Wednesday, 13 June 2018


The theme for this year’s Geelong Scarf Festival was ‘Life on the Land’.

My first entry was My Grandmothers Meat Safe. 
Years ago there was a bad storm in my grandmother’s neighbourhood and my parents who were away at the time asked me to check on her.  I told them she would be fine as she was a resilient woman but went anyway.  As I expected she was just fine and told me that it wasn’t nearly as bad as the 1925 Balranald tornado.  

Apparently she could see the storm coming and gathered her young family into the house and started to wash the dishes in a bowl on the table. The storm hit and the chimney collapsed through the ceiling leaving her with a bowl of broken china, bricks and soot.  Then she said ’we never did find the meatsafe’.  Clearly it had been caught up in the storm and was never seen again, probably taking the meat for the evening meal with it.  This was before refrigeration when food was stored in a mesh sided cupboard often covered with wet cloth strips in an attempt to keep the food cool.  The mesh of the canvas weave in the scarf is for the mesh sided meat safe.

The second entry was a man’s scarf using eco dyed yarns from Charly at Ixchel in a Fibonacci inspired block twill.  The colours reminded me of burnt paddocks

The other entry was a fancy twill in fine cotton, hand dyed in blue, similar to a another scarf I'd made in thicker cotton that matured in the stash for a very long time

Although the official opening was last week and the scarf of the year was announced, there have been no further updates and I’d really like to see something of this year’s entries

We just had a long weekend and the next ‘under wraps’ project – for the Sheep Show this time – is under way.  It will be under wraps for a while, but I can say that I remembered with painful clarity the problems I had last year running out of warp.  I bought yarn on Tuesday and it was a little thicker than my original plan.  I redid the calculations, thought for a moment that it would probably be OK, remembered last year and made another trip to the yarn shop on a wet afternoon to buy some more.  I managed to make a wide warp of fine yarn, about 1000 ends, and get the draft planned.  It’s now wound on and I’m half way across with the threading, seemingly with no errors - I do hope there are enough heddles.  It’s a bit cold in the garage where the Toika loom lives but at the last market I had enough sense to buy a pair of fingerless gloves, they’re working a treat, thanks Monnie.

Colours changed to maintain anonymity but they also match the warp, even in real life.

There’s a bird bath outside my kitchen window and if I don’t keep it filled with water the birds gather on the fence outside until I run out and fill it up.  Nothing works faster on me than 2 rainbow lorikeets, one sitting on the fence and one on the rim looking pathetically into the empty bird bath. These ones are probably holding a meeting to see if they can get it filled

As I was admiring them one day

they turned into my next project – tartan tea towels in lorikeet colours.  I had most of the colours in the stash but needed the right green for their bodies.  None of the colours on my UKI or Brassard sample cards was right.  There was a colour on the Webs website that looked better, but I was worried that the yarn in the hand and the colour on the monitor might not be the same.  On my previously mentioned trip to the yarn shop there was a yarn, a combination probably of a slub and a 20/2 that looked just right.  I bought one cone but realised that I needed more so another good excuse for the second trip.  I’ve been to the ‘Tartan Designer’ site and while there should be a wrapping, yarns going over a peg on the warping mill are almost the same.

I just might have wound that warp instead of working on the Sheep Show project. I had worked out the colours by looking at the pictures and estimating 50% green, 50% other colours and more orange and blue than yellow, lime and rose.  The balance worked and when I saw my finished warp chains, I thought they might just get up and fly away. 

Back to the Sheep Show warp


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