Friday, December 30, 2016

Tauranga Blankets

The Tuesday before Christmas I finally delivered the last blanket and was caught up with orders from before the leg episode (which still isn't normal I might say).
Above is one with blue warps and the weft shaded from bottle green at one end to light olive at the other and Inspirit Gallery is displaying this one titled Orokawa Bay.
Number 2 with dark blue weft mohair over blue warp went to Sue who was the original commissionee.  I thought it suited her lounge furniture admirably.
And the third blanket with a slightly greenier mohair weft titled "Tauranga" went to Pauanesia.

This gorgeous bunch of lilies was delivered to me from a friend's garden on Christmas Day.
We have had a lovely time catching up with all our family even though d.i.l. pulled the short straw again and worked the night of Christmas day.
Even though its late I do wish everyone happiness and joy
and all the best for wonderful adventures in 2017.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Ten days to Christmas

Well here it is, only 10 days to Christmas and the Pohutukawa is not doing what it should
 so I relented and dressed the tree.
 Thought you might like to see some of the decorations I've made over the years, most of them when the kids were little and we lived in a caravan building a motor camp.  How I had the time or energy I don't know.  
Dragon boats are popular, crochet stars and a God's eye.
 Angel wing shells, Miss Elf and a paper clip angel.
 Mr Elf and a colourful dragon boat
 and more dragon boats.  The pattern for these was in an early Handwoven magazine, maybe late 80s. 
 Anyone who has owned a knitting machine has knitted wee stockings.
 Mr Mouse whiskers and all 
 and a rather scruffy angel who has blessed us well.
Angel wing with beads off daughter in laws wedding dress.   We did make the dress into another project after the wedding and these were left over, in case anyone is wondering if I just hacked into the frock.
And a knitted star to finish with.  Designed by Karolina Eckerdal "Stjarna".  Not the easiest to do but effective.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Exhibition at the Beach

Anawhata blankets as shown last week
and another view ... just because I like them.

 A month ago a group of four artists, Unlimited Pallet, had an exhibition in the local beach church hall and in the newspaper article about the exhibition they asked folks to contact them if they wanted to join the group so I did.  I made contact and some members thought I'd be an asset and some didn't see how I would fit in but I could come along for their November exhibition as guest exhibitor. 

One of the things the group does is they choose a theme, then they each start on a canvas and then hand it on to the next person until all four have worked on each canvas.  Well obviously I'm not a painter but I am very used to working to a theme or subject and would have enjoyed the challenge.  For instance one of the themes was The Ancient Mariner.  Well I can just see a ghostlike fabric for a scarf, light, ethereal, floaty.  But it seems its not to be.
 So here is my display (and I know one shouldn't take photos directly into light) and I couldn't believe I had red and I had blue and one set of lime and white place mats in between.  I think I need to work on some variety!
 The red side and
the blue side.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Using up Thrums

Well that was a surprise, I went looking for the post on this blue thrums blanket and found it was still a draft from . August . last . year.  I remember I loaded the picture so I could post while on holiday in Italy.  Guess the trip was so special I never gave you all a thought.
Those who have followed my blog for a while know I weave a lot of blankets from hand dyed yarn.  I tie one warp on to the next and end up with a lot of short pieces of thread knotted together.  I don't like to throw them away.  I live 20 minutes from the nearest village, 50 minutes from the nearest city so thats a lot of knitting time when I'm a passenger.  Garter stitch is the choice so I can watch the road and inform the driver if his skills need attention.  Its also a good pick up job late at night in front of the box.

This one is based on a pattern by Frankie Brown and not only are the blue bands and the border thrums, the white areas are all different yarns left over from projects so a win win.

I tried various ways of joining the squares and ended up crocheting them together on the thrums side.  Have to say that wasn't easy and took forever.

 This blanket would be big enough to use on a single bed.  Very snuggly.

 And there has been weaving happening.  A glorious sunny but breezy day, perfect for drying the sixth series of Anawhata blankets soon to be on display at the best New Zealand gift store, Pauanesia
And, of course, there are thrums left!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Weaving again

Yes, I'm weaving again, albeit slowly.  When I feel the sciatic nerve start to twinge I have to stop and rest it for a bit.

These Rata blankets in lipstick shades have been delivered to Pauanesia but may not appear in the shop till nearer Christmas which, I'm horrified to hear, is pretty close.

 Vogue tells us that thick chunky long scarves are the thing this winter so a couple with a navy blue base and lots of textural threads to warm someone's neck in the chill.

A couple of baby blankets off the blanket loom, the colour threads are Zephyr merino silk and they glow.  For some odd reason the pale pink shrank a lot more than the other threads in the fulling process.  I got panicky thinking the project was a right off but then they all evened out with pressing.  
Sett 14 tpi with the threads double. 

On the compu dobby loom at present a cotton warp (and weft) to trial a new threading before tying on a special project. 
And that is about it.  I'm still attending physio and horrified to have 3 or 6 months to heal mentioned!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Te Henga Sandstone blankets

When I damaged my leg three weeks and five days ago I had only 65 cm to weave on this run of blankets.  I probably didn't do myself any favours but when I started to improve I slowly wove a few centimetres a day until they were finished.  I could then twiddle the tassels while I had my leg out of action.

 However, I was able to stand and wind warps and work at the dye pot and today we are slowly getting into business.  Less than 1 metre woven and I could feel muscles talking to me so I quit on this Rata warp.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Out of Left Field

Well that came out of left field and whammed my right leg!  No weaving for two and a half weeks and I'm here looking at the looms and thinking I should, no don't yet!  Doc said sciatica, have some pain killers.  They didn't work, just made my poor old brain turn to jelly.  So stopped taking them so I could at least think.  Pete drove me to Waihi for a scheduled mammogram (clear) and fluke would have it we parked outside the acupuncturist.  I said I'll go get my picture taken you make me an appointment.  Several appointments later no improvement so then tried a friend who does a muscle release technique and it seems to be slowly working.  In the meantime I did some asking of Doctor Google, which I do think can be a very dangerous practice without professional advice, and I think it is probably piriformis syndrome which also affects the sciatic nerve.  I do not like being incapacitated.  I don't.  It has ground me to a stand still.

As Laura Fry said in her blog post this morning
"One of the things about being self-employed is, yourself, get to do the work.  No minions.  Just you.  If you don't do it, it doesn't get done."
So to all those waiting for blankets, wall art, scarves etc my apologies, I'll get to it as soon as I can.

Art Market
From time to time I have mentioned the Art Market at the Cargo Shed in Tauranga.  This was a group of 8 permanent stall holders and 50 sell on behalf artists.  A lot of politics has happened during the winter months and the Art Market is no longer.  Our group of 9 fibre artists took turns to man the stall so about once a week through the summer and cruise ship season and about once a month in the winter when we were open weekends only.  For me to get there it was nearly an hours drive each way on one of the most dangerous roads in NZ but I loved the company and meeting new people.  One of my original reasons for joining was to get my confidence in driving back which happened in spades on that road!

Last school holidays my 5 1/2 year old grandson came to stay with us for the first time on his own.  We drove to Meremere and his mum brought him there and after lunch and a play we transferred bike and helmet and swimming noodle and toothbrush to our car and headed home.  I think he had a wonderful time riding the bike around the local walking tracks and swimming in the Athenree hot pools.  He kept telling me stories about competitions where he won and races at school where he won.  One day he told me he and a friend had had a race at school and he won so to suggest there could be enjoyment in the run without the win, I said did you enjoy the feel of the wind on your face and the wind blowing your hair back.  Oh yes GranD, that's how I get wind to make my farts.

Just thought I'd share that as Meg sent me this picture this morning of a halloween costume.  I laughed so much I couldn't drink my coffee.

That's enough nonsense for one day.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Knitwear catch up

A jumper for my daughter.  
This jumper crops up on Pinterest from time to time, sometimes a jumper sometimes a jacket.  I thought it the most beautiful lace I'd seen in a long time and had to try it.
The pattern comes in one size (small) so I did some adjustments to get extra width.
We decided to go with the scoop hemline and I knitted to the armhole of the back and the bottom of the scoop came to just below daughter's waist which would mean the front, which was straight across would be somewhat higher, so back to drawing board.  Finished the back at the end of LAST winter, took one look at it and threw it aside carefully placed it back in the knitting bag.  I thought the shape was completely unworkable.  A trip to stay with daughter prompted me to take another look,  I knitted front and sleeves on  the knitting machine, did some stitching and pinning and tried it on her.  We both decided it looked pretty good but would be better with a longer scooped front hem to match the back.  Back home to the machine and now it is smashing.  
If you want to play this is where I printed the pattern from:

And this is what I knitted from the replaced front, all except the hem and sleeves.
Another pattern from the internet, Little Miss Myra's Sweater, designed by Lara Simonson of Knot Enuf Knitting.  The pattern comes in sizes 3 months to 10 years.  This is knitted in size 4 years but about 2 inches longer in length.

You may recall this blanket from last year called Kea which I gave my grandson at Christmas time.  
In one stripe there were 10 threads of velour and with use through this winter they have riggled out to huge loops.
I've brought it home and replaced them with wool.  I tied a weavers knot and in stages of about 50 cm pulled the new threads through.  Its looking pretty good now.
The colours were very attractive and I'm reluctant to throw them out.
This has happened to me before using velour, even in crochet; it riggles and moves.  I don't know how other folks weave successful velour scarves etc.  Maybe the sett has to be a lot closer than normal.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Anawhata blankets Series #5

Anawhata Beach (photo from Trip Advisor)
Peaceful Anawhata Beach is located on Auckland's west coast, quiet because its less accessible with a 2 kilometre walk from the car park to the beach.  (Easy going down, not so much fun coming up again.)
This beach has a soft spot in my heart because 43 years ago my husband proposed to me there.

Warp threads dyed while chained.

Balls of fluffy mohair become skeins

and after the dye pot, three different greens.

Available at Pauanesia Store.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Masala Ruana

I thought I'd reduce some of my stash by weaving yardage and create product for an event happening March next year.  This 4.6metre warp used 10 different yarns;  there is wool, mohair, ribbon, a gold lurex ribbon which looks elegant and a mohair that had fringed glitter in it.  This wove into the cloth and wasn't too in your face but after fulling the glitter popped up and looked like a Christmas tree so
over morning coffee, or two, I picked as many bits of glitter out as I could.  No way could I get them all but it now looks pretty good.
We used to call this garment a ruana but think it might now fall into the cape category.