Jun 9, 2018

Inkle Loom

I received an Ashford Inkle Loom today that has been in storage for some time and needs a little bit of TLC. I'm sanding it back with a very fine sandpaper so I can then oil and wax the wood. Sadly the screws have rusted and won't come out - I've applied some oil to them and will see if I can get them out later.


I've removed the screws - simply get the drill piece that matches the screw head and hammer the screw in a little further with this drill piece and unscrew. They are rusted so need to be replaced with new screws. Having it in pieces will make the sanding process more thorough.


Woad in Canberra

I planted some woad (Isatis tinctoria) in my garden in early March. It is still thriving, larger but staying low over the winter. I've put a cover over them to make sure my family don't bury them with leaves.
When I planted them I added blood and bone mix to the soil and in late April I mulched the site with green lucerne hay.

March 2018 (Autumn)

June 2018 (Winter)

Jun 8, 2018

Its cold outside, let's spin some wool...

I’m spinning some black merino fleece I washed at Christmas. Not as soft and nice as the Polwarth I spun recently but I don’t want to leave it sitting around gathering dust. Any ideas what I can knit with it?


Winter Rye

Today I planted two beds of winter rye that I bought from Eden Seeds. Not sure what variety it is but is certified organic and may survive possum attack better than my poor little spinach seedlings.
I've read that rye will grow in any well-drained soil as long as it is in full sun. It is frost tolerant and can survive temperatures down to -29C (-20F) if the plant is well established before the ground freezes. As I don't expect this bed to go below -10C this winter I'm crossing my fingers that it establishes itself quickly as I've planted it a bit late.
I'm hoping to use the rye to practice on for straw braiding for my bonnets - but if that doesn't work it will be chopped down and dug back into the soil as a winter manure crop.

Dec 20, 2017

Millinery Classes - learn to block a hat, make a buckram bonnet and knit a Scottish Tam!

Millinery Holiday Summer School in Canberra this January
Week 1: 8-12 January 2018Week 2: 15-19 January 2018 (only 3 places left)
Ages 12 - Adults ~ 1.30-5.00pm each day
    


Learn to block a hat, wire & cover a bonnet and knit a beret. In this historical millinery summer school Aylwen will introduce you to blocked, patterned and knitted hats and bonnets. Most students should produce two hats during the course, depending on the chosen design and materials. Please leave time to do homework in the evenings. Students will be using professional hat blocks during this course and supplied with information booklets with supplier and material information.

Places are limited to 6 - only when your registration is paid will your place be held.

REGISTER HERE

In order to fully participate in the practical exercises please bring the following materials/equipment to the first class:
Needles (millinery, mixed pack of 3-9)
Thimble (metal)
Tape measure
Fabric and paper scissors
100% Guterman Polyester thread in black and white (100m rolls will be sufficient)
Tailors chalk or tailors pencil
Apron (to cover chest and thighs)
Household pins (26 x 0.75mm)
Dressmaking pins (30 x 0.60mm)
Gladwrap and two rolls of cheap paper towel
Pencil, pen, sharpener, eraser, ruler & 2-ring folder
5mm x 30cm circular needle and set of 5 double point knitting needles, 20cm x 5mm. Birch or addi brands recommended. Do not use Lincraft brand.

Other useful items you may wish to bring include:
Pliers
Wire cutters
Cellotape
Ribbons & feathers

Teacher: Aylwen Gardiner-Garden is a historical dressmaker & milliner in Canberra who has studied millinery at the London College of Fashion, hand embroidery at the Royal School of Needlework and historic hand sewing at the School of Historic Dress in England.

Millinery Summer School, Canberra, Australia, January 2018


Adult Millinery Summer School Intensive: 22-26 January
Learn to block a hat, wire & cover a bonnet and knit a beret.

Places are limited to 6 - only when your registration is paid will your place be held.


     
Learn to block a hat, wire & cover a bonnet and knit a beret. In this historical millinery summer school Aylwen will introduce you to blocked, patterned and knitted hats and bonnets. Most students should produce two hats during the course, depending on the chosen design and materials. Please leave time to do homework in the evenings. Students will be using professional hat blocks during this course and supplied with information booklets with supplier and material information.

Only 2 places left - only when your registration is paid will your place be held.


In order to fully participate in the practical exercises please bring the following materials/equipment to the first class:
Needles (millinery, mixed pack of 3-9)
Thimble (metal)
Tape measure
Fabric and paper scissors
100% Guterman Polyester thread in black and white (100m rolls will be sufficient)
Tailors chalk or tailors pencil
Apron (to cover chest and thighs)
Household pins (26 x 0.75mm)
Dressmaking pins (30 x 0.60mm)
Gladwrap and two rolls of cheap paper towel
Pencil, pen, sharpener, eraser, ruler & 2-ring folder
5mm x 30cm circular needle and set of 5 double point knitting needles, 20cm x 5mm. Birch or addi brands recommended. Do not use Lincraft brand.

Other useful items you may wish to bring include:
Pliers
Wire cutters
Cellotape
Ribbons & feathers

Registration includes refreshments, light buffet lunch, information booklet, felt hat blanks, wool, buckram, petersham, wire and use of blocks and hat stiffening. Most supplies are imported from Europe and can be rather costly. 

Ages: Adult & students of EDHDA with sewing experience. Less intensive 5 x 1/2 day millinery classes have been made available in early January for ages 12-Adult. Book online above.

Teacher: Aylwen Gardiner-Garden is a historical dressmaker & milliner in Canberra who has studied millinery at the London College of Fashion, hand embroidery at the Royal School of Needlework and historic hand sewing at the School of Historic Dress in England.

Nov 24, 2017

Balmoral Bonnet

Balmoral Bonnet in the Charles Wade Collection at Berrington Hall, UK.
National Trust SNO 1228

Two-colour diced band in process

Diced band complete

Increasing the beret

Me, testing what the bonnet might look like. A bit big.

Decreasing to finish the top of the beret. Double point needles used at this stage.

Bonnet knitting complete. It is soft and large.

Starting the hand-felting process.

Felting over, blocked and drying in the sun.

Photo taken inside while wet and blocked.



Nov 16, 2017

Australian Cabbage Tree Hat

Last weekend the Earthly Delights Historic Dance Academy in Canberra hosted a Cabbage Tree Hat workshop with Sue and Don Brian. Sue and Don had spent five years on Norfolk Island where they became interested in the history and practice of making the cabbage tree hat. The tradition of hat weaving continues on Norfolk except hats are made these days with flax, banana bark and Norfolk Palm.
Men's Cabbage Tree Hat, c. 1860-1880, owned by John C. Read, Governor of Darlinghurst Gaol from 1861-1889.

The earliest reference to wearing cabbage tree hats in Australia refers to an incident with Flinders in 1799 in An Account of the English Colony in NSW 1788-1801:
"Flinders was wearing a cabbage-tree hat, for which a native had a fancy. The fellow took a long stick with a hook at the end of it, and, laughing and talking to divert attention from his purpose, endeavoured to take the hat from the commander's head. His detection created much laughter; as did that of another black with long arms, who tried to creep up to snatch the hat, but was afraid to approach too near".












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