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fun in the summer

August 21, 2017

Fibrations – a fibre event

free to all fibre fanatics

even needle felted bunnies and ravens

thanks to Stephanie and Ryan at Knotty by Nature

who do the organizing and planning

looking at the world through the spokes of a great wheel

locally grown and processed flax

it is a long process and hard work to create linen yarn

local folks hangin’ out

my only purchase – earrings

I needed them to fill the holes in my head!

then home to more stitching

adding to the current boro piece

stitching with linen thrums

inspired by my favorite sashiko book

the applique fabric is a small piece of old silk

and some handwoven, kakishibu dyed linen

a wonderful way to use precious scraps

placing a wee bit of quilt batting under the applique

even the garden is celebrating blue


happy days

August 17, 2017

it’s finished – hot off the loom

it almost finished me – as a weaver, not a happy project

but it isn’t as bad as I thought it would be

and not as lumpy to walk on – so it is usable

there are still a lucky 13 balls of fuzzy yarn left – ugh!

on to better things

yesterday was girls day out with granddaughters Carrie and Jillian

starting with pizza for lunch

Prima Strada for quattro fromagio

Velma and Bryan I’d send you a slice but the mailman might eat it

then shopping !

  now that was a new experience for me – with a 13 and 16 year old – no time for pictures

then ice cream at Beacon Hill drive-in for dessert

and on to the petting zoo in the park

lots of little kids and tourists – summer in Victoria

and big kids, too

we stayed for a couple of hours, they had a ball

Jill wanted to take one home

favorite baby – Maxine – they all have names on their collars

they loved nibbling on Carrie’s trendy jeans

and when I got home to a relaxing glass of winea message from VelmaTerra Flora

wonderful paper and beautiful words

I feel blessed!





the colours of summer

August 12, 2017

summer is my time to dye – and I haven’t had time

the yarrow (achillea) is over 5 feet tall

this is a bright yellow flower with tight, compact flower heads

in the foreground is a pale pink yarrow that grows a maximum of 2 feet tall

it doesn’t give the same intense colour

silk shibori, wool felt shibori and skeins of silk, wool and cotton

the flower heads were soaked in the sun for 3 days

 simmered for 1 1/2 hours – the smell is very strong, cook outside if possible

remove plant material, add the fibre and simmer for 1 hour then leave overnight in the dye to cool

the colour is much stronger than shown in the pictures

from the left – silk, wool and cotton skeins on light weight silk shibori

this is very close to the true colour

the wool felt will hold the texture if cooled in the dye bath – do not iron

I used an alum mordant – BUT – the clamps for the silk shibori are very old and getting rusty

they would have acted as a secondary mordant

(the colour is a very strong yellow without the rust)

the conference committee had a final meeting yesterday

Christine, our fearless leader made fabric boxes for each member of the planning committee

she made the boxes before covering them

each box reflected the owner’s interests

considering she had just spent 5 very intense days managing a conference

and her garden – and family were waiting

I’m just amazed at the time she took

mine is a perfect little sewing box which I’ll use every evening

thank you, Christine



a not so lazy summer

August 9, 2017

in attempting to tame the fuzzies

I have combined the weaving with rags

the surface is uneven so it is more decorative than useful

maybe a bathmat?

the only good thing about it is that some stash, the chenille yarn – and rags – are being used

and I like the colours

difficult to justify spending precious hours weaving something that will never be very good

I’m forcing myself to weave a little every day in order to finish as quickly as possible

on the bright side, the journal pages are finished early this month

it seemed obvious to put the shifu samples on a page woven with secret messages

with the handspun cotton

and a drawdown for the 10 harness double two-tie unit weave beside it

three full sheets of kiraku kozo are spun, with several more ready to cut and spin

and in the garden the fig tree is enormous

the fruit is large and abundant

I can’t reach anywhere near the top

and the lazy raccoons are eating from the lowest branches

oh, yum-m

shifu weaving

August 4, 2017

I’ve been weeding – both literally and creatively

searching for inspiration

a view from the ground up

meanwhile the shifu weaving is finished – washed and trimmed

even with a hemp warp it is soft enough to wear as a scarf

the weft is 100% handcut shifu paper, natural dyes

the bamboo reed worked perfectly

both ends were woven in Triple Draught Bird’s Eye

dyes (from the top) are indigo, kakishibu

natural with sumi writing

madder root, sumi and onion skinthe center is plain weave – with a secret message

the process is time-consuming

here is paper just cut

rolled in a damp towel and left overnight

then rolled on a rough surface until the individual strands become soft and round

the threads are torn off the header and the small connecting piece is rolled between the fingers

alternating opposite ends

you can see the fibre in the handmade Japanese paper that makes it strong

as the ends are torn, creating one very long thread

it is layered into a basket

when finished, beans are sprinkled on the top to prevent the stiff thread from becoming tangled

and then it is spun

I have spun it on both a drop spindle and a wheel

the wheel spun yarn gets a more even twist and is strongerthere is even a small sample for the monthly journal

squeezed out on the end of the warp

and now I’m off to conquer the beast on the loom!

time flies

July 30, 2017

time flies

as we treadle lightly

having fun shifu weaving

weaving on the floor loom is not so happy

using the woven chenille yarn as weft


having to place each weft in by hand – after un-twisting it all

and then beat it in by hand

it is taking far too long and the results are not satisfactory

I know I’m not going to continue but I’m waiting for a miracle to happen

 the warp yarn can be saved

but what to do with all the weft??

back to stitching in the evenings

much more relaxing

we haven’t had any rain/moisture in three weeks

forest fires are overwhelming the interior of the province

I water every day

even nature isn’t perfect

occasionally – almost

summer threads

July 23, 2017

 never having woven on a backstrap loom

I decided it was wise not to mix too many new challenges in the same warp

 the reed works nicely on the Le Clerc table loom

  I’m using an antique Japanese shuttle

I wonder what it has woven before and who’s hands have held it?

first I had to cut and sand bamboo bobbins

it has rollers/wheels on the underside – next shuttle race here we come!

and a unique mechanism for securing the bobbin

a beautiful, functional tool made before cost was the bottom line

the weft is all shifu yarn – dyed with indigo, madder, kakishibu, sumi ink

and my calligraphy practice paper

there are secrets hidden in those threads

another new book

Diligence and Elegance

The Nature of Japanese Textiles

it is an exhibition catalogue from the Textile Museum of Canada

and is pictured with Kigami and Kami-ito by Hiroko Karuno

both books are available from the Museum shop

the exhibition runs from July 12, 2017 – January 21, 2018

the exhibition features the Museum’s extensive collection of Japanese Textiles

as well as contemporary work by Keiko Shintani and Hiroko Karuno

I’m trying to think how I can justify a quick trip to Toronto?

the planning committee for Treadle Lightly had a celebratory lunch

cheers to Christine for keeping us all on track

relaxed and happywhat’s next ladies?