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more blues

August 28, 2016

it is raining – only a light misting

but we haven’t had any moisture in weeks so anything is welcome

I heard the garden sigh!

it has taken days to get to this point

P1100382starting with a light coloured weft makes  any threading mistakes easier to see

designed to use up numerous handspun yarns

P1100386the warp is sett at 36 e.p.i

 the pattern is dornik twill

and the weft is a very fine scratchy mohair, indigo dyed

weaving at approximately 30 e.p.i.

P1100374it was a bit of a struggle to wind the warp

and then wind it on the back beam

P1100369“oh, what tangled warps we weave …”

but it is behaving well and with only one shuttle hopefully will weave fairly quickly

  it is soft and will drape nicely

a warm, winter hanten for working in the studio

with August almost finished

here is the month’s prayer flag – sort of

P1100365

P1100362flying in the early morning sun

Summer fun

August 23, 2016

summer is drifting along

Fibrations was a success

fibrations 2016with an abundance of small creaturesneedlefelyneedle felted miniatures

tiny sock monkeysmy favorite were the sock monkeys but the flying pigs were a second

mini mouseMini wanted a mini mouse to knit her a sweater

P1100327 this little fellow wanted to know “why won’t she talk to me”?

sock knittingthe sock knitting machine drew a crowd

sock machinethis old machine looks like the same one my Mom had back in the ’50s

deep blue happily there was a little bit of bluesummer calmthere was also a blue day at the beach – Witty’s Lagoon

where I remember several high school parties many years ago

that is the city of Victoria in the distance

waiting for lunchwaiting patiently for a handout

mary -getting her feet wetMary – testing the waters

bamboo

August 18, 2016

it’s going to be the hottest day yet

so Mini and I are taking pictures in the shade of the black bamboo

P1100319the cushions are finished

I had to buy a new iron before sewing

why does everything seem to quit working a couple of months after the warranty runs out!

P1100312one side is woven with only one pattern colour

P1100313on the other side I had fun changing colours

P1100315all handspun pattern yarns

 wool, silk and alpaca

P1100318while hanging out in the bamboo

I remembered these skeins of bamboo I spun and dyed several years ago

indigo, kakishibu, madder and plain bleached

so now I have a plan – and the two madder dyed skeins are going into the indigo vat

bamboo is an amazing plant

P1090367in the forest it grows rapidly

to eat, it  needs to be gathered while very young

it was the season when we were in Fujino

P1090297a local farmer showed up one day to climb the mountain

P1090294he seemed happy with his harvest

P1090041it is delicious eaten fresh

P1080704beautiful in the garden and great for building

P1100320Japanese weavers make bobbins with hollow lengths

loose ends

August 14, 2016

the loom is bare again

at least this time I know what to weave nextP1100308four Monk’s Belt cushion covers

handspun wool on a cottolin warp

they need stitching and cushion forms

the reverse side is a surprise

just managed to squeeze out a cotton tea towel

on the end of the warp

P1100310using up the odd bits of yarn on a dozen bobbins

there will be a tea towel exchange at Treadle Lightly

the 2017 ANWG Conference in Victoria

in keeping with the theme of the conference it is suggested

weavers use up odd yarns

my students are finished, they were happy and enthusiastic – I will miss them

P1100270after finishing her scarf Kate had fun playing with colours and treadlings

P1100298 the time came to cut it off

P1100300Joan wasn’t quite finished so we collapsed the loom

it is going to Salt spring Island for a short stay

P1100306I absolutely do not need to add to my yarn stash

but I can’t stop spinning

red Eri silk – no dyeing needed

 it is incredibly beautiful

off to wind a warp!

preparations

August 10, 2016

once upon a time, long, long ago

when I was a young (too young) bride in Great Britain

I bought my veggies from an old farmer – Tom

one fall day he told me “it’s going to be a hard Winter, the rooks are nesting high”

apparently so the snow didn’t reach their nests in the hedgerows

 he also told me it is a sign of a long winter

when there is an unusual abundance of fruit and berries

P1100285fig marmalade in the freezer

P1100286grape jelly next

P1100288more berries on the holly tree than I’ve ever seen before

P1100291the robins will love the mountain ash berries

P1100290the madder is blooming and already has berries

it is only dug up and harvested every three years

P1100297more colour, this time madder with an alum mordant

handspun yarns – boucle wool/mohair plied with fine silk, Merino 2 ply and silk

I used finely ground madder from Maiwa

 not one of my favorite colours

stay tuned, I’m going to try top dyeing or maybe an iron modifier

to tone down the orange

P1070707the weavers are busy!

the leaves are beginning to fall

August 6, 2016

dyeing – autumn colours

P1100219achillea – bright yellow yarrow

gives a strong yellow on silk (top) and wool

 it is also a long-lasting cut flower

the squirrels plant walnuts, which get out of control quickly

P1100218I chopped one back (trying to kill it!) and got a smashed finger

then peeled the bark, chopped it up and let it soak in the sun for a week

boiled it for an hour, removed the bark

and boiled silk and wool in the bath for another hour

P1100283the results are on the right, wool on the outside and then silk

moving left is wool and then silk dyed in just the leaves

a mordant isn’t always necessary with walnut but I used alum for all the dye pots

P1100273my favorite is the handspun silk dyed in the leaves

seen here in the monk’s belt weaving

can’t believe summer is flying by so quickly

gifts

August 3, 2016

a parcel from Japan

P1100257my very own samurai

think I’ll hang him by the front door

and the silk I painted

which was sent to my friend framed with glass

she wisely removed it before mailing

P1100258it is a fukusa, used for gift wrapping or covering tea ceremony utensils

I love the gold leaf, even the hem stitching is done with gold thread

then there is the abundance in the garden

P1100261in the 20 years since I planted it the fig tree has never been so abundant

I leave them until they are almost dripping off the tree, liquid honey

and share them with the raccoons and starlings

they are great to just eat, like an apple

but good with yogurt or fantastic baked, served with ice cream

they don’t last long so at the end I cook a huge pot of orange/fig marmalade

started August’s prayer flag, although it is different this month

P1100264an origami crane made from a shibori sample, I’m planning on three of them

I backed the light cotton with lightweight fusible interfacing and mulberry paper

stitching through several layers was hard on the fingers

P1100263this is the one I brought home from Japan

P1090436these are Bryan’s

they came from Studio Saiseiryu – which translates as “recycle lifestyle”

the home and life of Mixer and JunP1090473here they are in front of the shop

for some background information on this wonderful, unique couple

go to http://www.japanesetextileworkshops.blogspot.com/2012/01/crazy-ones.html

P1090501P1090474

 my kind of shop

a little bit of everything

it is wild and wonderful and crazy

tiny and jam-packed

P1090478shoes off and enter

notice the string of tiny prayer flags

P1090479Bryan never stops moving

P1090498there is so much to see

P1090480the wonders never stop – what did heather buy?

P1090494explaining her kantha stitched quilts

all made from scraps

I bought my own string of prayer flags

P1100266the proceeds go to the children of Fukushima

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