Friday, January 18, 2019

Cotton Tails and Memories of Other

Layers of “other”
I do not have a huge amount of social media time while dyeing, prepping and carding all the clubs, so I totally missed all the action that was happening on Instagram and other social media about the racism in the craft community. 
I was told about something big was happening  by two dear  friends on two separate occasions though and after I finally got all the January clubs posted out early this week (see teasers on my IG and FB page later tomorrow) I thought I ‘d better check it out. Well, that was eye opening. Let me explain to those of you who do not know me….

I came across this university ID card photo of mine, cleaning up old paperwork.A lifetime ago when I was studying Law, defecting to Medicine and Anthropology the year after. Now, a couple of lifetimes later it seems, I make a living dyeing yarn and fibre❤️

 This week I have seen so many posts about racism and I’m happy people are speaking up. 
We have to keep addressing this, especially since 2016, somehow everything got turned upside down and inside out with white supremacists and Nazis “proudly” coming out in public.

 I’ll tell you something about myself you may not know: I am “Other”; I’m mixed; I have a Native American Granddad, a Jewish grandmother, a true blue eyed blonde Dutch dad and a mum with black hair and super dark skin.
I have experienced first hand how my mum got treated opposed to my dad;how I got treated depending on who I was with. I was always considered a “conundrum”; people could never put an outright label on me and have this American/Canadian whatever accent and look “different”, I ALWAYS get asked “so, where are you from?” And when I now say proudly I’m from this small township in Victoria, Australia, 99% of the time, people keep digging wanting to know what kind of “other” I am. 
At one point I was getting so annoyed with it, I answered Antarctica to leave them totally puzzled. With that kind of diverse and truly battered ethnic background like mine, It came natural to me to acknowledge that I was always going to be “other” so I lived and worked as a medical anthropologist with “others” as well. 
I found out very early on what it’s like to be discriminated against as a female of “puzzled” background.

I will never ask you where you come from.
I WILL ask you what you are creating with your heart and your yarn;
I will ask you what fibre you are spinning;
I will ask you how you are doing;
I will ask you to be compassionate and  inclusive.

I believe that although we all seem to be different on the outside, our bones are the same.

Thanks @su.krita and all of you to have this immensely important discussion.

Please keep talking ! We ALL have to keep talking !

We ALL need to talk AND not feel offended because someone somehow misses the point, feels threatened in their identity/position/belief status. The whole point of having this much needed discussion is to come together; to realise what it is like to walk in somebody elses shoes, what it is like to have preconceived ideas and beliefs shattered; what it is like to open up and talk about your experiences AND to treat everybody as the valuable human beings we all are.

This is not easy! Opening up brings back memories, sometimes surpressed and very painful. During this whole week, it has brought back memories of my mum and me in shops, where we were followed or not even allowed to enter; or those times that my mum was found to be so “exotic” that some wanted to take advantage of her, taking photos and using her face for an advertisement she never got a penny for except the ad as a “gift” and she should be grateful; the times she was tied up in the middle of a school yard surrounded by Hitler Jugend who abused and hit her; My granddad who was a brilliant artist, engineer and workied so hard to keep his family safe, only to be arrested and died because  his skin was dark and his hair was black.  I can remember stories of my grandmother of persecution and destruction; of pain and loss and fear of not being able to be themselves; the hundreds of stories of family members destroyed in camps by hateful people who felt so threatened by “others’ the only way they felt they could survive in the world was to destroy each and every one of “other”.

My Native American Granddad and my Jewish Polish/German Grandma

My beautiful mum

 Lots of memories surfaced and I cried and I tried to make sense of it all and…I opened up to all of you on IG and facebook earlier this week and now to  whoever is reading this.

Opening up and telling our story can leave us feeling vulnerable and to make matters worse, it can have a backlash. Social media can be dangerous! We cannot expect everybody to understand and it can mean receiving bad responses and texts that can make situations even worse, or, in my case, because my little business depends on whether or not people will buy my wares, it can mean either surviving or not at all.

I took the plunge to tell my story and be vulnerable and standing by those who feel like being“other” and whose stories have been untold. Stories are important ! We have to stand together. We have to be able to talk about things that bother us and are not right!
We cannot say ( as I have read in a few posts by quite some instagrammers - or are they called "influencers"?  with a huge following) “Well, we talked about it for a week and now it is all good!” …. I do not believe that is the way to do it. It does not work that way! This is an opportunity! A huge opportunity for all to realise that the world is not a perfect bubble and everything is okay. It is not.

 Changing behaviour  and seeing the reality in a different light takes time. It is like learning another language or learning to play an instrument. Time ! And in that time we have on this earth, we need to talk about how some behaviour is just not right. We have to show compassion. We have to tell our story and we have to let others see the world through our eyes, not feel endangered in some way or offended or threatened by the fact that so many people are going through life having a lot more difficult time than we could have ever imagined and somehow , which almost seems inexplicable to me, thinking that all this time, some people have not been more privileged than others..  It is not something to brush under a carpet. 

The most important thing that got to me doing my Bachelor of Law was the book " the Bahaviour of Law" by Donald Black (Harvard University Press) If you get a chance to get your hands on that , please read it. and yes,  reading books is  essential. Being able to see the world through somebody elses eyes. So, please read Toni Morrison’s Harvard lectures of 2016 “the Origin of Other” and “the absolute true diary of a Part time Indian” by Sherman Alexie.

Well, after that heavy monologue, I hope you are still here  !!! and you will enjoy what I have on offer this week. We have been in a heatwave, even where I live. It made me want to do something new with a new fibre base that feels cool. I have been wanting to do this for a very long time ! And I am happy to introduce a new yarn line which I have called Cotton Tail Yarns: a beautiful, supersoft, brushed 100%pure cotton hand dyed 4ply fingering weight yarn.

Here’s the logo I made and of course I could not resist adding bunny ears, because let’s face it: I add bunny ears to almost everything …LOL

Over the last few weeks I have been doing heaps of cotton tail yarn dyeing and trying new techniques on a plant based fibre. It has been lots of fun and I love the way new colourways have turned out.

I did make a mistake because of my enthusiasm in skeining up the yarn: Instead of 100 gram skeins I skeined a few (well a lot) from the big cones of millspun yarn, as 200 gram skeins. Because of this I will be offering these skeins on a very special introduction price !

Please enjoy today’s update and relax, sit back and enjoy summer with some Cotton Tail yarns.

Have fun and be you !!!

Please don't hesitate to contact me at any time if you have any questions okay? Always happy to enable. All my contact details are to be found at the end of this week’s blog entry. Have fun !!!

IxCHeL Cotton Tail Yarns

Super soft 4 ply fingering weight yarn, 100% hand dyed cotton 
100g +/- 371 meters

+/- 100gram skeins Special introduction price AU$24 (normally $26) or 
+/- 200gram skeins Special introduction price AU$43 (normal AU$49)

Berry Wine Splash 
 100g skeins Special introduction price of AU$24 
 2 available 
 A cute speckled cotton yarn in colours of rose and wine and dusky purples

Indigo Shibori 
  Indigo dyed in the shibori technique with Japanese Indigo plants
grown in the Yarra Valley right here on the farm 
 100g skeins Special Introduction price AU$24 
4 available

Japanese Indigo
 Indigo dyed with Japanese Indigo plants grown in the Yarra Valley
right here on the farm 
 100g skeins Special Introduction price AU$24 
 3 available

Indigo Splash 
speckled indigo yarn 
 100g skeins Special Introduction price AU$24 

 Dyed with home grown madder 
 100g skeins Special Introduction price AU$24 

The Sexy Caterpillar 
 Speckle Dyed in cute tones of greens and blues and yummy purples 
 100g skeins Special Introduction price AU$24 

Unicorn Adventure 
 Hand Dyed in fab rainbow happiness 
 100g skeins Special Introduction price AU$24 
 2 available

Absinthe Fairy
 Hand Dyed in fab Chartreuse, greens and sage blues 
 +/-200g skeins Special Introduction price AU$43 

Hand Dyed in Violets, indigo blues and woad 
 +/-200g skein Special Introduction price AU$43 

Dark Indigo 
Hand Dyed with homegrown Japanese Indigo 
+/- 200gram skein   Special Introduction price AU$43 

Indigo Light to Dark 
  Hand Dyed with homegrown Japanese Indigo 
+/- 200g skein  Special Introduction price AU$43 

Indigo and Madder 
 Hand Dyed with homegrown Japanese Indigo and Madder root 
+/-200gram skein   Special Introduction price AU$43 

Dark Indigo Shibori 
 Hand Dyed with homegrown Japanese Indigo 
+/-200gram skein  Special Introduction price AU$43 

Semi Solid dark Indigo 
 Hand Dyed with homegrown Japanese Indigo 
+/- 200gram skein  Special Introduction price AU$43

Big Rose 
Hand Dyed with homegrown Madder root 
+/-200gram skein  Special Introduction price AU$43 

Mermaid Magic 
 Speckle Dyed 
+/-200 gram skein  Special Introduction price AU$43 

Neptune vs Aquaman ( goes so well with Mermaid Magic !) 
+/- 200g skein Hand Dyed Special Introduction price AU$43 

 +/- 200g skein hand Dyed Special Introduction price AU$43 
 1 available

Dark Orchid 
 +/- 200g skein hand Dyed Special Introduction price AU$43 

 Hand Dyed with homegrown Woad in a fermented dye bath exhaust 
 Special Introduction price AU$43   +/-200gram Skein
1 available

Seaside Surf 
 +/- 200g skein hand Dyed Special Introduction price AU$43 

Rose Garden Butterfly 
(the rich tones are absolutely mesmerizing! I am in love with this yarn! A true OOAK ) 
 +/- 200g skein hand painted Special Introduction price AU$43 

Big Unicorn Adventure 
 +/- 200g skein hand painted Special Introduction price AU$43 

Parrot Party 
+/- 200g skein hand dyed Special Introduction price AU$43 

Japanese Indigo Seeds (Polygonum Tinctorium)

Grow your own Japanese Indigo to dye an amazing array of blues ! The pack comes with a planting guide and dye recipes as well as 10 organic seeds !

$ 8

IxCHeL Club Sign ups for 2019 are closed but here is the overview of all the clubs shipped out to all the members in 2018 !  The teasers of the January clubs will be shared on Facebook and Instagram tomorrow. Please go check it out !

 If you would like to join for the next round just PM me.

Here is a photo compilation of the 2018 clubs to give you an idea what the "Art Journey" Theme has been all about : The interpretation of art into fibre.

 Have a fun week Creating your Dreams!

All my contact details are here:

How To Order:
1. You can email me on ixchel at rabbit dot com dot au or ixchelbunny at yahoo dot com dot au
2. Message me on facebook or 
3. Message me on  where I am ixchelbunny.
4. message me on Instagram where I am @ixchelbunny

I will email you right back with all your order details and payment methods.

Any questions? Any custom orders for yarn or dyeing fibre? : Please don’t hesitate to ask! Always happy to enable.