Thursday, February 9, 2017

What I discovered using 40/2 cotton

I'm writing this as it may help some who bought Japanese cotton from Agnes recently.  As you know my stash grew considerably!
1.  I found it easier to unwind from the skein to a cake when the skein holder was vertical (like a ferris wheel).  My horizontal winder is wooden and not very free wheeling so tended to snap the threads especially the finer 60/2.

2.  Keep some tension on the thread as you wind it into cake.  Loose tension produced knots as I wound the warp.

3.  I used two threads together from separate cakes when winding my warp.  It would be better to rewind the two threads together into one cake or onto a cone as I was constantly stopping for tangles mostly caused by 2. above.

4.   I used 4 skeins 40/2, two threads together, to wind a 9 metre warp 768 threads with very little left over.  My warp is a 16 shaft networked draft with an echo of 8 sett at 32epi (32 double threads).  

5.  While winding the warp onto the loom there was a little twisting of threads with their neighbours and also a little pilling.  I put a row of tabby through the warp and separated it into two halves horizontally which helped a lot.  2 broken threads in 9 metres and one of them was my fault for not fixing a couple of crossed threads.


6.  I've woven one wrap with a tencel weft and it wove like a dream.  Next I'll use the cotton as weft.
Edit 7. Take your jewelry off.  Caught a thread on my watch clasp.  Flat ring even made trouble.
Hope these thoughts help when using your fine threads.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Waves

Over the past few months, way too many months actually, I've been working on some wall art.  I have done more samples for this project than I ever thought possible.  Some were necessary, some to use up warp.  But finally the commission is finished and delivered.  Here it is hanging in a shaded corner of my lounge.
The yarn is hand dyed Romney, 4 ply in the navy and turquoise warp and 2 ply light blue and chartreuse in the weft.
The warp is threaded in a networked line with an 8 shaft echo woven 4 colour double weave.  The treadling has five changes starting at the top with five end advancing and finishing with one end advance or straight draw.  Two end advance is basket weave which, in the hanging, gives nice texture.
At the same time I had seven changes going on in the tie up starting with 1:7, 2:6, 3:5 etc finishing with 7:1.  Quite a mind game keeping all this going and finding the correct place in the treadling to keep the waves flowing.
I look forward to seeing it in its new home soon.


Friday, January 20, 2017

2016 in Review

This review of 2016 is rather late but here goes.
2016 started with creation of stock for the Cargo Shed.
This machine knit poncho disappeared quite fast.
Scarves were also needed for stock.
Always working on blankets, this one reflects Lake Tekapo.
Professional Weavers Network had been planning an exhibition titled "Cloak" for about 3 years but guess who left her entry till the last few months.  I was thrilled with my concept titled "Enchanted Forest".
Also included two hangings in "Cloak"
"Takahe"
and "Tui".
Another style of poncho made with a weaving stitch on the knitting machine.
I partook of a workshop tutored by Rene Corder-Evans using "Magic Fibres" to make very textural fabrics.
Again I was asked to weave a series of scarves for Pauanesia, this time with the theme Dawn to Dusk, Night and Day.  I had a lovely play with colour.
Dawn
Day
Sunset
Night
There was a little spinning and knitting of this Pfeilraupe scarf.
Tauranga Guild had an exhibition so I wove "Astrolabe Reef"
and a fun shibori number.
Also entered this wool/angora blanket reflecting the beach dunes.
Jenny waited way too long for her Kereru kingsize blanket but loved it when they met up.

To make some headway into my yarn stash I wove several lengths of fabric for ruanas but then the Cargo Shed closed so I lost interest  added them to the fabric stash!
Blankets for Pauanesia continue to be woven, I think 18 this year.
Finally finished this jumper for my daughter
and grand daughter really rocked this tunic.
About August I gave myself sciatic nerve trouble and was totally off the loom for 6 weeks and then a very slow recovery.
Te Henga blankets.
Rata blankets.
More stash busting scarves.
A change of pace for me led me to a series of baby blankets instigated by a commission.
This one of Zephyr silk/merino.  
A blanket for a single bed knitted from thrums
and more woven blankets.
And to finish the year a jumper machine knitted for DH.
Its now 3 weeks into 2017 and I'm finally caught up on orders, commissions and exhibition work for 2016.
Now looking forward to new adventures this year.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Follow on from last post

Last post you saw the sliver which has now been spun as a single.  Have to decide what to ply it with before the next stage.

 A bit of frogging and the socks now fit perfectly.
 Is three year old telling me she needs a matching pair? 
Not this time around, I've burnt the pattern.
It wasn't a pattern that flowed and the heel worked last in the round, well, no, not for me.
We've had a treat this last week, had the grand children to stay for three nights while their Mum was on night shift.  We drove to Mercer to pick them up and after lunch headed home.  Anyone who knows the northend approach to Waihi Beach will know that as you start downhill you round a bend and this vista of blue sky and azure ocean looking out to Mayor Island is before you.  A little excited voice from the back seat said "I can see Australia".
It was a fun time at play grounds, buggie boarding in the ocean, building damns, rivers, bridges and more.

 For Christmas I was given a subscription to a new magazine, fabricate.  As the title suggests its about fibre related subjects, mainly from New Zealand and some Australian, and its a very good read.  Cait McLennan Whyte, formally of Alterknitive fame, is the editor.  If you are interested in textiles it would be great to support this new publication by subscribing and keep it thriving.
 Issue 2, Summer 2016 has an article on the Professional Weavers Network exhibition "Cloak"  and my two wall art pieces are featured.

 I have worn out so many ball winders of the plastic variety it isn't funny so, also for Christmas, Pete got me a metal heavy duty number.  It goes so fast my wooden skein holder won't turn fast enough and the cotton was breaking so I'm using the skein attachment for my Majacraft spinning wheel.  Remember those boxes of cotton, 2 balls done, 19.8 kilos to go!

 Now that the visitors have gone home for a short while our table has reverted to its true purpose.  
Fix it, finishing station.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Knitted Gifts

Some time ago we were going out and Pete announced he didn't have a jersy to wear.  Well buy one, I said!  They don't fit like the ones you make me.  Grrr.  Anyone who knows Pete will be aware he has kyphosis of the back.  See how the front is shorter than the back of the jumper.  If I don't put short rows in the back it rises up and sticks out, hence the fit I can do.  He'll be happy as a sandboy come autumn.

When in Sienna last year I found some sock yarn that fell into my suitcase (wish I'd got more at the price it was).  Maybe my daughter in law would like a pair of handknit socks.  I chose the pattern "Achilles HeAL" from Knitty magazine Winter 2011 as I thought the stitch pattern would show off the varigations in the yarn so I knitted and knitted and knitted and ....!
D in L is tall so figured her feet would be longer than mine so measured Peter's just for an idea.  This is a different style of sock construction as you work the top then the instep, putting some stitches on hold to come back for the heel.  After the instep it says to continue until sock measures 2" shorter than foot.  Obviously NO, but I'm not a sock knitter, can follow the pattern religiously though.  Then I did the inset heal which took forever I might say.  Oh!  I should have measured from the back of the heel but that's not how the pattern instructions are laid out; the joys of a novice.  Sock number 2 is done all but the toe then I'll go back to this gem.

I have been spinning; just a handful each time I stop for coffee and the bobbin is filling up.  These gorgeous autumn colours remind me so much of Australia and so cleverly put together.  See how the top of the sliver changes from gold to red, the centre part from brown to yellows and the bottom rust to greys.  It makes spinning so much fun.  The sliver was Ann Nevins' and I figured it had to come from across the ditch.  I wasn't familiar with First Addition Fibres and Yarns but sure enough its in Melbourne, Australia.

I had the opportunity to buy some fine Japanese cotton yarn so 16 kilos arrived through the Christmas mail delivery time.
40/2 and 60/2 is a bit dawnting to me but this will be my challenge for the next year.
I was hanging out the washing and thought my pillow slips looked a bit tired and a light bulb went off, I could weave some!  So another order went in for 4 more kilos.  I remember reading somewhere that it was said once you've slept on handwoven slips you'll never go back to bought ones.  What have I done?
On that note I wish you,
all my readers,
many happy adventures in
2017

Friday, December 30, 2016

Tauranga Blankets

The Tuesday before Christmas I finally delivered the last blanket and was caught up with orders from before the leg episode (which still isn't normal I might say).
Above is one with blue warps and the weft shaded from bottle green at one end to light olive at the other and Inspirit Gallery is displaying this one titled Orokawa Bay.
Number 2 with dark blue weft mohair over blue warp went to Sue who was the original commissionee.  I thought it suited her lounge furniture admirably.
And the third blanket with a slightly greenier mohair weft titled "Tauranga" went to Pauanesia.

This gorgeous bunch of lilies was delivered to me from a friend's garden on Christmas Day.
We have had a lovely time catching up with all our family even though d.i.l. pulled the short straw again and worked the night of Christmas day.
Even though its late I do wish everyone happiness and joy
and all the best for wonderful adventures in 2017.