Monday, December 31, 2012

Baby knitting

Just to include the knitting in this year's finished projects.  Set for Grand Bubby due end of April.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wonderful Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas day with everyone arriving safely, despite the tail end of cyclone Evan skirting our shores with rain, wind and humidity.  

The spread included moussaka, mushroom lasagna, chilli bean rolls, new potatoes, salad, salad, salad and ham for the carnivores.  Desert was berries with butter flakey pastry, ice cream and cream.  
 Now we see Aunty Rinnie with the real thing and Jack doing some coveting.  I think everyone enjoyed their haul gifts and now I'm off to study my copies of Complex Weavers Journal compilations 3 and 4.  Might take a while ...

Sunday, December 23, 2012

For Him

He wanted stripes, he got 'em.
Main yarn taupe and olive 110/2 tex threaded together, plated with darkish blue boucle the loops of which show through the stripes sort of blending it all.  Rib also plated with the dark blue.  Neck and armhole full fashion shaping.  Will find out on 25th if it fits.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Birthday fun

Well there hasn't been much weaving happening around here.  The star burst snowflake keeps beckoning but preparations for visitors take priority.  Today I made 6 times the recipe for muesli and fruit cake number two as the cookie monster seems to have been visiting.

We did have an unexpected trip to Auckland and were able to take in Jack's second birthday.  They certainly enjoyed the pool fishing for wee plastic fish and would have stayed there all afternoon but there were crafts to do, food to eat and presents to open.
Jack with friends
 And here's Aunty Rinnie coveting Jack's line trimmer.  The guys were very impressed with the lawn mower and the blinking lights.  I heard some scheming so if, in a few weeks, you chance to see a guy with a lawn mower with flashing lights stop and say Hi, I know your mother!.
I did finish a jersey for Pete this afternoon.  Its been wet finished so no pic.  Its so long since I did anything big on the machine that the ribber needles have gone rusty.  One of the joys of living near the sea.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Rata blankets

Well, that's a fine how do you do!  When I drove to town yesterday to freight the Rata blankets I saw a flashing sign saying our water would be off for 6 (yes 6) hours today.  DH had seen the sign the day before but forgot to tell me.  Did we remember this morning?  No!  Its amazing how we take the supply of water for granted and what you can't do when its not available.

Rata blankets are done and on their way to Pauanesia shop so if you want one contact them through the link.
Photo taken on overcast, breezy day but you can see how dry the lawn is.  That's why I gave up gardening.

Information from Department of Conversation:
 "Northern rata (Metrosideros robusta) usually begins life as an epiphyte or plant perched on a host tree. Its roots grow down to the ground, finally enclosing the host tree and producing a huge tree up to 25 metres high with a trunk of 2.5 metres through. It is found throughout the North Island and in the South Island, south to about Westport.
Southern rata (Metrosideros umbellata) grows from a seed in the ground to become a tree up to 15 metres high with a trunk 1 metre through. It is found from sea level to 760 metres and distributed from Whangarei south to Stewart Island, although it is rare in the North Island."

Now I'm going to stick myself to the knitting machine 'cause DH fine merino jumper has become dinner for some creature, probably moth but maybe carpet beetle.  Either way, with so much wool in this house, its a worry.  Hopefully a new jumper will be under the tree by the 25th.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Holiday Season

This crazy time of year celebrated the world over in one way or another.  Different strokes for different folks!

When our children were little we owned a motor camp for 15 years so Christmas Day was just another working day; still had the toilets and showers to clean, ice creams or baked beans to sell.  People demanding attention.  I remember one year I put a notice on the office door saying back in 30 minutes - having Christmas with my children.  Well when I went back to the office there were 20 people lined up outside.  They couldn't even give me a break on Christmas day so after that it was forget it, just work.  I asked my kids (they're in their 30's) not long ago if they felt deprived by us having to work every holiday and not having attention from us as other kids did.  Oh no Mum, ice creams and moro bars made a good substitute.  My daughter still puts quality controller on her CV.

As the kids got older and had partners and now spouses we were quite happy to take year about with the partners family so long as we saw them sometime within a couple of weeks of Christmas.  Since son and d.i.l. married it has been great to join her family on the alternate years.

Anyway this is my year.  8 adults and a 2 year old for Christmas.  The trees are up, had friends for dinner last night and a trial run of the meal works well, just double everything.  I new where the red and green fabrics are to making bunting and decorations to get in the mood.  Then DH decided it was time to rearrange and paint the office.  Everything has been moved into stair landing, dining area.  To give him his due he is getting on with the job and should be finished by "the Day" but it kind of takes the shine off planning.

Not that I don't have lots to do.

Rata blankets are progressing and need to be finished as soon as possible.  It is the height of the tourist season as well.

I'm Treasurer of a weaving group and someone in their wisdom decided the end of the financial year would be 30 November so I have to have a set of accounts done before "the Day" for accountant daughter to sign off.  And there are two birthdays close to "the Day" but because everyone will be coming here for Christmas we decided not to go to Auckland for grandson's second birthday.

Red mohair awaits, I better get to it.

PS The snowflake warp is still waiting attention but don't dare use white cotton while red mohair fluff is flying around.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Snowflake Twills

While I was preparing for the exhibition "Japonisme" I had to stay really focussed on the sewing but I did dangle a carrot in the "I want" part of my mind.  I was going to weave the most amazing place mats anyone had done, weave the finest linen lace pillow cases ever, the most colourful rep weave table runners, etc.  Finished the exhibition and ... zilch.  Apart from four runs of blankets (i.e. 8 blankets) which, once I've dyed the yarns, I can weave on auto pilot, I have just waffled.

Until this post by Susan when something spoke to me.  Now I have collected every article I could find on Snowflakes; Weavers 13, 18, 20, 30 and the hearts in Spring 1997.  Twill is my first love of weave structures ever since Bonnie Inouye's visit down under in 2002 and she presented "The Big Twill" which included a draft for Snowflake.  Now was its time.  After much fiddling with Fibreworks PCW I finally decided to just get on with it and try something so threaded for a slightly modified version of the Starburst threading, issue 13.  (There is a correction which appeared in issue 15 of Weavers.)  I have to say its wonderful to be able to use the computer program to tell me which shaft to thread on a draft such as this.

And I sampled.  Same honey 16/2 cotton weft, a natural slub cotton weft which shrank and looked dirty and white mercerised 16/2 cotton weft.  Now I've been dithering for days which weft to use.  The little bit between the navy blue threads was trying a networked twill on the starburst threading.
 I like honey on honey and my white china looks great on it but without any contrast of even dull/shine it doesn't show up the pattern
 whereas the white has a bit more body and a sheen.  It also shows up the wee diamonds in the bottom right hand corner of this pic.
In the meantime I've been working on another run of blankets, Rata this time, for Pauanesia.  Brilliant Christmas red.  I can't work on them at night as the red keeps me awake!
Now here's a strange thought.  Does any one else have to lean in the window at the back of their loom to tie the new warp to the back apron?  Guess not!  I wouldn't dare try to move the loom now, so when needs must ...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Is it really so long ...

My goodness, is it really so long since we talked?  The partial eclipse of the sun happened on November 14 at about 10am.  Of course, just at that moment big black clouds rolled in obscuring much of the view but we managed to get a few pictures using welding glass during the breaks in the cloud.

The beach blankets mentioned in the previous post turned out excellent.  Anyone would love to cuddle up in one on a cool evening.
The next series was Marsden pounamu, somewhat brighter than this pic indicates, with mustardy gold flecks through them.
As mentioned last post I'm trying to finish off some projects.  The irony is not lost on me in that this morning I was walking the beach, paddling in the surf in a sleeveless top and I have just finished off my winter jumper.  That's what preparing for an exhibition does to you.
 The centre panel is ring spun mohair (from the angora goat) knitted in double moss stitch. I joined the shoulders and picked up stitches along the edge of front and back to knit sideways.  If I recall a stitch was picked up on every three out of four rows but now that the garment has been wet finished I could have had more moss stitch rows and picked up the same number of stitches or picked up less sideways stitches.  I had expected the moss stitch to drop but it hasn't.  Still it fits good albeit with an interesting hem shape.
 This was supposed to be an exercise to use up some of the novelty yarns I have but really it hasn't made a dent in the pile.

I brought some fabric home with me from Melbourne which my cousin asked me to sew for her.  She visited yesterday and the garment fits perfectly.  I just happened to have a ball of sock yarn that pretty much toned with the fabric so ...
You might wonder why only one sock is modelled on this blog.  My cousin lost a leg in a dreadful accident involving a motorbike and a truck many years ago and she pretty much is the only person I knit socks for.
The pattern is called "THANKS", copyright Satta Design.  I can't remember where I found the reference.  There are a lot of charts to the pattern, one set for each size so its not as intimidating as one could be led to think.

And that is about it.  More blankets woven and a wrap woven but picture shy until finished.

I have been cleaning the house.  Decided it would be best to start in the kitchen first.  Our water contains a lot of silica.  The council assures us its not injurious to human health but it cakes up electrical equipment (jugs etc) and deposits on porcelain, stainless steel and glass.  And of course cleaning has been let to slip with an injured shoulder and all!  I'm not one to obsess about the job!

Time to wind a warp I think.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Pot pouri of catch up

The Kereru wrap as it was displayed at the exhibition recently; upside down, inside out and scrunched to death.  In fact it was more scrunched as it wasn't covering the bobbin lace piece until I started fiddling.

 A simple display at home on the wall.  My lesson is to provide props or hanging system if at all possible and go to the opening to check things out.
Now that the exhibition is behind us and I've made a small headway on work for Pauanesia  (hand dyed warp for Beach blankets) 

a major clean up and finishing of started projects is to happen.  I meant to record the knitting machine before tidy up started, this is about halfway through:

I have finished a hand knit jumper for Jack who is nearly two.  Hopefully it'll still fit him in six months time as its supposed to be nearly summer here, though you wouldn't know it with a chilly breeze.  Many much worse off than that though.
The stitch pattern came from an old Burda magazine and I made up the garment pattern.  We held it against his back and there is room for growth.

One of the bags of "stuff" under the machine was this yarn which has now been straightened and waiting for a new incarnation.
Weaving is happening; two Beach blankets finished and delivered, two more blankets woven and awaiting finishing and a second shibori wrap started on the dobby.  Time to get back to it.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What I learnt along the way

What I learnt along the way while preparing for Japonisme.  In no particular order, just thoughts as they come to me.

No matter how much fabric you think you need weave an extra metre or two.  It makes the planning and cutting so much easier, and you always need more.

Set yourself a finish date at least 3 or 4 days ahead of actual delivery time.  The finishing takes longer than you think and the paperwork including artist's bio and statements take forever.  Allow time.  Do it as each piece is being worked on while the passion is there.

Be passionate about your subject.  Research, study, investigate, sketch, draw, play.

Allow plenty of time.  If your working life is already chock a block either have a very understanding boss (as I did) or don't book the gallery too early.  You cannot manufacture time.  There are only 24 hours in a day.

It reinforced that I love weaving; OK I'm obsessed with it.  Not so much the making it into something else once it comes off the loom.  So maybe that's why I've stuck to scarves, wraps, blankets, etc.  I've always sewn; learnt on a Singer treadle machine when a tot.  When given a choice of party or sewing machine for my 21st birthday I took machine (which probably says something about me)!  So now I find it strange to realise I didn't enjoy the sewing side so much.  I have a couple of projects I want to make for myself and I'll see how they go without the pressure.

I enjoyed collaborating with a friend.  It did take the pressure off by sharing responsibility but also it meant I felt more committed to doing as perfect a job as I could.  We didn't live in each other's pockets.  Every now and then there would be a flurry of emails, we had one get together at my son's home to share ideas, but most of the time we just got on with it.  It wasn't until delivery to the gallery that we saw each others works and they all worked together. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Japonisme Part 2

The following are images from Alison Francis, my partner in the Japonisme exhibition at NorthArt Gallery, Auckland




Spring Blossom and Summer Haze

Autumn Maples

Winter Trees

I failed to get a photo of Alison's wonderful jacket constructed from five different fabrics, Autumn.  It can be
seen at this web page of the gallery pics.

Edit:  Here is the jacket:

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I've won a prize!

Remember the Kereru wraps, one of which was a disaster, back here?  The second one had untreated grey wool weft and did what it was supposed to do - felt - but, in my usual state of inefficiency, there is no photo of it.  This is the green weft one just to remind you.
Among all the rush to get Japonisme together I also entered Kereru in the Waikino Art Exhibition, showing over Labour Weekend (this weekend).  It has become quite a big exhibition and well patronised.  Word of mouth tells us I have won the Handcraft section.  That means the section with all fibre, sculpture, pottery, ceramics etc. Woo hoo!

Pete has also won the open section of Photography but, as he entered several photos, we don't know which won.  No we didn't go to the opening Wine and Cheese and no, no one rang to say it might be an idea to go as seems to happen for most exhibitions around here.

I better come down off my cloud and get back to looming, dusting etc.

Great news!

Hope you didn't get too excited by the title - for me the news is beyond great.

I do not need surgery on the shoulder.  Yep, all the hard work on exercising and stretching, not to mention a few tears along the way, and help from the physiotherapist have paid off.  Still a ways to go; the gross movement is 10 degrees off normal and now working on the fine controls.  When I first went to physio she said set a goal.  The goal I set was to do up my bra (does the world need to know that) and I've achieved it.  Its not a pretty sight and takes a while but I'm getting there.

The horrifying point to come out of the visit to the surgeon was him telling me that if I did have surgery the shoulder would more than likely freeze again and I'd be back to square one.  So, no thank you!

The other wonderful news is that my darling daughter in law is pregnant due end of April.  I'll be clearing the knitting machines down soon and just waiting to know if its lace or cables.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Japonisme Part 1

Sunday, October 14 2012, 5 pm and people started coming through the door - coming to see our work.  It really was special to have so many friends and family come to support us.

  Each garment was hung from the ceiling with fishing line and hovered above a plinth, slowly turning allowing viewers to interact.
The following are Dianne's garments and art.
Kournryusui (Floating with the Tide)
Cottom, rayon, silk, silk fabric
Extended twill.

Merino, acetate lining
Main fabric - Echo weave
Collar - shibori

Shibui (Elegant with a touch of grunge)
Wool, angora, silk lining

Sakura (Cherry)
Body - shibori
Collar - diversified plain weave

Sakura no hana (Cherry blossom)
Cotton, silk, lurex, silk lining
Diversified plain weave

Kimonos - cotton, lurex
Silk fabric background

Ryusui (Flowing Water)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Two proud weavers!

It seems no matter how organised you think you are there is always a rush at the end with final stitching, writing bios, sorting photos but we both got to the Gallery near the appointed time even if I was a bit shattered after a fast two hour trip.  (We laughed our heads off when Alison and I realised we were wearing the same top.)

Opening night on Sunday was well attended and it was especially great to see so many friends and family.  And we had sales!
Dianne and Alison in front of Alison's coat.
I'll share photos as soon as I can, hopefully tomorrow after DH develops them from RAW, but am just leaving for Tauranga to see the surgeon about my shoulder.  Surgery or not??  My physio cheered me up by saying I'd improved so much she thought I might get away without it.  Mind you another friend said, just remember surgeons do surgery!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Feeling decidedly

Shibui - elegance with a touch of grunge

Ryusui - Flowing Water

Sakura - cherry blossom
Some images to tempt you to come see "Japonisme"

I'm still weaving!