Books Feed


The book I ordered a few months ago arrived today, and it was a nice surprise and is an interesting read.

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I was interested to read that she came up against the same problems I did when trying to research, back in 2013, Swedish Blackwork.

Namely, that the fabrics and threads that the work was originally worked in was 'home produced' and to try and replicate this with the fabric and threads available today presents challenges.  There is a great section near the end of the book where she details just what results available threads achieve on different count linens.  The patterns and stitching between the Norwegian and Swedish designs have similarities, which is to be expected. 

Wool was the thread of choice but there is not a lot of choice out there for the fineness of the thread that is required.  I think that I will stick with silk to stitch my sample and I have decided to have another go at the traditional Swedish Blackwork.  But the question of the lack of fine woollen threads on the market has been one that I have been pondering about for some time.

I had planned to go to the Bendigo Wool Show this year but ill health has kept me away.  I wanted to see what kind of woollen threads small producers had available.  Apparently nothing. My friend Cassandra from 'Every Sewer Needs' had a stall there this year and has bought wool and spindle to spin her own wool for bobbin lace.

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I will be very interested to see her results because this might give me the fine woollen thread that could be used in this kind of stitching.

I am still conversing with Typepad but as yet there is no resolution.  Hope we can work it out soon.

And I have a new  book, "The West Highland Way - knit, read, walk" by Kate Davies.

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This book has all of the patterns I have been knitting  and a wonderful series of essays.  I have to say that the photography is of a far higher quality in the book than on the blog posts about the book, and those were pretty good.

Walking used to be one of my passions.  Age and a number of broken bones has put a big dent in my capabilities.  I look at the walks described in this book with longing.  Maybe my daughter will be able to do some of them.  She and her father are walking in Ireland in July this year, and he has had both hip joints replaced!  But, I know it would be beyond me so I am planning on attended the Bendigo Wool Festival instead.

The weather here has finally started to cool down.  Early morning on the barge sees me wrapped in my puffer jacket but I do need to knit myself some mittens and a hat.  Yesterday I thought my ears might break off the side of my head they were so chilled.  I have had my eye on Kate's "Peerie Flooers" pattern for some time now and I would like to knit that but I think I need to have something I can knit quickly.

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I thought a gnome hat might get my fellow travellers talking?

The Birdman's Wife

My love of birds was fostered back in Primary School and I remember our class joining 'the Gould League of Bird Lovers'.  We all got a certificate like this one, I have no idea what happened to mine but I do remember collecting the cards that were handed out.

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There was a copy of "The Birds of Australia" in the school library and we could only look at it under supervision.  I spent hours looking at those images.  Fast forward 50 years and I now find that Mr John Gould wrote that book but it was Mrs Elizabeth Gould who did all those wonderful illustrations.  It always amazes me that women are somehow invisible in our history even when they have made outstanding contributions.  ( It has been said that Einstein's first wife did as much work on the theory of relativity as he did but got no recognition.)

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And Elizabeth Gould was no ordinary woman.  This book opens the window on the life of an amazing woman.  Her accomplishments are at least as great as her husband's, if not greater.  This book by Melissa Ashley is well worth reading and when I look at the work of other 'famous men'  I think I would also like to find out about their wives as well and recognition of their contribution to the men's work should be noted. (Now I will get off my soap box!)

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Pattern Darning

I have always liked pattern darning.  Maybe it is the regularity of the patterns, it's geometric base, or maybe it was because running stitch was the first stitch I learnt and all it's variations?  What every the reason I like it, so it is with great interest that I see that Yvette Stanton has a new book coming out this year about Norwegian Pattern Darning.

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I started to do some digging into this technique and found that there isn't a lot to find.  I did find this image that shows a historical piece.

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A book was also given as a reference and I found a copy on Amazon.

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Other than this Medieval piece  I have only been able to find examples of baby clothes on Pinterest, no source given.

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So it is with interest that I await the publication of this book.

Some new books

I dropped into Spotlight to get some more knitting needles and came home with a whole lot of books.  All reduced to $5.00 each from a Recommended Retail of $40.00 each.  Then I got another 30% off because it was a sale. (This was in the branch next to Ikea at Springwood, I'm not sure if they are in all Spotlight stores.)

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I also picked up some great craft books for the grandchildren for $1 each.  Then I found I was late picking up my husband and took a left turn in the car and ended up in a traffic jam on the freeway.  That made me very late but I did get this great buy.

A new book and the heat

A couple of weeks ago we had the Book launch for "Hayley and the Magical Farm". 

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The author of the book is my neighbour, Maxine, and the farm belongs to my friend Hayley who lives is a few doors away.  (That is where I go to feed the chickens.)

We have seen this book go from an idea through to this launch and I know every animal featured well.  My grand daughters also know all the characters, human and animal, and wanted to be there for this launch.   Monique, who also has aspirations as an author, has adopted Maxine as her special friend and holds long conversations about the writting of books,

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plus she likes this book because she knows all the characters and they are not just imaginary.

Lollipop the donkey.


The guinea pigs.


Marshmellow the sheep, who they have known since he was a lamb.

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Marmalade Toast, the cat that eats carrots,


and Cheesecake the dog that wears a onesie.


Most of these animals have been rescued and some like Cheesecake have a sad story.  He was abandoned by some one who dumped him on the island.  He would sit down at the barge waiting for them to come back.  He did that nearly every day for over 6 months.  He just loves Hayley and she him.

The farm is all pink and purple, Hayley's favourite colours, she has repainted all the railway carriages and it did look magical.

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Old TV cabinets have been painted pink to act as places for the chocks to sit.

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All the garden statues are pink and purple and sit in an old canoe.

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The water features have been painted.

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Even the cow got new ear rings for the day.

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It has been so hot here, 40 degrees C on the day of the launch, and although we were under the trees and there were lots cool drinks, (some pink), everyone was suffering and trying not to show it.

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They had a book reading for the children, who have all read the book 100 times or more, and our neighbour Simon,  dressed up as a wizard did the reading.  (Simon is a retired Oxford Don, so has the perfect accent and long white hair, to charm the children.)

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(There are mirrors everywhere for the animals to check themselves out!)

Hayley, her mother and sister were dressed to kill and had put in so much work making the farm look wonderful.

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There was some great food.

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And the baby chickens were a big attraction.

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After the launch everyone sought relief from the heat and left Hayley with the mess.  My dear husband stepped in and cleaned it all up for her.  He is a treasure.  That evening Monique was ill from too many sweet things and the heat.  Looking at the photos I can see she went from hot,

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to over heated even with a hat on and in the shade.  We missed that in all the excitement.

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Still it was a good day and Hayley's Magical Farm Rolls on.


New Book

I really don't have time to be readying books but this one has got me in.  "The Atlantis Gene"  is the first book in a Science Fiction Trilogy.

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It is not the best written book I have ever read but there is just enough truth in the basic facts to make the story believeable, well almost.  It is still fantasy but it gets you in and you have to know what happens next.  Like many modern books it reads a bit like a movie and surprise, suprise, they are making one.  It is an enjoyable read it you want some thing easy to read.


Two invitations

I got this great invitation to go to a dinner in Melbourne.  Very exclusive, very expensive.  It is on in conjunction with the Dior exhibition at the art Gallery.

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But I also got a 'better' invitation.  To go and stay a few days up at Toowoomba with my Embroidery Stitching friends.  It was a no brainer really.  So, while I am stressed out over the purchase of this unit and getting ready to go overseas, which is also stressing me out, they sent all my tickets and paper work to Boston USA, I have decided to leave it all and go away for a few days.

Now I have to decide what I will work on.  The small purse for the children's classes is one.  I have to finish that shawl is another and there is those dolls clothes still hanging over my head.  But just for fun and because I really don't have time to do it I thought I would crochet some toys.

At the Quilt Show, Kerry Lord was promoting her books and I bought  a copy of "Edwards Menagerie".  Over 40 animals, that should keep me going and I have a small bundle of alpaca wool that was given to me as a gift and I have been waiting for just the right thing to use it on.

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Looking on the Toft web page I see there are lots of other things as well.  There are lots of adorable kits.  Those dogs are tempting and there on the top right hand corner is Charlie.  Have to do that at some point.

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I think this could be the start of another obsession.    There is a great interview with Kerry Lord and some lovely images here

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