Saturday, November 24, 2012

Yikes! Spring clean... and a visitor

Just made it before the warmer weather set in and re arranged my studio - in as: hiding everything which should be in a garden shed behind my big loom. It's not a bad room divider :-) Before, I had all my storage bins there and had a hard time squeezing in and finding the right box.

I put the storage boxes in the corner next to the door, - look at all the space, even my warping board fits in.

I decided on boxes to keep the dust out of my yarn.
Of course I dreamed of tall shelves with glass doors, but once I found out how expensive glass doors are... I am very happy with my storage boxes!

Yeva is there too, she is quite happy keeping me company in my studio (we don't go there when it is hot!

The boxes are all labelled and contain colour ranges of different yarn for tapestry weft. For eample one box has light brown, another dark brown yarn, and so on, which makes it easier to locate and keep yarn.

Yeah! keeps me fit too, lifting boxes, - it's always the box 2 further down :-) but it will be bliss to have enough space to move.

 I also shifted my sewing-up frame to stand near the rug loom, and shifted the table with my table loom to the middle. That allows me more space to get to the window, and enough space to use the two trolleys next to the loom to deposit shuttles, since I weave with two different colours. - This is my single bed blanket for next winter out of hand spun warp and thick bulky hand spun weft. (Natural colours and dyes).
And it makes the area look more roomy.

Next to the table loom is still enough room for my painting corner - and radio, of course! I love to weave to nice music.

And just when I finished all, - I got a studio visit from Jayne (NSW) today. She is a Yr 3 student doing the SWTAFE Tapestry course. I had a lovely afternoon! We had great conversations  about tapestry weaving, spinning, checking out Jayne's great photos and of course, talking about our dogs :-)

And the best news:
there is enough warp left one the loom for *one more tapestry*!

and I could not resist tying the warp back on straight away!
It took a little while and got slightly dark for the camera, but I had to share the good news :-)
Now to the drawing board to get the design finished (cartoon).
I might not get much weaving done straight away, depending on the weather.  But it is great to know it's there, whenever I get the chance.
(In a perfect world I would have insulation and inside walls and ceiling, but really, even so, - I am very glad to have my space!.
I have a design for my frame loom, to weave at inside (where it is cool), - but more about that next time.

Happy weaving and crafting! and present making :-) 

Friday, November 16, 2012

New Tapestry ready

Welcome to my:

97 cm (38 2/8" ) x 67 cm ( 26 3/8" )

I hope you will enjoy it!

and, yes, I am busy dreaming about  the next tapestry, -
 though I might weave some smaller tapestries over the hot summer coming up. I have a small frame loom inside where it is cooler than in my studio. It's a great way to use up warp which is too short for the large loom.
I will let you know what comes next :-)

Best wishes for all your projects!

Thursday, November 1, 2012


 Finishing late I found this enchanting cloud landscape sunset outside .....

The next day my weaver friend Anne Graebner came and she did the cutting off for me! It was so exiting seeing someone else do it! Anne took those pics of  me with the tapestry, fresh off the loom!

I like this one - it looks like I am wearing it as kimono :-)

Yes!!! Happy smile! It feel so good to finish!

Here, ready for sewing up. This frame makes the task a lot easier. It only provides enough tension for the tapestry to lay straight while sewing, and of course it's great to be able to move the tapestry along as the sewing is done, which makes it more comfortable.
I first encountered those frames when I did restoration work on 16century tapestries in Vienna, and in the late eighties, Ron Doley kindly build this one for me. He used newspaper core reels to make the width (clever man!) It can take a tapestry up to 2m wide (or high).

Now, my loom still has warp on, but, - will it be enough?
I will tackle that when the tapestry is finished,
one thing at the time, - was just wondering ...
The other good news is that I finished my jumper too.
It is a bulky and large jumper, to keep me warm next winter
 when working in my studio. I used two strands of 8 ply, acrylic, but that means it will be easy to wash and dry - something for "everyday".
The other nice news is that the native Scaevola ground cover is flowering! I think it likes it's new place :-)

Until next time, happy weaving and crafting!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Almost there - last update!

Here we are, the second tree is nearly finished and the finish line is clearly in view.
All that remains to be done
 (uhm, still quite a lot actually :-)
- is "greenery".
You may notice that, apart from a dividing line between tree leaves and greenery, there are no markings for outlines. I prefer to "Play" and weave the greenery as it comes, as I feel it, as I like it...
I think it's fun!

 A close up of the tree trunk - yes, some more Sturt Desert pea flowers - the first one is in place.
I wove the loose bark with bulky hand spun wool, natural colour. I nearly wished that I had not spun the wool so well, to get more bumps...:-)

underneath are the new flowers, which finish up the middle of the tapestry (it's easier to remember the tapestry is woven sidewise this time, since we all know trees grow upwards :-)

The middle of the tree, and the end of the flowers underneath. All the rest of the tree is woven with hand spun slk. I wanted to show off the beautiful sheen of the smooth new bark.
The top of the tree with some foliage.

Well, I hope to see you before end of October with the pictures of the finished tapestry ...
I am steadfastly ignoring weeds for now, but go to check out the strawberry pots. So delicious, can't miss that!
Enjoy spring! (or Fall with those beautiful colours!)

Happy weaving and/or working at whatever is important to you!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Weaving Update

 My update for end of August/ start of September.

                    I will have to catch up on the left side of the tapestry, before being able to finish the top part of the shape coming from the left...

In the middle my "water feature"
 with tiny pale blue water flowers.....

Here I started white flowers and some buds
over the section with the recycled Sari Silk.
left  bottom, a small patch of sky, --- remember,
this is woven from the side :-)

Here is the left (top) of the tapestry with the last bird finished and two branches from the tree on the right side of the tapestry (above) coming across.

I hope you enjoyed this update,
til next time!
and happy working at whatever you are doing!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

made it! - Celebrating...

Firstly I'm celebrating 30 years of weaving tapestry!
Did someone add up how ancient I am?
 The number doesn't worry me :-) !!
After my mum died it was difficult to have to correspond with a lawyer, who apparently had been my family's lawyer for something like 25 years, but was unknown to me. It was in the days of no PC or e-mail. My first request were some personal items to be sent and to purchase a loom in Vienna and send it to me. The loom arrived 2 weeks before the Cyclone Tracy hit Darwin (where I lived at the time). Of course I had unpacked it by then from it's plastic wrapping and set it up! It took several months to be reunited with my loom after having been evacuated to WA. The loom survived standing out in the tropical rain for nearly 3 months (there was no roof left on our house). And so lucky that I made that request first thing, as the family lawyer took off with my and 2 other people's money to retire somewhere in the Bahamas ... they say: "life is stranger than fiction :-) I have always been happy with my choice!  but it took until the early 80 in Adelaide, before I had a chance to start to weave tapestry. I love it ever since!
photo 1982 with "Steffl" my loom from Vienna/Austria (busy securing warp ends).

and Today:

I graduated from my training class at the Adelaide "RSB Guide dogs"       
with YEVA. She is a Golden Retriever x Labrador,
18 months old and , - can you see?
 we are very happy with each other!

It has been a difficult time for me since end of January this year when Karley had to retire and for that reason it is now such a big relief to start another chapter  of happy team work.

I have actually been able to sneak weaving in between my class activities. It helped me to stay in balance and also to get Yeva used to the idea that I spend some time in my studio with her.
I have not had time to take photos (of the weaving) yet but will get to update my progress as soon as the weather is more "photo friendly" - it is dark, stormy and raining for now!

Yeva also came with toys, including her own Teddy bear, which she has since she was a little puppy.

Happy weaving or whatever you are doing!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Signs of Spring

Almond blossoms in my garden,
 petals strewn right to my studio door,
I always delight in this royal "carpet"!
- the blossoms don't last very long,
but I admire them while they are here.

A very nice retired couple are the new "mum & dad" to Karley. I am missing her! She is enjoying her royal retirement, - 2 people to get pats from, drives in the car !!! holidays and bush walks...
and apparently judging from first new photo - a hair cut (!) - it's a funny old world!

Getting on with weaving,

my solace :-)

so lucky to have a studio to come to
and work in.
I'm happy with my progress.

I use recycled hand spun Sari Silk for the shape above the orange flowers.

The Recycled Sari Silk (top left) has such vibrant colours, -
but to my surprise, woven in, it appears rather dark.
The "fuzzy" yarn is a green colour.
I feel it fits well, even though the area seems dark.

Here I used a lacy variegated ribbon for the triangle shapes, there are three different ribbons, one with a light brown, the other with golden yellow, the third with green.The back ground is hand spun and hand dyed variegated wool - Earth Palette Dye.

I find it difficult to get the colours quite right in the photos, - it might be the winter light.

By now I would have had my new guide dog, but it didn't quite turn out that way. There are apparently different styles of training (depending on the school and view of the instructor) and the one I got, did not work for me at all. I stopped my training last week. So, for the time being we are trying to work something out, but I have no idea yet as to how we will proceed. Good things take time ..(drat!)

I had a small disaster with my jumper. Knitted all the neckline of the front part to find that with the bulky wool, the stitches to pick up for the neck band had got too big! First time I am knitting a bulky jumper. After un-ravelling, I am back to try again.

Here is a cheery Dandilion,
they make good dyestuff too...

Happy weaving, knitting, crafting -
and good recovery and happy playing with new puppy to Tikarma,

until next time :-)

Friday, July 27, 2012

little steps

Going towards end of winter,
and what is nicer than a purry cat in a basket  :-)
except that it is actually my knitting basket...

Still knitting on the jumper, I suspect it will be ready for the warmer weather :-)
also trying out another pair of socks from hand spun merino/kid mohair, - will see how that goes. The yarn tends to stretch even though I plied 1 strand wool with one strand kid mohair - which is supposed to stop the kid mohair from slipping. It still stretches when weaving tapestry with it. I am seeing if knitting with it makes a difference.

Weaving table mats with recycled Sari Silk on a red cotton warp (!) it actually looks nice! using up stash!

and suspect the wool blanket will be ready for next winter too....


I am making some progress weaving the tapestry.

When the going is tuff, - make little steps!

The area of the purple climbing flowers is finished.

The flowers are coming along slowly,
the area which is going to go above the flowers is started.
I am trying out recycled Sari Silk and I have not quite decided yet if I will use it - sometimes it is a good idea to leave things and keep coming back to it until I am sure that I like the choice, or sure that I want to make a change.

I forgot to get all the hanging yarns out of the way,
but I am sure you can still work it out :-)

The "brown" area to the right of it had not been what I wanted and is now re- woven, - I am happy with it now!
The  area with the 3 birds is nearly finished,
only one more bird to go in the next section above.

Karley working out what has happened to my knitting basket...
(left) Niddy (cat) is fast asleep.
(the pic is yellow because I don't use flash when cat or dog are facing me)

I haven't been hibernating ... just finding the change
of situation without a guide dog quite unsettling
 and not overly conducive to creativity. It's been a long time!

 I might be starting training with a new dog in
2 weeks, or 3 - and fretting about Karley,
 - don't know if I can part with her,
 respectively manage 2 dogs....
life! It will all work out,

Happy weaving/spinning/creating - to all of you!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

weaving update

With daylight savings ended, suddenly the time in the garden becomes shorter  - but of course there is so much to do there now...
And working hours have to change because I can work in my studio again - it always takes me a few weeks to get the hang of the new routine, - not counting the hours where the sky gets so dark with rain, that I have to stop work...
But, - there is some progress:

3 more birds have appeared - just one tail missing
... remember this tapestry is woven from the side, so the bird will fly in the right direction when the tapestry is finished, instead of nose diving, as they do now...

I've used "feather" yarn for the birds.

Next come the first flowers,

followed by some climbing purple flowers.
The far right might change: I am not entirely happy with the way my rocks have turned out - the line is too straight.
Yes, my cartoon consists purely of outlines of where I want to place things, also determining sizes and shapes and possibly containing some scribbles to remind me what I have planed for the shape, - but I work out all the colours and details while I weave - with the result that I sometimes un-weave. I still think that is a very good way to really explore all possibilities - though granted, it takes a little more time.

Also some more recycled-Sari-Silk mats. At the one on the right, I added a thin strand of black wool which has gold specks in it. I was quite surprised how nicely the black strand brings out the colour changes. I only used gold yarn with the sari-silk weaving the mat on the left - it nearly looks faded in comparison.  

Photo by Jamie McPherson

A little Greeting from our Easter picnic under the trees: graciously smiling two ladies! :-)

wishing you all a great week
and lots of Happy weaving! 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Autumn, cooler weather, yay!

Here is my new small tapestry 20 x 20 cm
approx 8" x 8"
for the AU-NZ Tapestry group exhibition.
The set theme was "Circles and squares" -
I made it "circle and squares" -
a play on a geometric design.

The warp is Swedish seine twine 12/12.
The weft is metalized polyester and hand spun
(by me:) silk. The colours are from
"Treetop Colour Harmonies".

Welcome to a new Teddy Bear!
his little heart says "Hug me" -
how could I resist?

I admit it: I collect Teddies ..  :-)

 and here is a new skein of brown wool,
Romney, - for more future socks.
Seems I spin more than I knit :-)
will have to try and catch up.

I watched a nature DVD and was so moved,
I came up with a new poem,
- you might like it, - if not, this is the end of this blog :-)
"The way you weave
On waves of moonlight,
Mask the marbled mound
With grey,
Gather gargantuan ghosts
From the woodlands,
Waving your willowy wisps,-

Magical, silent,
Mountain topped mist."

Wish you all a good week!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Happiness is ...

I've painted a picture for myself, to hang in the area
where I usually have my breaks and re-charge.
I felt: Happiness is :
sitting in the grass and looking at flowers!

It brightens up my space :-)

I finished the first recycled Sari Silk runner.-
think the colours look nice ....
and have started the second runner.

    one can see the colour changes better in this pic
but I'm not sure the camera focused well, due to  the depth of 4 layers  :-)

  and, - I finished my very first pair of socks!!!
Hand spun, hand dyed, hand knitted


AND - they fit too! :-)

   I've also re-arranged my work room in the house.
It gives me much more space for my frame loom, and good light next to the window - afternoons only - but that is better than not at all.
(At this time of the year it is too hot to work in my studio outside).

Here is my new small tapestry, just started.
It has a geometric design and has to be finished
middle of February.
Better get to it,

I wish you all a good week!