Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Today I did some dyeing and build a yurt (as you do)

Impromptu washing line in front of the Sussex flint wall at Time Machine.  The first 7 skeins are Harris singles, the last one a chunky 2 ply Swaledale.  L to R the colours are beetroot+vinegar, acid red, acid yellow, acid blue+acid yellow (20 mins), acid blue+acid yellow (40mins), acid red+acid blue x2, ditto put in after the previous two taken out.  All destined to be used at the tapestry workshops I am running in the TM tent at  the Goodwood Festival of Speed from tomorrow until Sunday.

The head of the dragon who is curled around the fire pit at TM, modelled by Caz, who designed the Sensory Garden, which has its official opening on Saturday.  It is unfortunate that it has coincided with FoS, but we hope we have organised things well for both events......

The 'naked' yurt - not enough sail canvas donated yet to make the covering.  Mostly made from reclaimed materials - the walls are cut from old organ pipe covers!  It took four of us about four hours to do this, the only young and fit member of the team being my Boy!  Alec is over 70 and Paul and I both have prolapsed discs - but we did a fab job.  Once it is dressed it may become my weaving space after I have finished the outdoor tapestries.

Early start tomorrow - school groups have a special day at FoS, and we have five sets visiting us.  Friday is school groups again (another five), plus the public.  Saturday and Sunday public days; drop-in Art, Tapestry, Jewellery and 'Reclaim Fun' sessions.  Monday is break down (and hopefully not breakdown!)

Monday, 25 June 2012

Back Where I Belong

A fine day today, so was able to resume weaving on the outdoor tapestry!  So nice to be back on my platform and stool combo.  Took a break mid afternoon to go and visit a lady who had offered us 'some yarn and weaving tools' after seeing the work last Saturday.  A delightful lady - who was one of Pat's first students at WD - and loads of wonderful yarns, bobbins, dyes (and dye % folders - a real bonus), a metal frame loom and a large capacity bobbin rack (made by a student to the WD design, so just like the one I had there), all for  a very modest price.  The yarns are a mixture of good quality stuff; some (coloured) can be used for the outdoor tapestry and some (undyed) I can dye myself to use for Rebuilder, which will keep costs down.  There are also some interesting coloured warps - including the yummiest black mohair.  I feel a very lucky weaver to be in receipt of such rich delights.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Too Long Away

I have spent the last few days feeling like a delivery driver / Pickfords worker.  Packed up the exhibition on Sunday, but delayed unloading the car until Monday.  This was due to excellent and jolly reasons - one of my oldest friends came (unexpectedly) to the show on Sunday, and after packing up and a celebratory glass of bubbly in MB's garden, we went out to dinner, and I did not get back until late.  On Tuesday I drove to Manchester, with a lunch stop in Northants at  M&D's, to bring my Boy home!!   I met his delightful girlfriend, and we went out for dinner together.  Wednesday morning brought a rude awakening when I saw the state of his student flat.  Having planned to leave by lunchtime after a genteel visit to the textiles collection at the Whitworth Art Gallery, we actually left at 7pm after a day cleaning!  His five flatmates all left last week, and had done nothing to clear the communal kitchen / living room.  Twelve bags of rubbish, four bags of abandoned crockery (which we had to wash first) to the charity shop, unnumbered sheets of kitchen roll, two bottles of spray cleaner.....  The cupboards were full of tins and opened packets, the work surfaces and stove were CRUSTY and the fridge??  Words fail me, and I am still recovering!
We got back to M&D's at 10pm, and collapsed in a heap.  Boy had a day's work with my brother (a conservation stonemason) on Thursday, so I chilled with Mum and Dad - it was Dad's birthday, and I have not been there on his birthday for ages, so it was especially good.  Family gathering supper too.
Home late yesterday afternoon; cue another heap - and we still have to unload the car of his stuff, and find homes for it in my minuscule flat, which is already stuffed to the gunwhales. Deep joy.  But it is so lovely to have him home (although he is off later to a party and won't be back 'til tomorrow or Monday).  Term does not begin until September, so I have time to psych myself up for the return trip.  And now I need to get back to Time Machine and do some more work on the outdoor tapestry - there is an official opening for the Sensory Garden next Saturday - hope the weather improves, it has been most unsummery for the last few days.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Sheep, Worrying

This is the face of a doglet who is afraid of sheep.  Having a day off from the gallery we went on a good walk (our first 4+ miler in ages).  We were on the remains of the Roman road that ran between Chichester and London for a while, and most of the time in gorgeous woodland (from which I emerged without a single found object - such discipline!).  At one point we had to go through a smallish field with LOTS of noisy sheep in, so I dutifully obeyed the Country Code and put Flo on her lead, even though she has never chased anything, ever. She hugged the field edge and pulled on her lead, then slipped her collar and tried to get out through the fence away from them.  I had to pick her up and carry her through.  How embarrassing; a dog worried by sheep.  Lawks.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Latest Tapestry

The design sketch, from a drawing made at Life Class, scanned and given a blue background in Photoshop.  The working title (I always feel the need to have a title, why is that?) is 'La Penseuse en Bleu'.

I have gone back to the old ways; making the setting selvedge with warp thread, and stitching the cartoon rather than using tags. The warp is double 12/9s, weft of strands of three different 28/2 blue wools* and one strand blue linen, with the figure marks woven over singles in one strand each green wool and viridian linen.  In the lower right there are occasional short lines of soumak in the blue weft with added fine glitter yarn in viridian and violet - you can just see one in the picture below.

*Denim Blue, Teal and Indigo.  The same ones as in Nefesh, dyed for me by Weavers' Bazaar.  The green wool is theirs too (Lush Green).

I have also been working on designing Rebuilder, with paint and Hebrew text and collage.  Enjoyable.

Now I have to bath doglet.  She rolled in horse unmentionables along the Arun, just before we were expecting evening guests at the gallery.  Ladylike, NOT.

Saturday, 9 June 2012


Thread of Grace off the frame and relaxing before being nailed down!

I warped up the Glimakra frame with a thicker thread (12/9s) ready to start the next one; twined, half-hitched, warp selvedged and cartoon stitched on.  Because it is a frame with plastic combs to sett the ends it is very fast to warp compared to matching each end to a stuck on tape measure (see the little loops at the bottom of ToG), so I even got to start weaving with the blue mixes - three strands of wool and one of linen.  I had forgotten how linen 'bounces' and misbehaves in a butterfly, so on Thursday (I have three days off from gallery duty) I shall take in some wooden bobbins to lick that there yarn into shape. The cartoon was created in Photoshop on my other (otherwise redundant because sooooo slow) laptop, so I will have to transfer the image to show you tomorrow.....

Friday, 8 June 2012

Nearly Finished

'Thread of Grace' within 1/2" of completion.  Good to be weaving in the gallery, it does cause people to stop and talk to me about it, and is much better for me to be doing something useful in between visitors.

Tomorrow I shall cut it off and warp up ready for another small tapestry, a line drawing of a figure this time, and on a background of some lovely mixed blues - previously sampled in the Spindrift series of tines which you can see in the gallery pics above.

I have also made a start on designing the cartoon for the cathedral tapestry - although I still need to take some photos inside the cathedral for colour reference in order to set my palette - practising with different handwriting fonts for the text, and will start to collage images copied from the archive.  The working title is 'Rebuilder' based on Isaiah 58:12 about restoring broken walls and, by extension, rebuilding broken lives.  I will keep you posted....


I went to the lovely old tool shop in Yapton yesterday with Diana (we have been trying to got there for 18 months!).  Look what I got:

  • 5ft folding carpenter's rule
  • brass plumb bob
  • 4" steel rule
  • engineer's square
  • wooden thingy with a hole through!
What delights.....

Monday, 4 June 2012

A Relaxing Evening......

.......just before the cat went steaming about like a mad thing, causing doglet and I to fear for our lives.

Another gallery day today, so I am taking the frame with ToG on, hoping to draw people in with my web.......

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Gallery Pics; 'nuff said

In which our heroine, in the process of a post preparation potter, discovers...


Probably refugees from the Time Machine.  Thankfully I still had some unopened moth stuff (not the ├╝ber-toxic naphthalene which is no longer available here, and has to be smuggled in from France forgotten about) and a large enough Really Useful Box (yes, they really are called that) to get all the wool from TM into.  Should have done it before, but I thought they were safe knotted in poly bags.  Everything else was already boxed and protected.

The Private View went well, and we had a goodly number of visitors yesterday.  We weren't sure how things would go being Jubilee weekend.  It is raining this morning, hence the indoor pottering before I go Arundelwards to take over gallery duty at 2pm.  It is a beautiful town, and the gallery is very well situated on the High Street - good footfall.  Doglet and I went for a walk along the river Arun in the morning.

I am taking my camera with me so will post photos of the show later on....
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