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Copy of old book

I have been looking for a copy of this book for years.

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It is the first book published in English about Kogin Embroidery and is by Beatrice Fulton Keeber.  It is out of print and cost a lot on the Second Hand sites.  (A friend had bought it and made a copy for me.)  It was interesting to read, not only because of it's age but because there was so much information that was incomplete and even wrong.  It got me thinking about how much is lost in translation when one is not fluent in the original language.

I'm sure the author published it in good faith but in some ways it was a bit of a dissapointment.   I had hoped to gain so much extra knowledge but found that I already had more than was in the book.  Still, it is another one for my Kogin collection.

A bit naughty

They discharged me from hospital and I went straight to the Stitches and Craft Show down the road.  I'm not sure it was the soundest decision I have ever made but I got there when it opened and only spent a couple of hours doing some shopping.  By this time I was ready to get home to bed.

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I now have a raft of medical appointments I have to attend but hopefully this will get me back on my feet again.

I spent a whole heap of money on very little.  Things were very expensive but as I only shop here once a year, and I really wanted and can use the things I bought I think the expense was justified.

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A couple of metres of Japanese fabric,cord, a mould for a broach and webbing plus some extra threads.  That little lot was over $180.00!  I can't buy these machine threads anywhere in Australia and I do love wonderfil threads, those two boxes were $100.00.

And then I got to meet Cecile Franconie.  (  Her English is a bit better than my French but we managed to chat for over 30 mins.  Luckily for me she didn't have any kits with her or I would have broken the bank.

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I would have loved to attended her workshop but knew I wasn't well enough so I just bought her book.  I took a flyer for the Quilt Show in Nantes next year.  I think that would be a good trip, then, as I would be in Europe I could include Sweden and some other places?

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New Book

This was an impulse buy when it came up in an advertisement on line.  Yumiko Higuchi's book "A year of embroidery."


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I have to say that I am very pleased with it.  Great designs and the illustrations are just wonderful.  You can see every stitch in these butterflys.

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And this beautiful lizard.

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I just don't know where I will start.  Maybe with the Xmas design, it is very Scandinavian.

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But then I like these pieces as well.

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The only criticism I have is that there is no reference to enlarging or reducing the size of the patterns.  It is obvious that some designs that are worked in the book have been enlarged and there is no reference to just what that size is.  Still I can't wait to start stitching.



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.