Wednesday, September 27, 2023


The 2022-23 summer just didn't happen as far as blue skies and sunshine went.  In January the country was hit by Cyclone Hale and in February the devastating Cyclone Gabrielle caused havoc followed by several tornadoes making landfall on Waihi Beach.  Its very unusual for tornadoes to make it to land here; usually we just see water spouts out to sea.

This is the view from my kitchen.  The dunes used to be level at the higher point.  The massive waves breached the dunes and formed a lake behind the scrubby trees.  By about seven in the evening we could see that half the lake had drained away with the outgoing tide so we decided we were safe and didn't have to evacuate.

So while Cyclone Hale was doing its damage I was weaving away on a length of fabric to make a jacket for myself.  At one stage I looked out the window and realised I was actually replicating what was going on in the ocean so I called the piece "Chaos".
This is a four colour double weave with black and sand parallel threading and dark purple and turquoise in the weft.  The original warp line was networked with a 2 end initial which is what gives the shimmery effect on the cloth.  The treadling is where all the action is with two curving, wavy lines intersecting each other.
This year the Creative Fibre Society had their Festival in Porirua, near Wellington.  At the last moment I decided to enter this weaving as a fabric length regretting that I hadn't had time to make the garment I'd intended.
After the selection date I received a very unusual email from one of the Exhibition organisers and reading between the lines I came to the conclusion I was going to receive a prize.  After some discussion with Pete we decided we'd go on a ticky tour to Wellington via New Plymouth where I was able to deliver quite a bit of work to Kina Gallery, visit friends and be tourists.
Looking through the list of awards I had decided if I was going to get one it would be the Complex Weavers Award.  Imagine my dismay when it wasn't my name called out; I must have read the message wrong, how was I going to tell Pete I made a mistake.  Then it got to the Supreme Award from Creative Fibre and to my surprise and delight I heard my name.            One very thrilled and proud weaver.
 As an aside, in March, about a month before Festival, I was in Christchurch airport with a couple of other weavers waiting for our flights home.  Hanne asked if I was going to Festival and I said no, I had too much going on with workshops I was organising and I don't recall what else.  Mind you, I said, if I got the major prize I could be persuaded to go.  Well that was a big joke causing lots of laughter.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Fantasy on 4 shafts

I have been enjoying reading other blogs so thought I'd have a catch up starting back at January 2023.

I did a wee demonstration at the Bay of Plenty Weavers group on threading front to back, tying on a new warp and lacing the warp to the front beam.
I wanted a fairly simple threading so that my old brain could cope while demonstrating.  I chose this Deflected Double Weave, Fantasy on 4 Shafts, from Double with a Twist by Marion Stubenitsky, page 70.  
It is so effective for 4 shafts, 4 treadles

Blue Gem Hebe

I was so taken with the pattern I had to try other colourways.

Each of these colours ways uses up leftovers from previous projects.
I often find that is when I get most creative.
Puriri tree flowers

Sunday, January 8, 2023

2022 Creations part 2

Continuing on with the 2022 summary.
Here we have a warp chain wound from a cone of variegated merino yarn with the colours stacked as I wound.

A series of scarves for Kina Gallery, New Plymouth follows.

The warps for these scarves were wound the same way in a darker colourway reflecting the Takahe.  Also at Kina Gallery.
More scarves for Kina Gallery in Teal shades.
 Blanket reflecting the Paua, also at Kina Gallery.
I did a wee demonstration at the Bay of Plenty Weavers group on threading front to back, tying on a new warp and lacing the warp to the front beam.
I wanted a fairly simple threading so that my old brain could cope while demonstrating.  I chose this Deflected Double Weave, Fantasy on 4 Shafts, from Double with a Twist by Marion Stubenitsky, page 70.  
It is so effective for 4 shafts, 4 treadles. 
There has been tea towel weaving; here is a selection. 
These are woven 4 colour double weave. 
I enjoyed knitting this wrap for my grand daughter (love in every stitch).
Pattern is Reflexions by Alla Saenko.  
The last weave of the year was a series of Pohutukawa blankets inspired by so many of the trees in full bloom; most appropriate for the Festive Season.
Hoping 2023 gifts you with peace, fun and laughter. 

Saturday, January 7, 2023

2022 Creations Part 1

Happy New Year
Lets see if I can't do more than one post this year.
I'm getting an understanding of why it doesn't happen already!
2021 ended with a run of Kingfisher (Kotare) blankets which are always well received. 
 The only work to be blogged about last year was this gorgeous crochet wrap of handspun yarn.  I think the pattern is Nova Shawl by Sara Kay Hartmann but I could be wrong.  There are many versions on Pinterest!
Anawhata Beach blankets for Pauanesia.
Unfortunately Pauanesia closed in 2022.  It was my honour and pleasure to have colaborated with Heather for 20 years on many projects extending my skills and love of flora and fauna of New Zealand.
I'm often amazed at how a photo of sunrise (which I don't see very often) will reflect what I'm working on on the loom. (The lights on the horizon are ships waiting to go into Tauranga port.)
Sunrise over Sea 
I had about 10 days of retirement before I got a message from Kina NZ Design and Artspace in New Plymouth asking for a series of blankets.
I started with Coromandel Seascape as that's what I treasure every day.  
Tasman Sea because New Plymouth borders it. 
 And Tasman Park.
Hubby was moaning mentioning how cold the winter was so I got the bulky knitting machine out.  After consulting the instruction books and a few trial and errors I think he was happy with it.  I couldn't get it off him to wet finish it!
Another sunrise, with the moon included, reflecting the next project. 
Chained warps for a commission. 
My brief was to create a blanket reflecting both Scotland and New Zealand.  We chose the blooms of heather and NZ bush which also shows hints of the Hunter tartan. 
The next challenge was to create a blanket to pull the features of curtains, cushions, table runner together in a room.  Paua filled the bill. 
During the early part of this year (and last year) I was working on pieces for the Professional Weavers Network exhibition, Ngahere.  It is traveling to 7 galleries ending at Pataka, Porirua which I've managed to cut off the bottom.
This shibori piece is Orokawa Bay showing light reflecting off the water and the Pohutukawa trees lining the Bay. 
 I love the long sweeping fronds of the Nikau palm which catch the sunlight and this shibori piece reflects that.
Fruit of the Forest - Harakeke, Karaka and Kowhai 
Can't waste a good threading so tied on for a triple weave runner
And more play with triple weave. 
Beautiful merino Malabrigo sliver of which the outside is dark bold shades and the inside pale pastel which spun up to soft heathery autumn colours.
A friend waited patiently for a runner in Coromandel Seascape colours, an echo weave for the weavers.
My darling daughter took a screen shot of a knit hat being worn in a movie and said "Hey Mum, want a challenge?"  This is my interpretation. 
That takes us to about halfway through the year.  More later. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Crochet Wrap

I started this crochet shawl mid 2021 but have been saving similar patterns on Pinterest for years.  I believe the pattern is Nova Shawl by Sara Kay Hartmann though it could be a French or a Russian one.
It is made from a handspun sliver from Anna Gratton Ltd called Everglade, 29 micron Corriedale plyed with a fine commercial Merino.  3.5 hook.
Making use of an under used Pilates mat and way under used knitting machine weights to block the wrap on our sunny deck.  I actually thought it was going to be too small and enquired of more sliver from Anna!  More coming soon but slightly different colours.
I spun the singles by breaking off 15-20cm pieces of sliver, spreading them out flattish so the colours were seperated then spinning on the fold.
I wanted to break the rows of shell motif up by adding in the rows of treble blocks.  Therein I met a problem with the graphs available on Pinterest.  I finished the blocks but then couldn't get the shells to sit flat.  I think I undid it at least 5 times before realising the problem was with the blocks and not the shells.  I found a graph where one works the first row of pattern, the chains, and work the treble blocks into the chains.  This gave a lighter appearance as well.  Presto, it worked and I was inspired to finish it quickly.