About this blog

A blog about the meanderings of a craft designer and hand maker living in a beautiful island at the end of the earth....I'm a weaver addicted to her little Ashford Knitters Loom, a crocheter, knitter, painter, gardener and grandma. Rowena lives in Tasmania - a world apart, not a world away!

Craft is a social activity, shaped by communal resources and motivations. Leonardo Bonanni and Amanda Parkes Virtual guilds : collective intelligence and the future of craft JMC vol 3, no 2 July 2010 pp. 179-190

Sunday, October 6, 2013


I have never before played with dyeing fabric - it has always been fibre and yarn.  So yesterday with Sue's encouragement, I had a go!  Just so pleased with results.

Silk scarf and Ultra fine Wool Wrap both dyed using Kraftkolour's Landscape dyes.

Pure Silk Scarf

Ultra Fine Wool Wrap 70cm x 200 cm


Thursday, June 14, 2012


It's been sooo long...I thought I'd never get to the loom again but I've just had a magic dose of weaving with wool.  Out lovely new product White Gum Wool needed a garment or two for the Campbell Town Show.  I wove a magic wrap in a window pane variation.....

It's a biggun.....34 cm finished width and 2300 cm long with a generous knotted fringe. I was thrilled to see it in the Fashion Parade - the drap was wonderful!

Also a smart little scarf in my traditional plaid pattern using some of the new WGW Foundation pallette colours - sedge and gum grey.  it looks great with Sue Evan's knitted swing jacket also in White Gum Wool.

It feels so good to be making again!  I've been spinning too....several skeins waiting to be washed and set.  Photos soon.......  :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dyeing Workshop with Wendy Koolhof

Last Saturday - 16th April - I joined with five other lovely ladies to work with Wendy in her southern Tasmanian studio for a workshop on textile dyeing.  [Wendy Koolhof and Mahdi Chandler are those super creative Text-isle Tarts and very involved with Stitching and Beyond in Tasmania]. Woking with Landscape dyes we created rainbows of colour using the yarns and fibres of our choice together with a foray into shibori (I thought is was tie-dyeing but we are not allowed to call it that any more apparently !!). The day was fantastic - gorgeous blue Huon Valley skies and surrounded by bird song and Wendy and her husband's hospitality - together with that undercurrent of creativity that occurs when you get a few fibre fanatics together.  Here are some pics of our results :

I played with some of my hand spun superfine tasmanian merino and was thrilled with the results......something woven coming up! And, I created a lovely silk scarf for my mum for Mother's Day using shibori techniques...never done that before!
Thanks Wendy !

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Creating Again!

Whew and am I glad...finally got enough organised to be able to sit down and DO something. 
The spinning wheel is in the shop and has currently 3/4 bobbin of Tasmanian Superfine spun....wool on knitting needles making a square for fulling for a needle fleted bag...the little loom set up ready to warp tonight for a new wrap....and the big loom under threat for a sample using Wendy Koolhof's hand dyed laceweight silk and Mahdi's embellishing threads!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I just don't know where the time has gone...still not properly unpacked, but enough to feel at home.  I just miss being able to choose a book from the shelf - the books are still in boxes as the bookcases are up in the shop!  It all takes time....and a bathroom cabinet would not go astray.

Oatlands social life is bustling : I am joining the RSL (they say if my nomination is rejected, I'll make history - we will see LOL) and last night I was invited to the weekly Rotary do.  A lovely meal, lots of laughs, mucho fund raising (Floods Appeals this month) and a talk by a young farmer recently returned from 5 month exchange trip to UK and Ireland.  A MOST enjoyable evening.  The Coffee Club also beckons but they meet after my opening time - but I have hopes of doing a few shortly.

So many "locals" have been in to say hello and it is great to know that the little shop is well received.  I need to try and remember names and faces......

View from my front window
 This is the view that greets me each day whenI raise the blind and put out the "Open" signs.  Stunning!  and if you want to check out the rest of Oatlands as it looks at the moment, have a look at Yin Mei's lovely photos.  Yin Mei's blog 

I am gradually getting my work space under control and have placed the worktable so I can see out the window :
View from upstairs workroom

Can't wait to get weaving!  I had a visit today from the NEW girls from the Tasmania Woollen Company .  Judy and Cheryl have recently taken up the retail challenge and I was thrilled when they expressed an interest in having some of Handmadebyrowena's superfine merino woven scarves and wraps.   Thanks for visiting ladies!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


A busy month...

Unit listed and now sold - thanks to Katrina at Raine & Horne Launceston for a professional and attentive service!!  Amazingly fast results.

Too much stuff (refer Eric Bibb)...yes way too much stuff......packed up.

AND MOVED  thanks to Bell's removals and the fantastic Dion and Shane who got it all done in the pouring rain.  The only thing broken was what I dropped.

Unpacking too much stuff......thanks thanks thanks to Lalu and I could use the kitchen.

The shop got painted - thanks Lyn...and arranged in the dead of night ready for last Wednesday's opening.

And Grum came home for Christmas from the wilds of Victoria....and cut wood ( taa also to Michael in absentia, Fergus and Lalu (again!)), and bought me a clothes line for Christmas and put it up, and spent 3 hours cutting grass, pruning the fruit trees and generally tidying, nailing, moving and supporting.......

Gee thanks too to Lauren for giving me Christmas dinner off - it was a lovely meal and terriffic to have us there together.

And to my Mum, on the occasion of her 95th birthday - HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUMMY xxxxxx

...and as well to BRuce and Mary and Kaye and Will and June and Rita and Carmen and Bubu and Jacquie and Yin Mei and all of the other ones who I appologise for not mentioning and who have phoned, emailed or called...just THANK YOU!!!!!!

And lastly to Eric again...Don't let nobody drag your spirit down

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Well, I've been rabbiting on about these for a few weeks now and they are finally finished!

The latest superfine Tasmanian merino handwoven scarves are finally off the looms, finished, labeled and packaged and ready to go to their new owners! 

They are destined as gifts for attendees at a wedding in Hobart this Saturday - and two will be off to the U.S!  I'm SO pleased with the new packaging.  It makes the special ones look "specialler" don't you think?

One is millspun, one millspun warp and handspun weft and two handspun both ways woven on an Ashford Knitters loom 50 cm and usingTasmanian Merino label superfine merino tops (handspun to medium singles) and the same  millspun 2/16s.   Lovely !!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I have managed to squeeze in a quick trip to Victoria to catch up on domestic duties and make sure SigOther is behaving himself!  So three days of wet weather coming up I fear.  It was pouring at Tullamarine this morning as I dashed for the little Bendigo Airport Bus but thank heavens it had stopped by the time I hopped out at the top of the hill at Malmsbury.

Home Sunday nite then next week will be full of last minute things to do before the "big move" and also catching up with the wonderful artisan crafts people who have decided to support Oatlands handmade.  There is lots of stock to pick up and get organised.   The MOO Robot emailed me to say my lovely new business cards and other printed stuff is on it's way and the shop counter has arrived in the garage - now so full I can't find the little looms!!  (Still got orders to complete b4 Thursday and another trip to Hobart to fit in.  Whew!!)

Looking forward also to a trip to Eastside Makers on Sunday 5th to say hello and to collect more stock.  Some visitors from the Coast will be there - hope they have a great market! Oh, and a big big thanks to Extras Direct (I won a Gift Voucher from them at the September Eastside) I went shopping when in Hobart on Wednesday.  Bought a beautiful handmade jacket. Absolutely gorgeous little shop at Shoreline Shopping Centre full of accessories, jewellery, unique clothing and shoes.  Thanks thanks thanks.