Happy November! While i'm in an eternal state of wondering where the year has gone, i'm also rather looking forward to Christmas this year. It's the best time to catch a break, relax and get crafty.
December and Christmas is a time for being with good people, having time away from the busy-ness of work and reflecting on the best things in life. And usually time for treats. If you're hankering after new toys this Christmas, you're in luck!
From today until 21 November we've got 15% off ALL Ashford hardware. The discount has already been applied to all eligible products so you don't need to worry about discount codes.
The best part? We'll order in anything at all for you if it isn't already in-stock or online. Have a nosey and daydream through the Ashford product range and give us a yell if you need prices or advice. I rather fancy the idea of treating myself to a 50cm Knitter's Loom. Perfect way to churn through the stash and make some super gift-able scarves.
The sale applies to Ashford hardware only - looms, spinning wheels, drum carders, swifts, wool winders and accessories. Yarn and sliver are excluded. And there's free shipping on all NZ orders over $50! Hooray!
P.S If this post seems to be lacking a little joie de vivre, it's because I had to write it twice. You missed out on the first round of over-excitement. Boo!
Yesterday Bridget collected her brand new shiny Ashford Knitters Loom and 10dpi reed. Last weekend Lindy picked up her Ashford Lace Flyer and spare bobbins. Julia is over the moon with her Ashford Joy spinning wheel.
One of the most rewarding parts of being in the shop is sharing the excitement of new tools with you. As much as big piles of squishy yarn gets us all excited, there's something extra special about finally deciding that yes, it's time. Time to order in that loom you've been thinking about for months. Time to treat yourself to a new craft, a new way of discovering meditation through making.
As Bridget walked out the door with her arms wrapped around a big box with Ashford printed all over it, I was thinking about how she'll get to experience the fun that is opening that box. Of unwrapping each component, of learning all the details of the loom through the process of putting it together. I can't wait to see what Bridget makes first. I hope she doesn't mind my using her to paint a picture of what it's like to be a new owner.
Not so long ago I put together the shop's Ashford Traveller. There's something really special and rewarding about rubbing each piece with wax polish, and figuring out how all the pieces connect and play a part in the process.
I guess it must be like someone who loves cycling buying a brand new bicycle (a bike shop has just opened across the road, by the way). Or someone who loves sewing buying and using an overlocker for the first time. Taking that step up, and exploring a new way of using yarn or fibre to create different outcomes is so thrilling.
Now I know purchasing some new hardware can be a bit daunting. It's also not a decision to be made lightly - it is an investment. While we don't have any looms set up at the shop right now, we do have an Ashford Joy spinning wheel, a Traveller wheel and a drum carder for you to try out. It's best to set up an appointment with us so we can have everything ready to go when you arrive - it's a good idea to try out a couple of options before settling on any decision. Everyone has different preferences and it's good to have a bit of time to figure out exactly what it is that will work for you.
And yep, we totally do layby. Hooray!
Tour de Fleece? Tour de WHAT?!
Tour de Fleece is an annual spin-a-long that started way back in 2006 by someone called Star Athena. The idea is, you pick a challenge, and spin during the Tour de France. Simple! It can be from the smallest challenge to something completely absurd, and you can join a team to compete in if you want to take it seriously. I've joined both Team Aotearoa and Team Ashford, but I need to figure out exactly what it is I want to achieve.
The most worrying part is...I don't have much of a fibre stash. Not counting shop fibre, this is my entire collection of spinning fibre:
Both from Spinning A Yarn. The plan is to spin both of these into something or other. To make up for the lack of stash, i've rummaged around the shop and found some bits and pieces to put through the drum carder.
The plan is, simply, to spin every day. It'll be my daily reward for getting other less fun tasks done. Are you Tour de Fleecing? I can't wait to what everyone achieves during the three weeks. And no, you don't have to watch any real cycling if you don't want to.
If you fancy a go with our drum carder, you're more than welcome to come and use ours any time. Ask nicely and we'll even let you take it away for a spell for a small fee and refundable bond. Ours is a fine 72PPSI carder, suitable for pretty much anything except raw fleece and making wild yarn batts. We're still learning the ins and outs of the drum carder, but if you need any help feel free to give us a yell.
Don't let the word 'technical' scare you off!
Are you new or semi-new to spinning? Do you have a mental list of things you would like to learn in order to improve your technique? Yes? Me too! I can do the absolute basics but I have lots of questions and would love some guidance.
Which is why Sue is coming along to teach us spinning tips and tricks! You can book right here.
Spinning! It's a whole load of fun.
Spinning Sunday is a great way to meet other spinners in a super relaxed environment. From experience I know that as a new-ish spinner, spinning in public can be a bit scary. We're going to make this as welcoming as we possibly can! Come along, learn some things, and have that magic lightbulb moment of 'oh! that's how it works!'
Come on - get excited about spinning with us!
Each session is only $10. Why only $10? Because we really want to make this accesible to everyone. $10 is a commitment to come, and you'll absolutely walk away with more than $10 worth of new knowledge.
all Sundays, 1pm - 3pm
What to bring:
- BYO wheel (if you talk to us first we can arrange a wheel for you to borrow for the session)
- An extra bobbin
And it's super easy to book in online.
Session one, 16 June:
Spinning for plying.
How thick do I need to make my singles, how much twist should I put in to get the type of yarn that I want.
How to spin a reference yarn with the plying information you need in it that you can use to check as you go. (So you don’t get a surprise when merino goes pouf!).
Sessions 2 - 4:
We'll talk about what you would like to learn in the first session, and add a session plan here after 16 June.
Day one of Handmade was super duper awesomely amazing! We're here all ready to go for day 2, pumped full of coffee and excited about hanging out with everyone.
Here's a few highlights:
Belinda created a new group of keen knitters
Our knit lounge was filled with knitters and crocheters...
Today we'll be spinning and drum carding and eating chocolate and drinking coffee. If you're around, feel free to come down and join in the fun - and you can still book classes for today. We had a great time at Pecha Kucha last night - for just $10 you can hear a bunch of great people talk about what they love.
If you aren't in Wellington - I hope you are having a lovely crafty weekend.