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Wednesday, 16 December 2009

I finally figured it out!

Saturday was the HWSG Christmas party and I'm always happy to catch up with all the wonderful people at the guild. So many people interested in all things textiles is just inspiring.

Our inspiration for the day, among lots of others, was a bag that was made, and I quote "from fabric 1/3 the width of its length" and "you just fold and sew here and just fold and sew here".

It was one of those simple Japanese style bags that I love. You tie the ends and it's a very versatile bag.

Well, over coffee later, could we figure it out? It has taken me days, but I've finally got it. Yeah!

1. First the paper. the width, 1/3 the length.















2. Fold the end squares across the diagonal, just so.















3. Just fold diagonally across the middle. This will show you where you need to sew to create a pocket.















This is the bag I made from a length of machine knit fabric. You can see that it fits all sorts of shapes. You do need to make it up first in something firm, but it works rather well like this. I've made another in slightly heavier fabric.

Just a bit of fun when I have tax to sort out......quickly!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

A silky gift


What a wonderful place Snb is! The delightful Dr. Bones has given me the most wonderful bag full of moth cocoons. They come from her kindergarten child's teacher who has these growing, I assume, much to the delight of her charges. I'm fascinated by the different colours, ranging from a creamy colour, through soft palest of pale greens through to the vibrant yellow. I wonder if these differences will be seen in the final product?

I'm so excited. Now I have to go and find out how to turn these cocoons into spinnable silk.

PS The boys all liked their new Christmas tree....hooray!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Christmas is coming


It doesn't feel like Christmas until the Christmas tree is up. Nobody has been asking about the tree, so, I guess it's up to me. For the last couple of years we haven't had a permanent tree and have bought real Christmas trees. This year, however, I wanted something that reflected the year, the things I did and the things I'm interested in.

So, I extracted a branch from some Wattle that had been trimmed in our garden. Well, nature trimmed it for us, we just cut it up further! Trimmed it up further and gave it a coat of silver paint.


So, it's a handmade sculpture from found materials and the spray paint was only $7 and is probably the only environmentally unfriendly part of my Christmas tree.

It has decorated up beautifully....no electric lights...and I'm very pleased with it. I am getting my 18 year old to contribute something to the tree as his first adult Christmas, a momento of the year. Can't wait.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Chocolate

It seems to have been a very chocolatey (?) year. What with spinning chocolate yarns earlier in the year, and ending the year with Chocolate at Experimental Spinning on Saturday.

For the last couple of years, we've been finishing off in December with a celebratory fibre sandwich. This is a wonderful way to do something as a group, to bust a little stash and generally share.

This year the theme was Chocolate, of course! We started with a layer of chocolate, consisting of chocolate fleece, tops and some caramel fleece. Then a layer of strawberry jam...it was turning into a chocolate cake. This was made up of silk waste, wool top, cut up fabric, all red, then a little bit of cream, another layer of chocolate and caramel. We finished it off with sprinkles, cut up cotton threads.




This was split up into the number of people who participated and we each spun our portion of the cake.


At the same time we managed to indulge in some real chocolate sponge with home grown raspberries.




And this is my bobbin full of chocolate. Spun directly as it came from the cake. Sometimes I've carded a sandwich before spinning, but this time I just wanted it straight. It's waiting for me to spin a very fine chocolate fleece single which I will use as the second ply.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Upcycling

Don't you just love that word....upcycling....no, not what you do with a bike and a mountain, but something just a bit better than recycling. That's what I'm hoping to do in my quest to find a non-winter item for my shop and stall. So, in order to further the quest.....



I have bought myself a brand spanking new overlocker!



I've been doing some dressmaking at a local shop and they suggested that I have a look at this very marked down machine from Janome. A great deal is going at the moment on this and also an electronic machine. (Yes, I was sorely tempted, but.....) I went along and came home with the new machine.



Immediately, dearest, came out with a pair of pants that needed fixing......on the normal straight sewing machine. I did give him a quick lesson on the difference and I did fix his pants.



Because of Christmas they're not running their introductory class. Next year I'll learn all the intricacies of overlocking. So right now I'm just keeping it simple.