Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Silk Linen Wraps

I had a desire to weave some wraps with a silk/linen thread, something very light and cool to keep the sun off during the day or to wrap around the shoulders of an evening.
I had photographed a friends table cloth some time ago as a colour reference and thought it would give fresh inspiration for a painted warp.
I think there are six colours in the painted chain and I remembered to treat the white chain in a similar fashion in case of shrinkage.  I have to say the warp was the biggest pain to roll on the loom.  The wee linen patches grabbed hold of the threads next door and would not let go.  I was very close to binning the warp, but for the silk I would have.  Surprisingly it was a dream to weave once I got going.

I'm still using the same parallel threading as for the Ravenna table runner talked about back here.
This is woven echo weave with a violet 40/2 cotton weft.

Close up of the opposite side.

A quick change of tie up and treadling and we're weaving turned taquete with a pale blue 40/2 cotton weft.
Actually it wasn't so quick to get started as the treadling starts as a straight draw then goes through 6 changes to end with a wide image of the design line.
It drapes beautifully as a scarf.

 Both these wraps are available at Waihi Beach Gallery.

Welcome 2018

Extraordinary isn't it, 3 weeks into the new year already.  Doesn't seem so long since we were all worried about the new millennium and computers were going to crash and the world fall apart.  Time just flies.

These two weren't even a twinkle then.  They came to stay for 5 nights while Mum was working, protecting the country at the airport.  Most mornings we went swimming or boogie boarding then found something else to do in the afternoon like rock fosicking or in this case making a bracelet for Mum.  Two hours of pure concentration.

 After they went home we had to stock up on food and I discovered Countdown had plums for $2 per kilo so a plum sauce factory started.

 Back on 31 May 2016 I posted about a workshop tutored by Rene Corder Evans called Magic Yarns.  My table loom has been patiently waiting since then to have a few more samples woven of yarns I had at home.  Its time came, mainly because Rene is tutoring another workshop and the loom needed emptying.  So Sample 1 using elasticated merino, 3/1 1/3 stripes and blocks giving plenty of room for movement.
Result - nothing happened.  Well the weft did shrink closing up the warp threads but no furrowing in the stripes as I had expected.
 The other two cops I have are very over twisted, one a linen mix and the second with nubbles a cotton.
 Look how that's curling already.  No good for place mats or tea towels I thought.
 The nubbles look pretty but when all cut apart they curl every which way.
 Wet bath, first a soak in coldish water and nothing much happened so into very hot bath with dish liquid.
 The linen thread is sitting on a bias but rolling has stopped but I can't see a use for it.  It is scatchy.  I thought the bubble cotton would bias too but it hasn't.
 And something pretty to finish with.  A silk rayon wrap dyed with Dupont Alter-Ego dyes. 
 This might not seem a big deal unless you realise I get quite hysterical just at the thought of using cold water procion dyes.  Almost to panic attack state.  But I did it. 

Monday, January 8, 2018

Holiday Greetings and 2017 in Review

Well I had the best of intentions to send holiday greetings to all my friends, followers and email recipients but we spent several days in Auckland and though I'd loaded pictures before leaving home the reception was so slow I gave up.  Hope you all had a great celebration.

The last 4 days before departing home were spent birthing creating "Flower".  This is an old Simplicity pattern that I had when my daughter was little so not new.  I'm still amazed that I had all the bits bar stuffing to make her, even the hat wire for the wings and the bells for the shoes.  The only change I made was to attach the wings by domes so she can hang them up when she goes to bed.

And so to the year 2017 in review.  January started with some spinning, unusual for me.  I plied this with a 60/2 bottle green mercerised cotton but it still hasn't told me what it wants to be.
February was mostly spent on a commission for a wall hanging "Wave".
All up I wove 32 blankets this year.  First up Kereru.

In March I got back on the dobby loom and wove this gorgeous cotton wrap titled "Spoon Drift" which is the description of the bubbles left when a wave breaks.
"Kakabeak" came off the same warp
and then "Kowhai" which I'm proud to say won the Complex Weavers' Award at Creative Fibre Festival.  This time I used changes in the tie up to change the amount of weft showing on one face of the wrap blending from navy to yellow in a 4 colour double weave.

Also this month I put my dress maker hat on and sewed "Dragon's Breath" from fabric handwoven the previous year.  This was shown in the Fashion Parade at the same Festival.  Later in the year (September) the same outfit was entered in the Bay of Plenty Area Exhibition and I'm very proud to have received Best in Show award.

Throughout the year my Nitschke 8 shaft loom is constantly producing blankets, this time Moerangi - Sleepy Skies.

In May we had a wonderful time on holiday to Melbourne, Australia and areas around.

June was time to work on a series of scarves for Pauanesia reflecting New Zealand native birds.  In this pile from the top Kokako, Tui, Kakapo, Kiwi.  Also did Kotuku. Black Robin, Pukeko.

In July, while taking a break from blankets, I had a play with deflected double weave.  Would like to have time to go back to play with this structure more.

Also used some stash velour and wove a tabby scarf, first time successfully using this fibre.

In August I had a play with shibori scarves
and Paua blankets.

As I mentioned above September was exhibition time and I thought this 4 colour double weave runner a worthy candidate and was delighted to receive the Barbara Wilson Trophy for best woven article.
I called this piece Ravenna as I had just threaded the loom and Peter called me to his computer and said what do you think shall we visit - it was mosaic tiles in a building in Ravenna and reminded me so much of what was on the loom.  (Many hours of planning but trip booked for later this year.)

Also finished this commission for daughter in law and grand daughter just as the weather warmed up.

October was blanket month, this one Kaimai
and Kotare.

November I tied more warps on to the Ravenna one and worked on runners and placemats.

We finish the year with Pohutukawa blankets
and luxurious possum, merino, silk and cashmere loop scarves.
And so the year ended with what seemed like three Christmas events and my son's 40th birthday (how did that sneak up on me) in the middle of them and now my two delightful grand children are staying for 5 nights.  I'm typing this while I listen to them going to sleep.  This will be the second night and I'm exhausted already.  Doesn't happen often so I better get my own shuteye so I can keep up tomorrow.

Wishing everyone wonderful adventures in 2018.