Epping Group

On the 5th March we had our formal monthly meeting at Epping. Our guest speaker was Peggy Dickinson, a volunteer guide at the Military Nurses Museum at Concord Hospital, once Concord Repatriation Hospital. Her talk started with the Boer War (to which 3 Australian nurses went), through World War I, the Middle East and New Guinea, and she especially mentioned the primitive conditions that Matron Edith White coped with in the Northern Territory after the bombing of Darwin. Peggy told us of how as a child in Sydney during the Second World War she and her family had to get under the table during the shelling of Bondi, and being curious, she looked out and saw the searchlights and heard the planes overhead.

The final part of her talk concerned the nurses who left with the evacuation of Singapore and their stories of survival and death in prison camps for 3 years and 3 months on Banka Island in the Dutch East Indies. Stories from legendary nurses like Violet Bullwinkle, Betty Jeffries (who wrote "White Coolies" after the War) and Pat Darling. Peggy told us she has had the honour of meeting Pat Darling. Finally she mentioned the amazing survival story of Sister Savage who was aboard the hospital ship the Centaur when it was targeted off the Australian east coast with 363 on board and sank in 2 minutes. Sister Savage was 36 hours in the water before she was picked up by a US ship.

There were obviously many more stories, based on the exhibits in the Museum, she would like to have told us, but time ran out and she gave us some information booklets and invited us all to come to the Museum some time and see for ourselves. Peggy is a volunteer guide there on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.


These are our proposed Workshops for 2012 to June.

Feb 20th


Preparation:  Make a tube as per scissor keeper (from Hazel's workshop last year on tubular knitting), but in 5 or 8 ply on 3mm needles, and DO NOT close the top.

Bring: Set of 4mm needles and small amount of contrast yarn.


March 19th

Double Knitting - 2-Colour Cast-On

Coaster in 5 or 8 ply yarn

Bring: 2 colours of yarn and 3mm needles.


April 16th

Finish Coaster with needle cast-off.

Bring: Blunt sewing needle.


(May 21st - Biggest Morning Tea)


June 18

Yarn Construction

All those with spinning wheels and/or drop spindles, please bring them and some fleece or sliver.

On the final day we met in 2011 Brenda and Helen brought along their finished work. Each meeting over the previous weeks they were quietly working on these two beautiful projects.

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Brenda's lace scarf comes first. It is hand spun camel plied with wool, in a leaf pattern. The centre section is in a larger leaf and the two end sections in a smaller leaf, surrounded by an edging. The two end sections in smaller leaf both hang down with the leaves facing upwards. This means at one end the pattern changes direction. This is achieved by using a provisional cast-on, returning later to pick up the stitches and knit in the opposite direction. Brenda picked up 1008 stitches around the edge and by the edging cast-off there was approximately 1100 stitches. In sequence: the whole scarf, the second photo shows the large leaf across the top and the changeover to the small leaf on either side with the change in direction on the right hand side, the third photo is the changeover in close up where the leaves change direction and the fourth where they do not change, the fifth and sixth is each end looking like exact replicas, the seventh shows the edging at the side with the changeover visible at the bottom right, and the eighth shows turning the corner in the edging.

The final photo is Helen's blanket using all the different variations of WWL square patterns except corner-to-corner. The colours are a careful mixture of solid and varigated. Her edging is double edged crochet and small scallops.

Both are unbelievably beautiful examples of knitting.

What's in store for us in 2012?

The last day at Epping for 2012 will be Monday 12 December. Last meeting we were hopeful for the 19th as well but too few were available to make it worthwhile that close to Christmas. We will resume for social knitting on 9 January 2012 in the morning only. There will be no crochet in the afternoon. Our first formal meeting for 2012 will be on the 12 February.


hazel with bag decorated with pansies as a thank-you

Hazel's S&T is a bag decorated with pansies by members of the Group as a thank-you for sharing her skills last month in double knitting.

Other S&Ts below are Phyll's beautiful wedding pillow slip with silk crochet design of Australian Christmas Bells and eucalypt caps. Phyll lives in the Sydney suburb of Belrose which is named after the flower. The final skein is for the initials of the recipients - Phyll's niece and her husband. This is followed by Eleanor's lovely machine knitted baby blankets for premmie babies. Then a Yarn magazine photo (by Michelle Moriarty) of a Vertical Eyelet A-Line Dress which one of our visitors from the Northern Group, Veronica, has designed together with Jude Skeers and it is featured in Issue 24 December; and finally a sock which Margot is very proud of completing.

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