Saturday, March 31, 2012

Grey twill fabric

What do you do when you've a spare day?  Why, put on 9 metres of warp for a length of fabric for a short coat, of course.  Everyone could get that done in a day couldn't they!  I think my eyes are bigger than my brain but many days more than I thought I cut off the fabric and it will go into the stash while I work on the next orders.  

I did sample and before I cut it off to full it I tried this way of tying on the warp again.  About an inch of tabby weaving, insert a stick and a few more rows of tabby then cut off samples.  I lost (or used) 3.5cm of warp, far less than when tying on or lacing knots.
The fabric has a grey warp in 4 different shades, one a mauvy grey and the weft is black.  The tie up has areas of twill and of tabby giving a bit more structure to the fabric than straight twill would.  If you squint you may see the broken twill forms a chevron which becomes clearer when fulled.  Sett and pics 24 epi.  I emptied 3 cones but have enough of the yarn left to make the same again.  Not exactly a stash buster.

Another blanket series

 Warp for a series of blankets for Pauanesia in Auckland, Anawhata beach was my reference.  I tried a new (to me) way to get varigation in the dye process.  I chained the 5.5 metre warp fairly tightly before putting it in the dye pot.
 This gave me almost white areas in some places so I then undid the chain and back in the dye pot it went, the dark became darker and the light areas took on colour, almost like ikat when on the loom.
 Then what do you do when the looms ready to go, the weft dyed and its pouring with rain?  Turn on the bathroom towel rail of course.
And now silly me never took a photo of the finished product, I was in such a hurry as we were going to Auckland to see family and friends and I wanted to deliver it.  I know one blanket will be in Pauanesia's window come Tuesday.  The first one sold before we could say "love it".

Saturday, March 24, 2012

About Contemporary Weaving Patterns by Margo Selby

Contemporary Weaving Patterns by Margo Selby

I've thought a lot about writing about this new book on weaving as it is an enigma.  I've read it cover to cover several times to come to terms with it.  The first part of the book covers the materials used and finding inspiration then there is a large section on colour and stripe arrangements followed by the main part of the book, the collections where each threading is followed by six treadling variations.

The image on the left in the picture above is the cover of the book, in my opinion somewhat dated in appearance.

I think my biggest disappointment was due to the advertising in the Handwoven magazine (the two pages on the right in above picture).  Quite different pages aren't they!  I think all the structures from the pink advertisement are in the book where as none of the patterns in green and blue are and they are the ones which attracted me.  I decided that I would never again buy a book without sighting it first but, you know, when you live at the bottom of the world sometimes you just have to.

There is some interesting information about developing a design but also areas which leave one floundering.  For instance on page 17 there is a statement "Experiment by using light filters and different colour balances to manipulate your image."  Where, how, what with.  Another problem I have is that some of the drafts have very long skips, 13 threads in some instances, which a beginner weaver might not be aware of the inherent problems these could produce.

I am very inspired by Margo Selby's work as seen on her web site and also she is represented at the Santa Fe Weaving Gallery but this book gives no hint of her design and colour expertise seen there.  I would say a useful book for an advanced beginner weaver who wants a kick off to the next stage.  What do you think?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Wild Berry Wrap

One of my entries in the Creative Fibre National Exhibition.  Its handspun corriedale sliver from the Little Wool Company, one ply is variegated and the other a plain claret colour.  The pattern is Thao Shawl by Melinda VerMeer downloaded free from   I used 4 mm needles and just love the garter stitch combined with lace.  This is the first time I've used wires to block knitting and I'm sold, though I think its probably not a good idea to continue using the wires from my knitting machine combs.  Next challenge is to make up my own pattern.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Professional Weavers Network Seminar

Just before leaving for the Professional Weavers Network seminar last weekend I received the 12 kilos of 8 ply yarn I had ordered back in December.  Frustrating but there we are, it had to wait till I got home and was sorted.

The girls in Wellington area organised a wonderful weekend.  Anyone who flew down was met at the airport and driven to Silverstream Retreat Centre in time for lunch. After we were settled in our rooms we had a talk from Kerstin Lucas about Nano Gold.  Kerstin has done a three year research study on attaching tiny nano particles of gold to wool and silk and a couple of our members are involved in spinning, weaving and knitting it.  Different depths of shade are obtained by the size of the particles and different colour by the shape of the particles.  Its also being trialled in carpet.  Its definitely aimed at the high market, the only drawback being that you'd have to be told you were walking on gold.  Someone else has taken on the nano study and Kerstin is now researching a way to stop wool yellowing.

The rest of Friday and Saturday morning were taken up with show and tell and discussions about the exhibition the group is about to hang.  Saturday afternoon was time to visit various galleries in the area (there just happened to be a weather bomb hitting the country at this time).  My group headed to Expressions Gallery in Upper Hutt to see an exhibition called "Common Thread" which featured the work of twelve women who work with wool blankets.  From there we went to ..

the Holland Road Yarn Company.  Tasha has a wonderful selection of yarns she has dyed herself and a lot of unusual imported ones as well as all the books or tools a knitter would need.  Take a closeup look at that bike to give you a mood of the shop.
Entrance to Dowse
Back to battling the elements for our final stop - the Dowse Art Museum which was featuring opulent costumes from various ballets by New Zealand designer Kristian Fredrikson.  That was interesting but I was really smitten by an exhibition of Lillian Hetet's weavings including flax and paua, all in triangular shapes.

Saturday evening we enjoyed an enthusiastic talk, slide show and display from Bob Maysmor of Pataka Gallery of his fibre adventures while travelling.  It was very inspiring and interesting but, to my shame, I couldn't stay awake - oh, age is catching up with me!

All day Sunday and Monday morning were spent with Maryann Stamford from Maleny, Queensland, Australia with first a lecture and then an interactive workshop.  A very inspiring time and can't wait to put into practise some of the things we learned.

I've caught up with most of the paperwork I had to do, have wound and dyed a warp and when thats dry will be tying it on for another series of blankets.