Friday, May 29, 2009

friday at last!

too small for my flowers


Days are literally flying away - and the heat + humidity don't help at all.
My loom is patiently waiting for some new warp
My sketchbook lies neglected on the table...

I love this blog - and a fresh frullato

Have a lovely weekend!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

old linen

All of a sudden I had a whim for a linen apron. Something to wear while weaving or sewing. Light.

So here it is, made from an old linen sheet - I love the crispiness - and the softness that comes with years of use. It belonged to my great-aunt, I took it when she died and we had to empty the house. It comes with a full set of memories and a family history that I treasure. That's the beauty of old textiles.

Sometimes I wonder about my handwovens. How long will they last? Where will they end?
Will people know how they came to be?

linen apron



Anyway, the apron is almost done, only the front pocket missing.
Have you noticed the hanger? It's just a wire hanger from the dry cleaners, covered with strips of fabric - remains from the sewing basket - but I think it looks really nice.
I got this idea from Selvedge n°27 - an ad for this book - it takes a while to finish one, but it's so satisfying to see a neat row of white hangers that I'll keep covering them!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Did I tell you how much I love peonies?

I'd like to fill the house with these flowers!


thrift update

Also, I went thrift shopping with my sister - and look what she spotted
under a pile of ugly dishes!
She's developed an eye for things she knows I like
( or maybe I am so obsessive that she couldn't avoid it?)

Grazie Ale! - quando esci dall'ufficio - io ho già il casco in testa, pronta per altri mercatini!

Monday, May 18, 2009

my gran...

...used to crochet a lot.
And among all the doilies, blankets, etc she would also crochet lovely pot holders.
The ones above I found in a thrift store - they need a good wash!
They remind me of when she would crochet in hot summer afternoons, under the parasol, in the garden.
And when she finished one she would go on with the same pattern/different colours for at least another
six or seven. Identical.

I first saw Anu Tuominen amazing work on Textile Forum Magazine a few years ago.
Maybe that's why I started collecting pot holders?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

how to

Obviously I couldn't wait to try the technique myself... so here's how to weave pibiones
(the word, in Sardinian dialect, means grape)

Warp and weft are the same, while the extra weft is thicker.
I think I like best the monochrome version, where the design resulting from the contrast
between plain weave and the little grapes is not so obvious.
The diameter of the stick goes according to the thickness of the weft - just like knitting.
Normally the stick is made of metal, but at that moment I only had a wooden needle available!

Step 1 :: according to your design, count the warp threads and wrap the extra weft on the stick.
This is a bit tricky, as the tension of the extra weft on the stick has to be even in order to get
of the same size, but it only takes a bit of practice.

Step 2 :: once you finish a row, secure it with a pick of plain weave
(here traditionally there would be 3 picks of plain weave between one row and the other).
Leave the needle in place.

Step 3 :: remove the needle and get ready for another row, following your design!

Monday, May 04, 2009

is gancios

While in Sardinia I couldn't miss the chance to see and learn more
on traditional textiles so we went to Samugheo, a village in the centre of the island,
famous for its textile heritage and its museum.

A visit to the museum, and a visit to the weaving studio of Isabella Frongia
[unfortunately she hasn't got a website] and I was completely hooked.
In my mind - don't ask me why - I had always dismissed traditional textiles
from Sardinia as boring and dated, nothing that I would ever want in my home
or want to weave myself.

That was because I had never seen the real thing before.
I saw colours and techniques, and motifs, and potential for a lot of weaving to be done!

in Samugheo traditional motifs decorate even the buildings

the entrance to Isabella's studio



the traditional loom - every household used to have one

Isabella weaving the pibiones for a cushion.


The b&b where we stayed in Oristano had a poetic and decadent air.
And it was full of lovely examples of Sardinian textiles.





We've been to Sardinia for a few days.
It's an incredible place, full of contrasts - and of sun and earthly tones







more photos here