Thursday, January 31, 2013

thrilling twill!

OK, so this is the Guava and Dark Plum twill I'm working on - I took advantage of the long weekend to weave around 1 metre of this! Unfortunately I had to cut it all off, as there were 4 pesky warp threads that were extra-tight, which I felt may affect the finished product. I tied the remaining warp back on last night, and wove another 20cm. Hopefully I'll have better luck this time ;) I'm wondering whether the 3 ply wool is too fine for the warp even though it feels very strong ... perhaps next time I'll experiment with a 4-5 ply warp and a 3 ply weft and see what that looks like.

Since the wool is only 3 ply, and the reed is 10 dents per inch, this is going to be a lacy-weight cowl, and very soft to the touch. I'd like to eventually buy a slightly finer sett reed - say 12 or 14. But I should probably start selling a few cowls before I can justify that expense!

On the subject of cowls ... after experimenting, I found that sewing the piece as an infinity cowl rather than a straight cowl means it sits better when worn. 'Infinity' just means that instead of sewing right side to right site, the edge is sewn right side to 'wrong' side. I will take more pics on the weekend of actual humans wearing these things, but here they are on my table:

Straight cowl:

Infinity cowl:

I'm also playing with the idea of drawing on the warp with a permanent laundry marker, then weaving over the top so the design just peeks through. There is a common technique with fabric paint and ink called 'ikat', but I haven't been able to find anyone doing this with laundry markers. Does this mean it's a stupid idea, or just one that's not too common? I guess I'm going to have to experiment to find out ;)

I'm trying to get as much handweaving done as I possibly can before my Diploma Of Tapestry books get sent through. I am only doing 3 subjects this year, spreading this fourth year of study over 2 years ... so hopefully this will allow more time in my schedule for both handweaving and spending more time with Anita!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

mantra for 2013: 'cleansing'

A lot of people have 'new years resolutions', but I find that the Universe gives you indications of what you need to do at certain stages of your life.

I think 'cleansing' is going to be my mantra of 2013. It has come to me in many ways:

** Cleaning out my wardrobe
Yes, that one ... you know, when your wardrobe is stuffed full, but you still have nothing to wear?? I have found that I have a lot of 'going out' clothes, but little in the way of everyday wear. To that end, today I am wearing a Lip Service Blacklist skirt to work ;)

I have also done an inventory of all the clothes I need to buy, and which ones really need to go either in the rubbish, or in the charity bin.

** Cleaning out my diet
Of course, I've slipped out of my healthy eating habits over the last couple of months ... back to it, Michelle!

** Cleaning out my workspace
Having the studio painted has made that so much easier - it now looks fresh and clean, and has made me keep it tidy ;)

** Cleaning out my mind
Do you see your social media updates and think 'that person is so annoying!'. I do, so I have been systematically removing them. I don't need that sort of negative energy in my life. Try it - it's liberating!

** Cleaning out my business
Now that I have been working on my weaving, my so-called 'business plan' makes much more sense. I was struggling for so long with the non-commercialism of Threefold Designs - I always knew that I had to create *something* more commercial so I could continue doing more niche work. Weaving has given me the missing piece! I'm hoping that I can sell my weaving, which will in turn lead people to the cross stitch kits - both of which will fund my personal artwork. Sounds like a plan!

PHEW! I even feel cleansed getting all that down in my blog!

How about you, dear readers? Do you have a mantra for 2013?


Thursday, January 24, 2013


Yep, this is me learning the overshot technique, which is basically using one colour (blue) as the pattern, and the other colour matching the warp (black) which is the plain weave underneath to make the fabric sturdy.

See, you *can* learn weaving from books!!

This is a 'small honeysuckle' design - I like it ... but not as much as those sexy twills!!

And this is some wool I received yesterday from Bendigo Woollen Mills - Guava and Dark Plum (sounds delicious!).

They are both 3 ply Classic wool, machine washable. The Plum will be the warp, and the Guava the weft in a double-length cowl for Anita. Then I will be making a double-length in Guava and Black for my friend Tam. When the weather gets cooler, we will do a little photo shoot down at our local rocky beach, so I can start selling these babies!

I'm thinking of calling this range 'Beginner's Luck' - they will be cheap, cos I'm still learning ;)

It would be so awesome if 2013 was the year of dropping one day of work so I can play with wool! Cross fingers ;)

Monday, January 21, 2013

weaving update

I just realised that I hadn't done a weaving update for a while. I spent most of my 3 week holiday weaving - seriously! The only time I wasn't weaving was when it was too hot upstairs ... I'd weave from early in the morning until it became unbearable, then I'd go downstairs and do some stitching ;)

Firstly, here's me with my first cowl prototype - the Red TAW ('trompe as writ'):

I'm not sure whether I'll continue to sew them as a tube like this, or twist them around as an 'infinity scarf' - I'll have to play and see what sits better ;)

The following have not been finished off, ironed, or made up into anything. Yes, I really have to do the 'boring bits' in order to get these off my desk :P Here's the completed handspun 'dornik' twill:

Then I tried a long, double length cowl - Anita prefers to wrap hers around twice. This is another gorgeous twill, which is easier to weave than it looks:

Then Lily wanted her own little cowl in pink and purple (what else would a 5 year old girl choose?) - since kids find wool a bit scratchy, I thought I'd experiment with acrylic yarn. It was super-cheap, but not as easy to weave with as I thought it would be! It was my first foray into a 2-colour weft, as well as using 2 separate shuttles.

And here it is off the loom - it's OKish, but not as impressive as it should have been! Lily loves it though, which I guess is the point :P

Yesterday I warped up my loom to try out the 'overshot' technique. It's turning out well so far ... but so far twills are still my favourite!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

little michelle

This is me in a very fashionable smocked dress from the late 1970s ;)

I posted this pic on Facebook and was surprised at how many people remembered their own smocked dresses!

Since I haven't seen most of my family for a very long time, I only have this and one other picture of myself as a child (which I may post at a later date). I'm glad I grabbed them before I left ;)

Friday, January 18, 2013


Literally! This is our friend Tamara, Anita and I at the Peter Murphy gig. I was too slack to do a proper outfit post ... so it's lucky that the local street mag Rip It Up took our pic, eh?

It was a great gig - I'm more of a Bauhaus fan than Peter Murphy, but it was still a very enjoyable night. Anita and Tamara are MASSIVE Peter Murphy fans, so they were extra-excited! :P It was a hot summer night, so that pint of cider was very refreshing ;)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

painted bird

Yes, our house has been painted - woo hoo!! Above is a view from downstairs, looking up to the landing feature wall in turquoise, and you can also see the studio's window alcove in purple.

Here is the western side of my studio (complete with Charlie spying on our neighbours):

It's tricky taking pics of the inside of our house - due to it's strange shape, it's easier taking pics at night time (the sun coming through the windows seems to ruin all my photos!).

You can see the vaulted ceiling here:

It's amazing what painting the house white has done - it's so much fresher, and the architecture stands out beautifully. I will have to take some pics downstairs too - all the wooden beams have been painted white, which looks so much cleaner.

So that's another large job done - thanks to our painter, Troy London. If you're in Adelaide, we highly recommend him! He had a pretty tricky time upstairs though, especially in our bedroom - some of the walls are at 45 degree angles ...

In the last 6 months we have:
- added a fence around the property
- installed a new kitchen
- had plumbing fixed
- painted interior of house

Still to do (in order):
- new cellular blinds to replace curtains
- custom shelving for CDs and TV
- carport
- flooring downstairs
- eventually replace bathroom upstairs


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

goth deathrock art project ... the new banner!

I will do a proper update shortly ... but I just wanted to share my amazing new banner and background design of the Goth Deathrock Art Project blog by Jeski!! Oh wow, I'm so pleased with it - if you'd like a revamp of your blog/website, or would like some artwork (check Anita's blog header!), then please get in contact with her. She's amazing :D

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

first post for 2013!

Happy 2013 everyone!

This was the last thing I wove in 2012:

And this is what I'm weaving now:

It's the same broken twill pattern (called 'Dornik) that I wove in purple here, but this time I've used a gorgeous handwoven alpaca/merino blend that I bought back in May.

Oh, and I changed my hair colour ... it's now burgundy and neon pink (better pics later :P)

I really have to iron the pieces I have woven, then experiment with sewing into various length cowls. I hate sewing, so have put that off - I'd rather be weaving!!