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a new day

June 27, 2018

changes are happening – all rather slowly

they start at the front door

this hydrangea has welcomed everyone for 24 years

I struggled to dig it out but the roots were large and deep

it was just beginning to flower – but it had to go

a butterfly is supervising

inside – the tapestry for July is started

a summer sail in the moonlight

the Australian Tapestry Workshop –

has the most wonderful website, exquisite work

click on “tapestry” on the right of the home page

 then click on any individual picture

 you will see multiple pictures of the weaving/designing process

with written commentary on the artist – including HRH Prince Charles – and the weaving

it is magic – far better than anything on Facebook

meanwhile a warp is ready to go on the loom

8 harness advancing twill with 20/2 cotton from the stash, all natural dyes

just starting – a small, scrappy boro with a stencilled pattern from a workshop in Japan

some scraps of shibori, a tiny bit of kasuri and some handwoven pieces

it is amazing what you can find in the scrap basket

patterns are everywhere

and now to thread the loom





slow progress

June 22, 2018

most of my time is being spent in the garden – and all of my energy

 heavy work – digging and pruning

not pretty – the bags go to the garden recycle on Monday

tapestry for June is finished

I almost gave up – no title, just happy it’s finished

 it was woven sideways again

and now I have a blank warp for July – and a title, “Sailing on…”

getting a little weary of the tiny loom

thinking about building a pipe loom – there are good instructions

putting together handspun, natural dyed weft for July

 the back cover, for the book in progress, is finished

I’m very happy with how the added boro piece works with the front cover

I love the texture the stitching creates – like ripples in the sand

going through the fibre stash I found a small amount of natural dyed silk hankies

it didn’t take long to spin

the fine singles will give a bit of a shine in a tapestry

and now to wind a warp for the floor loom


paper, books and seaweed

June 17, 2018

the woven pages are off the loom

linen warp and kami-ito (paper thread) weft

an extra length woven at the end of the warp – it will end up in the stash

folded in half to make a double page

six for six separate signatures (groups of folded sheets)

the edges of each page were hemstitched on the loom

and cut close to the stitching when removed

the warp wasn’t wide enough for the back cover

but with a boro stitched edge it will be perfect

“where there’s a will there’s a way”

this book took 41 days to get here from England

must have stopped a couple times along the way!

but it was worth the wait

with a chapter on natural dyes

who knew you could dye with seaweed?

this is bladder wrack and is reported to give a rich brown

I’ll give it a try after a winter storm when it has been washed up on the beach

scrap happy June – boro

June 14, 2018

 there was a time in Japan when the ragged clothing and fabrics

known as boro – literally translated as “rags”

was hidden away

 they were an embarrassing reminder of a time of desperate need

now becoming trendy in the West

they are being celebrated as “unintended art”

the Amuse Museum in Tokyo is solely devoted to these “rags” of old

many are featured in the book “Boro”

pictures from my visit in 2016

for several years I’ve been stitching dyeing and weaving samples

old Japanese pieces and rags/scraps from my stash

into my idea of boro

lower left is the backing on one quilt using fabric from a well-worn yukata- (cotton summer kimono)

the quilt binding is handwoven using up small leftovers of indigo dyed cotton yarn

the two long pieces are old Japanese sarasa fabric sent to me by a friend

in the middle is a very old piece of e-gasuri  (picture ikat)

bought in a Kyoto market in 1987

in a corner of this quilt I’ve stitch an indigo dyed piece of my Mom’s embroidered pillow case

the inspiration for this piece was the printed fabric of Inuit designs bought in a charity shop

used as the backing and then repeating the designs on the front with stitchingcurrently I’m stitching a small piece

to cover book board and use as the front cover of a book in progress

all the yarns I use for stitching are thrums – leftover warp yarns that can no longer be woven

all the boro pieces are completely hand stitched

the front cover finished and mounted on book board

now to decide on how to cover the back cover

and from Kate’s blog, the other ScrapHappy participants

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). We have two new members today!

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn,  Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Jon
and Hayley

the way of tea

June 13, 2018

baking paper in a tea bath produced interesting results

there is quite a selection to choose from

I used a black English tea – approx. 5 heaping teaspoons to 2 cups water

further testing was necessary

1/2 sheet of Japanese paper was baked, one folded piece at a time, 15 minutes at 250 degrees

in an old, blackened cookie sheet I found in a charity shop

it is more than possible that the metal cookie sheet acted as a mordant/modifier

the paper – cut and spun

in a dye pot with the same tea concoction

I dyed a skein of alum mordanted cotton

and unmordanted wool and silk

cotton is not always receptive to natural dyes and is a pale beige

the Merino wool and silk are much nicer

they might become darker – grey like the paper – with an iron modifier

an interesting video on NHK shows a Japanese dyer using freshly picked green tea

click on the WATCH box

meanwhile the garden is calling

the first of the strawberries – with cream – for tea

pansies and paper

June 6, 2018

as I watered the flowers this morning

these old, much used pieces of my mother’s came to mind

she loved pansies

and embroidery, crochet and knitting

I acquired my love of textiles early in life

the tea dyeing on paper was relatively quick with interesting results

each paper is a little different as the tea weakened and I added different dye stuff

I’ve decided on six signatures for the book

while the shifu pages are being woven I’ll cut and add paper pages

weaving on a linen warp with some indigo accents

the paper was used for calligraphy practice – using sumi ink – before being cut in 3mm widths

each page will be different as I’m using up small amounts of kami-ito from the stash

the colour and weight of the yarn changes with different paper being used

to precious to waste!



One World in Kimono

June 3, 2018

preparing for the Japanese Olympics

Tokyo 2020

a 5 minute video featuring Japanese Living National Treasure

Kisaburo Ogawa

weaving the hakata ori obi (kimono sash) for the Canadian kimono

see the loom and watch the master weaving

amazing kimono for each country participating in the 2020 Olympics