Friday, June 29, 2018

Pauanesia Scarf Collection 2018

It has been my privilege to create another collection of scarves for Pauanesia.  This year Heather chose  to work with a botanical theme choosing four flowers plus the New Zealand fern. 

So from the bottom of the stack we have Pururi, Harakeke, Pohutukawa/Rata, Kotukutuku and Fern on top.
 I didn't quite have the order finished before a family trip to Auckland but it was an ideal opportunity to deliver what was ready.  On returning home I finished the last half metre of the sixth fern and quickly tied on the Kotukutuku (Tree Fushia) warp and completed the last two.
 
The Puriri tree can grow up to 20 metres tall and  is one of the few NZ native trees with colourful flowers which can be bright pink to dark red, rose pink or pink blush.
Pururi

Common flax or Harakeke grows up to three metres high and its flower stalks can reach up to four metres. It has seedpods that stand upright from the stems.  Tui, bellbirds/ korimako, saddlebacks/tīeke, short tailed bats/pekapeka, geckos and several types of insects enjoy nectar from the flax flower.
Harakeke

Pohutukawa flower
Pohutukawa
Rata flower

Rata and Pohutukawa are known as New Zealand's native Christmas trees because of the bright red blooms that decorate them during the Christmas and summer season.  Rata has glossy, dark green leaves while pohutukawa leaves are leathery and olive green.  Trunks on both species are typically gnarled and twisted.
Rata and pohutukawa are closely related (i.e. members of the same genus) and they both belong to the myrtle family, which also includes trees such as guavas, feijoas and eucalypts as well as the native manuka and kanuka.
Rata/Pohutukawa
Notice that the Kotukutuku tree has two different coloured flowers.  The green flowers let birds know nectar is available while the pink flowers tell the birds not to bother visiting.  The trees don't want to waste energy providing a food source if the flower is already pollinated.  (Ali McDonald)
Kotukutuku
 Close up of a couple of the weave patterns.  Quite a difference by keeping the same point twill threading but just changing the tieup and treadling.


Silver fern

The silver fern (Cyathea dealbata) has come to embody the spirit of New Zealand. 
According to Māori legend, the silver fern once lived in the sea. It was asked to come and live in the forest to play a significant role in guiding the Māori people.
Māori hunters and warriors used the silver underside of the fern leaves to find their way home. When bent over, the fronds would catch the moonlight and illuminate a path through the forest.
This distinctly New Zealand symbol is considered a badge of honour by the people, products and services of our country that carry it. (Tourism NZ)
Fern

Friday, June 15, 2018

"Hay" blankets

 The brief was for "hay" or kete blankets.
I tried something different with dyeing the mohair this time.
Soaked the balls in warm water and dish liquid then put them in the dye pot as a ball instead of the usual rewind to a skein.  Naturally the outside of the ball was quite dark while the inside was just a pale cream.  Carefully wound the pirns to get a flow of colour; one ball outside to inside and the next inside to outside.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Its the little things .....

Was getting, oh I don't know, like homesick but I was missing my family like mad so took a short trip to Auckland to see them;  two days with no. 1 son and grandies and 2 days with daughter.
One activity was to take the Grandies to Maraetai Beach. 


Did I mention this before?  I was gifted some beautiful bobbins crafted by a friend's husband to fit a Mecchia small shuttle.  They are made from wood from the Kauri tree, feel wonderful and give a very soft tinkle as the yarn unwinds.  Love them, thanks Gav.

In the last wee while I've given two talks on Colour, the first to our monthly weaving group and the second to Tauranga Guild.
And look one hour in and the table looks just like my home!!
Chaotic.
Question:  everything I've read and know from experience is that black brightens, white dulls and grey makes colour almost disappear.  Is this statement correct?  How can white make a colour "pop" or stand our?

I opened the spare bedroom wardrobe door to get one skein of yarn from "down there".  As I pulled it out a very slow moving avalanche started.  There was absolutely nothing I could do to stop it coming, it just kept sliding and all ended up at my feet.
 
 I've been weaving a large order of scarves and thoroughly enjoying the challenge of meeting the brief, dyeing the yarn and weaving.
 
Couldn't wait to get started on these beauties.


Back in the spring my grandson asked me if I'd knit him a sleeveless vest.  Who could resist that commission but summer came and it was hot and there were other things to do.  I eventually delivered a vest in autumn on trip to Auckland mentioned above and, oh dear, it'll fit him when he's a teenager!  So back to the knitting machine.  Hope its keeping him warm now.

And, of course, there are always blankets on the go.  Warp chains as they were going on the loom
I'll be back when the scarf order is finished.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Shadow weave wrap

 The last wrap on the blue and taupe possum merino silk warp.
I was determined I wanted to try shadow weave on the parallel (or echo) threading on the loom.
Shadow weave has a sett similar to tabby so I had to discard quite a few threads at the side and spread the warp out to 20 threads per inch (if I remember correctly).
 I was disappointed that the pattern wasn't bolder with a more defined line outlining the components of the design.
 A versatile garment which looks wonderful with denim.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Puriri blankets

The Puriri tree can grow 20 metres tall with a trunk of up to 1.5 metre diameter.
The Puriri tree is one of the few NZ native trees with a colourful flowers which can be bright pink to dark red, rose pink or pink blush.

Puriri berries are an invaluable food source for native wildlife producing fruit and nectar in the off season therefore providing an all year-round food source for birds.
Maori used infusions from boiled leaves to bath sprains and backache and as a remedy for ulcers and sore throats.
Puriri trees or groves were often tapu (sacred) through their use as burial sites and Puriri leaves were fashioned into coronets or carried in the hand during a tangi (funeral). 
(Information from Wikipedia.) 

Version 1
Version 2
 Version 3
and the inevitable stack with tassels.
Loving this interpretation of Puriri.  It was a bit tricky not being able to see the whole blanket as I wove and wondering if the stripes/checks would be balanced and work. Exciting to see as they unrolled from the loom.
Available from Pauanesia soon.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Chain Reaction

Chain Reaction
A contemporary installation of hand weaving
by members of Professional Weavers Network of New Zealand
Chain Reaction 
(photos by Agnes Hauptli)

Professional Weavers Network is a group of weavers whose aim is to ensure textiles are promoted and recognised as a vibrant, exciting and high quality contemporary art form.

Chain Reaction is an installation reflecting a chain reaction of colour.  Each piece incorporates two dominant colours in the design - one to be incorporated in the piece to the left and the other in the piece to the right.  The colours echo along the installation.
As well as exhibiting the skill and creativity of 22 weavers, the work will be viewed as one continuous piece of art that will reflect the communication and co-operation of individual members of PWN.



 Waves
Dianne Dudfield

I received a quantity of pale to mid blue 110/2 wool from my weaving neighbour.  I paired this with a navy blue and tied on to a warp already on my loom, a parallel (or echo) threading.  I then changed the tieup and treadling as I wove to decrease the wave size.  My wefts were olive and turquoise and I passed the turquoise on to my other neighbour who then used that in her warp.
We also sent samples of our yarns to two of our tapestry weavers and they encorporated them in their tapestries, seen at either end of the display.

Chain Reaction was first displayed at Refinery Gallery in Nelson and is now at Te Ahu Centre in Northland.  It will travel to Mahara Gallery in Waikanae in August.