Janine Holland

It was lovely to meet Janine and her beautifully decorated Majacraft Pioneer Wheel at this years Retreat. I thought you might like to see some photos of it. There is also a link to her website where she showcases some beautiful weaving, just click on the photo. I have also commissioned her to make me a bag using some of my hand spun and hand woven fabric….so excited to see the finished product, but it will be sometime next year.

The Wheel Ewe Retreat 2018

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This years retreat was held in Exeter, and what an excellent time we had. We began on the Sunday afternoon with Jane Dean encouraging us out of our comfort zone to create a yarn to decorate our journals, from a lovely array of fibres. This years theme was a window from Exeter Cathedral, one picture looking at the window from the outside, the other looking at the same window from the inside, two very different pictures of the same thing. It worked out well and was again surprised at the variations of yarns created. The Cathedral was just behind the hotel and we could hear the bells all morning while setting up the room.

The three days were totally full on. Janet Day and Dj Stefek, Jane Dean, Elisabeth Kendrick, Sarah Howard and Majacraft - Glynis & Owen Poad were all fantastic teachers and lovely people, it was a pleasure having them part of this years team. We all learnt such a lot, together with a lot of laughter, fun, food and woolly loveliness. The photos on the link below show just a little of what went on.

Thank you to all those who attended, what a joy to meet you all, the teachers get as much inspiration from the students as the students do from the teachers.

Perhaps …maybe … see you again next year !!

Kathryn Dickinson - Haunui Wool

I just love receiving emails from people telling me of their creations. This particular email, the 22nd September, totally stunned me…in a good way….

Message read….

Hi Ruth

The jumper

I used size 10mm circular needles and adapted a jumper pattern designed for chunky.

It's soft enough for wearing against the skin.  

I used 900g.

It's very soft.  

I love it.

Photos attached.

Best wishes

Kathryn x

Kathryn purchased some Haunui New Zealand half breed wool from me, which she received on the 2nd of September 2018. She spun up the fibre on her Majacraft Aura wheel, using a thick and thin method and knitted “The Jumper”.

My Studio & Majacraft Wheel Care Instructions

I am so lucky to have an amazing creative space that my husband made for me last summer (with lots of help from me too).  Its  quite a big area which has such great natural lighting from the coming down through the clear panels in the roof. ....and its totally my space!   I have a room inside it where I keep all my Majacraft wheels and accessories for sale too.

Here are a few pictures for you. 

I have also attached is a PDF file you can print out and attach to your journal. 

This week is Maintenance of your Majacraft Spinning Wheel.   Next time it will be problem solving.

 
 
 

How's this for a orifice hook...a rams head on the end.  I have one that fits my Majacraft Lace flyers.

Haunui New Zealand Halfbred Wool

I now stock some of the amazing Haunui wool from a family farm in South Canterbury.

The Haunui sheep are  a  cross between a Merino and a long wool breed – usually, Romney, English Leicester (Leicester Longwool), Lincoln. 
It is a  closed flock and has been selectively bred for wool type for many generations and as result has developed its own special character.   It is very lofty, soft and fine and lovely to spin with.  

I have natural coloured comb tops in stock as well as some hand dyed tops.  

If you would like to try some, we are offing a 20% discount on all of the Haunui fibre for the month of August.  Just use the code HAUNUI on the checkout page.

A Very Busy July

I didn't realise that it has been a month since I sent out a blog page, sorry about that.

I have tried to keep my blog to 'woolly' things, but I really wanted to share this with you.   So much has been going on, but the main thing that has happened

.... I have 5 sisters who all live in New Zealand.  I was having a break, watching the tennis and I hear people walk into the house - this is nothing unusual, as we have lots of people coming and going all the time, so I just sat - but then....a sister walked into my room...hello !!!   What a wonderful surprise.   Needless to say, we had a fantastic week, shopping, eating, drinking and talking.  Wonderful. Her name is Tracy and she is the creator of Stray Cat Sock Yarn

With all this wonderful weather, I have also been washing fleece - Wensleydale freshly shorn, and some of my own wool from my sheep Mary and  Poppins.  

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I have a new Spinning Gauge Tool out now.   It has groves for yarn to be placed in.   It is very useful to use while spinning and also after the yarn is finished and washed, to decide on knitting patterns or needle sizes.

 

Summer Heat !!

Gosh, hasn't it been hot here and for more than a few days in a row....believe me this is very unusual for Scotland.  Quite a few days its been over 30 degrees with very little breeze.

Because the sun has been out, I have been washing Wallaby Fibre and letting it dry in the sun.  I then have been making poonies with it on the blending board  mixing it with fine Haunui Half Breed fibre from New Zealand.  I import the Wallaby from an ethically run farm in Australia.  

 

How to wash Wallaby:-

Fill a bucket very full with hot water.  Once full, add 5 squats of a lavender hand wash and gently mix into the water.   Add a handful of the wallaby fur and gently push down.   Leave for about 10 minutes to soak up the water, then give it a gentle stir and leave to rest for a hour.  I then drained it out through a sieve.   I spread it out on the decking and let the sun do the rest.

The blending board is from Majacraft and the blending brush is from Golden Fleece  - perfect conbination. 

A couple of pictures of my pets.  Beautiful Belted Galloway Cows and a view on the farm.

I would love to post some of your photos on my blog of your creations, especially if using something that you have purchased from me.   Send me an email if you are interested.

BritSpin - Team Wheel Ewe

The first ever British Wool Spinning Marathon is a challenge event linked to UK Wool Week, taking place in October 2018.   How exciting....

The Wheel Ewe are putting together a team of 10 people to take part.   Lesley Brisco, who attended last years Retreat in Edinburgh, is our Team Captain.  Why not be one of the 10 and join us for 4 fun days of spinning.

BritSpin is a 4 day event and will start at 12.01am on Thursday 11 October and finish at Midnight on Sunday 14 October BST.   It is in conjunction with Ravely and the winning team spins the most yarn.

Each member of the team will receive a 'goodies box' of fibres of over 300 grams  and there will be spot prizes as well.

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Shetland Visit

I have had the most wonderful few days.   I flew up to Sumburgh, Shetland to meet up with Dj Stefek (one of the tutors on the Retreat in October in Exeter UK).   The weather was AMAZING and I just loved Lerwick and Shetland.   

The food was fabulous, Brian, a spinning bloke who lives in Shetland, took me for a look around the Shetland Museum & Archives, a definite must see then to Fjara Cafe Bar where we had the best mussels I have ever had, and the views were second to none!   Thank you Brian, it was a very lovely day. 

Dj and I did a lot of talking, walking and laughing, with maybe just a 'little' bit of purchases!! also.    Shetland is definitely the home of FairIsle Knitting, it is just everywhere is so beautiful.  A lot of talented people are knitting FairIsle there.  So I purchased a pattern and wool are are making a hat for me...a little bit out of my comfort zone, but are really enjoying it.

Thank you Dj so much for making the time there just great.   I look forward to going back soon.

Elisabeth Kendrick & Sarah Howard - Tutors at the Majacraft Retreat 2017 & 2018

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It was great to have these two lovely ladies teach at the Retreat last year.   We learnt such a lot and got so much inspiration from their woven clothing and weaving enthusiasm....

So much so, that I have been spinning up some singles ready to weave a dress for me to wear at this years Retreat.   ...  Well that is the plan anyway.   

I purchased from Sarah's  ETSY shop, her new pinafore pattern.  I will keep you updated on how I am doing with it!

The jacket on the left, is so lovely too, I may need to make that as well...lets see how the dress works out. 

The classes Sarah & Elisabeth are doing at this year are:-

  • Weaving a small tapestry wallhanging, using the variable reed (Majacraft Rigid Heddle Loom)
  •  Majacraft Rigid heddle weaving - Patterns
  •  Making a garment from your hand woven fabric

Looms for the classes will be provided.

 

Below are some photos of last years retreat weaving classes.

Yarntelier at Chatsworth House

I was lucky enough to attend Louisa Harding's knitting design course over two days in April.   The whole weekend was just amazing.   We started off with a private tour of Chatsworth House to give us inspiration for designing our own knitting pattern.  After an amazing lunch at Chatsworth, we then went into our work room, where our work definitely began!   

I have used Louisa Harding's  knitting patterns for years, I find they work very well with handspun yarns.  So to meet her and get to know her a bit, was wonderful.  A lovely lady and such a lovely group of people who attended also.   If Louisa does this again, I would totally recommend it.

 

Spinners.... take a close look at the last image.   It is of a 1600 extremely large painting on the ceiling of one of the amazing rooms.

For more information about Louisa and Yarntelier, click on this link.

Dj Stefek - Tutor at the Majacraft camp 2017 & 2018

What a find when it came to Dj.   I hadn't met her before, but asked if  she would teach the Turkish Spindle at last years Retreat in Edinburgh .   I had seen her amazing work  through instagram  and knew she would be a great asset to my team.....I was right!!   A great teacher, lovely person and her talents in spinning, especially fine lace weights are definitely up with the best.

This year she will be teaching 3 classes:-

  •  Fine Spinning Part 1 - Techniques
  •  Fine Spinning Part 2 - Plying of fine yarns
  •  Majacraft Turkish Spindle

Below are some examples of her work.

 

Certificate of Achievement in Spinning - Ruth Robinson

I have been asked by several people for photos of my Spinning work from 2015.   The certificate issued by Guild of Spinners Weavers & Dyers  

January 2015 was when I began and submitted the work in the August of that year.  It was great to do, the challenge and learning really helped me develop so much as a spinner and took me out of my comfort zone.  (This is what I try to achieve at the Majacraft Retreats I put on ).     

There are 15 boards altogether, I have added six here and will add some more at another stage. 

I hope it encourages you in your spinning.

 

 100% Rose Bush Fibre,  LOVE it.  silk like, with lots of lustre and drape.  My favourite would be to blend this 50/50 with Bluefaced Leicester wool.

100% Rose Bush Fibre,  LOVE it.  silk like, with lots of lustre and drape.  My favourite would be to blend this 50/50 with Bluefaced Leicester wool.

 Wensleydale - This was a great leaning piece.  The first time using combs.

Wensleydale - This was a great leaning piece.  The first time using combs.

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Jane Deane - Tutor at the Majacraft Retreat 2017 & 2018

Jane was an amazing teacher at last years retreat that, we needed her back again.   She has a lovely gentle way of taking us out of our comfort zone ...without as knowing !!

You may recognise her from a recent episode of Countryfile on BBC 1.

This year, she will be doing a class on Silk.   From her experience of raising silk worms, she will take us all the way through the silk process.   I am so looking forward to this class.

Below is an example of the work from Jane's class that we did at last years Retreat in Edinburgh.   It is Julie Hancock's work.  It was amazing how all 50 people who attended came up with different creations from the same inspiration. 

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 For more information about Jane click here and here

There are still places available at this years Majacraft Retreat in Exeter in October.   I advise to book soon to secure you place.

Janet Day - Tutor at the Majacraft Retreat 2018

We are so lucky to have the amazing talented Janet Day to our Retreat this year.  I have just read an article about her in the latest Spin Off magazine.  So I though I would post a few photos of her creations.

For more information on Janet click here

 

We are stocking a new line of recycled Sari Silks in 4 different colours.

Doris Breitsameter - Hand spun & hand woven.

This weeks creation is by Doris Breitsameter of Germany.   She purchased three of the Autumn Trees Inspirational Spinning Boxes in October last year.   Look what she made from them.   The size is 2.10 m x 0.85 m.  The white part is Texel x Beltex! from Kathryn Dickinson of https://www.handmadeinwestwoodside.com/    It is just so beautiful, the way she did the colours and spun it up and then woven, is so impressive.  The only thing is, I really need to touch it and see it in person....maybe this is a good excuse to visit Germany   :-) 

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Crochet Baskets

I have been snowed in this week, so I have been doing some tiding up of my studio as well as lots of spinning!!     I really wanted some baskets in my studio, so decided to make them myself.   I found a really good tutorial through Ravelry ( the link is below - she does say to use cotton, but wool is perfect also),    

I  spun a thick single, using 4 colours of green from the latest Inspirational Spinning Box,  and chain plyed it for a nice chunky yarn.   The Fibre was Merino for two of the colours and Corriedale for the other 2 colours.  And crochet into the basket, using a No.8 hook, and added the handles also.   I was very surprised how easy it was to do and how it stands up so well.  I shall definitely be making some more.

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