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November 11, 2019

we will remember

Ross Bay Cemetery  – 11-11-19

spinning my wheels

November 10, 2019

light rain for 24 hours broke a 65 year record for a dry spell at this time of year

but today was dry and not too cold so I worked another 2 hours raking leaves and pruning

I think it’s done for now – after all it is November these seed pods are so cheerful I brought some in

they are the seeds from Iris foetidissima – one would assume from the name that they smell bad

but mine don’t smell at all

and this large polypore – possibly Ganoderma applanatum or “Artist’s conk”

is growing at the base of the Japanese plum

 there is a very small one just starting, on the right

the white underside will turn brown when scratched or drawn on

there is an abundance of cinnamon coloured  spore dust on it and the tree, it is as hard as concrete

I want to try dyeing with it but had no luck even trying to sawing it off

with the month drifting along November’s backstrap weaving is finally started

handspun, 2 ply wool in both warp and weft

the pink is a blend of several natural dyed colours from a few years ago

50 grams of Bombyx silk  spun on the IST Crafts Turkish spindle and plied on the wheel

can’t wait to dye it!

celebrating autumn

November 6, 2019

 hard to believe it is November

it has been unseasonably warm, dry and calm –  the rain and wind will come soon enough

with the studio tour finished there is time to do the necessary garden clean up

weaving is on hold!

fig leaves are large and the tree almost doubled in size this year – the leaf pile is enormous

the Japanese maple seemed to drop all its leaves in a single day

all the under shrubs need attending to

on the boulevard, the young River birch are magnificent in their colourful peeling bark

the Amanita muscaria grows happily under the birch

be careful it can be piosonous and doesn’t give a dye colour

great mushroom books for the dyer

(click on picture to enlarge)

“All That the Rain Promises, and More…” is great for identification with good descriptions

lists those plants known for their dye properties, with pictures, has some good stories and even poetry

all in a small paperback that easily fits in a backpack

but now I’m off to rake more leaves


studio tour

November 2, 2019

it’s a bright sunny day in the neighborhood

so much better than rain!

studio tour today and tomorrow  – if you are in the area please drop by and say “hi”

brochures are available at Oak Bay Rec. Center or my studio

2215 Florence St.  – one block from the Fort. St. and Foul Bay intersection

I’m as ready as I’ll ever be

2 whole days to weave – yeah!

weaving again

October 28, 2019

tea towels again

using up small cones from the stash – 2/8 cottons

at least they will be bright and cheerful

and – October’s challenge

finished and stitched  – the blanket is growing

only 2 more months of the self imposed backstrap challenge

what have I learned?


now it is time to tidy up and prepare for the studio tour


weaving onward

October 22, 2019

finally – the shifu warp is finished

it was started in March – 7 months

never in my 40+ years of weaving has a warp stayed on the loom for so long

bleached linen warp and handspun Japanese paper weft (shifu)

my intention was to make a summer jacket (next summer?)

and use several balls of paper thread, spun from different papers, some plied with silk

they are too precious and labor intensive to leave lingering in the stash

the warp stripe is European hemp in a natural silver colour

the weft colours are dyed with sumi ink and tea

the weave pattern is an 11 harness twill

all the small slubs are created when cutting and spinning the paper

only one problem so far

 one of the front/back pieces is longer than the other – I’ll have to think of something creative

 it hasn’t been washed yet

back in March I completely lost interest – that’s scary!

my relationship with the loom simply disappeared

it is like “falling out” with an old friend

no quarrel, nothing, just empty!

but now, I think/hope we’re friends again

there was enough warp left (due to that measuring mistake)

to weave a tea towel

with a very nice blue linen weft – easier to see the twill pattern

the October backstrap weaving got off to a late start

but it’s on the way now – handspun wool warp and weft, it’s a bit sticky making a shed

definitely autumn here, wet, windy and cool

off to wind a new warp

to weave tea towels during the studio tour

bright and cheerful

democracy in action

October 21, 2019

it’s election day in Canada!

I did – in the advanced polls last weekend

they weren’t handing out stickers so this is from a provincial election in 2009

stuck in a page of my journal

I will be so-o happy when this divisive, negative, campaign is over

two grandchildren are 18 this year and the families have encouraged and supported them to register and become informed

this yard sign says it all

and now we wait – the poll numbers are so close it is anybody’s guess who will win

 each vote counts

just vote!