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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Our intrepid adventurer

beret hilaryHilary 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.

Blog Stats

September last year we joined WordPress and social media. We haven’t looked back. It has been a heartwarming, interesting journey where we have connected with others and they have connected with us. September this year we actually got ourselves into an online paper.li for textiles. They are like online magazines and it was nice to see us there. paperli

We also did very well  in September on the Twitter analytics with 2 700 impressions of our tweets from this blog and one of the recent successes was the textile picture by Marjorie and Christine. Twitter has also liked our blankets, gloves and gallery visits.

Twitter analytics September 2018

Twitter October 2018

We have always been welcome on Instagram and get good interaction from our followers and people who find us. Instagram liked Janette’s shawl and woven scarves, Alexis blue crochet blanket, the textile picture is going extremely well , Hilary’s jacket was a big success and then spinning from Karin and  Margaret. Instagram likes whatever we do and then there ware waves of enthusiasm about something we have put up or other things will become popular again because they are there and people find out account. It’s a good way to interact with others and see the value of what we do.

Instagram October 2018

As for the blog itself,  we currently have 166 followers and have had 5,950 visits form all over the world. We are starting to get visitors from Asia and Africa more often now.

referrers September 2018Our links continue to be of interest to people and our posts are of value so we get good support from WordPress reader , as always, and our search engine responses have increased considerably. We then have a number of other solid ways of getting visitors to our blog and finally, finally people are coming from Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

posts and pages september 2018Our posts for September brought in good traffic and were popular. After a year in cyberspace we can feel pleased with ourselves. People like us because we are passionate about what we do and we like doing what we do. We share and they share back. That’s a nice way to be. The post about Anne and Bill really struck a chord because it was about overcoming adversity and then people were really happy for us because we’d been a year on our blog. That’s nice!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colour your life

Jan's hatJan is bold with colour and teaches us to be brave. She is modest in what she can and has accomplished. She cares passionately about fibre arts and textile skills. Over the years she has influenced this in Adelaide by pursuing her love of style and colour. She loves felting and in our group she tries to show newcomers ways and means of being able to felt something worthwhile and interesting. She works with the Marion Cultural Centre to help develop Gallery M where she has her felted pieces in the shop and she has been part of their exhibitions. This breakthrough in elevating the importance of textile art in Adelaide is thanks to people like Jan. Her work is featured left.  Sonya, our roving reporter, brings you her story: 

Jan’s story

I have been sewing since my primary school days. Mum used to make all our clothes, as folks did in those days. In grade 7 we all made a baby’s dress with smocking, then sewing it up and crocheting around the edging.

I attended Marion High School in its 1st year of opening.  From there I went to work at Toy Wholesales in their office for 7 years. Then for the next 7 years I worked at the Shell Company. That all ended after I got married and had a baby.  I used to do a bit of embroidery at that time. When my son was 5 years old I went back to work in several different offices. I decided I would sooner work in a business of my own than continue working for others.   So I bought a craft shop at Aldgate, called The Spindle House.  It stocked spinning wheels, fleece, lazy Kates and various other things to do with spinning and craft. And that’s when I learned to spin. We also stocked leadlight supplies, so I learned to cut glass and do lead lighting.

Eventually I moved the shop to Brighton Road. I sold commercial wool there, as well. It was a big shop too. But I eventually sold that because I could see that weekend work would be coming in the future and I didn’t want to do that.

Fast forward some years.

When I retired I joined the Embroiderers’ Guild. I then started felting from the Internet but found it difficult to locate the wool I needed for that. Someone told me I could buy it at the Spinners and Weavers Guild. And that’s where I met Hilary and some of the other spinners. They asked me to come to their group and demonstrate how I made felted flowers. It was there that I discovered the Seaford Spinners, joined up and have been a member ever since.

Jan, your work is haute couture standard. Exquisitely crafted and the colours you use are always stunningly beautiful. We are indeed privileged to have you in our midst.