Beachcomber, dreamweaver

I’ve been wanting to make one of these wall hangings for a long time. I simply tied on some natural textured yarns onto a piece of driftwood (using larkspur knots); attached some delicate beach finds; did a bit of hand weaving over and under groups of threads here and there; and finally, added a touch of silvery sparkle.

Think I’ll call it a ‘dreamweaver’ – maybe it looks a bit 1970’s, but spending an hour quietly making something with natural elements has made me really happy 🙂

beachcomber-dreamweaver

Sampler

Working out weave structures, motifs and colours for my new mini collection today. Inspired in part by lovely fair isle knitting but mostly by these ‘Fair Isles’ of Aotearoa.

 So far so good but, still some way to go.

At lunchtime, I went for a little walk around Founders park and was wowed by this sight. The deep pink blossom carpet on a cloudy day just made me smile – and feel blessed that my studio is situated in such a pretty heritage park.

Little beehive co-op online and in store

Our Little Beehive has a new Facebook online shop. Just a couple of products from each co-op member at the moment but a it’s a beautiful selection of hand made goodness. Free postage within New Zealand too.  I have this soft denim blue striped scarf for sale and  a twin pack circle weaving kit. …so check it out here: 

https://m.facebook.com/littlebeehive123/
 
 

If you are visiting the shop in person over the next few weeks, you will be totally delighted by the current ‘Woodlands’ group exhibition which is really fabulous.    

   

  

Commission 

I haven’t done a commission for quite a while, but this week a lovely customer came to the studio to choose her colours for a special birthday scarf. This is her initial selection.

It’s really exciting to be working with  someone else’s favourite colours.  

Update: 9/8/16 – Warp yarns are wound onto the loom and half threaded up already! this is what that yarns looked like all chained up earlier today. They look and feel very pretty already. Mostly natural fibres including merino, alpaca, silk, cotton and viscose. There’s a few very fancy threads in there which have amazing texture or colour changes which will add special interest.

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Update – 10/08/2016. Started to weave today. This weft is a mixture of 5 very fine Alpaca,silk and cotton strands, all slightly different greens, wound together onto the same bobbin. Just plain weave but by no means plain.

Update – 17/08/2016 – The finished scarf. I’m really pleased with how it turned out and the new owner is already wearing it.

Textile machinery and knitting for a change

Those of you who know me, are aware that I am a bit of a geek about textile machinery. I’m mainly obsessed with looms, but also get excited about yarn winding gadgets, warping mills, bobbins etc.

I took a break from weaving and looms this week, and instead dusted off my very old knitting machine – a very basic Brother machine which I bought second hand a very long time ago.

It took me a while to remember how to clean the machine, get knitting with it and how to keep the stitches from dropping every five minutes (as well as how to hold back tears every time the whole piece of knitting fell off the needles and unraveled in a heap on the floor 🙂

But after a lot of trial and error, I’m quite pleased to have a set of four infinity scarves. The restrained colour palette is inspired by some indigo, denim and marl fabric swathes I had around the studio and the fibre content (cotton/viscose/silk ) makes them soft and drapey.

They should be cool enough to wear at the end of summer or in spring. I think I’ll wear one and put the others into the shop.

Learning something new

This week I had a lovely email from a customer. She told me she had been using the little circle looms to make ‘Tenerife Lace’. 

I was very intrigued as I’d never heard of this before. So I spent a little while with Google and having a go at weaving. It’s quite fascinating so thank you KO for pointing me in this new direction. 

  

   
I need to practice my knots but here is my first test of this technique.   

It’s pretty rough but I think Tenerife Lace might make a nice snowflake decoration or cup coaster.  And wouldn’t it look amazing if lots of these round motifs were joined up to make a lacy fabric!

 I think I will try it again but use a crisp cotton or linen thread instead. Or maybe some bright colours to make this very traditional technique look more contemporary. 

If anyone else would like to have a try, here are the two online resources I’ve been following to get me started…..

https://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/books/archive_012.pdf

And

https://archive.org/stream/teneriffelacewor00thde#page/6/mode/1up

Hope you have a lovely weekend. 

Woven  bird decoration – a kind of/sort of tutorial :)

I had a very rough idea about making a little bird decoration from my woven circles. This is what it looked like in my sketchbook.   

And this is what I did – step by step – just in case anyone out there would like to make some of these too. 

I think they could look quite nice hanging around – maybe on the christmas tree?  (Sorry, I do realise it’s way too early to be talking about that)

1. Weave a circle in colours you love. 

     

2. Make a fluffy ‘tail’. (Wind some yarn around your fingers, secure in the middle, fold in half, secure a bit more and trim)   

 
    
 

3. Make some colourful braided ‘legs’ too.
  

4. Fold the woven circle in half and start to sew along the open edge. Don’t forget to attach the tail and legs and stuff with some fibre or poly-fill as you go (I put some nice smelling essential oils in the stuffing too!). And I made some extra stiches to fashion a beak shape.    

   
 

5. Sew on some beads for eyes, maybe some tinkly bells for feet and lastly a loop to hang it up with. 

   

And here is a baby bird too – made using my smaller weaving wheel.   

Hope you enjoy x