Monday, 22 September 2014

TSB textile - August newsletter

TSB textile opening hours:
                Tuesday 12pm till 6pm
                Wednesday 10am till 5pm
                Thursday 10am till 5pm                                                  Saturday 11am till 4pm 

77  Grimshaw St,     Greensborough

TSB textile newsletter – August 2014

Yes, I know it’s September, but I was sorting a few things out before I wanted to send this newsletter out! Hope you’re all well and finally enjoying the improving weather.

I’ve decided to finish my time in Grimshaw St. I’ve given the required notice and will be finishing on Friday the 3rd October. I feel it’s about time, I need to relax before Christmas and get my house in order. Having said that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time in my very own studio and will miss the discipline of turning up each day and having to work.

I’ll be applying for a few things, probably do a market or two before Christmas, but I’ll let you know.

I still have a couple of Saturdays where we’ll be doing the 5000 poppies project. Here’s the timetable:

Saturday 13th 5000 poppies project. Bring along red yarn, needles. I have the patterns, and spares of everything if you don’t. For further information I’ll only be there till 3pm, as I’m off to Laughing Waters in Eltham open day.
Saturday 20th I’m off to Hobart and MONA, a birthday present from my husband J
Saturday 27th 5000 poppies project. A chance to do more! 11am till 4pm

The Handweavers and Spinners Guild of Victoria is a collection point for the poppies, so I’ll be taking them there in October when I go to Experimental Spinning on the 4th October.

Some of my friends are participating in various activities, here are a couple:

Lyn Fitzgeralds’ art group Pastel Palette are holding an exhibition “Be Inspired” at the Heritage Golf and Country Club in Chirnside Park.  I’m hoping to get to the opening on Sunday 14th at 2pm.

Michelle Fountain from Metafour Studio ( ) who is fast becoming, if she isn’t already, the master of rigid heddle looms and will have her first official outing to the Black and Coloured Sheep, Sheep and Woolcraft day at Cranbourne Public Hall on Sunday, the 28th September.

I know both are a bit distant from those of us north of the river, but both will be worthwhile, I really want to go to both.

Remember to drop in sometime and see me at TSB textile. I’m always working.                   Cheers, Teresa

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Birthdays and frost in Chewton

Friends we've known for years have exchanged gifts for our birthdays. As we've grown older and wish for less things, we've decided to give the gift of time and go out for dinner for each birthday, one couple shouting the other, depending on the birthday. Excellent evenings have been had.

And, even if it gets difficult at the time, the effort is made.

My husbands birthday fell whilst we were in Hawaii, so eventually, in the depths of Winter and a very cold Winter it has been this year, at times, they invited us to stay in Chewton at the family home. We've stayed there before, but not for quite a while.

Peter and I drove up on the Sunday, stopping at Trentham for lunch and a wander through the shops and a drink at the pub where a band was playing.

Dinner was to be in Castlemaine at the Public Inn, and a very good dinner by the fire was had.

The morning presented an amazing sight as it gets cold in Chewton and frost was everywhere. Perfect for a quick, it was cold, photo shoot.

As it warmed up, we went for a walk in the bush, lunch in Castlemaine with our friends, then off home. Happy.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

TSB textile July Newsletter

Ok, so it's August, but here is my current newsletter

TSB textile opening hours:
                Tuesday 12pm till 6pm
                Wednesday 10am till 5pm
                Thursday 10am till 5pm      
                Saturday 11am till 4pm  

77  Grimshaw St,     Greensborough

TSB textile newsletter – July 2014

I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be offering spinning classes, the first commencing in August. Starting on the 23rd August, the course will last five weeks, with a break in the middle. We’ll cover spinning on a drop spindle in the first two weeks and then work on spinning wheels for the next three weeks. This is a basic course focusing on getting you to spin your yarn. The class will be small, all materials and equipment will be provided.

Learn to Spin.

Saturday, 23rd and 30th August, 13th, 20th and 27th September

2-4pm at TSB textile in Greensborough
Cost: $150 all inclusive.

Bookings: 0413054075

Saturdays we’ll still have activities when the spinning classes aren’t running.
                2nd August – CLOSED – at Experimental Spinning at the Handweavers and Spinners Guild of Victoria
                9th August – Come have a go at Tunisian crochet. One of Knit Picks dishcloths is Tunisian crochet. So try your hand at making your own facewasher or dishcloth. I have Tunisian crochet hooks to spare and yarn too.
                16th August – To commemorate Anzac Day in 2015 Poppies are being crocheted and knit. I’ll be making some, and will get them to a delivery spot. Come and join me in this amazing project. For more information see

Unfortunately, for August, I won’t be opening on Friday nights….it’s cold! Hopefully back in September….it will be SPRING!

If you’re interested in some interesting exhibitions there are the following:

Bendigo Art Gallery – ‘Undressed – 350 years of underwear fashion’ from 19th July to 26th October 2014
                                                ‘The Body beautiful in Ancient Greece’ from 2nd August to 9th November 2014

                What a great pair of exhibitions around the body. This wonderful gallery is well worth a visit. Bendigo is a great place for a weekend getaway, even in Winter! More information at

Craft Cubed is Craft Victoria’s annual festival in August. Lots of different events and exhibitions. For information:

Remember to drop in sometime and see me at TSB textile. I’m always working. 

Cheers, Teresa

Friday, 1 August 2014

And, of course there were sheep!

As I wasn't buying any yarn or fibre this year at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show in Bendigo, I did go and have a good look at the sheep. Always worthwhile, but even better in the company of someone who knew about sheep...thanks Helen....

And, it is about the sheep, all sorts of sheep....

Monday, 28 July 2014

I'm not buying any fibre or yarn in Bendigo!

As you can see, I set myself a pretty tough goal. The stash is just doing my head in, a little....

Success, I didn't buy any fibre!

Sock yarn doesn't count! That's just like buying clothes...not really stash!

And boucle yarn from Bendigo Woollen Mills. Wasn't going to but a friend (?) mentioned the pink and black coco chanel jacket. Who could resist?
And the blue was different and I could mix the black with cream for that classic combination.

Three spools of silk from Yarn Barn in my favourite colourway....nothing to say!

And this isn't yarn, it's rubber and wool from Dairing. Knitted, ironed (with paper protection) looked amazing. Rough lace is the only way I can describe it. Anyway, it's an experiment, not stash.

I did manage to find some small equipment, this was on my list. I wanted more weave it looms and my favourite small tool maker is Petlyn fibre products and they had these little looms. I have two sets of their wool combs and they are always very helpful and their  products are beautifully made. More  playing and experimentation.

Anyway, I think I did ok. Now off to knit socks!

Monday, 21 July 2014

The strange things that come back from a sheep and wool show!

I made a vow not to buy any fibre or yarn from the Sheep and Wool Show in Bendigo, my stash is starting to do my head in....must use up the old stuff! Did try my best...However, I allowed myself the pleasure of trying to find stuff, you know, tools books, etc.

It was, however the weird things that made it back from Bendigo that make it into this post.

Shopping in Bendigo Wholefoods, which was discovered last year, is such fun. I didn't need anything, but just had to get this frog tea holder....not the monkey one...such restraint! Twinings seem to not be selling my favourite tea, Orange Pekoe, so I just had to have something to go with my frog!

 Great restraint was shown at the show, but I just had to pick up this picture book on chickens. Who can resist a whole book of amazing chicken pictures? Inspired anyone?

We've been creating a minor stir in the wonderful eateries we've found.Bella Blue cafe & bar for lunch and The Foundry for dinner. Bella Blue was found this year through the Gluten Free in Bendigo website. I'm not gluten intolerant, but having a members of our crew who need to be careful, it provides the opportunity for serious searching, rather than just taking the first choice. Both places are great places to eat and Bella Blue ticks all my boxes for a fun, quirky coffee place....and I didn't even have a coffee there. (Hint: try the teas!)

Sitting at The Foundry of an evening, knitting and chatting, certainly creates a stir. To the point where we met one of the stall holders who showed us this clipping.

After some prompting, she told us, passionately, about her business having invented the safety peeler and combined with the safety knife to create a very interesting business. Did I say she was passionate, once started..... I love passionate people and is was a wonderful conversation. I'm going to try her knives. Pity I don't have small children, would have loved these with Stuart, my youngest ,the grazer.

Saturday was spent in the antique shops opposite the Bendigo Art Gallery, though a stop in the church op shop around the corner did yield a book on France.

And nestled amongst them was Libris, a book binding shop. Oh my....Had to get a bound notebook, something, anything. They have classes in bookbinding. Too late for this year, only two spots in November left. This will be 'My 1957' project...the year I was born Sketches in a monogrammed book. What fun!

I did end up getting some yarn, but more of that later.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Whales and textiles

One of the surprising finds was the Whaling Museum in Maui. Nestled  amongst the high-rise resorts was this excellent Museum. Small but jam-packed with information and artifacts including the wonderful display of needlework implements.

 I love the needlework  box, but the knitting needles, tatting shuttles, pincushions and more are just beautiful.

Made of baleen, which is capable  of being bent and made up corsets and such it’s a sad indication of how important the whaling trade was in many facets of society and industry. It’s such a optimistic view of humanity that we have turned around, acknowledged the past and made positive steps forward, as whale numbers increase and there are wonderful sanctuaries for these big creatures.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Quilting in Hawaii

Quilting has developed in Hawaii in a way that is particularly Hawaiian. Introduced in the 1820’s by missionaries, the women adapted this new craft to reflect the symbols of their past. I saw the relationship of the designs with those that were tattooed on many people in Hawaii, but they apparently hark back to tapa cloth, and the quilts use only a couple of colours and it is the motifs that form the impact.

I managed to pick up a book, ‘The Hawaiian Quilt: the Tradition Continues’ in Hanapepe, a lovely town on the island of Kauai in ‘ Talk Story’ the ‘western-most bookstore in  the United States’ Who could argue with that! Imagine reading in Hawaii, sheer luxury! Lazy days, warm weather, long sunny days, too hot to do anything else.

Of course I couldn’t pick up a quilt, like quilts all over the world, they’re made for love not money!

Amongst the treasures I picked up in Hawaii, is a little book on basketweaving. I didn’t find much evidence of traditional work, there must have been some. However, our friends from the US introduced us to the most amazing Hawaiian basket weaver, Mika McCann. She is of renown and we were lucky enough to meet her at the market under the Banyan tree in Lahaina. She’s self taught and creative and quirky and I should have bought one of her baskets.

A few regrets at the end of the trip. Not buying a Mika McCann basket, snorkelling at Mohaina reef and doing a proper canyon walk in Waimea canyon, and, should have had our own snorkelling gear, which would have taken care of a few other moments missed!

Monday, 30 June 2014

Textiles in Hawaii

Hawaii is fascinating as culturally it perches somewhere between Hawaiian/Polynesian culture and the United States of America. There are, of course, all sorts of influences, from the British to the Japanese with South America and the various Polynesian cultures, including, Tahitian, Samoan and New Zealand Maori, also playing a part. Part of my interest in Hawaii was to search out the original Hawaiian culture that preceded Captain Cook landing in 1778, not that long after landing in Australia.

I was also interested as I have been reading that intrepid adventurer, Isabella L. Bird, who travelled for six months in 1875. Her book ‘The Hawaiian Archipelago’ (available online from the Gutenberg Project),is an account of ‘Six months among the Palm Groves, coral reefs, and the volcanoes of the Sandwich Islands’ and describes her time in a series of letters home to her sister in England. They are evocative and descriptive of the land, its people and while firmly grounded in the late 1870’s intrigued me.

On the whole Hawaii is pretty much a state of the USA, however, as we ventured to Hilo on the big island and to island of Kauai, you could get a sense of that older culture. There is a revival in pride of that heritage, and you could hear Hawaiian spoken, and a more in-depth interest in those crafts that are particularly Hawaiian, such as the making of leis, wood carving and tattooing.

Of course, my particular interest was in the textiles of Hawaii and I knew that it would be difficult to find.

Can I say, there’s not a lot of textiles of Hawaiian origin to be found. Even modern clothing is, at best, made in the US and lots is made is asia and south America. There is some and I managed to find a store that had Hawaiian made traditional dresses. Quilting plays a part and Hawaii has its own particular style.

I also managed to find some hand-dyed yarn by Hanalei Strings, again in Kauai, in the lovely town of Hanalei and included some buttons made of seeds. This, hopefully, will be transformed into a pair of mittens in a new design that might eventually be intended for TSB textile.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Another jumper finally completed!

Remember way back when....when I knit a jumper for my oldest son, Michael, I blogged about it as I was so pleased to be able to make something for my family. It doesn't happen very often and I'm so happy when it does.

Remember the jumper:

It was way back in 2011. He requested a new one, same shape, but could he have three coloured stripes down the back and twisted at the front! This is why you sample!

I first thought of cables, but that proved very complicated and would bunch up the fabric in a way I didn't want. It was all about the colour. That proved difficult and I ended up using colours from the range. It's a wool/angora mix and I've lost the labels!

Here it is:

I was meant to finish it before we went to Hawaii, but I set the sleeves and they turned out a little puffy at the top...not quite what a young man wants! So when I got back, pulled out the sewing and reset them. Happily.

The Front:

The Back:

Now, it seems, my husband wants a new jumper.....will take a little while before I tackle that, might have to wait for next Winter!

PS Can't tell if he's grown up much?

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Holiday inspiration

We were priviliged to encounter some amazing wildlife in Hawaii, the most amazing, green turtles, blue nose and spinner dolphins, all sorts of coral reef fish, have to reside in our memories alone, no photos were taken. There were, however, these wonderful cardinals, gorgeous and cheeky birds that were everywhere we went.

I discovered these were the northern cardinal and the other, equally cheeky birds we saw were Brazilian cardinals. Both are introduced to Hawaii, but they brightened up our days. I managed to find a couple of pictures of both birds on the net.

As nests are still a source of inspiration, I went looking for these birds nests and found reasonably traditiional looking nests. Full of all sorts of chunky materials and beautiful blue eggs.

 I've been trying to figure out another wall hanging and have wanted to use this yarn that I picked up a little while ago at the Handweavers and Spinners Guild textile bazaar. The red is amazing and now I have something red to work from. I think this is going to be suitable to weave in as short lengths with fuzzy ends.

I've done a bit of a yarn wrap to try and get an idea for the warp, and, I think this is just about right. Random warping with one side with a bit more red than the other with a strong bit of black.

These are the other colours I've used.

Tomorrow, I'll make a short 2m warp and do some sampling.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Lace at Experimental

I always love the challenges that each session of Experimental Spinning brings, this time lace was on the agenda, courtesy of an article in the latest edition of Ashford's magazine, 'The Wheel'. It described a method of add those odd bits of lace to your spinning in quite a wild way. Not being a lace girl, cutting up lace seemed like an appropriate thing to do!

We had plenty of lace with a donation from our craft outlet volunteer, and lots from all our stashes.

The first part involved cutting up lace, taking lengths of wool top and threading the top through the lace.

You end up with a pile of lace and tops, like this!

Spinning isn't difficult, or slow, though having my lovely poly wheel with  big hooks certainly helps and even with that, there is some lace that is stiffer than others and does get caught. As I was going to ply this with a fine single, I hoped I could smooth those pieces of lace that had moved or were scrunched up too much, as I plyed.

That proved the case and the plying was done quite nicely and I ended up with yarn that is really quite sweet!

The lessons learnt....

I think that because the pieces of lace were quite short, when I plied they tended to keep sticking out rather than get wrapped. I think that the longer pieces would have been more twisted from the spinning, making the plying easier.

For further experimentation:

Trying to get the pieces of lace closer together, for that full-on lace look!

Dyeing would be interesting! All those different fibres!

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this yarn, but it was fun! For such an over the top look, it's not difficult or particularly slow.