Christiane Berghoff, The Joy of Stitch

Fiddlesticks by the Tea – The new Blog

My ‘mother blog’ ONE STITCH AT TIME has become a new sister blog!

The original blog will remain my main blog as an artist/researcher, featuring my work, my collaboration and my projects, also there projects in the planning which will have their own specific blogs. To have blogs for certain purposes has the advantage that the individual blogs remain small, easier to manage and to navigate.

So the first offshoot, ‘Fiddlesticks by the Tea’, is a conversational platform, sharing my passion of working in public and my love for quirky individual cafes, hotels and pubs. I am a great believer in supporting the local economy and therefore the small local businesses  are my mainstay.

The good old Weatherspoon on Sundays is an exception, here is having a relaxed and affordable time with my 17 year old son  the priority (If Sean’s Diner were open on Sundays, there would be an alternative…..maybe, Robin would say.)

Friends often remarked, that there is hardly a cafe in the area, where I haven’t been.

I love being amongst people, watching, listing, following my thoughts, finding inspiration and enjoying conversations, which often arise from remarks about the work I have under my hands.


The Joy of Stitch

Wingham Wool at the Guild for Spinners, Weavers and Dyers in Probus, Cornwall, May 2015

Every year the wool company Wingham Wool comes to visit my local Guild. it is always very exiting, as it is a bit like wine tasting! It is trial spinning of all the fibres on offer! I was very positively surprised to find a good range of British Sheep Roving and again discovered breeds I hadn’t heard before like Massham sheep.I bought some Wensleydale fleece, which still needs carding and some Black Welsh. there is so much more to learn for me and I find this endlessly fascinating!

The Joy of Stitch

Lovely Christiane at the Poly

Co-Creating CARE

On Saturday 24th May we had another workshop at the Poly in Falmouth.  Originally this was to be a glass workshop, but the leader was unable to come, so the lovely Christiane Berghoff stepped in to lead a group workshop on cord-making.  We had three different methods of making cord to play with:  crochet, knitting (French knitting) and the lucette (a weird quasi-pagan looking instrument that, had we not all been lovely people, would have been the subject of fighting over).

Christiane talked about the ideas that concern her practice – sustainability, the importance of community, and the centrality of making.  Then we each taught each other a skill that we already had (I had none to begin with….) and everyone swapped around, so that by the end we’d each had a go on each of the three cord-making methods, and we’d each taught someone at least one skill (perhaps…

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The Joy of Stitch

Bunnies!!! And Why We Craft

Co-Creating CARE

Here’s the link to the Eventbrite page where you can book a place at Sue’s workshop making bunnies.  Or you can drop me an email here and I’ll put you on the list.  Don’t forget to follow the blog – the posts will come to your inbox, and you’ll find out about everything as it happens.

Sue Bamford bunnies Sue Bamford bunnies

A blog I follow had some very interesting things to say this week.  It’s not a crafting blog but more about well-being and knowing how to find your best place in the world.  It’s written by Martha Beck, and said, in part:

People started telling me to “be here now” when I was about 20. “Great!” I responded. “How?” Be still, they said. Breathe. Well, fine. I started dutifully practicing meditation, by which I mean I tried to be still while compulsively planning my next billion-watt wow. But one day…

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The Joy of Stitch

Why Knit a Scarf?

Co-Creating CARE

Katherine Martinko ponders this question in a blog on Treehugger (great site generally, btw).  So why would you?

knitting.jpg.662x0_q100_crop-scaleMartinko points out four main reasons why we might want to do this.  These reasons just keep coming up in all the work we are doing with crafters – they are common to all the people we speak to.  They are:

Creating a product of high quality.

A way to reclaim independence.

Can help a local industry.

It feels really good to make something by hand.

You can read more about each one in the article here.  Plus – there are some really interesting things to read in the comments section, including people who say that in some places, women were not allowed to knit – knitting was a man’s job and women were only allowed to crochet!  When I write more about Bethan Corkhill’s talk at Beyond the Toolkit I will…

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The Joy of Stitch

Boro – Fabric of Live Exhibition

These works are such a inspiration for my own work. The rugged and yet beautiful feel, creating something from rags to be part of life again.

Mountain Folkcraft

The Fabric of Life

The word boro means ‘patched together’ and here refers to the indigo-dyed patched-together garments of the Japanese rural population. Expensive cotton fabrics were reserved to the upper classes. As worn-out rags, they found their way cheaply into the hands of the peasants, who patched them together to create impressive garments of great aesthetic charm.

In their minimalist beauty, these recycled textiles stand not only for artistic creativity and the positive affirmation of the transitory nature of all existence, but also for respect for the natural material and the work of the hands.

The precursors of the boro textiles were the kesa, the garments worn by Buddhist monks, which were also patched together as the outward expression of the Buddhist ideal of poverty. Outstanding monks’ garments from the museum’s own collection have been incorporated into the boro exhibition.

By chance, I got to own a piece…

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The Joy of Stitch

World Eco-Fibre and Textile Art

This blog is a great inspiration for me!


The thing about living in London is that I’m constantly finding out about places and events I’ve never heard of. Although I was a student at UCL, just around the corner from the School of Oriental and African Studies, I’d never been to the Brunei Gallery – until yesterday.

The reason for going was an exhibition called World Eco-Fibre and Textile [WEFT – geddit?] Art, organised by Society Atelier Sarawak of Malaysia. The aim of the exhibition is to show how traditional techniques, including ikat, shibori, weaving, dyeing and printing are being used and developed by contemporary textile artists around the world.

The upper level starts with explanations of techniques. There are particularly good descriptions and samples of Indian embroidery by Asif Shaikh of Ahmedabad in Gujarat. Most are mounted on a karchob – a wooden, horizontal, floor-mounted frame that is large enough to let several people work on…

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