Sunday, October 24, 2010

The week that was

Spring has not really sprung; its warm enough but cloud and rainy days making photography trips to the bush frustrating.  This rainbow was straight out from my deck; maybe there's a pot of gold in them there dunes.

Early in the week I went to my daughter in laws baby shower which was very enjoyable.  I was surprised to hear that the new mothers can't buy wool boottees bigger than size 3 months and at this time of year no wool boottees at all - not in season.  Guess NanD better get the needles clicking.  I have tried a lovely pattern called Hodge  from Stella which she has refined to stay on.
I thought these looked so tiny and now I see they should have been made with 4 ply, not 3 ply.  I think I will make the feet longer though and as Kicky McFidgit is very likely to be tall with feet in proportion.

I'm not the photographer on our bush walks but I love the lace effects of looking up through the punga ferns.

This weekend is a holiday weekend and we have a guest.  As you can see from the sky the day was perfect and I'm off to enjoy the rest of the weekend.

PS I have been weaving and dyeing yarn but they're either secret projects or for the shop.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thames Spin In

On Monday I left my car in Waihi and went to the Thames Spin In with Esther and her friend Gretta.  It was a really fun day and if that was a practice for festival next year we're in for a real treat. 

Of course some obligatory stash enhancement happened.  The first enticing stand was a lovely young lady, Jessicah Win, with fabulous fibre on Spinning a yarn.   I bought a plait of green variegated silk to spin and ply with the merino I bought at the Opotiki festival back in July.  Now I feel I have enough to spin a decent yardage.  Best of all Jessicah has been learning to weave.

Another trader was Raeleen of Woolrae Studio, Kihikihi Road, Te Awamutu.  A great range of wool sliver, merino, merino/silk, corriedale, polworth but most important for me she has taken over the franchise for Landscape dyes, an Australian range which I use a lot.

And who can resist sliver from Anna Grattons wonderful colour range.  Also Sentosa Silks were there so I got a couple of hemmed  Paj scarves to try shibori on.

I have been weaving blankets but as they are for Pauanesia I can't show photos; maybe after the brochure  comes out. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Workshop with Yoshiko Wada

I've been reluctant to write this post because I've felt so flat about the workshop.  I don't know what it was but it just didn't gel from start to finish.  Yoshiko was delightful, fellow students great, we made some wonderful samples, learnt quite a bit but its still flat.  Someone asked me to give it a number from 1-10 and I impulsively said 3 - that's not good. 

I might be wrong but Yoshiko had been teaching on the east coast of Australia for about 3-4 weeks before coming to NZ.  We were the last of three workshops here and I think she was exhausted. 

Our class started 3 days before the main forum so we didn't have the excitement of other classes going on at the same time and I guess I'm used to attending classes where everyone is a weaver or spinner so have a common bond to start with.  I did think we were given a bum stear at the end as the next tutor wanted to set up in our classroom so we were moved to another room.  Had hardly finished our windup (before 4pm) when we were turfed out of there so the new lot could have their glass of wine so everyone just scattered.  A bit poor as we had paid good dosh to attend and didn't need to be treated like second rate citizens.

Enough moaning!  I enjoyed the stitching but it is slow so had to do a lot in the evenings and soak and part dry the samples overnight ready for the indigo bath the next morning, early before the days talk started at 9am.   Haven't decided what my favourite would be, perhaps the folding and stitching, katano.  Clamping is instant gratification - minimum effort for maximum result was Yoshiko's quote - minimum for maximum.  We briefly touched on pole wrapping at the end and the notes give many variations for this so much still to try.

Kanoko dots

Karamatsu and maki-nui - another favourite

Clamp resist
This was an old fushia coloured scarf, folded and clamped and dyed with a square block.  This was removed and the circle clamped and a second dip dye.
This was preprinted cotton lawn, the sample on the right looks like pegboard, the left hand sample works very well.  Fabric is folded, layers of calico placed on each side and its stitched to resist the dye.

I enjoyed the indigo dyeing, especially as I find it so hard to dye cotton with procion dyes but it seemed very hard to get solid information on looking after the indigo.  Yoshiko seemed to instinctively know how to look after it, just how much lime or zinc to add and when from long experience.  I wouldn't have the patience for it now.

Having ironed the samples and been through the photography process I think I'm going to give the overall experience of the workshop a 5!