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August 2015
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October 2015

September 2015


Well I dug into those old boxes and dug out this cross stitch of Hill Top Farm I was going to finish last year, but other things got in the way.  I'd thought about starting a new piece.  I had bought a kit from 'Bothy Threads Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 5.52.27 pm
in York a number of years ago and went looking for it.  Then I found I had donated it to the sale table at the Embroiderers' Guild.

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Very slow progress due to my arm.  I can only stitch for an hour or so and then have to stop because my hand is so swollen.  I have another 2 weeks till this caste comes off, (hopefully) so lets hope I make some progress.

Getting ready for 2016

One thing I have been able to do is to start to get ready for next year's teaching.  Some of my stock is starting to arrive, which is always exciting.  A new selection of hemp fabric and Kogin threads.  (I have some extra classes with Indigo Niche in the pipeline which is very exciting.)

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Then I have a little project in which the embroidery will be made into a purse.  I ordered 3 different frames to see which one will be the most successful. 

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Then some lace zippers for an extra activity for the machine finishing class.  Most students come terrified of putting in a zipper and all leave amazed at how easy it is.  These are going to make it even easier.

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I bought the zippers from China and they came with this little pill bottle in the parcel.  When I opened it up it was a pen.  Now I have an idea for using some of these in a project for the Children's classes.  Kids love this kind of novelty item.

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I have also been asked to develop an advanced class in Machine Finishing so am working on that as well.  Hopefully I will have all my samples and kits ready to go by November.  (Positive thinking Carolyne.)

Extras for my computer

It came as a big shock to me that my new computer didn't have a disc drive.  After spending over $3,000.00 I wasn't expecting this and no one in the apple shop told me that there wasn't one or that I could get rechargeable batteries for the mouse etc.  I had to find that out myself and then go and purchase them.

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I started using an Apple computer in 1986 and have always had great service and advice up till now.  Something has changed.

In praise of my shawl

There weather had turned cold again on the weekend here.  There was a 35 knot wind blowing and a number of boats had broken their moorings and were up on the beach. Then it fined up for a couple of days and now it is cold again.

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 But having said that, in the lee of the wind  on the other side of the island it is a perfect day.  The kids are even swimming.

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So I have had to pulled out a sweater again, but my fingers are still cold and I needed something a bit warmer so I got out my warm shawl.  

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I have been trying to remember just when I bought it.  It must have been in the late 1990's  I remember a member of my quilting group was telling us about this weaver she had met and she asked if she could have her bring some of her work for us to see.  

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I had to have this shawl.  It is made of hand dyed silk and mohair and was very expensive, a whole weeks wages.  It is light but incredibly warm. The colours shimmer because of the pattern in the weave.

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 It will roll up quite small and go into my handbag. It has been used as a blanket when I am traveling, an evening wrap and now I find it so easy to put over my shoulders with this broken arm.  I even used it as a sling for my arm when I first broke it.

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It was made by Master Weaver, Kay Faulkner.  Kay has been weaving for over 30 years and her work is collected by museums and sold through Saville Rd. London, which I didn't know when I bought this.  I just thought it was beautiful and still do.  (I went back and bought another scarf for my daughter later.)  How Kay can keep all those counting patterns in her memory just amazes me.

I treasure this shawl which is both useful and beautiful.  I suppose that is the essence of good design. So, praise be to my beautiful shawl,


I have finished the central section.  How long did that take? I started in March 2014 and here we are in September 2015, 18 months.  But there has been a lot going on during that time.  My little ladies still have a little thread on their skirts from the skein of thread I put on each one.  

The surrounds are going to have to wait until I get this arm working again.  So, I think I should be able to still manage some cross stitching, I will go rummaging in the boxes to see what I can find.


A little set back

Well I thought that I would be back to full time stitching today but it is not to be.  I attended the fracture clinic at the hospital yesterday and they removed the caste and X-Rayed my arm.  My hand looked all out of shape but the arm looked OK.  At first it seemed the result would be positive.  But then the Doctor was explaining to me how the breaks had healed when he realised that it wasn't fully healed.  Result, back into a plaster caste again for another 2 weeks. I have to admit it is still sore and after all the pushing and pulling of the bones today it aches.

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It was so close, but at least it looks as though I'm not going to need surgery.   The bad news is that even when I come out of the caste I will not be able to lift anything for another 6 weeks.  That takes me through to the middle of November!  Oh I wish I had turned that light on.

Beautiful Things

I love beautiful tools to use for knitting and embroidery.  I would love to own one of those antique sewing sets you see in the auction catalogues.   I love old thimbles and have a small collection of Dorcas ones that I use all the time.  I also bought a hand made stiletto, made by Jenny Adin-Christie's father which fits the hand so perfectly.  In addition I have a number of good sets of knitting and crochet needles along with some I inherited from my husbands great aunt.


When I first started high school teaching an introduction to spinning and weaving was still part of the curriculum.   Every school in Queensland had an Ashmore spinning wheel, (along with it's personality) some hand spindles, a Backstrap loom an Inkle loom and sometimes a selection of table and floor looms.  I think you will still find these hidden away in the Art Department's store rooms of some schools

We never had enough time to really use this equipment.  I would demonstrate how to spin fibre into yarn and weave small pieces on the loom.  The floor looms required 2 or 3 people to warp them up and people who knew how to do this just weren't there.   So gradually these skills just weren't taught in schools anymore. For myself, I found it difficult to source fibres and when I did, working with animal fibres made my hands sweaty (no air conditioners back then).  So I sold my spinning wheel and loom and kept on embroidering. But I never lost my love of these beautiful tools.

Fast forward to 2015.   I was looking for some information about back-strap weaving and chanced upon Laverne Waddington's site.  ( If you like weaving this is a fantastic resource.)  I don't know why but I went back into her archives and chanced on a photo of the most beautiful spinning wheel and chair that I have ever seen.

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Following the links I found the maker Thomas Golding.  What a treasure trove.  The most beautiful things created by Thomas and his sons.

Spinning Wheels to die for.  I like this dragon wheel, but there are lots of others to droll over.

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They are pricey but if you were a spinner I think price wouldn't matter, they are so beautiful.  His wife is a spinner and weaver and it is for her that he first began to make the wheels.  I was tempted by the knitting needles but I already have some beautiful sets.  Then I saw the Lucets.  I would love this one.

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But with the exchange rate on the Ausi $ sitting so low I think I will have to settle for one of these, which are still beautiful.

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