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all things bright and beautiful

December 9, 2017

this is definitely the final sample warp

I’m twilled out for the time being

two pot holders and dish cloths

yes, I use woven dish cloths and it was time for new ones

the end purpose for the warp was to make covers for the journal

which will soon be finished – yeah!

I use light-weight, double-sided interfacing and mulberry paper

to make a woven sandwich and then glue it to book board

once it has all been carefully turned and glued

it is wrapped in plastic wrap

and placed under a heavy weight ( a big pile of books) for 24 hours

stitching the spine is going to be a challenge!

the first tapestry sample is finished

I’m as thrilled with it as I was, 40 years ago, with my first loom weaving

on to the next sample

using grandmother’s sterling silver pie fork for a beater

for anyone who loves silk – and supporting women in the third world

this video is worth the 28 minutes

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/vod/sidebyside/2037033

“Reviving Silk Road Sericulture – Uzbekistan”

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twists and turns

December 6, 2017

working on the tapestry

one of my challenges is to use handspun yarn

searching through years of spinning for wool yarn the correct thickness

has produced an embarrassment of richesspun over a period of many years they are not all compatible

in the first white rows the yarn is too tightly twisted and doesn’t pack in nicely

the second white space is a different yarn – a blend of Icelandic wool and silk – it is almost too soft

and I’m still spinning the silk hankies

with one skein finished and more to do – the singles were plied with a very fine  reeled silk

when weaving, changing the weft colour in each new block was time consuming

 now weaving with only one weft – beige on the bottom and then red

this shows the progression of the three different treadlings

last but not least  – this is 9 week old Bentley – and son James

sorry the picture is a little blurry but Bentley doesn’t stay still for even a minute

he is a tri-colour border collie, a bundle of joy

I’m feeling a bit like Bentley – too many things to explore!

 

progressing at a snail’s pace

December 1, 2017

November broke records for rain – and dark, gloomy days

December’s pages are already started

I need to get on with baking real gingerbread cookies

getting started on the tapestry workshop is taking all my time and attention

this is my little loom – 12″ x 8.5″ – 8 epi

on the left side at the bottom is a screw to adjust tension

the warp is 3.25″  – 2/8 cotton cable cord

the first weft is 12/2 Merino, commercial weaving yarn

even when used tripled it doesn’t work

according to my new tapestry vocabulary when the warp shows through the weft

it is called “lice”

and I definitely don’t want any lice!

then I tried doubling the warp threads which gives 16 epi

 that is crazy and would take months to finish one little sample

look at the lovely little tapestry bobbins I found hiding in a drawer

sometimes it pays to be a pack rat!

so back to 8 epi using handspun for weft

of course not every skein of handspun is exactly the same weight

but I think it is manageable, with careful beating I can vanquish the lice

so my tapestries will be a little bit rustic

meanwhile there is another sample warp on the loom

and stitching on the boro piece progresses slowly

 

what’s new

November 27, 2017

the black and white warp is finished

playing with 8 harness twill – with 3 treadlings

has been fun and informative

one more sample warp ready to go on the loom

a theme for the December pages

cookies – baking?

and a commitment for next year’s monthly endeavor

something new

I’ve signed up for Rebecca Mezoff’s online, self-directed

“Weaving Tapestry on Small Looms”

just for today, black Monday, she is offering 25% off the cost

that just about takes care of the difference in the Canadian and U.S. dollar

take a look, why don’t you join me?

http://www.rebeccamezoff.com

thankful for little things

November 23, 2017

thankful

for discovering the hot water tank was about to expire

before it caused a flood

exactly two years since my major flood – not sure I’d survive another

the original tank was located in the attic – who thought of that?

so we took the opportunity to move it

but the only place it would fit in my very small cottage

was the pantry, in the kitchen – which meant removing the storage shelves

and all the stuff  – which meant reorganizing the kitchen

and getting rid of a lot of that stuff!

thankful for a competent, reliable young plumber

he was as excited about this new type of tank as some of us are about a new loom

I resisted the urge to hide in the studio

so the weaving is progressing slowly

changed the weft from white to black

and the end is in sight

in the evenings

stitching on the boro cloth is slow and steady

with a good pile of scraps to choose from

 

 

from the archives

November 17, 2017

last night was guild night

Victoria Handweavers and Spinners Guild

the guest speaker was

Carey Pallister, archivist, Sisters of St. Ann Archives

she brought examples of the needlework done by the sisters

and very thoughtfully, copies of a hand drawn weaving pattern (anyone remember those days?)

you can read more about the sisters and their needlework teaching

at the Royal B.C. Museum Archives

needlepoint –  wool on canvas

the dog was raised, tufted work, very fine and clipped to contour the body

the bird’s tail and the bull rushes were beaded

the lace and netting work is almost a lost art

sorry, there are several layers

wish I’d had a measure to show how incredibly fine the work is

have to wonder what their eyesight was like after years of doing such fine work

this was a small border – approx. 6″ X 12″ on an altar cloth

the bottom green border was appliqued and the tiny stitches almost unbelievable

sister Mary Lucy’s sewing basket

these don’t look like they were ever worn

can’t you picture them on little feet

and finally, the Victorian obsession with “hair work”

it gives me the creeps

in the studio – the weaving is black and white

woven with black and white weft stripes

and then with white weft

 

memories

November 13, 2017

November’s pages – finished early

only one more month to go!

it was not my intention to dig into old photos when I started this

it just took on a life of its own

that’s me on the left, with sister Myrna

Mom knitted the sweaters

I remember really disliking the colours – yellow and brown

looking through the pictures I realize that the majority of our clothes were handmade

I made paper patterns before stitching

which reminded me of the hours spent dressing paper dolls

on the loom – a 2 yard sample of the twill treadling used for the tea towels

daughter-in-law found these Irish linen hankies in an estate sale

pristine — still in their original box with green ribbon

I wonder how many were brought back from a holiday abroad?