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summer threads

July 23, 2017

 never having woven on a backstrap loom

I decided it was wise not to mix too many new challenges in the same warp

 the reed works nicely on the Le Clerc table loom

  I’m using an antique Japanese shuttle

I wonder what it has woven before and who’s hands have held it?

first I had to cut and sand bamboo bobbins

it has rollers/wheels on the underside – next shuttle race here we come!

and a unique mechanism for securing the bobbin

a beautiful, functional tool made before cost was the bottom line

the weft is all shifu yarn – dyed with indigo, madder, kakishibu, sumi ink

and my calligraphy practice paper

there are secrets hidden in those threads

another new book

Diligence and Elegance

The Nature of Japanese Textiles

it is an exhibition catalogue from the Textile Museum of Canada

and is pictured with Kigami and Kami-ito by Hiroko Karuno

both books are available from the Museum shop

the exhibition runs from July 12, 2017 – January 21, 2018

the exhibition features the Museum’s extensive collection of Japanese Textiles

as well as contemporary work by Keiko Shintani and Hiroko Karuno

I’m trying to think how I can justify a quick trip to Toronto?

the planning committee for Treadle Lightly had a celebratory lunch

cheers to Christine for keeping us all on track

relaxed and happywhat’s next ladies?






July 19, 2017

that last spindle of tussah silk was needed now the weaving is finished

modeled by Betsy, it will be some type of top – just need to decide on a pattern

the fabric is light and very soft

it drapes nicely

next I’ll weave a companion fabric with the black silk

to use for trim

meanwhile — the reed is finished

I ran out of string and don’t think it is possible to join while still knotting

so the reed is 12 1/2 long

the cut ends of the bamboo slats are sharp and I wanted to protect them

first I covered them with old, cotton sheeting

and then the Japanese handmade paper I use to cut shifu – kiraku kozo

I don’t think it is really strong enough

but I covered the paper strips in my favorite rice paste glue –  now available here

 once dry it is very strong

I’m doing a happy dance!

now, I’m going to try weaving with it

at 22 epi this –  new to me – hemp yarn, which cost A LOT, seems like a good choice

combined with some indigo dyed cotton

can’t wait to get started

Wild and Wonderful Wearables

July 16, 2017

it took 3 1/2 years of meetings and planning to organize Treadle Lightly

and it was all over in 5 exhausting days

the fashion show is an event that takes hours of planning and work

I was so entertained I forgot to take pictures of the work being modeled

one of the highlights was this collaborative effort

(click to read)

the 3-year-old – with dad beside him – stole the show

cheers to the men brave enough to appear in front of an auditorium full of (mainly) women

in their underwear

method of hanging allowed people to wander around all the pieces

viewing them from all sides

I regret not having enough time to do the work justice

and not getting the names of the makers

this rag weave vest really caught my eye

it will be great fun to wear

beautiful use of different fibres

my hanten wore a First

 Best use of Multiple Techniques

now, when the temperature cools down, I can enjoy wearing it

couldn’t leave these linen napkins languishing in my favorite consignment store

never used, still with their “Made in Ireland” stickers

so crisp and shiny they are a delight to touch

you can never get enough fibre!





reeds and other things

July 12, 2017

life is slowly returning to normal

one of the last show items that wasn’t picked up has now gone home

the fairy’s fishing rod (Dierama) is happy to get some water

finished spinning the 2 ply silk – warp for a future project

I spin in the evening when I’m too tired to think

slowly working on my bamboo reed

the cord is tied in a half-hitch

 the knot worked on opposite sides of the top and bottom posts (running vertically)

the end piece is inserted after each thin slat and hammered gently

can you see the tiny grooves cut out to accommodate the cord?

the turn of the half-hitch alternates between each thin bamboo slat

see the difference?

two successive knots create a lark’s head knot

after each individual knot, once they are snugged up tightly and in a neat, straight row

 gently hammer in place

I covered my hammer with felt and cotton

unfortunately I was a little heavy-handed and my end piece has split

oops, now what?

5 1/2 inches ( 14 cm.)

approximately 22 slots per inch

 I was trying for 24 epi but the size of the cord determines the spacing

pulling the cord tightly between each slat I now have a nasty cut on my index finger

will wait a few days to continue – until all the cord is used

can’t wait to see how long my reed will be

I didn’t find any books at the conference that I either didn’t have or was interested in

so I ordered Stitched Shibori by Jane Callender

ordered from Book Depository in England

they ship for free, it arrived in two days from Toronto, excellent service

I took a workshop from Jane at Maiwa, her work is stunning

wasn’t quite so impressed with her teaching methods

the book is packed with information, diagrams and pictures

as I haven’t had time to read it I can’t give a review or recommendation – yet

approximately 8 feet tall, the fishing rods sway in the breeze

difficult to photograph



July 9, 2017

at the Conference we celebrated Canada’s 150 birthday

with an outdoor tea

the weather was perfect

the food was abundantly good

those Canadian flags?

white chocolate – yum-m

I celebrated by starting the July pages for my monthly journal

one page for Canada and one page for the Conference

the fabric is from a quilting store, it came in lengths of three panels

maybe I’ll make toss cushions out of the other two

the Conference name tags were designed by Alison Irwin

woven with recycled paper strips

Alison was an instructor and her entry in the show was a chess set woven in the same way

on a handwoven “chess board”


Bryan brought the first cut of his own green tea

it has an almost sweet, gentle flavor

at the banquet I met a lady who has started this business

she has exciting plans for more videos – check it out

off to the garden to try to regain control!

fun in the sun

July 7, 2017

after several years of blog visiting and emails

we met in person

Bryan and I picked Velma up at the airport

hi Velma, welcome to Victoria

we spent a day together before the conference started

Bryan was excited when he opened his boxes

he couldn’t remember if he’d sent these!

we had a private lesson making bamboo reeds

cutting bamboo looks dangerous

this is the correct way to start the string

a  string half hitch between each thin bamboo strip determines the dent spacing

this is as far as I got

after each day at the conference I was so tired my brain didn’t work

I need to finish before I forget how to do it

then I would have to go to Japan for another lesson!

Bryan left this small cloth tiny sashiko stitches on two layers of fine cotton

well used, soft – it speaks to me

and this little bamboo basket he taught in his class

with toonies and loonies – they weigh you down and make holes in your pockets

I spent an entire day

taking all the paper off the display boxes – that I’d spent hours putting on

flattened all the cardboard

sorted paper and plastic

and took it to the municipal recycle

conference work is not over when everyone goes home!



starting and finishing

July 5, 2017

the party is over

heading home

 the clean up begins

need to sort all the garbage into plastic, paper, etc. and take it to the recycle

and then I can sit at the loom again

where to start?

I didn’t get much shopping time at the conference – possibly a good thing!

just 79 gms. of multi coloured silk hankies from Sanjo Silk

and I’ve already started spinning – its relaxing, right!

that’s my towel in the Tea Towel Exchange basket (lower left)

and this is the one I received in return

from Mary Berent in Idaho

I didn’t meet Mary but I feel like I know her a little bit

I haven’t used commercial tea towels in years

small pleasures/treasures

in the beginning…

Bryan stayed with me

  he was here to help load all the display props

 2 car loads, plus a full load in a friend’s vehicle

and then a day and a half to “hang” three shows

we decided to cover the ugly green blackboard with sheets of newsprint paper

more to come!