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Scrap Happy September”

September 14, 2021

the weather is changing and Rosie is going to need something warmer than her sun dress

so I decided a “blankie” would be quick and easy

made with scraps of felt – the brown pieces are left from making Rosie

the blue is pole wrapped, indigo dyed shibori

herringbone stitched with the silk thrums from the last weaving project

 Rosie said it was boring so I thought a few flowers would brighten it up

and add some colour

when a natural dye pot is in use I throw in a piece of wool felt (previously mordanted with alum)

the density of the wool fibre seems to absorb the dye and give strong colours

once I started stitching it was hard to stop

flowers attract the bees

and then a spider dropped in

a blue bird visited

and the fish swam by

“Fantasy Felt”

finished with several rounds of crochet using the last of the thrums

Rosie has decided what she really needs is a sweaterand I’m left with some chopped up samples

the scraps just get smaller and smaller

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at).

Kate Gun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys,
Kerry, Claire, Jean (me), Jon, HayleyDawn,
Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin,
Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2, Bear,
Carol, Preeti, Edith and Debbierose

show and tell

September 10, 2021

the Victoria Weaver’s Guild has organized a virtual Saanich Fall Fair show and tell

thank you Laura for the easy, accessible site

2021 Saanich Fair Challenge

have a look, the pictures are great – my only criticism is there are only 39 entries, from 13 people

the guild has approximately 130 members – what have you all been doing??

when you go to the site click on the individual picture and the ” i ” in the drop down menu will give more info

 you can participate by clicking on the “heart” to vote for  your favorite in each category

the dye pot of hollyhocks was starting to go mouldy but there was still lots of colour

so I threw in an old favorite white shirt – alum mordant

although well worn the quality of the cotton is still excellent

a soft purple/grey – and I’ll get a couple more years wear out of it

again here is silk, cotton and wool felt – dyed in one home-grown vat

the wool is much greener than the picture shows

natural dyes continue to surprise and enchant me

I met with four other tapestry weavers at Willows Beach under the trees

and enjoyed a show and tell in real time

across the Strait, in Washington state, Mount Baker looks almost naked

I have never seen it with so little snow – the result of a very hot summer


a little bit of everything

September 5, 2021

winter is coming – time to fatten up

the rose hips are abundant

the dark purple hollyhocks are almost finished

I’ve been collecting them all summer – 500 gms. of frozen blossoms

dyed 100gms. of 2 ply handspun mulberry silk a soft greyish purple

to be used as a warp with the cochineal/lac dyed silk on the right

this is the last of the flowers and it is lighter in colour than earlier in the yearthe weaving pattern is twill and lace blocks

I’m trying to decide which of the two gold silks to use as the accent colour

the Victoria guild is doing an on-line “sheep to shawl” contest and I was honored to be one of three judges

we judged individually with the coordinator in her garden following all covid protocols

thank you Brenda for all your time and organizing efforts

it reminded me of my first sheep to shawlnewspaper clipping is dated 1982 – that’s why I look so young! (back left)

five of us traveled to Abbotsford on the mainland in an old VW van

with a pre-warped 4 harness floor loom, 5 spinning wheels and overnight gear – we came in 2nd

the photo shows us going again the second year – after that we arranged our own competition on Salt Spring Island

fond memories – how many years have I been doing this?

perfect camouflage

can you see the tiny, white spider (upper right) with the little round body that looks like the flower center?

with the exception of his black eyes he is almost translucent

(click on picture to enlarge)

the hardy cyclamen are popping up everywhere

tomorrow is Labour Day – I’m going to wind the warp


another year

September 1, 2021


20 fun filled years – how time flies

hope you enjoy the coming year at UVic – in person


August 31, 2021

finished – it’s a good thing to know when to stop

many Japanese homes – even small apartments – have a special display place

called a tokonoma

to hang a scroll or special artwork with flowers or ikebana

it is changed often to reflect the season

it is always in the room used for entertaining and an honored guest is seated facing the display

I have organized my space – and dusted!the patch of squares is a piece woven at Kawashima in 1987 by my classmate Flora Ito using her handcut and spun shifu (paper) thread

the brown patches are silk, hand reared and kakishibu dyed by Brian Whitehead

there are even some woven scraps of minelining on the back is an old linen napkin indigo dyed

and on the bottom, well worn scraps from a pillow case my mother embroidered – and I dyed

the label is a tiny pocket with my name, the date and the title

WA – meaning harmony

and I managed to stitch it in Japanese characters (click on the image to enlarge)

to celebrate I went for a walk on Willows Beachwhere there is some interesting artwork – a frog on a windmill

a fabric wrapped mandala

and a driftwood hide-a-waythe weather is changing, a few drops of rain today

the beauty of natural dyes

August 26, 2021

warning! – this entry is all about weaving, handspun silk and a lot of natural dye colours

the end of the warp is near – it’s great to finish but then you have to decide what to weave next?

the construction of a loom prevents a weaver from  weaving to the last few inches of warp threads

what is left is called thrums and is either wasted or used for stitching or something creative

because I had finished weaving the lengths I needed these are a little longer than usual – 40 inches (approx. 111.5 cm.)

too much to waste considering the amount of time spent spinning and dyeing

I no longer knit so I’ll have to think of another way to use them

I always twist the fringes on a scarf, especially when the yarns are handspun

a quick and easy way to make sure they are all the same length

pin the two ends together, comb them straight, tape the cutting line to a firm straight edge and cut

the twisting goes quickly because you don’t have to constantly check they are all the same lengthand it looks neat

I always hem stitch the start and end of scarves while they are under tension on the loom

it’s quick, easy and again, makes a neat finish

bonus – I wove the sample for my September colour challenge

there wasn’t enough red silk so I used some wool in the weft – it created a little more texture

a little surprise, something I might use to advantage in the future

the blanket was woven on a pin loom with wool dyed in the same natural dye pots

the colours are very similar but each small block of the scarf is a blending of 3 weft colours and 1 warp colour

it makes the colour look much softer – that is what I wanted when I choose the polychrome crackle pattern

Betsy, the studio mannequin need some fresh air so she is modeling in the garden



August 21, 2021

greetings from Oak Bay

time – drifts on – and the season is changing

five days ago we had rain – it is shocking when a brief overnight shower, here on the “Wet Coast”, gets us excited

climate change is real and we all – urgently – need to pay attention and individually, do our part

RED – I’m auditioning scraps for September’s colour challenge

 it has powerful, symbolic meaning in all cultures

mainly silk and handwoven pieces, I am struggling to represent this colour

the end is in sight on the loom

when the scarf is finished and allowing for the fringe there may be enough length to weave a red sample

fingers crossed!

in the evenings, the stitching/boro  piece is progressing slowly the lower piece is a scrap of fine linen kasuri (approx. 48 epi) which I rescued from a very old Japanese jacket

it was one of the ties on the front collar, folded over and over – very old, possibly recycled from a summer kimono

the kasuri pattern is seldom if ever woven now as it takes time and a high degree of skill

the fabric is so fragile that I have backed it with fine cotton and then stitched between the pattern rows

on several of the plain blue scraps I’m stitching a similar pattern

my neighbour gave me a handful of flax – the pretty blue flowers are finished

I’ll save the seeds to plant next year

she brought a bouquet of sunflowers too

the season is definitely changingthe spiders are busy spinning and weaving

I wish I was that motivated and inspired

with all that is happening in the world I find it difficult to believe any of my ramblings are relevant

and yet I keep on throwing the shuttle and stitching small stitches

keep safe everyone


Scrap Happy August

August 14, 2021

in July I promised a pocket – inspired by “pockets at the V&A”

so here it is

9 inches x 12.5 inches – the hole needs to be big enough to slide your hand in easily

and then the pocket must be deep enough that things don’t fall out

of course it is very scrappy, boro and even has hexies

I’ve been trying it out to see what works best

it would be great for a cell phone – but I don’t have one

keys?  yes – very good if I remembered that’s where I put them

excellent for fibre and a drop spindle

never leave home again without it

do you notice the tiny pink pocket?

guess who insisted on having one tooRosie says you can never have too many pockets

and you have to fill them with something

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at).

Kate Gun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys,
Kerry, Claire, Jean (me), Jon, HayleyDawn,
Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin,
Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2, Bear,
Carol, Preeti, Edith and Debbierose

Bowker Creek Brushup 2021

August 8, 2021

in my neighbourhood – back this year

as the name suggests this “art in the park” event is beside the creek

the weather was beautiful

live music was good and there was a bar-b-que  but the lineup was too long for me

art of all sorts – not just framed work

they didn’t have time to do any advertising but the word got around

one quilter was there – she had a strong fence to hang large quilts on

and a lady weaving baskets with kelp she gathers off the beach

and weaves it while wet

as the kelp dries it shrinks and twists

I didn’t buy one but was sorely tempted

maybe next time – she will be at Fibrations on Sunday September 19th

hope to see some of you there



August 7, 2021

50 days and it rained – not a lot but the air smells so-o fresh

a morning walk around the neighbourhood

along the creek

to the end where it disappears under the road

local artist, Anne Hanson, has replaced the art on her fence

and the sign on her sidewalk garden

love the clever signature on the bottom

down the road, an amazing, amusing garden

with a generous offer to take a posie

although a group of deer is generally know as a herd they can also be called a bunch, mob, parcel or rangle

the definition of rangle is ” to range about in an irregular manner – gotta love it!

and so, back to work

searching through old bits and pieces I came across this treasure

linen – warp, weft and picture (e-gasuri) kasuri sett at 28 ends per cm. or approx. 71 epi

it is possibly the most incredible piece of weaving I have ever seen16.5 x 6.5 inches or 34 x 17 cm.

bought at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine market in Kyoto in 1987

the market has been held on the 25th of every month for years and years – it’s a must see if you are in Kyoto at the right time

I use to play hooky to go when I was at Kawashima

I’ve decided to stitch it into a boro hanging scrollchoosing scraps to go with it is difficult, don’t want them to overpower the faded, small pattern kasuri

and now, the sky has cleared, the sun is out and it is back to dry heat