Midsummer yule
Needle and Spindle - a blog about making
by Rebecca
4y ago
It is stupidly hot here. We’ve already had our hottest average national temperature ever and the hot spell has not even peaked. And yet I still go on preparing for our Yuletide celebrations. I’ve been baking gingerbread as we do every year. I’ve been crocheting winter plants from other lands to decorate our lounge room. Here is mistletoe. …and holly. The hotter we get, the more bizarre seem the ancient yuletide rituals brought to Australia from the Northern hemisphere. And yet I bake on… A Merry Christmas to you where ever you are. May you find warmth or coo ..read more
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Knitting into the spine
Needle and Spindle - a blog about making
by Rebecca
4y ago
Sometimes I find knitting a bit of a slog. I know as spinners and knitters, we laugh at time, but really sometimes knitting just feels arduous and interminable. It can take a long time to get any where useful. But when I knit lace, something curious happens. It always starts awkwardly with counting and recounting, stops and starts and many readings and checkings of the pattern. Then slowly, I start to predict the stitches required from the pattern emerging on the needles. I start to see the relationships between the different parts of the pattern. A knit stitch section reduces by t ..read more
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Yarn as text
Needle and Spindle - a blog about making
by Rebecca
4y ago
Just like all material artifacts, yarn can be read as a text. We read the landscape that has given rise to the wool fibre when we encounter bits of grass and other vegetable matter trapped in our yarn. We read the creature who grew the fibre when the sheep breed is identified on the ball band. And underneath this, we can read the rise of global mass production and the demise of local manufacturing in the changing place of origin on our yarn labels. But what I want to share with you today is something different…yarns deliberately designed and constructed to tell stories. These yarns a ..read more
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Second harvest
Needle and Spindle - a blog about making
by Rebecca
4y ago
All through the winter we had good rain and some sun. The dill, coriander, kale and chard flourished and in spring, the poppies burst into happiness. Now, as I wait for the zucchini, corn and cucumbers to grow and flourish, I am also waiting for the second harvest of those winter and spring crops…seeds. I am waiting for kale seeds to ripen for collecting and resowing. I am waiting for dill seeds to dry for the spice cupboard. I am waiting for coriander seeds also. And I am waiting for poppy seeds for my first ever, home grown, poppyseed cake. While South A ..read more
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Departures
Needle and Spindle - a blog about making
by Rebecca
4y ago
Thank you for your comments on my last post (in)visible mending. I read them all but did not manage to reply…the last couple of weeks have been rather fulsome and I’ve been needing to rest more. Normally, I am a utilitarian maker, I make things to be worn or used, I make practical, durable things. If I experiment, it to make something more durable such as the Tuff Socks Naturally project or to find out something I don’t know such as in the Waysides: Local Colour in Our Home Grounds project. I don’t often just play…for fun or whimsy or curiousity. Yes, I am a little on the earnest, liter ..read more
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(in)visible mending
Needle and Spindle - a blog about making
by Rebecca
4y ago
I profess to loving the ideas behind visible mending much more than the actual look. Whilst I have been known to sew a colourful patch on a child’s worn out trouser knees, I certainly don’t want my own clothes to look patched, even creatively, even to draw attention to the political act of mending. Particularly for professional clothes or good quality clothes, I want mending that is subtle and unseen, making the clothes continue to function for the purpose they were intended. I use sewing thread to invisibly stitch up holes in lightweight machine knits or leggings. I cut off frayed jersey ..read more
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Raiment of the Tortoise
Needle and Spindle - a blog about making
by Rebecca
4y ago
Some projects seem to take forever. This one I began in January 2018 as a summer make. Two summers past before it was finished and a third is on its way as I am just sharing it with you now. This linen and wool blend top is knit from Yoko Johnston’s Ginga Top design in the smallest size. The pattern is quite a complex one, Johnston’s design is architectural in its approach. There are many sections which join in curious ways with short rows shaping an elongated back and clever sleeve caps. Despite its complexity, the knitting was the easiest, most straightforward part of the project as I ..read more
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Spring Garden
Needle and Spindle - a blog about making
by Rebecca
5y ago
One of my favourite places in the whole world is my back garden. It is a place to be curious, gently industrious and still. Small amounts of effort, reap bountiful rewards over time. Seeds are sown, seedlings planted out, plants are watered, tended and observed, produce is harvested and seeds let to set for saving. The work is timely but not time critical, earth time holds dominion over clock time. Pink Lady apple blossom The garden beds were set up by the previous owner and it has been an incredible pleasure to fill it with flowers, herbs and vegetables. Rainbow chard, lettuce and ..read more
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Small things
Needle and Spindle - a blog about making
by Rebecca
5y ago
Woosh…and school holidays ate two weeks in a flash. I did get a small thing finished in the holidays. A small thing made of smaller things. This is a toilet bag for Our Dear Girl made from paper-pieced hexies cut from vintage sheets. I bought a packet of these from a tiny wee shop in Ballarat called The Crafty Squirrel, an eclectic exuberance of buttons, bits of fabric and miscellaneous vintage haberdashery. I had envisaged it would be a good entree to hand sewing to my child who was showing interest in sewing and making things from fabric. And for a while she was quite engaged with ..read more
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Climate Strike
Needle and Spindle - a blog about making
by Rebecca
5y ago
Follow my blog with Bloglovin What do you write on a day of global climate action? San Francisco March 2019 Wiki CommonsIn the Australian Guardian today, Australian academics published an open letter which I am excerpting below. It says everything I want to say. The science is clear, the facts are incontrovertible. We are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction, with about 200 species becoming extinct each day. This includes many species of insects, some of which are essential to our food systems. Many people around the world have already died or been displaced from the effects of a ..read more
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