Tiny Tangimoana in the Manuwatu is home to Sabine Schneider, artisan dyer and creator of Curiouser & Curiouser yarns for the adventurous crafter. Characterised by lush colourways and tempting textures, her yarns are hand painted in small batches, making each one unique.
What do you make?
Most of the time I try to make sense of life. But I also dye wool and other fibres. I knit and crochet and usually have at least half a dozen projects on the go. My favourite knits at the moment are socks – tabi and hiking socks in particular. I also make hand cream and natural perfumes.
How did you get into your craft?
I can’t remember. It was either someone tsk-tsk-ing at one of my hard, smudged attempts of crocheting a pot holder, or possibly a book about outdoor skills featuring Huey, Louie and Dewey. In Germany where I grew up they’re called Tick, Trick and Track. They knew everything from lighting a fire to tying special knots, and building temporary shelter. I so wanted to be like them!
What inspires you?
Contrasts mostly. I’m a bit of an either-or person and thrive on life’s opposites – good/evil, light/dark, upstairs/downstairs, dead/alive, soft/hard, rich/poor, open/shut, red/green, night/day, sweet/sour, me/you.
Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
Wool, thread, fibre, yarn. Oh, and did I mention thread, wool, yarn and fibre? I love the touch and smell of wool, the look of a basket of yarns. My favourite process is dyeing – the prospect of painting yarn in a unique colour combination makes my heart sing… I used to sew a lot, but now I mostly love knitting and crocheting. I do suffer from second-sock-shock syndrome, though. As for tools – all beautiful hand-made wooden fibre tools, especially my Golding ring spindle, the old home-made swift, and my gorgeous Knit Picks circulars.
Five words that describe your mind: A galaxy constantly rearranging itself.
Is there a philosophy behind your work? No. But I trust my instincts.
Describe your workspace:
The only space exclusively dedicated to craft is my transformed wardrobe. I threw out all the clothes and installed shelving. My yarns are dyed on the dining table. When I temporarily occupy the kitchen I cover everything and try not to spill the dyepots. One of my goals in life is learning to be tidy, but being a crafter really works against this – I swear bits and bobs escape at night and spread out on almost every surface in the house.
What are you currently listening to? Birds, howling wind, annoying planes, silence.
Your favourite childhood book? Outdoor skills with Huey, Louie and Dewey.
What are you reading now?
I’m a fulltime student – it’s too much to list. But I’m always reading one or the other Tolkien book.
Not sure I believe in the concept. Not in real life anyway. In fiction, I like Arya Stark in Game of Thrones.
A favourite quote: “And you’re gonna stop me how?”
If you were a crayon, what colour would you be?
One of those multi-coloured ones – probably red, orange and yellow.