Friday, August 24, 2012

How I became suzy hausfrau

I've been wanting to write this post for a while now, but just couldn't find the words...then it came to me the other morning, the perfect way to explain how I became suzy hausfrau. So, before I head off for a week's break I give you the story of me, my mum and suzy hausfrau.


I don't remember the exact date, but about this time five years ago I stood in my mother's craft room late one night.  I was the only one awake, my brothers and father were asleep - and my mum was sleeping soundly too. I know this because I had just rung the hospital to check on her. Sound asleep, and moved from intensive care to the ward for the second time in a week.

The first time she was moved because she was on the road to full recovery and it was a time of celebration. This last time, it was because there was no hope of recovery and well let's be frank, it's taking up a much needed bed in that little hospital in a country town. I say this very matter of factly, with no bitterness...because you see apart from being suzy hausfrau I am also still a (very part time) practising health professional...a pharmacist, I've seen this stuff before.

So I stood in this room and eyed off her stash, searching for a ball of yarn and crochet hook. Mission accomplished I headed back to my spot on the couch to make something, anything. Now it had been probably twenty years since I had picked up a hook, and it showed. So, back to the room I went and stumbled across the Golden Hands book and with its help, and the memory of my mum's hands I crocheted a flower....then a granny square, and another.

I didn't realise until months later that I was connecting with her, in a way that is still so profound to me. I can see her, imagine her still every time I pull that yarn up from its place in my project bag. I can see her hands, always so beautifully manicured, as I work the yarn. You see, although I had that very long break from craft...some things taught in childhood will stick with you.  The way you hold your hook, your yarn and how you sit down to sew on your machine.


The Christmas of that year I was at home with dad. A man still trying to adapt to life without his partner of nearly 60 years. You see, not long after the night when I searched for the yarn, my mother died. My father had moved to the bed in that very same craft room, still unable to sleep in the bed he shared with my mother. Now, five years later he is still sleeping 'out the back'.  So that Christmas I asked what he was going to do with all of her craft things. As he pondered I asked him, much to my (and his) surprise if I could have them.  So it is this way that the sewing machine, overlocker, hooks, needles, books, magazine cutouts and all of the unfinished and half-frogged projects made their way from Bundaberg to me here in Canberra.  It is such a treasure trove, notes from classes that my mother took in tatting, those very precious Golden Hands folders.

It was an interesting start to be sure, me getting back on this crafty train. My first rusty attempts at sewing, the knitting was a total stop-start, love-hate affair...but there was always the crochet. I knew how to do it, and I could close my eyes and see my mother doing it - it came easily.

I found crafty mates, I joined Brown Owls, I immersed myself in the world of blogs and I read, and read and read. The passion for making became so strong. I constantly think to myself that my mother would be in total shock, and I hope awe, of how far I've come. That I sell yarn, that I create every day.  That I sew, knit, crochet...make jam, bread. I know she would be proud, this yes I do know.

But I also wonder, and I say this with some trepidation, did this journey to creativity have to happen this way? That if my mother was still alive, would I still be suzy hausfrau? What would my life be like?
I'm grateful for this life, for the wonderful people I've met and for what I am learning every day, but I don't always like to dwell about the way it came about.  I miss her, sharing this journey with her, and asking for her help. I do like to think that I would still have come to this point even if my mother was still here and we could have shared and learned some more from each other.  Yes this, I think would have happened, no actually I know it.

Renae xoxo
(aka suzy)

Thursday, August 23, 2012


The ever popular baltic

A small order of Tosh DK arrived yesterday...12  gorgeous colours limited quantities. Just enough to whet our appetites until the next much larger shipment arrives.  Soon - let's all hope, soon!

Click here to browse Tosh DK at suzy hausfrau.

Don't forget that we are taking a little break next week so although the shop will be open orders placed between Saturday 25th August and Sunday 2nd September will be posted out on Monday 3rd.

New colour to suzy hausfrau, dahlia - gorgeous!

This colour has me completely mesmerised, chartreuse

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

NEW to suzy hausfrau - patterns by Julie Hoover

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To say that I'm delighted to be the exclusive Australian stockist of Julie Hoover's sublime patterns is an absolute understatement. I came across Julie's stunning work whilst researching new yarns for the store, and I was struck by how clean, simple and elegant they all were. I knew that I had to have them, knit them and start stocking the yarns that she is drawn to. Her taste is impeccable!

You can browse her patterns over here ... 

encadre 07 

Don't you love them? I knew you would!

...and here's a little bit more about Julie and her background.

Over the years, in her roles as visual merchandiser, art director and freelance designer, Julie's had a hand in creating many things that she is proud to call her “work.” Although, she likes to think of it as getting paid to “play.” Her background (and degree) is in textiles. And that, for as long as she can remember, has always been her constant romance. Devoted to using cleanlines and creating sophisticated fabrics, her designs have a thoroughly contemporary appeal. Julie is currently living in Saint Louis, Missouri with her husband, three boys, and two dogs.

decalage 01

Tuesday, August 21, 2012



It's a life of total sacrifices this owning a yarn store. Like take this ball of yarn. I took some samples to a craft group for a show and tell and this little ball got stuck in the zip of the suitcase and had to be cut free.

So I sacrificed it to suzy's ever-growing stash and have plans for making myself a nice little scarf out of it. Terrible, I know but someone has got to do it!

suzy xoxo

Monday, August 20, 2012

This week and next


I've got such a big week planned with so much to fit in, and here's hoping that it includes the arrival of new yarn. I was expecting it to arrive last week, so that I could load it to the store, include it in the newsletter and shout it from the rooftops all before this Saturday when we head off on our annual winter holiday.

The store will be open whilst we are all away, but orders placed from Saturday 25th August until Sunday 2nd September will be posted out on the next Monday - that is the 3rd September.  I will also have irregular and likely no access to email during that week. So if you are thinking of placing an order or need help with your selection please do so this week to be sure of a quick response.

I've held the newsletter back until the new yarn arrives, but will hit send as soon as I can so you can keep up with all our goings on.

suzy xoxo

PS: You can sign up to our newsletter over here.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Granny square class this SUNDAY


This Sunday I'm teaching some crochet basics and granny squares at our monthly Canberra Brown Owls meeting. I'm really excited!

So if you are in or around Canberra and have always yearned to learn a bit of crochet, now is your chance. We, the other BOs and I, will be at Downer Community Centre from 1.30-3.30pm Sunday 19th August. Cost $5.

We also welcome crafters who want to bring other projects along and have a chat...oh and if you want to bring a plate of something yummy to share it is always appreciated.

You can RSVP over here .

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

In my garden

There is something that I know. I know that I will never lose the joy of watching the seasons change. Though I am a child of the tropics, it is the predictable change of each season in this cool, temperate garden that has stolen my heart.




Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Newsletter sneak preview



So I'm back, and straight into it. Yarn arriving, ordering more yarn and some beautiful new patterns plus a newsletter to write. This morning I managed to convince a friend to model this gorgeous Colour Affection Shawl knitted up by my friend Danielle.  Isn't it sublime?

I'll be featuring it and telling you about all of the suzy goings on in my newsletter which should hit your inboxes on Thursday or Friday. If you haven't signed up you can do so over here.

Have a great day,
suzy xoxo


Sunday, August 5, 2012

How many projects is the question!


I'm heading off for a week today, and apart from packing and organising the home front for my absence, the biggest burning question is how many projects do I take?

I received some wise advice on twitter on Friday evening to take three, so that's what I'm going to do.
  • one to finish 
  • one to start 
  • and one for when you're bored

I'll pop by the blog each day and post project progress to keep myself honest. I know I've been a bit quiet for the last week or so in this space as I've been getting the shop ready for my absence.  

The store is manned whilst I'm away and orders will go out as per normal. I will also be able to answer your emails during the week.

suzy xoxo

PS I'm also expecting four orders of yarn to arrive whilst I'm away - two from Denmark, one from Maine, USA and some more MadTosh all the way from Texas!


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