This year I have been working for Bellevue Park Wool, dyeing their current hand dyed range of 10 colours. Jim and family have had a busy year, not just looking after the sheep, but also taking the yarn on the road to Wool and craft shows. I am in awe of how they get so much done! Jim has also talked with thousands of customers to get a feel for what his customers want.
Jim and I have been working on 20 new hand dyed colours to launch at their open day on 17th November. That brings the hand dyed colour range up to 30 shades in 2, 4 and 8 ply! I’m very excited! The best thing about working together is that because we have different colour tastes there will be colours for everyone in the range. Here are a couple of sneaky peeks of new and current colours together.
TOP Patersons Curse, (New) Gooseberry jam, Primrose.
BOTTOM Waterhole, (New) Blue, Galvanised Iron.
Lately I’ve been constantly distracted by a magnolia tree in my garden. That means a couple of new shades of wool that MUST be dyed. Light green ‘Bud’ and bright ‘Magnolia’ alongside the favourites ‘tea dyed’ and ‘vintage Rose’. Yarn is a base of Australian single-farm-origin superfine merino from Bellevue Park Wool. This is 4ply and 8ply is available as dyed-to-order. Available in the Etsy store during spring.
My Friend and I both have an obsession with abandoned buildings. We chose an old dairy as the inspiration for an embroidery project and went for a little poke around with a camera. It was a great escape for the morning to immerse ourselves in a little piece of forgotten history.
I could not get the colours out of my head and this first photo became the direct inspiration for some new colours I have dyed on the Bellevue Park Superfine 4ply which will be for sale on Etsy.
This is Drover & Classer. We don’t want to go all ‘over the top’ with romanticised visions of where the wool comes from, but, since we’re not out there doing the actual hard work of sheep farming that can happen.
When I was in primary school I used to take ‘shearing shed biscuits’ to school. Or pumpkin scones. I may have, on occasion, traded them with my best friend for chips. When I was really little until I was about seven my parents owned a sheep and wheat farm in central NSW and although shearing was probably only once or twice a year it seems to take up a lot of space in my early memories. Smoko was a big deal. I remember spending a whole morning making double batches of shearing shed biscuits, pumpkin scones and filling a blue esky drink holder thing full of ‘cottees’ cordial. Mum and I took all the Smoko to the shearing shed which was always well received by the shearers and then my toddler sister and I were allowed to run around the shed pretending we were sheep for half hour or so before it was time to clear out when shearing started up again. Shearing shed biscuits are actually jam drops and they were probably out of a 1980’s Country Womens’ Association (CWA) Cookbook. I still call them shearing shed biscuits and so do my ‘townie’ kids!
Shearing Shed Biscuits
4 cups self raising flour
1 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
8 Tabs milk (160ml)
Rub butter in flour until it resembles crumbs (or use food processor).
add rest of ingreds. roll into balls. dip thumb in sugar and press hole in ball, fill it with jam. bake in hot 210oC oven for 10 mins.
Autumn always has me thinking about running away to a cabin in the woods to walk in pine forests and watch leaves change colour. Tricky when you live on the Australian coastal fringe! I’ve dreamed up five colours for the beautiful Australian Bellevue Park superfine merino. Log Cabin, Pine Forest, Icy Lake, Cinnamon & Marshmallow. Pop over to the Drover & Classer Etsy Store or Instagram to ask a question or have a chat. If you are unsure about colour I’m happy to send you a sample first. These colours are also stocked by ‘Bricks and mortar’ store mulberry and flax in Newcastle! (The pink is lighter in real life)