Block Printing and New Pattern Design

pattern design

I’ve been designing new patterns for my shop on Spoonflower and I’m trying a new approach to create patterns – it’s making rubber stamps. It’s a very analogue way to experiment (maybe most of design experiments are pretty analogue?) but works well for me. I just can’t stop experimenting until I realise I need to finish a design or two and make them print-ready. It’s fun and effective to simply repeat basic shapes, and depending on the combination of motifs and repeating type, possibilities are infinite. I like the look of it, it’s simple, nostalgic and rich in texture. So my journey of block printing design seems to continue :)

making of rubber stamps
Drawing for rubber stamps

 

rubber stamps
Preparing for making rubber stamps

 

Carved Rubber Stamp
Carved rubber stamp

 

block printing
Stamping for scanning and digital manipulation

 

desktop
My working desktop

 

pattern design
A new pattern design “Globe Amaranth 4”, made from rubber stamps

 

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How to Make Inexpensive Weaving Spare Shuttles with Wire

Various types of shuttles for hand weaving

When you weave using many colour yarns, you might want to prepare as many shuttles as your yarns. But shuttles are not very cheap. Then I found an easy way to make spare ones with aluminum wire. The type of aluminum wire I used is 2mm diameter and it is very easy to change its shape. I only used a pair of pliers/nippers to cut the wire and I could bend it easily with hand.

Materials for making a wire shuttle
All you need is aluminum wire, a pair of nippers and masking tape.

Making aluminum wireAluminum wire shuttles for weaving

I hope it helps for some people :)

How to Make Yarn Wrappings for Woven Fabric Designing

Various yarn wrappings

When I weave or knit, the first thing I do is to make yarn wrappings. Because I love this process I usually forget about time and just keep making many of these.

Yarn wrapping is a piece of card with threads wound around. It helps play with different colours and proportions when you design multi-coloured warp or weft. It also works for creating multi-colour stripes on knit fabric. Making this card wind saves you your precious materials and time.

card winds for designing warp and weft
Finished yarn wrappings

Basic method of making this yarn wrapping is obviously easy – you place a strip of double-sided tape along the back of a piece of card which is about 4cm (1.5″) wide.
But I found it tricky when I use an oiled yarn. Because of the grease on the thread, it doesn’t stick to the tape well. So instead, I’ve tried it in my own way and furthermore, you don’t need the double-sided tape (it might be too easy to explain… but I do anyway).

By the way, I wind every thread of yarns I have on a wooden chopstick. So that it’s easier to try as many as yarns on a small table rather than taking out large cones of yarn off the shelf each time I want to try a new yarns. And I like to place those sticks in order and spread them around like I do with coloured pencils.

Colourful yarn chopsticks in order
Yarn chopsticks in order
Yarns wound on chopsticks
Yarns wound on chopsticks

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Sample Weave: Plain Weave Checks

Woven sample

Here’s my sample weaving project with rigid heddle loom. I tried to do things systematically and first thing I did was selecting yarns and made several yarn wrappings to find colourways I like. Then I warped the loom with one stripe design and started weaving with seven deferent weft stripe designs.

 

Yarns
From top left: 50% cotton 50% polyester Luminous Pink, 100% lambs wool Persimmon Orange, Tender Shoot Green, Ocean Wave Blue, Hyacinth Violet, From top right: 100% lambs wool Vanilla Ice White, Moon Struck Grey, Gardem Glade Green, Ecru Olive Green, Desert Palm Brown

 

weaving process on rigid heddle loom

woven fabric close-up

woven fabric on rigid heddle loom

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This is what’s in my head

I almost always carry this little note pad with me and I write down ideas, thoughts, doodles, quotes, to-dos, shopping list, anything that come up to my mind. I even take it when I have a bath. And it’s so nice to finish one note pad and feel the tired-look then go out to get another new one.

DSC_2056DSC_2067DSC_2069DSC_2071DSC_2057

Old Wool Winder

Wool Winder

I’d been looking for a wool winder and have finally found one I really like. It’s an old/used Silver Reed Jumbo Winder and I like the size and colour.

I find winding yarns addictive and also kind of therapeutic, I’m pretty sure some of you agree with it :)

Jumbo Winder

Toy Loom

Toy Loom Orihime
This is a toy loom I got last year, original version of this loom is made in the UK and it was called “Masterweaver”. It has a very clever system and you can weave a lot of patterns on it easily as the roller in the middle works as shafts.

Toy Loom OrihimeToy Loom OrihimeToy Loom OrihimeToy Loom Orihime

Beautiful Sewing Tool






I found this book a couple of weeks ago and instantly fell in love with these exquisite Japanese thimbles! They are made of paper, floss and colourful silk yarn. If I make one, I doubt if I actually “use” it because it’s so beautiful.

My Screen and UV Light Box



This is my screen for “Mari” design and UV light box to process the screens.
I use this home made light table to expose emulsion-coated screens to UV light.
It can process up to 90×60 cm sized screen and if you purchase it from a manufacturer (in Japan) it costs me thousands of pounds for this size…! So my father saved me a lot of money :)