Ombre Scarf

This scarf uses Bendigo 3ply for warp and weft and includes an ombre wool blend in the weft.

I love the drape and softness of this scarf but my next project will be focussed on achieving a better selvage. In attempting to avoid draw in I have gone too far in the other direction and have loopy selvages. My weaving mentor suggested weights on the selvages and I will also look at the angles and how snugly each pass fits at the edge.

A scarf knotted to show the colour variation at the ends

Keep going, keep making, keep improving.

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A Tribute To Kay Faulkner

Queensland weaver Kay Faulkner passed away unexpectedly on Friday 31 May 2019. I learned of her passing from a post made to her blog by her children and I am deeply saddened.

I am saddened that the weaving community has lost such a skilled and passionate member, saddened that her children have had to deal with the sudden loss of their beloved mother and saddened that I will never again have the opportunity to appreciate the community and learning opportunities that Kay offered via the classes she taught at her home studio.

I can’t speak of Kay’s full professional and artistic life as I met her first in 2017 when I was a participant in her linen and lace class. She taught that class from her home studio in Birkdale, Queensland but frequently also taught and presented at workshops and conferences locally and at international weaving events. She brought weaving into the public eye and will be remembered for promoting dying and weaving as a teacher and an artist.

In recent times, Kay wove the wool and silk cloth to be used on High Court judges’ robes. This work put her and the art and craft of weaving into the media spotlight in Australia in 2016. I had the opportunity to see and handle one of the samples of this cloth and the pictures can’t communicate how supple and light the cloth felt in my hands.

Kay is survived by her son Andrew and her daughter Helen. Her loss will be keenly felt by her immediate family, and also those to whom she was a loyal friend. The loss extends to the wider weaving community both in Australia and overseas.

A version of this obituary has been submitted to the editor of the Victorian Handweavers and Spinners Guild for possible inclusion in the July 2019 edition of their newsletter Treadles. At the time of this blog post the July Treadles had not been published.

Makeup Bag

I whipped up a makeup bag on Sunday.

Rectangular fabric bag with a metal zipper. There are eyebrow pencils and other makeup items lying on top of the bag.

Designed to be just a bit longer than my eyebrow pencil

It barely took 15 minutes to throw together and the hardest part was locating a zipper foot for my sewing machine. The accessories for my machine are currently AWOL and will probably turn up at the bottom of a stash box one day. The benefit of having a spare sewing machine (or two) is having additional accessories. The drawback of owning more than one sewing machine is sounding like a person who can’t control her impulses but I figure they don’t make ’em like they used to. Besides both of us use them.

Though only only of us sews makeup bags.

How many sewing machines do you own?

Thrum Scarf

I had a lot of warp yarn left on the loom after my friend finished her wrap, but not enough to make another scarf without making some adjustments.

I decided to take the remaining warp off the loom and add more colours to it. I used fisherman’s knots to add in three new warp colours (navy, pink and cerise) from my stash to make a new warp. I put the coloured yarn in randomly thought I did check for patterns that might inadvertently creep in. Sett was 15epi.

I chose a Lincraft yarn 100g, 100% wool $1 from the op shop for weft. It’s a pale green shade to calm the vivid warp colours. I like the colours of the warp in the fabric, but felt they were too riotous for a fringe. Instead I went for a hemmed finish using the Java tone of Bendigo three ply that is also in the warp.

The finshed scarf will be a gift for an overseas friend.

The hemmed ends of a handwoven scarf with a painted cabinet in the background

There is a slight iridescence here that I really like

M’s and O’s

Cloth up of woven cloth

The Simple Weaves book has a pattern for guest towels in M’s and O’s that I thought would be perfect for the Cottolin yarn I bought in Sweden a few years ago. It was perfect.

Wool Wrap as a Teaching Project

A friend in my neighborhood was keen to try her hand at weaving and I was keen to try my hand at teaching. Perfect!

A weaving loom with a short length of woven cloth

The picture above shows the loom set up for her to start her project, a wrap or scarf.

It was made with a lovely soft mohair wool blend doubled as weft and Bendigo three ply as warp. As I like to do for low stress weaving, I threaded dark grey on shafts 1 and 3 and java on shafts 2 and 4. The sett was 10 dpi.

We only had two 50g balls of weft yarn and when it ran out, that was the end of the project.

My friend is thrilled with what she achieved, as she should be.

Back view of a woman wearing a wrap over her shoulders

My friend almost always wears black

Not bad, is it?

Doubleweave Class with Kay Faulkner

This year I again took a week out to focus on a new structure under the expert tuition of Kay Faulkner. This time the structure was doubleweave, something I had long wanted to try, entranced as I was by the marvelous deflected doubleweave items I had seen online.

Accommodation in the Birkdale area is a mild problem in that almost all options require you to have a car to get to class. This year I shared accommodation with Barbara, a fellow linen and lace graduate who lives in Queensland. We were able to spend time discussing all elements of weaving, day and night and enjoyed sampling the many restaurants in the area, with Barbara very capably driving us everywhere we needed to go. I know she reads this blog so thanks Barb!

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I enjoy the intensity of a week long class structure and the ability to move from loom to loom to try different applications. This time was easier for me as I had with some familiarity with both Kay’s looms and her teaching style. The winner project was window panes, which still seem like complete magic, even now I know how they come together.

The editor of the Victorian Handweavers and Spinners Guild newsletter declined my offer to write an article about my experience of the linen and lace class I attended at Kay’s studio last year, on the grounds that it might be seen as promoting a competitive source of weaving education. Dear readers, may I say that I thoroughly recommend that you attend one of Kay’s classes if you are able to get to Birkdale (in the Brisbane area) and can afford the time and the (very reasonable) class fees. I do not feel at all disloyal to the Guild in making this recommendation.