Friday, April 24, 2015

Tea towel warp

Playing with different tie ups and treadlings while testing the "fixed" loom.
The threading is the same as for the banner and winning alpaca shawl and has a warp of alternate threads of cotton and linen.
I probably should have ironed the fold creases but ....
First tie up included 1-3, 3-1 twill and tabby.
No 2 woven as an echo weave.  This towel has a ramie weft and is probably not as absorbent as cotton or linen.
Woven as 4 colour double weave.  Showing a bit much pink as you can see by the 'white' background.
and the reverse side.
These were fun to play with so may do more for the Cargo Shed after 50 metres of scarf material.  I better get working.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Zoe's vest

Zoe's vest hand knit in Naturally 8 ply Loyal machine wash wool.  4mm needles.
It looks disproportionately long but I swear she's grown 6 inches in the last month.
Don't know how as she eats like a sparrow, unless its chocolate eggs.
Or rabbits.  Her mum said just eat the ears and head then we'll put them away.
Little 'not yet two' Zoe immediately starts on the tummy leaving the head for
argument discussion later.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Fibre, Fashion and Fun

Last weekend 200 fun loving fibre-istras descended on Rotorua for four days of fibre, fashion and fun at the Creative Fibre Festival 2015.
There was yarn bombing
 and knitting on the most ginormous needles ever.
I mentioned weaving a banner some time back.  Three banners hung in the central foyer, one (on the left) in a cobweb technique of semifelt and threads, one nuno felted and the one I wove in 4 colour double weave.  The railing at the base of this photo is on the first floor so you can imagine how high they were looking from ground floor.

I taught 3 3hour workshops on knitting, actually more specifically Using Our Unique Designer Yarns, whether handspun or commercially bought.  One lady whispered to me afterwards that it was the best knitting workshop she'd been too and another lady stopped me in the street while I was walking back to my motel and said folks were raving about my workshop and she was sorry she hadn't taken it.  Guess I did something right.  Was so busy teaching I missed the workshop on how to be a teacher!

The Festival started with the Opening followed by the presentation of the Exhibition awards.  Just as an aside, I was at the selection dinner, I was rooming with one of the selectors and was sitting beside her in the hall.  I had no inkling that
"Paua" won the Alpaca Association of New Zealand Award for the entry that best illustrates the lightness and fineness of alpaca fibre.
Beading at the centre
and at the edge.
(Awful photo, me bad) showing how it was hung in the exhibition.
I also entered "Clouds" a cotton scarf
and "Chromatic Reflections" hand dyed merino.

Probably the highlight of the Festival was the Annual Dinner combined with the Runway Show on Saturday night at the Blue Baths, an amazing venue.  I had two entries in the show, (these are photos of photos in the catalogue so not the best)
"Contrast" in Special Occasion section.  I couldn't see from where I was seated but am told the black side stripe looked like a snake twisting as the model walked.
I don't really expect you to remember back here, September 2013 when I wove this fabric.  Its what I was working on when I ripped my leg open last year.
Well ... "Sapphire" won the Auckland Area Award for an entry using mill spun yarns with an emphasis on artistic content and design.
And friend, Rene, took out the Creative Fibre Award for the most outstanding Fashion creation.

Altogether a wonderful four day party weekend.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre

Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, just out of Blenheim, features Sir Peter Jackson's own collection of World War I aircraft and artifacts.  Scenes depict the aircraft in context created by WingNut Films and Weta workshop.  
There is an area of rare memorabilia on display including many uniforms from both sides of the conflict and personal stories of the people who wore them.

On display was a wall of Poppies. 
These mark the 100 years anniversary of the Gallipoli landing.
A group of crafters from NZ and Australia got together to create poppies in remembrance of the lives lost at Gallipoli  and the other battles of WWI.
The three panels hold 2,500 poppies plus each panel has one purple poppy to remember the animals, mainly horses, that served.  Many display personal messages.

 Also on display are a large number of silk postcards related to aviation.  Pilots and soldiers would buy these and send home to relatives.

Also had  many posters on display, below are a couple related to the female side of the war.
Women were given credit driving ambulances in the war zone.

The entire museum presents a very balanced display and I enjoyed it a lot more than I had thought I would.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Trip to Nelson

Have been back from our fabulous road trip for a few days now and sort of coming up for breath but still way too many jobs on the list to get through!

We started our trip south by breaking the drive in Taupo and caught up with friends there for the night before continuing on to Wellington ready to catch the early morning ferry, the Kaitaki, to Picton.  
Kaitaki leaving Picton
Note the cloudy sky, the only effect from cyclone Pam

Decided we needed a walk to stretch our old bones so headed for Queen Charlotte Park and drove up hill and down dale while winding around tight corner after corner but didn't find what we were looking for so, after a welcome coffee, headed west for Nelson.

Had a lovely morning with Meg over coffee and a great show and tell.  Meg and I met at a workshop with Randal Darwall way back 2006.  So much nicer to talk in person and see and touch fabric than look at pictures.  But I'll have the pics until next time.

The weekend with Professional Weavers Network was fun, energising, informative, inspirational.  We visited I-con Gallery, had afternoon tea with the Kayan backstrap weavers from Burma (that is a very sad story), had a physiotherapist show us exercises to help our bodies weave longer, had a talk on marketing and another on preparing an exhibition presentation.  There was lots of food, drink, talk and laughter and over all too soon.
Kayan weavers - the lady with the coffee is the "tree",
holding the loom firm

Outside Nelson yarn shop.

We visited Jointworks Studio, chatted with Jane and Tony and saw Anne Field's AVL loom that was recently rescued from the Art Centre in Christchurch after many years exposed to the elements after the earthquakes.  After several weeks tender loving care and some electronic know-how its working again.  We then headed over Takaka Hill to explore Golden Bay and ending at Puponga at the base of Farewell Spit.  

Farewell Spit on horizon
Enlarge to see poor attempt at an arrow.
Took the walk to Wharariki Beach and was enchanted by a colony of seal pups playing around.  Pics on Pete's camera, I was too busy watching.  Those pups were just like any youngsters, jumping on each other, nipping, chasing, racing.  And posers - the older ones would slide out on the rocks and pose for the camera.
Lake Rotoiti, St Arnaud, Nelson Lakes Area

Wairoa River

Queen Charlotte Sounds
While in Blenheim we went to the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre which I'll talk about in another post.  While there I got a text message to say our ferry back to Wellington had been cancelled and we had been placed on a later sailing.  Over the week we had been travelling rough seas caused by cyclone Pam had made the ferry crossings later and later so to get back on schedule they had to cancel one trip.  Bother!  I had visits planned.  What to do to fill in time.  Go visit a weaver of course.  Peg is not far off being a centenarian and, after major surgery, can't wait to get back to her draw loom.

Spent the night with Esther Nitschke in Feilding, a dear weaving friend who used to live nearby, before making it home late on Sunday.  Apart from two nights at seminar we had different accommodation each night for 12 nights, a wonderful trip but glad to be back in my own bed.  Good night.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Blanket reflecting Anawhata Beach

Two blankets off the loom this week and on their way to Pauanesia shop in Auckland.
They reflect the muted blues of Anawhata Beach and the bush leading down to it.

And we're off on a road trip to the Nelson area and to attend the Professional Weavers Network annual Seminar.  No doubt there will be more to talk about in a few weeks.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Loom is fixed.

Where are the days going?  One more day and it'll be autumn; must make the most of the sunshine while we have it.

So, I finished two garments for the Festival fashion parade and I hear they have both been accepted and I finished three pieces for the Exhibition, well one really, the other two were woven last year.  Selection is next week.

Since then I have been working on trying to solve the fault with my compu dobby loom.  As I wove away it would just stop, like putting your foot on the car accelerator and nothing there.  Sometimes it would happen after two pics or 200, or anything in between, very inconsistent.  I could trace it back to the start of last year when I changed computers.  We tried everything we could think of to fix the problem and in the end I gave up and accepted it was as good as it would get.  Seems a strange thing to say but I was kind of relieved to learn of another weaver with same loom and same problem and then a third, so, OK this had to be fixed.

Many emails have gone back and forth, even across the Tasman sea.  As I was reading some of them to Peter a light bulb went off, he emailed No. 1 son who came back with the solution to my problem.  Not a hic cup since but unfortunately it doesn't seem to be the answer to the fixit of the other two looms.  I am so grateful to all the help from the weaving community and it is such a pleasure to be weaving properly.

If you're interested it was because I was using a 9 pin to USB converter cable which are notoriously unreliable.

What did I weave on while testing the loom?  Cotton linen towels which I tied on to the previous warp.  This one is echo weave with a pale green (which looks dirty white) ramie weft over green cotton and olive cotton linen.  I didn't realise I was getting long floats at the points, probably not the best for towels.  Don't know how the ramie will work as a towel but this experiment will let me know.
 And the last one is 4 colour double weave which is looking rather exciting though in reality not so bright.  What is showing violet is more a grey.  There are a couple of others on the roll so look forward to seeing them soon.  A fun way to experiment.