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June 2013

Update re comments

I have been having trouble with replying to comments.  Lots of html is posted along with the comment.  Looks like it is fixed now but I have had to remove my replys to get it fixed.  I hope this is the end of all this junk on the page.

2013 Hishizashi Project No 5

This month I have designed a simple project using linen as my base fabric.  For once I think the linen looks better than the hemp and the soft Kogin cotton looks right against the natural colour of the linen.  An optional finish to the edge is 'Portugese Border Stitch' which I stitched using a two thread distance between each of the base bars.

I did stitch out a version in hemp but I am going to have to experiment a bit more with stitching on this beige colour.  (It looks a bit like plastic at the moment.)


 Again I have broken up the instructions for ease of downloading

Download Sheet 1 copy  materials

Download Sheet 2  Kogin pattern

Download Sheet 3  Construction Sequence




Trying to keep up

I have knitted since I was 6 years old.  When we lived in the hot tropics I had to put it aside but I have always knitted.  It took me years as a teenager to learn to read knitting patterns and with complicated designs would keep a ruler under the line I was on.  Then Vogue and others put out  books on knitting  patterns and I sat and knitted sample squares.

Somewhere in this charts arrived on the scene, I missed their arrival, but then I found everything was charts, so I sat and studied them trying to move from one system to the other. ( I know there are lots of knitters of my generation who haven't made the switch.)  Now I am able to read them, I think, but when I found this book in Sydney I just had to have it.  I see there is a list of retailors here.

Why didn't I have this book before?  It is wonderful.  But, just like my computer, the system is about to move on.  The same author has developed another way to represent knitting patterns and I haven't fully mastered the chart one!  I keep thinking "JC Briar wait for me, let me catch up before you move on to another new thing."

So what is it?  Stitch-Maps.  No grids, the symbols are the same but they move the way the pattern does. 

Feather and Fan

One of the reasons I love knitting is the challenge of working out the pattern, the plain stuff is for sitting in front of the TV.  But patterns are serious stuff.  I sit in my special chair, all alone and work on that puzzle.  Some people do cross words, I like to knit.  But Gee, I wish I could knit like this.

(All images from JC Briar )

Another old piece

The piece I was asked to identify was a christening gown that was donated.  The donor had found it in a second hand shop so we are not sure about it's history. (White is so hard to photograph hence the insert.)

This piece is all hand sewn.  Seams, pintucking, plackets, lace insertion and the lace on a batiste base is hand embroidered. The other insertion lace is all bobbin lace.

It is beautiful bobbin lace.  It is not until you watch it being made that you realise how slowly it grows.  There are metres of lace woven on the diagonal.  All the edging is bobbin lace in another pattern and added to this every insertion seam is finished with feather stitch.  How could anyone throw this away?

This is just a beautiful piece of work.  Now it is part of the guild collection.

Too much to do

I am currently helping with a Textile Art Academy week of workshops, trying to organise all the bits for the 'Children's Holiday Classes' and get some of my own work done.  My own work is not getting done, I am well behind with the kits for the children's classes and run in and out of the TAA event.

Today I ran from TAA to the Embroiderer's Guild to organise volunteers and get more materials for the kits and then back to TAA.  Driving in the traffic was terrible what with accidents and roadworks.  At the Guild I was asked to identify some work that had been donated which I will write about later.  But there was an old wall hanging there that was just stunning.


It was bought in Egypt at the end of WW1 (1918) and the lady who donated it said that the colours used to be very bright but it has faded over the years.  The applique technique is a bit rough but the design is wonderful. I took a series of photos so that I could use part of the work as the basis of an applique course I am teaching next year.

I think that bird is supposed to be a falcon.


The beards on the men are wonderful and look at the donkey.


That guy looks really angry. Do you reckon he is collecting a toll?


These two don't look real pleased either.  Those camels are just above it all.


I'm not sure what the plants scattered around are supposed to be.  Maybe bullrushes?


I'm not sure if this is a horse or a donkey.  I think it is a horse.


Here is a close up of some of the stitching.


I love the faded pallete and am not sure if I would have liked the pre faded version.