I seem to have been absent for quite some time…..nothing wrong, just very busy elsewhere. Mostly I have been working in my garden in preparation for the visit of a group from a local garden club. It’s been a bit like Hercules cleaning the Augean stables, and will teach me to neglect the garden for more gentle activities like stitching. The amount of growth, both positive ( established plants and trees) and negative (weeds) due to the wet summer we have experienced meant many areas were like a jungle and needed radical cutting back. This is the 8th trailer of rubbish, this one waiting to go to the tip tomorrow, and there are likely to be a few more before I have finished. I’m very glad the end is in sight!
In my spare time, when sick of the labouring in the garden, I have been stacking this 5 cubic metre pile of redgum firewood in my woodshed. Times like these I wish the children, now long gone, were here and could be bribed to do it instead of me!
I have not been totally ignoring my needles, and am currently working on this piece of old pure woollen blanket. Yes, it looks a bit weird now but will be turned into a very functional light blocking curtain for a spare room. I plan to cover the whole with naive embroidery, and then dye it with natural (eucalyptus) dyes, so it will end up a light red brown colour. I am hoping that the embroidery will dye a slightly different shade and will show up as tone on tone. So far we have a rabbit, a couple of other things and Squid, my daughter’s dog. The curtain will hang straight with no gathers, like a blind and hopefully will allow certain visitors the luxury of sleeping longer after daylight. As it was very difficult to mark a stitching line on the wool, I drew the design onto water soluble film, tacked it down and stitched through the lot. The residual film and outlines will dissolve when the piece is washed and dyed.
As if I need any new craft activity to explore, I now have something else to try when I have a bit of time. A week ago when I was in Melbourne, I collected several looms from a private school that no longer needed them. They had been in storage for years, and were going to be destroyed if new homes could not be found for them…….such a waste thought I …..so agreed to collect them and to keep one for myself.
I have no experience and know nothing of weaving so this will be a challenge – when I have time to learn. I am told this is a four shaft table loom, and was made by Dyer and Phillips in Melbourne after WWII, so may be 50 years old or thereabouts. It seems to have all the component parts, needs a little cleaning of the metal bits, but appears it will work. Should be fun – when I have time to learn.
Finally for today – and for those who live near enough to attend – the Embroiderers Guild Biennial Exhibition is happening in Castlemaine next weekend. It will be a great show, and coincides with the State Festival being held at the same time – so make the trip to Castlemaine and see it all!
Don’t forget to visit Fractions in Time – there are always new photographs to see….