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

Summer in the backyard or walking the talk

Resting in my backyard, knitting my summer shawl, quit music , a coffee and the dog under the table.

sometimes it take a bit of mental discipline to actually follow and do what I know to be beneficial for me, such as quite times.

the summer appears to be a time full of activities, swimming in the bay, dog walking, taking teenager to the beach for barbecues and surfing, Summer festivals, left, right and centre, Penzance just had the LitFest ( more in a separate post about my KnitLit afternoon last Saturday.

It is good to remember those precious moments of sitting still, hands gently moving and breathing ………..

The Joy of Stitch

Between Book and Stitch

I am essay writing and as it is heartbreaking to sit in front of a computer on such a beautiful day, as it is today, I am grateful for the chance to completely  be immersed in the thoughts of Sustainability and Art and where I place myself. And I got roughly an idea…….. In the meantime, it is good to walk the talk and do a few stitches, almost to rewire myself and let the other brain half have a go…..

The idea of Six nations is a metaphor for the all non-human and human being, equal, it sees plants, insects, birds, fish, mammals and human as a nation with equal rights.  An image which is strongly related to ideas from Deep Ecology.

Wool and People

Germany and Still Knitting to keep Me sane

I am in Germany since last Friday, visiting my mother (85 yr) and I am in the great company of my partner Bill and my son Robin (15 yr) .

Bill
Bill

Surely and slowly my English dissolves and Courageous Bill, who is a wonderful English speaker looks at me with great concern as I become more and more not understandable .

 

my mother has minute memories of my school English , Bill does know the polite greetings and phrases and Robin is in theory bi-lingual ( he speaks wonderful German with our friends and there offspring).

 

 

One done, one to do
One done, one to do

 

I am always optimistic when I back for a visit to my mother; I back books to read, diaries to write, maybe even some watercolour paint and a sketch book. This time there is also a book about Deep Ecology for my MA! The time is spend with my mother, going into town , pottering around, going a bit mad with dealing with two languages , you get the picture.

Sorting out the Clematis
Sorting out the Clematis

So what does keep me sane in times like this is Knitting; a project small an simple to keep me and my fraying mind sane!

This time it is a pair of little slippers for my friend Bettina; we are off tomorrow to Minden for three days where my friends Michael and Bettina live with their three quite grown up children !

so the second slipper will be done by Friday night!

Happy Knitting!

P.S. If my grammar and sentence order is ever so slightly odd, read above again !

 

 

The Joy of Stitch, Wool and People

My Practise

“In the old days, the old fellows were sitting around, all the women were laughing , joking – so all that conversation has gone into the basket.”

Verna Nichols , Tasmania

This quote gathered to much up, how I feel about my practise.
When I look again at the cloth were people have embroidered on on now 4 occasions, it seems as if I can still her the voices, the stories and the laughter. And I see as well those, how were quietly stitching, not saying much, but listing and still part, adding their stitches.
My practise has these two aspects
– creating spaces where people can experience again a communal situation, of working with their hands creatively and being with people
– working on my own with very slow technique using Embroidery, Knitting, Crochet and very recently hand spinning as a meditative activity
– Working with my “traveling” projects where ever I am, on the train, in Cafés, with friends talking at the Folk evenings in my home town

image

Sometimes when I pick up a embroidered cloth, or a hat, knitted from my own pattern and from well chosen wool, I smile as the memories flood back.
The more I think about it, the more I realise that the underlying intend for my activities, shared and alone is Wellbeing.

The Joy of Stitch

And they were stitching again !

What wonderful opening of the symposium ” Beyond the Toolkit”!
It has been a great afternoon of meeting people who are going to give talks and workshops tomorrow in the context of the symposium.
I am very grateful for Fiona Hackney and her team who created this amazing event and cast the net to bring so many people together; people who bring their keen interest in the relationship of Craft and Wellbeing to this event and share their ideas, stories and experiences.
One of tonight’s speakers was Monika Auch, a visual artist and medical researcher. More about her work and her project “Stitch your Brain” tomorrow !!!

The Joy of Stitch

Strand Meditation 1

Very beautiful!

boostitch

susi_bancroft.through2Walking the shoreline

Tide turn – the space between

Rhythm of waves flowing….

Rhythm of breath, meditation

Dawn and dusk, stitching in early morning

The pause, stilling…..

Rhythm of stitch

The embroidered buttonhole wheels are complete thoughts

Others fragmented, partially formed

The seed beads

Those are the shells, stones, tiny claws

Found objects catching my gaze, mixed on the shoreline

susi_bancroft.IMG_3099detail of stitched piece..

See this – here Also the Brunel Broderers blog for all artists work for Strand

 

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The Joy of Stitch

How to make coiled fabric baskets and rope bracelets

this is really new to me! What a lovely idea!!!

one way or another

Why not coil a little?

Coiled Fabric Basket by AbbysSewAwesome

How to make a coiled fabric basket using clothesline and strips of fabric + Coiled Fabric Bowls! (tons of photos) + How to Make a Coiled Fabric Bowl + Previous ART FOR HOUSEWIVES post + Child print deep coiled fabric basket + COILED FABRIC BASKET+ Coiled fabric baskets.

Coiled fabric purse tutorial

Coiled Rope Tote.

How to make a rope bracelet

How to make a rope bracelet + Yarn or Fabric Wrapped Clothesline Rope Bangle Bracelet Tutorial + Fabric Bracelet Tutorial + Diy {dressed up target sailor bracelet} + DIY Braided Rope Bracelet.

Rope bracelet

How toMake Coiled Fabric

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The Joy of Stitch

Glimpse of the Graduation Show

Glimpse from the Graduation show
Glimpse from the Graduation show

Here are the first glimpses from the Graduation show! what pleases me most, is that people have been in acting with the embroidery and added their stitches to the large cloth which was started at the Event at the Exchange, Penzance.

Soon there will be more photos and reflective writing. The Show comes down on Friday, 21. June.

The Joy of Stitch

The Japanese Inspiration

Vintage Sashiko
Vintage Sashiko

I have been reading in Jane Brocket’s book ‘The Gentle Art of Stitchning’ and came across Sashiko Embroidery. I amfazinted by the imagges of old, traditionalle Sashiko, which was used for darning and embellishing at the same time. I love the look of the worn and faded indigo dyed cloth, embroidered with white cotton yarn. I had come across these images before when I was researching about the Japanese  Wabi-Sabi philoshophy . So many aspects of this tradition appeal to me, it the simplicity of the stitch, the matrial and the underlying idea to use it for mending and caring.