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March 27, 2015

it has been a busy month

but my very old T.V. is acting up and it is amazing how much a person can accomplish

P1060605a month’s worth of spinning

 cotton I’m planning for the next weft

Romney dyed purple/black – it is so dark that it has been difficult to spin at night

on my favorite Turkish spindle some very nice cotton

and 12 oz. of soft 2 ply wool that I almost buried in the compost pile

P1060599three 2 1/2 pound cones of wool

passed on by a guild member

this is VERY fine, maybe 60/2 – I’d need two lifetimes to weave it all

and it has some moth damage which could cause a “little” problem


so here is the plan – a challenge to my students

using at least one colour and hopefully two or all three

choosing your own weave structure, weave something??

and make samples for everyone who chooses to participate

P1060600a new (to me) fibre magazine PLY 

(with samples of the wool)

this is the fourth issue and focuses on silk

it has good, in-depth articles well written and researched

P1060604I’ll be looking for future issues

P1060606threading the loom is progressing – slowly

P1060607and the studio tour is approaching quickly – too quickly

meanwhile the bugs are busy

P1060609 the garden is calling

P1060612and everything is growing


textiles to truly dye for

March 20, 2015

the ultimate in textiles


Charlotte Kwan, owner of Maiwa Handprints was the guest speaker at the Victoria guild last night

P1060576it is impossible to show you the amazing selection of textiles she brought from her private collection

and we were allowed to touch!


kasuri (ikat) is what I studied and wove at Kawashima for 6 months

it is highly underrated in the textile world

and takes years to become proficient and weave fine, intricate patterns like the one above

P1060596this is a kimono jacket I wove at Kawashima

silk weft kasuri, each individual weft thread is shifted in the open shed to create the pattern

the silk weft was spun from dyed cocoons

P1060585the picture doesn’t do this piece justice with its unwoven spaces and floating wefts

years ago I saw a similar piece from Charlotte’s collection and wove this piece


woven warp kasuri, dyed with indigo

the weft is paper (shifu)

hanging behind it is another piece of indigo dyed woven kasuri

P1060586incredible silk

P1060579tied, dyed with the ties removed, then each row stitched in place


stitching that Maiwa has done in India and then made into small bags


underneath is a jacket from Northern China

dyed an amazing dark indigo, coated with egg whites and beaten to give it the shine

similar to those in two of my favorite textile books


Textiles: The Soul of India by Hiroko Iwatate


Imprints on Cloth by Sadae and Tomoko Torimaru

(I think these books are still available at Maiwa)P1060583

a skirt from China

dyed with indigo, tightly pleated and coated with pig’s blood

P1060581shi sha mirrors stitched between the stitched patterns

technique, colour, pattern and above all talent

it is like taking a trip to another world

Spring clean up

March 18, 2015

the tea towels are finished


using a boucle for the heavy weft and a different colour fine weft is a good change


what’s next?

bath towels for me, using the handspun cotton/linen for weft

same weave structure

when I peg in a 10 shaft pattern on the dobby loom it is nice to use it more than once


the fleece takes time to prepare but spins up quickly


I’m forcing myself to finish or it will end up on the bottom of a pile again

and I’m in a hurry to spin this lovely Romney next

from Knotty by Nature, dyed black/purple by Ryan

very difficult to photograph


today is garden pick-up, thank goodness

I can stop cutting down the garden

and start Spring house cleaning – I know my priorities!

happy days

March 17, 2015

“Everyone is an artist.

Each person brings sound out of silence

and coaxes the invisible to become visible.”


May your day be touched

by a bit of Irish luck

brightened by a song in your heart

and warmed by the smiles of the people you love.

quote from Anam Cara  by John O’Donohue

heavy work

March 13, 2015

time for a lunch break

the community garden pick up is in a few days

I’ve been busy pruning and hacking down bushes

P1060532a branch came down and got me in the face – now I have a black eye!

this snowball shrub has grown into an out-of-control tree

(the forsythia behind it is next)

It is covered in lichen so I’ve been saving as much as I can

it’s a slow process

P1060540 can’t wait to fire up the dye pot

P1060546meanwhile the pile is growing

P1060541almost as big as my car!

by evening all I can do is spin


the cotton is finished


this wool is dirty but after  flick carding the tips and then hand carding

it is spinning up nicely

there isn’t much of it – think I got fed up and stuck it in a basket – years ago

now it’s back to the bushes.

making music

March 7, 2015

my new students are just getting started


Helen is on her way – floating selvedges are working and she has finished the hemstitching

P1060529Tanja missed a dent in the reed so we cut out a bit of the heading

will re-sley and then start again


Kelly wanted to learn on her own table loom

we had to make a few adjustments but now she is tying-on


my tea towels are getting brighter

a turquoise weft and now a red/orange one

they will get you going in the morning!


every second year the school choirs in Victoria have the opportunity to perform

in Farquhar Auditorium at the University of Victoria

children from grade 3 through high school

the work, time and dedication of the students and their teachers

is evident in their beautiful music

this is where the Fashion Show will be held in 2017 for the ANWG Conference

Treadle Lightly


granddaughter Carrie (in the middle) with classmates

I went to the same school the year it opened

how time flies!!

more colour blending

March 3, 2015

still working on the stash

so many colour changes make the warping SLOW

tea towels again – for the Studio Tour in April



there is a pattern in the colour and block repeats

I like to mix it up a little


the results are very Spring-ish

P1060507a 10 harness double two-tie unit weave

using only one colour for the weft the weaving is going quickly

white weft for the first towel, yellow for the second

now back to the loom


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