Posts Tagged ‘weaving’

Midwinter Woolfeast is here again!

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

Heads up Christchurch yarnsters!

The Midwinter Woolfeast is here again – your opportunity to buy from some of New Zealand’s most talented fibre artists and indie yarn dyers.

Come along to Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre for a day of visual, tactile and culinary treats and immerse yourself in the colour and opulence of the modern world of woolcraft. Learn a new craft skill and stay for some yummy refreshments.

Date: Saturday June 17
Time: 10am-5pm
Place: Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre, 341 Halswell Road, Halswell.
Cost: Free entry
More information:

midwinter woolfeast

Silky soft and super warm – new alpaca scarves from Wrapt Weaving

Saturday, May 7th, 2016

Alpaca Scarf in Charcoal Gray Emerald Green by Wrapt Weaving

Wrapt Weaving
has some absolutely beautiful new scarves listed this week – handwoven in luxurious alpaca fibre, silky soft with beautiful drape. Each scarf combines two tones for an almost iridescent effect and is finished with a 3 inch fringe. Gorgeous!

Alpaca Scarf in Charcoal Gray Light Green by Wrapt Weaving

Alpaca Scarf in Charcoal Orange Teal by Wrapt Weaving

Alpaca Scarf in Charcoal Gray Powder Blue by Wrapt Weaving


Order from Wrapt Weaving on Felt »


The art and science of Souly Fibre

Monday, February 1st, 2016

An advert in a shop window was the first step in a new creative direction for Colleen Jamieson. In her hilltop cottage in the rural Northland district of Kaipara, she now weaves flax into beautiful kete, household items and traditional Māori clothing, while her daughter Dusk assists with the running of her Felt shop, Souly Fibre.

Colleen weaving,

Flax art work,

What do you make?
Anything in flax: kete, whāriki (mats), table mats, traditional clothing (e.g. rāpaki and maro). I also do tāniko (Māori finger weaving) traditionally seen on the top of korowai (feather cloaks).

How did you get into your craft?
I’ve always been interested in fibre crafts and making things when I saw an ad on a shop window advertising a course in flax weaving at a local Kaipara marae. I needed a new direction in my life and the support and encouragement among flax weavers has been fantastic.

I needed a new direction in my life and the support and encouragement among flax weavers has been fantastic.

Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
The flax weaving course was a NZQA diploma in fine arts. We stayed on the marae over weekends for instruction and wove all weekend.

Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
As part of the course we collected together our own tools. I grow my own flax and also harvest from roadsides. I use flax dyes and found objects from beaches and elsewhere.

Placemats in progress,

Flax ready to be used in weaving,

Weaving close up,

Flax placemats – coming soon,

Describe your workspace:
Small studio, great views!

What inspires you?
My inspiration comes from the flax itself and the amazing design history in flax weaving. I am also inspired by pure fashion and design and I enjoy using the traditional patterns in protest art.

Five words that describe your mind:
Fast, flexible, philosophical, functional, friendly.

Is there a philosophy behind your work?
Weaving flax has given me a deeper understanding of Māori spiritual values and their eco-friendly perspective. As a scientist I love the ability of flax to suck up nitrates from water ways, stabilise land and form a possum proof fence line.

Colleen collecting flax,

Yellow koru kete,

As a scientist I love the ability of flax to suck up nitrates from water ways, stabilise land and as a possum proof fence line.

Your favourite feedback from a customer:
Several customers have commented that the kete are beautifully crafted and all have been happy with the service and prompt postage.

What are you currently listening to?
Gone back to old Paul Simon Graceland.

Recommend an album:
Ziggy Stardust is an old favourite and with David Bowie passing I imagine everyone is listening to it at the moment.

What’s your favourite childhood book and why?
The Cat in the Hat. The crazy rhyming.

What are you reading now?
Crime and Punishment.

Who is your hero/heroine?
Brendan McCullum, I enjoy his pure recklessness, anger and aggression on the cricket pitch and his deeper understanding of the game.


Brown koru kete,

Flax floor mat,

A favourite quote:
Good ecology is always good economically.

Do you have any pets?
Miss Poppy – a terrier with a perfect spot, and Mr Licky – a ginger cat that likes to lick feet.

If you were a crafty superhero, what would your name and superpower be?
Voxwoman – a super voice to convince people that we need zero population growth and coexistence… the trees and us. It is time to clean up the planet and forget about this out of date economic paradigm called fiscal growth.

What advice do you have for those starting out in a crafty business?
Be prepared to work hard. You don’t get paid by the hour. Each kete I make takes about 20 hours.

What was the last handmade item you bought?
Beautiful Yahtzee dice made from rimu and kahikatea in a little totara box.

What’s in store for 2016?
I plan to have a big year on flax placemats – coming soon!

Wine kete,

Colleen has very kindly offered a prize for one lucky Felt reader of this gorgeous (and very practical!) Souly Fibre wine bottle kete. This kete fits a standard wine bottle and is a very stylish way to take a bottle of wine out to dinner. To be in to win, simply leave a comment telling us what you like about Colleen’s story and her work. The draw will be made on Friday 12 February and is open to New Zealand residents only.


See more Souly Fibre on Felt »


Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, kupu of the day: whatu

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Tēnā koutou katoa! It’s day two (rua) of our series of maker-related kupu for Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori – Māori Language Week, and nōnāianei (today) we’re looking at…


1. (verb) (-a) to weave (garments, baskets, etc.), knit.
Example: Whatua mai te aho kia kāwitiwiti, kia kātoatoa mō te oti wawe, e hine! For an earlier completion, weave the cross threads so that they taper and contract, girl! (Definition courtesy of Te Aka Māori-English, English-Māori Dictionary.)

Traditionally the art of weaving – raranga – focuses on clothing such as korowai (cloaks) and practical objects like kete (baskets) and whāriki (mats). The most widely used weaving material in traditional weaving was (and still is) harakeke, New Zealand flax. The verb whatu can also refer to knitting and finger weaving.

We have such a lovely array of woven items here on Felt that it was difficult to pick just a few! Here are some pieces from our talented weavers, as well as a sampling of other items inspired by raranga.


Keep checking in this week for more handy maker-related kupu and beautiful handmade taonga. Ka kite anō!


Featured seller: Wrapt Weaving

Monday, February 16th, 2015

Jenni Shah’s love for yarn came about as a result of sitting at her Nan’s knitting machine as a child – and the absolute certainty that she needed a football scarf made by her own hand. A lot goes into her Wrapt Weaving creations: there is more than half a kilometre of yarn in a scarf or runner, a blanket has 800 metres, and a whole kilometre of yarn goes into one of her gorgeous wraps!

Wrapt Weaving iPad cover

What do you make?
I make hand woven objects to wear and for the home. Everything from blankets and scarves to bags and table runners, pillows… you name it!

If it is made from a fabric then it has been woven. I use rigid heddle looms to weave on – a loom has the job of keeping a whole lot of long threads under tension, while the rigid heddle makes the job of going under-and-over those threads easier.

How did you get into your craft?
I started to weave when I lived in the Cook Islands, on a beautiful island called Aitutaki. We were living there with our three small children and I had some time on my hands. I wanted a floor mat as a souvenir, but none were available for sale, so I decided to learn.

I had help from a group of craft ladies, led by the formidable ‘Auntie’ Josie. She guided me through the process, and the best fun was learning the techniques and at the same time reintroducing them to the craft group as it was uncommon to see mat weaving.

Wrapt Weaving aitutaki mat weaving

Wrapt Weaving pacifica motifs on a scarf

After a few years in the tropics we moved to Melbourne where materials were scarce and the climate was very different. I thought about mat and basket weaving using plastics, but stumbled across rigid heddle weaving instead and got the tingle. Suddenly we were inundated with scarves and blankets and I had more ideas in my head than I knew what to do with!

Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
No. I have always taught myself, learning and discovering as I go. The internet is also full of teachers, with many different methods of doing things so it is like being a part of a giant world-wide cooperative group.

Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
My first loom was made from a picture frame and some ice-block sticks! It was actually quite effective, but I caught the bug pretty badly and now I have two Ashford rigid heddle looms of different sizes. My newest toy is a yarn winder that my Nana has just given me.

Wrapt Weaving my first home made loom

Wrapt Weaving table runner

What inspires you?
Yarn inspires me! Usually my project inspiration comes from seeing an amazing yarn online or in a store and thinking “I have to do something with that!” Having said that, working with a range of materials inspires me too. I have worked with jute twine and cotton, supermarket shopping bags, linen, wool, alpaca, silk, raw fleece, cashmere, possum… there are no limits to the materials that can be used in weaving and that is really exciting.

Texture and weight also inspires me – from super thick wool roving to gauze-like merino, coarse jute twine to super smooth silk.

Also, I am currently working on a range of wraps and scarves based on the colours and textures of New Zealand birds. I am fizzing about the possibilities with this.

Describe your workspace:
I would love to say that it is harmonious and peaceful but it is not! I have a corner of our dining room to weave in, do business in and run the family in. I try to stay neat and tidy but things regularly get out of control – sounds like a new year’s resolution!

Five words that describe your mind:
Overflowing, fizzing, bouncing, impatient, wistful.

Your favourite feedback from a customer:
A customer that ordered a large custom set of linen napkins and described them as “such a treat.” I really liked that.

wraptweaving linen napkins

Wrapt Weaving key fob bracelet

What are you currently listening to?
If I need calming and focusing, a brilliant piece by Arvo Part called Spiegel Im Spiegel. Search it up in YouTube if you want to see the most amazing, moving ballet. We were lucky enough to watch the Royal Australian Ballet perform it, to this music, on Hamilton Island as the sun set. It was an experience that will stay with me for a lifetime. On the other hand, if I want to get going I listen to OneRepublic – I love their song “I lived”

Recommend an album:
OneRepublicNative and Emelie Sande – Our Version of Events.

What are you reading now?
I am re-reading (for the 20th time) the Diana Gabaldon Outlander series. I love historical fiction.

Who is your hero/heroine?
My mum is my heroine – she is indefatigable, ever moving forward, ever positive, ever focused on the next thing. My husband deserves a shout out too for supporting me as I go through the journey of being a small business owner (and for putting up with the mess!).

Wrapt Weaving lace weight merino scarf

A favourite quote:
We have a fridge magnet that has lived with us in three countries now: “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” I always feel reassured when I see it – it’s a bit of a talisman!

Do you have any pets?
Our handsome grey cat called Smudge came from Melbourne with us when we moved home. We adopted him from the RSPCA in Oz and couldn’t leave him behind. He is such a mummy’s boy.

If you were a crafty superhero, what would your name and superpower be?
I would be the Systemiser! My power would be to organise at the flick of an eyebrow, and find exactly what I want at a wink! And I would wear a hot red dress!

What was the last handmade item you bought and what attracted you to it?
I went on a handmade splurge in December and bought an apron from Rose Rouge for my mother-in-law, a vintage fabric bag from Oaktree Mama for my girlfriend’s 40th and a print from Varvar2076 of Mt Tongariro for my husband. In all cases it was the colours that grabbed me.

You can meet Jenni at the Devonport Craft Market (first Sunday of the month) and Parnell’s Craft Harvest Market (4th Saturday of the month) or check out her beautiful work anytime in her Felt shop.

Wrapt Weaving tote bag made from reused supermarket bags

Jenni has very kindly offered a prize for one lucky Felt blog reader: this clever and smart-looking tote bag worth $39, handwoven by her using supermarket shopping bags. To make these bags plastic supermarket bags are cut up and used as a yarn, which Jenni calls plarn (plastic yarn). Strong and stylish, they are fantastic recycling as twenty supermarket bags are used to weave the fabric for one tote. Great for a reusable shopping bag, at the beach or the pool, they will also be available soon at Wrapt Weaving.

To win this marvellous prize just leave a comment telling us what you like about Jenni’s story and her work. The draw will be made on Friday 27 February and is open to New Zealand residents only.

Supermarket Bags Cut Up For Weaving

On the calendar: E Nga Uri Whakatupu

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

An extraordinary and beautiful collection of traditional Māori kākahu and weaving from five generations of one family is now a major exhibition at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato.

E Nga Uri Whakatapu: Weaving Legacies of Dame Rangimarie Hetet and Diggeress Te Kanawa is a tribute to the life achievements of Dame Rangimarie Hetet (1892 – 1995) and her daughter Diggeress Te Kanawa (1920 -2009) (Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Kinohaku), tohunga of mahi raranga whatu (traditional Maori weaving experts).

These remarkable women are acknowledged as New Zealand’s finest traditional Māori weavers. Their generosity of spirit and passion for the revival of Māori women’s arts gave new life to traditional Māori weaving in Aotearoa. The Hetet and Te Kanawa collection comprises more than 75 individual pieces and this is the first time the collection can be seen in one exhibition.

E Nga Uri Whakatupu also acknowledges other Māori weavers, such as Emily Schuster and the role of the Māori Women’s Welfare League and Te Roopu Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa (National Māori Weavers Collective).

The exhibition runs at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato until 28 July 2015.

Image: Detail, Kahu Kaka, Kahu Kura, (cloak), Diggeress Rangituatahi Te Kanawa, Hetet/Te Kanawa Collection, Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato.

E Nga Uri Whakatupu

Beautiful harakeke

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Harakeke, also known as New Zealand flax or phormium tenax, is an elegant, distinctive plant and a New Zealand icon. It is also a taonga of undeniable strength, utility and tactile appeal when its fibrous leaves are harvested to make kete (baskets and bags), kākahu (cloaks and garments) and other woven creations.


Many artists and makers are inspired by the shapes and silhouettes of harakeke: its strappy leaves, spreading form and sculptural flower spikes. These are just a few of the lovely items we’ve found on Felt which draw on it for inspiration:

There are also a growing number of makers on Felt weaving with harakeke, both in traditional Maori forms and in more contemporary designs.


Some of our crafters and artists working in other media have also been inspired by the textures of woven harakeke, translating the design elements into precious metals, wood and glass.


Harvested correctly, harakeke is an amazing renewable resource, to be nurtured and cared for. It sustains many of our native birds and insects and feeds the muses of craftspeople and artists. We love seeing how many of our New Zealand makers here on Felt draw inspiration from its leaves.

Hutia te rito o te harakeke
Kei whea, te kāmako e kō?
Kī mai ki ahau
He aha te mea nui o tēnei ao
Māku e kī atu
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.

When the heart is torn from the flax bush
Where will the bellbird sing?
You ask me
What is the greatest thing on Earth
My reply is
It is people, it is people, it is people.



Colour me knitty

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Are you a knitter or a crocheter, or would you like to be? Whether you can knock out a scarf in an evening or (like me) you’re ridiculously proud of your painstakingly-crocheted-over-days wee phone case, there’s no time like the present to get knitty with the yarn…

There’s been a huge upsurge in popularity of yarn crafts in recent years. Knitters, crocheters, spinners, weavers and naalbinders (I’m probably murdering the Danish language there) are everywhere you turn, making socks and cellphone cases, blankets and high fashion, baby clothes and yarn-bombs.

There are many talented makers of yarn-based creations on Felt and we’re wowed by their work, but did you know that there is also a great range of handmade craft supplies – including hand-dyed fibre and yarn – for those of you crafty folk who like to DIY their ply?


So many beautiful colours! How on earth do you choose? While you’re trying to decide, don’t forget to check out our range of knitting and crochet patterns too!