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looking forward

December 23, 2018

we don’t have snow – just rain and wind and more rain

and grey days with the occasional sun breaking through the clouds

wishing everyone a happy solstice

looking forward to more light and a creative, peaceful  new year

Merry Christmas

and a happy holiday spent with the people you care about

for those long, dark winter evenings beside the fire

I’m preparing more paper to spin

the stash is growing

dyed with indigo, tea and kakishibu

and the most recent kami-ito/paper thread

dyed with my natural inks

just to keep busy

another boro piece, this time with a small tapestry included

the striped piece is woven on a linen warp with paper weft

from a series of notebook pages I wove several years ago

blessings to all who visit here



December 17, 2018

for the last three years I’ve challenged myself to a monthly project

2018 was a small tapestry each month

I started by weaving plain weave linen fabric to cover a frame

this is all twelve months

starting with January on the left

with a pile of eight extras above it

the self-portrait in the center is December’s

the girl on the right was taken from a black and white photo of me at five years old

woven in April for my 75th birthday

it was an intense learning experience

each one is labelled with a title and the date – getting forgetful

this is the largest one – 6 1/2″ x 7″  ( 16.5 cm x 17.5 cm.)

handspun wool and silk

I did some stitching on it

that was fun – look for more stitching on tapestry

she has crystal earrings

I really liked weaving the border

the background was woven in smaller sections creating “lazy lines”

which I think helped prevent draw-in and kept the edges straight

a self-inflicted challenge can be stressful at times

BUT it is an amazing, concentrated learning tool

what’s next for 2019??

you’ll have to wait and see

before Canadian postal workers went on strike (they’re back now)

I ordered a tapestry book from Britian

I thought it was lost in the bottom of a mail bag forever – but today it arrived

Tapestry Weaving by Kirsten Glasbrook

a Christmas present to myself

ScrapHappy December

December 14, 2018

when you’ve been weaving for 40 years

handwoven, sometimes handspun and naturally dyed fabric samples/ends start to add up

hours of work has gone into these pieces

they need to become something more

small bags are always useful – and they sell wellI designed a box-like bag with square corners

to be sure the idea worked I stitched a prototype out of paper

the linings are all fabric samples from my time as an interior designer

after using them as lining and quilts for years there is still an embarrassing pile of them

and also a good supply of handwovens

the zipper pulls and twisted hangers are thrums (leftover weaving yarns)

the only thing new are the zippers

I save old zippers too, but none of them were small enough

the small bags also make good presents

Merry Christmas and a Happy, creative New Year to all

and the list from Kate’s blog

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).

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

See you again, same time next month!

slower and slower

December 14, 2018

which is more time-consuming?

finishing things or starting something new

finishing a fringeless tapestry means packing in the weft

tightly to the top where the actual warp and the supplementary warp meet

then threading the final weft on a needle and stitching through each tiny loop of the actual warp

then in order to reuse the supplementary warp (there is yards and yards of it)

I carefully pull it out of the loops and wind it on a bobbin ready for the next time

this is the process I like the least – oh what a tangled mess it can become

from the back with light showing the slit tapestry technique

I tried something new and wove the large areas of background in sections

producing what is known as “lazy lines”

who named it that?? – it takes more work and more time – but I like the effect

next the ends have to be woven in

because I’m teaching myself to do that while weaving there are fewer ends

most are mainly in the small detailed areas – technical progress is being made

after some finishing details and washing etc. all will be revealed

for a change I painted a large sheet of Japanese shifu paper with my homemade natural inks

to practice I made an envelope and brushed on the inks

next I’ll cut and spin the paper

it will be interesting to see how the colours appear on the yarn

finally started weaving more tea towels but they will never be finished before year’s end

the boro stitching is finished

waiting to be sewn into another pillow

and the next piece is already in the planning stage

hoping to include a small tapestry piece

now it’s back to work



slow and steady

December 6, 2018

I’ve been slow at getting started this month

all the work takes time and nothing exciting is being accomplished

in the evenings I spin – natural grey Icelandic 2 ply

fine 2 ply linen that I plan to use for warp in the next tapestry

if it works I’ll spin more

the December tapestry is going very slowly

it will be the final monthly commitment for this year

what’s next? – or will I do a monthly project again?

using woven scraps to make small bags

I started with this piece woven about 15 years ago

cut in half to make two bags

they are like soft boxes with square corners

lined with fabric samples from my interior design days

it is my own pattern

so to start I stitched a paper pattern and then adjusted the size

I wanted to see if they could be made from a woven tapestry piece

the lining is quick and easy, it is hand sewn to the zipper opening to make a neat finish

making them has become addictive and they use up precious handwoven scraps

still working on a second boro stitched pillow

it too is going slowly and is hard on the fingers – I have a serious puncture hole in one finger

and finally the loom is warped

more 8 harness, advancing twill tea towels

they will see me into the new year

another month

November 28, 2018

there is something very satisfying about ending a month with a finished project

especially when your happy with the results

more tea towels

each with a different border – because I get bored easily

2 white wefts, 2 red wefts and 2 beige/brown wefts

and an end of the warp shortie for me

one of the reasons I like this pattern is because it breaks with the vertical/horizontal patterns that many weave structures emphasize

as I look at the pictures I’m seeing snow falling on evergreens

not literally!

so what’s next – a green warp – for the start of a new month?


slow work

November 21, 2018

it’s raining, the garden and trees need it

doing some housework – boring but necessary!

I found some dyestuff in the freezer

pomegranate peel  – the fruit is available in the store at this time of year you can enjoy the seeds, the peel gives a good strong yellow

and avocado peel and seed, used separately they give slightly different colours

I wanted pastel colours

the yarn is handspun Merino/silk

top is the pomegranate

center is avocado, peel and seed together

the bottom skein was what I wanted – flesh colour, not pink, beige or yellow

 avocado exhaust bath with a tiny bit of cochineal added ( just 10 little insects)

it was challenging to dye and even more difficult to photograph

struggling with the weaving as well

while cleaning up I found a small bag of flax

spinning linen warp for tapestry

now I’m off to weave tea towels – at least I know what I’m doing there