Friday, 14 April 2017

Guild Dye Day

Remembering Dye Days of the past, many Guild members were looking forward to a day in the Marlborough sunshine with dyepots bubbling in the woolshed at Burnside, Wairau Valley where Joan was our hostess. Newer members did not know what to expect but were excited to find out.
It didn't happen the way it was planned with the after effects of a cyclone bringing rain, rain and more rain!  However, with Joan's house richly furnished with textiles handwoven by Joan herself and more collected from her overseas travels, there was a wealth of inspiration to keep us all absorbed.  
Some dyeing did happen, in Joan's new kitchen which was only hours old. With a  microwave oven and an electric frypan - non-food appliances, designated for dyeing - various yarns and fibres were sprayed, sprinked, dipped, painted, wrapped, heated, washed or whatever and colour magically appeared. Here are a few pics of the activity. More of show and tell in a few days.


Sunday, 26 February 2017

Looms -- Many and Varied

The topic for February was to look at various types of looms that we might not otherwise see or use, as well as looking at tools and weaving equipment we find useful. 

Wendy brought along a great collection of looms, the star being this one dating from war-time Holland. The design is complex, the lifting system utilising linen thread leashes (still in excellent condition) which are made as the threading progresses. There is an attached board to ensure they are all the same size. Several different lifts are available made possible by simple slits and notches in the sides. The designer was a carpet restorer in Holland and during the war he was instrumental in leading the resistance movement.

 Rigid heddle looms included a NZ primary school scarf loom from the 1940s, still in good condition, warped and looking great, and bringing back memories for the "oldies." Hundreds of scarves were made on these, though the quality of the yarn was not great! The main restriction is the short warp - no rollers, just once around the loom. Sorry, no picture of this one. Some who used one would say they never want to see another one again!

Ashfords are the 'king pins' in the rigid heddle department and Wendy uses (and uses and uses) hers. Here it is, warped up in gorgeous colours.
 Also from Ashfords is this "Knitter's Loom" which seems a contradiction, but its clever design and compact form, which folds up into a bag, is seducing a number of knitters and spinners to consider taking up weaving. We may well be in for some new members before long? Note the variable sett available  with the multi-part reed.
 And there's more. . . Circular looms of various sizes. Woven with a blunt needle these can make mats and cushions quite quickly.
And smaller and slower, a bead loom, warped with fine copper wire. Below is a sample woven on this loom.
There was 'show and tell' as well but that will have to wait for another day. Some of it is bound for the Festival in Christchurch at Easter and so is under wraps will then.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Out and About to celebrate a good year.

Joan's cheerful honeycomb and rag weave cushions would brighten anyone's day.     

Wendy uses a circular loom and a rigid heddle loom, both of which she makes good use of.

These are some of Wendy's hand dyed scarves.
And this is some of her custom-dyed wool.

These creatures and other items of comfort are part of a collection
gathered up by Wendy and her mother Cynthia and distributed as a
goodwill gesture to families affected by the severe earthquakes
 in the Awatere and Kaikoura areas.

Thank you to Chris for the photos and apologies if formatting of this post is all over the place. Blogger does not want to cooperate this evening!

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Wrapping up the year

Meetings are finished for 2016 but still the work is being produced. Here is Win's beautifully woven tapestry of Havelock. Artistically framed by a professional, it looks superb. Congratulations Win.
 Rose has done very little weaving this year but has managed to fit in another alpaca/silk wrap as none of the previous ones have hung around very long. This one is the vibrant "peacock" colour.
 In what has become an annual outing, Rose's "Litehaus" which was made for an exhibition some years ago is hanging again in a Christmas Lights display at St Andrew's Church. For the first time ever it is lit the way it was planned to be lit with a flickering "flame" inside at the top. It also has three streams of fairy lights hanging down through the column constructed of sequins trapped in fine cotton and lurex double weave pockets.

 That's a wrap for 2016. Warm Christmas wishes and happy holidays to all.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Scandinavian Special

Win took on a complex project when she started this linen runner. Everything about it is perfectly Scandinavian, and there is also a special design element. The 17 blocks across the width are each laid in by hand, then moved on diagonally to make the next row. Perfect accuracy was needed, and achieved. Well done Win. It's good to see one of our members weaving in linen.

Note the hemstitching for a perfect finish.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Weavers' Meeting October 2016

Some of the show and tell at the October meering.

A soft and cosy throw, just off the loom, from Chris

Is this deflected double weave? Not really but it certainly has an interesting texture
Chris also produced this piece in diversified plain weave which was one of the topics suggested for our attention

Show and tell from Rose was a scarf in baby alpaca yarn, woven in a 3-end huck lace diamond pattern

There was much more to see but unfortunately the photographer got carried away looking at everything and forgot to take pictures until some members left, taking their goodies with them. Promise to do better next time! 

Monday, 17 October 2016

CF Guild October. A Visit from the Lacemakers

Members of the lacemaking group were guests of the Guild in October.
Rosemary demonstrated her very complex Binch lace - lots of bobbins and lots of pins! 

Sylvia's neat little travel bag . . .
opens out to be a fully functional lace pillow.

Samples of many types of hand made lace were on display
Including this piece made by our very own Jan at some time in a previous existence.
Rose is working on a block pillow to try out variations of Milanese lace.
Like many crafts people, Sylvia adds many disciplines to her repertoire and this quilt is one of her UFOs which she says she is now going to finish. 


Saturday, 1 October 2016

September Show and Tell

Judy produced this length of tweed in a soft wool 2ply. It has a lovely handle.

Chris brought back from her travels these samples of genuine Harris tweed.

Also Harris tweed. This cap was one of Joan's purchases.

And here is undyed wool from the Outer Hebrides

Nancy finds beautiful alpaca yarns wherever she goes.

More inspirational yarns for Nancy to knit.

This handkerchief was re-discovered recently by Joan.  It is edged with hand made bobbin lace by Dawn Hansford whose fibre work we have been admiring for years. The bookmark is Rose's first attempt at bobbin lace incorporating gimp.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

September Meeting

August came and went . . . several members made a trip over to Mapua to catch up with our colleagues from over the hill. I escaped to Wanaka for R & R.

September brought back some members who had travelled further afield; Joan and Chris having separately visited Scotland's Outer Hebrides with emphasis on the Isles of Harris and Lewis, among other geographically interesting places.
More about that in the next post.

The topic for the month was braiding and Joan and Chris had set up a variety of hands-on techniques for people to try.
 Jan uses her foot to assist in making a "walking" or "slentre" with loops on her fingers.

 Here are two different braids made with this technique.
 This is a lucet, an ancient lace-making tool. It makes variations of a square braid.
 A multitude of various plaits and twists can be made on warp ends.
 Joan weaves a narrow warp-faced braid on a table loom with the reed removed.
 Win, Chris and Jan all tried braiding with a clipboard as an anchor.