Sunday, 2 September 2012

Happy Fathers Day

All the women in my family 'do something with their hands'.  Both my Grandmothers were prolific knitters as is my Mum who taught me how knit when I was six.  I sew, crochet and paint and, together with Deb, quilted for quite a while. My daughter Hayley cross stitches.  Deb knits, crochets and makes all manner of crafty items and my youngest sister Julia knits and cross stitches.  Deb's daughter (and my niece) Andie is helping mum with all sorts of crafts and it remains to be seen where her first craft love will lie..

Aside from teaching Deb how to knit left handed and banging nails on wooden cotton reels when we discovered French Knitting,  in all this whirl of crafty activity, my dad would sit quietly and read - that is until he moved into a house that had a large shed.  Since then, he has turned out the most astonishingly complex and beautifully made wooden boxes.  Firstly, he made me a wooden artist box with a slide out drawer to hold my paints.  The front folds down to make a desk easel and the interior of the box has been lined with white laminate so I could set up my still life pictures.  When I needed to stop painting for the day, I simply closed the lid of the box.  .

Then he made Julia a cross stitch box. 

Deb's sewing and craft box
After that he made Deb a sewing box to keep all her crafty items together.  It houses needles, cotton scissors and everything the serious crafter would need.

Last year he made me a beautiful 'knitting' box.  The top of the box lifts up to store the latest project (usually socks) and the drawers hold all my stitch holders, crochet hooks, tape measures and DPN's.  It's beautiful and I love it.

Treasured Knitting Chest

Sudoku & Pen and Pencil Set
One day I showed him a picture of a wooden Sudoku set.  He went away and made it and just in case I still wanted to do the Sudoku the 'old fashioned way', he made us all a Pen and Pencil set as well.  I bought him a book for Fathers Day about how to turn pens and pencils on a lathe, never expecting that we would be the lucky recipients of his craftiness.

Hayley's Cross Stitch Cabinet -
Devised from a conversation with her Grandad
about how an apothacary cabinet would be
great for cross stitchers.
But he outdid himself when it came to making a storage cabinet for Hayley.  This piece is a work of art.  All 3 of his daughters have a fabulous craft box but with Hayley, he went one step further and made a piece of furniture.  All the drawers are measured to make sure that the bobbins fit perfectly and the top drawers contain wooden insert trays so that Hayley can take out just the bobbins that she needs for her project.  The top part of the unit is a separate piece to make it just a little bit portable.  This box was made to compliment the existing cross stitch frame that he made.  The frame has an adjustable hoop (it's square but lets not split hairs here) and the frame also allows Hayley to place the chart at eye height which makes reading the chart a little easier.  The whole project was made around a single, cardboard bobbin.  He took it away with him to ensure that each drawer would comfortably hold them.  He listened to what Hayley was after, made a few scribbles on the back of envelope .. and this is the result.

Bread Box with built in chopping board
 Mum and Dad came for a visit yesterday and they brought with them my eagerly anticipated bread box.  The lid flips over to become a chopping board and it stores 2 loaves of bread and 6 bread rolls. (Perhaps now is not the time to tell him that my sourdough starter was a complete disaster).  He mentioned that he is making Deb a knitting loom and I found myself wanting one as well.
We like to think that our craftiness is fuelling his hobby.  It's a wonderful win-win situation.

So, Happy Fathers Day Dad.  Thanks for all your wonderful masterpieces that allow us to keep all our craft items (and bread) on display and never far from hand.


This is the latest masterpiece from our Dad - a wool winder.  It is just beautiful and does a wonderful job.

Squirrel Swift and Wool Winder
We had a big discussion on the best type of swift that would go with it so I can't wait to see what he comes up with.  Whatever it is, it will be beautiful and we will treasure it.

The plans are available here  for about $35AUD  for anyone who is crafty enough to make one.

Lots of Love,
Louise, Deb, Hayley and Andie


  1. Those a beautiful treasures to keep and pass down for years and years and years. I've always been fascinated with looking at knit threads. I never tried to learn how to do it. My great grandmother crocheted and taught me that but I didn't keep it up. She was really good.

    1. What a wonderful thing to be taught by your great-grandmother. Such precious memories for you.

  2. I am blown away! What beautiful and functional pieces your Dad created. He is quite the artist!
    Thanks so much for linking this up with the TALU!

    1. Thanks Anne. Each item is really precious to us. The fact that they are all so functional is a bonus. Thanks for hosting TALU. .

  3. How magnificent! Not only such beautiful creations but they can be handed down and down and down. Your father is very talented! Thanks for sharing his artistry! TALU

    1. Thanks Carol .. I love sharing his creations.

  4. What beautiful work and treasures that will last for generations. Your father is really gifted! TALU

  5. Your Dad is a rock star! Those are awesome - sounds like the rest of you are as well, but on a different track. OK, so I have to ask ... is there some trick to knitting left handed? My Mom is a knitter and used to make us fabulous sweaters, hats, gloves, afghans, ponchos back in the day, etc. She tried a few times to teach me, but I could just never get it! I have problems keeping my tension even and always wondered if it was something to doing it "upside down" as a lefty?? :( [#TALU]

    1. I hear your pain Chris! Learning to knit left handed is very tricky, but worth keeping with as it does get better over time. Sometimes, when things aren't going my way I find that looking at youtube tutorials specifically for lefties can be really helpful and make things "click" a bit better than before, or there may even be a class near you (but personally I would only go if the teacher could knit left handed!) - Deb

  6. WOW!!! Those are amazing! How lucky you all are to have received such beautiful handmade gifts.

    1. Thanks Linda .. I must admit, we do feel very lucky. His pieces are heirlooms. :-)

  7. Those are so amazing! What wonderful items to have for years to come. TALU.

  8. Fantstic! I am looking for plans for a similar box with several flat drawer for my many, many colour pencils. Is there any chance your dad would publish such a plan?

  9. Fantstic! I am looking for plans for a similar box with several flat drawer for my many, many colour pencils. Is there any chance your dad would publish such a plan?


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