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respecting the past

October 21, 2016

last night I presented a very small portion of the VHSG’s Permanent Collection

to members of the Victoria Handweaver’s and Spinner’s Guild

before I carefully wrap them up individually and return them to their trunk


I decided to show some of them here

p1100771a declaration from the City of Victoria, signed by the Mayor

opening the conference Heirlooms from Handlooms – dated 1977

p1100772 the committee sash and pin from the ANWG 1997 conference

Straits and Strands

twenty years later we will host another ANWG conference in 2017

Treadle Lightly

p1100760a wonderful piece of Victoria history

designed and woven by Chris Howland

the sample length for Glenlyon-Norfolk House private school uniforms

jills-first-full-day-of-kindergarten-004-3granddaughter Jillian, with brother Iain, on her first day of kindergarten

in the tartan still used todayp1100762Hazel Murray’s Fool’s Hat

p1100761as seen in Spin-Off magazine’s publication

  Tops with a Twist

p1100763right – pine needle basket with attached lid by Vivian Allenby

left – 8 harness huck box woven with handspun silk and copper wire

 by Helen thomas

p1100764and lined with red silk

the woven piece is a border panel in upphampta technique by Gertrude Fielding

woven on her Woolhouse 50 harness drawloom

p1100768“Mala’s Welsh Sample” 16 harness colour and weave

woven by Jean Barrickp1100773damask place mat designed to match Swedish dishes

woven by Master Weaver, Anke Keizer-Bles

Anke is no longer able to weave but she still loves to talk “weaving”

I visit her every week – for the past 7 years

p1100774damask place mat woven on 10 harnesses with 40/2 bleached linen

woven by Anne Ayre

Anne also is no longer weaving but one of my students now weaves on her loom

p11007668 harness Summer and Winter woven by Florence Daniels

one of the original guild members

she taught weaving for 50 years, many of the early members were her students

(double-click on the picture to read more)

p1100780 wallhanging in boundweave woven by Ruth Anstey

the guild’s annual memorial lecture is named in her honor

p1100779and the learning continues

moving on

October 17, 2016

well, the big wind missed us

p1100717all is calm at the seashore

p1100732a great variety of kelp has washed ashore

p1100721beaches are covered with driftwood and logs

p1100729the crustose rock lichen has swollen with the rain

p1100744leaves have blanketed the graveyard

p1100741and mushrooms are popping up everywhere

p1100756October’s prayer flag is finished

p1100758the details are mostly in the stitching

p1100715now I can get back to shibori stitching on the linen bed cover

this is going to take a year!

p1100751I tried dyeing the kimono roll of chirimen silk

lac and logwood

it didn’t give the nice clear resists I was hoping for

might be the textured surface of the silk

will have to do more samples before dyeing the hanten lining I was planning.

stormy weather

October 15, 2016

two storms in a week

and now

 ” the remnants of Super Typhoon Songda are expected to hit the west coast late Saturday afternoon”

so while #2 was blowing itself out

I went in search of autumn leaves

p1100667starting in Beacon Hill Park

p1100669where the Canada geese were loudly announcing their presence

p1100694Garry Oaks are an important part of the southern Vancouver Island ecosystemp1100699and in the Mayor’s Grove, with trees dedicated to Victoria’s past mayors

(can you see the ladybug)?

p1100698a squirrel is stockpiling for winterp1100693the ducks are doing what ducks do

p1100670a colour palette of decaying leaves

p1100710and a selection of lichen for future dyeing

p1100683an ancient ginko tree, not yet turning yellow

p1100684but gathering raindrops

p1100707then on to the Ross Bay Cemetery where the trees are beautiful any time of year

p1100708and the deer roam freelyp1100705 out on the Strait of Juan de Fuca a tug struggles against the rising wind

giving thanks

October 9, 2016

tomorrow is Thanksgiving in Canada

a time to consider how thankful I am

for family, friends, a warm safe home

and the country I live in

p1100655 this month’s prayer flag celebrates abundance

and the last tomato from my garden

p1100630the old napkin is pole wrapped shibori

dyed with kakishibu

the damask pattern shines through the dye and the kantha stitchingp1100625finished spinning the red eri silk

it is only 40 grams and was lovely to spin

p1100645weaving committee sashes for the ANWG 2017 Conference

designed and coordinated by committee member Sharon Broadley

p1100658the pattern is a plaited twill

p1100650the Nerine lily is blooming

the pink seems too Spring-like at this time of year

blessings to everyone

kimono and silk

October 5, 2016

searching the stash for an interesting lining fabric for the next hanten p1100633I found these pieces of silk kimono

they have been cut to accommodate a front collar band

which makes me wonder if it was used as a lining

but the silk is heavy and the pattern more elaborate than most linings

p1100635I’m considering making a western style top out of it

in Japan this Spring

Toshiko-san gave us a fashion show of wonderful garments she made from kimono fabrics

while wearing a two piece outfit

she also emptied the closet

p1090805patchwork, applique pockets


p1090806look at the neckline detail and fabric buttons


wonderful details and perfect workmanship

p1090801 a very wearable jacket

each piece was lined with more kimono silk

recycling at its very best

p1090831and Erica-san in her two piece dress

I want to go and take a class

a seemingly endless supply of fabrics is available at

at Narita airport I bought this book to amuse myself on the long flight homep1100636articles from a popular magazine, Nanao – in English

how young professional woman are recycling their mother’s

and grandmother’s kimono

did you know, there is no “s” on kimono to make it plural

p1100638how to choose undergarments, obi, accessories and footwear

to create modern, high fashion for everyday wear

p1100640and even how to put it on

finally a new Kimono blog has come to my attention


October 2, 2016


recently, several people have asked me where to go, what to see in Kyoto

p1100619I am no expert on Kyoto

and it was 27 years ago that I spent 6 months at Kawashima

in the village of Ichihara

but – listed here are some of the things I would see/do if I had another 6 months in the area

in no particular order

two outdoor markets – Toji Temple on the 21st of every month

and Kitano Tenjin Shrine on the 25th of each month

I used to skip school to go to one or both of these

Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art

Kyoto Handicraft Center – a little tourist-y, short workshops available

(Jean-Pierre reports that they have downsized considerably)

Nishijin Textile Center and Shijo-dori -info on both can be found on

click on “destinations”  then “kyoto”

it gives good maps and how to get there on public transport

side streets in the Shijo-dori area have everything from traditional crafts, a major food market to upscale shops of French designers. You can spend a whole day there.

Kimizudera Temple – also found on

 view of Kyoto from the temple is breathtaking

Lonely Planet Kyoto – written by Chris Rowthorn has excellent info.

Kyoto Artisans Concierge – the home page gives you a menu of different crafts to select

click on your area of interest – the information is well-organized

famous Japanese potter, Kanjiro Kawaii’s home is a museum, with a climbing kiln

again one of my favorite places

close to Nishijin Textile Center, Aizen Kobe is famous for indigo dyeing

Inaga Kikiryou

google “” as I can’t seem to get a link

traditional weaving equipment, the website is in English but my experience is that no English is spoken in the shop. I could go crazy in this place, then how to get it home?

and finally

Morita Washi

also found on

washi is Japanese handmade paper but this is paper like not seen anywhere else

an absolute must!

this should keep you busy

now I wish I was on my way to Kyoto

*Jean-Pierre adds this from Japan

you can visit the Imperial Household Agency in Gosho Park, the Palace compound in the center of Kyoto

open on weekdays

foreigners can book free tours (same day or following day) of the 4 Imperial palaces in Kyoto

you will need to show your passport – the tours are guided, no wandering around on your own

the gardens and architecture are amazing

the most famous are Katsura Rikyu and Shugakuin

I visited both when I was a student at Kawashima

they are well worth the effort

and also from J.P., the bookstore Maruzen, in the basement of BAL department store building is excellent


celebrating six years

September 28, 2016

this is post number 890

I didn’t know anything about blogging 6 years ago

the most rewarding part is meeting new people with new or different ideas

some of them become friends – thank you

 taken hundreds of photos

woven yards and yards

spun even more yards of silk, flax, hemp, wool and paper

learned a little more about computers

and yes, even wasted quite a few hours

here is what is on the loom now

p1100592the hanten collar/band

handspun 2 ply silk warp and the same mohair weft

threaded in my old favorite, Dornik twill

p1100590slowly spinning muga silk on my tiny – 11 grams –  Kuchulu Turkish spindle

from Jenkins Woodworking

p1100595a fine singles

but mostly still working in the garden

take a stroll through a beautiful garden in Japan

p1080683the top of the fence post – braided rope

p1080698bridges across ponds and streams

p1080714the restaurant where we had a fantastic, multi-course lunch

p1080705served in antique ceramics and glassware



p1080694and of course, koi

they are so big – guess they don’t have to fight the raccoons

p1080726lanterns to light your way

p1080722and a colourful banner

p1080689a large, well maintained garden

serene and peaceful