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June 21, 2019

my computer is having a temper tantrum – it would be helpful if I even knew why?

can’t download pictures – figured that out

started a new tapestry

weaving this sideways – so you have to tilt your head to the left

big mistake when I warped the loom – it is 1.5 inches narrower than planned

putting on a four selvedge (fringeless) warp you can’t add more width once it is ready to weave

I had to redraw the cartoon

making some progress and it seems to be working

inspiration came from a Japanese card I’ve been saving for years – noh mask

can you see it on the cartoon?

this might take awhile – struggling with the computer was like writing a blog for the first time

if I thought it would help I’d have a temper tantrum!



Scrap Happy June

June 14, 2019

inspired by a project on Ann Wood’s website

she makes wonderful, creative, whimsical birds and mushrooms and sailing ships and more

have a look!

a needle case -all handstitched, hand dyed and with the exception of one scrap, handwoven

the cover was made several years ago, the button is a handwoven scrap over a plastic ring

the closing cord is a short length of kumihimo (Japanese braid)

as I picked through the scraps I started telling myself a story and it became a book

I’ll turn the pages for you

the flower – and the small face on the back page were drawn with markers and then heat set by granddaughter Jillian when “nanna was babysitting”

page on the right is Japanese silk from a kimono weaving friend

a book needs words – on a page woven with Japanese paper thread (shifu) that I cut and spun

then, from another kimono weaver, a silk scrap woven with thrums

a tiny pocket with my initials and date

the round blue “thingy” is a plain Japanese fabric thimble (yubinuki)

in the center, a cord with a tiny Dorset button that holds thread spools

the heart is a bit of my first backstrap weaving

the right hand page is a grey scale woven with sewing thread

the pages were sewn with two fabrics, turned right side out and handstitched around the outside edge

more of the silk and shifu pages

several years ago I dyed and printed a piece of cotton then cut it up and made postcards

the pocket is a postcard left in the scrap box

the end – with Jillian’s smiling face

and what happens to the really tiny scraps?

they get saved in a handmade book similar to shimacho (Japanese fabric sample books)

saved by families and handed down for generations

and now being sold on the internet for more money than some of those families spent in a year!

here are the links for other Scrap Happy posts

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L.


simple pleasures

June 12, 2019

I haven’t had a new textile book in some time

it is a bit pricey and I resisted for a couple months!

it will take a few hours of quiet, concentrated reading to cover all the detailed information

this one will become a classic – the spiral binding is a plus

not for the beginning dyer

it is quite technical but clearly written and very well illustrated

and covers pigments, dye lakes and print making

I’m excited to spend the summer reading/learning and then on to dyeing

years ago I took a woven shibori workshop with Catharine Ellis – she was/is a marvelous  teacher

I have practically worn out her previous book “Woven Shibori”

here is the monthly backstrap challenge – finished early

butting the selvedges together and using different flat stitches to join the individual pieces

the blue handspun wool is a slightly heavier weight than the grey which gives a subtle texture

I’m surprised at how pleasing I find this piece

after years of weaving complex patterns

there is a simple elegance in this slightly rough, handspun plain weave



June 7, 2019

the bag of frozen pomegranate peel I planned to dye with turned out to be avocado (peels and seed)

definitely not the colour I was planning on

all 2 ply handspun wool — from the top – the natural light grey I’m currently spinning, Icelandic and Merino

the fabric is a small linen towel that was dyed with avocado several years ago – a soft peachy brown

according to everything I read avocado is suppose to give pinks – not in my experience

not wanting/needing more beige/brown I put the grey and the Merino in an iron after bath

it is slightly more green than the camera could capture

in searching for a special piece of silk that I know is somewhere

I turned out the box of silk scraps and decided something needed to be done with them

first, ironing

sorting into colours

and then, of course stitching – bojagi (pojagi) a Korean technique

the book Bojagi and Beyond  is by Chunghie Lee

see my blog

or click on “tags” on the right sidebar where there are 30 blogs on the technique

don’t know where the stitching is taking me but it might get big

the foxglove are plentiful  – I let them self seed, love the patterns

now off to do more ironing – true confession -I like ironing!

summer time

June 3, 2019

how time flies – June arrived warm and sunny

my favorite clematis “The President” is magnificent

it is reaching for the sun and I had to climb up the step ladder to get a picture

even then it was above my head and I just held up the camera and hoped I was pointing in the right direction

 this is the first year there are flowers on the Podophyllum (May apple) “Spotty Dotty”

they hide under the large mottled leaves and I had to lay on my back to get a picture

from great heights to prone in the dirt!

once the warp was tensioned and broken threads replaced the backstrap weaving is going well

there is one weft float (click on the picture and see if you can find it)

but as both warp and weft are handspun wool making a good shed is a bit sticky

cameras are great for showing the mistakes!

in 24 hours the mushrooms had opened up and then dried out completely due to the hot, dry weather

no point in trying to dye with them

still struggling to design a new tapestry

going through my colours I’ve decided to try dyeing an odd shade of green

I’ll use only the peel/rind of pomegranate – and eat the fruit

you can freeze the peel until you have enough to dye with

the samples I have are on silk so hopefully the colour will be close to the dark mossy green

pomegranate with alum mordant gives a strong golden yellow

with an iron after-bath it is green – use the least amount of iron possible to get the colour – it damages fibre

not only is it good for colour the juice is excellent for your health

mushrooms to dye for?

May 30, 2019

searching through the stash for colours to use in the next tapestry

I came to the conclusion that dyeing would be necessary and therefore more fibre was required

local Icelandic

any excuse to buy fibre to spin – as it turned out I’d overlooked one box and didn’t need more colours

 several groups of mushrooms have just popped up in the garden

maybe the torrential rain we had last Saturday facilitated that

the wood bugs are having a feast

with a dark purple-brown spore print they are difficult to identify

don’t worry, I’m not going to eat them – wondered if they were any good to dye with

will wait until they have matured a little more

meanwhile struggling to get a warp on the backstrap loom for June’s sample

it doesn’t get any easier or quicker – I invent a totally new problem each time

lesson learned – do not wind two threads at the same time when measuring the warp

two broken warp threads right at the start – learn how to repair when you are part of the tensioning

what to do when the tension is radically out of wack??

cut the warp (an inch at a time!)

pinch a rod from a table loom and tie the warp as you would on a table/floor loom

lash the rod to the backstrap bar

done – well I haven’t woven more (my back needed to stand up!!) so wait and see if it all works

then – after mowing the lawn and cleaning the fish pond

I surprised this little thief climbing out of the neighbor’s garbage can




another birthday

May 25, 2019

wow! 18 wonderful years

Happy Birthday Carrie (first grandchild)

how does it feel to be 18 – wish I could remember

4th birthday – all this partying is a bit overwhelming

all grown up – Milo is the baby now

Happy Birthday – lots of love – Nana

meanwhile I’m thinking about the next tapestry

maybe I need to start dyeing first?