All about Karin

It’s easy to learn from Karin. She has a unique sense of humour which makes you laugh and then anything you are trying to learn becomes easy because you can see the funny side of what is not going right. She has helped many of us achieve her 10 stitch blanket featured in the images above . She has done that with a lot of patience and tolerance peppered with the funny things she says. We become fearless and just do it. Sonya, our roving reporter, is bringing you Karin’s story this week and it’s great to see how much her travels and linguistic skills have played such a big part in her love of yarn:

All About  Karin  (well, nearly all…)

I have to admit, it was hard to prize information from our Karin. Lithe of body, young in looks, and clothed with a mantle of modesty, she had me digging to find out anything about her!

I learnt to knit at school and my Oma, who was actually Italian, in spite of her title, taught me about knitting. I was about eight or nine, as far as I can remember. In fact everyone in my family who showed any signs of getting bored was taught to knit, including my uncle! However, for a long time my knitting got me nowhere because school and studies took over.

When I went to Southern Africa, I worked as a research assistant, dealing with the Namibian Herero tribe, a tall very proud tribe. Although they don’t wear their magnificent clothes for every day life, whenever there is a meeting or occasion of any formality, on go the traditional costumes. And those hats! The women walk so straight and tall, probably as a result of carrying  considerable loads on their heads. They had a phonetic language but not a written one. We worked in consultation with these people to create a written language. They wanted first of all to have the Bible written and translated in their own language.  The African women were knitters! Their mothers and ancestors were no doubt taught to knit by the former German colonists. So these women inspired me to take up knitting again.

Then I went to live in England and New Zealand. But it was only when I came to Australia eight years ago that I started knitting again. I wanted a new challenge. So I took up spinning and revived my interest in knitting. I’ve taught our group here, how to knit shortened rows within a ten stitch pattern achieving a clever triangular corner. I never thought I would be teaching others how to do such things!

With Karin’s skills, creeping out from under her modesty mantle, one can only suspect that this interesting soul has a deal more to teach us. Watch this space…

PS With a great show of courage and skill, Karin has mastered the somewhat terrifying opening and locking of the club room door, with a series of button pressing, coding and sequencing. Not for the faint hearted!

You can find out about the Herero people on Wikipedia.

Herero Women

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Show and tell

show and tell 11th FebruaryShow and tell this week was testimony to how energising our dyeing workshop had been and why it is worthwhile having dyeing days.

Cathy: Purple dyed fleece, pink dyed rose fibre and butterscotch fleece dyed with avocado pips, onion skins and lichen from Sonya.

Sonya: Green mermaid coloured fleece, rubine cake dyed over grey spun wool.

Karin:  Plied cake. Opalescent dyed wool skein dyed on white.

Hilary: Oatmeal and green dyed wool and cake of orange and pink dyed in cake.

Margaret: yellow tiny teddy crocheted in once piece.

Wendy: Dyed pink , turquoise and opalescent spun wool

Anne: Dyed sunburst colour fleece and a pair of woodland colours knitted socks.

Marina: green and pink dyed alpaca fleece.

Jan: Turquoise and mauve dyed wool using icing food colouring.

Sheila : red, white yellow and blue dyed skein, grey dyed in balls. White wool dyed in rainbow colours. Her tip is the longer it sits the more the colours run.

Marjorie : knitted beret in pinky lavender and blue/green.

rubine dyed over grey

Restful colours

Natural colours and the colours of nature are very restful. They don’t jar the sensibilities. They are soothing and calming. We had some good example of restful colours this week. Marina had started weaving on her mini loom in fawns and light browns. Peter’s shepherd coat has equally calming colours with the tans and creams. Janette’s waistcoat was beautifully soft and warm. In camelhair and silk plied with llama fleece. It looked lovely and felt beautiful. Anne’s socks were in woodland colours. The hint of green lifts the fawns and creams and the pattern is peaceful. Beautifully knitted socks with perfect toes!

Using oddments

We love our oddments. We make toys, blankets ,bags,  gloves and socks from our oddments. Anything to use the  oddments creatively. This week we had some good uses of oddments. Cathy had gathered together oddments from merino tops, old bobbins and spun and plied the yarn with dark alpaca or onion dyed Border Leicester. Now she has some nice balls of yarn to work with in good colours. Marina had spun and plied the cotton we were offered to try if we had never spun cotton. She incorporated that yarn into a beautiful knitted top . She chose a commercial cotton to mix in and has spread her own spun cotton throughout the pattern. It looks so nice. Maria had some oddments from her yarn stash and she is crocheting a lovely granny blanket for a baby. So colourful and cheerful for the little one. It always makes a good challenge to gather oddments and work out how you are going to use them to make something good.