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plodding on

August 3, 2021

well, I haven’t been gone that long

but I learned a few lessons

when your computer screen does something you’ve never seen before and it looks like the aurora borealis

don’t panic!

 James and granddaughter came to visit today and he diagnosed it as a malfunctioning monitor/screen

 I thought I’d lost all my pictures, email addresses, on-line billing – EVERYTHING

a trip to London Drugs – my favorite place to buy electronics  (I don’t do drugs!)

a new screen and all is well again


so, how did it get to be August?

49 days without rain

it’s amazing how much work gets done when there isn’t a computer to distract me

I chose to weave this pattern – classic polychrome crackle because it is perfect for blending many colours

 all natural dyes from my dyeing challenge in 2020

as I used the cotton and wool yarns in a single project I wanted to do the same with the silk

the pattern requires 3 shuttles, a pattern colour, background x and background y

at the completion of each block 1 colour is dropped, a new one added and the colour sequence is changed

I stick masking tape labels on the shuttles and change them with each block to keep everything in order

if that sounds confusing – it is

I can’t weave for hours, my brain gets fried – so the weaving is going slowly

my colour challenge book page for this month is blue

my favorite colour – dyed with natural indigo of course

the pale blue is a scrap of stencil dyeing from a workshop in Japan

the white pattern in the warp/weft kasuri (ikat) is actually pale blue which adds a second dye process to both warp and weft yarns

in 1987 I spent 6 months at Kawashima Textile School in Kyoto, Japan studying kasuri weaving

I have a huge respect for this technique, it takes tremendous skill in design, dyeing and weaving

the shibori is from scraps the Hittys generously shared – as is the kasuri

and finally the odd little scraps top and bottom are my old yukata (cotton, summer kimono)

the reverse side is my shibori

each white square is gathered tightly and then wrapped in plastic before dyeing

you really can’t have blue without white

 the setting sun last night

the smoke from the 240+ forest fires burning in the province is slowly drifting south

praying for rain

15 Comments leave one →
  1. August 6, 2021 12:08 am

    Love the colours you are using in your crackle, reminds me of autumn leaves, the variety of colors that plants produce that fall to the ground for us to admire…

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 6, 2021 10:16 am

      Catherine – all those natural dye colours go together nicely – my reason for using the crackle weave. Yes, someone is always watching and with the internet it is impossible not to be tracked. Happy to hear you have had your vaccinations.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. August 4, 2021 8:12 am

    Hoping for rain for you . And cooler days for me, I don’t do heat.


    • August 4, 2021 9:34 am

      Cathy – all we can do is pray for rain – and wish the stupid people carelessly throwing cigarette buts out the car window would find another planet to live on – perhaps with the anti-vaxers, anti-maskers!!


  3. Going Batty in Wales permalink
    August 4, 2021 3:04 am

    I am in awe! You can speak Japanese well enough to live and study there (I have been learning Welsh for decades and still struggle!), you were brave enough to go and live in a foreign country and study a difficult craft, and you can weave such a complex pattern having spun and dyed the yarn! WOW! The pattern looks so simple in the piece but I get how complex it is to keep everything in order. Your blues are beautiful and I understand how incorporating fabrics given by friends makes it extra special. I hope you stay safe and get rain soon – both for the fires and for your garden.


    • August 4, 2021 9:31 am

      Sue – I studied Japanese at the University of Victoria but my command of the language is minimal – I can usually find a washroom, catch a train (although it may be going in the wrong direction), find food and say please and thank you. Certainly can’t engage in an intelligent conversation. Wish I could. The Japanese people are always kind and helpful, they appreciate any efforts to be polite and respectful – and I always wear a Canadian flag or pin. Thousands of people in the province have been evacuated because of the fires and hundreds have lost everything – it is scary and sad. A huge reminder that climate change is real and we all have to change our ways. My textile skills have been developed over many years but they don’t come even close to the individuals working as professionals in the textile fields, most of them living with financial uncertainty and not a lot of hope for the future. My interest is always in the people and sharing scraps and bits of fabric is a pleasure.


      • Going Batty in Wales permalink
        August 5, 2021 2:00 am

        I still think you are amazing! I wish I could meet you in person to know you better.

        My next door neighbour keeps telling me that the current weather patterns and disasters are just part of the normal climate variation. He also refuses the Covid vaccine because it will allow the government (or Bill Gates) to track him. There is no point in talking to him! Today I am off to a workshop on soil at the invitation of a neighbouring farmer who hopes to help educate some of the younger locals in a different approach to farm management. I am hoping to write a blog post soon on that and some reading I have been doing. I am lucky to know a lot of people who are doing what they can to tackle climate change and to demonstrate that living simply is not all hair shirt stuff. There aren’t enough of us but we can hope.

        Stay safe, keep writing – you inspire me to think and create if no-one else.

        Liked by 1 person

      • August 5, 2021 10:45 am

        Sue – Thank you for the kind words. I’ve often thought it would be nice to meet you, to call you neighbour. There are too many people like your neighbour who think “someone” is out to get them – paranoia is a full blown disease. I assume he uses National Health and has a driver’s license – doesn’t he know the government is already tracking him?? Some times I think hope is all we have and then I remember we can each do our own small part and it will make a difference. Your workshop sounds very interesting and an excellent way to make a look at the changes needed. We need our small farmers to succeed, I look forward to your blog. We were doing quite well controlling the virus but now the numbers are going up again. You stay safe too and keep doing what you can do.

        Liked by 2 people

      • August 6, 2021 12:06 am

        I’m pretty sure that buying anything is being tracked by someone – be it the gov’t or some other bean counter. I’m more than happy that I’ve taken the covid-vax here in NZ…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. August 3, 2021 7:51 pm

    I’m not at all surprised about the brain frying; even the description made my brain go “nononono…” Considering the complexity, you’ve done a lot.


    • August 3, 2021 9:12 pm

      Kate – part of the problem is the heat, other than early morning it is too hot to work in the garden and that is where I find peace. I like the nononono, I might try singing it.


  5. August 3, 2021 3:07 pm

    I love the polychrome crackle! the name as well as the colours! And we were so happy to share the wee indigo scraps, and very happy to see them in your book ❤
    It is hot and dry downhill from you too, and very distressing about the fires here and in Turkey.


    • August 3, 2021 9:17 pm

      Kjerstin – I love the name too and the fact that Mary Meigs Atwater brought it to America and gave it it’s English name is also special. Love the shared scraps, they make the piece even more special . I can’t imagine what people living through evacuation are going through,so scary.


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