Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Speaker cloth

I'll just sneak in with this one before the end of the year. 
5.2 metres of cloth for son in laws speakers.  
Its not all for him unless there are mistakes made! 
Black is linen plied with an unknown manmade fibre.  
Sand is 3 threads of 20/2 cotton from DEA yarns.
Draft from 8 shaft patterns (Strickler) book, pattern no. 715, 
because that is what was on the unit its replacing.
"Just what he wanted" was the verdict.
This evening is New Year Eve which is shaping up to be windy and wet.  I've moaned quite a bit about the weather recently, apparently with good cause.  Our summer is 6 weeks (6 weeks) late arriving so not here yet!
Enjoy your celebrations
and all the best wishes for 2015.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Seasons Greetings

 The pohutukawa tree (NZ Christmas tree) 
as seen from the deck over my front garden taken a couple of days ago 
as a storm was approaching.

Wishing everyone everywhere
a wonderful time with family and friends
over this holiday time.
(And spare a thought for those who have to work to keep
the country ticking along, including
nurses, police, ambulance and MAF staff at the airport.)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Shibori scarf

I've been a member of the Fibre Artists group with a stand at the historic Cargo Shed on Tauranga waterfront for over a year now.  There are quite a few of us sharing the fibre stand so I only have to work three days a month.  Even with the hour long drive its a fun day out with lots of people to meet and talk to.  My stock was getting low so I wondered what I could do with this purple and gold shibori scarf to make it more attractive to a wider audience.  
 After a good soaking it went into the dye pot with half a teaspoon of royal blue acid dye and I was very pleased with the result, especially as it held its texture.  This is woven in slightly overtwisted merino which, when first wetted out, it would have released its twist at the peek of the pleats thus making them permanent.

I was wondering why I didn't have more weaving to talk about but its been so frantic here at Hotel Pio that I forgot to take photos of the last blankets, a lovely mix of light taupe which reminded me of driftwood.
Have also finished 5 metres of fabric for speaker cabinets - photos to follow after it has been gifted.

On the house keeping side, remember back at the beginning of August, I ripped my leg open and got seven stitches.  I can now report I took the last dressing off this morning.  It is healed at last.   Yippee!

Jack was delighted with his Tardis socks (last post) - made great skid-mobiles on the varnished floor.

And just a reminder that if you want an easy notification that there is a new post there is an Email button at the top right of this page.  It would be nice if you also joined the list of Followers so I know some folks are interested in my ramblings.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

If you have a wee boy about to turn 4, don't look!!

Gift spoiler!

I can't wait any longer to show these.  I used a pattern from Spud and Chloe
and combined it with a pattern for Tardis socks.
Part of a box of treasurers I received for my birthday several months ago was these foot prints (Go at your own pace, was the message.).  Little did the creator know they'd be used to get the right sock size!

Jack and Zoe's foot prints

Monday, December 1, 2014


First day of summer, cool, wet and hail forcast!
 Two blankets here in soft spring greens, so much fun to weave.  
Had so many blankets to freight to Auckland (and stuff to pick up from there) 
that we decided the cost of freight was a good chunk of a tank of diesel
and the bonus was seeing all the family.
 All four scarves from the same interleaved warp, again fresh spring colours.
And shock my horrors, I'm trying to thread the loom back to front.  Am using a dummy warp and will tie the real warp on from the front.   Seems silly to have to restart the computer to turn the loom on just so I can put a cross in front of the heddles so I can thread 2 threads per dent in the reed and again in front of the reed for the tie on.  Thought this was the easier way to do it rather than wind a warp with 4 dark 1 light 1 dark 1 light for 560 threads.  The bonus is its been easier on the torn shoulder tendons and the back.
This will be grill cloth to cover the speakers on son in laws retro sound system.  

Friday, November 14, 2014

Please tell the weather gods its summer!

It has been stormy and quite cool.  Will someone please tell the weather gods its summer.
We went for a walk around the Waitekauri mine site and tailing damn. 
There has been weaving ...
 There has been weaving of blankets, lots of blankets, which means lots of yarn and mohair dyeing.
 Scarf warp on the dobby, cotton 2/20, interleaved threading. Love the blotchiness. 
 Sampling of speaker grill cloth for son in law.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Patons and Baldwins Woolcraft Booklet

I'm a few days late but thought it an appropriate time to show this book which I found on my shelf while looking for a machine knitting booklet on socks (I'm still looking for that!).
Appropriate because on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1914 armistice was declared and World War I ended.
The book has no publication date but one newspaper article tucked into it is dated 1938 so its at least older than that.  It was sold for one shilling - 10 cents in our money.

 The book contains patterns for virtually every type of garment one would ever need, all written line by line, no graphs or schematics.  Above is the range of underwear; underpants, knickers, vests and spencers and below are socks with a range of heels, Dutch, French and auto.  Who would have known!
 Tucked inside are hand written patterns in both my Grandmother's and Mum's writing for Balaclava for Seamen, balaclava and skull cap which gives the book the military significance.
Who knows how many pairs of socks, balaclavas, etc the steel needles I inherited and use have made.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tui and Pohutukawa

My goodness, its taking a while for spring to establish itself, to still be wearing woolies at this time of year is unheard of.  But the cool isn't deterring the tui boys showing off their spring plummage.  Maybe 8 or so years ago I was given the aloe vera plants and was told the tuis would love them - finally this year.  If you click to enlarge you'll see the resident blackbird looking on.

Have just delivered a couple of pohutukawa red blankets to Inspirit Gallery 
down Hamilton way.

Oh nearly forgot to say one of my scarves won a third in the ARTWaikino exhibition but I don't know which one.  So many people have commented to me how poorly my work was displayed that I will think very hard before entering again - or provide my own display prop.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

ArtWaikino Exhibition

 Hand dyed warp threads.
Lovely fine NZ merino.

One thread from each chain on to the loom

 First scarf woven turned taquete.

Beautiful drape.

Second scarf off that warp woven advancing point twill.
"Coral Habitat"
Twill close up.

"Chromatic Interlude"
(You saw this in a previous post
but read to the end.) 
"Kakabeak Cloak Throw"

Hand knitted from thrums.  
The strips are crocheted together as it would have been too heavy
to join as it was knitted.

Coral, Chromatic and Kakabeak will be part of the ArtWaikino exhibition this Labour Weekend.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Huia Korowai

Some time ago I was asked by a friend to make a Korowai for Isabel to wear on the marae and be warm.
It was decided the Huia bird would be the inspiration.
The Huia was sacred to the Maori and the wearing of its skin or feathers was reserved for people of high status.
Its numbers were on the decline when Europeans settled in New Zealand.
It was a rare bird treasured for its plumage.  It had a bold and inquisitive nature.  It wasn't good eating but its tail feathers were valued highly and exchanged among tribes for goods such as pounamu and shark teeth.  
It became popular for taxidermied species in European museums which hurried it to its extinction.
I started with a blanket which has found a loving home.
Its taken a few iterations to get the cloak the way I wanted.
I live with a photographer and his visiting mates and some of their 'lingo' has rubbed off.  The white became the "point of focus" and every time I looked at the cloak white is all I saw so ...
I shifted the draw cord so one just saw a peep of the white tail feathers
which worked better visually but when I tried it on it was a pain to get sitting right.
To my mind a cloak should be able to be thrown around the shoulders and off you go so ...
I undid the hems, facings and front edge and turned the white band to the inside and now the focus is the rusty orange representing the Huia's wattle and you just get a flash of the white when walking or sitting.

Close up of wattle stripe.  Note the fine green rayon thread reflecting the green iridescence
of the black feathers.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Significant birthday

I've earned my Gold Card.
A significant birthday this weekend
and it was wonderful to have
my whole family together
plus some friends.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

More echoes

Been to Auckland (again) to see the kids and look what we found when we returned.  
 Banksias cut down.  They were on Council reserve land, we new it would happen some time and they are to be replaced with natives.  They were on the wrong side of the track to provide shade and they will provide us with firewood for a couple of years.
 But, look at the view, extensive to say the least.

After I cut the previous wine scarf off (which was woven turned taquete by the way) I tied on another warp in beautiful fine merino specially spun for Professional Weavers Network.  Hand dyed red, blue, green and yellow.  I'm finding choosing colour the hardest thing with Marian Stubenitsky"s way of weaving 4 colour echo.  100 threads of blue clumped together were quite strong, as was the green, but spread them out between other colours and they lost intensity.  Also I like clear colour and here one always has two colours together - red and blue, blue and green, green and yellow and yellow and red - which in this case produces secondary colours - purple, orange, lime.
 Turned taquete weft, one thread red the other very fine cashmere navy.
 Below, woven double weave, one weft purple, one bottle green.  These were not good choices as they didn't show up as different.  (Look at those selvedges, Agnes!)
 And just to show off the view again ...
 There was just enough warp left to try a regular twill tie up and treadling.
Now, should I put another warp on to weave this or leave it as I've already been told Tangerine Dream looks like upholstery fabric!!