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I’m singing

March 25, 2017

the sun is shining

the birds are singing

the neighborhood is waking up

the old Japanese plum is celebrating

and my students brought me pink tulips

Spring is in the air

the hanten is finished

I still can’t believe there was exactly enough fabric

to match the “summer and winter” pattern on the back seam

only a handful of scraps left

the woven shibori is linen, the “summer and winter” is cotton and a cotton/hemp blend

dyed with natural indigo and madder

the star shibori will have to wait for another project

there was enough of this striped shibori to use on the back and fronts

with an indigo dyed piece of damask tablecloth to make up the length

there was even enough of the collar shibori

to make cuffs – with a little patching

and that handful of scraps?

they will become a pocket on the inside

finished before the deadline!

a scrappy hanten

March 18, 2017

in a flash of lightning and a roll of thunder

the brilliant idea to make a scrappy hanten came to me!

excuse me while I talk to myself…

using several woven fabrics from the stash pile

I started draping Betsy

with a very obvious stripe in the largest fabric

I felt compelled to match the pattern on the back panels

that small scrap was all that was left – yikes!

then there wasn’t enough length for the sleeves

so a piece was added

all the seams are surged – you know what hand-woven fabric can do when it decides to ravel

 everything else is hand stitched – in the spirit of traditional hanten

the front/collar band is a problem

it doesn’t look great when cut as one long piece

but on the diagonal (see first picture) it adds a little drama

 a paper pattern was made to see how it would work

good – but is there enough fabric??

oh well, deal with that when/if it happens

because the collar will have repeating seams

they will look better with top stitching

so top stitch all seams with silk thrums

what to do about lining?

center back use a shibori sample

which one?

I like the stars, what do you think?

the plain indigo is a dyed damask table-cloth

it will work for the remainder of the lining

now for a few midnight stitching sessions

it has to be finished and photographed for April 1st

no fooling!

it’s not all blue

March 11, 2017

students are making progress on their “log cabin” scarves

a slight mistake in threading,

we tied in a temporary string heddle to solved the problem

it would be very nice if the weather was as Spring-y as these colours

a new weaver – don’t you love her selvedges?

just getting started – beautiful hemstitching

my rag weave placemats are very colourful

it takes playtime to get started on a new “boro” piece

woven shibori on the left

the dark scrap is one of the ties from the hippari

so precious it needs to be given a new life

do you see the small light blue fabric?

indigo dyed, linen damask napkin scrap

kantha stitch – the reason I love making these pieces

you can’t help touching it

above all else, I’m a stitcher

and a dyer

and a weaver

treasures from the rag bag

March 6, 2017

there is something very satisfying about sakiori

rag weaving

indigo dyed cotton warp and indigo dyed rags

an abundance to choose from

while searching through the stash for interesting cloth to cut

this long forgotten jacket (hippari or jinbai) surfaced

found in a charity shop

someone had started to take it apart and never finished

it is old and badly stained and discoloured due to age

it looked so forlorn, I felt sorry for it

black rather than indigo

the kasuri (ikat) pattern is very regular which leads me to believe the pattern was not hand-woven

it is firmly hand stitched and difficult to unpick

there are four fabric ties made from a small kasuri patterned cottonwhich I think is handspun

as I sit and take this apart I think about who, where and when it was made

 the people who wore it for years

and how did it come to Canada?

was it a grandmothers link to a past life?

a new boro piece starts to take shape

I’ll include pieces from the hippari

add bits and take some away

move things around and play for a few days

and then –  start stitching

marching on

March 2, 2017

so happy to welcome March!p1110359the tea towels are finished

the same threading as the towels woven in December

little blocks of log cabin between the stripes

p1110358

 small changes made to weft colours to keep myself interested

but the results are not dramatic

“dramatic tea towels” – that is worth thinking about

and March’s pages are well on the way

p1110367six little “inchies” on one page

(click to make larger)

p1110371the other page is a mini sampler – this is fun

the white threads are paper yarn

it worked well on the stiff linen page

and even knotted in the bottom row of coral stitch

inspired by an article in the magazine Kateigaho

and a big basket of cut rags

p1110374“mottainai”  the Japanese term for waste not, want not

(my mother taught this concept almost daily)

not a bad philosophy to follow!

rag weave place mats, ready to go on the loom

because I had a limited amount of the indigo dyed cotton

I wound three warp chains – the two blue selvage chains first

that way if I ran out of yarn I could make changes

 there was enough to complete the warp

p1110377with a tiny bit left, whew!

onward!

February 25, 2017

searching for inspiration

almost the end of February and I can’t seem to get up and running/weaving

is it the weather – or a lack of inspiration?

but Spring is arriving

p1110335and hopefully renewed enthusiasm

the February pages are finished

p1110333and new students bring new questions

p1110337threading “log cabin” on the Woolhouse loom

p1110339and on the Le Clerc

p1110327an early Easter basket filled with fibre

p1110320I’ve finished spinning the alpaca/merino and Icelandic/silk

it is amazing how quickly it spins up on the wheel

rather than a spindle – which is far more meditative

marching onward!

fibre fun

February 19, 2017

Saturday was the annual Spin-in

a whole day to just sit and spin, yeah!

p1110300

the view from above

p1110280p1110271

and time to shop

p1110312

I couldn’t resist this alpaca/merino blend

from Inca Dinca Do

https://incadincado.wordpress.com

only the merino is dyed, it is beautifully prepared and spins like a dream

once home I spun late into the night

p1110314

a day to go wild – also couldn’t resist this Icelandic/silk roving from

http://www.tideviewfarm.net

it is as soft as a cloud

Jane will be one of the judges at Treadle Lightly

she had lots of lovely colours but I want to see how the blend dyes

p1110281

there were many different wheels to talk about

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and lots and lots of talk!

p1110308

p1110288time to meet new folks, greet people you haven’t seen in a while

and sit with good friends

p1110295Christine is president of the Victoria guild and Conference co-ordinator

p1110296while many spinners treadle in handspun, handknitted socks Christine has a beautiful pair of beaded moccasins

I have spun on a Bosworth Journey Wheel since 1981

http://www.journeywheel.com

and have never seen another one

until now

p1110293brand new!

p1110310announcing the door prizes – I didn’t win!

a wonderful day

thank you Judy and team