Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Into the new year - with lots of colours

I finished weaving a blue scarf for myself,
blue is my favorite colour :-), for next winter.

  I wanted to weave a table runner with Recycled Sari Silk, which I heard so much about.
 First I didn't have any of the 5ply Bendigo cotton left and decided to use the "Palm Beach" cotton in 3 strands.
Actually the cotton behaved very well, no tangles or twisting in bunches, - but the disadvantage is that it does not provide the same amount of "body".
It still looks very fine!

The recycled Sari silk felt heavy and not nice to the touch. It took me a while to work it out :-) and washed it!! It made a big difference. The yarn is now soft and does not feel heavy. I added a strand of "glitz" and wove a bit, but the fabric felt too thin for a table runner, well, - I like a thicker fabric!

I ended up winding 2 strands of recycled sari silk and the glitz together, usind a longer shuttle to get the whole yarn without having to cut it - and not get too bulky to go through the shed.
That worked out well, I just have to be careful when "wielding that long shuttle" :-)
So, here I am weaving my way into the New Year with lots of colours!

Thank you to all my friends for all your nice wishes!

May the New Year have lots of weaving hours (writing hours, crafting hours, painting hours - which ever applies to you!)
but most of all keep happy and healthy!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


To all my weaver friends and friends:

Wishing you a great Holiday time,
and if you celebrate Christmas:
A very nice Christmas!
Also good wishes for the New Year!

This year I decided to sort through some of my collected gum nuts and seed pods, painted them with gold paint and used them as tree decorations. . I also ate some Walnuts (yum!) and glued the shell back together and painted those too. You can see all the different shapes better if you click on the photo for a bigger picture. The small flat laser cut-outs are from wood and are gifts from my cousin and my friend. I hope you will like it too.
I have also been spinning for a gift and now am weaving cotton warp with recycled Sari silk table runner ... pics next time!

Have a great time!

Monday, November 7, 2011

too busy :-)

Here is my small table loom called "Imp", with the old heddle set-up, which started to frustrate me no end, when the cotton gradually broke, - here and there - during weaving.
I think it would be about 50 if not more years old
and I decided to tie the heddles with new cotton.

Here I started tyeing  the first shaft.......

and something like 1000 knots later:

(I would not recommend it, it takes ages :-)

Here is "Imp" with his 2 new shafts!
I could not get the tightly woven tape to fasten the shafts and decided on shoe laces instead. Unfortunately there are only 2 shoelaces of each colour in the packet, but decided that blue on top and hot pink underneath made for a happy look :-)

Here is "Imp" from the front with a new scarf warp.
I wanted to use this thick weft (for warmth and nice colour)) and make it show more and also wanted the weave to be loose so that it would not be bulky and heavy - I am using a plain weave variation.

Here is the finished scarf (Christmas present for my friend in Germany)

Close-up - the weave worked out very well, the scarf is nice cuddly and soft (and not heavy). The weft is a thick yarn with a ribbon which makes for those colour changes.

And, - I also finished knitting my vest.
It is from Bendigo wool, "Rustic" which is a medium blue with a fleck and finished with a crochet edge.
 It keeps my shoulders nice warm!

And the biggest News?

Guess what is growing in my seed box?

Yes! Tiny "inzy weeny" Mandarin trees :-)
(Imperial Mandarins) Thanks to a tip in the "Gardening Australia" TV show - which was not to dry out the seeds, but to plant them fresh - it took over 5 weeks for them to pop up,
but : here they are!!

I wish you all a good week!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Swap for cement

 I decided to take a holiday from weaving and push on with my shade house while the weather is still cool.
After 12 bags of cement and 2 of mortar, I am happy to report that I actually finished with it! Yay!

The shade house is in on the right in front of my studio, not far to go!   I have had a chance to try it out (since we had so much rain now) and it is nice to sit there for coffee break :-) Karley approves!
Now back to weaving !

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Adventure in greens

With the nicer weather we had, I got tempted
to do some dyeing. First my two big skeins.
It turned out that I didn't have enough dark brown for this amount of wool and decided to dye brown first and then add dark green.
The result is what I like, lots of variations of the colours.
This will be socks, I look forward to knitting socks!
(but need to be good and finish my vest first :-)

The camera seems to see more blue than green, I tried shade outside, daylight inside, in the sunshine and overcast outside and I can not get it to bring out the green.
Maybe when the socks are knitted it will show up better.

I dyed a synthetic "bubbly" wool in pale greens,
which I look forward to use in my tapestry.

Because lots of greens are needed for my current tapestry I decided to dye some silk. My first ever attempt!
These are silk cocoons
(without any prior inhabitants :)!

I love spinning cocoons, they give a lovely textured silk and the beauty of it is that the inside of the cocoon is lighter in colour than the outside. Ideal to get lovely variegated yarn.
Lots of fun!

I also got some Throwsters Waste given to me.
I haven't tried spinning this before, but hope it will turn out interesting.

And here is some silk top. I am happy with the colour variations! This is Tussah silk.

In the meantime the weather has turned back to cold, - it is raining on and off, - the ideal weather to sit cosy inside and spin up all this lovely silky stuff to have it ready for weaving soon.

Monday, August 15, 2011

dividing time ...

The "Bird of Paradise" is flowering happily by now,

and so are the Lilies
and from somewhere this "other" Lily has appeared.
I finished spinning thick wool for my blanket.
Filled the whole huge jumbo bobbin plying it,
and still had some left over which I plied with a spindle.
I have now actually spun myself through the whole huge white fleece, 
looking forward to colours next!

Talking about colour, I bought this tiny Pansy, - can't wait til Spring.

and am digging up my shade house (a place for plants and to sit and have a break in the shade in summer). I have been given a stack of different pavers and I am preparing the ground -- when it is not raining. I meant to do this for ages, and am now getting sick of tripping over the stuff. It will be something like "crazy paving" (you guessed it!) - I haven't worked it out yet.
When it is raining I am weaving, unless it gets too dark, -  am playing at dividing time :-)
pictures of weaving next time.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

warming up ...

Here we are, - the material is off the loom, ready to be cut. Because the weaving is not wide enough, I made 3 panels for this wrap- blanket.

I felt very much touched, - my very first larger project which is entirely "natural" and hand made (my bed spread has a commercial cotton warp)
The sheep wool is partly in natural colours = white and grey and the colours are from natural dyes = marigold, soursop-flowers, honeybush and dark red rose petals, all hand spun and hand woven. It makes it feel very speciaL to me :-)

Here all finished, I crocheted the panels together and sewed a seam on top and made a hem. Added two crocheted ties...gave it a good wash and was so lucky to strike the one day with sunshine - it actually dried the same day!
and am happy to report that the blanket is soft and lovely warm.
I feel the colours are really cheerful too!

Now to weave the "real" blanket (single bed size) - that will take a while, but I am happy for that to be ready for next winter.

More about tapestry next time ...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Winter blues

It's "freezing" (for us), dark, rainy and windy, no wonder I'm blue :-) though I am trying to keep warm! The Snow drops like this weather!
 the blue bells are sprouting 
and Strawberries make sweet promises .....

I filled both sides of the weaving, 

I am not sure that I like the result on the right, 
varying the green in the leaves is what is causing the problem I think,
and I will change that, ... Some famous un-weaving going on
 the second time around (First I didn't like the background colour ...)

Galahs came to visit, one advantage of electric lines floating along the streets...
their chatter is so cheery! 
Til next time :-)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

weaving the first tree ...

The progress for May, -  not quite as much as I intended but I am getting used to the dark rain clouds over my studio. My skylights do not help when it is dark like this, still I prefer to weave in day light. By now I am getting the hang of choosing my time and going away without forgetting to come back because I got carried away by something  else ... :-)

The pattern on top are the beginnings of a gum tree shedding bark and showing parts of it's new "dress".

Here is the first bird flying past the tree, - more to come ...

The middle part, showing the tree bark patterns closer up
Here towards the ground, also not finished yet, - and slightly thinking of changing the light grey middle part ...we'll see.

Weaving on my "wrap" blanket is going slow - I admit, I spent too much time in the garden, planting my vegie pots with garlic, onion, fresh spinach to replace the still going "old" one, peas,carrots, parsley and dill. Mulching the garden with pea straw,
digging the compost over and re planting
the carnations for next year and pruning my roses,
and, - yeah well! now I told on myself!

- back to weaving :-)!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

New beginning

Getting started on the new tapestry:
 This one is woven sidewise,
which slowed me down somewhat, to start with.
It's not hard with anything else,
but weaving "ground" vertically
did not seem to "register" in my mind 
Still I am happy with this part now.

This is the bit which will be above the "ground" and is "greenery". I like weaving this.
The line above it across is the beginning of a tree.

Also getting on with the "wrap-around-blanket.
Though the light is very good for weaving, it doesn't seem to be nice for taking pics. I will try adifferent way next time.

Here is a better pic of the different natural dye weft colours,
ready wound onto my shuttles.

 After all the holidays and celebrations, my routine should assert itself again. I could not resist sleeping in several times ... 
Now with renewed energy, (all that chocolate must be good for something    :-)
til next time!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

New starts

I've managed to weave 4 runners from the warp, the two on the right have stripes of darker weft, the two on the left are woven with the same weft throughout. The one at the back (right) has white cotton slub added to the weft - little white bumps :-)

This is the runner with different stripes weft on my table. I personally love table runners and these are so easy to wash and don't require ironing (Yeah!)

 I've made a start on setting my table loom up for the blanket.
Here I am finished threading and will do the warping tomorrow (front to back).
It's a 9m long warp, because I am hoping to also make a wrap-around blanket for me to keep warm in the evenings, when I sit at the PC  or do spinning.
Since the loom is not large enough for the full size blanket, I will weave 3 panels which I will probably crochet together (that worked well on my bed spread), hence the long warp.

My tapestry loom is set up with the starter strip woven and the start of the design traced on to the warps.
It will be woven from the side - which is why the tree is laying down :-)
I have spent several hours already searching for "the right colours" but will start weaving next week.
There should be more interesting photos next time :-)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

spinning, planing and drawing

Trying to weave 4 table runners in one run (without cutting off and joining back on).
Here starting Table runner 4 - and keeping a wary eye out for the space left on the cloth beam :-).
I think it will work. I will report next time.

In the meantime, I am spinning to weave a nice warm
blanket for this winter. (I do hope :-)
This wool is from a rescued pet sheep which came with the name of "Roderick".- breed: Border Leicester from the time when we had a hobby farm.

The first two skeins.
This will be used for part of the warp.

This is the box with warp I have spun.
They are natural colours or dyed with natural plant dyes.
I am hoping to weave colour blocks, with the white wool above to separate them.

This is my box with wool for the weft. It is a collection of beginner spun wool, - nice chunky!
The colours are natural or dyed with natural plant dyes.

I will start warping next week, - I've just discovered a bag of green dyed wool which I want to add to the colours of the warp, more spinning first!

By next time I should have something to show of my new tapestry, - as to now I am still working on details of the design and
sorting and preparing proposed colours and yarns ....