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tea towels and winter reading

November 8, 2017

the studio tour went well with many friends dropping by to say hello

and it didn’t snow!the tea towels are finished

washed, trimmed, hemmed and pressed

the one with the threading mistake is waiting to be carefully corrected

hopefully I can needle weave one corrected warp thread

the red towel (at the top) is half woven with red linen and then finished in stripes

as the red was coming to an end

and the stash is a little lighter – yeah!

collecting some winter reading

Ikigai – translated as “a reason for living”

a small, hard cover book with nice paper – good bedtime reading

the chapters on Japanese diet and exercise makes me thing of the obesity and diabetes that plagues the western world

saving this one for a cold winter day

this was an impulse buy and I’m sorry I spent the money

the author is a quilter and the focus is on Japanese printed fabric specifically produced for quilting

using cotton from the U.S.

but it covers many topics – maybe too many

as for indigo, there are already several excellent books on the subject

this quote leaves me shaking my head — describing Japan’s Edo period

“farmers only farmed, dyers only dyed, weavers only weaved”

(that is not my grammar/spelling mistake!)

 many craftspeople in Japan still focus on one specific area of work/study

that is what makes them masters at what they do.

 finally, a publication from the Royal British Columbia Museum

Kwaday Dan Ts’inchi

translated as “long ago person found”

in 1999 “three sheep hunters encountered human remains on a small icefield on the north side of an unnamed mountain in Tatshenshini-Alsek Park.”

“In this comprehensive and collaborative account, scientific analysis and cultural knowledge  interweave to describe a life that ended just as Europeans were about to arrive in the northwest.”

I was a volunteer at the museum when this work was done

and feel very privileged to have seen a small part of the ground squirrel robe that is described in the book

Kjerstin Mackie, who blogs at Quimper Hittys is a textile conservator at the museum, worked on the robe and wrote the chapter on the analysis, documentation and conservation of the robe, a beaver skin bag and undesignated fragments.

the diagram at the top shows the parts of the robe that were found

and below, the tiny stitches holding it all together

“the original threads used to stitch the pelts together were made of two-ply, Z-twist sinew..”

I was born and spent my childhood a little Southwest of the area and am fascinated by the descriptions and pictures

at 688 pages it is going to take me considerable time to read this detailed, scientific account

and I can’t wait to get going!

the book is available from the Royal B.C. Museum shop

13 Comments leave one →
  1. November 19, 2017 9:11 am

    pretty colorful towels that will make any kitchen “”maid”” sing 🙂
    i’d recommend ishiguro’s an artist of the floating world.interesting in how he addresses the wartime period


    • November 19, 2017 10:51 am

      Neki – maybe because Artist of the Floating World was an early book you don’t see it listed very often, it’s on my “next to read list”. Have you watched “Kurara, Life of Hokusai’s Daughter” on VOD on NHK, the book The Ghost Brush by Katherine Govier is a great read.


  2. November 12, 2017 4:51 am

    “Weavers only weaved”?!?!?! Jeez, what is the world coming to? The studio tour sounds like it was a hit and the towels are wonderful! I’d like to read the book about the old robe. I’m not sure I’ve mentioned this but, in my next life, I’m going to be a conservator!


    • November 12, 2017 8:49 am

      Kerry – Indigo and Cotton also has a number of serious technical mistakes, I’d love to return it underlined in red with corrections in the margins!. Kwaday Dan Ts’inchi is very technical, I am finding it fascinating. I volunteered at the museum for 9 years and decided then that I should have been a conservator.


  3. November 8, 2017 7:54 pm

    Kwaday Dan Ts’inchi sounds fascinating. I have some 36″ wise shinshi and other Japanese tools that a friend gave me hoping they would find a suitable home. I won’t be using them – would you be interested? I haven’t been down to Victoria in ages but this would give me the excuse for a trip.


    • November 8, 2017 10:23 pm

      Hi Heather – 36″ shinshi is wide, I have several standard 16″ for traditional cloth. I would be interested but don’t make a special trip. On the other hand you are always welcome to visit.


  4. emilysuzanna permalink
    November 8, 2017 6:32 pm

    Hi Jean, the tea towels are, as usual, beautiful. Are they all spoken for? I’d love to order one, if not.


    • November 8, 2017 7:17 pm

      Hi Suzanne – finished to late for the studio tour they are all still available. Let me know which one you like and I’ll set it aside.


      • emilysuzanna permalink
        November 8, 2017 9:27 pm

        I’m most intrigued by the one on top…half linen and then woven in stripes. It sounds mysterious and I admire the red. I just love my tea towels and rotate their use! It’s amazing that you’ve had snow up there. It’s raining here as I write…it was a very fiery year; every drop of moisture is a blessing.


      • November 8, 2017 10:15 pm

        Suzanne – I’ll email you a better picture and put your name on the red one. It wasn’t a lot of snow and didn’t stay long but now colder than normal. Our hot, very dry summer with major fires in the interior of the province seems to have caused the migration of interior birds. I’m feeding Stellar’s jays and red winged blackbirds I’ve never seen here before.


      • emilysuzanna permalink
        November 10, 2017 12:52 pm

        Thank you , Jean.


  5. November 8, 2017 4:46 pm

    It was nice to chat, and I adore the towels I got from you! Thanks for the plug on the book – we are so excited that the work is at last available to read about!


    • November 8, 2017 4:48 pm

      Kjerstin – glad you like the towels and so delighted you told me about the book. It is going to take me some time to read it but already I’m fascinated and very appreciative of the respect shown in the research and presentation. Congratulations to everyone involved for the research and a wonderful book.


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