Thursday, March 6, 2014

Weaving, spinning, dyeing

Yet another quick post as I get ready for another weekend away, and, of course, its always a 3 day weekend and 2 more days getting over the fun.  Its not so long ago I'd have come home and got straight to the loom or wheel or sewing machine but not now.  Must be called age!

 Above are the two tui blankets with 25 colours in the warp with a multi dyed weft.  The near one shows the darker edge which moves through to teals and turquoise as seen in the second one.  I've used a mohair boucle weft which reflects the light beautifully.  (Very hard to catch a moment without breeze to click the shutter.)

Then I was off to Majacraft Camp for a very fun weekend with lots of woolaholics.  I did two workshops with Pat Old extracting muka from flax, preparing it and then spinning it.  Its not so easy and quite time consuming.  I have to say that while I admire the end product of Pat's work I think I love wool and merino more.
 I did 2 workshops with Esther Rodgers, the first learning about and using Majacraft accessories and, yes I do covet a blending board and maybe combs.  And then we did wild spinning to weave with tails and beehives and all manor of things.  Esther is a wonderful tutor and she's working on a book so keep an eye out for it, it'll be worth having.
 Tired as I was on Monday, ie nearly falling asleep at the loom, I had blanket orders to work on.  Below is a double layer warp with the fold on the right hand side.
 And these multi coloured "toupes" are the weft.  I figured if I stood them up in the dye pot and the liquid came halfway up the ball it would work.  With a bit of squishing with tongs the dye went to the centre though a little paler then flip them over for the second colour and, of course, there is a third where the dyes meet.  Blankets are off the loom and the warps and wefts dyed ready for the next lot.
 The silk in this silk/merino skein came from Beautiful Silks in Melbourne and was spun a month or two ago but I didn't know what to ply it with or should it be Navajo plied.  I needed the bobbin last weekend so plied it with black merino TEX 74/2.  I had thought to use it for weft for a scarf or wrap (depending on metreage) but its so gorgeous maybe it should be a knitted lace wrap. 
That's all this week.  Tomorrow morning at 5am I'll be on the road for Coopers Beach up north for Professional Weavers Seminar and the opening of Agnes and Stacey's exhibition "Nature in the Making"


  1. hi i am interested in purchasing muka fibre that has been spun or processed for use as weft threads. I wish to use it to weave Maori garments. do you make and sell these? look forward to your reply.

    1. Hi Anonymous, Sorry I can't help you with muka spun thread. Its is a very time consuming process and I don't know anyone selling the product. I suggest you learn to use a spinning wheel, not that difficult, and then learn to spin the muka yourself. A new adventure for you maybe.