Saturday, October 7, 2017

Creative Fibre Bay of Plenty Area Exhibition

Yesterday I drove to Mount Maunganui for the opening of the Creative Fibre Bay of Plenty Area Exhibition.
(This was an effort having spent the day before on my bed with some unknown bug!)  For one reason and another the bi-annual exhibition has been postponed for the last few years so we haven't had one for ages.

Those who follow my facebook page (diannedudfieldsweaving) will know that my table runner, Ravenna, spoken about last post received the Barbara Wilson Award for excellence in weaving.  A big thrill.
But then it got better and I received the Best in Show Award for "Dragon's Breath"
So very exciting.
It was a super day catching up with other weavers and friends
and I might have just come home with a couple of cones of merino, possum, silk.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Mosaics of Ravenna

A while back Peter called me to his computer and asked what do you think of this, want to go visit.  It was a whole page of pictures of Ravenna, a city in Northern Italy and steeped in history and art.  You bet I want to visit.
At the same time I was gob-smacked.  It was just what was on my computer screen (sort of) in Fiberworks (for the uninitiated  fiberworks is weaving software) and I was threading the loom with a navy and turquoise cotton warp sett at 40 epi.  The pattern is a 4 colour double weave with blue and an apricot in the weft.  Treadled as the warp threading with weft threads pretty much the same thickness as the warp to square the pattern.  I thought I was pretty clever with that allowing for shrinkage at different rates in warp and weft.  Don't fall off your chairs, for once I did sample.
I'm really smitten with this pattern, there is so much going on.  Are they square tiles or diamond shaped?  The patterns within the tiles are fun and where the diamond tiles meet there is another circle event happening.  The straight draw border brings it all together.
And here is the reverse side with a whole lot of more fun.
The ghastly labels are not mine but this has been entered in the Bay of Plenty Area Exhibition and one must follow the rules.  Selection was last weekend so think I'm safe publishing this.
Its a bit odd photographing a table runner on the deck but someone was filling ink cartridges for a photographic printer and had an ooopsy!  Our table is not the best now.
The second runner on the same warp with the same weft colours is designed using an altered tie up similar to what Marian Stubenitsky shows in her wonderful book "Weaving with Echo and Iris".  Its still four colour double weave but I've altered one half of the tie up.

Have now tied another warp on, this time orange and white.  I just love it when the knots all line up nicely.
These are still on the loom and again, lots of little pattern areas to make me excited.  Again woven with an altered tie up on 16 shafts in 5 end advancing twill.  This time the weft threads are slightly thinner than the warp giving the warp more emphasis.
Love these echoing hearts.
Can't wait to get these mats off the loom.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

There has been knitting ...

Last year sometime my daughter in law asked if I could make matching jumpers for her and her now 4 year old daughter.  Of course I could, it just takes time, a lot of it.

This pattern, Little Miss Myra's Sweater designed by Laura Simonson of Know Enuf Knitting, seemed like a good bet but it only comes in children sizes up to 10 years.  I figured D I L would be about a size 12 and both girls are very long!  With this pattern you start with the cable band around the shoulders, then work up and then down and lastly work the sleeves.  First thing I realised was that the cable would be small on an adult so sat with pen and paper and quickly worked out a bigger, but matching, cable.  Then I'd knit some on the small garment, then switch to the bigger to do the same.  I did take the cable to the bottom of the garment including it in the rib band.
Then, of course, buttons became a problem as the nearest habby shop is an hours drive away.  A quick fossic in Granny's button box found some old glass buttons.

Then the jumpers were in the post, too late for winter I thought, but goodness have we had some cold days lately.  

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Clean up and blankets

It finally happened.  I couldn't stand my studio any more.  Boxes and mess everywhere.
The only thing I could think of to try and make room was to remove all the boxes to the guest bathroom and start sorting from there.  Shower cubicle filled and the bath and then the floor.  It is  (or was) winter here so not expecting visitors.  Of course, best laid plans .. etc. a friend decided he would call in so with a couple of weeks notice I set to.
I did have some "before" photos but seem to have deleted them (probably just as well).  With throw outs and a box of "give aways" I had three rows of shelves completely full and one row empty, just enough space to take the boxes of cotton I bought earlier in the year.

I'm slowly catching up on blanket orders.  These Kakapo blankets have gone to Pauanesia.  Glorious green shades of olive, moss, chartreuse and more.

And everyone's favourite, Pohutukawa.  
Jenny will love to show you this one at Inspirit Gallery.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Paua blankets

A bunch of striking blankets will be in Pauanesia shop soon.
The brief was for Ruru (Morepork, New Zealand's native owl), but we've decided I missed the mark and Paua will be the theme.
My 8 shaft Nitschke loom is set up for blanket weaving all the time and I tie one warp on to the next.  I've always tied my warps on since I first started weaving for shops back in .. oh ... about 1985.  I remember I was sitting cross legged on the floor in a half built house in front of a table loom thinking how silly it was for me to rethread when it was the same pattern and I only wanted a different colour warp.  Then I figured if I had move that one thread per dent I really needed to keep them in order so put in two rows of tabby as a cross.  (Not saying this is the right or wrong way; its just the way I do it and it works for me.)
This time I must have been generous with the length of each blanket because I cut it too fine and had to pull the knots to the front of the reed to have enough warp for tassels and my cross.
I love them and fun to weave with the different stripes.  Each had to be planned before starting to finish within the designated length but obviously I wasn't accurate enough.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Deflected Double Weave

I've been having a play with Deflected Double Weave.  
Big breath - I did a sample!
Thought I could carry the weft up the selvedge of each layer without cutting and burying it in the fabric.
See those loops, I don't think so!  And its worse with the white layer.  As you see sometimes its over the other layers and sometimes its under.  I'd get one right then forget with the second layer.  And its no point in just threading the end into the unwoven areas, it simply fell out, especially during fulling.  I had to use what I call the magic loop method described here.
Wove the first scarf (on the left) but thought the weft threads needed some room to move so wove the second putting a 4mm knitting needle between stripes (right) which certainly gave a different effect but decided the benefits did not outweigh the extra time and effort.  After that I "eye balled" it.
This scarf was intended for me to go with a top I'm rather fond of but turns out the top is more black, white and grey than taupe and didn't go at all.
As I was using 12 of my 16 shafts I wondered if I could use a couple more shafts and take the weft threads right to the selvedge - yep sure can.  
Another variation using a variegated thread, probably from Anna Gratton Ltd, as one of the warp stripes

And then I got really adventurous with the software and worked out three separate layers which I placed at each end of the scarf.

And the third edition I used a soft green instead of purple to cover the variegated layer.
As much as I admire deflected double weave I've decided its not for me at the moment.  All that shuttle changing and threading in ends ....
I'll probably have another go later with different threadings and treadlings but for now its shuffled down the list of things to try.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Silver fern shibori scarf

Having woven a scarf length, pulled the resist threads for shibori, soaked and painted the dye on the "snake" and steamed it then waited overnight for it to dry on top of the hot water cylinder its time to see if my idea actually worked.

I tentatively cut the knots and pull a few of the threads out.  Silver side showing, looks ok.

Flip it over to see the chatreuse side, oh yes, I'm happy.

Close up of grey side.

And ready to go.

Merino yarn with some "cornsilk" in the weft which will hold the texture when washed.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Its been over a month ...

I can't believe its been more than a month since I posted on "blog".  
There has been quite a lot happening so hope we can catch up.

I had a request from a lass in London to replace a much loved blanket which her flatmate had kindly washed ..... in the machine and dryer.  All my blankets are hand wash or at the most a short run on wool wash.  The mate to this has gone to the States so I've gone international.

Over the years I've been seduced into buying velour (or chenille ) yarn and never had any success with it.  Knit, crochet or weave, it always wormed into ugly loops.  I was going to give it away and realised I was just giving the problem to someone else.

Just to sidetrack a bit, Bay of Plenty has many groups of Creative Fibre (Spinners and Weavers) but mostly not enough people interested in each group to have a special subgroup for weavers so it was decided to start a weavers' group for the whole BoP to meet once a month centrally at the Mount.  First meeting I was able to go to was talking about tabby, or plain weave.  The penny dropped and I realised tabby is ideal for velour and I had an article for show and tell.
I've also been having a play with deflected double weave - more on that in another post.
And another series of blankets are on their way to Pauanesia.  I don't usually have so little warp left.  I had to bring the knots in front of the reed to get enough for 15cm of fringe and to put a cross in (2 rows of tabby) ready to tie on the next warp.
More later, the loom is calling.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Pauanesia Scarves 2017 Part 2

Don't you just love a stack of scarves.

First up kakapo and in particular, Sirocco.
Kakapo are flightless, nocturnal, ground dwelling, vegetarian parrots on the critically endangered list.  A few years ago there were only 50 kakapo alive and this has risen to 154 birds in 2017.
Kakapo forage on the ground and climb high in trees.  They often leap from trees and flap their wings but at best manage a controlled plummet.

  Next up Kiwi, the national icon of New Zealand.
New Zealand soldiers were nicknamed Kiwis by Australians during World War I and it has stuck ever since.
The Kiwi is related to the emu and cassowary of Australia and the extinct moa of NZ.
It is a flightless bird with loose hair-like feathers, strong legs and no tail.  There are 5 varieties, brown kiwi of the North Island, Great spotted kiwi from the top of the South Island, Little spotted kiwi now found on Kapiti Island, Rowi the rarest of kiwi found in Westland and Malborough Sounds and Tokoeka, meaning weka with a walking stick (love it) and found in South and Stewart Islands.


The clear organ-like song of the kokako has led to it being described as angel tongued and devil faced.  It is one of the rarer and most striking of New Zealand birds.  
The orange wattled South Island kokako was declared extinct in 2004 but the blue wattled North Island kokako is resurging in numbers with more than 600 breeding pairs.

And the Tui.
Tui are boisterous, medium-sized, common and widespread birds of forest and suburbia.
They belong to the honeyeater family feeding mainly on nectar from native plants but also fruit and  insects and, less commonly, pollen and seeds.
It has been so much fun working on this series for Pauanesia.