Our crafty Pam

amigurumi chicken
Pam’s amigurumi chicken for the Chicken Challenge

Pam is one of the key people in our group for progressing ideas. She will never allow you to sit there being frustrated or stuck. The reason she can talk you through any block is because she has a wealth of carefully curated ideas about technique, skills and textile art. She knows a lot and will simply share that with you and get you going again because she knows her resources and can look them up on her phone ! Sonya, our roving reporter, has brought us Pam’s story this week:



I’ve always done craft, since I was a little child. My Mum knitted, sewed and embroidered, so my sisters and I grew up doing these things. It was the normal thing to do. In those times we wore handmade pinafores with a hand knitted jumper underneath, to school.

Skeins of wool were sold in shanks and we kids all had to take turns holding out the skein of wool, as Mum wound it into a ball.

I’ve done every imaginable craft: basket making, tatting, crochet, knitting, weaving, felting, embroidery and painting. However my absolute passion is bobbin lace-making.

Sheila and I were and still are in the bobbin lace group and it was there that I first met Sheila. On one occasion we were both rostered on to do a demonstration at the Immigration Museum in Adelaide. This was for History Month, held every year in May. It was there that we discovered we lived just around the corner from each other! Sheila with her powers of persuasion encouraged me to come along to Seaford Spinners, which I did.  Sometimes I do spinning but I prefer to knit or crochet when I’m there. I enjoy chatting with people. And it’s always nice to meet folks and to pick up new ideas.

 It’s more a case of others picking up new ideas and crafts from you, dear Pam! You are fairly bubbling over with beautiful ideas and exquisite samples of your craft work.

Note: The Migration Museum is one of the important places in Adelaide which holds our history. It is well run and kept and is always  a fascinating place to visit. A lot of South Australians have their first visit there when they are at school. It is held in high esteem.

Lacemaking isn’t something you automatically think of with Adelaide but we have some very good and well established lace making groups. It has quietly become part of our heritage. There is the SA Branch of the Australian Lace Guild  and then there are a number of strong local groups for lace making. There is a lot of naturally occurring Maths in lace making and it was interesting to hear how Sheila and Pam have involved children in lace making through the use of numbers and mathematical principals rather than “crafting”.

Annette’s story

Annette's beanie
Annette’s beanie

Annette is one of our long term members who spins very finely and confidently and produces some interesting yarns. The beanie mentioned in the story is made from natural brown fleece plied with black merino tops and the yarn is very distinctive looking. Over to Sonya to tell the story:

“I was living with my parents in Melbourne when I started teaching.  I went with friends to see if I might be interested in spinning, which I was!   I really took to it. Shortly after that I bought a spinning wheel and found it a relaxation after a busy day of school. I wanted to see around a bit more and for a time I was teaching at Mildura, then a stint at Dimboola half way between Melbourne and Adelaide.  And next to Adelaide. When I was teaching at St John’s there was a teacher who asked me one school holiday if I would like to come to her place and spin. After that I got a spurt on and did a lot of spinning and knitting. I’ve been with Seaford Spinners for a number of years. During this time I’ve sold a lot of my stuff down at the Guild. (Your work has to be of a high standard to be accepted there. ) I even had a sheep in my suburban life! Until a neighbour complained. It had really good wool. My friend’s brother would come and shear it for me. A very nice fleece indeed. (Neighbours can’t be explained, dear Annette.  What is there to complain about a sheep nibbling down the grass?)

And guess what Annette is knitting at the moment?  Like most of the folks at the moment, who are in recovery after knitting their chooks, she is working on a beanie. Onya girl!



Drop spinning

drop spindle malcolm fieldingChristine is very good at drop spinning. She likes it, she is confident and she can share that love of drop spinning with others. She was excited because she had a new drop spindle which had been given to her as a gift on a recent trip to Melbourne. It’s a Malcolm Fielding  Turkish spindle. Malcolm Fielding actually comes from Adelaide . He runs an online Etsy shop which you can google and is globally a well respected drop spindle maker. His spindles are always favourably reviewed. Christine has been spinning some lovely carded wool in pinks and it just looked lovely as the sun caught the colours which come up with a depth of colour when  spun. Turkish spindle malcolm fielding

Meryl’s Meanderings – a top story

Meryl's meanderings

Our roving reporter, Sonya has brought us another story about a member of our group. This time it’s about Meryl: 


Our Meryl is by her own admission a ‘handcraft person’. Her precision, tidiness and organization are everything a slapdash hit-and-miss person (like myself) could aspire to. And all that is still intact after raising four children, including twins!

“I was brought up in Adelaide but spent many years living in Canberra.  After retiring we toured around Australia for 2 years, looking for somewhere nice to live. And somehow we kept coming back to Adelaide. We actually moved to Mount Tambourine in Queensland and then Coffs Harbour, but soon changed our minds and came scuttling back to Adelaide!

I enjoy all sorts of craft work, but over and above all those interests, I’ve found that knitting is my main satisfaction. However, I found it very difficult to source good quality yarn in Adelaide, when we settled down here. So that prompted me to thinking about making my own. I looked up Ravelry on the net, to find spinning groups and came across Sharon, who put me on to the Seaford Spinners group. (A harmonious blend of technology and networking, Meryl!)

I came along to the group where dear Christine showed me the basics of spinning. So that very day, I sat down at a wheel and spun! (It’s not fair Meryl. Some of us took many, many attempts before we could achieve continuity and be able to produce anything that smacked of quality! )

So here I am and have been coming along for about four years.  I have a Hansen electric wheel, very compact and small. It just suits me fine. I prefer to spin fine yarns and now I’m using only tops, in beautiful shades, sourced from local dyers. I’m currently spinning up wool for a top with the feather and fan pattern at the wrists and the waist.”