Wednesday, 14 November 2007

encyclopaedia

Still on the topic of Tasmanian op shops and how they reflect the populace - Tasmanians must be a learned bunch. The op shop bookshelves are full of encyclopaedic series: twelve volumes on 'The World Around Us', eight volumes on 'Mammals', eighteen volumes of Golden Hands: the complete knitting, dressmaking and needlecraft guide.

Well, that last set isn't on the shelves anymore because it has been in my house for the last five years or so. I did buy it on a previous visit to Tasmania though, from Vinnies Boutique in Wynyard for the princely sum of $5.00 (the same visit to Tasmania when I learned to crochet). Gold indeed, these books are an absolute treasure - they contain instructions on pretty much everything. dressmaking indeed, knitting and crochet and the full gamut of needlecraft - all sorts of embroidery, needle-made lace, tatting, patchwork, needlepoint, toy making, bobbin lace, etc - plus the 'Fashion Flair', 'Pattern Library' and 'Collector's Piece' features. The fashion flair is all circa 1972 but that can be a great thing! There's inspiration galore and the skills are always transferable. Maybe I'll do a weekly feature to show you some of what they have to offer.

In other exciting news - I've read a book! Iain Banks' The Steep Approach to Garbadale. I really enjoyed an earlier of his novels, The Crow Road, which was very meandering and it took a long time for the direction of the narrative to distill. Garbadale is more of the same in terms of episodes from the life of a young Scottish male but the plot is much clearer from the outset. I was disappointed though with the ending - the aftermath of the plot bombshell (which I had sort of guessed anyway) and its repercussions were not sufficiently explored. Still a good read but in terms of recommending them I'd say read one or the other, probably The Crow Road.

ps. I often see the odd Golden Hands volume in the op shop or second-hand book shop. Or try ebay or abebooks - collect the whole set!

1 comment:

Lace-lovin' Librarian - Diane said...

What a blast from the past! My mom and I collected Golden Hands. I think they came out one volume a month. I have no idea what happened to them.