Labour of Love


???? A textile riddle – what is about to happen here ???? (answer below)

Whilst I am trying to slot into my old life after an amazing two little summer holidays, and after spending lot’s of quality time with my loved ones and enjoying a lazy life – I am unable to put up any more posts up telling you about my time in Tasmania – because I lost my little camera (the big one used on the hike was out of battery at this point) and have no pictures to show. I had planned a post about our visit at MONA and one about HOBART and one about KNITTING IN HOBART, but that will all have to wait.

I lost the camera at Port Arthur, just as I was about to take a picture of an amazing hexagon quilt which was lying on a bed in the old surgeon’s quarters! And guess what – it had a similar pattern as The Quilt I am currently working on! I was so stunned, I was unable to think (my sister in law’s comment: “you should have taken a photo on your phone!”).

To cut a long story short:

  1. the camera was found and I am waiting for it to arrive in Sydney and then I can get back to business and post photos…
  2. I could not get the quilt I didn’t photograph out of my mind, couldn’t find any reference to it on the net – rang Port Arthur Historic Site and they gave me the name of the lady who looks after the textiles there and she would love to talk to me! All I need to do is remember to ring back.

Whilst I wait for the camera to arrive, let me show you what I did just before our hike to Tasmania, which gives you the answer to the ???? photo above. My late mother gave me a set of warm silk underwear 30 years ago. The top is as good as new, still after all these years. The long johns are long stretched and have taken on their own shape, but they are still keeping me warm and have traveled with me to the snow all over the place. There are some significant ladders in them, I had many times intended to get them professionally mended, but it is one of those ‘extra’ things I never get ’round to. Encouraged by Tom of Holland I gave it a go, just before we went to Tasmania. In fact, this post is dedicated to Tom and his blog. He fearlessly tackles the knitty gritty of knitting and mending, just wonderful and inspiring, and has posted an amazingĀ  post on darning this morning. I didn’t have any special tools (as Tom would have) , only a wooden seam board from my tailoring days and a tiny rusty crotchet hook, which I sanded smooth with a very fine emery cloth. I finished off the ladders with silk applique thread and a very fine applique needle.


As you can see, the ladder was really long (there were two in fact), and in some sections it was 2 – 4 stitches wide. DSCN5112I think all in all it would have been about 1.5metres of ladder that I mended… it took 5 hours and I got a very stiff neck. After the hike, there is a new ladder in my long johns… I might just keep it there for some time before mending that one.