Books Feed


Recycling is so very 'now'.  But recycling has been going on for ever.  Then again, recycling can mean something quite different depending on the era.

This book was published in 1915. 

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WW1 was raging and recycling was a necessity for most people, so, it was often a topic of interest, especially for women trying to make ends meet.  I find the difference in how we 'express' ourselves in different eras interesting.  Back in 1915 we 'explained' what we meant with a lot more words.

A good example was the 'Preface'.

War is a hard, stern teacher, and its lessons are bitter in the learning; yet some of its teaching we badly needed - and not the least important of its main lessons is the one it inculcated on the criminality of waste.

To so many of us "waste" was a word with a comparative meaning. What was waste in one woman was not necessarily waste in another, we argued.  It was wrong for the factory girl to let her skirts drop off her for lack of mending: but not wrong for the better-off women to discard their clothes directly they showed the least sign of wear, because they could afford to buy more, we said; and besides, it made it good for trade - that was a favourite argument used by the extravagent to excuse their wanton waste.

Harsh words indeed.

On reading this book I had no idea that you could use old crockery for beads.  It seems like a lot of work.  We can purchase beads at a very cheap price today, maybe this is something that will change over the next 100 years?

What I was looking for was drawings, rather like those of Margaret Clarke, to use in my 1920's quilt.  The only thing I found was these illustrations in advertisements.

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Screen Shot 2023-04-08 at 1.26.29 pmI might use the faces of the girls looking over the wall and the flowers on the cover could translate into an applique.  Or maybe these?

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What I can't see myself doing is turning the collars of my husbands shirts.  If he wants that he can do it himself!


This book has come highly recommended and I am looking forward to reading it.

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Just the blurb on the website has wetted my interest.


'He tilted his desk lamp so that the light fell on the image. The head of a bright bay colt gazed out of the canvas, the expression in the eyes unusual and haunting.'

A discarded painting in a roadside clean-up, forgotten bones in a research archive, and Lexington, the greatest racehorse in US history. From these strands of fact, Geraldine Brooks weaves a sweeping story of spirit, obsession and injustice across American history.

It has been some time since I had a good book to read so I look forward to this one.  I hope it lives up to expectation.


For my Library

After mastering twisted stitches there are a couple of books I think I need for my library. 

Firstly "Twisted Stitches Source Book".

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and secondly,

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I have borrowed both books from the library but there is so much in each of them that I think I need copies of my own and not just Kindle versions.  I need hard copies that I can refer to all the time.  For the Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible I am going to have to learn how to read those charts.  But Oh to be able to knit a collar like this.

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The Norah Gaughan book has sample swatches of all different patterns.

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I could just trial all the patterns and make a blanket and not feel guilty that I was wasting time.

Ah Ha!!  I have just had a thought.  What great Mother's Day presents they would make from my children!!

Another delivery

I had forgotten that this book would arrive from Scotland.

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I had signed up for the club, which included essays, patterns and other things, that all came via my Email.  I'm glad there is a hard copy of the book as well but all this will have to wait until 2024.  I have so many other projects that have to be finished first. 

What is also wonderful about it is the packaging.  The Royal Mail uses a certain type of cardboard that is just right for making templates.  I can't buy it here at all and I have used all my stock.  I have a project in the wings that this will be just right for.


Today is my "day off."  I was going to sit and stitch flat out, but, I have hit a wall.  I was also going to mow the lawns and tidy the garden, but that wall is right in front of me.  So, I look myself off to the coffee shop, with the dog, for a cup of tea.  (I'm restricting all coffee to just special occasions.) Also, I heard of the death of a small child, the grand daughter of a friend, and my heart began to weep.

It was a good decision.  I met a fellow quilter who lives on the island who is here from Canada, I spoke with the chef about how the kitchen is going and a light rain fell on me as I sat under a tree to drink my tea.  I got to thinking that what we concentrate on, the way we spend our time, tells us what we really care about.  Stitching is high up on my list.  As is my family.  Yesterday I dropped everything to take my grand daughter to get a new pair of shorts to wear to  "scouts". 

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She has joined to local "troop" and is off to camp.  It is the last thing I thought she would like but she loves it.

While I was sitting under my tree I read another of the essays from my book "Wheesht" by Kate Davies, again telling myself just how much I enjoy this book.

Screen Shot 2023-03-02 at 11.35.02 amI think that I will buy this as a Christmas gift for a couple of my friends.  Essays are a much underrated form of literature.  The essay writting that I studied at school put me right off this genre but this book has rekindle my interest.  (Every time I pick it up I think that.) Also, I love the way Kate writes, I learn something new each time I read something she has written.  At the end of each essay she has a list of "Creative Assignments", all of which stretch you a bit.  And at the chapter I have just read is a note to read the work of Adrienne Rich.   A poet I hadn't heard of, but , I found this poem and now have an order in at the council library to read more.

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Now I think I can sew again.

Another Book

This book was a gift from my friend Pam and what a gift, one that keeps on giving.  It isn't a new book, being first published in 2012, but, it is quite magnificent.  Just the bird on the cover gives you an inkling on what is to follow.

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The illustrations are quite lavish.  Those tassels are magnificent.

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And it covers the traditional,

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To the contemporary, as illustrated in this needle lace.

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I am just in love with every page of this book.

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At the moment I sit and read a few pages at a time with my afternoon cup of tea.  Heaven.


A New Week

I hope that this week is better than the last few!  The heat has been playing havoc with my health and well-being (along with my husband) and this week I want to move on in a calmer state of mind.  Although, family matters are still testing.  My grand daughter is not adjusting to regular school at all well.  Academically she is at a year 12 standard and she is in year 8.  I think there may be another move on the horizon but it will not be back for lessons with me.  She needs to be with younger people.

I am eagerly waiting for the delivery of a new book, "China Adorned." 

Screen Shot 2023-02-19 at 5.31.18 pmThis is only becoming available this month but the reviews have been good.

This was one review: Aesthetic influences drawn from China have long resonated throughout Western art, design, and philosophy. China Adorned challenges the monolithic idea of Chinese culture and fashion, turning the lens on the rich clothing traditions of the country’s ethnic-minority peoples.

Drawing on more than three decades of research by cultural anthropologist Deng Qiyao, this volume documents and demystifies the customs and rituals of more than thirty minority peoples through their clothing and accessories. Deng’s never-before-published archival photos sit alongside contemporary imagery by photographer Cat Vinton, showcasing the fabrics and jewelry in conjunction with the surrounding landscapes. In the process, the book helps readers to better understand the deep connections between people, place, ritual, and adornment. Contributor essays delve further into the mechanics of these textiles and techniques, the role of the artisan, and the extraordinary resilience of minority material cultures, offering a timely reminder of the importance of preserving these traditions for generations to come.

Part anthropological study, part photography series, this stunningly illustrated collection challenges and enriches our Western perception of the diversity of Chinese culture.

I am going to return to my knitting tonight, my wrist isn't nearly as sore as it has been.  I only have the yoke to finish on this piece and the colder weather has got to be coming around soon.

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New Knitting Book

I can see a million new swatches on the horizon, well maybe not a million but lots.

My sister sent me a new book as a present.  "Book of Fair Isle knitting" by Alice Starmore.

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I had mentioned that I wanted to learn how to do this method of knitting correctly and that it would be one of my goals for 2023.  I had knitted sweaters for my children with these patterns when they were children but I had just come up with my own methods, which I am sure wasn't right.  The jumpers looked quite good, but I know I didn't do it the right way and back then I didn't know of any books to look at, I knew nobody who could knit these patterns  and there wasn't any internet to Goggle it.

So I intend to start at page 1 and read every page and I will try to knit a swatch of every pattern.  There are a number of new techniques that I will have to master as well so I think that knitting swatches will be the way to go.  I'm looking forward to this new adventure and when I feel I am proficient enough I would like to knit this jacket.

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Nothing like setting a high bar!

I hope I can rescue this

I ordered this book months ago and have been eagerly been awaiting it's arrival but when it was delivered the package was damaged.

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When I looked at the back I could see that it was water damaged and still very damp.

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We had a lot of rain two days ago and I would say this is when the damage happened.  It got all the way from the U.K. only to get wet here.  Such a shame and I am so disappointed.  I quickly separated all the pages so that they wouldn't  stick together and got it out into the sun and I am hopeful that I can dry it out but it will have permanent water marks I'm afraid.

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The book is "White-work Embroidery" by Jennie Adin-Christie.

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When I first met Jenny it was on her first trip to Australia and much of this book was in draft form held together with a bull dog clip.  Even then I could see that it was going to be something very special a bought a photocopy.  The actual book is far better than that copy and has so much more information  Although it is water damaged it is a wonderful book, full of techniques and patterns. Jenny is a master of this form of embroidery and has raised it to a new level.   I may have to buy another copy, cut her hand written salutation and greeting out of this damaged copy and attach it to the cover.

I'm not sure why I didn't find this book before!

Meet me at the Museum is a delightful book.

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It is a series of correspondence between two people which is thoughtful and really 'sucks you in'.  The two are brought together by their shared interest in 'Tollund Man' who was found in Denmark.  It isn't a big book, only 288 pages but it is a delightful one.  Another interesting fact that this is the authors first book and she in 70 years old and she won a literary prize for it.


The early bird

I have turned into an 'early bird'.  I have to be up at 4:30am to get the 5am ferry so that I can be at my son's home before they have to leave for work at 6:45am and at the other end of the day I catch the 5pm ferry home again.  It is not as bad as it sounds.  In some places the traffic is terrible but for the most part the drive to and from is pleasant.  What is good is that my grand daughter is so much better in her own environment.  She makes a terrible mess here but at home everything is tidy and calm, including her bedroom. (I am really impressed with how she keeps her room.)  It makes a big difference to her learning. (My other grand daughter has a pet snake in her room so I stay out of there.)

There is only 6 weeks before the school term ends and my daughter has joined the teaching team and my son has rearrange his work to 4 days on 4 days off so I don't have to be there every day but I do have to come home and cook dinner.  I like cooking.  In fact I love cooking.  I try to make something different for every meal but I must admit that I have been re-making much of the same list of recipes.  Then I came upon

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When I subscribed I was able to down load 3 recipe books for free, which I will work my way through and I want to buy the new book  'Dinner' that has been released here in Australia and other places overseas recently.

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The woman that has put all this together is Nagi Maehashi who live in the northern beaches of Sydney.  We are such a multi cultural society that there is a huge range of recipes that come from many countries. Now I just have to get my husband to accept something different.