September – Part I

Weaving

At the beginning of the month I completed two pieces for an exhibition at our local community gallery. The theme of the exhibition is Connections and these two pieces were inspired by a metaphor used in Nordic countries where the red thread can refer to a shared characteristic or core theme that runs through and connects themes, ideas and stories.

“Connections” consists of works by six local Franklin artists including me, we have got to know each other through our shared passion for fibre and textile art. We were offered the exhibition slot at fairly short notice after a cancellation so we had not seen each other’s work until installation day and it was exciting to see how well the pieces all worked together.

The exhibition is on at the Franklin Arts Centre, Community Gallery until 3 October, so if you’re in Pukekohe pop in for a visit.

I have also been working on my entry in our Waiuku Spinners & Weavers group challenge which is due this week. Each member was given a bag containing some corriedale, alpaca and angora fibre and one of 4 themes (fire, water, air and earth) with the challenge to make something inspired by the theme using the fibres and whatever else you wanted to add. My theme was water, I spun the fibres, dyed them and have been weaving a piece on a frame loom.

Dog Tales

Rufus is not allowed near my weaving very often as he has a tendency to chew on things he shouldn’t (as all puppies do) but I had my table loom set up in the dining room this month and he decided to try out the weaving bench for size.

August – Part I

Weaving

August is racing away, I don’t know how we are already over halfway through the month. The weather has been wet and cold so it’s been good to be inside weaving. First up are some photos of the double weave scarves that I mentioned in my last post.

Each scarf has a wintery phrase woven in morse code, from left to right they are: “It’s Cold Outside”, “Wrap Up Warm” and “Looks Like Rain”. The right hand side of the photo shows the full front and back of “Looks Like Rain”. They were on display at “Gathering”, a collection of works by members of the Franklin Arts Festival committee. It was held at the Franklin Arts Centre, Community Gallery from 3-22 August.

The tea towels are finally off my Mecchia loom and are now waiting for me to hem them.

Last week I put a cotton warp on my Ashford jack loom and wove some woven shibori pieces using the techniques from Catharine Ellis’ book “Woven Shibori”. I wove four pieces with a cotton warp and two with a polyester weft. On Saturday my local weaving group had an indigo dyeing workshop and I dyed all the cotton weft pieces and one of the polyester weft pieces. I dyed both polyester weft pieces with Rit Dyemore dye as well and steamed them to set the pleats.

Woven shibori pieces on the loom
Handwoven pleated purple coloured pieces hanging on a branch,
Cotton warp and polyester weft, the piece on the left was first dyed with indigo before both were dyed with Rit Dyemore dye.
Cotton warp and weft

Dog Tales

Rufus is now 6 months old and continues to keep us on our toes as everyday he finds something new that he can reach. He loves playing with his balls and running around.

July

Weaving

July has been and gone so I thought I’d better post here before too much of August has passed and I had forgotten what I’ve been up to. Thank goodness the photos on my phone have dates on them 🙂

I finished weaving the Monk’s Belt placemats from Season 6 of Jane Stafford’s School of Weaving. They’re waiting to be hemmed, which might get done before the end of August.

Once my jack loom was free of the placemats I got to work weaving some samples for a trio of double-weave scarves I planned to make for a small group exhibition coming up in August. I used some 2 ply corriedale wool I had dyed previously that was in similar colours to what I planned for the final scarves, wove a small sample to check the sett was OK and then wove off the rest of the warp. I used double-weave so that I could weave phrases using Morse code into the scarves.

Once I had finished the samples I moved on to dyeing some more wool and warping up the loom for the final project. I cut the scarves off the loom on the last day of July, which was a relief as the exhibition they were for opened on the third of August. I’ll post some photos of the finished scarves in my next post.

June

Weaving

June has flown by and I’m not quite sure where all my time went. At the beginning of the month I took part in a Pop-Up Artists in Residence event at the Franklin Arts Centre which was good fun. I took a couple of looms, a rigid heddle for visitors to play on and my table loom, and some of my work. I worked on one of the doubleweave samplers from Jennifer Moore’s book in between chatting to visitors and another local artist Eric Braks popped in and drew a lovely sketch of me weaving (masked up of course). The colourful works on the gallery walls were painted by some local high school students who were also part of the event.

Handwoven scarves on a rack

I completed the doubleweave sampler and continued working on the Monk’s Belt placemats from this season of Jane Stafford’s School of Weaving. After a few months of setting up my new to me Mecchia dobby loom (it’s around 40 years old I think) I finally put the first warp on and started weaving. One of the wires leading to the dobby unit came loose soon after I started weaving and had to be reclamped but I have now managed a few hours weaving on the loom, with not too many issues (i.e. flying shuttles flying off the loom ). There’s a bit for me to learn, I’ve never used a dobby loom, flying shuttle or sectional beam before but I’m enjoying it so far.

Green, blue and white cotton tea towels being woven on a Mecchia dobby loom.
First steps on the Mecchia dobby loom
Doubleweave sampler

Dog Tales

We visited dog-friendly Rooseville Park in Pukekohe after being told about it by a friend and it lived up to the recommendation. The wet weather met that there were lots of great fungi to see as well as all the native trees. We only explored a small part of the park but we’ll be going back again to see more of it.

The rest of May

Weaving

I have finished weaving a couple more of the double weave accordion books, one with four sections and one with six. Handwoven using 2 ply corriedale yarn dyed with harakeke seedpods, the books are fun to play with and rearrange into new shapes.

Handwoven sculpture

Rufus

We have gone to the beach at low tide a few times with Rufus while we waited for him to be fully immunised for parvo. This week we are finally able to go walking in public with him which is great and will hopefully help burn off some of his energy.

May 2022 so far

Weaving

The tea towels in the last post have been washed but still need to be hemmed. There has been much moving of stuff and rearranging looms in my studio so not much actual weaving. I have finished the double weave projects on my table loom and have a few ideas on what to do differently next time.

On my jack loom I’ve started weaving the Monk’s Belt placemats from Season 6, episode 3 of the Jane Stafford School of Weaving.

Dyeing

We had a fun day trying indigo dyeing at the weaving group I belong to, here’s one of the silk pieces I dyed using resists.

Reading

The latest instalment in the Rivers of London / Peter Grant series.

April Part 2

Weaving

I have finished weaving the warp from Season 6 Episode 2 of Jane Stafford’s School of Weaving. I love the colours and patterns and once I get around the hemming them all I’m looking forward to using some of these tea towels in my kitchen.

Weaving continues on the double weave warp on my table loom. The warp and weft is corriedale dyed with harakeke (NZ flax) seed pods.

Reading

I purchased second hand copies of a couple of books about double weave that were offered for sale in a NZ weavers facebook group: Doubleweave on Four to Eight Shafts by Ursina Arn-Grischott and Double Weave by Palmy Weigle. They both look very interesting and am working my way through them. The latest issue of VÄV magazine arrived, I particularly liked the article “Twisted Colors”. I’m also reading Miss Pinkerton by Mary Roberts Rinehart as part of the Shedunnit book club.

Rufus

Still growing and exploring, he likes playing with the hose but doesn’t enjoy baths quite so much. He had his first puppy preschool class and now we’re working on the takoto/lie down command. He is pretty good at e noho/sit especially when food is involved.

April – Part 1

The big news this month is that we have a new member of our whānau. Rufus is a Spangold Retriever, also known as an English Springer Spaniel – Golden Retriever cross. He is 10 weeks old and full of beans when he’s awake.

Consequently weaving has taken a bit of a back seat since Rufus’ arrival. Prior to that I did some dyeing for a piece I wanted to weave to enter in a local arts show at Easter. The theme of the show was Light and Shade, and while I initially toyed with weaving something in shades of grey I decided that blues appealed to me more. These skeins are 2-ply corriedale wool dyed with varying concentrations of the same dye.

Using the techniques from the 3D double weave samples I wove in February I wound a warp, put it on my loom and started experimenting. You can see my first sample below, I needed to check how it would wash up as my previous samples were woven in cotton.

The finished piece, “The Blues” can be seen below or you can see it for the next 3 weeks at the Pollok Co-op.

I was delighted and surprised to receive an email on Thursday saying I had awarded Second-equal in the show and I’m looking forward to visiting the show this weekend.

The rest of March

This month I finished weaving a cotton warp that I started weaving in February. I dyed the warp after I had wound and chained it, which produced a tie-dye effect. The weft in the photo was a 20/2 cotton from DEA yarns. Now to decide what to make with it.

I have also been continuing to explore double weave, this time using some of my harakeke-dyed yarns. I wanted to try making an accordion book, inspired by these paper ones by Byopia Press and this woven one by Kaye Sekimachi. Even though I did make a little paper model and thought I had calculated the maths correctly I did get the proportions of this one how I wanted them to be but I’m pleased with it for a first try.