Friday, 28 October 2016

Her Ladyship's trousers - update

What with all the travelling and a very significant wedding, of which more later, I've not been updating as much as I should. So, there will be an update on the tool packaging shibori, but first I have finished "Her Ladyship's Trousers". The shibori dyeing on the hems went really well. As I'd hoped, bundling them together allowed the dye to wick upwards in some wonderful wiggles that echo the shibori patterning. This is achieved by regular lines of running stitch pulled up tight; the way the stitches relate to one another determines the pattern, so all in a line would have given me a grid pattern, but here, where I have staggered the placing, I get a lovely irregular ripple

obligingly, (and of course, due to careful placement of trousers in bucket) these have stayed pretty well level across both legs

so I now have a lovely full pair of comfy casual linen trousers to wear around the house, with a graded dye effect from the hem upwards - oh, and a couple of incidental rainbows from the crystal which hangs in the window

Even more pleasing - I had to shorten the elastic round the waist; I'm slimmer than I thought :-)

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

South Africa

Oh my goodness, we've been away! Away for almost two whole weeks in South Africa, and it has been extraordinary. I'm not sure what I can tell you, there is so much to say; the thoughts, words, memories still tumbling around in my head. We were visiting my dear heart's neice Jenny and her husband. His daughter Kerry and her husband came along too, to celebrate a significant birthday, so six of us have been travelling around seeing both wild Africa and big city Cape Town. The contrasts have been immense in so many different ways that I think I am still processing them, and will probably do so for some time to come; we packed so much in.

So, wild Africa. We stayed a couple of nights with Jenny at her home and took the time there to visit the Lesedi Cultural Village taking the tour around the village and hearing about the main tribes who comprise the original peoples of the area. We also visited the Cradle of Humankind museum, with it's fascinating displays on the history of our origins in Africa

Then we visited the elephant sanctuary at Hazyview, where elephants are cared for and in turn provide we humans with the opportunity to experience close up these dignified and imposing animals. As we were sitting in a clearing, listening to our guide tell us about the sanctuary, I turned to find the two resident elephants being led by their handlers into the space where we were sitting. My whole body tingled with awe as they quietly moved in before us and stood patiently while we were allowed to come up close and touch them, and be touched by them in an elephant "kiss". Later we were able to "take them for a walk" two by two, holding on to the tip of their trunk while their warm moist breath washed over our hands, and then most exciting of all, I was able to mount onto a great broad back, perched behind the handler, and feel the immense power as I was taken for a short walk in the bush, his inbreath and outbreath and rolling shoulders rising and falling beneath me.

After all that excitement it was time to set off on the long drive north to the Kruger Park. There we stayed in two areas; to begin with, a night in the Kruger itself, then two nights in the lovely Nkorho Bush Lodge, where we were fed delicious food, housed in delightful accommodation and taken on drives in the bush to see such a range of animals, so close, that I was breathless. I can't possibly show you all the photos I took - there were over 1,000 of them, but here are a few to give you a taste of the African Bush - unforgettable

Elephant crossing - with friend



 Buffalo, of which we saw many

a very little elephant

Rhino from the front

and behind

 a beautiful leopard, just out for an evening hunt - tracking him caused much excitememnt

and some very bored lions, who had had buffalo for breakfast

just chilling in the shade - they were there the following day as well

Such beauty

Autumn skies dyeing

Another recent bit of dyeing, kept until now as it was intended as a gift for someone.  A silk scarf for my dear heart's neice who did so much to make our recent holiday a fine and full one, with so many excitements!

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Shibori Mandelbrot

Remember them? The wonderful joys of fractal generation on early PCs!

Els, you'll like this one

And a sneak preview of the other - Autumn skies shibori

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Her ladyship's trousers

I have been making myself a pair of linen, wide baggy trousers using salvaged linen from Aunt Cecil's home. Beautiful smooth sheets, taken in for repair, the job never done. They are thin in places, but there's still plenty of fabric, I love the way it feels. 

Why her ladyship's? Because they originally belonged to the family that she worked for for many years.

So, these trousers, the linen underdyed a soft bright green, with flashes of magenta to tone it down and restrain too much gaudiness. 

The inital intention was more complex, but I am simply dip dyeing them, with five lines of shibori stitching drawn up nice and tight, just above the hemline.

I flooded a wash of magenta again, then after five minutes a swoosh of deep turquoise, lemon and black. I've been practicing on another piece from here, the pole wrapped piece. I will incoporate my experiments with the other bits from here at some stage.

Here one is pinned against the leg as a sort of example - see how I used the beautifully hemmed top of the sheet as the trouser hem ...