutes before she arrived. I failed a little. Do you want to know a secret though? I never stress, why? In through the nose, out through the mouth, let it go. I am maybe one of the most boring people in the universe...

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Sheepies in Holland

Sheepies in Holland

Sheep Events in the Netherlands! The Netherlands (AKA Holland) is probably much better known for its cheese, tulips, and clogs than for its sheep and fibre products. For this New Zealander, the fields look quite empty, with much of the grassland being used to grow hay. Fences are missing as paddocks are split up with networks of small drainage canals, crossed with little bridges with what look to be stand alone gates to nowhere scattered around the landscape. However, if you take a drive out in the countryside you will certainly still see animals, black and white Friesian diary cows (of course for the cheese!) graze alongside the many wild white swans, and there are always sheep. Not in the numbers I am used to seeing in New Zealand, but pockets of happily grazing sheep at regular intervals where ever there is farmland. And what kind of sheep are these? I did some sleuthing, and found that there are actually a number of very well established, distinctly Dutch sheep breeds. One of the most well known would have to be the Texel Sheep, or Texelaar in dutch (pronounced Tess-el-aar) originating from the island of Texel in the north of Holland.  Another very popular Dutch origin breed is the really pretty Zwartbles – which literally translates to ‘black stripe’, and so describes the standard appearance of this black sheep with its distinct white blaze (bles). These sheep are  quite sweet and have a gentle nature, they are often found in the many childrens farms throughout the Netherlands. I found some of these sheep at the Stadsboederij De Vos Heuvel (City farm, The Fox Hill) in Amersfoort. This is, of course, not big time farming with flocks of fleece and meat producing sheep, but it does have sheep, and they do need shearing. So each year there is a day planned to make an occasion of this, to celebrate the shear and educate the public about the sheep and the process of shearing them. On this occasion, there was a ‘Wolfestival’ (Wool Festival) planned around the event, so the farm was filled with stalls, people selling their handmade woollen items, yarns, roving, knitted and woven garments, spinning equipment, and also demonstrating their crafts. When I arrived at the festival I discovered that the shearer was just finishing the job of shearing a Zwartbles, and it was almost asleep! The sheep on these mini-farms are very accustomed to being handled, and the Zwartbles is known for its easy going nature, apparently this one was very relaxed during its shearing! I was used to seeing freshly shorn sheep scrambling to their feet and scampering down the shute to join their mates in the...

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