Judy Bond with one of her award-winning crochet evening gowns.Photo: PAUL MENSCH 

By MADISON EASTMOND

THIRTY years ago Sunraysia’s Judy Bond  made her first crochet stitch.

And today she still continues to work from her home, using one hook and one stitch to create unique and complex woollen pieces that are showcased around Australia.

“I used to knit all the time, but it can be so frustrating if you drop a stitch. It turns into a complete disaster,” Judy laughed.

“Crocheting only requires one hook and one stitch, so I thought I would give it a go.

“I guess you could say I was hooked from then on!”

Taking immense time and patience, Judy works on delicately stitched evening gowns for months, and is only able to complete three to four individual pieces a year.

Each one is unique. Judy never uses patterns, just measurements from previous pieces to guide her as she sculpts  a new gown each time.

“I actually find patterns confusing!” Judy said. “It’s much easier to work from the basic measurements and then I can make each piece individually.”

It was entering her first competition and claiming first place at the NSW Wool Awards in 1993, Judy says, that gave her the confidence to showcase her work. 

“The competition I now enter annually, ‘The Gown of the Year’, I only entered initially because I had that confidence from winning first place at the 1993 Wool Awards,” she said.

“I was dragged along by my friends when ‘The Gown of the Year’ came to Mildura, and was gobsmacked, I thought, hang on, I could do that!

“Since then, whenever I have entered, I have been a finalist.”

Now currently working on ‘smaller’ pieces for an exhibition for the Country Women’s Association Gala taking place next year, Judy is able to complete a piece every two months or so.

“The smaller ones don’t take as long, obviously as they are smaller, but the wool I use is thicker,” she said. “These pieces are more sculptured than my previous evening gowns, each one is different from the other!”

Showcasing her work at Galas and parades isn’t new to Judy.

“My works has been used at numerous Charity Parades in the community,” she said.

“I believe at the local Tennis Clubs, the Red Cliffs Nexus Service Club, and the RSL Vision Parade.

“They normally host a dinner, and I put on a parade of my work, it’s to help raise money. I absolutely love doing it!”

It was only last October that Judy took out the overall title in the Henty Natural Fibre Fashion Awards, but she already has plans and fresh ideas for her next pieces to be entered into national competitions this year.

“I’m already trying to decide what I want to enter or make,” Judy laughed. “I just love it so much, it’s a true passion of mine.”