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an update

July 25, 2014

there is absolutely no point in wasting time messing around when you know the problem is not going to go away

P1050310so after a morning of procrastination

decision made

you can see the problem – the tension on the entire center section of warp threads suddenly became VERY tight

what is concerning is – I don’t know why and will it happen again?

P1050312 get on with it and start over

just have to hope the new length will be long enough

P1050313the cut off piece has a beautiful drape

I’ll pull up the pink threads and dye it in the indigo

progress is slow

July 24, 2014

exhausting the dye pots

P1050303just for fun – previously dyed

onion skins and then lac –  topped dyed with indigo

indigo top dyed with madder/cochineal

P1050304the next step – first with onion skins – day glow yellow

cooled down with the madder/cochineal

think they can still be seen in the dark!

P1050306natural dyes on silk – trying to stretch out the small quantities of colour

P1050308the woven shibori is slow

P1050309winding two threads from a single ball is even slower, tedious and frustrating

P1050302it is a wonderful summer for hollyhocks

P1050307freezing the flowers to dye with

everything takes time.

work well done

July 21, 2014

it is very rewarding to have enthusiastic students

P1050301Kathy went home the first day and stitched her table runner

the indigo and natural linen are beautiful together

P1050275 Kathy’s stitched sun burst on linen

P1050294more circles by Erin

years ago, at a garage sale I bought a can of steel ball bearings

tied into the cloth and dyed, the iron in the rusting balls acts as a modifier

P1050255they take on a glow from the dyes and become miniature sculptures

P1050273Erin tied them into a small piece of wool felt, dyed it in onion skins

 retied the piece

P1050290and over dyed in indigo – smashing!

Kathy folded her felt piece and board clamped it

P1050260it went into the madder/cochineal pot

simmered for an hour, sat in the pot overnight

simmered again in the morning for 2 1/2 hours

after I got my act together and remembered to turn on the heat!

don’t think we could ever re-create the results, it seems the cochineal migrated to one area (the purple)

a lovely surprise.

P1050277Jan is happy with her onion skins on cotton

P1050269a pause to examine the progress


Erin’s arashi shibori on linen

P1050295a second piece – first dyed in onion skins, taken off the pole,  rewrapped and overdyed in indigo

P1050285the back

Heather’s long-sleeved cotton shirt was interesting to wrapped

the pole was inside the shirt with the sleeves held beside the length while tying

P1050286the front

the mother-of-pearl buttons  also dyed in the indigo

P1050289Heather had fun but she didn’t model it for us!

P1050292Arlene resist tied (with plastic ikat tape) a skein of silk, dyed it in the madder/cochineal pot

changed the ties and dyed in indigo – over the madder and on the white resisted area

it will be fun to see what she weaves with the silk

she also dyed woven tapes she uses for hanging loops on tea towels

and some cotton indigo skeins

think everyone went home happy.

shibori – day 2

July 20, 2014

wow! what a weekendphoto1 (2)this is to prove I was actually there – that’s me standing

photo courtesy of Heather

the weather was better so we spent the day outside

photo4the indigo was strong and the colour good

there was also a pot of onion skin yellow

and another of madder root/cochineal

P1050278the amount of work 5 people can accomplish in 4 hours  – and have a great deal of fun

is astonishing

at the end of the day Tripper came to pick up Heather

P1050299don’t think he was impressed

stand by for the details tomorrow

my day started at 6:00am

I woke to the sound of loud shouting – when I opened the curtain I was nose to nose with a man trying to get into my bedroom

on some levels this might be open to jokes – not this time

he ran off to a neighbour’s , as I was about to phone the police another neighbour was jumping into his car with cell phone in hand

I assumed the problem was being dealt with – never assume anything!

I put breakfast on, made tea

went out to water the indigo, but he was still in the neighbour’s yard (they were away for the weekend)

I called the police, they arrived in minutes

as the news people like to say “he was known to them”

they quietly and gently talked him out to their vehicle

I’m a retired psychiatric nurse, I’d already made an on the spot diagnosis

the young man was seriously in medical crisis

the police phoned with an update, they already knew his family details and promised to make sure he got the care he needed

all I can say is I’m thankful to live where I do – no guns were drawn – and hopefully all will be well

the very few times I’ve had to deal with my local police I’ve been positively impressed

thanks guys and gals for keeping us safe.

blue shibori

July 19, 2014

all of British Columbia has been experiencing a heat wave

there are major forest fires burning in the interior of the province

last night was a big wind and this morning  overcast, much cooler and threatening rain

day one of my introduction to shibori workshop

P1050224we started tying and stitching in the studio

a bit crowded but everyone set to work

P1050225Kathy and Joanne have done this before

P1050226Joanne wanted stripes

she ironed narrow vertical pleats in her cloth and then tied them firmly every inch

P1050239carefully removing the ties

P1050241drying on the line

this was simple, reasonably quick and very interesting

P1050243 her undershirt was a success, too

P1050230Erin had never done shibori before, she started out a bit hesitantly and then got going

she’ll be back tomorrow so she is doing maximum dips in the indigo

P1050232Kathy has been here before

she dyed heavy cotton canvas to make a bag

P1050237 stitched taupe coloured linen for a table runner

P1050244and then a length of woven shibori, cotton warp and rayon weft

she used nylon line for the shibori threads and found it wouldn’t pull up tightly

after it was gathered she simmered it for 20 minutes, hopefully the pleats will stay in the fabric

she is delighted with the results

P1050233this was Jan’s first time P1050250I really like the border she stitched around the cotton napkin

P1050251 dyeing over a printed cotton is very interesting

P1050252pole wrapped wool felt

the weather brightened up and we were able to work outside in the afternoon

more tomorrow

dear/deer things

July 11, 2014

finally, I think I’m ready to weave

P1050216after correcting several warp threads crossed when sleying the reed

weaving a coloured header

checking for threading mistakes

my vision is blurry

P1050214the dark weft threads are the shibori pattern threads

any mistakes?? don’t think so

now I have to find someone willing to help wind bobbins

two bobbin winders separating the double threads from one ball

P1050208using up small amounts of handspun 2 ply silk, natural dyes

a scarf to carry on summer outings

I couldn’t resist this obi from Ichiroya in Osaka

P1050210the weft is (shifu) paper

with a pattern of sumi ink brushwork

P1050211signed, can you see the tiny people in rain capes and straw rain hats?

P1050217the lining is a graduation of colour, handwoven with shifu weft as well

P1050213it all looks so simple – but the fine silk warp is doubled in the reed and it appears to be space dyed

oh la la, do I need to say I’m thrilled!

if you enjoy Japanese textiles  is worth a look


think I’ll cool off in the shade like this mule deer in my friend’s garden

sorry! I have corrected the link to Daily Japanese Textile


July 7, 2014

the 7th day of the 7th month is Tanabata in Japan

in legend it is the one day of the year two lovers

the Weaver Girl and the Cowherd

  are allowed to meetIMG_0007at Kawashima Textile School in 1987 we had a celebration

my roommate, Taeko-san is in the skirt with Kiko-san beside her

Ono- sensei, dyeing teacher, is seated

in the background is a tree branch with paper wishes tied onto it – blowing in the breeze

P1050200and here are mine, today

wishes tied to trees

sending peace and love to all

drifting in the breeze

are there other holidays around the world that celebrate weavers?

I did go back for the linen napkins

but, alas, they were gone

P1050201but, for half the price I did get 6 heavy cotton napkins, never used, with nice hemstitching

and I don’t have to feel guilty about dipping them in the indigo!


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