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what mother used to say – “haste makes waste”

April 23, 2014

it has been a busy week

001with the studio tour on Saturday and Sunday

I couldn’t finish the tea towels and get another warp on the loom

so I’ll be weaving with three shuttles and talking to people

hope there are not too many mistakes!


once upon a time – not so many years ago

I could do three things at once quite efficiently

tea and tell is tomorrow night

I baked my favorite oatmeal cookies and forgot the oatmeal

fortunately I realized the mistake and corrected it for the second batch

they both taste good!

Spring has sprung!

April 21, 2014

the garden is beckoning

P1040746at the end of the block the magnolias are showing off

P1040737a little farther away – the skunk cabbage is blooming

P1040749my favorite rhododendron is heavy with blooms

P1040752the fritillaria is a pattern waiting to happen

P1040785the gentian never fails to impress

P1040783creatures are on the move – slowly


April 19, 2014

more colour combinations


2/8 cotton purple and 2/12 rosy pink linen

just caught it as it was disappearing around the front beam

P10407742/8 cotton orange and deep raspberry linen

of all the colours orange is my least favorite, I rarely use it

it seems like a badly behaved narcissist, always jumping up and down shouting “look at me, look at me”

the linen is struggling to give it some dignity

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


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