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Scrap happy Easter

April 14, 2019

it is surprising what you find when re-organizing the fibre stash

only 150 grams – 5 colours of kid mohair locks

2 bags of shocking pink and one blue, green and purple (it hid from the camera)

I’ve had it for so long I can’t remember where it came from

and because I mainly use natural dyes the chemical colours seem shockingly  bright


handcarded to blend the colours

handspun into a fine singles and then plied

the blended colours are not quite so bright and they do look a little Easter-y

washed and skeined, there are 142 grams (5 ounces)

approximately 295 yards – not enough to make much of anything

without any weaving available to sample on I tried a bit of stitching

not good – too soft and fuzzy and not a tight enough spin

so now it moves from the fibre stash to the yarn stash

and will probably be used as weft in weaving

from Kate (who keeps us reminded) here is the list of Scrap Happy bloggers

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


guild sale

April 12, 2019

opening night was crowded

congratulations to the committee who worked very hard to make this a success

they did a wonderful job of display

it was difficult to take pictures as there were so many people

the variety of work for sale is impressive

and I was told that sales are goodtomorrow I will be in my studio

let’s hope it is just as good

and the weather co-operates

showing off

April 10, 2019

there are days when I think back to a time without computers

oh well! ain’t going to happen!

the photo editing software I’ve used for years has changed their format

no notice/warning – took an hour to figure out how to download a picture

time I could have spent weaving or washing the dishes

anyhow back to business…

I’m busy cleaning the studio

studio tour is this weekend – April 13th & 14th

noon – 4:30 pm

come and say hello if you are in the vicinity

the Victoria Handweavers and Spinners Guild sale is the same weekend

yeah – Erinn is cutting off her weaving

she had fun weaving samples at the end – sorry, took the picture in a hurry

and her son had fun weaving on 4 harnesses

have you ever seen a prouder weaver?

finished the backstrap warp for this month

can’t explain why I have become so enchanted

except – being a working part of the loom you have to “live in the moment”

with each pass of the weft

moving your body back and forward – just a little

to tighten and ease the tension, you develop a rhythm

and you can weave almost to the very end

the thrums are so short there is no need to re-purpose them

back to cleaning the studio

working outside

April 1, 2019

the weather has been wonderful – perfect to weave tapestry outside

or spin a beautiful Muga silk, but not if there is any wind – it is so light it floats away

and today I warped the backstrap loom, don’t think it is getting any easier

linsey/woolsey again with 2 ply hemp warp and a 2 ply handspun wool with a sad story

pushed to the back of a shelf, the moths found it and had a feast

I re-skeined it, put all the really short bits in the compost and now it will do for weft

 this time I made a threading mistake, fortunately it wasn’t too difficult to correct

the center counter in the kitchen is a perfect height

and I can work at the back and front easily

the heddle is threaded and the warp is secured to the back beam

four hours later I’m finally weaving

this warp is wider and longer – the heddle is only 12 inches so I put on 10 inches, 2 1/2 yards

I had to reinforce the deer fencing when an unwanted visitor showed up

they eat ALL the tulips – and hosta, the new Japanese maple, some succulents and new veggie sprouts

and now I have to mow the lawn

first a message to Suzanne (we are have trouble exchanging emails)

I mailed your towels on March 28th



designing ways

March 25, 2019

for me, one of the more difficult parts of tapestry weaving

is – “what to weave?”

like many art forms you need to start with an image

 this new work is easy

I’ve been obsessed with kimono for more than 35 years

these hand painted images are from a kimono seller’s sample book

in 1987, while a student at Kawashima Textile School, two of us found this book in a junk store

we laid the pages out on the tables in the school dining room

and took turns choosing them – we each have 24 one of a kind kimono pictures

(click on the picture to see the detail)

putting together ideas, including the boro sample woven as a wrist band

the weather was so nice last week I took the loom outside to get started

and now I will happily weave a small boro kimono

meanwhile I have been tagging weaving for the guild show and sale

it is the same weekend as my studio tour so I’m going to be busy

plodding on

March 20, 2019

a small step in the right direction

one yard of linsey-woolsey finished

some of my struggles on the backstrap loom are feeling easier

not very exciting but very satisfying

woven with a rigid heddle sett at 12 epi

the 2 ply handspun linen and wool were perfect

after washing it is much softer than expected

maybe it will go into the indigo vat – the two fibres will take the colour differently

occasionally I do a walking tour downtown, in the city I’ve spent most of my adult life

changes are inevitable but some things stay the same

March 17th – St Patrick’s Day

the piper in Inner Harbour is always entertaining

it was a beautiful day and the streets were crowded

in the background is the Customs House on the corner of the harbour – (taken in 2017)

it is being redeveloped into very expensive condos

one of the city’s requirements was that the facade had to be saved

rather a strange sight

now I have to write an “artisan’s bio” and find a photo to submit work for a guild sale – 😦

I would rather be warping a loom





Scrap Happy March

March 14, 2019

thrums are the waste threads left when it is no longer mechanically possible to weave the warp

they are unavoidable and they really add up

it is a shame to waste them, many of mine are handspun and naturally dyed

they get used for stitching but that barely makes a dent in the stash


I warped the tapestry loom to weave two pieces 2.5″ x 6.5″

using the “Fringeless” technique the only finishing required is threading in all the ends

best done in the evening in front of the fire

and sewing on a button

 the warp is linen picked up from the guild “free” table

the weft is all thrums – wool, silk, alpaca and cotton

what are they? – wrist bands or cuffs

the pink one is wedge weave, a Navajo technique, which creates a scalloped edge

the blue one is split tapestry, woven as a sample for a larger tapestry still on paper

designed to resemble Japanese boro fabrics

buttons are an old mother-of-pearl and a pottery one purchased in 2012 at Fujino train station

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at).

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

See you again, same time next month!