Yarn dyers and mamas Vicky and Nicola of Rosewood Wool have been friends for quite a long time. “We met when our eldest sons were toddlers, but our friendship is bound together with handcraft. We live and breathe it [though] one of us works full time and the other home-schools – we have six children between us and we plan family camping trips together with the intention of sitting and knitting for days.”
What do you make?
We hand dye small batches of lambs’ wool, which we have sourced from a local farm. We have done many projects in our time and always find a way to split the work between us in a way that plays to our strengths and time. We have had our share of tragedy and sadness and the simple tasks of knitting, sewing and the gentle chat that comes with it has guided us through. We have really found our passion in dyeing this beautiful wool and are so thrilled to share it with a wider audience. We are overwhelmed with how well it has been received.
How did you get into your craft?
Our long love affair with fabric, fibre and especially knitting drew us inevitably towards dyeing our own yarn. We have knitted with this wool for years so it was very natural for us to choose it as our base. We were excited to develop our own colour range and were thrilled to find it was exactly what other people were looking for. There is a real movement back to real, old fashioned wool.
Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
We are all about simplicity. We have two favourite pots that we share and we dye the wool in our kitchens with the help of our children (sometimes!). We have a passion for using natural materials to dye with – we are currently harvesting privet berries.
What inspires you?
We are inspired by our product. Providing warmth, longevity and beauty is so fulfilling. Developing new colours is always inspiring. We recently started selling at markets, and talking to knitters, as well as inspiring people to knit, is really motivating for us.
Five words that describe your mind:
Honest, analytical, tangents, gentle and maternal… with a bit of nappy brain thrown in!
Your favourite feedback from a customer:
Returning customers are the greatest feedback we can receive. Knowing people are loving what we are doing and like the product so much they want more makes us really happy.
Who is your hero?
Bev, my clay tutor and Elizabeth Zimmerman.
A favourite quote:
“One stitch at a time,” and
“What’s comin’ will come, an’ we’ll meet it when it does.” (Hagrid, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J K Rowling).
Do you have any pets?
Just the usual chickens, cats and bees!
What would your advice be for those starting out in a crafty business?
Believe in your product and start small.
What was the last handmade item you bought and what attracted you to it?
Some lovely buttons from Tuesday’s Buttons, love their packaging and the fact that its completely done by children and some Tony Sly dinner plates. The link between pottery and wool is really strong for me, they compliment each other beautifully.
What’s in store for the coming year?
We have a really exciting year ahead of us. We are attending more markets and have the big annual Pirongia Craft Day in September. We are working on our natural dye range at the moment and some really exciting collaborations with designers. We hope to fit in a bit more knitting too!
You can see Vicky and Nicola’s gorgeous hand-dyed yarns, in a range of beautiful natural colours, in their Felt shop Rosewood Wool.