Saturday, May 30, 2009

Eco dyeing and feltmaking

I have just had a wonderful three day workshop learning all about eco dyeing and feltmaking.

This is India Flint wearing her amazing coat of many dyes.

India uses plants and flowers, leaves and other vegetable matter to dye her felted wool, silk and cotton pre- loved fabrics. No mordant is needed other than the metal pot or little bits of copper that she finds and recycles.

A piece of felted wool dyed using eucalyptus leaves.

India is showing us how to prepare a piece for the dyepot. The leaves were collected from the ground around our workplace. This fabric was rolled up very tightly and put into a dye bath ( water boiling in a pot with leaves .) Obviously different leaves yield different colours.

My felted "landskin", comprising of stitched prefelted wool, oddments of silk and remnants of cotton and knitted bits of lace.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A song thrush

This dear little fellow was singing his heart out to me as I did my daily round of the feijoa picking.

The days are becoming colder and I couldn't find my fingerless mitts when I needed them, so I knitted another pair, using the handspun yarn that I spun last year.

Tomorrow I am attending a workshop on dyeing and felting with India Flint. It is a three day workshop and using natural dyes from plants and berries. Should be fun. I am off to pick some leaves and flowers for my dyepot.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I have prepared a new warp under the tuition of my wonderful friend.
It is very fine crochet cotton and K spent the morning with me showing how to put the warp on the loom without getting into a tangled mess. It was marvellously straightforward and now I just have to finish threading these heddles.

At this stage I am feeling very excited !! A new woven "something" will be emerging very soon.

The last couple of weeks I have been ironing fabrics and tidying them into neat stacks on the shelves.

They used to look in a mess like this:

I used to have a patchwork and quilting shop and so I have a LOT of fabric, enough for several housefuls of quilts and a couple more decades of sewing ........I hope.

Monday, May 11, 2009


We spent a lovely afternoon here at Kaiteriteri on Saturday. Although it was crispy cold, the sun was shining and the cappuccinos were hot and delicious when we had them at this cafe. We had collected my Mum and her wheelchair from the rest home and drove out to catch the sun and give her a little bit of nostalgia for Mother's Day. This was a favorite place of hers when my Dad was alive, they came here a lot...Mum was a bit of a sun babe in her day.

I am still picking feijoas, and for those of you who aren't familiar with this fruit, here is the definition. I wish I could post a bag of them to all of you out there...they are very nice.

and we have limes too ! Not very many trees as yet, but hoping to plant a lime orchard next year.

I have been half heartedly looking for recipes for lime and lemon marmalade. Making marmalade is another one of those things that I "should' be doing instead of browsing through the internet looking at blogs like this one and sitting in the sun on the window seat procastinating big time with my crochet hook.

Thought I would show the Mother's Day gifts I received.....
this beautiful gardenia and the dear little flower that you can see has the most divine perfume. and the shocking pink cyclamen goes so well in my living room. Coordinates perfectly with the cushions.

Hoping your Mother's Day was equally pleasurable.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Crazy for crochet

I made a new friend yesterday,.......... a weaver ! Actually a master weaver living here in my town !!!! Very, very exciting and when I drove away from K's beautiful home yesterday, my head was full of ideas for a wealth of new projects on my loom that I would like to pursue.

We also shared another love...crochet, and discovered our equal admiration for this talented crocheter. Lucy's choice of colour in her sensational work always has me sighing with satisfaction whenever I read her blog. It is a sensory delight.

K has crocheted a number of beautiful cushions and I decided last night to put together the few squares that I have made recently. So I transformed an old cushion, by sewing the squares onto the cover.

The cushion on the left was a present from Melissa for my birthday last year, and this little corner is a favorite place of mine to sit and think, read, crochet, quilt

and dream.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Feeling the Feijoas

There is a lot of excitement around here this week. We have started to pick our first saleable crop of feijoas. It is three years since we planted this orchard in terraces, on a hillside just next to our house, and each day for the next five weeks or so, I am going to be walking along these terraces gently feeling the fruit to see if they will plop into my cupped hand.

I love walking along, having a little feel and smelling the fragrance of these delicious fruit. These friendly feijoas have grown on me rather a lot. When we had two ancient feijoa trees in our home orchard, I wasn't that keen on them and wouldn't go into raptures like the rest of my family, but now that we have a young orchard with lots of different varieties, I am learning to discern the differences and am enjoying the subtle flavours and the names of these green beauties....opal star, kaiteri, kakariki, wiki tu, kakapo, triumph and unique.

We put these nets under one row of trees, to see if we can catch the fruit before it falls. If it falls to the ground before we can gently pluck them from the tree then the fruit is only good for juicing, and here.....
are the first five crates of Feijoas ready for the market.