K liked my sample and wanted to dye a large linen-cotton blend tablecloth. It was a lot of work for her to fold it, but you can see the result. She also came up with the name, "samosa" for the technique. That's what I love about teaching. There's always a new idea and the students' enthusiasm is so infectious.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
I'll have to find some material for another set of covers, though, as the dogs are already fighting over who gets the most comfortable spot.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
- One bookshelf light
- One piece of safety glass
- One lump of timber--4b2
I've had the components for ages and have been meaning to formalise them into some sort of permanent arrangement. It hasn't happened. But if you rest the lump of wood on the table, lean the glass on it and slip the light underneath, it works. V traced her diagram and I was glad I'd hung on to those bits. I'm not making any promises about sorting them out anytime soon.
Friday, June 26, 2009
My task for this morning is to turn it into doggy bean bag covers. It will be just right for their favourite spot in the sun. I'm planning to make two--one in the wash, one in use--and hopefully I'll be able to keep them looking somewhat civilised--the bean bag covers, that is.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Leigh dropped in to welcome my washing machine and share a cuppa and a scone with me this afternoon. She was also wearing a pink shirt, but those stockings are just eye-poppers. I'm a woman who loves vibrant colours, but I don't think I could mix up something as potent as that.
By the way, that is my bamboo floor in the background. I've had so much drama with broken appliances and furniture woes, that I haven't offered as Ta Da! shot of the floor yet. I'm still trying to cope with stuff. Of course I may be still trying to cope with stuff this time next year, but I'm counting on it getting a little better.
Meanwhile, I haven't made much progress on the unpacking since the weekend and there's still spinning and dyeing waiting for my attention. I did find my white homespun, but my washing machine died while I was washing it to prepare for dyeing. That means buying a new washing machine is now on my list of urgent tasks. It's been a heavy few weeks. So, I'll try to remember to smile at my fantasy bird done in damask and tackle one thing at a time.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I've just bought some new yarns to incorporate into the colour combinations.
The "armchair project" now has a queue. I'm planning another blanket for an engagement gift. I've started buying wool for it, but I need to get this one finished first. So, it's just as well there are a couple of months of longer evenings to look forward to.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
I love comments. So please, bring on the chatter:)
The dogs were fun, but not very productive. The humans were great. Cuppa's and admiration all round and M managed to shred a huge pile of files for me. That's two boxes of shredded paper going to make V's chooks comfortable and lots more space in my sewing room--and a considerable weight off my mind.
What about textiles? Well, I can now see patches of my big desk in the sewing room. Another couple of days like yesterday and I'll have it clear enough to use. Today I must, must, must do some weaving. I still have to finish the damask and then put another warp on and start weaving that before class next weekend.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
L from the Neighbourhood House is one of those friends. And as a token of getting it, she gave me this cup this week--just to warm my day:)
Coffee cup in the background, knitting in the foreground. The coffee is yesterday's mid-morning sweet decaff with milk. The knitting is the bamboo-wool neckroll with a twist which I've mentioned a few times lately. And the table has just a big enough clear patch on it that I could take the photo. In fact I pushed various piles of stuff out of the way.
Today I need to find homes for a bit more of my stuff. Also do some weaving and spinning so I don't get totally left behind in my courses. I've cancelled my weekend commitments, so I'll have a few days to get settled and re-oriented. I really need that.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Rob is the husband of one of my oldest quilting buddies and his mum is the one who introduced me to the Hand Weavers and Spinners Guild. That's an impressive pedigree. He has a lathe and does some wood-turning. So when I fell in love with drop-spindling earlier this year and couldn't find any Australian spindles, I asked him for help. He's been working on the challenge on and off. Yesterday he brought a prototype, partly finished, to compare and consult. How's this for a handful of beauties!
The dark one at the front is the one I bought earlier this year. It's made in the US and it's a dream to use--it just doesn't want to stop spinning. The largest spindle at the back is politely referred to as a "student spindle", it came flat packed from New Zealand. I'm afraid it didn't have any aspirations of dreaminess. Rob's prototype is on the right.
After a coffee and a chat, Rob went off to continue development. He asked if I'd like the big spindle "trued". Did I ever! He came back with it: glued and turned and polished. It's now a joy to use. It's graduated from being a "student" to being a "master". He also finished off his prototype: complete with groove and fine hook. It's great. Just what I was hoping for. So there's another member in my drop spindle family--and a smile on my face.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
. . . the bucket is green:) the dye is blue and the fabric has been soaking for two days now. I was a bit more ordered in the way I tied this one up and it might even turn into a class sample. It's fan folded in one direction and then rolled. I'll be keen to see how the colour has developed. The turquoise colour dye is the slowest to develop and it's been rather cold, so I'm hoping to get a halo of different blues around some of the patterning. But first I have to prepare to move all my furniture and boxes again, so the gaps between boards can be filled.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Tomorrow is the Cotton Hand-dyeing workshop at the Neighbourhood House. It hasn't turned out to be great timing, but I did manage to find everything I need amongst the boxes. Thankfully most of my dyeing stuff lives in the bathroom. I've done so much cotton dyeing now, that I feel pretty confident with it and I'm counting on the students' enthusiasm sparking off my own. My own enthusiasm is there, it's just a little dusty and battered after a heavy week.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
I now have some bamboo flooring installed at my house. It looks great:Not so good news
They managed to get the hallway and a small section of the living area done yesterday. Today they have another couple of men on the job and hopefully will get a bit more done. I learned last night that the boards need to be weighed down overnight after they're laid down. So juggling my stuff from place to place to make room for the men to work is going to be tricky. I gave permission for the workmen to move the stuff I've got put away in my sewing room. I don't feel great about that, but I do want them to get on as efficiently as possible, and that seemed to be the only way. At this stage it seems they'll have to come back Monday to do the finishing off, skirting boards etc.
More Textiles Coming Soon
I haven't forgotten that this blog is supposed to be primarily about my textile work, but the flooring project is pretty much overwhelming everything else at the moment. I did get some spinning done at Anna's place yesterday. It's fine, worsted alpaca for my folio. I'll see if I can do a bit more spinning today. I'm continuing to knit my bamboo-wool blend yarn in sympathy with my flooring project. I'm repeating the neck roll idea, but with a few more stitches and a size larger needles. I'm looking for a bit more drape. It will be great to be able to compare the two versions.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
I still haven't got floors at my house and the dogs don't know which way is up. I'm not so sure myself, but I did manage to get a bit of knitting finished at Stuzzi's in Northcote at lunchtime today. It's a neck-roll with a twist. The yarn is dark teal bamboo-wool blend. I got a couple of the staff to try it on. They're knitters and always comment on my work. I think I could have sold it several times over, but it's a prototype, so I'm keeping it. Sorry, no photos today, I can't get all the connections sorted.
So, I'm hanging in there and signing out. I'll let Muki know that she's a hit with my blog readers. She cutely supervised while I made mushroom risotto this morning:)
Monday, June 8, 2009
Sunday, June 7, 2009
I don't know if you can make it out, but there is still a computer on my desk. Right now I'm sitting at it. I've moved a few of the loose items away from the doorway and squeezed through to upload some photos and type this. The dogs keep trying to squeeze into the same little space. They're unsettled with all the changes and my periodic disappearances.
My task for the day is to try to sort this space a bit more and fit a little more stuff into it. I think I'll try to move the computer out of the way as well. I hadn't counted on the concrete dust, so I'll try hard to get some doors closed between the work area and my stuff. Then I'll return to my refuge at Anna's house.
Friday, June 5, 2009
And by lunch-time, it looked like this:
No more disgusting dirty carpet!
The next step was to grind back the concrete so that the adhesive will get a good grip. Result--a rough floor and lots of dust.
Now for the bad news: AFTER they'd ripped everything up, I got a call from the office to let me know that the materials for the flooring won't arrive from Sydney until Tuesday afternoon. So my home is going to be disrupted for a whole week, rather than just a few days. I'm really going to have to hold on to that vision of a beautiful bamboo floor. And I'm really going to have to count on the hospitality of my friends. The house is hardly livable now, though I did manage to find my bed amongst the chaos and curl up for a little nap this afternoon. It's been a big day.
That's right, packed my things for spinning class tomorrow. Then I made sure I had all my weaving supplies, so I can get on with the damask while I'm away. Eventually I'll work out some clothes and other essentials to take with me, but it's nice to know I've got my priorities sorted!
By the way, I've managed to keep access to my computer in this room so far. It would be nice to be able to squeeze in here and check mail etc, but I'm not counting on it. I'll see how I go.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
I'm not looking forward to the mess and disruption, but I'll try to keep a picture of a beautiful bamboo floor in my mind to keep me going .
I'll be back as soon as I can.
I have to admit, I spent a significant part of the afternoon running around showing her off to friends:). So if you see me clutching a magazine and smiling warmly in the next few days, you'll understand.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
I'm particularly pleased with this little wrist warmer. The lacing means it can fit a good range of sizes. I think it would even work as an anklet on a small person or a very slim one--that's not me!
I've prepared an outline for the class already. Today all I need to do is pick through my collection for a few more samples. I'll also pick out a few small skeins of my handspun and hand-dyed yarns to use. This is a new venture for me, but one that's close to my heart. If it all goes well, I'll do it again soon.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
- We are working on an 8-shaft table loom. The background is an irregular satin and I'm using a pick-up technique. You can see I have the instructions clipped to my loom so I can check on each step.
- If I had my time over, I wouldn't make the tail so complicated, that's a lot of counting. You can see how I've counted each square on each line of the design. The ticks are marking off the lines I've already completed.
- This is a close up of the beginning of a few lines of the design. The ruler is there to help me keep my eyes on the line I'm working on.
1. Raise 2,3,6,7
Using graph, pick up one pair of threads for each shaded area unit, 1 square on graph. Skip any pairs not shaded in design.
- First a general view showing a line picked up
- This pic shows the first pick-up. The white card under the warp threads makes it easier to see and pick up the pairs of threads. The pick-up stick is flat and pointed (thanks John). The point makes it easy to count threads. A flat, pointed stick like this is called a "sword".
- Then a close up view showing the pairs of threads as they are picked up. If you want to count from the right: I have left 9 pairs down, picked up 1, left 3 down, picked up 1, 1 down, 2 up, then picked up more threads that go on off the left hand side of the picture.
- You can see the reed at the front of the pic. The sword is placed under the threads which were picked up in front of the reed.
Lower shafts. Raise 1 & 5.
- OK, we're still looking at what's happening behind the reed. Shafts 1 & 5 are raised. The next step isn't on the instruction sheet, but it's "washing" the shed. This means pulling the sword forwards and backwards to make sure the shafts are sitting in the right place and the shed is clear. I've taken a pic of this step further down, but didn't want to confuse things by placing it out of order--in case you're looking at which shafts are actually raised.
- By the way, sorry this pic is on it's side, I can't find a way to make it turn the right way--it is rotated anticlockwise on my file.
Weave one pick.
- Finding this shed is maybe one of the trickiest things to get a handle on. That's why it's important to "wash" the shed before trying to weave.
2. Raise 1,4,5,8
Using graph, still the same line, pick up one pair of threads for background unit (split pairs)
- General view with shafts 1,4,5,8 raised.
- Close up view showing split pairs. This is the same line as I counted out above, so the count is 9 down, followed by one pair picked up etc. The threads are grouped differently though: at the far right you can see a pair and a half--that's 3 warp threads--then another 7 pairs of threads and another half pair for a total of 9 pairs--1 and a half plus 7 plus another half makes 9. I hope you're with me as this is maybe the second trickiest bit to communicate.
- This is a different view, so you can see the pick-up stick (sword) in front of the reed and the second sword placed behind the reed. Turning the front sword on it's side makes it easier to place the second sword.
Raise 3 & 7
- This is "washing" the shed, by moving the sword forwards and backwards.
- This is how it looks once the shed has been "washed". Only shafts 3 & 7 are clearly raised.
Weave one pick.
Do not remove sword
3. Raise 2 & 6
- The sword stays in place behind the reed while the shafts are changed. Then it's time to "wash" the shed again to clear it for the next pick.
Weave one pick
- I've taken this shot at a different angle so you can see the sword behind the reed.
- This pic shows the front sword on its side in front of the reed and the second sword behind the reed.
Raise 4 & 8
Weave one pick
These 4 steps represent 1 line on design
- Here's how it looks so far.
That's as much detail as I think I can provide using photos. I don't have a video camera or an operator to hold it for me today. I'll be interested to hear from anyone who has a go. I'll also ask Gerlinde, our weaving teacher, and Robyn, our tutor, to have a look at it for me.
Now I'd better go back and do some weaving!
I've picked up the threads which correspond with the picture on my graph. The white card underneath is there to make it easier to count threads.
What I realised when I tried to take step by step shots is that there are four or five actions to carry out for each section of instructions. With four sets of instructions to weave each line in the picture, that comes to a lot of actions. I wonder whether it's time to try a video!
Monday, June 1, 2009
I'm drawn to the mood of this little fellow. There's no smile there, but there is a gentle appeal.
I'm still trying to sort and pack the contents of my house. I've thrown out a fair bit of stuff, but this little card is one I'm going to keep, just because I like it.