Monday, December 30, 2013

Bunny for Zoe

It's been hard keeping quiet about cute Bunnykins.
This is a commercial pattern from 30 odd years ago.  
But a good stash bust.  
The only thing I bought was the 20c pink nose.
I have to say Zoe was far more interested in the cellophane paper stitched into fabric.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Seasonal Red

I just looked back at the list on the last post and I've achieved all except the lose weight, in fact the scales might be going the other way what with cake, cookies and ice cream.  Oh dear!

Two more blankets have been woven on the warp I was tieing on and are waiting for finishing before photographing.  I thought these Rata ones deserved another shot.

 I've joined a group called "Fibre Artists" at the Cargo Shed in Tauranga.  The historic Cargo Shed is home to about 15 artists displaying their work for sale and an exhibition space for invited exhibitors.  It works out that I'll have to "man" the stand three days a month and yesterday was my first try.  Below shows part of the area of the Fibre Artists.

 There is also a table with knitting started for anyone to work on.  I was thrilled at the number of young folks who made a bee-line for the needles and knitted a few rows.

 Below is part of the runner I was working on.  Summer and winter, cotton warp and slub linen weft.  This is real stash busting.  When I first wove to sell at Whangamata, ooooh, 30 years ago I acquired a lot of yarns from Old Mrs Lloyd.  I never met Old Mrs Lloyd nor do I remember how I came by the yarns but I know many in my stash came from her.  I'm sure she would be pleased they are being used at last.
I'd like to wish you all the very best for the holiday season
and a really happy and creative 2014.

Monday, December 16, 2013

New blogs

So I got up this glorious summer morning thinking I was Super Woman
1.  Write Christmas cards  (didn't get this done last year)
2.  Make Christmas cake  (fruit is soaking - that's a start)
3.  Weave table runner  (to match mats already woven)
4.  Tie on blanket warp  (notice I didn't think I could weave them as well)
5.  Wind scarf warp  (lovely new merino to try)
6.  Wind wrap warp  (then I can dismantle reel and store it)
7.  Lose 10 kg  (see 2. above)

The following are links to two friends new-ish blogs and Alison's web site.  Do make a cup of coffee and take time out to read them and become followers.

Edit:  Its 8.30pm and I'm stopping for the day.  
The cake has been declared a success by the cookie monster aka Mr Loomtalk.
25 cm to go on runner.
Tie on for blanket started.
Both warps wound, reel away ...and ... floor vacuumed.
OK I sampled the cake as well.
And three different visitors and a longish phone call!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Finished projects

Quercus cardigan from Knitty by Julie Turjoman
Knitted from recycled yarn as you can see it looks a bit stripey, especially on the back.  I think I'll enjoy wearing this regardless.

 Cotton/linen placemats
 and runner in Summer and Winter.
 Scarf using lots of novelty yarns.
 A peek at the next couple of blankets for Pauanesia.
 And the weft for more blankets.  Just waiting for dye powder to come or I wouldn't have time to be writing here.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The carder

The cupboard that takes the overflow.  When visitors come I tell them its Pandora's box and they open at their own risk.

I have a project and needed the carder to mix just two handfuls of fibre.  There it is, almost at the bottom, just under the green blanket.  Actually I couldn't see it either but I found its handle!  I valiantly burrowed through the pile (offcuts of handwoven fabric, bags of warp ends, yarn by the score, exciting projects started and left).  I had the carder box out and on the floor.  Wait!  What's in that ... and down it all came.

So I decided it was the opportunity to retrieve a box of fabric from the bottom of the far right of the cupboard so I could make some bunting for wee Zoe's room.  Did I find some treasures!  More about that later, probably after Christmas cause I know otherwise Zoe's mum will tell her what's coming!  But lets just say my daughter, the accountant, still has all the creations I made her.

 So above is the compost heap of fleece, sliver, locks of mohair, silk sliver, bits of yarn etc and below are the three bats I put through the carder with just one pass.
 And below is the sample of chunky spun, dare I say, art yarn.  Its not as thick as I thought it would be so time to go try again.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Pam's Wrap

Pam's wrap - she loves it.
The brief was for a warm wrap to beat the chill of Illinois winter.
By using thicker yarn some drape is sacrificed.  
None the less it fit the bill - a little bit retro, a little bit Kiwi.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Laboritorio di tessitura

Visit to Laboritorio di tessitura, Perugia, Italy
Wouldn't you love this to be your weaving studio?

Marta is the fourth generation of women from her family to be working in the Laboritorio di tessitura but she is the first weaver. Her Great grandmother, grandmother and mother were managers of the business.

Marta taught herself to weave after her mother had closed the laboritorio. She has trouble counting and remembering sequences of numbers so instead designs and weaves by imagining pictures or picturing the pattern of what she wants to create.

In the laboritorio are one or two treddle looms and seven jacquard looms, each a different size and size of reed threaded with warps starting at 100 metres. Patterning is created by card chains, one card, with about six rows of holes, is one row of pattern. Marta has no time to make new patterns as it is so time consuming making the cards. Luckily there is a good store of existing pattern chains to use built up over the years.

The jacquard looms with every thread separately controlled and weighted have one foot pedal and double fly shuttle. The big looms, especially the 1.9metre wide one, are so heavy to lift it gave Marta a hernia a couple of years ago so she now employs a man to operate the biggest loom.

Marta's favourite patterns are the old medieval replicas. She enjoys studying the paintings of the old masters from her area of Umbria and replicating the fabrics she sees in them and loves working on the really old looms.

Some years ago Marta acquired a loom to do Florentine weaving after the last operator had died. She spent many years replacing broken parts of the loom and figuring out how it works. Its a very slow technique at about 18cm per day.

Marta says she has an expensive hobby as any profit goes into restoring the magnificent old church in which she works each day.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


I know, its been a while.  I have been busy catching up.  A shawl has been woven and sent off to Illinois.  Will post pictures when it has been received as the recipient wants it to be a surprise.

Follow this link to Pauanesia shop blog to see what else has kept me busy.  Very nice to be featured.
If you're thinking of Christmas shopping do support local shops, especially those who support and encourage local artists.  Pauanesia has a great online shop.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Travels Part 3

I didn't mean for this to turn into a travel log.  If you're not interested tune back next week when there (might) be some weaving.

We took a bus trip from Split to Fort Klis which would have been even more interesting than it was if a film crew hadn't been preparing to shoot an episode of Game of Thrones the next day.  Just our luck.  Some parts we couldn't get to at all and others said No photographs.  If you're a fan and interested click on the pic below to see some of the props lying on the ground.  Not to be a spoiler but I did see a crate with "someone or other's wedding" written on the side.  (Obviously I don't follow the series.)
Fort Klis
Fort Klis

Split Archeological Museum
 On the left - sewing needles in ivory or bone, Roman Imperial
Centre - bone pins, Roman Imperial

Left - 14, spindle, bone Roman Imperial, Salona
Above centre and right - 16, 17, Spindle Whorls, bone, Roman Imperial, Split
Below right - 18, distaff, bone, Roman Imperial, Salona
Below centre - 19, buttons, bone, 1st-3rd century AD, Salona

Loom weights

The third week we stayed a couple of nights in Trogir, north of Split, then to the island Hvar for one night then caught a ferry to Korcula island which we loved.  Interesting that many Croatian families who settled in New Zealand early last century came from Korcula. 
Korcula harbour

After four nights in Dubrovnik and one in Mokarsha we were sadly saying farewell to Croatia and back on the overnight ferry to Italy.  

First stop was a city in the hills called Perugia where I had an appointment with Marta to see through her Laboratorio of weaving.  Lovely lady and enjoyable visit which I'll talk about in another post.  Despite it being cooler and wet and thundery we really enjoyed Perugia and the old buildings.

Then we hit Rome.  What can I say, its lost its charm.  Too crowded, too many umbrella sellers, dirty, neglected.  But we walked the Appenine Way in the footsteps of the ancients,  we visited the Baths of Caracalla, awe inspiring.  I had a strange experience at the Colosseum in that when we climbed to the top and looked down on the auditorium I couldn't stop shaking and felt really nauseous - it cleared as soon as we walked down the stairs.  
Spanish Steps, Rome. Romantic? If you weren't tripping over people rose sellers were pushing flowers in your face.  There's one, bottom left corner.
We were disappointed that the Mausoleum of Augustus was not only neglected but not open.  
However, we did see through Augustus's house on top of Palatine Hill but, unfortunately, Livia's House nearby was closed.  A few years ago the frescos from Livia's House were removed and are now on
display at one of the many museums and it was the one we happened to visit. 

Final stage of the trip was a stopover in Singapore where we saw an exhibition of work of some of the world famous artists:  Botticelli, Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Monet, Renoir, Modigliani, Picasso and more.  A fitting end to a very full and exciting 5 weeks.  

Friday, October 25, 2013

Travels part 2

Part 2
We took an overnight ferry from Ancona to Split arriving early morning.
 First view of Split from the ferry.
 Peter is very impressed with the layout of the Split harbour.  Very wide promenade area amongst the palms.  Plenty of room for cafes and restaurants to have tables.  Cruise boats, commercial activity to the south, protected area for small craft to the north and beyond that the big yachts tie up.

After nearly two weeks away from my looms Split Ethnographic Museum provided me with a much needed fibre fix.
 Ravni kotari - Woman's costume - second half of 19th century

Vrlika - Girl's costume - first half of 20th century
 Close up of bag from above

 Imotski - woman's costume early 20th century
 Beautiful embroidery as well as interesting pleated apron.

Woven handbag - Pegora 1930

and one for the men.

 Rug loom
 Much tying on has been done.
 Sorry its out of focus.  Leather straps go over the two shafts which are controlled by lams, rolling over the shaft, one up, one down.  
 Photo of an enlarged photo of ladies working at rug looms.
Wee girl with spindle and fleece attached to paddle.