Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Treasuring Thrums

Thrums ... THRUMS ... Thrums
Thrums are full of colours
Thrums offer lots of textures
Thrums are simple treasures

Silk thrums in the warp

Silk thrums in the weft

Let's see where those thrums take me and as Misao-sensei would say
"Let's adventure beyond our imagination"

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Saori Wind Chime

My Saori wind chime came together before traveling to the Oregon Coast ... and only recently was it installed outside near by our kitchen window.  In creating this visual display of colors, my desire was to weave several Saori pieces that would dance in the wind.  What I did not expect is the glowing of these colors in the morning sun.

The weaving part of my project was inspired by the Tibetan prayer flags fluttering in the wind, and so I chose to weave with the five colors representing the five elements of nature: blue symbolizing sky/space, followed by white for air/wind, then red for the fire element, green for water, and finally yellow symbolizing earth.

I very much enjoyed creating this piece and really like that it is now part of nature.  The weaving is very colorful when basking in the sun and dancing in the wind ... it is also a gentle reminder for more kindness, compassion and peace for ourselves, others and the earth.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Colours of the Oregon Coast

I treadled a lot in August and September.  However, it wasn't so much while seated at the loom or behind the spinning wheel, but rather from the saddle of my bicycle.  A wonderful cycle touring adventure along the Oregon Coast and through Northern California.  The coast line of Oregon was spectacular, the Redwood Forests majestic, and the pace of cycling ... well, perfect to immerse oneself in the moment and truly enjoy the scenery.  

A pleasant discovery on my way to Cape Blanco was the Wild Rivers Wool Factory in Langlois, South Oregon.  A gem of a store selling and featuring locally produced fibres and finished products from local artists and artisans.  As I walked in, a colorful skein of wool cut my eyes and wanting to know more about my choice,  I asked about the type of wool.  "Well, that would be Romney and the sheep's name is Hyacinth - she lives up the road."  Now, that is 100% local wool!

Another pleasant discovery awaited me in Portland - the annual festival Art In The Pearl.  It is there that I discovered the textile work of Kimberly Morris , a local weaver who crafts amazing rugs with "the belief that all things functional, should be beautiful, easy to care for and last for a long time."  The colours of her hand-dyed, hand-woven wool rugs are absolutely stunning!  Her rugs have a story, watch this segment on Oregon Art Beat.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Coming Together ...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Spinning Artsy Yarn

"Thick and Thin" ~ I simply love the beauty and irregularity of thick and thin yarn ... especially when it finds its way into my weaving!  Inspired by the yarn of Carmen Craig-Martin from MelonHead Knitwear, I signed up in June for spinning classes at Birkeland Bros - my local yarn shop.

Hand Spun - first hank

 At the end of our first class, Carmen had us spinning on the wheel and to my enchantment - I was spinning thick and thin. Well ... I was spinning exactly what a beginner at the wheel spins - flukey "uncontrolled" thick and thin yarn!

Hand Spun - 2 plys

Though in love with my first hand spun, my learning process was to spin more consistently so that I can eventually spin beautiful "controlled" thick and thin yarn. And to spin a more consistent yarn ... spinning and more spinning is the secret!

Hand Spun  - ply with alpaca

Spinning - I did .. and lots of yarns - I got. I am still working on  the control of my thick and thin .. though I quite like the uniqueness of each and every single hank I've spun so far.  I am excited with the idea of weaving with my own artsy yarns!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Fabulous Fibre Month

June was an eventful fibre month with new projects coming along and my latest Saori pieces getting ready to be mounted in the window frame.  I learned to spin wool on the wheel and met some wonderful fibre people along the way - but more about these topics in a different post.

June was also  Victoria FibreFest and a day spent with Terri at her Saori booth in Saxe Point Park.  It was such a great day and I had so much fun helping Terri and assisting people at the looms.


The children loved weaving on the Piccolo loom - the perfect size for them, while others chose to weave a section of the collaborative banner for The Saori Bridges of Elm Park project. Thanks to Terri for sharing the photos of the looms - Piccolo above and the banner in progress on the left.

June was a fabulous fibre month  ... and an amazing Saori weaving day in the park!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Tabi Socks for Novelty

No matter where I go, I like having a knitting project on the needles  - and for that matter, socks seem to be the perfect choice.  Small and compact - especially when knitted on circular needles, it packs into a tiny bundle that fits perfectly in the backpack.

So ... no stranger to knitting socks,  I recently cast on some leftover yarn from Lorna's Laces that's been sitting in my stash.  A few years ago, I knitted my first pair of socks with this yarn and quite liked the stitch pattern, and so did grandma.  I was pleased to give her my first pair of socks to keep her feet warm over the winter months.

My new pair of socks is based on the same stitch pattern as my first pair (the fuchsia sock in the photo), but with a new twist! I enjoy learning new knitting techniques with nearly every project, and this time it's all about tabi socks!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A tiny little wrap

Friends recently had a baby boy and I could not resist knitting this little wrap for him.
An easy knit, the wrap was knitted in one piece with a couple ties on the outside and the inside.
I simply love this turquoise in 100% pure new wool, the asymmetrical closure and the simple lines. 


Monday, May 31, 2010

Photos of my "Cool Cross" Scarf

Very colourful - I love every single colour!

Flat - the way it was woven on the loom.

3-D - the warp off the loom

My "cool cross" scarf - a very "cool" way of weaving a three dimensional scarf.  It is my new favourite!

Friday, May 28, 2010

My Saori exploration continues ....

I have just returned from a very refreshing weaving retreat to Saori Salt Spring with Terri Bibby.  Our time spent together was inspirational in many ways and I learned a lot from her, and also from Jill who came from California to study Saori with Terri.  Jill currently teaches sewing classes from her studio Heartgallery and will soon be offering Saori weaving workshops.

For four days, I fully immersed myself into weaving and really embraced the Saori approach to weaving.  Terri shared with us the philosophy of Saori and stories of her recent trip to Japan - there's great photos posted on her blog.  Needless to say ... I can't wait to travel to Japan and visit some of the Saori studios!

Back to Salt Spring Island - Terri shared with us some weaving techniques, Saori clothes-making ideas, and much more.  I was encouraged by her guidance to learn from my own experience and to develop my unique creativity.  I chose to learn and create a three dimensional scarf by weaving a "cool cross scarf".  Wow ... very "cool" indeed!  The scarf is woven flat, but comes off the loom in three dimensions ...  I will post some pictures soon.

In the meantime, if you are interested in three dimensional weaving, Terri is teaching a class this weekend at Knotty By Nature Fibre Arts.

Friday, April 23, 2010

A marvel of burnt orange

I recently finished my Saori piece on the Artisat , and still marvel at the orange burnt colour. In working with one colour of a single yarn, I wanted to explore density by grouping the weft and by playing with different amount of spaces between threads. The contrast is fascinating - especially when the fabric is held in the light. It was challenging to capture the true essence of the fabric, but for an "aper├žu" - here's a few pictures.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Gaining Perspective

A first on the Artisat

A few months ago, I became the proud owner of a floor loom: the Artisat.  Though new to me, my Artisat is nearly 30 years old, but in superb condition. The loom has aged so gracefully in the hands and care of its original owner that weaving on it has been a delight. My first Saori project on the loom: a scarf in one gorgeous colour ~ burnt orange!