Thursday, June 22, 2017

Wild geranium scarf

 Shibori on the loom with resist threads.

 The shibori "snake", resist threads pulled very tight and a visit to the dye house (aka my laundry).

Wild geranium.
When my Mum did pottery she said she could control everything about the pot until it went into the kiln then she had to learn to like what came out.  Its much the same with shibori; until I pull those resist threads out I don't really know what I'll get.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Pauanesia scarves 2017

I've been asked to weave another range of scarves for Pauanesia based on New Zealand native birds.
I got home from Australia late on a Friday and was at the loom first thing Saturday morning.  Nothing like a deadline to get me moving.

First up Kotuku, the white heron.
Kotuku breed in South Westland.  After breeding they disperse widely to coastal freshwater wetlands throughout the country.
Image result for kotuku

 Then the black Robin or Chatham Island Robin.
Black Robin on Rangatira Island.jpg
This sparrow sized bird is endangered with just 250 birds at present.  In the 1980s the population was down to just 5 birds including one fertile female "Old Blue".

And the red is inspired by the red beak of the pukeko.
Image result for pukeko

I'm working on the second half of the order but came down with a winter bug so production is at half speed.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

I've been on holiday

Its been a while hasn't it!  Anyone miss my cheery posts?
First it was school holidays and we had our two delightful grandkids to stay for a few days.  I had this strange dream that by having a warp on the loom I'd have moments to work on it.  Come on GranD.

We had hardly delivered them home when we were packing our suitcases for a couple of weeks in Australia starting in Melbourne.  I'm the first to admit I'm not a photographer but a few pics that inspired me. 

Holiday days are always full on for us.  We went to a couple of jazz concerts, managed to get in to the Van Gough exhibition on our second attempt (so many people the first time they closed the ticket office), spent a day tramming, training and busing to Queenscliff among other activities.
After a relaxing couple of days at Heathcote staying on my cousin's farm we moved across state to the Grampian mountains for some tramping.  I was taken by the rock formations, quite different to anything I've seen here at home.  Sorry for so may pics; I couldn't choose just one.
Stepping stone walking track.

This is called the Balconies.  The young lady spent a lot of time sitting down on the ledge and I have to admit my heart was in my throat.
These were the signs saying don't go there but I heard her say well there isn't a fence to stop us!
The Pinacles

Shibori inspiration

Wild life - emus.
Lichen (echo weave maybe)
Bunjil (creator deity, ancestrol being)
About 1/8th of the rock with the painting of Bunjil.
The cave had a wire cage around it as in the past the art had been painted over with white paint.

And there the photos stopped even though quite a bit more holiday to go.  Spent the time in the old gold mining towns including Bendigo where, to the uninitiated, there is a wool mill.

Coming home through customs I got caught by the dog as I'd had an apple in my backpack.  The lady removed my neck cushion and ear phones then said whats this and proceeded to pull out yarn, and more yarn.  What's in this pocket; oh more yarn.  What's down here; surprise more yarn.  What's in here; oh your coat.  OK put it all away now!  Thank goodness she didn't ask me to open my suitcase.

It was a great break but always good to be home.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Dragon's Breath Outfit

 Dragon's Breath is the outfit I made and had accepted for the Runway Show at Creative Fibre Festival in Christchurch this past weekend. 
The outfit consists of an over tunic, skirt and gauntlets.
I imagined the tunic as a kind of coat replacement, to pull on when venturing outside, or just as a roomy, comfortable garment.

The handwoven fabric (4 colour double weave) is highlighted by the contrasting shaggy hand knit collar.

The skirt, 5 x 5 rib, and gauntlets, plated rib, are machine knit.

And that is the end of the secret projects I've been working on the last wee while.
Now back to working on my annual range of scarves for Pauanesia.

Kakabeak Wrap

This wrap, Kakabeak, was submitted for selection in the Creative Fibre Exhibition at Entwine Festival in Christchurch.  Several weeks ago I received a phone call from the Convenor saying it could be displayed in the exhibition if it was not for sale.  The reason given was that the beating was irregular.
Well, of course, I got huffy and just said "send it back to me please".  My reasoning being that if the selectors thought it wasn't good enough to sell then I would think it not good enough to be displayed.

Then I waited to get my hands on the wrap to see if I, as a selector, would agree with their decision.
Yes, there were a couple of rows which weren't beaten quite evenly (I've now evened them out, don't ask!) but overall, no, I don't agree with their decision.  

Kakabeak is woven on a networked warp with an echo of 8 shafts.  The tie up is a plaited twill with 3.1, 1.3, 2.2 twills and a lot of tabby and these do look like uneven beating when held to the light but they are quite correct for a plait.

What about things like Suitability for Purpose, Visual Impact, Design etc.
If anything I might have asked, Where is the Magic?

I think its a pretty delightful versatile garment with the red moon shapes reflecting the Kakabeak flower.

In the end its part of the deal that we accept the selectors decision but I do think the time is coming where guide lines/rules are necessary for participants and selectors.

Kowhai Wrap

Kowhai Wrap has just won Complex Weavers Award at the New Zealand Creative Fibre Exhibition.  There, I've said it.  I've been working towards this award for many years and so excited to have finally achieved it.
The award is for excellence beyond plain weave.
Kowhai is woven in a 4 colour double weave, that is two colours in the warp and two in the weft using 40/2 cotton doubled.  The warp is a medium taupe and light silver threaded in an advancing twill echoed by 8 shafts and the weft is navy blue and yellow.
Ever since the book "Echo and Iris" by Marion Stubenitsky came out I have been intrigued by the changing of colour on the fabric using the tie up.  I find Marion's way of working out the tie up difficult to read so have figured out my own way.  In this wrap there are 6 changes to the centre, or yellow to navy and another six taking it back to yellow.  The other side is the reverse so, depending on how your wardrobe feels, there are two options to wear it.
Picture below shows the subtle blending of colour change.
I've had three sleeps since getting the news and am still smiling, very thrilled.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Moerangi - Sleepy skies blankets

I thought you might like an idea of how my blanket colour schemes come about.  Basically Heather, owner of Pauanesia, sends me a brief and I work from there.  Sometimes the details come from a conversation or it might just be a word that gives me direction.
 With this brief I loved the shots of very bright blue and turquoise so included them and the dark leaves and edges with a hint of teal and royal blue gave a frame to the blanket.
After I've dyed and dried my warp threads (8 metres) I spread them out on the lounge/dining room floor to get an idea of how they sit together, they have to speak to me.  Luckily Dear Husband is tolerant enough to step over them for a day or two. 
Then I had to wait for the downgraded cyclone Debbie to pass before I could full and press the blankets.  They haven't been pressed here on the deck rail.
And then we had more rain and rain so couldn't get outside to photograph them.

And just before Easter we have had another cyclone.  It came straight down from the tropics and was expected to hit us full on.  There were all sorts of warnings to evacuate if on low ground, have food and water for 5 days, etc.  We are on the highest bit of dune so stayed put.  DH prepared by finding the candles and I took a torch down to the loom room so I could find my way upstairs if we lost power.  Lucky for us, but very tough on the Eastern Bay of Plenty the cyclone centre hit land further south.  We got rain, not much wind and kept the power but the seas were majestic.  Supposed to be 2.5 metres above the normal wave.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

March has marched away

March is nearly over, I've been busy, busy, busy but not many photos to show for it.
We made the most of the few sunny days and went walking in the Karangahake Valley.
I always love this lime and orange ?lichen growing on the rocks, sometimes its vivid and others unnoticeable.
And to finish off the walk I was taken up the Scotsman Valley hill kicking and grizzling all the way.  It was very pretty but I'd had enough after 3 hours.
Orokawa Bay is always majestic.  Look at the sky colour and the ocean.  We hit the tide at the right time and as the waves pulled back all the stones and pebbles went rumble, rumble then a wave would crash; like listening to nature's orchestra.
Mid last year I was invited to take part in an Altrusa Exhibition at Te Awamutu (where I grew up) as a fund raiser for the Cancer Society.  So I tied a warp on to a previous project,
a few sharp tugs straightened it out,
and ready to go.
The finished wrap I called "Spoon Drift" as it reminds me of the bubbles on the water after a wave breaks.
The rescue cotton came from Agnes and it weaves beautifully.
Double threads, 32 epi, echo threading.  It drapes well, a wrap for summer evenings or scarf for colder moments.

Peter and I drove through to Te Awamutu on a rather stormy day to deliver my articles.  The rain wasn't as bad as it had been during the night but it was a fight to keep the car on the road due to the wind.
Next morning I packed my suitcase and was on the road again heading for the annual Professional Weavers Network weekend Seminar in Waikanae.  Four of us travelled together so there was much nattering and laughing and dare I say some yarn was acquired on the way.  The Seminar acts as a recharge for most of us.  Wonderful talking to and swapping ideas with like minded weavers.

We started by training in to central Wellington and a visit to Te Papa, our national museum.  We were taken to back rooms and got to see many pieces of hand weaving from the 50s to 70s.  The staff had limited knowledge of the works but some of our members had known the artists and their work.  Disappointing that no woven works have been acquired since the 70s.  Other items on the program for the weekend included a talk on weaving in Greek Cyprus and Ruka taught us how to extract muka from flax, harekeke, spin and ply the fibres down our leg and then weave a wee kete or bag.  Someone commented to me its the first time its been useful to have big thighs!!
Since then I've had visitors and more visitors and a sore throat that knocked the stuffing out of me but is nearly better.
I have had a garment/outfit accepted for the Fashion event at Creative Fibre Festival but not heard about the exhibition yet.  More to talk about when that news comes through.