Saturday, August 21, 2010

More weaving

The red blanket mentioned at the end of the last post.  Hard to photograph I discovered and doesn't show the many tones and shades of red.  This was to be a stash buster, 1 kilo of wool per blanket in the warp and 350gm angora in the weft of each blanket.  Didn't make a dent on the shelf.  In fact, there is enough of this yarn for at least one more blanket.  Its all hand dyed.  These are now off the loom and waiting for ends to be tasselled.

And for a change of colour scheme, this olive cotton/linen warp was left over from another project threaded 1,2,3,4 so am trying this 1;3, 3;1 stripe with a teal cotton.  Have no idea how much warp is left maybe a metre maybe 2.  Aimee, if you read this, its the same warp you played on but whereas you had the shuttle go over 2 threads, under 2, I'm going over 3 under 1 for the teal stripe and over 1 under 3 for the olive stripe and its the reverse on the back.  Its quite neat to go back to basics as a change from the rather complicated projects I usually tackle. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

What's been happening in the last two weeks

Oh dear, I'm not very consistent with this blogging.  When exciting things happen and I get busy I miss posting about it.

The first thing is I've been asked to be Guest Exhibitor at Creative Fibre Experience at Claudelands show grounds in September.  A surprise invite but excited to be part of the exhibition.  Have included some pieces from Low Tide and a couple of new scarves, one shibori from the warp I quickly wove off recently.  Hope people enjoy viewing the work. 

                         When we went to collect my work from Low Tide a couple of weekends ago we made a day trip of it with friends and visited the Waitakaruru Arboretum and Sculpture Park for several hours.  This Park is built in an old quarry, has been landscaped wonderfully and the sculptures added a very interesting dimension to the garden wandering.  In summer there is an onsite cafe.  Some of my favourite sculptures.
Parlez lentement by Niko Thomsen
Ups in downs by Matt McLean

Stairway to Heaven (Poutama) finished and looking rather wonderful, I think.  Unfortunately I have to go back to the drawing board as the mohair weft is making the floats too long so now I have to use two shuttles with floating selvedges and two layers.  I've nearly got my chains sorted and the wool for the weft is in the dye pot so we'll see how it goes.       

I was so enthused after my daughter in law brought two lovely friends to see my looms (they are so keen, its wonderful) and Aimee brought her spinning to show me I got my wheel out, dust and all, and produced this.
It was the remains of some sliver from Little Wool Company which I plied with a fine black alpaca thread.  At some stage I had pinched some of the red from the sliver so the very beginning of the skein has a lot of green.  I have just under 500 metres of ?10 ply thickness - what to do with it?  I have to say I enjoyed spinning thick.  I've always spun as fine as I could so the thread would go through my knitting machine but this was very satisfying to have a product finished quickly.

There seems to be a lot of red on this page and there are two more red blankets on the Nitschke loom so I better go finish them while the dyed wool dries.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Can you see it?  In the red stripe!  Horror of horrors, a mistake and it repeated with the repeat of the chain and every repeat of the 4 block pattern.  Just what you don't want to see when you cut a complete blanket off the loom and it really only showed on the inside of the fold so it wasn't seen till the end.  One pin was missing from the dobby chain, either I never put it in or it fell out before I got to hammer them in securely.  It was just on dusk as I was finishing off so either could have happened.

Its put me a day behind schedule but I cut each thread and needle wove them back correctly.  Fulled the blanket today and its looking great.  It'll be in Pauanesia before long.

This pattern is Poutama or Stairway to Heaven and, in Maori mythology, its symbolic of a climb made by a dude called Tawhaki to collect three baskets of knowledge from the Gods.

The indignity of it all!

Hi, I'm Ted and I've been woken from hibernation and its still winter.  Guess I've been asleep about 30 years give or take a few.  Been rather indignant at the things being done to me lately; cotton buds up my nose, a soak upside
down in warm water but the bubbles in my eyes were no fun and the worst of it - to be hung on a wire line by ... my ... ears - how undignified!
I must be getting on in bear years, not much substance in the limbs and cataracts on both eyes but I was well loved once and maybe Reggie would like me to keep him/her company in the nursery.

Really enjoyed knitting this garment, haven't done lace for forever.  Of course, I do have two operating knitting machines so don't hand knit a great deal.  The body is all in one piece to the armhole, including the front bands, which saved a lot of stitching up.  The shoulders I used three needles and knitted the stitches together and cast off (what's that called).  I did the same around the armhole which just left the sleeve seam which I used a flat seam.  Not perfect but at least something is finished.