A Baby Wrap, Black Scarf, Art Trail and Art Expo – May 2017

The month of May has been a busy one with the cotton baby wrap completed, a black scarf in merino completed and pieces for the art expo started.

Baby Wrap

It began on a high note with the baby wrap completed. It was such a lovely project to do – the colours, the challenge of the double weave and finally getting the size right. I was delighted with the finished piece. It ended up being 71x486cm and weighing 1.8kg. What was quite good was the sample that I wove, was one repeat of the pattern, weighed 200g and the finished piece had 9 repeats so my prediction of final weight was spot on.

Black Scarf – Merino

I was asked to weave a black scarf which had to make me think how to weave it so that it had a bit of life to it. I choose NZ merino wool and used an 8 shaft pattern ‘Breaks and Recesses’. I have used this pattern with 4 different colours and it looked lovely but I realize now that you were only looking at the colours. When woven all in black the texture is more pronounced. This was such a quick project compared to the baby wrap.

The Nelson Art Expo is happening in August so I have to now start weaving. I have begun a list of ideas which usually morphs into more lists, revised lists, list of lists. But the first project on the said list is using some fine merino yarn that I purchased from DEA yarns in Levin. I haven’t used it before so I have woven a sample and it feels amazing. I am going to weave some scarves in twill (definitely within my comfort zone). I have some other ideas of what to do with it but I shall wait till these scarves are off the loom.

Queen’s Birthday Weekend the Ruby Coast Artists are having an art trail which Tony and I are a part of. With this in mind I quite like having both looms warped up so on one loom will be the twill merino scarves and on the other I will have some cotton tea towels. Usually we get more people through often it is weather dependent and everyone seems to enjoy themselves.

A drama that has been going on for a few months is my compu dobby box on my 24 shaft AVL decided to stop working right at the beginning of a long warp – it had that scary hot burning electrical smell. We have been going through the process of whether it is repairable and may I say shipping between NZ and USA is not cheap!! No, it is not repairable. The new box should be with us hopefully in June.

Baby Wrap started and a Blanket Complete – April 2017

Beginnings of a Double Weave Baby Wrap

This last month has seen two projects happen.  One (blanket) is completed and the other (baby wrap) still a work in progress. The completed project was three knee rugs woven in Maniototo yarn, which I hand dyed blue and pale gray. These were woven in a blanket tweel which gives more density and softness than simply plain weave or twill. I enjoyed the change from the fine yarns that I usually work with.

JointWorks Studio Maniatoto Yarn Blanket

 

For the majority of the month, I worked on a 2 block double weave baby wrap. This is being made from 10/2 pearle cotton, a good practical yarn for the end use as well as having a lovely  luster and good range of colours.  This baby wrap project had specific requirements – a particular pattern, yarn and set of colours.  This  was a very enjoyable challenge to work out how it would all fit together. I was so looking forward to this project; a baby wrap is quite a substantial piece of fabric – so satisfying.

One layer is in plain black and the other layer is in seven shades of blue. These two layers interchange forming ascending and descending blocks of colour. It took a few hours on the computer figuring out the colour changes with the weaving pattern changes. Then there is the take-up and shrinkage to allow for. It required a few cups of tea to solve all these elements. I was happy with the end result but the computer can only go so far.

Warping the loom with approximately 1500 threads (in 2 layers) was somewhat of a challenge. It took some time to think how I might be able to do this process more efficiently for the next time.

I wove the sample which helped for three reasons. First, dealing with the technical issues ie tensioning of the warp and the two shuttles as well as working out the best way to get the selvedges done tidily and start to get the rhythm of the weaving. Another issue is you cannot see the bottom layer of your weaving therefore I need to take particular care when weaving this layer. Secondly, to work out the actual size after I had washed the sample to calculate the take-up and shrinkage. Thirdly and probably most importantly, that the sample meets the expectations of the customer which I am pleased to say it has done.

Now I have to actually weave the piece!!

Box of cotton for baby wrap Double Weave Baby Wrap 1 Double Weave Baby Wrap 2

 

Sawdust followed sawdust – 2016 workshop review

A year since I put anything up from the workshop.  One could be forgiven for thinking that perhaps I was so busy doing the studio, that nothing else was achieved… Surprisingly enough, there was plenty of sawdust created this year.  I was able to create some work which I was very happy with.

And here we are 4 months later… and this still hasn’t hit the web… best I press the publish button!

Elm Table

First from the piles of sawdust was a small table.  The customer had a large 1800 mm round table that simply didn’t fit in their new apartment style home.  We looked at cutting the table round table down, but that simply didnt work as the stand for the table was too large.  So a new table was required.  After some discussion we made a small table that could be put against a buffet, and when required was expanded with a drop in insert.  The expansion of the table was controlled by this runner set from Lee Valley.

 

Outdoor Table and Benches

I was fortunate to have a customer who wanted an outdoor table and benches.  It was quite a large table, 2500mm long and 900mm wide.  Made from Lusitanica it was designed to live under some trees during summer and then by stored in winter.  Fabulous way to treat your outdoor furniture.  Finished in Sikkens HLSe the table and benches looked absolutely fabulous.

Pull Apart Box

I have made a few of these ‘pull apart boxes’.  They are the results of a guild wood challenge a few years ago, and I have continued to make them  Recently I was offered some wood, and thought I would make one of these for the person who donated the wood.  But instead of a single wood, I would use two different timbers.  One wrapped around the other.