knit | sew

Inside the Ribbon Tin

February 17, 2015

Welcome to the first Inside the Ribbin Tin for 2015, an occasional series filled with bits and pieces, odds and sods and other ephemera related to textiles and making. This one is full of local interest.

IMG_4792Firstly, Cheryl Crosbie from Granite Haven Llamas and Gotland Sheep is asking for expressions of interest in a Farm Visit Day from any Victorian knitters and spinners. If you would like to visit Granite Haven, near Euroa in the cooler months to meet the sheep and llamas and buy some yarn or fibre if you fancy, straight from the source, please let her know at Euroa is about an hour and a half from Melbourne. I have used Granite Haven yarns in Oakenshield Armoured and Maldon Made Shawl. You can see some pics from the last open day here.

IMG_4832Some of you were kind enough to express an interest in making Oakenshield Armoured so I have created a design page on Ravelry for you to link your projects to. My Man would like his own Oakenshield hat, so I will put up information on a large adult size onto the design page too.

IMG_5965If you live in Australia and like local yarns, Rhea Hoeflok of Hedgerow Cottage in the Australian Alps (Victoria) is going to be opening an online shop soon specialising in locally sourced, cottage processed yarns and fibres. If you have been a regular reader of my moaning about the lack of local product in Australia, then you will know just how excited I am about this new business. You can follow the progress on Hedgerow Cottage’s Instagram feed.

IMG_3880GJs Discount Fabrics, home of the northern suburbs vast and casual sit and sew room, patchwork and dancewear fabrics is moving from Brunswick to Darebin Road in Fairfield in May. GJs is a bit of an institution in Melbourne and is home to many sewing and craft groups from quilting groups to local school fundraising groups. It is the only place I know of where you can lay out and baste a quilt. It is a relief that these groups will still be able to meet albeit in a new location.

Social Sewing is one groups that calls GJs home. One of their members, in sheer frustration at finding indie sewing patterns hard to buy in Australia, founded Sew Squirrel, an online shop for indie patterns. You can buy Sewaholic, Grainline, Collette, Made by Rae and heaps more here. They arrive in a couple of days.

And now to locally printed fabrics. I have got a bit excited about these as they all print onto organic fabrics and use environmentally responsible inks. I recently bought a trimmings pack from Umbrella Prints, based in South Australia. For $10 you get a packet of fabrics made up of trimmings and offcuts from other orders. Maz and Vale are a mob in Melbourne doing a similar thing only their sample packs are saved up for a periodic sale. You need to watch their Instagram feed and act quickly. I reckon sample packs are a great way of experimenting with these kind of fabrics in a low cost way and of small businesses turning a waste product into something useful.

IMG_20150217_112345Another place to look for locally printed sustainable fabrics in the cheaper price bracket is the Remnants and Sales section of Ink and Spindle, another Melbourne based company. Their Australian botanical prints are exquisite.

Now just in case you worry about such things, this post is written entirely independently. I do not receive any goods or favours from the companies I have mentioned.

And to finish the Tin this month, an amazing wee film about a scientist in Tasmania who began remaking Brats dolls into actual childhood companions. They are called Tree Change Dolls. It is both an indictment on the state of science funding in Australia at the moment and an optimistic tale of how a one person stumbled upon a yawning need.

Lovely eh!

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  1. Those dolls are sooo much nicer after their makeover. Love the fact that slowly there are more Australian produced options available. I am not completely internet shopping savvy to this but following your blog is going to change things forever.

  2. That doll video is wonderful! I love how she wasn’t even trying to make any kind of statement, and yet, she did. And the wee knitted clothes are fabulous.

  3. Your ribbon tins are always such great grab bags of wonderful things. I’ve never been to GJ’s but reports are always favourable. I like that they have a space for basting quilts. ‘Cloth’ are the Sydney equivalent to the great fabric designers you have mentioned. Screen printed upholstery, a range of quilting and they have tempting scrap packs too. The doll film is one of those stories you hear and feel comforted that there are good things are happening in the world. May your Okenshield Hat warm the heads of all those who wear them.

  4. Thanks Rebecca for the links to all those interesting sites – especially Sew Squirrel. Goodness me, what a treat to find so many desirable patterns in one place and just a mouse click away! I can hear the sewing machine calling to me….

  5. R., I could weep with happiness over those dolls! 🙂 So so good!The little knitted garments are so sweet, too.

    Although far from “local,” I like the local flavour. I can imagine that I am living in lovely Melbourne!

  6. That video was absolutely incredible. The dollas are beautiful….and I’d always thought those Bratz dolls were the ugliest things I had ever seen. What a beautiful woman and I hope she finds a way to make her project spread whilst staying true to her original goal.

  7. What beautiful, open, friendly faces those dolls have! I’ve never understood the appeal of the heavily made-up ones – they just look sulky and sullen to me. I especially like that the maker (remaker?) is encouraging others to go out and do the same. And I agree with you about the Ink and Spindle botanical prints – exquisite, indeed. I have a weakness for anything that features Australian flora, and our self-made wedding stationery was partly inspired by their designs!

  8. Hmm, is it me? The only site that would come up was Ink and Spindle. I kept getting a weird message re privacy…..but Ink and Spindle made up for it ! I didn’t ‘get’ the doll thing right away but what a transformation…….the others were scary…like from the ‘dark side’ haha Take care.

  9. I hadn’t heard that GJ’s was moving! I am very happy about that as it will be closer to where I live and much easier to get my fabric fix! My bank account may not thank me….

  10. Every time I view the doll video I think how lovely girls of a certain age are. That is the age before the insecurities get them. I love makeup, but we’re never been the best of friends. Makeup is never satisfied with how one looks.

    That this artists could see the girl in the doll is a little miracle. I’m so glad you posted about her work.

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