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.
Well, it's been a while since I wrote anything...sadly, my mother-in-law passed away recently and I went with family to Hamilton, to pay our respects. Beverley was a lovely woman - a friend rather than a ma-in-law, and will be sadly missed.
It was a bit of a whirlwind trip, driving from Oxford to Hamilton and back in just less than a week, with two ferry trips (of course) and a variety of weather. Sharing a small van with my daughter and three small children, and then on the way back with my 6 foot tall son was a bit of an ordeal in itself. We were packed in like sardines with all sorts of luggage jammed in around us!
Unfortunately for me, this particular family occasion also brought me a good dose of the flu, and I'm just recovering now.
While I was away, there was a flurry of wool-buying which led me to reflect that if I'd had the foresight and the space, taking all my wool with me would have been a good idea. I passed through at least two-thirds of the towns that the orders originated from on my way home!
So it was home to the dyepot, as stocks have been drastically reduced. A few more colours to go, and I will be up to speed again. Now, I generally get a bit of a rush between now and Christmas, so if you are planning any last-minute festive projects, now is the time to order wool!
Have any of you got any request for colour combos I haven't thought of yet? I was about to embark on a series of pastels (first one, Peace, now features on the home page) when chaos struck, so if anyone has any suggestions I'd be pleased to hear from you.
That's all for now! Happy spinning, felting and creating!
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.