Friday, August 22, 2014

How Yarns Sing Stories ...



It is about time that there are no more zombifying flu, power outtages or computer explosions. I am ready for a period of blissful uneventfulness on that front I tell you. My computer died just a day before I had to leave for the Country Conference, leaving me unable to print out my notes, my hand outs of the Navajo weaving and spinning history, etc etc….livid I was, absolutely livid. I thumped, I stomped my feet and had an enraged cry, and…went on with life and taking care of business..no use crying over spilt milk..or spoiled computers..or no electricity or …no telephone …come to think of it…oh well, just imagine yourself being Claire from Outlander, being transported to the 1800s who didn’t have anything like that modern annoying stuff to worry about and get on with business...

It was a fabulous weekend at Mt Eliza and  being at the Victorian Country Conference. I had brought heaps of my fluffy stuff and very special Navajo spindles made from 45.000 year old Kauri wood and some very special handwoven Navajo rugs. Ofcourse I didn’t have my carefully prepared handouts because of my computer meltdown, but I did do a talk about the Navajo rugs and their meaning and especially for the occasion, I took my drum and pow wow outfit and sang a Navajo blessing song...
Nobody fell asleep, no snoring was heard (probably because of my drumming..lol) and I had the most amazing responses from people saying they will have a whole new way of looking at rugs.
It was great fun to be part of the weekend!


Display with one of my Yei rugs snd ofcourse the very special Lair of the Bearded Dragon Navajo Spindles made with 45.000 year old Kauri wood and their mulga and sandalwood support slabs 
(please contact me if you would like to know how to get one of these beauties)






You may know I have a soft spot for Navajo Churro sheep and the navajo rugs. Spending a substantial time of my childhood spinning and  rugs being woven and the stories being told. I guess that is what is really the most important: the stories that are so intrinsically woven into the yarn and the rugs.
It is not only a craft , but also a way of translating how we look at the world and incorporate its magic into a two dimensional framework. Even the way that we see looms are different: the ropes to hold the warp threads are the thunder and the the warp itself is the rain falling down from heaven to earth. I was always taught never to weave when there was a lightning storm because of that.
Ofcourse sitting at a large loom , exposed to the elements , is never an extremely good idea when a big lightning storm hits, but you see how it all interweaves into ones life. Everything has a meaning, everything around you is transformed and has its own magic. Just look at how the corn rug below  resembles reality...abstract and yet so similar.





There are so many things going on in a navajo rug, whether it be something minuscule woven into certain spots like a feather into a horse blanket to make sure that the horse is fast as an eagle, or bits of hair or plants, all have their meaning.
And then , ofcourse, there is the story that they tell and the magic they hold . There are lots of ceremonial rugs, rugs used in puberty ceremonies or birthing ceremonies. At the Country Conference I especially talked about one rug I have and is extremely special to me: the colour yellow and the stairs it depicts from heaven to earth is especially important and used when the midwife was assisting in the birth.
In the old days , the midwife collected corn pollen and then a horny toad was found and the pollen was put on its head and mouth. It was an extremely good omen that the toad spat out the corn mush and often that is why these kinds of ceremonial birthing rugs have yellow woven in to them, much like this one here:







This rugwas used in the kinaalda ceremony or a girls puberty ceremony: the worn spot in the middle shows where the girls sat while their hair was tied in the ceremonial hairdo.  This rug was passed down from generation to generation.Ceremonial rugs are very , very special. Ceremonial rugs invoke stories and songs and memories of intense night long gatherings. the songs that were sung at a gathering or a ceremony would be the same as what a weaver would sing while weaving a special ceremonial rug.
When a certain kind of rug is being woven, the collective spirit of the weaver and the family members meld with the words of a ceremony and the power it conjures up from a shared past to a new future and new stories to be told.



Night times; daytime rug


Weaving  and spinning yarn is more than just a craft to me and the Navajo people. It is an expression of our culture. The yarns are used to weave the rich history and tell the stories and this history is passed down from generation to generation.
For many Navajos, weaving is a way of making a living. Navajo rugs hang in museums around the world and are highly valued. Weavers can sell a rug as fast as they can weave them and for most it is their only source of income.
The rugs sing a song, tell a story and that is what makes them so magical. If the past and the stories are forgotten, then the rugs won’t mean anything. About 5 out of ten Navajos do not have a job and most of the weavers do not receive a lot of money for their rugs at all. For example: a rug can make over a month to three months make (just the weaving not the spinning and gathering the plants for the dyeing)  and is sold to a trader for $500, who easily sells it on to tourists or investors for $2000. This is not right and it makes me angry everytime.  Even when I see fellow crafts people around me where I live now, who undervalue their work and not recognise that their work tells stories and is important.

The struggle to practice ones culture and still make a living is a big problem. There is so much to tell and so little time. I may have to do another blog about more of the magic in the rugs and more about story telling!
 It is no wonder that wool and yarn is so intricately intertwined : no wonder that  "telling a yarn" means "telling a story" ...
Let's all tell stories together and most of all learn from each other and pass the stories on and on and on !

After the weekend it has been full blast with custom orders, painting lots of spindles again and ofcourse, preparing all the clubs ! The sock yarn, fibre, funky bunny batt club and the mini skein clubs are going to be sent out next Monday and I love the way it all looks. The next sign ups for the clubs will start again this week for the next round of clubs starting in October. More on that at the end of this blog with al the information you need to sign up.

Please don't hesitate to contact me at any time if you have any questions okay? Always happy to enable. All my contact details are to be found at the end of this weeks blog entry. Have fun !!!

Navajo Churro Bunny tops
A lofty rare breed sheeps wool with a dash of angora bunny and lovely to spin!

100+grams (+/-3.5Oz) AU$22

The Navajo churro sheep, has been introduced by the Spanish Conquistadores to the Americas in the 1700s and they have been a part of Navajo life ever since.
Due to immense hardship ( the imprisonment and the horrors of the long walk home, the government imposing a law that one family could only 1 sheep and much much more, which I won't get into now..) 90% of the churro sheep were culled and almost wiped off the face of the earth.
Thanks to the effort of the Navajo Sheep project started in the 1980s there are several herds and its looking up for the churro breed  !
Support rare breeds by supporting small farms and buying this gorgeous fibre.
It spins like a lofty semi lustrous wool with a medium length staple. I have blended it with just a dash of angora bunny to make it close to skin and easy to spin for most projects from shawls to socks to rugs.  You will love spinning this magical fibre.

Wide Ruins-sold-


Changing Woman

Grey Hills-sold-

Magic Woman

Burnt Water

Monster Slayer-sold-

Moss Rose Canyon


Pine Springs

Rose Ridge

Rose Sunrise

Sky eagle-sold-

Storm-1left-





Sun Party







Water Child-sold-

Tsoodzil

New IxCHeL Club sign ups Open now !

October, November and December  2014!!

For all our international  club fans there is a possibility to ship all three clubs together to save on postage if you want :-) Just pm me to enquire about  the options.

 IxCHeL Fibre Club October, November and December  2014

The subscription is for a period of three months and you will receive one special hand dyed top/roving per month to the value of AU$22 , and as all of you past members know you get tops that are usually around $24 ! so it is a great deal!
All the tops will be hand dyed and will be especially made for the members of Ixchel Fibre Club ! Price to join the Ixchel Fibre Club #20 and receive your special hand dyed top :)) for three months (July, August and September 2014) is AU$66 + postage (parcel post or airmail). AND there are good value double serves available !!!

For Australia : single serve $66+$28 postage (parcel post), double serve $120+$28
For USA + Canada: single serve AU$66+AU$51 (Airmail) double serve AU$120+AU$51
For UK,Europe, rest of the world: Single serve AU$66+AU$60 (airmail) Double serve AU$120+AU$60
For Asia: Single serve AU$66+AU$45 (airmail) Double serve AU$120+AU$45
If you want to receive a fibre surprise every month then join the IXCHEL FIBRE CLUB #22 now. Numbers are strictly limited ! The October Club is going to be shipped out end of October. Payment via direct deposit or credit card or paypal. Just PM or email me your details

The IxCHeL Sock Yarn Club July , August and September 2014

Every month for three months (October, November and December  2014) you will receive: enough hand dyed luscious yummy yarn to make a pair of socks or a lush shawl or scarf ofcourse! (the hand dyed yarn will be exclusive for the Ixchelbunny SOCK-IT-TO-ME Yarn CLUB and will range from a sockweight yarn or a 3ply or a 4 ply); Every month a new sock pattern, tips and instructions ! Now is that GOOD or is that GOOD ??!
I will even offer a double serve for those of you who like their socks extra long
For Australia : single serve $78+$28 postage (parcel post) double serve $130 (= one skein FREE!!!) +$28
For USA + Canada: single serve AU$78+AU$51 (Airmail) double serve $130 (= one skein FREE!!!) +AU$51
For UK,Europe, rest of the world: Single serve AU$78+AU$60 (airmail) Double serve $130 (= one skein FREE!!!) +AU$60
For Asia: Single serve AU$78+AU$45 (airmail) Double serve $130 (= one skein FREE!!!) +AU$45
Numbers are strictly limited ! 
Payment via direct deposit or credit card or paypal . Just PM or email me your details 
  By the way: you don’t HAVE to knit socks if you don’t want to.. the hand dyed yarn is amazingly nice for scarves, cowls, beanies and even tops ! Anything goes .

IxCHeL Mini skein Club October, November and December  2014

Every month I will be offering a monthly exclusive IxCHeL mini skein selection for Club members. In that monthly selection there are 12 hand dyed miniskeins that are hand dyed and or even hand spun and awesome to add to your mini skein projects.
Here are all the details for the sign ups for the IxCHeL Mini Skein Club:
For Australia : single serve $69+$28 postage (parcel post) double serve $130 (=even a better deal!) +$28
For USA + Canada: single serve AU$69+AU$51 (Airmail) double serve $130 (even a better deal!) +AU$51
For UK,Europe, rest of the world: Single serve AU$69+AU$60 (airmail) Double serve $130 (even a better deal!)+AU$60
For Asia: Single serve AU$69+AU$42 (airmail) Double serve $130 (even a better deal!)+AU$45
Numbers are strictly limited !  The OctoberClub mini skeins will be sent out end of October. Payment via direct deposit or credit card or paypal. Just PM or email me your details

IxCHeL Funky Bunny Batt Club October, November and December  2014

Here are all the details and just pm me when you have any questions or want to be part of the funky bunny batt club Movement ;-) Welcome to the blingy dark side ;-D
The subscription is for a period of three months and you will receive one special hand dyed funky bunny batt per month to the value of AU$36 or more .
The batts will range in weight from 130grams to 180grams with luxury fibres like camel , angora, cashmere, silk, yak, llama even wolf and bison! All the batts will be hand dyed and will be especially made for the members of Ixchel funky bunny Club ! Every month you will receive a HUGE luxury funky bunny batt !
Sign up now and you will receive an Ixchel Hand dyed , super luxurious funky bunny batt for October, November and December  2014!
Price to join the Ixchel Funky bunny for three months is :
For Australia : $96+$28 postage (parcel post)
For USA + Canada: AU$96+AU$51 (Airmail)
For UK,Europe, rest of the world: AU$96+AU$60 (airmail)
For Asia: AU$96+AU$45 (airmail)
If you want to receive a fibre surprise every month then join the IXCHEL FUNKY BUNNY Batt CLUB now. Numbers are strictly limited ! The first installment is going to be shipped out end of October :) Payment via direct deposit or credit card or paypal. Just PM or email me

IxCHeL Events to put in your Calendar!


Sunday September 28th, 9:30-3pm

Sheep and Woolcraft Day (with bunnies as well ofcourse !)

Cranbourne Public Hall (near KFC) in Cranbourne
I will have a big stall there filled to the brim with luscious fibery goodness and NEW fluffy exciting stuff ! AND new very special spindles and bowls from Lair of the Bearded Dragon !
Not to be missed!

 

October 7th, 10am-2:30pm

PASCOE VALE SPIN IN

at Swimming Pool Hall
7 Prospect street
Pascoe vale
There will be lots of traders, competitions and show and tell.
Lots of fun to be had !!!
NEW IxCHeL blends and lots of new exciting spinning stuff from Lair of the Bearded Dragon ;-)


How To Order:

1. You can email me on ixchel at rabbit dot com dot au or ixchelbunny at yahoo dot com dot au
2. message me on facebook or ravelry where I am Ixchelbunny.

I will email you right back with all your order details and payment methods.

Any questions? Any custom orders for yarn or dyeing fibre? Please don’t hesitate to ask! Always happy to enable.
Thank you so much for your help and support !


 

 RABBIT ON !


((hugs))


Charly



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Friday, August 8, 2014

Don't Blink....



So yes, I missed an update last week..it could not be helped..I was struck down with a zombiefying flu and the power was out shortly followed by no mobile phone reception either…all fun and games. It was windy and wobbly  oh and icy...don't forget icy cold!

The good thing is: I was forced to take it easy. Which is a good thing because a kept falling over and blacking out from sheer exhaustion prior to Bendigo and yes (I didn’t let on to anybody at the time really, but just before set up day Thursday I was out for the count as well..if it wasn’t for the wonderful girls who I shared my Bendigo accommodation with I wouldn’t have been that lucky.. Now , after umptieth doctor visits and scans and tests , the results are okay…apparently my brain is close to normal (who would have guessed) and I am just totally depleted of essential vitamins and other essential stuff…I needed to take it easy and rest..which I did..under protest…because you know..I am stubborn..lol..I promise I am taking it easy-ER,,really !

So what have I been up to after Bendigo and the whole taking it easy thing thrust upon me? Well, let me see..I have been painting police boxes…yes police boxes…spindles..lots of them..apparently everybody loves them and so do I (who doesn’t love a Who? Lol) especially the glow in the dark kind, which is great fun. So yeah, busy doing that and filling in custom orders. Safe to say at the moment I am a bit Doctor Who obsessed…and with the new series starting at the end of the month..well…its as normal as fish fingers and custard..lol Working on my Tardis Shawl as well , which is coming along fabulous !
  

I am also preparing for the country Conference held at Camp Manyung in the gorgeous Mount Eliza next week Friday til Sunday the 17th of august. I will be doing a talk about Navajo spindles and weaving and yarn making and how my tribe and the Navajo people see the world and translate that in craft.
Another very exciting thing is that I also have a stall there with lots of goodies and ..wait for it! There is an opportunity for those who weren’t able to make it for the whole three days to come and visit on the Saturday , August 16th of August , between 1:30 and 5pm ! For all information where and when exactly, scroll down to the DATES TO PUT IN YOUR CALENDAR bit !

 
Please don't hesitate to contact me at any time if you have any questions okay? Always happy to enable. All my contact details are to be found at the end of this weeks blog entry. Have fun !!!

Blue Faced Leicester Superwash + Cashmere Tops
A soft, very lustrous lofty sheeps wool and lovely to spin!

100+grams (+/-3.5Oz) AU$24
 
Companion -sold-

 

Carnival of Monsters

 
Androzani trees-sold-

 
Handbot

 
Headless Monks

 
Lakertyans

 
Siren Mermaids -sold out-


 
Spiridons

 
Spoon heads

 
Time Zombies

 
Mandrels-only 2 left-

 
Weeping Angels-sold-
 

IxCHeL Events to put in your Calendar!

Friday 15th of August-Sunday 17th of August

39th Annual Country Conference

 
OPEN AFTERNOON SATURDAY AUGUST 16th , 1:30pm-5pm Come and snaffle and have fibery fun ! I will be there with heaps of goodies and so is Emma from Spun Out with all her gorgeous spindles ! There are going to be Navajo weavings and fibre on display and for sale as well as Navajo spindles from 45000 year old Kauri wood made by the Lair of the Bearded Dragon !!!
 
Camp Manyung Sunnyside Rd,
Mount Eliza
Im doing a talk there about the Navajo Churro Sheep project, Navajo Rug making, Navajo style spinning and more !
Lots of extremely special and hard to find fibres and yarns and SPINDLES will be available there !
Not to be missed!
There will also be a Special Navajo rug display and I will also have a stall there with lots of fluffy stuff to hug..enabling galore!!
To participate in the Country Conference please contact : Dot Vallence , email: dotv5@optusnet.com.au


 

Sunday September 28th, 9:30-3pm

Sheep and Woolcraft Day (with bunnies as well ofcourse !)

Cranbourne Public Hall (near KFC) in Cranbourne
I will have a big stall there filled to the brim with luscious fibery goodness and NEW fluffy exciting stuff !
Not to be missed!

 

October 7th, 10am-2:30pm

PASCOE VALE SPIN IN

at Swimming Pool Hall
7 Prospect street
Pascoe vale
 
There will be lots of traders, competitions and show and tell.
Lots of fun to be had !!!
NEW IxCHeL blends and lots of new exciting spinning stuff from Lair of the Bearded Dragon ;-)


How To Order:

1. You can email me on ixchel at rabbit dot com dot au or ixchelbunny at yahoo dot com dot au
2. message me on facebook or ravelry where I am Ixchelbunny.

I will email you right back with all your order details and payment methods.

Any questions? Any custom orders for yarn or dyeing fibre? Please don’t hesitate to ask! Always happy to enable.
 
Thank you so much for your help and support !


 

 RABBIT ON !


((hugs))


Charly



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