What's in a Pattern?

Everyone sees colours differently. You know the old fashioned saying, ' blue and green should never be seen.’ That plays to the rebel in me and for years I have mixed all colours together. 

I like the deconstructed look of making my own fabric where the fibre and threads are randomly placed and then stitched together. 

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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Cherries

My grandmother was born in 1900. Those pioneering women made do with making things out of nothing. Recycling was in for that generation. They used cut down trousers, salt bags and anything that still had a bit of life left in it. 

When my Gran passed away I received her knitting needles and crochet hooks. I was in heaven as it allowed me to make many things at one time, so my brain could keep inventing creations. 

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How I treasured this box of cherries. My husband in later years was equally thrilled when he saw the box on the kitchen bench. Sadly the contents weren't true to label. A disappointing find for him.

 

I was about 6 when I learnt to knit and later crochet. I loved the feel of wool. My dolls kept up with the latest fashion. 

I was in demand. The dairy down the street was happy to take anything I knitted and that kept me in wool for the next project.

My studio has a wall of wool and its such a comfort thing for me. The colours, the texture, the inspiration like being wrapped in a cosy blanket. 

 

Being accepted as an artist in "The First Craft New Zealand Yearbook" printed 1992, was an honour. It wasn't quite the centrefold, but page 61 suited me nicely. This gave me more confidence to realise I did have ability and to be accepted by these other artists was a buzz. I felt my dolls would be proud of this moment too. 

In 1992 one of my designs was selected for the Rothman's Art Awards. This was pretty special for me as I didn't have a lot of confidence in what I created. We attended the fashion parade and it was wonderful to see my creation walking down the catwalk. 

That particular outfit later sold in a Wanaka shop. It was such a buzz.

My knitting these days is not all practical. Heads and the raw product showing the emotions and workings of the fibre are something I’m now exploring. I'm intrigued with the way we interact with the people we inhabit spaces with. Our body language can be very descriptive. This affects the way we view the world.