Skip to content

a very bright – yellow

April 18, 2014

the rhubarb root sat around fermenting for 10 days

it actually smells quite pleasant

P1040767from the right–

silk from the first dyeing – beside it is silk from the second bath

can’t call it an exhaust bath because it obviously isn’t exhausted

next is the wool from the first pot

finally is wool from the second pot – with NO mordant – hardly any change in shade

the fabric is silk shantung, alum mordant, second bath

the root fibre went back into the dye pot and I’ll dye again in a few days

think most of the yarns will get overdyed with indigo

P1040769finished spinning the silk hankies

right to left – all the colours blended

then, just the pinky purples

and finally, the two yellows with the final bits of pink

P1040764in the studio – I choose this pattern because all the colour is in the pattern weft

which means each tea towel can be different – and I don’t get bored

P1040763the rhubarb yellow must have gone to my head

2/8 yellow/green cotton and a 2/5 mercerized yellow go well with the natural linen

what comes next?  orange or maybe purple

a penny for your thoughts

April 13, 2014

digging up the madder roots

they have been growing undisturbed for longer than the suggested 3 years

but I didn’t get to them in the Fall before the weather changed

P1040756Spring is probably not the best time to dig

but the Japanese anemone and the bluebells are taking over

I’ve saved several good crowns to re-plant

P1040757this is it

I let them dry in the sun and then brush the dirt off with an old toothbrush

rinse them quickly to remove the last of the dirt

and then grind them up in a blender- used only for dyestuff

P1040759for all my efforts I didn’t find any buried treasure

just this 1942 copper penny with the King’s head on the back

a stroll in the countryside

April 9, 2014

a trip to the rural community of Metchosin to see the fibre Art Show Consider the Lilies XII

is always a treat

P1040730the show is held in St. Mary’s church

P1040717the space is interesting

as well as the work on show and for sale

P1040723from a group of 12 twelve artists

P1040722my personal favorite – Emily Carr

P1040716the churchyard is well known for the lilies that bloom in the


  headstones date back to 1873 when the church was built

P1040729then it was on to ‘Chosin Pottery, home and studio of Robin Hopper and Judi Dyelle

P1040754I couldn’t resist this tea bowl by Judi

then a stroll around the garden to see Robin’s wonderful outdoor installations

P1040735what do you think?

P1040736just a few of my favorite things


rhubarb is not just for pie

April 8, 2014

after chopping the roots into 1/2 inch cubes they were simmered for an hour and left to soak overnight

the pulp was strained off and the yarn simmered for approximately 1 hour then left to cool overnight

rhubarb can be used as a mordant itself,  but – in this case -  all the yarns were mordanted with alum

P1040738from the left – cotton, wool, silk

the cotton is pale but the yellow/gold on the wool and silk is “knock your socks off” strong


rhubarb is sensitive to pH levels

an after bath made with washing soda with a pH of 9 changed the colour quickly

the skeins were in the bath a quick 5 minutes

P1040742an after bath of iron produced green on the wool and silk

as it can be harsh on both fibres I left the skeins in the water only as long as it took to give a good colour – 2-3 minutes

I put the pulp back in the weak dye bath and will soak for a week then dye again

colour everywhere

April 4, 2014

preparing the garden for Spring planting

deep digging to rid the garden of the extremely invasive Japanese anemone

 accidentally dug up a large rhubarb root, the dirt is scrubbed off with an old toothbrush

P1040709in Natural Dyes  Dominique Cardon gives instructions for dyeing wool yellow/orange

think I’ll give it a try on silk


the natural dyed silk hankies are spinning up slowly

Carole Sabiston’s retrospective exhibitionEverything Below, All of the Above

at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

is well worth a visit

P1040686my favorite piece titled – Royal Fireworks Suite, 1984

she works in very large-scale,  this piece covers an entire wall

P1040687layers of small fabric strips and pieces sandwiched between net and top stitched

then cut into strips vertically or on the diagonal and re-joined

the colours are stunning

P1040690after a trip to Japan

P1040701Japan Journey  1979

P1040691Self Portrait: The Cocktailer, 1984

recycled fabrics and labels are used in many pieces

weaving wanderings

March 31, 2014

weaving tea towels for the Studio Tour on April 26-27th

P1040681I frequently weave tea towels instead of samples when trying out a new weave structure

my Fiberworks PCW is not working on the new computer yet so I just rushed on

bad idea, I added extra threads on the edges to make a nice selvedge – but – it creates a long weft skip on the back

guess this towel is mine, when it is finished I’ll cut off and correct the mistake

P1040680the warp is two shades of natural linen, it almost has a pleated look which is just a trick of the colour change

weft is blue and green 2 ply hemp with linen tabby thread

I choose this pattern because the colour is in the weft so each towel can be different

I’ve also done something strange to the camera and the pictures are compressed – yikes!!

o.k. – managed to fix that problem

P1040684Velma’s paper, on the back of each signature cover, has been folded and stitched to make pockets for all the bits of paper I seem to accumulate

I’ve also added pages of velum, graph paper and “Arches, text wave” which can be used with water-colour pencils and a light wash

P1040685I bought these mother-of-pearl buttons for the seven tiny ones in the middle, still stitched to a scrap of the original card

maybe I’ll make my version of a button blanket?

the book is  Robes of Power – Totem Poles on Cloth  by Doreen Jensen and Polly Sargent

now, enough of the electronics

I’m off to start my income tax – then there will be hysterics.


March 28, 2014

last night was “tea and tell” – there was lots to look at and feelP1040668


Heather’s two wool shawls in shades of pink and red – so soft and warm

P1040670Kathy’s wonderful pattern

P1040676Arlene’s beautiful scarf in 8 shaft twill blocks – the picture doesn’t do it justice


 Ann’s baby blanket – basket weave – it is so soft and cuddly

P1040673four of us exchanged yarns (in the paper bags) for a group weaving project

due in September

Lauren (on the right) is wearing her hand knit Aran sweater


Carrie finished her scarf  – she did some sampling on one end of the Log Cabin pattern

I love it


paper yarn made from dress making patterns

the square was woven using one weft of paper and one of cotton yarn

this was gifted to me, I did not do the work

the ink used to print the patterns may be caustic and eventually destroy the paper

I would be hesitant to put all the time and effort required into using this paper


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 127 other followers