project. It has been twirling and whizzing and zipping around in my head like a nightmare ever since last September. I need to get it out of the way.
Last September I was given a sheaf of pages which were the designs for two Chronicle quilts. I need to do something with them. Let it hastily be said, I do not make quilts. I am not a sewer. I have a severe allergy to sewing needles. I knit in ways that do not require me to do the minimum amount of putting together.
I am also aware that there are "chronicle" quilts and then there are the "Chronicle" quilts.
"The Chronicle" was a weekly newspaper that served the rural areas of this state for years. It was, if I remember correctly, printed or partially printed on pink newsprint. It was the only paper that many people in rural areas bothered to buy. After all, the daily paper simply did not reach them and there was no internet or television. Even the wireless coverage was poor.
This newspaper carried a little major state news but a good deal more rural news. It kept farmers up to date and provided everyone with social news.
It also had pages for children and pages for women. Before the war these pages carried a series of "Chronicle Quilt" designs. I had never seen one until last September. At the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society Show I was shown one and then I was given the sheets of designs for two of them. They have been scanned from the papers of the day and they are not that clear. There were vague plans by the organisers of the show to "do something" with them. I don't know if they have but I was given my copies on the understanding that I would.
There were, as far as I can work out, four Chronicle Quilts. The two I have are the ones labelled "Farm Life" and "Wildflower". There was also one of birds and another of international landmarks.
The one I saw was the "Farm Life" quilt. It now looks very old fashioned, indeed it would have been "quaint" even then.
But, I have the designs. The challenge for me was to turn them into some sort of knitting project.
Few people will be prepared to knit a blanket. Quite apart from the cost of buying enough yarn there is the time and skill involved in knitting what is generally called "intarsia" - the making of multi-coloured fabric in geometric, abstract or pictorial designs. But, might people be prepared to try one square and turn it into a bag or a tea cosy? It is possible. Just one square might be achievable for many people.
So, I have the plans there ready to chart out something once used by women and girls in the 1930s - and yes it was aimed at women and girls. Men and boys did not get a look in. It might be different this time round.
I won't use the original designs in their entirety even though copyright is not an issue. What I will try and do is design something that will honour the work of those women who, after a day of hard physical labour on the farm, still found time to create something useful but beautiful - one square at a time.