The Story so far...
This is George, the Cast On A Few cat and my constant companion for 18 years. He terrorised my yarn mercilessly, his fluff got woven through all my knitting, and I loved him a lot!
I am Janine. AKA Mrs J, Yarn Enabler and self-confessed Yarn... um... Collector, shall we say? I'm an Equal-Opportunity Collector, so I also have fabric, embroidery thread, jewellery findings, sewing thread, ribbon, crystals and beads in my Humble Stash. (Enough to open my own craft store, so my hubby says...) My friends call me Mrs Abundance. I'm sure I don't know what they mean.
I have been knitting, crocheting and sewing (and other crafty-type stuff) for just about as long as I can remember. Add a cat (or two) and a cuppa, and it's my ultimate happy place! Yarn would have to be my greatest love though (fabric, a close second), and it has been my dream to open a yarn store for a good 25 years or more. Enter: family, study, life in general (you know how it is).
I trained as a behaviour therapist a while back and have been teaching people various life and craft skills for several years. It brings me so much joy to help people discover their latent craft mojo! Creating new stuff is fun and rewarding, and can potentially turn into a marketable skill. Discovering that bit of independence (however large or small) is awesome for those who may have been dependent on the support of others for much of their lives.
Cast On A Few - go on!
I figure if you're going to put time, energy and love into a project, you should do it with quality materials you love to handle and wear.
I love natural fibres, and I love that we have so many right here in NZ! And with all the local spinners, dyers and pattern designers... we are SO spoilt for choice!
I'm proud to stock natural fibre yarns and accessories from some great NZ mainstay companies, like Crucci and NZ Naturally, as well as some awesome smaller family businesses like Touch Yarns and Nevalea Alpacas. I'm excited about what I've managed to pull together in-store so far, but there really is so much more to come. I hope you'll hang in there with me (subscribe to our newsletter, Pull Up A Pew) and share the excitement I always feel when new stock arrives!
Unfortunately there are some lovely yarns that just can't be produced here (cotton, linen, some wools, yak...) because we don't have the right climate or technology. With the help of NZ yarn companies, I'm looking around for reputable overseas suppliers with good sustainable and conscientious practices, so we don't miss out on any of those other delicious varieties!
Cast On A Few will always be about supporting local first though.
Looking after the Earth
The most important reason for only stocking natural, biodegradable fibres is the environmental one - because natural fibres will all eventually easily break back down into the earth. Even the packaging I use is all either recyclable or compostable (the courier bags can even go into your worm farm!).
Learning to cast on a few
We yarn crafters can all attest to the calming and relaxing effect of quietly communing with some lovely yarns (and a cuppa of course!). That's probably why these crafts have found a resurgence in popularity during lockdowns. What a great way to combat mental health problems!
There are heaps of online tutorials available now, but if you find them hard to follow, personal instruction is a lot more useful. If this sounds like you, try an Individual Lesson (I'll come to you) or small Beginner Group Classes instead. Just follow the links for all the details.
And of course, good old Knitting/Crochet Circles are also a staple, where kindred spirits can meet for a cuppa, have some quality needle or hook time, and share ideas and skills (or just commune with their yarn!).