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rainbow colours

November 25, 2014

rainbow colours on a grey rainy day

another warp finished

I couldn’t wait to see how the over-twisted silk would behave

P1060001patiently twist the fringe before washing

the over-twist was woven in random stripes

it gathered as expected, after washing


from a finished width of 21.5 inches to 12 inches

difficult to photograph on a grey, rainy day

hung outside in the rain I snapped a quick picture  – can you see the rain drops on the lens?


now the fringe on the second piece needs to be twisted


I’m hoping the eyelash weft will fluff up even more after washing

the dyes in the warp are; indigo, rhubarb root, pomegranate, henna, madder, cochineal and logwood

ripples in time

November 22, 2014

I am fascinated with the pattern and texture that kantha stitching makes on the reverse side

P1050980it reminds me of ripples in the sand

beach scenes 048

in some areas the stitching is through 3 – 4 and occasionally 5 layers of cloth

it adds considerable weight to the piece

and also surprising strength to the cloth

P1050978the brown fabric is linen dyed with kakishibu

it is stiff almost like canvas and difficult to stitch

my fingers are calloused and the needle is bent

it is a day between winter storms

P1050995the beach is piled high with driftwood

P1050994across the road in Ross Bay Cemetery

P1050997I filled my pockets with windfall lichen

and caught up on local history

P1050996as a child my Mom used to take us to Barkerville where we could pan for gold

(click to read)

P1050998women were strong in pioneer days


November 19, 2014

shawl #2

advancing twill

P1050972the eyelash weft wove up quickly and was a great hit at the studio tour

the weft for this shawl is 20/2 tussah silk


P1050965an extremely fine over-twisted black silk

from Habu Textiles

it twists back on itself and ties itself in knots

I can barely see it

but I only need to weave in irregular stripes throughout the length

the lighter stripes in the lower left corner are the start

it should act like elastic and gather the width into pleats

I wove a similar white silk here

 still stitching and learning

P1050962some of my techniques are definitely not traditional

most certainly, there was not such an abundance of scraps and fabric to choose from

there was probably no effort to lay out the pieces and balance pattern, colour and shapes

 (can’t seem to stop myself doing that – but I haven’t ironed it yet)

I’m only stitching at the end of the day

 I haven’t spent a day working in the fields

the light is good and I’m warm and fed

P1050974on her website Blue and White

Amy Katoh writes

“To be crazy is far easier for some. Those whose hands are too experienced and too nimble are hard put to feel free and go wild and let themselves go.”

have a look at her Crazy Sashiko exhibit

the studio tour was the very best in the 8 years I’ve been involved

thanks to those who came

busy as a squirrel

November 14, 2014

this is post number 700, my 4th year anniversary was in September

P1050954that’s me, #22

Saturday and Sunday are the Studio Tour


the studio is as tidy as it will ever be (sigh)

P1050953I treated myself to an orchid

still have to rake leaves – not ’till the last minute

chase off the squirrel, feed the hummingbirds – so they don’t attack anyone

stitch price tags on everything

buy food to keep me energized

and a new receipt book – think that’s it

oh yes – vote in the municipal election Saturday morning

P1050956the stitching is progressing slowly

not calling it boro – so it is nameless for now

P1050955 the back is my favorite part

and the texture is delightful

in France, Guillaume has re-blogged my post on the connections between textile people

in French and then translated into English

another connection, it is charming

thank you Guillaume

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

November 11, 2014


Lest we forget.

I have never re-blogged before

but with permission – these words and images are more than I could ever say

Originally posted on A SILVER VOICE FROM IRELAND:

I have just returned from a short trip to London, England,where we  lived for almost two decades before returning to Ireland. London is a city that I love and I look forward to each return visit. This year marks the centenary of the start of the First World War which has been commemorated in the most astonishing way at the historic Tower of London.


The ‘Weeping Window’ the source of the wave of poppies that will fill the moat

Some decades ago, when I worked  in the banking area in the City of London, summer lunchtime would be spent sitting on the grass looking down at the Tower and enjoying the sunshine. We happily munched on our ham and mustard  or cheese and pickle sandwiches while enjoying the historic view and discussing the gruesome executions that took place just yards from where we dined! The Tower itself dates back to…

View original 448 more words

small steps

November 9, 2014

the sun is shining – who knows for how long?P1050924enjoying it while it lasts!

P1050934on the loom

almost impossible to photograph

the pattern is my favorite colour blending combined with advancing twill

these colours are very close

the first weft is a fine 2 ply black tussah silk

then one pattern repeat with alternating wefts of the tussah and eyelash silk

changing to the eyelash for all the weft

P1050937many of the silk yarns came from The Silk Studio

this shawl is going to make a statement!

now I have to be patient and not weave it off until after the Studio Tour next weekend

for me the stitching is meditative

 but I wonder if the woman stitching utility textiles under very different circumstances felt the same?

P1050930planning the overall placement of pieces and colours

I can’t stop myself – this is a luxury of time and materials

the stitchers of old would not be doing this

my brain – and heart – hurt trying to understand

P1050944they wouldn’t carefully pin all the pieces

 they wouldn’t square all the pieces and cut off the raggy bits

and they wouldn’t make fancy stitch patterns

layers of thinking

November 6, 2014

in a period of 12 hours the weather can go from windy, pouring rain and chilly to bright blue sky and warm sunshine

P1050909the Japanese maple is splendid

P1050910the cyclamen are still blooming

P1050912and the hydrangea are putting on their own show

P1050914colour is everywhere

P1050916it took 2 days to wind this fine silk warp

blending many natural dyed yarns

I’m only half way finished threading the heddles

I’ve always been attracted to boro fabrics


sashiko and kantha are stitching cousins

and bojagi pieces from Korea using tiny pieces of precious fabric

they’ve become trendy in the West

I wonder how many people consider the poverty and desperate need that required using every scrap of material

they were not made exclusively to recycle but to survive

I wanted to understand those tiny stitches and the hands that made themP1050922starting with a well-worn cotton sheet of my Mother’s

layering an old, thin cotton futon cover

orange isn’t my favorite colour so most of it will be covered with more scraps

P1050920a guild member gave me a pair of very threadbare linen pillowcases

I cut out the worn centers, mended them and placed them between the layers

and indigo dyed the less worn pieces of fabric

P1050919I love the texture running (kantha) stitch gives to the layers

and look how it changes the shibori

the thread is thrums

I’m layering raw edges

no ironing (that was very difficult)

and I’m trying to think of those woman, possibly tired and hungry

using only the meager supplies that they had

making something beautiful for their families

P1050921included is a piece of the embroidered pillowcase that my Mom stitched

some of you may ask “why is she doing this”?

I ask myself that every time I pick it up

it is good sometimes to stop and appreciate the abundance we have


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