Thursday, January 28, 2016

Tekapo blankets

Lake Tekapo lies in the heart of the Mackenzie Country, in New Zealand's central South Island.  Lake Tekapo is the second largest of three roughly parallel lakes running north-south along the northern edge of the Mackenzie Basin.

When I dyed the yarn for these blankets I tried to capture the sun reflecting off the water of the lake giving it a glacial feel.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Blue Poncho

My looms are all threaded with other projects and I needed more stock at the Cargo Shed as some large pieces had sold recently.  So I dusted off the knitting machine, studied the instruction book re weaving on the machine and away I went.  Really quite pleased with the result.  
As you can see I still had a mass of textured threads and art yarns, some hand spun.  There is a big choice of different colours as well.  More to come.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

2015: an exciting colourful year

What an exciting colourful year 2015 has been.  It was full on busy from beginning to end and I enjoyed every minute.
It seems I wove 76 pieces, including 45 scarves, 17 blankets, a couple of wraps, a variety of tea towels and a banner.
 Crammed and spaced hand dyed merino scarves.

Professional Weavers Seminar was held at Tea Pot Valley Retreat near Nelson so Peter and I took the opportunity to spend an extra week in the area touring around and catching up with friends both going and coming.

Much of the early part of 2015 was spent preparing for the Creative Fibre Festival in Rotorua where I was tutoring knitting - inspiration on using unique designer yarns.  I ended up taking 3 half day classes which was pretty exhausting for an old duck person like myself.  I used many shades of green to knit a poncho with a slip stitch slouch collar as my tutor's display garment.  (I never did get a decent photo as it needed the right body in it.)
In the National Exhibition I was thrilled to be awarded the Alpaca award for this alpaca/silk wrap.

Another entry I had in the exhibition was this cotton scarf "Cloud", 4 colour double weave (2 colours in warp, 2 in weft). 

 What was I thinking to make a 3 metre long banner in 4 colour double weave, pretty striking though.
   The highlight of the Festival was the Annual Dinner combined with the Runway Show on Saturday night at the Blue Baths, an amazing venue.  I had two entries in the show and I can't explain what a thrill it was to see my garments being modeled on the catwalk.  
Black and white cotton sheath "Contrast".

 "Sapphire" won the Auckland Area Award for an entry using mill spun yarns with an emphasis on artistic content and design.

 There was a little knitting for family, both grand children receiving vests.

While entertaining myself with the above I still had a business to run so blankets were still being woven for Pauanesia and for Inspirit Gallery.
Hand dyed handwoven wool mohair blanket reflecting the mood of Anawhata Beach on the west coast of Auckland.

Again I was asked to make a range of scarves suitable (but not only) for men in time for the agricultural show, Field Days, in May.  As I did last year I chose shadow weave  and would like to explore this further.

 I also wove a small range of scarves for my friends shop, Ava Lee, at Waihi Beach.

 Pauanesia celebrated its 20th birthday this year and, to mark the occasion, several artists were asked to create 20 items.  My collaboration with Heather was 20 scarves depicting 7 of our native birds.  I know the stack is only 18 high.  Kokako had already flown to Auckland so there were 21 in all. 

 A little spinning happened.  I'm still waiting for this selection to tell me what it wants to become.

Inspirit Gallery also celebrated a birthday this year and Jenny invited artists to contribute to an exhibition.  My piece was "Kotare", a hanging of hand dyed acrylic with wool fringe.  
I don't think I ever blogged about this because by the time the exhibition started Peter and I were away for a wonderful two months in Tuscany with a few side adventures to Venice and Cinque Terre on the opposite coast of Italy.  I got to talk to many weavers in their studios as well as seeing many many historical sites and wonderful scenery.

Came home to many orders and some fast work as the Christmas shopping season was fast approaching.

And more blankets, this time Kereru or New Zealand pigeon.

 I new I had quite a lot of cotton thread but it wasn't until I had a wee tidy up and put it all in one place I found out how many boxes there were so to use it up (ha, hasn't even made a dent) and to have a different product at the Fibre Gallery at The Cargo Shed I made a few tea towels to see how they sold. 

Before taking the block threading off the Mecchia I tied a warp on for a couple of scarves, quite successful I think.

A wonderful year indeed
and looking forward to the challenges 2016 brings.