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I started my career as a secretary, and worked my way up to typewriter and computer sales in both Wellington and London. At 24 I returned to full time study and qualified as an accountant. I worked as a management accountant in a range of private and government entities before going out on my own and establishing Briar Patch.
In addition to all things natural in knitting and crochet yarns I also undertake contract work for various organisations in the areas of management accounting, due diligence and risk management. In recent years I have also been working towards a professional governance career and am a Chartered Director and have been a company director and chair in the wool industry. I am currently an elected trustee on our local electricity consumer trust.
I also provide hands on help on the farm when needed and save Kim from the mountains of paperwork and compliance that continue to evolve with sheep and beef farming.
In my "spare" time I love to knit, crochet and sew and love getting together with other knitters at our local knitting groups.
As well as being my wonderful husband, Kim is the all-round doer! He is out there every day looking after his 5,500 sheep - no matter what the weather - rain, wind or sunshine.
He has been farming at Te Toko Station since 1984. Back in the 80s when times were tough and interest rates were 20% plus Kim also worked off farm shearing and fencing, bringing all his wages back to the farm to make sure his parents didn't lose what they had worked so hard for.
He is also pretty proficient with a tractor and digger as well as being outstanding making anything out of wood.
Kim is incredibly proud when he sees a photo of something created out of the wool he has grown and also really enjoys meeting keen knitters and crocheters at Wool festivals. Those of you who visited Woolfest in Auckland may well have been entertained by Kim's description of how hemp yarn is made.
Lana is the wonderful creator of the Hemp for Knitting range of yarn and the designer of the amazing range of knitting patterns for each of the different types of yarn.
It all started in 1997 when Lana attended Stitches West for the first time. She knew she had found "her people". Lana returned home inspired to somehow make hemp textiles a business. It took 3 years of planning, designing and research. In 2000 Lanaknits Designs Hemp for Knitting was launched.
Lanaknits is based in downtown Nelson, British Columbia, Canada. Lanknits website is www.lanaknits.com If there are products on Lana's website that Briar Patch doesn't currently import but you think we should - please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org