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Another week and another scarf ... well just about. I really, really enjoyed the relaxing weave of this scarf. I think 3/1 twill may be a new favourite!
This warp is moss green and fuchsia over sea coral tencel. It is one exciting colourway; the sheen is wonderful and the colours are really front and centre.
I have woven almost 60 inches and I feel that there will be warp left over, so maybe I can weave it off for a small jewellery pouch.
This is one of my favourite shots, I love looking at the cloth rolling around the beam.
I have been spinning along with the Tour de France race everyday, but one, with Ravelry's Tour de Fleece. I took a day out and we went to Victoria and toured Bouchart Gardens which were stunning!

We had an estate sale at the guild this week, so sad to lose another weaver. The guild bought the entire studio filled to the brim with supplies and then sold to the members.
I bought some lovely hand dyed silk yarns, the cheeses are 2/20 silk and the skeins are 2/60...yikes!
And for some reason I just had to have ALL of this merion/silk blend sliver. I have a feeling this kilo of Ashford Pomegranate will keep me busy for yonks! To give you an idea of just how much stuff we had for sale, these fibres were left over after the serious spinners had gone through it.

My perennial beds are stunning today and I’ve decided to share the hummingbirds favourite flower du jour. This is Bergamota Monarede ‘Jacob Cline’ (Bee Balm).
And this one of a really tiny white crab spider hiding on a dahlia.
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I have actually got a scarf warp on the loom, woven, washed, twizzled and pressed within three days! In an effort to be completely transparent, Ngaire actually did the twizzling and pressing.
This is so very unlike me it’s scary; my last warp of four tea towels sat on the loom for months while I found many a reason not to weave!
Yup, ‘one of these things is not like the other’....thank you Sesame Street for that little ditty.  It had been so long since I last used my tea towel template I forgot when to start the stripes, yet another grey moment.
I pulled on one of the pre-made hand painted warps that I prepared last summer, and frankly, I’m not sure what I was thinking when I made it.  The warp is based on sea coral 2/8 tencel; to which, for some unremembered reason I added a blue stripe before I painted it!  Why oh why?  And to make matters even worse I made two sea coral warps with blue stripes!
My next conundrum was choosing a pattern, it is such an unusual warp that I decided to keep it very simple and I chose to do a four shaft 3/1 twill.
This gave me the full show of the painted warp on one side and the weft predominant on the reverse.
I chose the same sea coral tencel for the weft in hopes of allowing the dyed side to dominate.
Dressing the loom was wonderfully easy, no long reach for that 12th shaft and a straight twill threading.  It was a real joy and went on really quickly.
I am thrilled with the result of this weave, although for some inexplicable reason it is really, really long!  The 3/1 twill had virtually no warp-wise take up.
I liked this weave so much that I immediately pulled on another painted warp, this one is loaded with colour in moss, magenta and purple on the same sea coral base.

Its raining outside as I write this, so no garden shot today, but here is a real beauty shot.
This is a tempered chocolate dome, filled with lemon cremeux, sitting on lemon curd with chocolate sponge, blueberries and roasted lemon dust!  Yup, it was totally yummy!  This just proves I watch too much Masterchef Australia!
Not quite as pretty is my first days spinning for Ravelry's Tour de Fleece.  I am taking this really seriously and have promised myself to finish the Gotland fleece by the end of the race.
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I am still getting through the warps that we hand painted from last year.  I only have four more warps to go and this one is #17.  I like to make some notes for each warp; what it is, how many ends, the set and how long it is.  It is so easy to forget.
This warp is 2/6 raw silk that originally was that yucky raw silk brown colour.  When we were preparing the warps for dyeing we first put them into a Soda Ash solution which increases the pH, making the fiber more basic which opens up the fibers preparing them for the dye.  Surprisingly the raw silk leached all of the yucky brown colour leaving a silvery white; prefect for dyeing.  This warp was dyed moss green and plum purple leaving some areas silvery white.
The colour combination of this warp reminded me of a sedum (Sempervivum 'Icicle') that we have in the garden.  So I took that inspiration and ran with it.
I found a lovely rosette twill pattern; that resembles the flower-like sedums.  For the weft I lucked out and found a lovely warm rosy brown 2/6 silk.  The silk weft also has a wonderful shine that picks up the rosette pattern.
I have just started the second scarf on the same warp.  The inspiration is the same sedum but this time looking close at the individual silvery pointed leaves.
The weft is a 2/6 silver silk and the twill pattern highlights the leaf shape of the sedum.  The threading is the same for this scarf but I changed the tie up and the treadling.  I like changing the tie up when I can, to make each scarf different.
When I was tying up my treadles I find that one of my texsolv tie up cords had almost shredded apart.  It was hanging by a thin thread of texsolv, I am very lucky that it didn’t break through while I was weaving.
Next time you will see the finished scarves.

The final garden picture is a sad update but the oranges that fallen off the tree.  I am not really surprised because the tree was dug out last autumn, over wintered in a pot and planted in the spring, honestly I was amazed that there were flowers this spring, let alone oranges on the tree!  Hopefully next year we will get our first orange.
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Finally, the Korndrall tea towels are off the loom.
They have been washed, tumble dried with wool dryer balls and are now being pressed ~ can’t say enough about the dryer balls, they really do reduce the drying time considerably.
When pressing we use a Singer Steam Press which we affectionately call ‘McSteamy’; an homage to yonks ago and the first few seasons of Grey’s Anatomy.
As with many weavers I began my love of fibre from wool spinning roots.  I began spinning wool in the 1970’s when I lived in Rotorua New Zealand.  Ahhhh, the good olde days!  I segued into weaving when the yarn began to pile up and I was looking for a beautiful and interesting way of using my handspun yarns.  Funnily enough, now I rarely weave with wool. 

I still have the very first wheel I ever bought, which is a Nagy purchased in New Zealand, she is made from Kauri which was recycled from demolition and it is still one of the most beautiful wheels I have ever seen.  She spins beautifully, but with only one treadle it is slower to spin and takes considerable effort.
I find that now I prefer to spin on my Lendrum double treadle as she is super fast and just plain fun to use!

Spinning is on my mind today as I have just joined Ravelry’s Tour de Fleece!  The idea is that you spin along with the Tour de France during the month of July.  This seemed like the perfect time to haul out a rather geriatric Gotland Fleece that I have had stashed in a closet!
I washed the locks of the fleece several years ago and stored them in beautiful condition.  Sadly, after years in a cotton pillowcase they are a bit dry and slightly matted.
I have decided to split the locks into piles by colour and this fleece has given me three distinct colours.  There are lovely long, silky creamy white locks, medium long light grey/cream locks and much shorter, curly dark grey locks.
I am about half way through preparing the locks for spinning and as I finish a group I spray it with a little water in which I have dissolved some hair conditioner in an effort to add back some of the lost moisture and hopefully make the spinning easier.
I have been using a flick carder and a piece of leather to open up the locks and it is working really well albeit slowly, but hey, it's all about the journey.
After flicking I am left with a bag full of beautiful wool puffs that have been pulled out of the locks.  I want to spin the locks as worsted (all the fibres in a line) and these bits of fluff are now prepared as woollen (all the fibres mixed up); so after I have finished the fleece I will spin this bit separately.

The garden shot for today is a shot from one of my perennial borders which are glorious right now, the tall pink flower in the centre is Agasache 'Sunrise Red' (Hummingbird Mint) and the low orange flower is Helianthemum hybid 'Ben Nevis' (Rock Rose), the tall pink flower on the right is Gaura lindheimeri 'Passionate Blush' (Wand Flower), and good old Alyssum for balance.
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We went on the Denman Island Home and Garden Tour this weekend.  It is a charity fundraiser for the Denman Island Conservancy association which has protected over 700 acres of Denman Island.  Denman Island is up near us in Comox; it can be seen from our harbour.  It lies just off of Vancouver Island, just a 10 minute ferry ride.  It is approximately 51 square kilometers and is 19 kilometers long and 6.5 kilometers wide.

It was a lovely day for a short ferry ride across the Baynes Sound to Denman Island.
Baynes Sound is the area on Vancouver Island that grows oysters, you may have heard of Fanny Bay Oysters.  Fanny Bay is just 5 minutes down the road.
When we got to Denman Island we headed up to the Main Street to get our tickets and a map of the Island to start our adventure.  The first garden shows how hot and dry it has been and they don’t have the water to spare to water their lawns.  But still a field of poppies and dandelions is a pretty sight.
I am not going to show you all the gardens just some highlights that we went to but what every garden had in common was the roses.  Denman is an Island of roses, the smell was spectacular.
As we toured the island we found ourselves on the far side of Denman Island which is the view of another island called Hornby Island and the mainland (the British Columbia coastline).  This section of the Pacific Ocean is called the Strait of Georgia, which is part of the Salish Sea.
The theme for this year’s Garden Tour was wetlands and this has to be the prettiest, a lovely bridge arching over the pond with yellow irises.  There were Muscovy ducks running around too!
Now it is time for lunch we stopped at a provincial park called Fillongley and our view was of Hornby Island, you could see the whole island.
Onto the next garden, it was the best one by far.  It has been featured in many gardening magazines, it was a large perennial garden.
There was a large patch of Turkish Sage that just caught your eye.
And a Star of Persia allium, they may be short but they pack a punch.
At the last garden we saw this plant didn’t know what it was but with a picture and the internet we found it is called Jupiter’s Beard and have already been to the garden nursery and picked up some (and already planted!).
The best garden art was this heron, made from wrapped fabric and a crocheted table cloth!
We are hot and tired now so back down to the ferry terminal for the ocean voyage back to the Vancouver Island.  We arrived in time to see the ferry came in, that grey line isn’t the road markings it is the cable used by the ferry, which is a greener alternative than the traditional ferries.
Finally we are on the ferry about to go back home to the big island, Vancouver Island.  When you drive onto the ferry a crew member helps you park, they need you to park really close to be able to fit the most amount of cars.  I parked so close to the car in front of me that the man wasn’t able to open his trunk!  But I got a 'good job' from the crew member.
It was a long day but it really gave us a lot to be inspired by for our own garden.
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Sadly, I have only recently learned that the Dutch weaver Erica De Ruiter died in March; Erica specialized in weaves that use 4 or fewer shafts.

Although I did not know Erica, I was always excited when I found one of her articles in Handwoven Magazine and I thoroughly enjoyed her book ‘Weaving on Three Shafts’.
It seems that Erica’s goal was to reduce weaving to the simplest number of shafts and still get the most beautiful result.  If you can get your hands on a copy of this book I would encourage it.

In an effort to honor Erica I thought that I would share two of my very favourite articles by Erica, one in Handwoven Magazine and one online at WeaveZine.

In the November/December 2007 Issue Erica’s article entitled Three Towels ~ or One Wall Hanging ~ or Both; is such an exciting idea.
The premise is that you can weave three tea towels (3 yards of cloth) and then with clever folding and a dowel you can hang it on the wall of your kitchen displayed as a Kimono. Then when you feel need for a change, you can cut it apart, hem the ends and use the tea towels for many years.  This is mind blowing for me, and I think shows just how inventive Erica De Ruiter was.  Due to copyright  I cannot show you any photos, but luckily, you can purchase this magazine from Interweave Press as a download.

The second really special and completely inventive article can still be found on WeaveZine and it was written by Erica in September 2008.  This is a recipe for making a Spiral Zipper Bag using a long zipper and a length of inkle band.  I found this so interesting and I have had it on my Want To Make list since I first found it.  I am inspired by Erica’s ability to think in a non-linear way and to create beautiful and functional items in ways that I had never considered.  I have included the link to WeaveZine here.

Our weaving community is much poorer since March and I will miss the joy of opening up Handwoven Magazine and finding one of Erica’s gems inside.
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Finally I think I’ve got a handle on the gardening and house maintenance for awhile, so I’ve actually sat at the loom for the last couple of days.

I have had a warp on the loom for quite some time.  I made some tea towels in January and they turned out really well.  I decided that I loved the pattern and I decided to amend the warp making the stripes and squares larger.  That was an unmitigated disaster as the edges were so uneven and bumpy due to the weave structure.  I had fun cutting the weft out.  I decided to leave the warp in place, but to re-thread and re-design.  I chose to keep the same tie-up.  This is the final draft, not the one I had thought to use originally.
The new stripes are almost exactly half the size of the original and so there was some warp thread manipulation happening. It was a bear to thread with all the crossing over.
On every coloured stripe there was one extra thread that had to be left dangling, to keep up the tension I’ve just hung them together with a weight.
I’m a sucker for stripes so these tea towels have 5 thin stripes at one end.  I tried to do stripes of varying thicknesses, but with the pattern it just looked odd, so five even stripes looked the best.
I love a shot of the warp wrapping ever so neatly around the beam.
Today I got this big boy, and I do mean BIG, delivered.  The roll of one sided cardboard is 3 feet wide and 250 feet long and Ngaire can't get her arms around it.  Yikes!
I ordered it to replace my current cardboard that I use on the front beam to make sure that the tie on knots don’t distort the first few wraps on the breast beam.   As you can see, my old cardboard is really
thrashed.
I will also use it to replace the paper rolls that I use for beaming and offer the extra to other weavers who may need a few yards for their looms.  Otherwise I may have enough cardboard for this life and the next!
Today I have two beauty shots for you.  This is the first dessert we made using dome moulds for Mothers Day.  It is frozen lemon cremeux with a lemon shortbread crumb and lemon curd.  It was so yum!
Todays garden shot is of Siberian Iris (Iris sibirica) at it's very best this week.
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Still not a lot of weaving going on at the moment but we are doing a lot of gardening.  You may remember the runway strip of a garden that lines the driveway; I talked about it last week.  Well, we pulled all the fig roots out (well most of them); we took out the bulbs and leveled the dirt.  The big dirt pile at the end of the picture doubled in size, sorry about the repeat of last weeks photo.
We then spent days expanding some of the gardens with the extra soil.  The garden with the orange tree by the front door doubled in size.  It is looking a little bare right now but Mum grew some flowers from seed and we are just waiting for them to get a bit bigger before planting out.
We also added onto the long garden lining the outside of the fence.  The area that we added is the two trellis fence panels.  Two new hazelnuts were added and some lavenders.
There was still a lot of soil left so I spent four hours adding soil to the front garden.  But I had to remove large soil lump from the driveway so that the stones could be dropped off this morning.  Mum spend that day getting over her second dose of Shingrix....it knocked her for six!
The landscape fabric went down and holes cut for the plants and the sprinklers.
Then shovelful by shovelful the garden was covered in stones.  It went quite quickly with all three of us working, the majority was done by lunch.  There is still a little bit of stone left to add but it is 30 C it got far too hot so we are waiting for it to cool down.  The garden looks great, and once it rains and washes away the dirt from the stone it will look better.
Look!  There are two oranges on the orange tree!
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Not a lot of weaving has been going on, what with company and trying to bring some order to the gardens.  I thought that I would show you around the gardens.

First a stop is at the Veggie Pod, a waist high cold frame in which we keep kale, lettuce and start some seeds.  The lid keeps the sulphur white butterfly from the kale and slugs from the lettuce.
Next is the runway garden, so called because is quite narrow and runs the length of the driveway.  It is in the middle of a major revamp.  There used to be large fig trees at the top, but they were too near the house so they had to come out.  In the middle between the two sets of rhodos formerly held plums trees, but the ants and aphids made them awful.  So we were left with just some sages, Mexican feather grass and the rhodos.  Now the plan is to level the soil and take out all the extra soil, remove all the plants (re-homing what we can), leaving the rhodos and plant two new figs farther from the house, then put down crushed rocks over landscape fabric.  You can see the old fig roots that we are having a difficult time removing!
The front garden is really starting to take off.  The Siberian irises seem to have doubled since last year and are getting ready to bloom.  The early alliums are adding a bright burst of colour against the white spring blooming plants.
Last year we put in a pergola with the trumpet vine which is looking really healthy.  The Japanese maple called Orangeola is taking over the side garden. with abandon.  Two new hazelnut trees have been added along the fence and you can just see the flash of colour that is the 'Hot Shot' azaleas in the distance.
Around in the back garden there is a small green waterfall Japanese maple that we found as a seedling.  The green sedum is putting out a lovely show of tall airy spikes of white flowers; they seem to be taller this year for some reason.  There are hostas just at the edge of the frame along the garden shed.
A little herb patch in the front of this bed that is about to be overwhelmed by the Gooseneck Loosestrife, I need to go and reign it in before it is too late, but I love the Goosneck in flower arrangements in the summer.  The back yard is always the last of the gardens to be wrangled into shape in the spring.
The other garden that is getting a revamp is the fernery in the north garden.  The back fence used to be covered in various ivy and there is still a little patch that needs to come out but it is very hard work to get ivy out once it is established.  We have added some bee balm but still have a few areas to add some more shade loving plants.  The little tree by the rhubarb is this springs stand out plant.
It is an enkianthus ‘red bells’.  The tree is just covered in pretty red striped flowers and the bees, bumble bees and the humming birds all love it!
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Last week we had some family visiting from Australia and New Zealand, so we were busy showing off  beautiful Vancouver Island.  The weather was very much with us, it was ten degrees warmer than normal, and it was warm summer weather with lots of sun and blue sky!

First is a picture from Goose Spit in Comox looking at the magnificent Comox Glacier.  This is home, lovely isn’t it!
We also had the Snowbirds, Canadian Forces Air Demonstration team, practicing overhead every day!
The next day we went on a trip to the west coast of the island to see Ucluelet and Tofino.  But first we stopped at Cathedral Grove to see an old growth rain forest, yes, it really is that green!
We also stopped in Port Alberni; this picture was taken at the end of the pier looking down the inlet.  Port Alberni is in the middle of Vancouver Island but it is at the end of a large ocean fjord.  It had a large tsunami in the 1960’s due to an earthquake in Alaska.
Onto Ucluelet, which is a pretty little town.  There is a lovely walk around the lighthouse that seems to have a spectacular view around every corner.
Then to Tofino and to the famous Long Beach.  It is really long and sandy, which is rare for Vancouver Island.  The wind felt like it was straight off the Arctic and it took your breath away!
The next day we went to Campbell River and the Suspension Bridge at Elk Falls.  Always fun.
On the last day we drove them down island to Victoria where they were going to spend a couple of days exploring British Columbia’s capital city.  But first we stopped at Goats on Roof, a fun collection of shops in Coombs and yes there are goats on the roof!
I didn’t take any photos of Victoria this time so I looked for some older pictures but I don’t seem to have any!  But Victoria is a pretty city, with a lovely city center.  There is also a lovely garden called Butchart that is worth going to see.  And I’m going to have to go back soon and take some photos!
We had a lovely time with our family showing off our island home.
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