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September 2010
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October 2010

Some old lace

My friend Kay gave me these lovely old laces that had been given to her.

I have no idea what I will do with them at the moment but  I'm sure that I will think of something.



There were some other pieces as well.  This Indian embroidery that has been cut from a garment.


And these braids in an abstract designs.


Talking about possums...

This is the middle of the day and these are nocturnal creatures.  I was alerted to his presence by the noise of the crows, they hate possums as they raid the eggs from their nests.  This fellow was getting a drink from a bromeliad that I had put up in a tree.

Of course all the usual suspects wanted to know what was going on.



This is not a good omen for my jam if these blokes are out in the middle of the day.

The eternal question

Why is it that when ever I decide to start a new project I can never find what it want in my stash?  If I had a small stash I would understand but mine is large.  I wanted to make another doll from the kit I bought at the Craft Show but despite having a whole draw of felt I didn't have the colour I needed.  I have every colour under the sun except that one.


One thing I have my eye on is the Lilly Pilli trees in my neighbours yard.  They are covered in blossom which bodes well for a good crop.


 I have asked if I can harvest the berries for my jam making for Xmas and from the look of the blossom I am going to have loads of jam.


That's if the possums don't get there first.


Some more treasures

There was a beautiful selection of antique baby wear at the guild this week.  I can't see my daughter-in-law putting any of it on the baby due in January 2011 but it is still lovely to look at.  The fabric in this dress had a high nylon content so I would say it was made in the 1950"s.


The smocking was charming.


The next dress is probably older.  I think the lace must have rotted out and been replaced with this cheap nylon inset.


The thread used for this embroidery is rayon.


This dress has been made in a wool georgette.



This dress is quiet old but that smocking transfer keeps on keeping on.


There were also some interesting bonnets.  This one was made completely from lace that was stitched together with herringbone stitch.  The maker began with one piece of lace at the centre back and then worked out from there.  Gathering the lace till it reached the desired size and then adding straight pieces of lace.

The ruffle around the neck was made from one piece of lace and four layers were added around the face.

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I think this bonnet is from the 1920's although it might be earlier.  It is crocheted in rayon and uses bullion stitch to make the flowers.  This stitch has been out of fashion for years but is starting to be seen a lot in free from crochet.

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I wonder if babies bonnets will ever comeback into fashion again?


Brisbane Craft Show - The state quilt exhibition

A large part of the floor space of the convention centre was taken up by the state quilt competition and a display of quilts, both arrange by Queensland Quilters.   The prize winning quilts can be seen on their web page.

For myself there were a number of quilts that I personally liked.  The winning quilt is the same one I saw at the Toowoomba Quilt Show, Robin Ginns "Silk purses and Crazy Bags".

It doesn't have the level of quilting skills you find in the winners of other state quilt shows but never the less it is beautiful in it's uniqueness.  Other quilts that took my fancy were "Waratahs and Wild Flowers for Dad" by Denise Griffith.

 and Shirley Manly's "A Homage to Sally-Anne."

and my friend Jean won a third place for this quilt.



Brisbane Craft Show - 3

The third purchase for my day was fabric.  I am using Batiks quite a lot lately, they have a great variety of colours and are good in many pieces of patchwork and quilting.  The Company was Tulis Textiles from New Zealand.

(image from their web page)

This company has the printing of the fabric done in Bali and I found that the fabric is fractionally heavier than other fabrics available, but not so heavy that you can't use it for applique.  I bought a selection of fat quarters to try out. 


When I visited their web page   I was interested to read about the different types of fabric available.  These included,

Modern Batik   ,Tulis ,


Batik Paintings,


The website also has some interesting free guides and patterns.




Brisbane craft show - 2

Another new booth was "ak traditions".   I was attracted to the stall by the colours and the fact that they had these cute dolls.  The larger dolls were all knitted and the smaller ones were made of felt. DinaraStory
I bought a kit for the smaller doll, because I need to make four for little girls for Christmas.  But, I think the knitted ones will be great when they get a little older.


 The knitted clothes are just adorable and will give me the chance to knit some more complicated patterns.


I love the accessories.  I know kids who would just love this bedding.


These designers draw on the heritage of central Asia, especially the mounted nomads of the Kyrgys Republic.  The results are seriously cute.

Brisbane Craft Show

I went on Friday to the show, it was like old home week, I ran into so many people I knew, even some old students who now have families of their own.

I am always on the look out for new products and this year there was a small booth called "B2 Buttons and Beads".  They had an amazing range of beads but what caught my eye was the silk thread.

This is Chinese silk, grown and spun in the country side.  There is 20 metres on each hank and they have had it dyed to match the colours and numbers of the DMC stranded cottons.  It is 100% silk but it differs from the commercially produced threads in the twist of the thread, it has a low twist.  This makes the filament catch the light and shine.  I have started to use it in a cross stitch I am working on.  You can see the difference in the twist in the image below but when stitched it sits the same as the commercial thread.

The big difference between these threads is the price.  I couldn't find any silk threads below $6.00 a hank.  The Chinese one is $2.00 for 20 metres.  I wondered if it will be as good as the ones I am using?  But then remembered that there is a tradition of silk embroidery in China reaching back several thousand years.  I think this silk would work very well for Japanese Embroidery as it is produced in the traditional method, it is only the chemical dyes that are modern.  (They have a full colour chart on their website and you can buy the threads on-line)

An afterthought

It has been niggling at the back of my brain all night.  I have made one of those ruffle scarfs before.  I used Noro wool, which cost well over $100.00, and I made it for my daughter's trip to New York.  Good thing I remembered or she would be onto me about senior moments.

It was from the Lion Brand website who also have a wonderful range of free patterns.  I think I signed up for this one at no cost as well, it (my computer) just signs me in automatically and I get the free newsletter," Weekly Stitch", every week.  There are always good tips and patterns in this.

Pattern for Ruffle Scarf. (This takes you to the sign upp.)


Knitting and Crocheting

I was beginning to think that summer wasn't going to start here at all but it is very warm  today.  I'm afraid that if I ditch the doona it will turn cold again.  I have always had to put my knitting and crocheting away as soon as the warm weather started but this year I think I will try to keep on, only problem may be the electricity charges caused by cranking up the air conditioning.

I have quite a stock of wool so that isn't a problem.  The problem is choosing a pattern.  I go to Ravelry patterns to look.  There are 200+ categories to select from.  In the Designers on Ravelry there are 37,221 patterns and of these 14,180 are free patterns. 

What is Ravelry?  It is this enormous website that has patterns, yarns, people, forums groups and a shop.  ( You have to join to get access but this is free.)  I want to knit a scarf for my daughter, there are only 1,200 of these to choose from in the free section. 

 I might make a ruffle scarf and have gone through the 35 pages and selected 9 patterns that I like.  Each of these have a photos  with a drop down box below, which tells you what comments others have written, how many people have posted that they are making the piece and a little star that you can click on to remember that you liked this pattern so you can find it again. (It's a good idea to write down the page so you can go straight there.)Flounce_Scarf_small



So this is the Crochet Flounce scarf that I like, there are 2 comments and 2 projects but then one of the others had 40 completed projects and looked pretty good as well. 2935549310_12d4301dc1_m





3185533760_de05c8ffae_m And 100 people had made this one.





But I finally decided that I like this 28 Row Scarf by Lynne Ashton.


Forty two people have made it in all different types of yarn and everyone looks good.  So I clicked the download button and there it was as a PDF file.  Easy, it's making the selection that is difficult.