I hope this post finds you well and happy! I’m going to show you some gorgeous wool today, and of course, explain my third resolution, which I’m very excited about and wonder if you might like to join me on….
But first… gorgeous wool. My Mum is so talented at stuff that sometimes she makes me sick when I see the gorgeous things that emerge from her hands and needles. She is a Wool Ninja and can do pretty much anything fibre related, and I consider myself extremely lucky to have such an able and dedicated teacher…. although of course, it’s really hard to learn new and tricky skills from Mum because I’m not too shy to throw a tantrum in front of her when the knitting just won’t do what it’s meant to…. I’ll say no more!
In July, we went to a spin-in and her friend Maria was there, selling beautiful 50gm knots of unspun wool which she had dyed herself. If you don’t remember this post, click here and a new window will pop up and take you back in time! I went CRAZY over these knot of wool…. go and look at this post and you will see why! Maria is an amazing dyer (unfortunately she is internet-phobic, so I can’t send you to a website showing you her work) and after I had bought a bagful of her wool and was so hypnotised by the colours I couldn’t stop staring at them, considering getting more and more and MORE, Mum put her foot down and banned Maria from selling me any more as I had nominated her to spin them all for me. (I suppose that’s fair enough?)
Yesterday I went for a visit to my parents place and found the last two knots had been spun for me. THANKS MUM! They were in fact, my two favourite ones, and the way she had spun the purple one took my breath away. She tried to spin each knot a different way, and she put this one through her drum carder to achieve this result.
Have you ever seen a drum carder? They look like a piece of torture equipment….
I don’t really know what I’m talking about in this post… I’m no spinner (yet!) but whatever she did with the drum carder made the wool… well, like a piece of artwork!
I am experiencing deep wool lust here, and even though I made a rule that all special wool goes into the big click-clack container in my wardrobe and does not clutter up my wool baskets, I just can’t put it away, it is on top of the baskets where I can gaze at it adoringly and stroke it every now and then. I’m thinking it might make a beautiful tea cozy which I will not sell or give away, like I usually do! It needs to be something small as it is only 50gm, and something that won’t wear out. Any other suggestions?
So. Gorgeous wool attended to, I’m now going to tell you about my third resolution. Consumerism bugs me. My workmate at the shop I work at labeled me a “consumer” the other week and I took offense at that, because the environment is highly important to me and I’m always mindful of the impact I’m having on the earth. I try to minimise my impact by doing lots of small things, such as not buying anything that can’t be recycled, upcycled or regifted and will eventually end up in a landfill. I try not to buy things with excess packaging. I try to buy NZ made and try to avoid $2 shops. I hardly ever need a bag and I use pages from old, falling apart kids picture books from the op shops as wrapping paper instead of using fandangly-spangly paper from the bookshop that can’t be composted or recycled. I’m far from perfect, but try to make choices based on ethical and environmental reasons, and this year, was highly inspired by the handmade Christmas challenge that was happening around Blogland. (I don’t know who started it, but you are a legend!)
I thought about doing it…. thought about doing it for the whole year, not just Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s and Father’s Day… the whole lot! But then I thought, there is only so much crochet people can receive before they start to hate crochet, and decided to modify the idea slightly, and that…..
For the whole of 2011 (and beyond, but we’ll make it a 2011 thing!) any gift I give to anyone will either be handmade my me, or bought from another New Zealand artist. Throughout the year, when I buy things made by NZ artists, I’ll post about that artist and show you what we get up to down here at the bottom of the planet, and introduce you to some of these amazing people. My main reason for doing this is that I’ve really had it with seeing big businesses taking over the little guy, and I want any money I’m spending this year, to be put straight into an artist’s pocket, to give them an energy exchange that is appropriate for the work they put into creating the product. Because we all know how long it takes to make something amazing don’t we!
My rules for this game are: Handmade gifts are great, all other gifts must be made in New Zealand by an artist of whichever persuasion, as long as they are not owned by a big business which is then probably owned by another big business. No imported gifts are allowed, and nothing that is made by someone who is not being paid accordingly. (Think, crochet beanie from chain store being sold on sale for $5, marked down from $20.)
Maybe you’d like to join in on Resolution Number 3? I haven’t travelled extensively, but I’m positive that there are amazing local artists in other places that are easy to access! Is it viable where you come from? If not, why not? I think it’s going to be lots of fun, and I can’t wait to share the things I find throughout the year with you! It might be a bit of a challenge coming up to Christmas, but it’s one I’m prepared to take on with much excitement and enthusiasm. I’d love to hear what you think!
I’m off now…. I’ve got some fantastic knitting on the needles and need to get back to it urgently! Wishing you many blessings for today!
Lots of love, Alice and Raymond XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX