Monday, November 30, 2015


I have found that a little shaping really does make the korowai feel better and sit nicer. So on the last few cloaks I have made I have endeavored to put in some shaping.

On this small cloak I have done a partial row of plain stitching after a full feather row,  then a bit wider partial row with feathers. Then I have carried on with a full plain row, feather row etc.  The cloak is now a little wider in the middle than the sides. It won't be noticed when worn but hopefully will make it nicer to wear. You can just see the extra rows on the back. The third and fourth rows are shorter.

This is coming on nicely and hopefully will be finished in the next few weeks. Just one more row of feathers I think then some mawhitiwhiti. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

17 hours

Seventeen hours work and my commission work measures 98x19cm.  Target length is 30 cm and I have all the feathers required for the last few rows bundled.  Then some mawhitiwhiti and turning etc.

But tomorrow is my day off,  to rest my eyes, my brain and my bottom.

Thursday, November 26, 2015


I've just started doing a commission for a lady in Perth. I am amazed at how quickly it is coming together. Two days were spent on feathers and now two days on weaving and I'm a third of the way there. It's an Arapaki so only 30 cm deep.

The pheasant feathers, especially the blue tips look lovely. 

I'm listening to Philippa Gregory's book 'The Kingmaker's Daughter' while I'm weaving to help me concentrate.  May seem odd but it keeps me going and not wandering off to do something else, like housework or the garden.  Although today I did have to go into Dunedin to get the groceries. And I relax at night by crocheting or knitting. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Hākui exhibition, Otago Museum

Four of us from our weaving group were able to go to the opening of the Hākui exhibition.  There were heaps of people and it was great to be part of the crowd. We saw some people wearing cloaks,  including two friends from Temuka. They had determined that they would make something to wear to this exhibition opening and to the hui-a-Iwi on this weekend. And they both achieved very innovative cloaks. So proud of them. They also opened our eyes to different ideas in cloaks. They were very different and showed a very exciting and edgy look.
Donna wearing her wonderful design. 

My albatross one looked quite ordinary.  I am definitely going to try some more interesting ideas. Thanks girls for teaching me. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Been busy

As I didn't get a lot done on Saturday I have applied myself for the last three days and managed to get a bit done.

Monday was spent finishing the last feather row and getting the fancy decoration done on top.  6 rows



Gradually it grows although I have had various people applying for a commission so I'd better get on with this while I can.   Must give my fingers a rest though or I won't be able to crochet.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Our last Saturday for the year

Thursday I took the big albatross korowai in to give to the Otago museum director.  There were very kind words said about it and I think everyone was happy with the gift.  As usual I forgot to get a photo of him in the cloak,  but I hope it will be worn at the opening of the Haakui exhibition in a few weeks so hope to remember then. I was gifted a beautiful book for which I am very grateful and some tickets to the butterfly house at the museum which will come in handy with family.

We had a lovely day on Saturday to finish our Saturday weaving for the year.  There were four up from Invercargill,  which is very encouraging for us.   Robyn Ashton brought some harekeke and there was a lot of discussion and practice in making muka.  We had a lovely shared lunch.  There was also a lot of mutual sharing of information and we all learned something. I found another decorative feature to have a go at in one of the books.  I look forward to using it on a cloak soon.
There are a few more Tuesdays and one more Sunday afternoon at the Museum next weekend.

On the first Saturday in December we will be at Balclutha with a stall in the craft market to let people know about weaving and encourage interest.

Next year is shaping up to be busy with teaching opportunities.  Easter looks like a beginners group up at Napier and there will be six or seven weekends in Southland towns. Our family hopes to do a bit more travelling overseas next year as well so if there are small groups around who want to learn to weave korowai get in touch as soon as possible so we can book dates.

I have started another big cloak using bleached jute string with brown and cream feathers from Lyann's rooster pelts.  Also the Arapaki for the Masterton museum is coming along although I have run out of kereru feathers.  I have applied to DoC for some more so hopefully I'll be able to finish that before traveling up to Auckland in January.  Lots of ideas for new skills, decorations and ideas have been keeping me awake at night.  On the brown/cream one of like to try vertical side taaniko panels if I can figure out how to add them and deal with the leftover whenu ends. Anyone got the answer? I'm not wanting to do the taaniko as I go but to do it sideways and add  it later.