Introducing The Blue Rabbit House

The Blue Rabbit House is an illustrative business run by Eva Vercauteren in Belgium. She draws illustrations of animals and prints these lovable characters onto organic cotton fabric, recycled paper and other accessories. And if that wasn’t enough, she turns the fabrics into beautiful project bags and pouches, ideal for carrying your craft projects and tools. Talk about talent!

Sam is one of The Blue Rabbit House’s project bags. Available for PREORDER now. Photo by The Blue Rabbit House

Her illustrations are inspired by the beauty in nature and this go hand in hand with her quest to make her products as sustainable as possible. Eva believes even the smallest step to change our lifestyle will make a difference for our planet. Thus her contribution to the world is how she purposefully shares her art to be used, not displayed, whilst making them vegan and environmentally friendly.

Each animal illustrations tell a story. If you own one of these project bags, you will always have a little crafting mate with you and it will keep you company as you find solace in your craft.

The Blue Rabbit House projects bags are expertly handmade by Eva herself. They are special and made with a lot of care and love. We hope her projects bags are loved by conscientious crafters here at Ecoyarns and around the world.

For a very limited time, we are taking preorders for The Blue Rabbit House project bags. Preorders close this Friday, 20 September. We expect bags to arrive and ready to be shipped out in October. This might be your only chance to get one of these bags this year. Click below to get yours:

PREORDER BAGS NOW

Introducing Fairfield Finns

Fairfield Finns is a small family farm in Victoria, Australia and is ethically run by Gerry and Maureen Shepherd. They have been breeding Finnsheep, or Finn for short, for more than 20 years.

Finn Sheep on Fairfield Finns farm
The lush paddocks at Fairfield Finns farm. Photo by Fairfield Finns

In Finland, Finns are traditionally kept in sheds for almost 8 months of the year due to the weather. This practice of keeping the sheep indoors might have contributed to creating a calm temperament in the breed. Although the Shepherds’ flock live mostly in paddocks in sunny Australia, this calmness is still evident in their Finns. The Shepherds are also in love with the Finns’ friendly nature and acceptance of humans.

Ben, the bottle-fed Finn, who thinks he is human. Photo by Fairfield Finns

Their short tail and clean breech mean that Finns are naturally resistant to flystrike and breech strike. So they do not need tail docking or mulesing.

Finns are rare and a heritage breed sheep. Finn was recently added to the Rare Breeds Trust of Australia and is classed as critical because of their low numbers here.

The Shepherds are currently owned by 160 sheep and 2 alpacas on their Victorian farm with numbers growing quickly each Spring. At the moment the farm is a delight with many sets of triplets flourishing in the paddocks.

Photo by Fairfield Finns

The Finns are more labour intensive to look after than other sheep. They are multiple lambing sheep with triplets being the norm but can have up to 7 lambs in one birthing! The sheep only have two teats and can normally only raise triplets easily. So Gerry and Maureen have to bottle feed some of their lambs.

Maureen giving Lamboost to one of her new lambs to get them going. Photo by Fairfield Finns

For regular updates on their current lambing season, follow ‘Fairfield Finns’ on Facebook or @thefinnlady on Instagram.

The Shepherds started off with white Finns. But with patience and perseverance, they have successfully bred Finns with Bond Corriedale sheep to get the first coloured Finns in Australia. They believe these are the only black Finns available in Australia.

The fleece and tops from Finns are beautiful to hand spin. They are lustrous with excellent handle. Finn wool is also very soft and has a low prickle factor. You can wear it against your skin. In Finland, Finn wool is made into underwear to wear throughout winter.

Gerry and Maureen had a vision to produce yarns from their Finns. So the fleeces were saved over a few years and when they eventually had enough stored away, the fleeces were sent to Valerie in Braybook to be scoured. Then they were handed over to Cashmere Connections in Bacchus Marsh to be made into tops.

Then the tops are spun into yarn at Wangaratta Mill. Not only are the yarns Australian, they are very much Victorian!

Commercially dyed 8ply Pure Finn yarn

Ecoyarns currently stock the fleeces, tops and also the 2ply and 8ply yarns. If you would like some 4ply or 5ply yarns, please let me know at support@ecoyarns.com.au. I would be happy to order some in for you.

2ply Pure Finn Wool. Great for weavers.
8ply Pure Finn Natural Wool. Great for hand dyers

So whatever your favourite craft might be — spinning, knitting, crocheting or hand dyeing — I hope you will enjoy making something wonderful with this Australian grown Finn wool.

Visiting the Sydney Royal Easter Show 2013

This post is dedicated to all the farmers, primary producers and supporting industries that supply us with our basic need : FOOD.

On Easter Monday, we visited the Sydney Royal Easter Show. I love this spectacular display of the strong agricultural basis of the state. I grow veggies at home and own some chickens, so thinking about all the growing that occurs on the huge commercial scale is just incredible. Australia is an amazing place to be able to produce so much produce and of such high quality.

Up at 6am, caught 7am train to Homebush, dived into the show and got lost amongst the chickens, alpacas, horses and other animals. The male turkeys gave us a display which made us all laugh. They spread their tails, strutted around the cage, lowered their snood, and gave us a “gobble, goobble, gloobbley GOOP” !

My favourite display is always in the Art and Craft Pavilion. Some other favourites that I have not included pictures of include the Giant Food Art displays, the Pig Diving, the Grand Parade, the Dog Shows, the Sheep Shearing. There is so much more to see and do, so the next time I visit, I think I might get a 2 day pass so I actually get to see everything.

Are you looking at me?
Are you looking at me?

Hi I am an alpaca. The sheep are in the next shed.
Hi I am an alpaca. The sheep are in the next shed.

A face only a mother could love.
A face only a mother could love

Amazing! Where's my cup of tea?
Amazing! Where’s my cup of tea?

First Prize winner SREA2013 Wedding Cake. Just Incredible.
First Prize winner SREA2013 Wedding Cake. Just Incredible.

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First Prize Showcase SRES2013

Ferris Wheel Sydney Royal Easter Show 2013
Ferris Wheel Sydney Royal Easter Show 2013

Rides, rides and more rides!
Rides, rides and more rides!

Last stop : kids got home happy.
Last stop : kids got home happy.