In 1875, aged seven, my grandfather David McAuslin arrived in Bluff aboard the Christina MacAusland after three months by sea from Glasgow.
His father William was a stone mason… destination Oamaru. McAuslins were skilled craftsmen, including weavers in Lanarkshire mid-18th Century.
When I set up my business, it seemed appropriate to use the McAuslin name together with a strip of Buchanan tartan as labels on my lovely scarves – the McAuslin whanau being part of the Clan Buchanan.
I like to think I am continuing the tradition of creating excellent quality and specialty products to discerning customers. My hand-dyed wool is labelled Hazel McAuslin’s Wool for my mother Hazel, who was an avid knitter, keeping my husband in hand-knitted socks for over 20 years.
I absolutely love colour and have been dyeing wool, silk and cotton fabrics for decades, using eucalyptus leaves, lichens, flowers and onion skins in a variety of techniques. For all my wool and silk products, I now only use the world’s best non-toxic commercial dyes which will never fade: specialty dyes developed for the soft furnishing industry.
Looking for inspiration one day, I came across the idea of dyeing wool to replicate the plumage of our unique taonga native birds.
I now hand-weave scarves with this wool to match 15 birds… you can decide which favourite bird scarf will keep you warm in winter!
Felt Princess Wool Shop – Crawford St Dunedin
Potters Co-op – 14 Stuart Street Dunedin
Orokonui Ecosanctuary – Waitati, Dunedin
The Albatross Colony – Taiaroa Head/Pukekura, Dunedin
Wool Store and More —Waikouaiti Otago
Photo acknowledgements: Rhonda Hooper & Loris Ives