Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Longtime in the Making

The completion of a project gives the maker a sense of accomplishment. The from the sheep's back basket has been in the making for 30 years. I'm serious. A transfer from Sydney to Deniliquin in 1980gave me an opportunity to immerse myself in a new culture and I did.

Women used the local materials for their creative spirits. Wool, wool and more wool. I learned that there were breeds of sheep each with different qualities. I was patiently taught to spin while being accepted into a new community.

Once I mastered the process of making string the fun began. Colour. Dyes came from everything trees, fungus, bugs, flowers and leaves. Simple recipe boil everything together with suggested chemicals called mordants. Adventuresome dyers over dyed grape leaves with mulberry. Used copper sulphate (blue jelly crystals what are poisonous) we've come a long way now we just use jelly crystals.

All the yarn knitted into this basic shape is from my learning to spin and dye days. It has been slumbering away in a suitcase. While sitting around after Christmas I started knitting a basket using my friend Kaite's http. // basic directions.

Step1 knit lots
Step2 felt lots or a little I went for mega felting
Step3 attach handles if not knitted before felting
The completed shape was determined by the varying yarns I had and how well the different breeds felted.

I now have a basket of memories. I will think of kind and talented women every time I use it. I am happy I completed this UFO.



Notjustnat said...

Hey Terry, I have some of those hand spun yarns too. I will try Kaite's recipe and knit one of the basket too. Thanks for sharing - cool story. I forgot that I have similar story when I lived in Orange years ago LOL! Hugs Nat

Kaite said...

What a lovely story Ter, and even with a heritage enamel dye pot. A real sense of achievement, and you know that your beautiful basket will last for at least another 30 years. Hugz, Kaite

Lizzie said...

Fabulous basket Terry, love the colours. Well done, don't you just love UFOs with a story??

Dr Myra said...

Hello Terry,
I love the basket. The story that goes with it makes it really special. Myra Dunn from Bathurst

Sue-Anne said...

I love your felted basket and how special it will be because of the memories that go with it.

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Well done Terry...a basket of memories, how nice is that!!!

Paula said...

Hello Terry, Welcome to the blogworld.
What a beautiful basket and the story - wow. I will try Kaite's recipe , I love knitting. Thanks for sharing.