Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Pfeilraupe Wrap

You might remember back here 
I talked about this lovely corriedale/silk sliver I spun trying to get a 5 ply or sportweight as some folks call it.

It knitted beautifully into this Pfeilraupe Wrap which is free on ravelry, thank you.  
In the past the wraps I've knitted have been too short so this time I cast on an extra 50 or so stitches (can't remember exactly) and instead of short rowing 5 stitches then 6 stitches I did the calculations so I could short row 6 stitches each time and keep the increase rows and slot rows as per the pattern.
Its an interesting pattern that needs reading right through before you start.  There is enough information with the instructions and charts for it to work, you just have to keep all sections in your head at once.
I shall enjoy wearing this when the weather cools down.  Its mid winter and still too hot for woolies.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Cloak Exhibition - Cloaked in Feathers Series

I am also showing two pieces of wall art in the Cloak exhibition, part of my Cloaked in Feathers series.

Since earliest times Feather Cloaks have been worn. Druids and Shaman, the central figures of an ancient clan's magical and religious life, are recorded as having the power to transform themselves into different forms, in particular the bird. Bards, Druids and Shaman also wore very colourful cloaks made from the skins of birds.

In traditional Maori culture many birds were seen as chiefly and the korowai or feather cloak is still used as a sign of rank and respect.

I am weaving this series to share the beauty of our native birds of New Zealand so people learn to treasure and protect them, hopefully avoiding any more species from going extinct.
The flightless takahe is a unique bird and a survivor. Even though the takahe remains on the critically endangered list it has clung to existence despite introduced preditors, hunting and habitat destruction.

The Takahe was believed to be extinct until it was rediscovered in 1948. Its night cry was described by Maori as the sound of two pieces of ponamu being struck together.

The Tui, endemic to New Zealand, are boisterous, medium sized, common and widespread birds of forest and suburbia.  They look black from a distance but in good light tui have a blue, green and bronze irridescent sheen and distinctive white throat tufts (poi).

Adults have a notch on the 8th primary feather and this feather quivers from the narrow part creating the whirring sound common in flight.  They have a noisy unusual call but can also replicate human speech.

Tui are notoriously aggressive and will defend a flowering or fruiting tree from all comers.  They vigorously chase other birds away from their feeding territory.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Cloak Exhibition - Enchanted Forest

For the past 3 years a group of weavers from the Professional Weavers Network of New Zealand have been working towards an exhibition titled 
Cloak - Variations on a theme
Cloak conjures many images; as a garment, a cape, mantle, robe, tunic.
Cloak of secrecy; cover, screen, curtain, shield, conceal, veil
To cloak; hide, mask, conceal, disguise, camouflage
Cloak and dagger; espionage
Cloak as protection; enfold, wrap around, protection for the environment
Cloak as myth; magical, invisibility cloak

Armed with the above concepts to ponder Pete and I set off on a trip to Croatia and Rome in 2013.
I know I took lots and lots of photos of statues of hulking Romans draped in cloaks but they're on another hard drive.  But when I saw the painting of "Our Lady the Protectress" in Dubrovnik Gallery I was smitten and had a basic idea for my cloak piece.  Loved the rich opulance, the over the top clasp and the thought of hidden bold pattern on the inside of the gold exterior.  
And there we have the cloak as protection of the people.
 Along the way there have been many other images which took my eye such as Lady Macbeth's gown and over dress.  Love the strong greens and bronze.  There is a whole book of cloak files on my pinterest site; wish I'd had more time, some of those garments are extraordinary.

And so "Enchanted Forest" emerged.

"Cloak" will be on show at Pataka Gallery, Poirirua, 17 June to 17th July
before travelling.
I won't get to see it until October when it shows at the Wallace Gallery, Morrinsville.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Starburst Shawl

I while back, like in 2013, I had a little play with Snowflake Twill by way of the Starburst pattern which first appeared in Weavers magazine, Issue 13, 1991.  The article has been reprinted in the book "The Best of Weavers Twill Thrills".
Recently Sophie asked me to share the draft:
Hi Dianne, may I ask you to share that beautiful Starburst weaving draft? A friend of mine found your post, and we both loved the Starburst! And now we want to weave it :-) 

This pink picture is as seen in the book Twill Thrills
and below is my interpretation showing quite a difference in the star but still recognisable as Starburst to the point I feel copyright would apply.  What do you think?
This is an 8 shaft draft plus I used an extra 4 shafts for a basket weave selvedge.

Snowflake drafts are formed by combining various twills.  They include an area of advancing twill, usually reversing in the middle but in this draft the advancing twill does not reverse and the runs are lengthened to widen the rays.  Areas of point and straight twill are used along with some satin.
"Twill Thrills" includes a very good article on composing Snowflake drafts and would recommend the acquisition of the book.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Congratulations Pauanesia

Pauanesia, a boutique store in High Street, Auckland, celebrates what is unique about our country with a unique line of goods inspired by the coast, native bush, our stories and the spirit of New Zealand.  

This year Pauanesia turns 21 and to help celebrate it has been my privilege to design 21 scarves telling the story of our wonderful country in one day. 

The series has been woven with lambswool merino in a 5 end extended threading.  The feature is the hand dyed yarn so although each scarf has a unique treadling it is the colour which tells the story.

Lets start with Night and Day:

The second part of the brief was Dawn to Dusk.
Sunrise just east of Tuhua Island, my view most mornings.
 Dawn brief

 Sunset brief

Congratulations to Heather, Nigel and Staff and thank you for being so supportive of us artists.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Magic Yarns Workshop

Recently I had the opportunity to attend a workshop organised by the Bay of Plenty Area Education committee called Magic Yarns presented by Rene Corder Evans.  This was the only workshop I'd really wanted to do at Festival but missed out as it had filled very quickly so was delighted to have a rerun available.
Rene has an impressive stash of unusual yarns, many of which we don't have the opportunity to see or use so to be able to sample without an expensive outlay for yarn was wonderful.  Of course texture in our weaving was the objective.
My warp is ramie Nm 15 sett at 30 epi.  8 shaft loom threaded two blocks, straight draw, 12 threads per block.

First sample is Habu silk (69%)/stainless steel (31%)
First half of sample tabby then 3:1 1:3 blocks.
I can see this being fun with a shrinking yarn like merino with just a few threads of the stainless
or knitting machine.
 Sample 2 Hanji paper, tabby didn't allow much texture but more within the blocks of twill. 
The skipped floats were me using pickup to see what happened but it was taking too long in the workshop.
 Next I tried copper wire (about 37 gauge) on the ramie, when wet finished in hot water the ramie did all sorts of hijinks.  Scuptural forms come to mind with this.
 Chizimi, product of Husquavna Viking, is a polyester which shrinks about 30% when steamed.  When I handle the sample the first instinct is to stretch that wonderful texture but there is no stretch in the Chizimi.
 Colcolastic on the other hand has lots of stretch.  The bottom band is tabby and the other two stripes are twill, by this time I was hurrying so samples were 2x2 twill.  (I believe Agnes at Fibreholics stocks Colcolastic.)
 The sixth sample is Sanjo silk lycra and it has the most pull in, bands top and bottom are 2x2 twill while the middle band is tabby which is almost covered by the ramie.
 And the last sample so far is Z twist single.  This would have been interesting to see in the block weave or alternated with the S twist thread but was beaten by Father Time.
I still have some threads of my own I want to sample like elasticated wool from DEA and some overtwisted merino from Anne Field.
Would recommend this workshop with Rene to any weaver though those in Canada might need to plan ahead as the stash is in NZ.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Pounamu blankets

Sunrise with cloud formation over Tuhua Island.
If you follow diannedudfield'sweaving on facebook you will know that a while back I wove a blanket dyed in the colours of pounamu (greenstone) to compliment the By Nature Exhibition now showing at Inspirit Gallery, Tamahere.  This partner will soon be in Pauanesia in Auckland.
 This closeup shows some of the nuances of colour, one of my favourite blankets so far.
 I'm in the middle of a big secret project which involves over 50 metres of weaving, all threads hand dyed first.  This probably explains my absence of late.  Come June quite a bit of work will be able to be revealed.