11 December 2013

Hand painted warp

This is a project spanning so many months I cannot even remember when I started it.

Ages ago I purchased in the Texere website a "very fine cotton" not realising that "very fine" equals to "insanely fine" in my classification.

The thread is soooo thin that I don't have enough heddles to use it by itself. I spent hours winding it into a warp and then I painted it using Procion MX dyes. The weft was died with the same type of dye in a solid turquoise.

I then left it in a bag waiting to be brave enough to warp all the heddles I own.

I am working it as a simple tabby. I should say that I choose this structure to show off the painted warp but actually I know that it is going to be hard enough without adding anything else.

I found that for some unknown reason one side of the warp is tighter than the other. On top of that, in the middle of the weaving, I had to move house and the castle of my table loom had to be folded. This requires all the tension to be removed from the warp. That -I am afraid- did not help any with the bad tensioning.

21 August 2013

Origami wreath

I followed the directions from this blog post: How do you make that paper sun? but made them(yet again) with presents paper I could not bear to part with.

1 July 2013


The guild had a competition with "Rainbow" as the subject. Rainbow reminds me of pencils and childhood and childhood is made of paper. What best use could I make of my paper yarn?

 This is my rainbow. I made a few attempts at mixing various shades within the section but as the paper is rather thick it did not work out.

I have used my rigid heddle loom to make the band.
Originally I was planning some sort of sculptural piece all twisted and coiled upon itself but at the end I could not go to the meeting. In a fit of annoyance I hung it to the window and, I think, it looks very pretty there.

11 June 2013

Bamboo on charkha

A couple of years ago I purchased a charkha wheel as a toy present to me.
The first attempts were... disappointing.
I had found very little in the way of directions and advice and most of it was for the fancy American-made charkha with ball bearings and all. Mine is Indian made, came wrapped in Sanskrit newsprint (which I have saved for future crafting possibilities).
I had decided to spin some bamboo fibre that I had dyed and prepared in several punis in gradual colour changes. The fibres are longer than cotton and thus more forgiving of my main sin: insufficient twist.

I decided that by the end of the bamboo I would have learnt how to spin. I did.


I have finished spinning the last of the punis and I started spinning a bit of cotton and it looks good and, in fact, much easier than the bamboo.

All I have to do now is decide what I will do with it.

 I am happy with the result but I know I will not trust to knit it by itself. It could become the weft of a scarf, maybe in satin wave to show off the shininess.
Or I could knit it with another thread (for support).

10 May 2013

Origami roses bookmarks

The first bookmark was made for my godmother, these are bookmark 2.0.
The rose are identical to the one I sent her but I have sealed the paper using Mod Podge. Not sure if they are better or not.

I got the pattern for the roses from the book: Origami Jewellery by Ayako Brodek.

In the book they are used as earrings or broaches. and they are sealed with polyurethane satin varnish. I did try to find it but in vane.

In any case, considering the frequency of precipitations I am not sure I want to wear something made of paper. I will probably change my mind in about 10 minutes... Especially because I enjoy the folding but am unable to make for the sake of making. I must have an object. The bookmark.

I have made 2 bookmarks so far. Using all the completed roses I had.
After folding the 3 parts for each flower I coated each with Mod Podge.
Then attached the bead that will be the centre of the flower.

In my previous bookmark I attached the rose to the nylon thread using a bead. Attached the same way as the centre bead but under the rose. This allows to rose to twist around. Attaching the rose directly to the thread works better for me.

I put together the 3 parts using tacky glue. The book calls for mono phase epoxy glue which I have been unable to find.

Initially I was planning to add all 4 roses to the same bookmark but after attacking the fist one  (the greenish one) to the thinnest thread I did not want to add anything else. I find it so pretty I might wear it as a necklace. See...  I have already changed idea about the jewellery thing.

30 April 2013

Flour Resist

I have been planning to try flour resist for ages and here is it:

I used one of those cheap white cotton bags you can buy everywhere. I washed it and inserted in the bag a piece of cardboard wrapped in plastic bags. The cardboard was as big as the bag to keep it stretched.

I have mixed a pancake batter consistency mix of wholemeal flour and water and squeegee-ed it onto one side of the bag.

I left to dry several days (read: I had no time to perform stage 2 for several days).

I scrunched the resist but I could have done some more.As you can see the crackles aren't too many.

I prepared the paint using manutex and procion dyes, I painted it in using a large brush on both sides.

I then inserted the bag in a plastic rubbish bag and left it to cure for 48 hours.

The resist came off very easily in large chunks. I used the back of a cheap table knife as scraper.

23 April 2013

North Ronaldsay

I just finished plying the last fo the North Ronaldsay. I love it: it looks rough but it is so soft and cozy.

I must choose carefully the pattern to use it with.

19 April 2013

Paper Yarn

Inspired by the pictures from Paperphine http://www.paperphine.com/?tag=weaving I have tried to spin paper.

These are my tissue paper threads, the spinning (or more accurately the twisting) is a tad frustrating because the strips do break often but all in all I like the result.

The red one has been a nightmare: I did not realised that I had cut the strips at 90° from the directions of the paper fibres: instead of breaking every 10 minutes the paper broke every 30 seconds.

To make this thread I have done the following:
1. Cut the paper from from 1 cm to each edge

2. Wrap the paper in a wet towel for several hours

3. Ripped the paper to have a continuous lenght of paper

4 Twisted the paper on the spinning wheel.

I made several attempts and found that it is better to keep the hands very close to the orifice. I also think that at the beginning most breakages were due to the time it took me to arrange the "changes of directions of the paper"

The main problem of tissue paper is the colour: it bleads out horribly: I will have to use these threads in a place where they will not come in contact with humidity or I must find a substance to seal them in.

I made experiments with newspaper, for the newspaper I cut the paper after having whetted it. I guess it worked only because the newsprint is much more resistant.

The result is quite stiff and I am considering using it to weave a basket.

My last test was with my birthday presents paper.

It is one of those pseudo-handmade papers, almost transparent and with thicker fibres visible. It was much easier to spin but came out fuzzy: the fibres seems to be poking out especially if the paper was particularly wet.

11 April 2013

So... I am restarting this a s a diary.