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September 1st

September 1, 2015

September 1st – good-bye Summer

it changed overnight from summer to cool, rainy autumn

Family Album 036HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Iain – my favorite (and only) grandson

14 and growing taller every day!

P1070490very pleased with how this turned out

it may be the last this season, don’t know how much longer the vat will be working


of course there are other dyes but the blue and white is so amazing

P1070495making good use of the summer samples

small bags for the Studio Tour in November – it will be here soon enough

P1070496cutting Japanese paper – preparing for winter weaving

little things

August 28, 2015

it rained throughout the night, the first significant watering in what seems like months

P1070480and suddenly the naked ladies have popped up

more rain forecast, they may not last long

the squirrels stash walnuts for the winter

they grow quickly – and bigP1070481two trees grew over 10 feet tall this hot summer

I cut one down and stripped the leaves

chopped them in the old blender – what a mess!


 will leave them to soak for several weeks

hopefully they will give a strong dye

not sure I have the energy for the second tree

another shibori piece

P1070470the pattern is my own invention

P1070473this is what it looks like stitched and tied

it fits in the palm of my hand

can’t wait to see what it looks like after several dips in the indigo

removing all those threads is going to take some time!

have to hope the rain holds off

and what did i do with all the summer samples

P1070476they’ve been labeled, the notes completed

P1070477and carefully placed in a binder.


August 26, 2015

P1070440garden rewards

the freezer is full of flowers – time to get dyeing

P1070443handspun silk dyed with rhubarb root

the top skein dyed in the exhaust bath

more root added for the bottom skein – much brighter

P1070467the same two skeins

the bright yellow one was topped dyed in the cochineal/lac exhaust pot

P1070457I wanted to try the crackle weave/honeycomb treadling

using rags for the heavy outline thread

but it didn’t work

the white here is 4/8 cotton

P1070465the cells are linen, cotton and a boucle

six shuttles – it is going to take some time and patience!


August 21, 2015

it has been a long hot Summer

P1070417even the dragonflies need a rest

P1070420it is almost too hot to dye

handspun 2 ply silk

dyed in cochineal and lac

exhaust bath left over from the dye weekend

P1070423crackle samples are off the loom – the weaving was very slow

couldn’t have done it without my Fiberworks software

P1070426the fine wool warp, sett at 32 epi

was chosen because I have 2.5 pounds of it

and wanted to be sure how it behaved before committing it to a major project

only two broken threads and it has a nice drape

the first sample was woven as Bronson lace

wool weft, then 60/2 silk which feels lovely

P1070436woven as overshotP1070437polychrome blocks woven in several different colourways

using four different colours

 start with a pattern colour and a different tabby (background/plain weave)

when you change blocks, drop the pattern colour

move the tabby into the pattern position and add a new tabby colour

takes a bit of concentration!

P1070438next – woven as honeycomb

first, using only one colour in the cells

 then alternating five colours in four blocks

P1070433finally, petitpoint swivel

the honeycomb and swivel are my favorite

P1070435but – they have long floats on the back

I learned more on this warp than all the other samples

the wool is definitely worth using

 finer yarns are much nicer

that’s the end of samples – for a while

now I have to decide what to weave!

Fibrations and a volcano

August 17, 2015

it was a beautiful day for Fibrations

a celebration of fibre artists


in a new location this year – everyone seemed happy with the change

the weavers’ guild was there


lots of demonstrations and things to do


spinning on a great wheel


weaving on a triangular loom


Victoria’s kilt maker showing off his 100-year-old sock knitting machine

P1070392yarns and colours in abundance

and after, a family dinner to celebrate son and daughter-in-law’s birthdays

P1070401we’ve had many celebrations here

Carrie is still not too old to have the kids favorite dessert

 a volcano – ice cream on dry ice

but now she has to send pictures to her friends

we are all growing older and the world is changing!

the heat goes on

August 13, 2015

a few drops of rain and we’re back to sizzling temperatures

blue and white at least looks cool

P1070369after a sample a much larger shibori piece

P1070381 back and front views show the difference that pole wrapping makes

12 dips in the vat, rinsed and pressed

very happy with this piece

P1070377in the studio, more samples

crackle threading woven as Bronson lace

the warp is a very fine worsted wool

as is the weft for the first sample

then 60/2 silk

P1070378it is extremely difficult to check for mistakes

a black cloth behind the weaving helps to show the pattern


 I expect a significant change after washing

P1070367in the evenings

spinning on my Journey wheel

bombyx silk – luxury!

dyed and happy

August 10, 2015

Saturday and Sunday was my annual shibori/dye weekend

P1070350 despite several people cancelling at the last minute

and rain on Saturday afternoon – (we used the pots of rhubarb and lac/cochineal in the kitchen)

we had a very productive and happy time

P1070351Marion came from up island and stayed overnight

she made good use of the indigo vat

P1070346dyeing three pieces of clothing

P1070363and this pre-tied silk she bought from Maiwa

P1070362my job was to unpick the ties when the dyeing was finished

they come off easily with a gentle tug

the finished piece is a dreamy cloud of blue and white

P1070352Sunday was hot and back to indigo skies

Robin dyed many skeins of cotton all three colours

P1070354and this small piece of 100% wool felt from Knotty by Nature

when it has been dyed and still on the pole it is treated to a hot and cold bath

then felted a bit more so it will retain the textureP1070345it is a time to experiment and learn new techniques

P1070365Marion’s arashi shibori  on an old cotton napkin was a nice surprise

P1070349these two pieces were layered on top of each other

roughly stitched in a spiral, tied tightly, one dip in the indigo then dyed in lac/cochineal

P1070366Monday morning


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