Tag Archives: weaving

Weaving – at Poatina 2015

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What a simply fabulous weekend I had with friends weaving in Poatina at the base of the Great Western Tiers in Tasmania. Originally a ‘hydro village’ the town is now owned by Fusion and provides a variety of community services to residents and tourists alike. It is a fabulous place for organisations to gather, easy to walk around from place to place, great accommodation and great food at The Chalet Motel. The staff at the village could not have been more helpful and friendly. And don’t forget the fabulous tea-rooms, art gallery and op shop.

Meeting fellow weavers on Friday we all gathered for dinner before venturing into the workshop space to hear Pat Jones tell us what to expect over the coming days. With Gerlinde’s ‘gophering help’ Pat led us thru crafting seersucker fabric and then towelling fabric using 4-shaft looms. When my loom had a catastrophic breakdown Gerlinde was at the ready with cord string and soon had me re-beamed and weaving in style.

An added bonus was sharing the village with the Quilter’s on their retreat, and enjoying their show’n’tell session.

I drove up via the Ashby and Macquarie roads off the Midland Highway, enjoying the company of wombats, echidnas, swooping birds of prey and deer, then chose the alternate route home via the Great Lakes and Bothwell. It made for a great journey loop. I am already looking forward to Poatina 2016!

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Bags – lotsa bags!

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My stack of bags!

My stack of bags!

I have been having fun weaving bags. It has been fun because A) it was a new project and easily adapted to play with differing forms, and B) because each bag is quick to make and requires minimum post weaving work and  C) because I have a NEW LOOM to play with and lotsa bags was a great way to learn the loom’s joys. It is a Majacraft Dynamic Rigid Heddle and I LOVE IT.

The original bag was patterned on a Saki-ori design in a book gifted to me by Haruko last time she was in Tasmania. I will see Haruko in Tokyo so I thought it would be nice to weave at least one bag from the book of patterns – and one thing led to another and another and another………. you get the picture.

Warp Speed

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One thing learnt very quickly is there should be no such thing as Warp SPEED when preparing a weaving project. When I was learning huck weave I decided to do 5 tea towels at once, so I had a 5 metre warp of 470 individual cotton threads, and I tangled it, badly.  So, over a week I untangled EACH THREAD one by one, stretched out along my studio floor and secured with all sorts of spreaders, bricks etc, and there was a sign on the door – DO NOT ENTER – for fear of re-tangling and incurring my wrath. I did salvage the warp and I did make the tea towels, they are a constant reminder to me about Warp Speed.

So now I take my time. I enjoy the rhythmic warping, the chaining, the dressing of the loom.

For my summer fun I have wound a 4 metre (175 threads) white Bendigo wool warp, dyed it in the chain on my outdoor sink, solar dyeing it under cling film over 2 days of hot sun. Rinsed and staying wet in the chain I was worried it would mould before it dried as the humidity hung around, so I slowly unchained it and put it back on the warping board. To my immense relief it all went very smoothly.

Now I had a plan for this warp, it was going to be multi-coloured and the weft would be plain, handspun, black suri alpaca, and I would point twill it. And it would make 2 scarves. As with many of my projects I now feel it would be more fun to weft a handspun, white alpaca/silk combo in a running twill. And perhaps one long piece of about 3.5 metres instead of 2 pieces about 1.7m each. Or perhaps one black, one white. Or perhaps one long one with a clasped weft of white/black.

Finally I wefted the entire length in black suri alpaca, cut it in half and joined with black suri alpaca, fringed the cut ends and now we have a very useful, very warm house throw.