If you've been watching my Facebook page, or picking up my tweets, visiting my Etsy store or just checking up on my homepage and web store, you'll have noticed a few changes.
Symphony in 19-21 Micron felting wool
Most exciting is the increased range of wools available now!
You can now buy any of my shades in:
Haunui Handcraft Wool. I am just loving working with this natural coloured halfbred tops! It's beautiful to spin, felts with ease and has a gorgeous hint of lustre. It comes from a specialised handcraft bred flock in South Canterbury , and is a real joy to work with.
Dark Grey Haunui Handcraft tops in Harvest Home.
This tops comes in four base shades, and can be overdyed to any of my listed colours. I'm just working through the shades at the moment and listing them as examples in the shop - you can order directly from the menus or request a custom order for any shade not listed. If I think it's not going to work out (some shades take dyes differently from others) I will be in touch with you to discuss options! If you're unsure, I can help you choose.
I'm working my way through spinning samples of the undyed fibre at the moment - what a lovely, lofty yarn it gives! I've spun it quite fine, then Navajo plied it to get a stable, round yarn which I would rate as worsted weight. Easy spinning while watching TV! See examples on the Haunui page.
Aria in felting sliver
Last, but definitely not least, is the 19-21 micron merino felting sliver. This is a carded and double-gilled preparation. It's very fine and dense, but does contain short fibres and a varying amount of vegetable matter. It can be spun, and gives a lovely soft and lofty yarn with a definite slight texture, but is not as easy to spin as the combed fibre.
This fibre is in limited supply; when what I have is gone, I may decide not to get any more processed. It will be replaced with carded and combed 21 micron merino in the near future; this will be suitable for spinning or fine felting.
Most fun is the Shade of the Week - I've now decided that you can buy up to 500gr of the homepage featured shade at $1 discount per 100gr - just a special show of my appreciation for those of you who buy direct from either my website or the Etsy store. So if you want to take advantage of this offer, buy direct from the homepage box, not from the store (which doesn't give the discount). Shades will change on Friday or Saturday every week.
Most useful is that I've changed the layout of the Buy Now section (again). My intention was to make it easier to view and buy from the shop, with multiple thumbnails that you can click on to view a larger image. I've also made the shopping cart a bit more functional so you can add items and return to shopping more easily! Item quantities can be changed in the shopping cart, while fibre type and colour can be selected from the dropdown menus in the "Add to Cart" box.
It's all about me....
"Mexican Cantina" - project in progress.
And off-site, I've been really enjoying saving favourite items and web finds on Pinterest. What a great way to keep track of those things we always look at and think "I must remember to come back and look at that!"
Today I added to my stash on Ravelry, and started a new project listing - a super-stash-busting jacket I've dubbed "Mexican Cantina" because of its loud and obnoxious colours! Joined together in a rather drunken chorus, they become surprisingly tuneful. And it takes all night to finish a row at the moment (slight exaggeration). I'm keeping track of the design, so it might end up as a published pattern sometime.
Well, since the earthquake, things have been quite strange! Mostly it's been the weather, but at the same time most of my grandchildren (and my daughters) have had the H1N1 flu (despite innoculation), causing me a lot of worry. We've had nor'westerly gales, heavy rain (not usual where we live), some beautiful sunny weather and yesterday woke up to a 2cm blanket of snow which had arrived mysteriously in the night.
Last weekend my partner, Ken, and I spent a day shovelling sand for the base of the new water tank, then had to use considerable ingenuity to get the new tank up on top of the foundation. It must have been quite a sight! The new tank is 10,000 litres and about 2.5 metres high. It's still not full as our water supply is a trickle feed. I really feel for the people in Christchurch who still have no drinking water or toilet facilities.
So, what does a craft dyer do when there's no water to dye with? well, I've recently begum making beaded costume jewellery. You can see the results on this page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Heavenly-Adornments/148824178477925
A few years ago, I made a lot of polymer clay jewellery for various felt outfits. You can see some of this in my gallery image of the Celtic Moonrise cloak. It seemed like a good time to get the box of Fimo and Dukit out again, so I've also been working on new designs for brooches and necklace dangles. I've also bought some Art Clay silver to try my hand at making fine silver sculptural jewellery pieces. Yes, I like to keep busy!
As soon as we had enough water, I decided to start work on a new range of pastels. The first one is Peace, which you can see on the home page. I will be adding to this range so that eventually I will have two collections: Pastels and Contemporary.
Well, there is still a bit of shakin' going on, but at last I have enough water to get all my stock back up to scratch. I can now dye to order again, so the online shop is now back in business! Keep you eyes peeled for a new pastel, Peace, that I will be launching later in the week.
Thanks so much to all those who sent me messages of support after the earthquake.
Kate is a semi-retired photographer and craft dyer who lives in Southland, New Zealand.