Sunday, May 22, 2011

Creative Fibre versus commercial enterprise

I've been a member of Creative Fibre for nearly 30 years and this Society has a tradition of sharing information, helping and encouraging.  I know when I first joined Whangamata club way back 'whenever' I received heaps of help and encouragement.  Because I live in a reasonably isolated area I tend to not go to club meetings as it takes so much time travelling which is time away from my production so I like to help whenever I can.  But, at what point does Creative Fibre "help" become releasing sensitive commercial information?  Where do you draw the line in the overlap?

I wrote the above sometime ago with reference to another incident but then realised I'd done much the same.  The line does become very blurred.

A while ago the lovely Jessicah showed some gorgeous yarn she had spun and it seemed to be just the spinning method I needed for a project I had in mind.  I wrote to her inquiring but also said I understood if she felt this was commercially sensitive as she teaches spinning.  She kindly gave me the method (rather more organised than what we had learnt at Majacraft camp) and I adapted it to suit my project.

I was combining two variegated slivers of merino, one from Awakeri Woolcraft and one from Tracey White (Inspired Fibres) and a variegated sliver of silk dyed by Jessicah.  Having put all three through the drum carder with the silk sandwiched in the middle I took each batt off and split it vertically down the middle and put each of them back through the carder so I now had two matching batts partly mixed which I kept in order in seperate boxes.  I had parted the dominant sliver at colour breaks as much as possible.  It spun beautifully and pretty much kept to tone on tone with a little overlap when plied; just what I wanted.
Now to find time to knit it!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Whew, what a week!

Well a couple of weeks really.  Feel as though I've been swirled around in the washing machine and swished out the spin cycle.

In four days I threaded three looms, wove two blankets and updated the laptop with fiberworks pcw and practiced ready for a workshop.  Spent a wonderful weekend at a workshop in Warkworth (north of Auckland) with Maryann Stamford, Australia, tutoring on using fiberworks.  Now I've been using this program for 8 or 9 years but within the first few minutes of the workshop I new I'd just been skirting around the edges, hadn't even looked at half the functions.  It was a fast moving program and those not familiar with using computers or keyboards got a bit lost; excellent notes and clear guidelines so I now have to sit down and go through it all again.

Got to cuddle (well talk with) Jack, our 5 month old grandson (and see my own kids) before heading home to prepare for a trip to Pirongia (south of Hamilton) for another workshop with Maryann on lace.  Again a two day workshop and learnt a lot, especially the relationship of lace to blocks.  This will be useful as Bronson makes great patterns for loom woven shibori.  If you ever get the opportunity to learn from Maryann take it as you get so much more than just the subject of the workshop and to those who didn't take the chance while she was in NZ bad luck.
My huck samples from the lace workshop.  The two at the bottom are positive and negative from a block design.  The light area in the middle on the right is pick up.

I had one day to gather my wits and on Friday Margaret and Jim Mecchia came over from Hamilton to "computerise" my loom so I'm now the proud operator of a compu-dobby.  Does that make me an IT geek!
Of course, I put completely the wrong warp on to try it out.  Nothing like going for glory, dark colours, turned taquete (a new structure to me) and 864 rows to the treadling.  Hmmm, have I been a frustrated pattern drafter for a while!  Anyway its going great and I'm getting more familiar with it.  To put this into context, when my husband bought me an electronic knitting machine many years ago it took me 3 years to turn it on.  Don't get me wrong I knitted, I could make the work sing, but I did it all manually.

So down to the loom, after a walk on the beach before the weather packs up ... again, more rain coming.
                                                                         Cave Bay

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Have you discovered "entangled" magazine yet?  Have you read "entangled" yet?

entangled is being edited and produced by Genny alias GrannyG and available online from zinio with the first issue for April being free.  So go check it out.  I'll wait while you have a look.

Its colourful, informative, well written and appeals to a wide range of fibre artisans.  I was going to spread the reading joy over several days but couldn't stop turning pages.

Now we need you all to subscribe so Genny can keep bringing great stories (and maybe give up her day job and get back to pod casting as well).

Monday, May 2, 2011

I had a very enjoyable day at the Creative Fibre Festival "Twist in Thames" on Saturday which was open day.
Met up with lots of friends and spent money I shouldn't have on stash enhancement.  While there a friend suggested I should post on the blog more often so I'll try but I do like to know someone is out there reading it!

First off I should have mentioned that the hat shown here knitted from thrums sold at the Whangamata market.  Of course the buyers husband said, why do you want to buy that, you can knit yourself, and the lady rightly replied yes, but I could never get the colours.  It was hand dyed many shades and tints of a wedgewood blue with bits of quarry grey and dashes of white where the warps had been tied all adding up to a great combination.

I've got myself into a bit of a corner this week in that three looms have to be threaded.  Hopefully Tuesday or Wednesday the computer box for my dobby will be delivered and installed which meant I had to have a 16 shaft threading on the loom to test it.
 This is half way in dreadful light as a "almost" cyclone was heading our way.  Every second thread is a variegated merino in berry shades and quite rich and the alternate threads are a bordeaux shade.  I'm threading a network twill and going to sample turned taquete as this is a technique I've wanted to explore for some time but having trouble finding much information.  I'm gradually piecing together how to arrive at the tie-up, treadling, etc.
 Loom number two is always threaded for blankets and I tie on the new warp.  Again dreadful light but you can see the white cross threads I use to keep everything in order.  This gold will be crossed with one blanket, gold to cream and the other in purple.  What would I do without the stairway railing to dry skeins on.
 The berry skeins are the weft of yet another project, summer and winter scarves, that I really should have been working on before the immanent arrival of the "box".  Its next, I promise.

One of these wraps was a commission.  When I started winding the warp I thought it was so pretty I wound enough for two.  I started weaving the top version and remembered the lass had said she didn't like spots so wove the second in chevron which she chose.  She didn't suit grey next to her face so I arranged the colours so the soft winter white could be uppermost but still keep neutral grey.  Lots of different threads in the warp and the weft a soft angora at about a 4 ply in kiwi terms.