Saturday, 26 November 2016

The deadline is extended and the yarning goes on.....

Sooo exciting - more and more knitting and crochet is rolling in.  The project is proving soooooo popular we have decided to extend the deadline to January 31st.  I've just been out to buy some more yarn for you so, my lovely and amazing knitters and crocheters, you will have all December and all the school holidays.  

I cant tell you just how exciting it is and how grateful I am for all your wonderful contributions.

If you imagine my design (see my post of October 24) to be a huge drawing all you people are my Faber- Castell, Derwents, Staedtler and Arches rolled into one.  You are creating  the materials needed for  

  Thank you to all the wonderful people at Araluen Centre Diamond Creek who helped me get started on these last two wraps.  I am so very much looking forward to your help getting at least two more wraps started in December.

This weekend is Nillumbik Artists Open Studios.  I have put the three Pole wraps up at two studios in the Bend of Islands. So come and visit Tread Sculptures - you've just got to see how wonderfully and unexpectedly,  sculpture can enhance an outdoor setting ( Not to mention a pole wrap on a tree).  You've just got to walk his sculpture track and enjoy some stillness by the river. 

And then, in front of Creek House Studios,

Inside you'll discover the wonderful prints. paintings and more by Syd Tunn and Ona Henderson. 

 You'll have a lovely  time at both studios who offer an amazing experience for the visitor.

Just for fun, a blast from the past I couldnt resist leaving outside the studio a checkerboard .

 This was an interactive piece from an exhibition called "Who Needs Permission" where, collaborating with fellow artist Margaret Summerton,  we  indulged in  a yarnbombing spree in a gallery space.

Who says work isnt fun!

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Less "oops" .......

The oops debate over doubles and trebles could go on forever but there is room for everything in our "From Thread to Thrive" kniffiti  garden.

On the left we have doubles, on the right we have trebles.  I love both!  

The leaves are one 25stitch knitted  square squeezed and stretched and twisted then pinched in the middle.

For the textile nerds, the flowers on the left and the centre on the top right Panda Magnum premium 100% acrylic yarn was used.   Tough but nice and easy  work with.  Its the same yarn used in the "Poppies for Peace" project in Dandenong.  It has stood up to outdoor exposure really well.

  The crochet chain and the embroidery and flowers on the left were all done with 100 % acrylic yarn grabbed from anywhere on the run. The colours are bright and shiny but the yarn is inferior to handle, it splits easily and is not as easy to manipulate, it remains to be seen how it will hold up in the weather.  I intend photographing all yarns at invervals through the summer to compare how they hold up.

Now a new version of the same crochet flower,  details can wait til another day - but  when your son's girlfriend says "Can I help" and you stupidly ask "Can you crochet?" and you get the answer "A bit but not for a while"  Then you are given  this

and  you say to yourself," I can do that" and you end up with 

Without  doubt, crochet is not boring!!!!!!!!!!!

So just how many variations on a theme of my initial design are we going to get?

Want to be a streetartist? Then dont forget to run down to the Diamond Creek Community Centre, or the  Diamond Creek Living and Learning Centre or the Diamond Creek Community Bank Stadium and pick up your kit.  There's only a couple of weeks left before we start joining the pieces together.  If you're using your own wool  email me for the postal address. 

Here is another nerdy aside. As a professional photographer I have spent years explaining to  people about the built in flourescers in fabric dyes that look gorgeous  to the sensitive  human eye but do not register in the camera. As a result  often when you photogaph clothing, or in this case yarn, what you see is not what you see in the picture!   The blue in the top left is actually a purple/brown  to the eye and  the deep red has a pink toning.   

The only difference this makes is if you compare the two - and its why some colours look  great when you look in the mirror and look different, or even worse dull or muddy in a photograph.  They look great to other people when they look at you too, just the camera isnt able to see it that way!

Monday, 14 November 2016

forget-me-not..... in haste

I'm sure you all think I'm nuts asking for a million squares and rectangles.  The concept  is to make lots of quick and easy raw materials for a kind of stretchy kind of origami flower making community workshop. Then we (you and I) can  have a lovely time at a flower arranging community workshop to create the post and tank wraps - THEN we (you and I) can yarnbomb and create streetart together .   

Anyway on with today's explanation.

That 25 stitch, more less square piece on the top left can make 

a relatively conventional forget-me-not


a very quick and star flower that can be used as a star or a forget-me-not 

then the same  25 stitch square in green and we have a leaf

All are made from a 25 stitch rough square even though the finished size varies by the time they have been folded and twisted and stretched or squeezed. 

On November 27th  how to videos will start appearing so if you cant make it to a workshop you can still put the flowers together at home and drop them off during the week.

DEADLINE - absolutely no later than DECEMBER 3
For the next few days new flower samplers will be appearing here ......(I may end up having to make  a woolly sampler quilt)

Once again I thank my lucky Star Quilters - for more knitted contributions .....

Thursday, 10 November 2016

OOPS I made a mistake, correction right now

I have a confession to make, I dont use patterns.  As an artist crochet is just one tool for me, just like a different brush is for a painter so I just do it and invent as I go.

So I crochet a background and a flower, for several years in fact - when it comes to writing it down I check with a friend or two, look  up a book and go for it.  This time the friends  and I all slipped up and to top it off  I looked at the right stitch in the book and wrote down the wrong label. OOps.  However, we may have a discovered a different looking flower in the process so like lot of slip ups it might just turn out to be be great.

Its not major,   For the background it will be fine, just it will use more yarn, take more time,  and might be a bit narrow - but thats easily fixed if needed with the later addition of a stripe - could be really interesting..... 

So this is what it should look like if its treble...

   I wrote d.c. on the pattern.  Today I'll have a go at it that way and see what that looks like.  If you have already done some or all in d.c.  then thats great, its more than  useable - its one more piece of our stretchy yarnbomb jigsaw.   The flowers will be dahlias  instead of peonies or whatever we wish to think of them as.  Variety is great, just as in any garden.  The finer texture on the background for the post will look lovely.

Simply so we dont use up too much yarn(budgetry reasons) or your time I'd prefer if from now on the background was done in tr. do NOT unpick what you have done already. STRESS is forbidden!  This is meant to be FUN

For the flower, well, have a play and see what you would like to do. You can also play with stripes or graduated colour in the petal area.  More on variations later...

Now to get some corrections printed and run out and correct the kits already out there in the bins for pick up.............

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Stranger things......

Strange though it may seem there is a connection between this

and this

and this

There is one way to find out,  come to the 
Thread to Thrive Workshop, drop in for five minutes or stay four hours, 
all will be revealed, 
9am til 1pm, Saturday 5th November, Diamond Creek Living and Learning Centre,
 119 Cowin Street, Diamond Creek

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Quite simple really

All we  (you and I) need is more of this  

I have to say that this was all made by my lovely patchwork group, their friends and relatives too, this week and instead of stitching today they knitted!  Bravo the Star Quilters.

to make this (so easy and SO much fun))

and this

and this

and this

all of which  make this


Informal free workshop this Saturday, 9am - 1pm  a lot of  happy yarning going on.  Stay five minutes or up to  four hours,  have some fun, pick up some yarn, some instructions, knit or crochet, have a go at some yarnbombing.  All because we (you and I) are  yarnbombing the Thrive Community Garden water tank and the Rotary Park pavilion in December.

Better than permission, its a commission!

Never yarnbombed before? Nows your chance, YOU can be a street artist.

We were going to work in the park but, oh dear, more wet and windy weather is forecast,  so we have moved the venue to Diamond Creek Living and Learning Centre,
119 Cowin Street, Diamond Creek.   9am til 1pm

Friday, 28 October 2016


Oops I forgot this last night.......workshops (free, fun, relaxed, easy   and materials provided!) start November 5th. 

You'll learn a few yarnbombing techniques, make flowers and vines 

 For quick reference  this afternoon I will be  putting up a Thread to Thrive workshops page separately .  I'll update it every time something is changed or added.  Also, I'll post on it as soon as we know  if an outdoor workshop needs to be moved to the  wet weather venue.

we'd love to see you there, bring a smile and come and 

- play with some yarn

- have a yarn 

- and in December you can yarnbomb too!!!!!

First workshop - November 5th , 9am - 1pm, rotunda area, Rotary Park, 2 Diamond Street, Diamond Creek.  We (you and I) are going to yarnbomb some pick up and drop off bins to make them so beautiful everyone will want to fill them with lots of lovely knitting!

There will be examples of flowers, and plenty of lovely yarn  to pick up..... in general lots of yarning going on.......... See you there


Thursday, 27 October 2016

At last - Crochet

So is this a tudor rose do you think?

Whatever its quite easy - more of that down the page, meanwhile here we go with 

Crochet Instructions
Use our yarn, or yours.  just make sure its 100% acrylic 8ply,  hook no 4 or 4.5

First of all 


These will be the foundation for the flower garden which will twine up and round the post.  There are ten posts to wrap, one wrap is already done and another on the way.

Colour - predominantly grey but with a few blue or yellow  stripes at the top and a red at the bottom. The colours and the stitch are designed to pick up on the soft paving in the playground.  

You can crochet just 14cm, or as long as you want. You can crochet just one piece or as many pieces as you like.  When joined each wrap will need to end up two metres long.  The stitch stretches so if its not exactly the correct width or height we have a bit of play.

In grey chain 50, miss two and d.c. across the chain.  *chain one, d.c. into each stitch to the end, turn* repeat to the desired length.

these flowers are easy and fun, 

Flower Centre  In any colour chain five, join ends and d.c. into each chain, two more rows of d.c.  tie off.   This gives a rounded shape which can be manipulated to suit different flowers .    

Flower  taking the above centre, d.c. 3 into each gap. one round gives  this  and when its stitched down with a bit of manipulation and we have....... maybe  daisy

or , maybe a nasturtium

two rounds 

three rounds give this 

or, the tudor rose at the top.  Just depends on how you stitch it down.

Flowers grow in clusters so it would be lovely to have a few the same of any you choose to make

Form tiny scraps,  to full balls of yarn, your yarn or ours,  chain is very, very useful.  You can create stems, leaf outlines, decorative line drawn designs, bunch them into daisies and other flowers. We can never have too many, so easy to do whilst watching tv!

Finished - Hooray and thank you

We'll let you know pick up and drop off points for yarn and finished work very, very soon

To make flowers and pillars come to a workshop  near the pavilion, 2 diamond Street, Diamond Creek on November 19th.  If we have wind and rain we will let you know the change of venue.

For more information  0409 977 583
 or email
Share this with a crochet friend - Have a crochet tea

With your help we can have the prettiest yarnbombing ever

By the way - I know I planned a few extra posts over the next few days BUT

I actually forgot its the Melbourne Cup next Tuesday and 
we all know the world pretty much stops tomorrow evening  until its over.

So, next blog next Wednesday!

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

KNITTING dont forget macramme

Today knitting,Thursday  crochet, next day stitching & macrame , next week (or maybe sooner) where to get yarn, pick up and drop off points, workshop dates.!

Yesterday I went down to Diamond Creek to measure up a pole wrap.  Once again, yarnbombing  is such a great way to meet people.  A much needed offer to help, thanks Shanny, not just for holding up my crochet but for giving me a new idea or three. We got talking - and, guess what, I hadn't even considered macrame in my design.  How exciting that's turned out to be.  Sleeping on the thought  I have come up with some genius ideas, so, stay in touch macrame enthusiasts, you are going to be very important in the overall scheme of things, all will be revealed in a few days!

Now  for...... KNITTING INSTRUCTIONS for our colourful, gorgeous flowers to yarnbomb the water tank and pavilion, and maybe there'll be some leftover for a few bicycles as well...........

These are just the very first test designs,   more on the much fun.......


use ours,   or yours  8 ply 100% acrylic in colours as near to ours as you have.  It doesn't have to match - what flower in nature is  the same as the next ? - but it would fit the designs  best if its  more or less in the same range.

NEEDLES - no 4

All knitting is one row plain, one row pearl, repeated (stocking stitch) to make either a square or a rectangle.  If you are an ace knitter and would like to experiment with a fancy stitch or two - please do, it will add texture, just make sure its firm and roughly the shape we need.  OH, and MORE important, enjoy the experiment

Its meant to be FUN, so, NO STRESS please.  If you have 49 instead of 50 stitches or your square is a bit rectangular that's perfectly okay,  it will still make a great flower.If you make a mistake or drop a stitch, don't unpick just go on and finish, it wont matter.. Nature is never perfect - AND we'd love to have lots and lots and lots and lots of squares so that we can make lots and lots and lots  of flowers and leaves.

PINK IS FOR ROSES - but we'd welcome  a few in red or yellow too. Cast on 100, knit 15 rows cast off.Rosebuds, 75 stitches, 15 rows.

BLUE IS FOR FORGET ME NOTS - cast on 25, knit a square, cast off

PURPLE IS FOR VIOLETS -- cast on 40, knit a square, cast off

LEMON IS FOR LILIES - cast on 50, knit a square, cast off

PALE GREEN - IS FOR LILY LEAVES, cast on 50 knit a square, cast off. LILY STEM/STAMEN - cast on 150, knit 5 rows, cast off

GREEN, EMERALD, SAGE, AND ANY OTHER LOVELY GREENS we need lots and lots and lots of leaves in different colours    and sizes
cast on 25 or 30 or 35 or 40 or 55 stitches, knit a square, cast off.


Drop your knitting off at one of our pickup/drop off points or contact us  and then (if you'd like)        


 The first flower making workshop will be near the pavilion in Rotary Park, 2 Diamond Street, Diamond Creek on Saturday November 19th, 1-5 (weather permitting).    If we have another really foul weather day we will reschedule and post details. Flower making  Instructions will also be on YouTube in November.  Let you know dates later.

For more workshop information:  0409 977 563

Share this with a friend, have a knitty morning tea......or lunch,...or afternoon tea

The more squares, THE MORE FLOWERS, the lovelier our kniffiti garden!


Monday, 24 October 2016

From Thread to Thrive

IF WISHES WERE ...., Well then  I'd have finished my posts on the Wishing Tree - but for now  that will have to wait for another day because......  


Yup, I've  wanted to yarnbomb, kniffiti in  a public space and I (well actually you as well because you will be part of it) am  about to.  I've always preached about getting permission  (OH&S issues)  Well now its better than PERMISSION, its a COMMISSION.   And, everyone can be part of it - knitters. crocheters and stitchers, and helper/installers.

The designs are done, this is Thrive Community Garden.  Its in a beautiful position,  right next to parkland running long the Diamond Creek.

 this is the design

Flowers will be knitted and crocheted.  The illustration shows existing flower  samples which are not really quite that big. Its a big  tank - so we are going to need to make  lots and lots of flowers..  There are many designs in many colours on the drawing - knitting -  board,  

and this is the barbecue pavilion in  Rotary Park in Diamond Road.  Its right next to the netball courts and a lovely new playground.

and these are designs

I have used the same flowers on each post cos these  are the test samples already made.  I think I would like to keep the pink roses for the water tank and use red and yellow  roses on the pavilion, maybe some orange zinnias , blue cornflowers??? because when you turn around this is what you see - so we need lots of lovely colour

And, in between there's a bike path so..........I wonder

how many ...........

DIAMOND CREEK (such a lovely name) - together YOU and I are going to make this parkland a diamond in the crown of kniffiti (yarnbombing).

Workshops will be held in the Rotary Park near the pavilion, in the Thrive Community garden and around town.  To book a workshop contact or phone 0409 977 563.,gov,au/ThreadtoThrive

Yarn and instructions will be available at workshops and pick up and  drop off points points around town - more on that soon

DEADLINE - we install in the first week of December!  So, one and all please, please, please get ready to start knitting and crocheting and then we can start stitching

You dont have to wait for our yarn or live in Diamond Creek to be part of this -  instructions will start being  posted on line tomorrow , so find your hooks and needles, some 100% acrylic 8ply yarn and be ready! Check this space  email us for a delivery point or postal address.

Stitchers - as soon as there is enough knitting and crochet there will be  workshops to  embroider, applique and piece together,  and, for even more fun, join us for the installation.


The more knitters, the more crocheters and the more stitchers the MORE beautiful our kniffiti garden!

p.s. HOORAY for the wonderful Star Quilters  who have already started - and lassoed their friends and relatives as well - so already, we have knitters in Chirnside Park, Warrandyte, East Doncaster, Blackburn, Box Hill and more.  WHEE!!!!! rock on kniffiti

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

The Wishing Tree of Life begins

Yes, its a new project!  A tree of life, but also a wishing tree.   Margaret Summerton and myself  are once again working with the community of the City of Greater Dandenong to create an art installation for Harmony Square, right in the centre of town for Cultural Threads 2016.

This lovely white blossom tree is based on the traditional Tree of Life which crosses so many cultures.  But, this tree is more than that, it is a truly powerful wishing tree.   On August 1 Margaret and myself will help the community write their wishes and attach them to the tree trunk.  Many more will be added during Cultural Threads in the month of August.  Hidden in the leaves and  flowers on the tree, and in flowers in the poppy garden underneath, the tree will already hold the wishes of the community written with the help of Sayraphim Lothian on Australia Day 2014.  

The trunk is started

The butterflies are being painted and knitted

The flowers are made

Leaves have been made

It all comes together in the last week of July when on what is bound to be a cold, wet and windy day, Margaret and I will be  braving the weather and working on the challenges of the installation .  We can plan, think of everything(?), but you never quite know what will happen on the day. And of course there is a deadline............ the launch of Cultural Threads 2016 is on July 28th! 

Meanwhile there are stories to tell about the making. Stories about  working with the community of the City of Greater Dandenong and their fabulous  Arts  and Culture Department - the first story will be  the first workshop with the Social Knitwork and the making of the butterflies. 

For more information on the exciting art happening in the city of Greater Dandenong during  the month of Cultural Threads

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Bye Bye Poppies

Time to wrap up the poppies - in fact to say bye bye poppies!   But only partly, they're off to new lives and locations as they are presented to the volunteer groups who help to create them.

With Margaret Summerton  I  had  many wonderful, and often very moving times working within  the city of Greater Dandenong to create these lovely flowers.  You may remember from earlier posts the huge cross section of this amazing community that took part in braiding, knotting, stitching and knitting to have forty poppies ready for the Anzac Day ceremony in Harmony Square. 

 Poppies for Peace was a community project so a few different locations made sure that everyone who helped was able to enjoy them.

the Drum Theatre

then  a visit outside Dandenong to the  Montsalvat  Arts Festival

And from there to the Gallery space above the library overlooking Harmony Square where the story started.

 So now for the final de-installation in late January.........

Once again Dandenong turned on the weather for us, BUT, this time we were working indoors!  And, or course, nobody complains about rain in January!!!!!!!

So down the ladder I go.............. just had to attempt  the mid air arabesque.....

Now to slide them on their hangers along the gallery and to the top of the ladder and into the library.....

Naturally they twisted and turned and rebelled but after pulling, twisting and  with Tony and  Greer tugging at the other end we managed.  

And so they were cut down .......

into the lift.....

they showed some reluctance to the idea of being stacked.......

Bye bye poppies.............but they will go to good homes

Our first project with the City of Greater Dandenong was the yarnbombed columns and seats for Cultural Threads, then the Poppies for Peace, then White Ribbon Day.  We have been inspired by this community, so many threads from such diverse creative and passionate people to make up each experience.  

We'd particularly like to mention Jackie Gatt, Greer Davis and Koula Kalaitzoglou from the City of Greater Dandenong, you've been so much fun, so patient and so encouraging, so willing to stand in sun, wind and rain to support us when needs must.    Thank you!