Sunday, December 3, 2023

More deflected double weave scarves

After a month's holiday in Australia on Bribie Island I was enthusiastic to put the next warp on the loom for three DDW scarves.   
The white, pale pink and mid pink are one warp and the wine is the second warp.  The pattern is four threads of one warp and four of the second right across the width of the scarf. 

I wove the first scarf, cut it off the loom, twisted the tassels and wet finished it.  That was when I found that the pale pink yarn was not behaving as wool should.  After a bleach test I discovered it was a manmade fibre.  What to do?  Throw away the whole warp?  I decided to take some of the white merino, wind another warp and dye it pale pink.  I pulled the remaining warp, 6.5 metres, through the heddles and reed to the front and carefully cut a thread off, tied on the new thread.  That looked successful so did the same with the midpink band so all shrinkage would be the same.  It rolled on to the back beam with no problems and two beautiful scarves are the result.  (I wear the dud scarf occasionally.)

I had noticed that the Marion Powell threading for shadow weave is similar to what I was using.  I wound a warp with 1 x 1 colour and tied it on to my previous warp.  My sample worked but, to me, was rather boring.
Since I had a 1 x 1 warp on the loom I wondered if Turned Taquete would be more interesting.  It worked but decided it wasn't mind catching enough to weave three scarves.
I cut the warp off and it will be used another time.
(Bleach test for wool - place a length (maybe 20 cm) of yarn in a little pure bleach.  If its wool it will dissolve away completely in about 30 mins.)

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Melanie Olde Workshop

 In May I organised, on behalf of Creative Fibre for the upper half of the North Island, a workshop with Melanie Olde of Australia,  "Thinking Outside the Plane".
To quote Melanie "Weaving often deals with effects to manipulate the single flat plane of a cloth, but what if you expanded, pushed and pulled that plane?  Handweaving offers many opportunities to explore and design the 3-dimensional plane, taking cloth to another level through specialised multi-layering techniques."
The workshop covered how to increase and reduce the surface area of weaving, how to merge different sequences for exciting effects and create fabrics that pop out of the plane.
That was the official explanation; unofficially we just had fun.
 A piece of Melanie's work.

My first piece with all four layers working well.
Off the loom and manipulated - looks a bit like a rock pool anemone.

One layer of warp was either on a second back beam or, as in my case, weighted at the back.  This allowed us to do fun things like stack four layers of pencils in rows - 4 layer Orthogonal.  The white warp, in my threading, is the binding warp passing up and down through all layers while the other three warps are linear and pass straight between the layers.
A fabulous workshop and who knows where the information will be taken.

Monday, October 16, 2023


In New Zealand we have a group called The Professional Weavers Network (PWN).  PWN was started in 1992 to 
further the art of weaving through the pursuit of excellence and the promotion of handwoven textiles.
PWN is a group of handweavers who promote excellence in their work, ranging from tapestries through to fabrics.
One of the aims of the group is to promote textile and fibre arts so that they can be acknowledged as a vibrant and exciting contemporary art form that is able to speak to others within society.
Every three to four years we present a major exhibiton and 
Ngahere, the Bush of Aotaroa
has just finished travelling to seven galleries over the past 12 months.
I presented 3 pieces in Ngahere.
Orokawa Bay
This work reflects the light as it catches the waves along the pohutukawa fringed shoreline of Orokawa Bay, expressed using the woven technique of loom controlled shibori. 
175 x 60cm
The elegant form of the nikau palm creates a striking part of the New Zealand landscape.  The sweeping arc of the shiny, three metre long fronds creates a myriad of shapes complemented by the bunches of fruit hanging from the base of the fronds.
I expressed this beauty in woven form using loom controlled shibori, a technique using colour and manipulation to produce shape and texture.
350 x 42cm
In the background you can see my third piece,
Fruit of the Forest
a tryptic featuring Harakeke, karaka and kowhai.
1210 x 60cm

I am very grateful that all three pieces have been sold. 
I went through to Morrinsville to help set up the exhibition and to repack the pieces at the end.  In the middle I went through to Art on Tuesday at the Gallery to give what I thought was a floor talk.  The person giving the piano recital had to cancel due to health problems so after morning tea I was the entertainment. Tonya, Gallery Manager, got me a chair and I said I won't need that, I won't be sitting long still thinking it was a floor talk to an audience of 35-40 people.  Oh no, It was a talk with questions and answers.  It went very well and one and a half hours passed quickly.  Today I met a Morrinsville lady at a Creative Fibre Spin In and I asked her if she had seen Ngahere.  Several times she said, and she went to Art on Tuesday and this lovely lady gave a wonderful talk which she had enjoyed.  I had to admit it was me!

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Deflected Double Weave scarves

Here we are, at the beginning of October and I hadn't realised I have been working with Deflected Double Weave most of the year.  Still am actually.
This particular pattern I got off Pinterest but changed the tie up.  I was very surprised to find, when I cut it off the loom, that the new reverse side was the same as the original design.
Paua above and below again using leftovers from previous projects which can really give a creative edge to the garment.
 Hydrangea above, Rhododendron below

Waihi Beach Gallery asked for some scarves in black and white.
This is an original design using my name to create the name draft.
The kakapo is a nocturnal, flightless parrot which is critically endangered with just 247 birds alive.  Recently Kakapo have been released to the Sanctuary at Mount Maungatautari, near Cambridge.  To celebrate their release I wove these scarves for Inspirit Gallery.
 I used the same original draft above changing it to reflect feathers.
I may be a little obsessed with DDW as I'm about to put yet another warp on the loom. 

Saturday, September 30, 2023


As usual there has been a lot of metres of blanket weaving in the last few months.

Kotare/Kingfisher has a green-blue back, buff to yellow underside and a large black bill.
They are admired for the way they perch without moving while stalking their prey, then suddenly attacking in a blur.
Black and White
Pohutukawa, commonly known as the New Zealand Christmas tree, is a coastal evergreen tree that produces a brilliant display of red flowers, each consisting of a mass of stamens.

Pounamu is a term for several types of hard and durable stone found in southern New Zealand.
It is also called greenstone or New Zealand jade.
  It is often carved into a pendant which carries special meaning for its wearer.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023


The 2022-23 summer just didn't happen as far as blue skies and sunshine went.  In January the country was hit by Cyclone Hale and in February the devastating Cyclone Gabrielle caused havoc followed by several tornadoes making landfall on Waihi Beach.  Its very unusual for tornadoes to make it to land here; usually we just see water spouts out to sea.

This is the view from my kitchen.  The dunes used to be level at the higher point.  The massive waves breached the dunes and formed a lake behind the scrubby trees.  By about seven in the evening we could see that half the lake had drained away with the outgoing tide so we decided we were safe and didn't have to evacuate.

So while Cyclone Hale was doing its damage I was weaving away on a length of fabric to make a jacket for myself.  At one stage I looked out the window and realised I was actually replicating what was going on in the ocean so I called the piece "Chaos".
This is a four colour double weave with black and sand parallel threading and dark purple and turquoise in the weft.  The original warp line was networked with a 2 end initial which is what gives the shimmery effect on the cloth.  The treadling is where all the action is with two curving, wavy lines intersecting each other.
This year the Creative Fibre Society had their Festival in Porirua, near Wellington.  At the last moment I decided to enter this weaving as a fabric length regretting that I hadn't had time to make the garment I'd intended.
After the selection date I received a very unusual email from one of the Exhibition organisers and reading between the lines I came to the conclusion I was going to receive a prize.  After some discussion with Pete we decided we'd go on a ticky tour to Wellington via New Plymouth where I was able to deliver quite a bit of work to Kina Gallery, visit friends and be tourists.
Looking through the list of awards I had decided if I was going to get one it would be the Complex Weavers Award.  Imagine my dismay when it wasn't my name called out; I must have read the message wrong, how was I going to tell Pete I made a mistake.  Then it got to the Supreme Award from Creative Fibre and to my surprise and delight I heard my name.            One very thrilled and proud weaver.
 As an aside, in March, about a month before Festival, I was in Christchurch airport with a couple of other weavers waiting for our flights home.  Hanne asked if I was going to Festival and I said no, I had too much going on with workshops I was organising and I don't recall what else.  Mind you, I said, if I got the major prize I could be persuaded to go.  Well that was a big joke causing lots of laughter.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Fantasy on 4 shafts

I have been enjoying reading other blogs so thought I'd have a catch up starting back at January 2023.

I did a wee demonstration at the Bay of Plenty Weavers group on threading front to back, tying on a new warp and lacing the warp to the front beam.
I wanted a fairly simple threading so that my old brain could cope while demonstrating.  I chose this Deflected Double Weave, Fantasy on 4 Shafts, from Double with a Twist by Marion Stubenitsky, page 70.  
It is so effective for 4 shafts, 4 treadles

Blue Gem Hebe

I was so taken with the pattern I had to try other colourways.

Each of these colours ways uses up leftovers from previous projects.
I often find that is when I get most creative.
Puriri tree flowers

Sunday, January 8, 2023

2022 Creations part 2

Continuing on with the 2022 summary.
Here we have a warp chain wound from a cone of variegated merino yarn with the colours stacked as I wound.

A series of scarves for Kina Gallery, New Plymouth follows.

The warps for these scarves were wound the same way in a darker colourway reflecting the Takahe.  Also at Kina Gallery.
More scarves for Kina Gallery in Teal shades.
 Blanket reflecting the Paua, also at Kina Gallery.
I did a wee demonstration at the Bay of Plenty Weavers group on threading front to back, tying on a new warp and lacing the warp to the front beam.
I wanted a fairly simple threading so that my old brain could cope while demonstrating.  I chose this Deflected Double Weave, Fantasy on 4 Shafts, from Double with a Twist by Marion Stubenitsky, page 70.  
It is so effective for 4 shafts, 4 treadles. 
There has been tea towel weaving; here is a selection. 
These are woven 4 colour double weave. 
I enjoyed knitting this wrap for my grand daughter (love in every stitch).
Pattern is Reflexions by Alla Saenko.  
The last weave of the year was a series of Pohutukawa blankets inspired by so many of the trees in full bloom; most appropriate for the Festive Season.
Hoping 2023 gifts you with peace, fun and laughter.