Archives for Red Wolf

Software Engineer Hacks a Knitting Machine to Create Massive Stellar Map

By hacking a domestic knitting machine, a software engineer advanced modern knitting and made a massive equatorial star map in tapestry form.

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Master paint-maker David Coles shares the stories behind popular pigments

The history of colour has stories to thrill in every hue — from lead white through Indian yellow and from mummy’s brown to bone black — from toxic pigments that killed thousands in their making, to paints that act as miniature black holes, the stories of the world’s most popular pigments go far beyond our wildest imagination.

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Tyrian Purple: The disgusting origins of the colour purple

Purple is a paradox, a contradiction of a colour. Associated since antiquity with regality, luxuriance, and the loftiness of intellectual and spiritual ideals, purple was, for many millennia, chiefly distilled from a dehydrated mucous gland of molluscs that lies just behind the rectum: the bottom of the bottom-feeders. That insalubrious process, undertaken since at least the 16th Century BC (and perhaps first in Phoenicia, a name that means, literally, ‘purple land’), was notoriously malodorous and required an impervious sniffer and a strong stomach. Though purple may have symbolised a higher order, it reeked of a lower ordure.

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Margie Statheos Interview

This is an interview with Margie Statheos, president, Hand Weavers and Spinners Guild of NSW. 2RDJ interviewed Margie during our 70th anniversary year. Karen Severn, a long time member of the Guild, is also in the interview.

Wool spinner Marion Wheatland runs novel pet hair business

Ever wondered what to do with all that hair your pet sheds?

You could give it to Boronia wool spinner Marion Wheatland.

She has been a wool spinner since the early 1990s and even took her craft to Antarctica.

She teaches wool spinning through her business, Fancy Spinning a Yarn.

When one of her clients asked for her poodle’s fur to be turned into a vest, Ms Wheatland knew she was on to something.

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Silkworms Can Spin Electricity-Conducting Silk

Scientists fed graphine to silkworms and now they can spin silk that conducts electricity.

What a time to be alive.

Silk is already well known for its strength, but scientists want to see how far they can take it.

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Indigo Dye Discovered in 6,000-Year-Old Textiles From Peru

A recent study of textiles in Peru discovered:

  • Blue indigo dye commonly used in today’s jeans was used by pre-Hispanic communities in Peru around 6,000 years ago.
  • Use of the complex technique involved in creating indigo dye predates its use by ancient Egyptians by about 1,500 years.

The finding, published in Science Advances, is based on the analysis of blue pigment in a 6,000-year-old piece of cotton fabric found at an archaeological site in Huaca Prieta, on the north coast of Peru. The source of the blue pigment was unknown until today’s study, which used highly sensitive equipment known as high-performance liquid chromatography to determine it was a plant-based form of indigo.

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Tea Towel Exchange 2017

We welcome all members of the Guild and all members of our network groups to participate in a tea towel exchange, as part of our 70th year celebrations in June 2017.

All you need to do is:

  • weave four (4) tea towels and keep a weaving record of them;
  • send in three (3) tea towels, each with a copy of the weaving record by 23rd June 2017 (details of “where” below); and,
  • include a $10 entry fee with each set of three towels.

In exchange, you will receive three (3) different tea towels with their weaving records in August 2017. Read More

July Guest Speaker: Peter Clark

Peter Clark came to the July general meeting of the Guild to tell us about his father’s role in the establishment of guilds in Sydney in the 1930s. At the end of the article are links to some historic documents.


My Journey into the World of Spinning, Weaving and Dyeing in the 1930s and 40s

Good afternoon Guild members. Thank you Jenny for your kind invitation to address members of the guild today. I have termed the talk as my journey into the world of spinning, weaving and dyeing in the 1930s and 40s.
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‘The Gallipoli Letter’ tapestry finished after 2,500 hours of weaving

A tapestry, which took 2,500 hours to complete and honours the sacrifice of the Anzacs, has been cut from a loom at a special ceremony in Melbourne ahead of the Anzac centenary.

The tapestry, measuring about three square metres, will be on display in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

The artwork Avenue of Remembrance was based on a piece by Australian artist Imants Tillers.

It was inspired by The Gallipoli Letter written by the late Sir Keith Murdoch.

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