We are surrounded by beautiful colours in our group. They inspire us, make us talk and then we love seeing what people do with the colours they create. Sheila’s Anzac Day quilt top had such an impact in the room because of the richness of its colours. Jan’s blue and turquoise skein cheered us all up because they are Jan’s signature colours and we know she loves them. That eye popping carded wool of Hilary’s had becomeause an equally eyepopping green skein of wool that she’d spun. Such a striking colour. Christine’s hats were perfect. It is hard to work with green. This wasn’t sage she’d spun or olive. It was a lovely soft green colour which had no overwhelming impact. It was soothing and so very suitable for garments and the little beanies looked so nice. Then Alexis often brings along amazing hand dyed wool batts and the colourways always make us enthusiastic and it is the colour of these which inspire us to do good things. Colour is everything.
Our show and tell table was truly spectacular yesterday. With the mentoring going on and then the long term projects being finished we couldn’t help but have a fine array of home made items to look at and learn from.
Janette: Limes . Handknitted, handspun jumper in primary colours plied with alpaca. Generous sizing.
Anne and Bill : Grapefruit
Christine: 3 homespun beanies in a lovely green. They have buttons to go on them to finish them off.
Hilary: Spectacular shrug in mustards and maroons which ended up having over 600 stitches on the needles and it was knitted in once piece. The mustard is one of Alexis’ colours and the other strand was Marion Ridges wool. Knitted slippers in maroon and fawn homespun wool. Once skein of bright green wool and a skein of pink/orange/salmon wool spun with woolly nylon.
Jan: Skein of hand dyed yarn in purple and turquoise.
Sheila : Quilt top from an Anzac Day quilt kit which she had worked with and improved. Stunning rich colours in gold, red, black.
Alexis: felted pixie hat in purple, yellows , greens and blue. It was partly felted first and then the colours and designs were added after.
Marina: Round crochet bag in homespun fawns greens and other colours. Crocheted purse in star stitch in pastel colours . Knitted and crocheted mittens in handspun wool with purple trim and colourful centres.
Cathy: Bag with tassle in corespun wool, art yarn and alpaca plied with fawn ramswool. Wooden handles in browns ,oranges, reds and fawns. Pair of felted woodland slippers in yellow, green and pink.
Karin: Felted mat/wallhanging with depictions of nature in reds, greens, blues and off white. Made with tuition from Alexis.
Margaret: A number of pieces likes hats, gloves and scarves which she had entered into the Claire show and had had awards and acknowledgement for. We congratulate her. Finished lace pattern shrug in dove grey.
Hilary has travelled widely and brings that keen sense of adventure to her spinning. She comfortably works with fluorescent and ultra bright colours and can combine them very successfully. She understands the magic of yarn and can make some very whimsical items which are very appealing and then she’ll suddenly blow us away with something like her stunning full length jacket which we all loved. Sonya , our roving reporter , is bringing us her story this week:
Hilary Our hero and Historian.
We’ve lived in Seaford since 1972. (I detect some stability here!)
Mum always used to knit for me and I sewed for Mum. (And I detect some notable generosity here.) My friend introduced me to spinning. At that time Eunice was asked to start up a group for women in the area. My friend found out about Eunice who had a group meeting at her home. We went there, with Eunice insisting that as we were beginners at spinning, we should start off by using a drop spindle!! (Let me assure you dear readers that the ancient art of using a spindle is not for the faint hearted, clumsy, or like me, the slow to learn.)
Eunice was very arty and crafty. As a weaver, she used the materials around and available. E.g. for dyeing she used whatever plants or leaves she thought might be worth a try. We had all sorts of workshops- dyeing, weaving, and felting. We explored the elements of making things with all sorts of fibres, such as wool, alpaca, silk etc. All this was done at her own home but even then it was known as the Seaford Spinners. The first place the group moved into when our numbers grew, was a church hall.
I bought a wheel which was a copy of the standard Ashford and I’ve never really stopped spinning since then.
When we were in Saudi Arabia in 1983-87 I took my wheel and fleece with me. I couldn’t buy any fleece there, so I used to ask anyone coming back from being on leave to bring fleeces and wool and other bits and pieces. In those times visitors were not allowed in Saudi, but we, with our work visas were allowed to come and go. At the end of the four years I sold my wheel and some fleece to an American woman whom I taught to spin. I had a break for about 15 years while we were travelling. (Lucky things!) Then I re-joined Seaford Spinners while they were occupying the bowling club at the top of the hill leading down to the Port Noarlunga village. (With the world’s most magnificent view, I reckon). When we had to vacate from there, we moved down the hill to the sunny little CWA hall. We eventually outgrew that venue and thanks to Clarrie whose son was the Commodore of the Yacht Club, we are here to this day. (With another magnificent view of the sea, which nearly laps at our verandah!)
What Hilary hasn’t talked about are the many years she has carried a load of responsibilities in the Seaford Spinners. She has worked tirelessly and unobtrusively at organizing workshops, bus outings, opening and closing the rooms, club celebrations, Christmas festivities, writing up the minutes, running meetings, and all those things that “someone needs to do something about”. In spite of all this, Hilary is a regular contributor to our Show and Tell table, with works of wonderful colours and beautiful craftsmanship.
We are not yarn snobs at all. We can make and source top quality yarns and fibres. We can create beautiful yarns from fleece and we can dye them how we want them to look. If we see something , though, which is cheap and cheerful, we don’t walk by because it is cheap. Some of the colour combinations in cheap yarns can be very striking. That’s what we value . We like interesting colour combinations and stand out colourways. Hilary’s beanie and fingerless gloves are totally eye catching. The colours draw immediate attention and then you want to look at how the colour shapes itself into patterns.
She wasn’t worried the yarn had only cost her $2 while she was away. She was pleased to tell us. Not everyone has money. We want people to know you can have fun creating no matter what and it’s the creativity and colour we are very passionate about. We think everyone should have as much fun as we do with yarn.
The Dale and Dolly comic strips can sum up some of our feelings about yarn.