Friday, February 23, 2018

Happy Yarns



the little Yarra River just a 2 minute walk  from my studio

It always feels like I can breathe a bit easier after all the clubs are shipped out : I relax for 5 minutes, run my fingers through yarn and knit or crochet something fun, or get my paints or ink out and conjure up some fantastical beasts; and then, before I know it, I am back in the dye room , getting things ready for the updates and custom orders.

Last week was all about the rare sheep breed adventure with the amazing Racka sheep from Hungary. I still have some spots available by the way : message or email me if you like to join in the adventure. This week is all about yarn ! I want to offer you three different types of yarn: one a rare sheep breed yarn, another very bright sock yarn weight and one DK weight or 8 ply yarn that is so smoochy it should be illegal !

The Rare sheep breed yarn is a handspun pure North Ronaldsay yarn in a 3ply weight. It os a very crispy yarn that is great for outerwear and for socks too. It is about a 28micron and has awesome stitch definition. I dyed some with Japanese Indigo and others in a combination of eco printed leaves and an autumnal variation. The North Ronaldsay from St Kilda Island off the coast of Scotland, survive by eating seaweed most of the time and is a gorgeous sheep. It can survive very harsh conditions and the fleece shows it. It is totally different to work with this type of fleece to spin it into yarn and especially dyeing it. It takes the dye very well but it takes a bit of work. When you pour water on the North Ronaldsay yarn it immediately almost “falls” through it and the yarn feels dry on top. Unlike when you work with breeds like merino, it is very absorbent and it hold on to the water a bit more. Not the North Ronaldsay !

It is always very interesting to see all the different properties of different types of yarns and fleeces made from different breeds of sheep. They all have their purpose and they all have another way of being “good” at something. I love angora bunny and I love working with cashmere but I would never think about making a pair of socks with a pure cashmere yarn. Your feet will be in heaven but the yarn is not strong enough to withstand the wear and tear. So for sock knitting I always look for that yarn that has a combination of strength to hold together and at the same time be nice to wear and knit with. The second yarn I offer you is so amazingly silky and glitzy you will need to wear sunglasses..lol It is made from Blue Faced Leicester sheeps fleece which has a gorgeous sheen and almost very mohair like in the handling without the halo. This yarn is a combo of blue faced Leicester and glitz which gives it even more “electric” bling to it. Blue faced Leicester takes the dye extremely well because it is very glossy and the light reflects the colours so well. More so than merino that is super soft but has a more muted way of reflecting the light. As I said before: all fibres have their own personality.
The last of the yarns is definitely the most soft and smoochiest (is that a word? Lol) of all the yarns on tonights blog offer. A beautiful 8ply DK weight yarn made with Australian super fine merino spun in Victoria and hand dyed by yours truly.


Here are all the offerings for tonight and the sign ups are open for the next fibre, yarn and batt club starting in April 2018!
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.




North Ronaldsay Yarn 

3ply   weight     +/- 500 meters/100g AU$26

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overview of some of the seaweed eating north ronaldsay sheepies in yarn form



Here are all the available colourways: 
just pm or email me with the colourway you like and how many skeins.








Seaweed






Japanese Indigo (dyed with polygonum tinctorium)








Shibori adventure (dyed with Japanese tinctorium and resist dyed)







ROSE VELVET






Autumn 
(dyed with walnut, madder root, mulberries, eucalyptus leaves, apple leaves)
SOLD














Eco printed yarn Autumn 
(dyed with walnut, madder root, mulberries, eucalyptus leaves, apple leaves and oak galls)
SOLD






Blue Faced Leicester and glitz (90/10) Yarn 


Sock weight 4 ply yarn Appr 400m/419yards 100g / 3.53oz $28













Unicorn Milk





Pure Australian super fine Merino 

DK weight 8 ply Yarn 


Appr 200m/219yards 100g / 3.53oz    $29






Gothic Clown










Midsummer Murders











Black and grey (dyed with Oak galls light to dark)








Typo






Ink Master (dyed with oak galls)




Royal Purple




Wonder Woman Gold




Wonder Woman Red




The Queen in Bermuda (my favourite Speckle !  of this week!)




Atomic Blonde




Spinner’s Control, Yarn Gauge and Ply angle card

a great way to gauge the thickness of your yarn and plying. A nice tool with an info sheet to hang on your spinning wheel or carry wit you anywhere you go.

$5



The New IxCHeL Club sign ups are now OPEN ! 

Get a monthly fibre and yarn surprise !

Always great blends and colourways 

only hand dyed for those who are club members !



April, May and June 2018





For all our international club fans there is a possibility to ship all three clubs together to save on postage if you want :-) Just pm me and enquire about the options available.


IxCHeL Fibre Club April, May and June 2018


The subscription is for a period of three months and you will receive one special hand dyed top/roving per month to the value of AU$24 or more

All the tops will be hand dyed and will be especially made for the members of IxCHeL Fibre Club ! Price to join the IxCHel Fibre Club #35 and receive your special hand dyed top :)) for three months (April, May and June 2018) is AU$72 + postage (parcel post or airmail). AND there are good value double serves available !!!



For Australia : single serve $72+$29 postage (parcel post), double serve $136+$29 (save $8) or triple serves $204 (save $12!) + postage


For USA + Canada: single serve AU$72+AU$57 (Airmail) double serve AU$136+AU$57


For UK,Europe, rest of the world: Single serve AU$72+AU$69 (airmail) Double serve AU$136+AU$69


For Asia: Single serve AU$72+AU$50 (airmail) Double serve AU$136+AU$50


If you want to receive a fibre surprise every month then join the IXCHEL FIBRE CLUB #35 now. Numbers are strictly limited ! The April 2018 Club is going to be shipped out end of April, the May club mid May and the June club mid June. Payment via direct deposit or credit card or paypal. Just PM or email me your details.


The IxCHeL Sock Yarn Clubs  April, May and June 2018


Every month for three months (April, May and June 2018) you will receive: enough hand dyed luscious yummy yarn to make a pair of socks or a lush shawl or scarf ofcourse! (the hand dyed yarn will be exclusive for the Ixchelbunny SOCK-IT-TO-ME Yarn CLUB and will range from a sockweight yarn (a 4ply/fingering weight yarn) or an 8ply / DK weight enough to make a pair of socks ; Every month a sock pattern, tips and instructions ! Now is that GOOD or is that GOOD ??!


I will even offer a double serve for those of you who like their socks extra long !


For Australia : single serve $87+$29 postage (parcel post) double serve $146(= one skein FREE!!!) +$29


For USA + Canada: single serve AU$87+AU$57 (Airmail) double serve $146 (= one skein FREE!!!) +AU$57


For UK,Europe, rest of the world: Single serve AU$87+AU$69 (airmail) Double serve $145 (= one skein FREE!!!) +AU$69


For Asia: Single serve AU$87+AU$50 (airmail) Double serve $145 (= one skein FREE!!!) +AU$50


Numbers are strictly limited ! 
Payment via direct deposit or credit card or paypal . Just PM or email me your details 
  By the way: you don’t HAVE to knit socks if you don’t want to.. the hand dyed yarn is amazingly nice for scarves, cowls, beanies and even tops ! Anything goes . The April 2018 Club is going to be shipped out end of April, the May club mid May and the June club Mid June.


IxCHeL Funky Bunny Batt Clubs  April, May and June 2018

Here are all the details and just pm me when you have any questions or want to be part of the funky bunny batt club Movement ;-) Welcome to the blingy dark side ;-D
The subscription is for a period of three months and you will receive one special hand dyed funky bunny batt per month to the value of AU$40 or more .
The batts will range in weight from 140grams to 180grams with luxury fibres like camel , angora, cashmere, silk, yak, llama even wallaby and bison and rare sheep breeds !!!! All the batts will be hand dyed and will be especially made for the members of IxCHeL funky bunny Club ! Every month you will receive a HUGE luxury funky bunny batt !
Sign up now and you will receive an Ixchel Hand dyed , super luxurious funky bunny batt for April, May and June 2018.

Price to join the IxCHeL Funky bunny for three months is :

For Australia : $114+$29 postage (parcel post)

For USA + Canada: AU$114+AU$57 (Airmail)

For UK,Europe, rest of the world: AU$114+AU$69 (airmail)

For Asia: AU$114+AU$50 (airmail)

If you want to receive a fibre surprise every month then join the IXCHEL FUNKY BUNNY BATT CLUB now. 
Numbers are strictly limited ! The April 2018 club is going to be shipped out end of April, the May club mid May and the June club mid June 2018. Payment via direct deposit or credit card or paypal. Just PM or email me



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 a fun weekend !!!



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 also to be found at the end of this week’s blog entry.



Have a creative week!
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 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 www.ravelry.com  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.



Dates to put in your Calendar


MONDAY MARCH 19TH 10AM – 3PM 

GRANDVALLEY SPINNERS AND WEAVERS GUILD SPIN IN AND SHOW
LILYDALE LAKE COMMUNITY ROOM
LILYDALE
Melways ref 38 G7
There will be lots of goodies available and I will be there INSIDE the Community Centre Room. Also inside will be Janet Day from “My Spin on Things”
Outside will be a variety of traders with lots of goodies as well. Hope to see you there !


Thank you so much for your help and support !


 RABBIT ON !
((hugs))
Charly
qrcode

Friday, February 16, 2018

A Hungarian Rhapsody Rare Sheep Breed Adventure !


This update is a special one, actually a request after I put the last rare sheep breed adventure up: Hungarian Racka sheep blended tops !

Racka Sheep are a very rare breed especially known for its unusual spiral shaped horns that are unlike any other domestic sheep horns and can grow to be 2 ft/0.61meters long ! The smallest standard size of the horns is about 51 cm for rams and 38cm for ewes. Whatever the size , you wouldn’t want to get caught on the end of one!

Lucky this breed of sheep is very gentle and very shy and not blood thirsty..lol.


HISTORY
The Racka Sheep originally come from Hungary and have existed at least since the 1800s when there was a first registry established.

Their history goes further back than that though : In South-West Asia have been found skulls and bones of Racka-like sheep dating from about 11.000 years ago. About 8.000 years ago, in Mesopotamia, the ancient Iraq, and in the ancient Egypt lived long-tailed sheep with the same drill-shaped horns as the Racka, as can be seen on wall-paintings found in local caves. Possibly, the Racka is originating from the wild Middle-Eastern sheep: the Ovis ammon arkal.

The Racka left his original area during the Great Migrations . The Avars, Petschenegs, Jazygs and Huns brought them to Central- and East-Europe. In 1750, half of the total flock of seven million Hungarian sheep were Rackas! Somewhere around that time, about 50.000 lambs and sheep were traded on the market near the Hortobâgy Bridge. Economically, in these days the Racka was very interesting: they managed to survive quite well on the open, dry and poor plains of Hungary, the Puszta. The fleece of 2-3 day old lambs were sold to make very fine bonnets and collars for the richer Hungarians.

The farmers used the fleece of the old sheep to make their coats. When the weather was dry, the coats were turned with the wool inside, when it was raining the coats were turned inside out, the water dripping from the wool. Clipped wool was used to make coats for the poorer people. The in the 18th century imported Merino, now 95% of the total Hungarian flock, almost drove the Racka to total extinction. In 1939 the Hungarian government had to interfere and centralized the lasting 4000 Rackasheep on a State farm in Hortobâgy, on the puszta east of Budapest.

Wrong methods of reproducing and far-going consanguinity made that during the Second World War, there were only 1450 Rackas left. In the 50's the flock was decimated till about 200 ewes! The state farm of Hortobâgy was ordered from the Hungarian government to save the Racka .

In 1973, the Hortobâgy area was installed asthe first National Park of Hungary and the Racka was saved; Now there are about 5000 ewes again. Other rare Puszta-breeds were also saved as the Grey Puszta cattle, the Noniusz and the Mezöhegyes horse, the Hungarian water buffalo, the Mangalica pig and the typical Hungarian sheepdogs: the Komondor, the Kuvasz, the Puli, and the Pumi. In 1983 the organisation of Hungarian Racka breeders was founded in Debrecen. Now the exceding part of Racka ewes may be exported again, though a number of minimum 750 ewes has to be kept in the National Park of Hortobâgy, thus creating a genetic bank for the Magyar Racka.

DESCRIPTION

The Racka is a relatively small sheep with large horns, a mixed fleece (hair/underwool = 1/2), a long body and fine bone-structure. The rams are circa 70cm and weigh about 50 Kg, the ewes are circa 65 cm and weigh 40 Kg. The horns of the rams are ± 52 cm long and have 3 windings. The distance between the points of the horns is almost 80 cm. Ewes have ± 25 cm long horns with 2 windings. The distance between the points of the horns should be 41 cm. The peculiar shape of these horns is the result of the interaction between the length-growth of the horn and the circular-growth.
If these two kinds of growth are in balance, then the sheep get horns like the Merino, the Drenthe Heath sheep, Dorset Horn, Black Welsh Mountain and the presumed ancestor of the Racka: the Argali. If the length-growth is much more important than the circular-growth, then we get the typical shape of a corkscrew as we see with the Racka.

The fleece can have two colours: black and white. In the Hortobâgy flock, ± of the sheep are black, with a black skin, the other half is cream-white with a light brown-yellow skin. Some sheep are white or have spots on head and legs. The wool is long and curly (staple-length 25-30 cm with a fibre diameter of 12-40 micron is not unusual). Legs and head are unwooled, except for a little tuff on the forehead. The position of the ears is almost horizontal, the shells downwards. The tail is very long with very long wool.

The horns of white and cream animals are yellow, sometimes with black stripes, the horns of the black are black. Lambs of the cream variety are born with a yellowish to darkbrown fleece, getting lighter with growing. When cross-breeding with white and black animals, the white is dominant, but in the F-1 generation can appear also white sheep with dark brown or black spots.

PROPERTIES

The Racka is a relatively shy and very resistant breed, that can have a reasonably production under harsh climatological conditions. The flock-instinct is extremely developed, they are grazing as if they are tied shoulder to shoulder, they can live on dry hay, and remind us a little bit of deer.

What's typical is the somewhat over-developed hind-quarters, the equal standing under and upper jaw, And the deep laying and relatively few muscles in the neck, so the sheep can lift his head very high to watch out on the plains. Fertility is low: about 100%, twins birth is 5 to 15%. Some of the ewes don't reproduce for one or maybe more years. The average weight of the lambs is 10 Kg after 30 days, 14 Kg after 60 days. Wool production is 3 to 4 Kg for the rams, 2-3 Kg for the ewes. The wool was used to make traditional coats, carpets and the typical Cserge blankets.

Ewes produce 50 to 70 l of milk during 100 days of lactation (producing about 10 Kg of cheese). The Racka was mainly kept for as well the meat, the milk and the wool.

VARIETIES

The Racka belongs to the large group of Zackel-sheep, living in South and East-Europe, as the Vlach in Greece, the Karakachan in Bulgary, the Pramenkain Yugoslavia, Walachian in Czechia and Slovakia, the Volochian in Russia and so on. The large group of Zackel -sheep can be divided in breeds of the plains and the mountains, possessing all a mixed fleece, a long body, a fine bone-structure, and straight horns for the rams.

With the Turcana, the Transsylvanian Racka of Roumania, only the rams have horns. They are mainly light brown skinned with a white fleece. The Moldavian Racka has not V-shaped horns, but these grow somewhat more to the exterior, the spiral growth is not so strict .

Other Racka varieties are the Walaschka, the Zigaja, the Zikta and the Zurcana. It is a very tough breed and use for milking, meat and WOOL!

Their wool is long with a gentle lock definition and is similar in handle to other longwool breeds. The staple length can be 12”/20cms and can vary from 12micron to 40 micron. The long locks have some really nice luster. I found it to be nice and crispy. And that , my friends, Is where I always take the challenge on:  First there is a selection of the best and softest fleeces and then it is all about preparation and blending.
Blending it with bunny and cashmere fibres in a special blending process, makes it that this rare breed Racka sheep , in my humble opinion, close to skin wear.
I loved the feel and airiness of it in the blend. I find the lustre amazing and most of all, I felt very privileged to be able to put together a blend with this magical fleece.

This Hungarian Racka Adventure has the following ingredients: Hungarian Racka (Black and White) Mulberry Silk Cashmere Angora bunny Tencel.
This blend has a beautiful, exceptional  handle and drape, is excellent for next to skin wear without it retaining its’ strength.
 I am offering this Hungarian Rhapsody adventure as I call it in two different preparations:
Batts and Tops !  AND in three different colour combinations.
 You can choose the Natural look,
The Transylvanian Colour Combination or
the Fairytale Colour Combination. More on that in the Order section.

Also, please note that you can sign in for this Hungarian Rhapsody Blend Adventure without having to become a club member. IxCHeL club membership in the yarn, fibre and batt club stands totally alone from any weekly updates or the rare sheep breed adventures you can sign up for. Please let me know if you have any questions okay? Always happy to enable !

Here you can see some photos of the herd, their cute behaviour,    their fleeces    and ...
  their magical horns ;-) Enjoy !

hmmmm food !!












Hungarian Rhapsody Adventure with Racka Rare Sheep sheep, Mulberry Silk, Cashmere, Angora Bunny, Tencel

TOPS Option: 100g of Hungarian Racka sheep blend tops are available in Natural, Fairytale Colourway or Transylvanian Colourway 
100 gram tops AU$25


Batt Option: +/- 150+ gram Batts are also available for AU$36
 in the following options: 
Undyed with Angelina 
Undyed Without Angelina 

Fairytale Colourway with Angelina 
Fairytale Colourway without Angelina 

Transylvania Colourway with Angelina 
Transylvania colourway without Angelina

Only a very limited quantity available so do not wait too long to be part of this new adventure! Here are the Colourways you can choose from and also a view of the natural Hungarian Rhapsody Racka Blend tops:

Fairytale Colourway : 
based on the work of Hungarian Painter Marta Mantonfi Benke.
The colours used will be an array of sky blues, pinks, greens and berry purples

Transylvania Colourway: autumnal forest colours

Or the natural colours of the blend: greys and whites in a balanced harmony.




The Hungarian Rhapsody Racka Adventure Blend in tops and batts will be shipped out mid to end of March

Lots of blending and dyeing still need to be done and I will only have enough for those who signed up. You will have to tell me how many you would like, in batts or tops and in what colourway. Just email or message me, mentioning the quantity and your colourway wish, together with your full name and address so I can send you all the payment details. 

The next IxCHeL Club sign ups are now OPEN as well (this is totally separate from the Rare sheep breed adventure I put up above!) 

Get a monthly fibre and yarn surprise !

Always great blends and colourways 

only hand dyed for those who are club members !



April, May and June 2018


For all our international club fans there is a possibility to ship all three clubs together to save on postage if you want :-) Just pm me and enquire about the options available.


IxCHeL Fibre Club April, May and June 2018


The subscription is for a period of three months and you will receive one special hand dyed top/roving per month to the value of AU$24 or more

All the tops will be hand dyed and will be especially made for the members of IxCHeL Fibre Club ! Price to join the IxCHel Fibre Club #35 and receive your special hand dyed top :)) for three months (April, May and June 2018) is AU$72 + postage (parcel post or airmail). AND there are good value double serves available !!!



For Australia : single serve $72+$29 postage (parcel post), double serve $136+$29 (save $8) or triple serves $204 (save $12!) + postage


For USA + Canada: single serve AU$72+AU$57 (Airmail) double serve AU$136+AU$57


For UK,Europe, rest of the world: Single serve AU$72+AU$69 (airmail) Double serve AU$136+AU$69


For Asia: Single serve AU$72+AU$50 (airmail) Double serve AU$136+AU$50


If you want to receive a fibre surprise every month then join the IXCHEL FIBRE CLUB #35 now. Numbers are strictly limited ! The April 2018 Club is going to be shipped out end of April, the May club mid May and the June club mid June. Payment via direct deposit or credit card or paypal. Just PM or email me your details.


The IxCHeL Sock Yarn Clubs  April, May and June 2018


Every month for three months (April, May and June 2018) you will receive: enough hand dyed luscious yummy yarn to make a pair of socks or a lush shawl or scarf ofcourse! (the hand dyed yarn will be exclusive for the Ixchelbunny SOCK-IT-TO-ME Yarn CLUB and will range from a sockweight yarn (a 4ply/fingering weight yarn) or an 8ply / DK weight enough to make a pair of socks ; Every month a sock pattern, tips and instructions ! Now is that GOOD or is that GOOD ??!


I will even offer a double serve for those of you who like their socks extra long !


For Australia : single serve $87+$29 postage (parcel post) double serve $146(= one skein FREE!!!) +$29


For USA + Canada: single serve AU$87+AU$57 (Airmail) double serve $146 (= one skein FREE!!!) +AU$57


For UK,Europe, rest of the world: Single serve AU$87+AU$69 (airmail) Double serve $145 (= one skein FREE!!!) +AU$69


For Asia: Single serve AU$87+AU$50 (airmail) Double serve $145 (= one skein FREE!!!) +AU$50


Numbers are strictly limited ! 
Payment via direct deposit or credit card or paypal . Just PM or email me your details 
  By the way: you don’t HAVE to knit socks if you don’t want to.. the hand dyed yarn is amazingly nice for scarves, cowls, beanies and even tops ! Anything goes . The April 2018 Club is going to be shipped out end of April, the May club mid May and the June club Mid June.


IxCHeL Funky Bunny Batt Clubs  April, May and June 2018

Here are all the details and just pm me when you have any questions or want to be part of the funky bunny batt club Movement ;-) Welcome to the blingy dark side ;-D
The subscription is for a period of three months and you will receive one special hand dyed funky bunny batt per month to the value of AU$40 or more .
The batts will range in weight from 140grams to 180grams with luxury fibres like camel , angora, cashmere, silk, yak, llama even wallaby and bison and rare sheep breeds !!!! All the batts will be hand dyed and will be especially made for the members of IxCHeL funky bunny Club ! Every month you will receive a HUGE luxury funky bunny batt !
Sign up now and you will receive an Ixchel Hand dyed , super luxurious funky bunny batt for April, May and June 2018.

Price to join the IxCHeL Funky bunny for three months is :

For Australia : $114+$29 postage (parcel post)

For USA + Canada: AU$114+AU$57 (Airmail)

For UK,Europe, rest of the world: AU$114+AU$69 (airmail)

For Asia: AU$114+AU$50 (airmail)

If you want to receive a fibre surprise every month then join the IXCHEL FUNKY BUNNY BATT CLUB now. 
Numbers are strictly limited ! The April 2018 club is going to be shipped out end of April, the May club mid May and the June club mid June 2018. Payment via direct deposit or credit card or paypal. Just PM or email me



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 a fun weekend !!!



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 also to be found at the end of this week’s blog entry.



Have a creative week!
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 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 www.ravelry.com  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.



Dates to put in your Calendar

MONDAY MARCH 19TH 10AM – 3PM 

GRANDVALLEY SPINNERS AND WEAVERS GUILD SPIN IN AND SHOW
LILYDALE LAKE COMMUNITY ROOM
LILYDALE
Melways ref 38 G7
There will be lots of goodies available and I will be there INSIDE the Community Centre Room. Also inside will be Janet Day from “My Spin on Things”
Outside will be a variety of traders with lots of goodies as well. Hope to see you there !


Thank you so much for your help and support !


 RABBIT ON !
((hugs))
Charly
qrcode