Sunday, 25 November 2012

This ‘n That!
The silk is off the loom!  I gave up trying to struggle with it.  The remaining silk I will eventually dye and use for embroidery threads. My poor old table loom has gone to the scrap heap.  I am going to buy Texsolv cord to tie up my treadles on my floor loom; the small chain I am using is not really working. I have my new Louet Jane table loom out on my table all ready to go. I am now trying to decide whether to continue to use my 60/2 silk in a new warp or try for a 20 or 30/2 silk? At this fineness I have only used 20/2 or 60/2, I have had no trouble with the 20/2 but all the trouble in the world with the 60/2. Is it me or the looms I have used? The 20/2 has only been on my Noble table loom, which I bought brand new, the 60/2 I had on my Mecchia which I was having problems with, and then on this old table loom. Maybe I will try the 60/2 again on my brand new Jane.

Unfortunately I have not had the chance to get back to my "Artists Studio Journal” workshop. I just don’t know where the time has gone! After our Agricultural Show in October things should have started to slow down!

I have just gotten to the lace section of my shawlette and I need to sit down quietly to start that. I hope to do that latter today. But the ironing calls first!

I am still waiting for my exchange partner to let me know her postal address and the bag is already to fly.

I spent a small fortune at the Book Depository last week, the first of the books have arrived, the RSN’s Essential Stit Guide to Crewelwork. I have their Blackwork and White Work books, and their Stumpwork book is yet to arrive. I have ordered other embroidery books, weaving books, several novels and a book on dyeing and one on textile design. I do wish they would all come together. I Can’t wait for them all to arrive, will have some good reading over the holidays.

Fountain Pens are another favourite subject of mine.  I discovered a very interesting website from The Netherlands, which for their centenary two years ago reproduced an old ink bottle design.  It is a 150ml faceted bottle characterized by a long neck in which is located a glass marble. You tilt the closed bottle and the chamber in the neck fills with ink, you straighten it up and the marble prevents the ink flowing back, this creates a reservoir from which to fill your pen. What a cleaver idea. I have ordered 3 bottles, one each of green, emerald green and turquoise. One of the greens is for a friend at Christmas. It was a little bit of a challenge as the site was all in Dutch, but with a little help from Google translate I hope I have managed to order what I wanted.

So what’s on for this week????  Monday I am at my second last Purple Pixies’ quilting group for the year, Tuesday is my third last Spinners’ Guild and that is going to be a very busy day. We are clearing out the shed (garage size) and putting up new shelving. Derek went to Melbourne last Thursday to pick it up. We are planning an 8am start. We need to get everything out of there so Derek can put the shelving together in the shed. Then we need to get every thing back in all in the one day!

I also want to re-wind the 60/2 silk warp. I need to dye the little shawlette I knitted for my Kris Kringle, and while I’m doing that I’ll dye some of the silk I took off the loom. I need to sort photos for two photo calendars I want printed. I must get more of that alpaca combed so I can spin it. And I need to spin some fleece from the guild and knit a 6 inch square for the Guild’s raffle rug for next year. The alpaca and fleece are not exactly urgent but I want them out of the way as soon as possible. Oh and I start a Yoga course at 6am! on Monday!

My Babies. Tami in front, Kaiko behind her.

Ok  the ironing is jumping up and down and shouting!!!
Spread your Wings and Soar


Friday, 16 November 2012

New Starts and Finishes

 I finished my Siamese Cat embroidery last Saturday. I am very pleased with it. I found a very nice frame among my stash that fits it nicely, I think, though it could have a slightly larger opening as puss has the edge of his tail caught!. The feet and tail I have heavily embroidered as their 'points",
A close up of the paws
 and although their points also

include the 'mask' on their face I didn't want to loose the defination of their facial features with very heavy embroidery, so I have left it somewhat plainer.

A rather plainer face

I have just started a new knitting project while I think about my next embroidery project.  I succumb to a very nice skein of variegated wool last Friday when I was in Geelong – Ella Rae Lace Merino, and with it came a free pattern -  the Holden Shawlette by Mindy Wilkes, which so far is very easy and then comes the lace! I shall do my usual little job of writing out the pattern – each row on a separate index card, punch a hole in the top left hand corner and put them on a hinged ring, turn the page at the end of each row. My simple way of knowing where I am in a pattern!

I have made a start on my 60/2 silk weaving. It is not going well!!  When I open a shed I have loose threads among those that are not opened, and at times the warp lifts off the shuttle race! Every shed I open I have to place my pickup sword in the shed to make sure that all threads that should remain down are down and the loose ones are not clinging to the opened threads and in danger of the shuttle going under them! Also my beating is quite irregular, so that the 90 deg slant line of the 2/2 twill is all over the place.

I have also finished my Festive Exchange Bag for my partner. This is the December activity for the OnLine Guild of WS&D of the UK Association. It was fun to do. I made it using some leftover material from the OnLine Guilds’ 10th anniversary challenge, after making my vest.

Over the weekend I hope to catch up on my Workshop on the Studio Journal. We are now into week four and I haven't finished the exercises for week 2!  I just don't know where these weeks have gone!


Spread your Wings and Soar


Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Embroidery, Workshops and Weaving!
After enlarging photos of Koko and Kaiko and taking tracings and doing a little touch up drawing I ended up with an outline to use as a base for a work of Sumptuous Surface Embroidery. Using Encrustations for the dark points, I have thickly worked one paw and am moving along the tail.  I will have to work carefully on the face! I’m still not certain how to work it.
I drew the outline on even weave linen and decided on the colours and thread, and of course had to buy more browns, as brown is not one of “my” colours!  I made a start on the embroidery by embroidering the light colour of the back and front in a very tiny fly stitch. At a distance it looks like a thick outline stitch, but look carefully and the outer edge of the stitch looks like hairs sticking up with a solid inner line.

My thread stash!

My Encrustations

At the moment I am once again doing one of Sharon Boggon’s workshops, this time "Artists Studio Journal – A Designers Workhorse”.  Actually we are into week 3 which is very hard to believe! But it is going very well as usual.

My Journal page for my Journal Workshop

My new Louet Jane 27” loom arrived on Monday, can’t wait to get a warp on it. I bought it from Liz Calnan and Marie Clews, from whom I received excellent service. I am soo glad that Marie almost fully assembled it for me.

What am I trying to weave at present?  60/2 silk, which is driving me up the wall! It is for Christmas decorations for an Exhibition at the Johnston Collection (Fairhall in Melb.) for Christmas 2014. I have set it at approx 65 epi for a finished width of 16". I wound it on to my 18" Noble loom, but thought for once to check the number of heddles, before starting to thread! I wish I had done it before I wound on!  No way would I have enough!! So then I very carefully re wound it on to my old table loom (after doing some hurried repairs and adding over 500 heddles to it!!!!) only to find that the loom was not up to it, I could not get a shed at all! Hence my new Jane ggg.
I have backed the old loom up to my floor loom and threaded it onto that, using its back beam as the back beam.  Although I am now getting a great shed on most shafts, many of the threads that stay down when the others are raised are very loose!
I really don't know what to do with them.
I have threaded a straight draw on 8 shafts and am weaving a 2/2twill.
My next project today will be trying to work out what the problem is!!!!

This material was supposed to be ready to make a Christmas Decoration to enter in the Geelong Show but of course……

I did have a remnant of suitable material and I made  a Christmas Bell out of material woven from 16/2 cotton warp and weft and 20/2 silk pattern weft in the Star of Bethlehem overshot pattern.The top is encrusted embroidery with fine commercial silk as well as some of my very fine spindle spun silk. It was an entry in our local show a couple of weeks ago, and is to be part of an exhibition where our guild along with other art groups in the Geelong region are decorating a National Trust house this Christmas.

Spread your Wings and Soar