Friday, February 28, 2014

The Wall of Wool & Troy.

Last weekend I visited some friends in Melbourne. They were a very creative and positive few days and I came back full of ideas, colours and good energy. The beautiful hand spun wool is from the Handweavers and Spinners Guild of Victoria in North Carlton, where you can find a whole wall of it. All the wool is for sale and is spun by members of the Guild. The colours were vibrant and the textures surprising, with some skeins featuring feathers. Check out their website for contact details as well as opening hours and pay them a visit if you are in the area and want to learn more about these crafts or are looking for that special skein.

A beautiful mosaic table at the CERES community environment park cafe where I had a most delicious breakfast on a perfect sunny sunday. 

Back at home, I finished a small table runner. This was my first project using cotton, but as you can see I also used some wool to see the effect. The twill pattern I chose for this work is called Wall of Troy. I read somewhere that this pattern was ideal for when working with cotton and for making tea towels and the sort. I am very pleased with the result.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Undulating twill and other things.

This week I completed an undulating twill weave using 100% Australian wool. This was an 8 shaft project. I am pleased with the results, but think that it is too heavy for a scarf and for a next project I should adjust the sett. This week I am setting up the loom with cotton and have borrowed a book with Scandinavian Projects to inspire me.

I saw a lucet or Knitting fork for the first time in my life. I was only aware of the French knitting spools. Apparently the rope made with the lucet, an old scandinavian tool, will not unravel if cut. I will have to see if I can make one when I get back home, it seems easy enough to carve out of wood.

Also on the list of things to do when I get back home are strawberry protectors. Strawberry protectors are pebbles painted just like strawberries which supposedly get birds confused when they peck at them and find that they are far from soft and sweet. Here is a link to a site where you can learn how to make them.

I also finally learned what these cotton crochet circles are for. I always thought it was odd that anyone would make what I thought were potholders from crochet cotton. It would just not be practical, with all those holes you would burn your fingers. But what they are really for is to dry your dishes, or in other words "dish cloths". I found these at an op shop along with these pretty yellow and orange embroidered cloths.

This week it seems was a week for learning many new things. To add to the list is Hyperbolic crochet and a book that looks very interesting: 
"A Field Guide to Hyperbolic Space: An Exploration of the Intersection of Higher Geometry and Feminine Handicraft." by Margaret Wertheim.
If you are interested in this subject check out the Institute for Figuring website and perhaps start a Satellite Hyperbolic Reef in your town.

But the best best thing was learning about Australian native bees at the Addison Road Community Garden. I saw a Blue Banded bee there, it was beautiful.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Foxy Goose Eye.

I have finished my first twill on a shaft loom. I decided to try the Goose Eye pattern. I am very pleased with the way it turned out. Today I started setting up the loom with an 8 shaft pattern, which curiously is really not any more of a challenge. This pattern reminds me a little of a fox.

The setting up of the loom is slightly more tedious and requires a little more concentration but it will actually be easier than the Goose Eye pattern to execute. It is an undulating twill pattern with a straight twill threading, so it is just a matter to repeating the shaft combinations in sequence, never having to reverse them. Reversing the pattern really confused me in the Goose Eye pattern, I think my brain only started getting used to the sequences towards the very end of the project.

If you are looking for patterns is a very good resource. That is where I found the undulating twill pattern which you can check out here if you wish. 

And if you are wanting to adopt a Fox you can do so through the Sydney Fox Rescue. Two weekends ago they were at the Newtown Markets where I got to meet this beautiful Red Fox. If I was staying here longer I would adopt one or at least volunteer to help look after them. If you are wondering why anyone would want to look after these beautiful creatures in Australia, then go and check out their website. There I am sure you will find plenty of good reasons to want to help.