What can I say? An event of this magnitude hopefully only occurs once in a lifetime. With so many lives lost, our country will struggle to deal with the scale of this terrible event.
The damage to buildings and loss of the local economy will also be hard. In the next few weeks, it will be hard for Christchurch people not to become depressed, and many residents were already suffering stress from the continuing aftershocks.
My thoughts are with all of you living in Christchurch, and I urge those of you who live elsewhere to do whatever you can to aid the recovery - once the earthquake is out of the news, people will still need the support of their friends. Write, phone if you can, send a small gift now and then or if you are in a position to, please donate to the earthquake appeal.
One area that has been swamped is the neonatal unit, so consider making some tiny vests and beanies for the really little ones who arrived early because of the earthquake. It's been quite cold overnight since the quake, so they will be appreciated. Many families will have lost all their clothing, so donations of clothing will be needed later in the year.
But right now the most meaningful thing most people can do is drop their change into the donation boxes at supermarkets - that will really make a difference.
Well, hasn't it been absolutely stinking hot the last few days? Not exactly weather to make you think of wool, but here I am looking forward to the coming winter months and wondering if I will actually get that new cardigan knitted this year? All my knitting gear is (of course) at home in Canterbury.
My role here as Camp Mother is very demanding - making enough food for 10-12 hungry men every day is quite daunting - but they seem very happy with the cuisine. I have four days off every fortnight, and by the time I return to the kitchen everything in the fridge is gone...a clean sweep! I can see now why it's mostly youngsters that take on summer jobs!
Still, we have the advantage here of a most enormous bedroom in the old High School hostel, wonderful showers with an abundance of hot water and best of all swimming in the Wairau River - something that has been an absolute necessity for the men in the hot weather!
Price Hold for Web BuyersI have unfortunately had to raise my prices on Trade Me, due to rises in price for my wools, dyes and of course, cartage. I am going to hold prices for all wools purchased through the online shop for at least six months as a reward for those of you who use the website. I'll signal any further price rises well ahead - but they won't be huge if they happen at all.
In the now very belated newsletter (my last draft disappeared into the ether, never to return), I will be featuring a new colourway - and I want you to decide its name. The originator of the most suitable name will receive 200gr of the colour of their choice absolutely free!
And while on the subject of the newsletter - I'll try to get to this in the next few days, because I have been working very hard on a special gift for you - instructions for a 'scrapheap' scarf. This is dependent on me getting my camera (which is trapped in a wardrobe in Oxford), and my sample scarf together for one final image. There is always ONE essential thing that gets overlooked in the packing!
For those of you who have asked, I don't yet have the ability to dye single colours, but I am going to be pursuing this on my return to Oxford, probably in mid-March. From now on I will also be offering pastel shades of the following: Bloomin' Spring, Deep Cove, Carnival, Barrier Reef and Denim & Wine. Photos to follow - as soon as my camera arrives from home! Don't forget, you can always ask if you want pastels shades of any colour.
Dye Studio up to Speed Again!
I've had a sudden flurry of orders over the last fortnight (some of us are preparing for the winter!) but am glad to say that I now have my supplies up to scratch again and am ready to take on whatever dyeing challenges you can throw at me.
Kate is a semi-retired photographer and craft dyer who lives in Southland, New Zealand.