04 April 2014

A piece of handwoven history

Happy Fibre Arts Friday!

A member of our spinning group, Liz, brought along two pieces of wall hanging to the Wednesday night meeting. They were woven by her mum's friend, Liz told us, and because the friend's husband didn't like them she wanted to give them away but preferably they went to people who really appreciated them.

Here are the two pieces:
I liked them both. One of the other ladies claimed the one on the right so I got the one on the left. It's actually a double weave, the back looks like this:
Isn't that gorgeous? There is a label on the back:
The artist's name is Lilija Duks, woven in March 1984, on a draw-loom with double harness set-up and 20 shafts (20!). The craftsmanship is incredible.

So I did a little research when I got home... guess what I found? Museum Victoria has a piece of Ms. Duks' wall hanging in their collection;

Craft Australia also has a piece among their collection.

And there's more... I found a record for the Education Committee of New Zealand Spinning, Weaving and Wool Craft Society.  Lilija Duks was listed as one of their overseas tutors, among the likes of Peter Collingwood, Kaffe Fassett, and Elizabeth Zimmermann. Well, how about that!

I feel so honoured to have this piece of handwoven history in my possession, it now hangs proudly next to my 8-shaft floor loom as inspiration... I will update you on the progress on the loom when I finally make some, erm, progress.

Thanks for dropping by, please hop over to Andrea's at Wisdom Begins in Wonder for more fibre fun. 

14 March 2014

Little Penguin Jumper

Last week the ABC put out a call for knitters to knit pullovers for penguins, the request came from the Phillip Island Penguin Foundation.  The foundation use these jumpers for oil contaminated penguins because the oil causes the feathers to separate and mat, and when that happens the water will get into the feathers so they become non-waterproof, which can make the penguin cold and some even die of hypothermia. The penguin jumpers help keep penguins warm and prevent them from ingesting toxic oil when they try to preen themselves.

As I am pretty much swamped with my study now that my semester is in full swing, my crafting time has been vastly reduced. But these little jumpers are fairly quick to make and they don't require much concentration, and they're portable. So I opted to knit one of these, I only managed to make one this week.
The pattern says to make two pieces and sew together, which I did. But next time I'm going to make it in the round to eliminate sewing (anything but sewing!). My toy model is a tad too small for it but I don't think he'd complain ;-)
If you would like to learn more about how the foundation use these jumpers to help the penguins or to get the pattern you can follow the link here. There's also a Ravelry pattern page here.

Thanks for visiting. I'm linking this to Fibre Arts Friday at Andrea's place, you can find more fibre arts goodies over there.


07 March 2014

Weaving frenzy

Happy Fibre Arts Friday! I'm doing a show and tell for my weaving projects this week because I suddenly had an urge to weave lately.

I had some variegated pure wool yarn and I wanted to explore how they behaved in weaving, so I wove two scarves: the first one using the same yarn as both warp and weft, the second only using the variegated yarn as warp and a plain matching yarn for weft.
I think I prefer the one on the right, i.e. variegated yarn for warp only but not for both. 

But what I love the most is the third one I made, this time using a space dyed yarn for weft.


It turned out really well, the bamboo in the weft yarn gave it just the right amount of drape without being too heavy, there's also a soft sheen to it. 

When I first finished it I wasn't too happy with the overlaps where I joined the new balls of yarn, so I appealed for help on the Rigid Heddle group on Facebook, it is a fantastic group for weavers by the way. From the advice I received I decided to pull out the overlaps, split the yarn (a single) and weave in the split ends separately. The result was amazing, you can hardly tell where they are. 

That's me for the week, now it's your turn.

I'm linking this to Fibre Arts Friday at Andrea's place, you can find more fibre arts goodies over there. 


21 February 2014

A Mini Skein and No Knead Bread

Welcome to Fibre Arts Friday! My internet has been playing up all week so this is going to be short and sweet...

First up is a mini skein I spun on my Jenkins Delight, Sparrow ordered the spindle for me and got it sent to my friend's in Seattle, so when we visited the friend during our trip it was there waiting for me :-)  Delight is a light weight Turkish spindle, this one is made of bloodwood and weighs only 1.09oz. It came with a gorgeous fibre sample in a merino/bamboo blend that was a real pleasure to spin, I love the colourway too, so bright and sunny!
I came across Attic24's post on a "No Knead Bread" recipe last week, which really intrigued me. The notion suggests the perfect combination for lazy cooks like myself, although I have a bread machine it's a hassle to measure out all the ingredients (yeah I'm lazy like that!) and you can't really choose the shape of your bread... But this, this "no knead bread", sounds like the real deal. Could it really be that easy? But yes my friends, it really was easy peasy :-)
The recipe is here, I followed it exactly, no mods ;-)

That's it for me this week. Thanks for stopping by, I'm linking it to Fibre Arts Friday and Creative Friday,  so please hop over there for more handmade fun stuff!

14 February 2014

How about this for Valentine?

Happy Fibre Arts Friday! ... and Happy Valentine's Day, for those of you who celebrate that is. Personally I think Valentine's Day is overrated, it's just another opportunity for commercialisation. Having said that I wouldn't mind if the old man came home with flowers, but I'm not holding my breath. Besides, if he did I might question his motive - yeah, we are romantic like that! ;-)

I remember seeing a poster or a picture that said "yarn is cheaper than roses", but I couldn't find it again,  that's my sentiment exactly!

Something did turn up in the post this week, nothing to do with the old man I can assure you, it's something I was going to get when we were in America but it never materialised, until now:
It's a handmade modular spindle by Ken Ledbetter, made of walnut and maple with a polymer clay inlay. It spins like a dream and I'm totally in love with it!

So, that's my Valentine for this year. Now show us yours :-)

Thanks for dropping by, there is more fibre arts fun at Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Indulge your creative side and join the party!