Sunday, August 18, 2019

Bohemian Gypsy


I had seen many woven versions of # 728, from  Carol Strickler's " A Weavers's Book of 8- Shaft Patterns".  It went onto the 'to-do' list, someday.   It seemed the perfect combination of pattern and potential  exploration of colour a weaver could find.  Endless possibilities!

I planned for and wound a 8 yard warp of 8/2 unmercerised cotton on my warping mill and that was a major commitment in itself.  So many cones of yarns, tracking the colour order..... and it took a few afternoons. It was also great for using up small part cones and stash bust as well.    Then it hung around for a couple of months while other projects jumped to the head of the line up as my interests changed.

As a warp just hanging there, it somehow wasn't as appealing. Sort of a congregation of dark broody colours. I had used three shades of purples, a magenta, medium blue and a cinnamon with a dash of off white as the glue between stripe groupings.   Along with the cones of warp yarns I had tucked in a cone of bright raspberry pink as a potential weft yarn..... and that is what saved the day.




I got it wound on along with my trusty helper, Bruce, and soon I was threading away.   Tricky threading to keep track off, plus watching for the colour changes to happen in the right spots! It seems I had the bright idea of making some changes in colours while winding the warp and the next day forgot I had done it. So long story short, I had to flip out 4 ends and hang 4 of the new and improved colours. It meant I had 6 weighted film canisters hanging off the back to adjust.    Reminder to self: make notes and read them!


So, the bright pink raspberry apparently did the trick and transformed this warp into something very special.   Its a party for the eyes!  


I end up with 6 towels (finished dimensions 20" x 29"). Three in the raspberry, one woven with the darkest purple in the warp, one used the magenta from the warp and another I used a soft lime green.  It sort of fades away next to the brighter ones, but when viewed alone and by itself, has a charm all its own.




Soft lime weft:


Magenta weft:


Raspberry weft:


Dark purple weft


... and a bonus table runner with short fringe!






About the time I was hand sewing the hems on the towels, I found this skirt being advertised for sale on FaceBook as 'Bohemian Gypsy".    Well, how about that?   My little kitchen towels are a fashion trend.


Here's my "Patron of the Arts" actually weaving!  Its taken me 23 years to get him to try throwing a shuttle and he did very well. "Over and under" the floating selvedges,  and marching along the treadles.  So one of the towels had a small section he wove and I left it in.  It was simply perfect, in all ways...   💖




Tuesday, August 13, 2019

A Tiny Perfect World



Sanne of  Mölnbo, Sweden found this sweet little find at a flea market and snapped it up.  Some person spent many hours creating this little Vavstuga. Click to enlarge and see the special world and be sure to count the cats!











Don't you wish you could join them? You get the impression you'd be welcome!


Friday, August 2, 2019

Cloud with a Silver Lining


I look around the world with its fires and floods, extreme hot temperatures and I'm quietly grateful for the mixed moderate weather we have been having here on Vancouver Island. Rain fell yesterday and today there's broken cloud and sun, and not too hot.  I'll take this over a heat wave and drought any day.

So we've had a lot of cloud formations rolling over us.....



These are 'stock photos' but are lovely none the less.


It would have been my father's 89th birthday on July 31st and he loved clouds, particularly at sunset. He would watch the skies and if there was clouds off to the west, he'd go to one of his favourites spots and take pictures, like the one below. Its one of his beautiful shots. Alouette Lake at sunset.   If there were no clouds, he would stay home. "What's the point" he'd say....

So everyone needs some clouds in their lives, particularly with a silver lining.  😊


I was weaving a shawl warp and you have already see the first off the loom here.  (If you visit that link, there are further links to the 8 shaft draft.) The second took a bit longer as life has been busier and it is summer after all. Lots to see and do outside.  I've not been in a hurry and enjoying the process more rather than feeling constantly harried to produce. Who needs the stress huh?  This is supposed to be fun...


So the second shawl is all 8/2 tencel: undyed tencel warp and silver tencel weft. The silver has ever so lightly a hint of blue to my eye.  It picks out the pattern nicely but is quiet about it.


Its soft as a cloud and the drape is lovely. Neutral colours that will suit anyone, any outfit, any occasion.


I took Madge outside but the sunshine just bleached the shawl right out so I put her in a bright spot here in the house.   Bear in mind that Madge tries to do her best..... she has no arms to elegantly drape the shawl over but she stands still for me and doesn't slouch.


Closer so to see the pattern better.



I rolled the neck line to soften the look.


I loaned her one of my lamp work bead pendants and it might look better on her than me!  So now its time to move onto something new.... some more towels and a couple of scarves are on the looms now.


Meet 'Fred' below...


I name my plants after the person who gave them to me, or in the case of Fred, where it came from. In 1994 / 1995 I worked as a receptionist at a physiotherapy clinic in Vancouver. The owner and chief therapist's name was Fred  and he had a huge basket hanging from the ceiling in his office with a hoya plant draped all over. It was one of my duties to water it occasionally and once I knew we'd be moving away to the Okanagan Valley, I took a snippet to start my own plant.... hence Fred.


I decided that Fred was really a male plant as it really didn't seem to do much at all. It would send out a runner that seemed to want to dive behind the bookshelf unless encouraged to come out to the light.  It has competition in the house as I have a second hoya with small tiny leaves named Gudrun, that blooms at the drop of a hat. Stick a cutting of that one into water? It will root nicely and then bloom.....all with no soil!

So someone else must have felt the pressure to perform..... see the runner that hangs down to the right....


It has this flower ball on the end tucked out of sight between the book shelf and a rolling storage cart.  It was the sweet perfume that gave it away last evening when I came to the studio after dark. The room smelt wonderful and I went looking for the source.     That only took  24 years.    But some are late bloomers and the flowers are just as sweet.


Encouraging isn't it?