In a brief moment between winter ailments (cough cough, sniff sniff) this weekend we went on a bushwalk / fossil hunt / mushroom spotting adventure.
I regularly walk this track on the lower slopes of Mt Wellington. It leads up to New Town Falls and it takes me about 1.5hrs there and back or 2 hrs if I take a circuit returning by various fire trails. I’ll take this over going to the gym any day.
Last time I was zooming up the hill I noticed that someone had placed a small rock on top of a post and, in the millisecond I glanced at it, I realised it was a fossil of a shell! So I looked down onto the track, picked up a blocky shaped rock and it was a fossil too!
So I had to take the kids for a look – especially since we now have the pressing need to produce kindergarten show and tell on a weekly basis. Jasper did spot an impressive specimen and is now all set for school this week.
However, the biggest interest for everyone on this walk (apart from the hot milo in the thermos) was the enormous number and variety of fungi for us to find next to the track. I have a copy of a field guide to Tasmanian Fungi so we could even look some of them up when we got home.
My next aim is to walk all the way to New Town Falls with Jasper. I think he is ready
Hand dyed (by me) sock in progress.
Photo by Valeri Pain
The rug was completed in time for the submission cut off for the Handweavers, Spinners and Dyer’s Guild of Tasmania exhibition at Design Tasmania in Launceston.
I think the Design Tasmania staff and the Guild coordinator have done an excellent job in putting together an exhibition with a very diverse range of items from craft makers across the state. The theme was Tasmanian Stories – Coastal and Inland.
I really love the way my rug has been installed – as it would be in use, but of course elevated just a bit.
I have yet to take a photograph of this rug that shows the colours correctly! I’ll have another try when I get it back in August.
I have been ignoring my loom – the rug was growing too slowly so I stopped weaving on it. Not exactly logical!
A decision to enter it into the guild exhibition and the realisation that I would surely miss the deadline has been a massive motivator. So every morning I install the kids in front of the TV for an hour and get a suprising amount of weaving done!
I’m nearly halfway there now but the tension has suddenly become uneven – the back of the loom is a sorry sight with all sorts of jerry-rigged weighting devices dangling, clamped and wedged in the offending areas. Gawd I hope it all works out!
The greens are wrong in this phone photo, but you can at least get an idea of what I’m doing.
I have finished the rag rug
I had planned to make a taupe and white rug but I wasn’t happy with the way the taupe fabric frayed, even when cut with a rotary cutter.
So I decided to wing it with the strips I had already ripped for my last project.
The colours are a straight 2×2 twill and the white is plain weave. I got the original inspiration for this from an old Vav Magazine
135cm (53”) long and 78cm (30 3/4”) wide
EPI: 5epi in a 10dent reed
Warp: 6/2 cotton given to me by a weaving friend.
Weft: The white fabric was a sheet that was given to me by my partner’s mum. The coloured fabric was hand dyed by me when I was into quilt making.
This rug was fiddly to weave with all the colour changes. However I’m pleased with the outcome.
My guide string for length must have been incorrect because I was expecting the rug to be 150cm! However, it works well in front of the couch and covers the bald carpet nicely ;-D
I note that off the loom the stripes in the centre of the rug are a bit bowed (more noticeable in photos than real life). I used a temple but I think I could have been a bit more generous with my weft, making a few ‘hills’ rather than a straight diagonal. Something to take away for the future.
Nice for dancing on:
I have sourced some rug wool and I’m keen to try that out as weft for the remainder of this warp :-D I can’t wait to go up and tidy my workroom – I find that working with rags is very messy.
Some time in the middle of 2013, probably about the time of my last post, Ada suddenly stopped having a day time nap. The effect on me being the lack of space to think and read and do…. to weave.
However, I am a lucky mother;
I am able to use my spinning wheel when my children are around me. I am happy for them to help me with the treadling and now Jasper is able to draft a little bit too.
I am happy for them to fiddle with my wheel when I’m out of the room (kerThump goes my patient Ashford Traditional as Ada once again tries to shove a handful of wool into the orifice!).
And, in general, they are happy to play or watch TV when I’m at my wheel, leaving me to get on with it. So:
That is 18 skeins of handspun wool. Waiting to be turned into cloth.
What a lucky woman I am to have all this to look forward to. All this planning, weaving and maybe even sewing. And definitely more spinning
I wish you a happy, healthy and productive 2014.
I have been glued to my spinning wheel this week and the grey fleece (my major project) is nearing the end. The little sample of white merino is finished, it was difficult to spin due to the short staple length – but I did learn alot. In fact this week has seen my spinning skills improve enormously. Putting in the hours and watching a few Interweave DVDs has given me some great tips and a bit of confidence.
I am spinning on the smaller whorl now and I have modified my drafting to be a backwards draft with the forward hand providing tension only. I’ve previously used a forward pinching draw which is pretty tiring on my hand and forearm.