Oyster

For a year I lived in Invercargill. Bluff oysters live close by and are prized for their delicacy. They are in season March till about August and taste delicious. They can be cooked in different ways but are best eaten raw. There are food festivals and shucking competitions where the oyster is the centre of attention.  

This mini book was made using the shell as the cover with the pages dyed and painted.

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Recycling

I’ve always been interested in taking fragments from the past and integrating them into the present. Flour bags have been used by previous generations. 

This pair of size 1 shorts were made by my mother for my brother. She has used a pair of my Dad’s cut down trousers and the lining is an old flour bag. Such versatility and the price, nothing.

This pile of flour bags are about to get a new life.

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The Natural oil of a Fleece

Making a baby blanket from homespun wool was a challenge and I thought about it for a while. There are no patterns as the ply of the wool can vary according to how fine the spinner spins it. My mother was a fine spinner.

All patterns recommend a test square to get the right tension. I'm never a fan of that so I cast on 150 stitches to see where that led me. The wool still has the sheep's natural oil and is easy to knit.

The result is the blanket below. Trust my cat to get in on the picture. She loves art and wool.

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When Typewriters make Art

Words have always interested me and I would read the dictionary as a small child. I saved my pocket money to buy an Olivetti typewriter. It's portability attracted its purchase but I don't ever remember taking it anywhere. 

The ribbon had dual red and black, it could underline and make capitals. How I loved that versatile little machine. 

When I got married my husband owned an Imperial machine with a golf ball. This apparently was an amazing machine with a golf ball. I have always regretted selling my wee work horse but yesterday on my birthday my son gave me an Olivetti just like my old one. 

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What to do with Wool

For my 21st I received a spinning wheel. My mother had a mahogany one and the rhythm of watching that wheel spin around was hypnotic. When my wheel arrived I was surprised how easy it was to turn the raw fleece into wool. I had watched it often enough it was imprinted on my mind. From spinning, plying to skeining involved many hours of work. My Dad was always roped in to help with the winding of the wool. It was a good time for chats.

When my mother passed away in 2004 their house had skeins and skeins of beautiful fine handspun wool. Some white some black some grey and even balls of wool dyed with lichen, onion skins and walnut husks. How she loved to experiment.

I'm planning something special for this fine fleece.

 

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