Monday, October 3, 2011

Slow.....but getting there

This warp was put on the loom (KaTe) for last new year's eve. It has taken me that long to get to this point. Four dyed samples:
Sample 1 to 4 (from right to left)
Sample 1 - cotton warp & weft
Sample 2 on loom - straight pleating with twill base weave
Sample 2 - cotton warp & weft
Sample 3 on loom - patterned pleats, twill base weave
Sample 3 - cotton warp, silk/linen weft
Sample 4 - cotton warp, linen weft
I used Procion dye in Black MX2R but had forgotten that I would not get a true black. It came out more like a dull indigo on the cotton. However, on the tie weft, which was pale yellow in colour, it has dyed as a deep ink black. I managed to untie the pieces without breaking the yarn. I am saving them to use as weft on another piece of weave as it has quite a nice space dyed effect.
All the different fibres absorbed the dye well and had good coverage.
I spoke to a friend of mine and she mentioned that I may have to add yellow and blue to the black to make it more black, but if I wanted a grey, then I should get the grey dye!
Weft yarn - mercerised cotton
I think this calls for more sampling and dye tests to find the 'right' colour. This has so far been a good exercise to decide on what combination of patterning/pleating I would like for the next lot of samples. There is at least 5 more meters of warp on the loom so I don't have to worry about running out of warp!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The honour and the glory

The Royal Melbourne Show is on. It is where the country comes to town and we all get to understand it a bit more. It means more than rides and show bags. It is a demonstration of living crafts, the skills of the working dog rounding up sheep, the assessment of the quality of fleece, the breeding of animals, and cooking/baking skills.
There are also cabinets of lace work, spinning, knits, decorated cakes that are truly labour of love and obsessions. I have read about how the strict the rules are for the baking entries, the consistency of how even the fruit is spread out in the fruit cakes, the swirl of the colours in the marble cakes, and perfection of the shapes, etc.

I have noticed that the categories for weave have been slowly decreasing and the number of entries fluctuates. The amount of display space gets smaller. As a result, I try to put in at lease one entry each year, to demonstrate that there are still weavers out there, that weaving can be done with fibres other than wool. This year there is one cabinet. It is a terrible photo, the lighting is bad and it is in a dark corner.

However, luck is on my side, and I am proud to say that this year both of the Pic to Picks pieces were awarded prizes. The other entries are beautiful too and I would hate to be the judge.

The P2P piece was awarded first prize and best exhibit in its category. It was displayed in a separate cabinet that was brightly lit. I wish the other pieces could have had the same treatment! The P2P2 piece was awarded 'high commendation'.

PS: I did visit the cat pavilion and there is a 'pat a cat' stand. I could not resist! I do miss my sweetie so much........