Epping Group

Hi everyone,

I'm just giving you a quick message to mention that I will be helping Vishna set up the Designing Minds Exhibition, and that I can use it as work experience towards my Uni Degree major in Museum Studies.

I'm looking forward to dressing the big dolls!!!

I'm also taking my new camera and will show you pictures next Monday! jenny in a croched wrap

Love Jenny Chioatto


group of small and large knitted bears

Jacqui and Diane are still bearing for trauma units.

On Monday 4 July Epping Group was delighted and privileged to have Liz Gemmell join us and hear her speak of her career in knitting and design. She radiated ideas all through the morning and brought us beautiful examples of some of her work. It was a joy to have her encourage us with the advice that everyone has their own talent and should develop it. Look at what others have done and adapt to your own ideas - think "how do I want to use it?". Leave your yarns and works in progress out where you can see them and be inspired each time you pass by. A tidy house is never a creative house! And remember a computer is only a tool.Liz Gemmel speaking to the Epping Group

She answered questions, borrowed knitting to demonstrate, and told us a little of her history: arriving in 1949 from the Ukraine at the age of four, her family was and is very close, and they are currently facing the heartbreak of her father suffering from Alzheimers' Disease, to the point where he now needs full time care. On train journeys to visit him, knitting helps keep her calm and she showed us a beautiful example of a neckpiece in hyperbolic knitting made on one of these journeys, which Margot was delighted to model. Margot modelling neckpiece of hyperbolic knitting

She teaches these days at the University of Technology Sydney and generously told us she learns from her students as she teaches, especially variations in knitting techniques as her students get inventive as they learn. She suggested pins with knobs are "corridors with no windows or doors" and are too restrictive. As she spoke throughout the morning she used her hands so effectively and with such lightening speed it was almost impossible to capture her on camera but one moment could be recorded: as she talked she frequently drew on the whiteboard. There is a well-known story of a man who met the artist Picasso on a beach without recognising him. Picasso drew a picture in the sand to illustrate a point and walked on. Just as the man realised whom he had been talking to, a wave came in and washed away the marks. Not so for Liz when she visited us at Epping last Monday. Whiteboard showing Gemmel design sketches

Let us hope her students at UTS understand just how lucky they are.


Our July 2011 meeting was today. We kept it short because we were privileged to have Elizabeth Gemmel as our guest speaker.

Secretary Sandy at Show and Tell:

Sandy modelling her completed knitted jacket

Jacqui is out of action for a while, but her knitting hands are fine and her trauma bears just keep coming. Denise took armfuls to Westmead Public and Jill similarly to Westmead Private Childrens Hospitals.

In a fortnight's time Jill will be doing a workshop on joining squares:

Two squares knitted on the bias joined together

Visitors are always welcome. If you plan to come, this is the preparation:

Using 8 ply wool and needles to match:

Cast on 41 stitches and Knit one row.

Row 1    K19 sl1 k2tog psso k19      Row 2   Knit

Row 3    K18 sl1 k2tog psso k18      Row 4   Knit

Continue dec as set until 1 st left. Do not finish off.


Cast on 20 sts

Knit in garter stitch for about 10 cm.

Cast off.

Jill wearing her knitted shrug

Jill pictured earlier in the year modelling her knitted shrug.

Over several Sundays this year Brenda has been giving workshops on traditional techniques for Ganseys, Arans and Fair Isles.

The jumpers have been in miniature, as this is a good way to combine all the techniques in the time available. Fair Isle slippers were full size.

Brenda's own example:

A miniature fair isle jumper

Fair Isles have two colours in each row and originated in the Shetlands and Faroe Islands.

Ganseys are made up of knit and purl combinations, and have gussets under the arms to allow fishermen the full use of their arms and shoulder joints without causing the jumper to ride up at the waist.

Arans have cables.

Below are photos of Brenda's Fair Isle ski hat, knitted in the round and modelled by workshop participant Kate, Brenda's Fair Isle slippers knitted from the heel down, followed by Mary's completed Aran in white and Gansey in blue. Then the workshop in progress and finally one member, Katherine, unable to go home she was so absorbed - the rest of the room had packed up and left. Brenda can be seen on the left.

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