Friday, December 13, 2013

New start

And it isn't even the new year yet! 2013 was a transitional year - selling Woven Art, followed by working on establishing myself as a teacher/artist. I am VERY busy, making art, making plans. And it feels great.

I have lots of news, but I think I will save it for a New Year's post. In the meantime, I have the very beginnings of a new tapestry to show.


What you see here, from the bottom up:
1. Fat Blue roving for packing.
2. White trash bags for packing.
3. a row of double half hitches to secure the warp threads
4. 1.5 inches of hem. There is a bit of a design there - but you won't see it when this tapestry is finished. Traditionally a hem will be woven in one solid color. I had these yarns on bobbins, and decided to use lazy lines for my hem. You can see where they are because of the color changes. Lazy lines are usually used in large color areas, when the artist wants to maintain multiple bobbins covered the area. If you were to weave a large area with just one bobbin, it is more likely that you will get more pull in. That is not normally a problem in the beginning hem - as part of the hem's job is to establish the weaving width. On the other hand - it was one more chance to play. Anyone who wants to look at the back side will get a surprise!
5. That orange line at the very top is a line of sumak - it makes a nice definition for the turning edge.

The foundation of a tapestry is very important. The warp threads must be evenly spaced, and perfectly tensioned. The packing materials, hem and sumack, if you choose to use it, provides a sturdy and even base for the tapestry itself. A sloppy foundation will make for a sloppy looking tapestry. Experience tells me that small problems grow and multiply over the course of a project. This is a good place to invest some time and fuss.

I am trying to show you a picture of a rug that is still on the loom - this is a krokbragd rug, and it is so much fun to weave. Like my tapestry, I do not have a particular design in mind. I have the weave structure set, and the treading pattern is unchanging - the only thing that changes is the order in which I throw the colors. Even with so few variables, I am finding the possibilities to be endless.

Just in case I don't post again this year, here is wishing you a satisfying end to this year, and a year of endless possibilities in 2014.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

krokbragd and tapestry

Last progress post on the first tapestry in my series. She has been cut off and is resting on the couch.  Ignore the part with the gray diamonds on blue background. That is not part of this tapestry. Also ignore the violet stripe at the very top. That is hem. Did you know that it is important for a tapestry to rest for a day or two before blocking? After Thanksgiving, I will do the finishing work.

Here is the warp for the next tapestry. The plan for the series, as of now, is five or six tapestries. All will be the same size. All will be unplanned, with handspun  yarn. All will be reflective of my current state of mind, and circumstance. They will all be documented by date.

another project: a rug for Kelly and Murphy's apartment. Murphy comes from Scandinavian stock, and I have always thought Krokbradg to be very pretty. Their apartment needs a bit of color.  I researched on line and in my many books, and learned a little bit about Krokbradg. The threading was always the same: 1-2-3-2-1 etc. (There is a 4 shaft version - maybe next time I will explore that).

The advice I could find for treadling had some variations. I was getting confused. I looked at Peter Collingwood's The techniques of Rug Weaving in which there was a short article. His advice was to treadle 12 -23-13. So instead I took the advice I had found on line and treadled 1-2-3.  I mean how would fit be different? The difference is which side has longer floats - so therefore which side would show the pattern.  Peter was right.  How could I have doubted him? The picture on top is how it looks with the 1-2-3- treadling.

This is how it looks treadled Peter's way. I gotta tell you. This is fun. You can use 1, 2 or 3 colors at a time. The pattern is controlled by the order in which you throw the colors. I am having a blast trying to create new patterns. My warp is sett a but tighter than it probably should be - you can see bits of warp. I am hoping that when it is washed, this will disappear.  The yarns are all hand dyed - most with natural dyes. I picked up Walnuts in Jessy's yard for the dark brown, used brazil wood chips that Kristin had sent me for the soft orange color.  A customer friend gave me the chocineal for the red. The blue and gray are left over from past tapestries. Every color in this rug has a bit of history.  And next, it will warm up my daughter's kitchen.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tapestry Update

My days have been filled with receptions, events, family and volunteering. The tapestry is still progressing, here is proof!  It will be finished within a couple of weeks. And I will begin the process again. I always encounter some resistance from myself at the beginning and the end of any project. I don't really want to end my ongoing involvement with this piece of weaving. I will miss it. 

The flip side of the coin is the pressure I will feel when I first encounter a big empty warp. Will I be brave enough to just pick up some yarn and weave, as I did with this one. This one needs a better name. I think I might call it Shift.  I see seismic shifts throughout the piece, especially at the beginning. I began to weave it right after selling my ten year old business. It must somehow reflect the personal shift in my life. The glowing bowl? Waiting to be filled? An offering? Is Shift and Gift too corny? 

I have two classes on the books this week - Color Confidence on Thursday, November 21 from 5 to 8 p.m. It is not too late to sign up - call Woven Art , 517-203-4467. You will learn some trade tricks to make exciting (or soothing!) color choices. 
The other class in on Sunday - A Brioche moebius cowl class. First you will learn a special cast on, then you will learn how to knit two color Brioche in the round. The result is a smooshy, bulky, long cowl scarf. Fast to execute, perfect for giving. Again, at Woven Art, Sunday November 24.


Friday, November 1, 2013

Retreat! And Progress.

I am recovering still from three days of total immersion in yarn and knitting with friends at the Woven Art Retreat. This was the last one that I had a hand in planning, as I have turned the reins over to the capable and loving hands of Meg Croft.  I started a new project  at the retreat that will be a shop model at Woven Art. I am knitting it in the delicious Eco Duo, Zebra color way.

While I was in the Traverse City area, I engaged in a bit of new grand baby shopping (it's a girl!) (not here yet!), and also a big planning session with a great institution. I wish I could tell you more, but it is really too early to spill any beans yet.

I got a lot going on.

Planning a house to build in a year.
Expecting a grand daughter in February
Helping plan  a _______
Growing my new business, which remains very fluid, but involves lots of teaching.
Plus the usual; Christmas, Family vacations, etc.

I admit, sometimes I curl up on the couch and indulge in Candy Crush marathons. But not today!
Today I share with you my tapestry progress.

Thank you Margo, for your previous comment - I am interested in what you all think about this as it grows. I do not know what will happen next in this one - but I do really enjoy the process. 

Please check out my class schedule. Please sign up for anything that interests you, and let me know what else you might be interested in! 

I have also begun to add pictures of items I have for sale. Currently I have three items listed under the tab "Wearable" 

Thank you. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

New Class Schedule

I just put a bunch of new classes on my calendar. Please check under my Teaching Schedule page up top of this blog - so that you can get some on your calendar too!

Here is an update on my tapestry progress as of today. It seems like the Orb is becoming a Vessel.

OK - it's  the boss! I am happy to follow along.


Friday, October 11, 2013

New Classes coming soon

A new session of floor loom weaving will be starting at Woven Art on October 30. It will be 6 weeks, meeting on Wednesdays from 1 to 3:30 p.m. There are already 3 people in the class, with a limit of 6, so if you are interested, please call Woven Art today at 517-203-4467.

I had the great fun of visiting Interlochen this past Wednesday to get a tour of their visual arts facilities for the academy students as well as for the Adult College. I was completely blown away, and want to go live there. It is a place with sandy paths (paved ones too), lots of trees, gentle breezes, practice cabins, and drool worthy studios, extremely well equipped. Art of all media is taken seriously there. The students are visually well nourished, as evidenced by the work I saw in the hallways, on counters, in the studios - everywhere.

I was there to discuss the possibility of some adult fiber arts programming - so now my head is spinning with possibilities. I also need to submit a new schedule of classes to Woven Art.  I am considering another round of intermediate to advanced Rigid Heddle weaving, including Textures and Patterns, Two heddle Weaving, Twill and Waffle, Theo Moorman. I would love some feedback. Dear Readers, what would you like me to teach? When would you like me to teach it?
Here is some inspiration from Guatemala. This is on my dining table, and I love to stare at it while eating breakfast. This was most likely woven on a backstrap loom. I am not going to teach backstrap weaving - but we can get a similar effect on a Rigid Heddle loom with pick up sticks, in a technique called supplemental weft embroidery. 

Last picture: 
Progress on my tapestry. I swear, I didn't see that coming. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The tapestry diary

As anyone who has read this blog before, or talks to me *ever*, knows I sold my shop, Woven Art, last July 1. It was, without question, the right time, and very fortunately, to the right person. It is not so much that I was just "done".  I rely strongly on my inner guidance.  The message was strong and clear, even as I tried to ignore it. It was just as strong and clear as it had been 10 years before with the simple message "Open a Yarn Shop!".  This time the message was "Time to move on - your energy is needed elsewhere".  Just where, and doing just what hasn't been clearly revealed to me yet.

So, now for the transition. I immediately set up n.anne design studio as a way to organize a business around teaching, designing and exploring fiber art. Bankers were surprisingly good at hiding their skepticism.  I didn't need to borrow money - but I did need a credit card and a bank account. And I needed a structure.

I listened to myself as I told someone at a party that this is an excellent opportunity for me to really dig in and explore art. My form of  art is currently fiber. There is an awful lot to explore there. The rest of my life will not give me the time to do an in depth study of everything fiber.  I may have to narrow down further. Currently I am taking a close study of Collapse Weaves - by which I mean methods that create movement, texture, and possibly change the shape of fabrics.

Also, I am re-engaging in Tapestry. This is possibly the slowest way to cover up some warp threads.

Third,  I am spinning yarn for both  - overspun yarns can be useful in creating textures and interest in fabrics.  A variety of fine singles yarn can be used bundled together to create deep rich colors in Tapestry.

I believe I have begun a tapestry series, working title: The Tapestry Diaries. I have a start on the first one. I started it on an existing warp of an old experimental tapestry I had abandoned long ago.  My rules are:
Must spin the yarn, or use the tapestry yarn I still have from ages ago.
No thinking!
No tearing back - OK maybe just a little if I notice that I skipped a thread two rows below - but not because of any change of heart. It will be what it will be.
As I weave, I allow the working image to tell me what happens next. It is a little like reading a novel. I suspect what might come next, but I honestly don't know until I get there. I am enjoying this element of surprise.
I believe that in this way, my tapestry will reflect what is happening deep inside - it is a way of listening to, and perhaps calling out that inner guidance that I can't live without.

I am going to be very brave, and show you the first tapestry in progress.


What do you think? No! Don't tell me!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Art Prize

On Wednesday, I traveled to Grand Rapids to take in a bit of Art Prize. This annual art experiment is in it's fourth year - but this was the first trip for me. If you haven't heard, this art show is in venues all over the city of Grand Rapids, anyone can enter, and everyone gets to vote on their favorites. There is prize money for the winners - Big Prize Money. I may have to throw my hat (or hand knit scarf?) in the ring next year.  I was on the look out for fiber art.
This is Wool House by Annie Belle. It is located on the 5th floor of UICA. I voted for this one because it is super cool. It celebrates knitting, brings about a feeling of warmth and safety. It is knit from wool roving. Go see it in person! 
This is Chasing Ice by Danielle Rante. It is carefully cut paper and lava rocks. It is meant to cause us to think about the polar caps, melting. It is extraordinary.  At The GRAM

This is Fluidity, by Shea Hester-Haddard. It is a collection of tiny porcelain vessels. Some bowls, but as they climb the walls, more like pinched butterflies. They look as though they are trying to escape. No, not fiber - but it has some things in common with fiber art.  Evidence of being made by hand, and a repetition of form are also often present in works of fiber art. You can see this one at UICA, also on the 5th floor. 

I voted for many more than these three. It seemed that the best stuff was at the two Museums, but I also saw loads of very cool art at some of the other venues along the way. You can't risk skipping a venue! It was a fabulous day, until I got back to my car:
A street lamp fell off its post, and on to my car. How can that even happen? I got there just in time to see the clean up guys toss the big thing into their clean up vehicle, and a Police Woman was also there. That part was lucky, I guess.  I got a case number, and a phone number to call at the City. Now, my car is at the body shop, and I am trying to find a car to rent. 

I am looking forward to this Saturday, when I get to talk with the Michigan Weaver's Guild in Southfield about Collapse Weaves. I will share more about that on my blog next week. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Maggi!


I have had the pleasure of sitting next to Maggie Jackson at a dinner party in Seattle. What an amazing, and FUN, Lady. I was sent the following information from a member of the Ann Arbor fiberarts guild - and it is just too good not to share!


Irish Knitting Wearables workshop – in Ann Arbor Oct. 12-13

Maggie Jackson, internationally known designer from Ireland, will teach two workshops featuring her signature stitches and texture techniques for knitters to use in creating their own wearable art,  October 12-13, sponsored by the Ann Arbor Fiberarts Guild.  The workshops are now open to non-members of AAFG and will be held at the Washtenaw Community College, Ypsilanti. Examples of Jackson’s wearable art are on her website.  Just look for Maggie Jackson wearable Irish knits.  


The fee for the workshops  is $210 payable on  registration.  The workshop registration form is on the AAFG website in the October newsletter.(A $40 material fee will be collected at the class.) Workshop questions? Contact sandykunkle@gmail.com

Maggie Jackson’s wearables collection will be shown at the AAFG Guild meeting on Monday night, October 14.  Meeting starts at 6:30pm.  Non-members are welcome and will pay a $10 fee for this fashion show. AAFG meets at Zion Lutheran Church, 1501 W. Liberty St, between 7th and Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI.

Marion Marzolf, publicity  mtmm@umich.edu

AAFG welcomes information about fiberarts events on space available basis. Contact editor: Elizabeth Rodriguiz: YpsiLiz2006@gmail.com

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Labor Day Scarf

Labor Day Scarf! 
One of the most fun things about the rigid heddle loom is how quickly you can get a project on, and off again! Sometimes I get a true craving to make something. Boom, boom. This project fit the bill. I warped the loom on my kitchen counter (92 inches!) while waiting for my husband to get home. I finished the threading while enjoying a glass of wine. 

Over the next two days I worked on it here and there. In between company, bike rides, swimming and cooking. By Monday afternoon I had it off the loom and ready for finishing. In this case, "finishing" means to toss it in the washing machine to felt the ends, and then give it a good press. Voila! Scarf! 

It has a fun shape, a nice drape, and is very soft and warm. 

The pattern is available here, under the pattern tab, or on Ravelry. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Tapestry Night at Woven Art

A few tapestry lovers got together last night to talk about weaving. I brought my loom with me and demonstrated a little bit of technique. I also brought a box of some of my favorite yarns for both warp and weft.  Tina fell in love with my tiny hand loom from Hockett Would.

Currently, I am testing weft yarns that I have been spinning to use in Tapestries. Spinning with no plan. Well that's not true. I try to get at least four weaving size bobbins of each color that I spin. I am trying for consistency in yarn size and amount of twist so they can all play well together. But I have no composition in mind. This makes me very uneasy. It is quite likely that when I finally decide on a composition I won't have any of the colors that I need at the ready. That means my next tapestry could take years. It had better be good. Anyway. For our first gathering of weavers I gave myself the assignment of testing out my handspun yarns on an existing warp. This warp has been on my medium size Mirrix Loom for, oh, years. There was an idea in the beginning - but it got lost. Or buried. So that leaves me with several inches of warp to experiment with.

It is sett at 10 ends per inch. Playing around a bit, I found that weft bundles of 4 strands of singles seems to work pretty well.  I have my weft yarns divided into 3 baggies. Dark, medium and light. Without caring about the actual hue of each bobbin, I pulled out four from each bag and began winding up tapestry bobbins.  I divided my warp into five sections, and began to weave. I tend to enjoy weaving my tapestries line by line. I can see the advantages of shape by shape, maybe I will prefer that someday. But for now - line by line makes me happy. Until Tina pointed out that one medium value shape was growing more quickly that the others. I did a quick twist test - and it was clear that these four strands were indeed thicker. Pulling one strand out of the bundle solved the problem - but also tells me that consistency in my spinning is going to be critically important.
What was a surprise was how well the colors - randomly selected except for near value- looked. Each area has a deep complexity to it.  Interesting enough for me to keep on with my spinning experiment. Next step: A cartoon. By the next time the tapestry group meets. Wanna come? You are welcome to be there - just call Woven Art (517-203-4467) for details.

Friday, August 16, 2013

A Gathering of Weavers

I had the wonderful opportunity of attending the Michigan League of Handweaver's conference in Holland Michigan this past weekend, as an instructor. I was only there on Sunday, but how I wish I could have been there for more days! This year the conference coincided with a family vacation and the wedding celebration of a close friend.

I taught a Rigid Heddle class. We used pick up sticks and supplemental wefts to create pulled resist patterns for dying a shibori fabric. A few of my students had a chance to apply the technique to polyester weft threads, there by creating permanently pleated fabric.

This conference is a great place to connect with other Michigan Weavers. During our class lunch break I made a beeline to the exhibit hall. There is a lot of really good contemporary work going on here in Michigan in the field of Fiber Art. Here are just a few pictures of a few of my favorite pieces:

 Jenny Schu You Can't See the Forest for the Trees, Double weave pick up and beaded leaves. An award winner. Jenny also entered a hand knit dress with beaded straps. They were talking about it over lunch. I hope I get to see it on her someday.

Joyce LaVasseur  Reflections in the Woods, Summer and Winter Pick up. Another award winner. One of a series of three. All stunning.


Jill Ault  Markings: Flush Transparent Quilt of hand dyed silk Organza

There were many more, beautiful and technically amazing works of art on display. It is great to see Fiber Art such as this on display. 

If you are a weaver, or would like to become one, consider joining the Michigan League of Handweavers as a source of support and inspiration. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

West Bay Swatch Class

This is a photo of West Bay on lovely Emily. My latest knitting design. I will be teaching a technique class for this tunic on Wednesday July 31, from 5 to 8 p.m. Together we will use all the special techniques included in this pattern, while knitting a gauge swatch! Nifty! If you are interested, please call Woven Art (517-203-4467) for more information, and to enroll.

One of my weaving students from last Spring was wondering what to do next. She suggested that there should be a weaving curriculum. So, I have put a suggested curriculum here, look under the tab "Classes I teach". There is a list of topics, sort of in order of learning skills. Our classes tend to be very individualized. But sometimes you just don't know where to start - or where to go next! And if I know ahead of time what a student might be interested in, I can be better prepared as well. 

I will continue to add classes and my teaching schedule here. If you have any request, please let me know! 



Monday, July 22, 2013

Put a bead on it

   
                             
This  log with a bird nest is hanging on the building that houses T&T trading company in Grand Ledge Michigan. Last week the babies were getting big enough to be demanding, all you could see were tiny beaks sticking up, making little peeping sounds. 

So, I was already charmed before I entered the building for my first ever visit to this famous bead shop. I have been actively resisting beads for as long as I have identified as a fiber artist. I spent years scratching the surface of weaving before I opened my yarn shop. Then, suddenly, I had to have deep knowledge of knitting, crochet and spinning. Spinning was another fiber art I had been carefully avoiding. Who has that kind of time? Well, nobody ever has time for anything new. We all find a way to carve out time for things we care about. And sometimes you have to put a bead on it. 

It only took a second inside the door to see what the fuss surrounding this shop is all about. They have everything that has anything to do with beads or beading. Precious, exotic, dzi replicas, Japanese, glass, seed. Tools, findings, storage boxes, leather strips. The walls are covered in beads. But my favorite  part was the map files. Drawer after drawer of semi precious beads. In about the third drawer I pulled, I found several strands of larimar, one of my favorite stones. 

I might have felt a little overwhelmed. I bought some findings and tools to repair some broken necklaces. Now that I know what is there, it will be another option in the back of my mind the next time I design something. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Searching for Fiber in Ann Arbor

I braved the heat to go to the Original Ann Arbor Street Art Fair this morning. I had very limited time, so I headed straight over to N. University. I only stopped to look at fiber. A few things stood out.

My first stop was the Ann Arbor Fiber Art Guild Booth at the corner of State and N. University. This active guild has a wide variety of very high quality fiber arts on exhibit - from nuno felt to complex woven wall hangings. While there, I met Madeline Navarro.


Madeline works with felt  - these hats are just one example. 

Millie Danielson, a favorite tapestry artist, was sitting nearby, and I really enjoyed the chance to catch up with this great talent.

Onward through the fair:

Susan F Hill.  Susan works with pieced fabrics, and fiber collages. Her work includes pillows, screens and wall hangings. The fiber collages that I saw were framed. I was intrigued by her composition and play with color and texture to create layers and movement. Much of the movement in these pieces was created by the portions of the collage that was woven tapestry. The artist apparently cuts up tapestries she has woven to insert. Her dynamic work includes a bit of whimsy, as most "break the frame" with lines or bits of fabric that seem to escape through the border around the body of the work. 




Please visit her website for much better pictures of her work. 


My next favorite artist was Natalia Margulis. Insanely intricate and layered embroidery. Please follow the link to see her images. The pictures on her website are of excellent quality - but as she pointed out to me, you have to experience these treasures in person to appreciate the depth and design. Many were not exactly flat - they had a slight undulation, that served the purpose of the composition. There were a variety of sizes, but I was most taken by the small ones that somehow conveyed a big sense of mystery and intrigue. 

If you go I suggest parking near Kerry Town. It is a bit of a walk but I found an easy parking spot near the corner of Catherine and Fourth Street. $1.50 per hour. There is a 3 hour limit - but in today's heat 3 hours was plenty for me. A bonus to this plan is the many wonderful restaurants to provide refreshment before you head back out of town. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Guest bath towels

Sport weight linen from louet, a gray blue warp and a variegated blue to purple weft. The variegation seems to interfere with the diamond twill. They are very stiff right now. I am betting that the pattern will become more apparent, and the towels will soften with washing and pressing. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Am I blogging again?

Is it just me?
I dont post very often, but I would like to change that. However, with the changes that Google has made to blogger, sometimes it seems impossible to access my blog. Only sometimes. That is what has me baffled. Today, I finally figured out that google has my blogger account associated with an e-mail address I didn't even know I had. So, good folks who have tried to follow my blog - both of you, please accept my apologies for my apparent silence. I may have it straightened out. Or not. I may start a new blog somewhere else.

For those of you who don't yet know, I recently (last week!!) sold my wonderful yarn shop to my wonderful manager, Meg Croft, aka Nepenthe. You can find her over at YarnLaboratory. I am still getting my land legs back. I have been sailing the small business retail sea for ten years now.
So far I have spent a lot of time organizing my studio. I am also playing around with making a website from which I hope to sell original patterns for weaving and knitting. I plan to  use the website as a way to make my teaching schedule public. I have lots to think about. Ironically, I have not been knitting, weaving, spinning or dyeing very much in the last few weeks. Transitions are weird and disorienting. Even when they are very much the right thing.

Friday, June 21, 2013

My last TNNA

As a shop owner at least. 10 days from now Meg Croft will be the happy new owner of Woven Art. I may come another time in a different role, but for now I am soaking in Columbus, and all the fun sights. We appear to be sharing our convention hall with a state democratic convention and and Amish group. It is also the weekend of the Stonewall Festival,  with a big parade tomorrow. I can't wait! 

Tonight we will be having dinner at Martini's, and tomorrow night at Rigsbys. We have already enjoyed some Jenis ice cream. We have already seen Amy Singer, Steven West, and Sally Melville.  I have an early class in trend spotting with Tricia Malcom tomorrow morning. It just doesn't get better than this. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Second scarf syndrome

It's not as bad as second sock syndrome, a knitters complaint. When beginning a new project, such as a scarf, many weavers will put on enough warp for two or more, to save time. The fun and challenge is to make the second one different from the first, even though you have the same kind of yarn, and the same threading. You can vary the treading and the colors, and get something completely different. Here is a picture of my second piece from the table runner in pastels that I showed a few posts ago. The warp is the same linen and silk blend, and the treading is mostly the same too.

This second one is clearly a wrap, based on the drape and grist. I used a very fine silk for the weft this time, instead of the relatively coarse tussah in the first one. I also wove a border in overshot near each end. I like including this clue to the pattern. You can see the relationship to the elongated shibori pattern.

I was very happy with the results of the first dye bath. The copper color bled to a silvery background that may not be apparent in this photo. But I had wanted a greener shade. And, I needed to make a tiny repair where one of the shibori knots got caught on an edge thread. So I dip dyed the scarf with the green.

Currently I have an afghan on my big loom. I am planning my next woven shibori project. Maybe I should get a start on my annual kitchen towels. Or, maybe make some bright pillows for my gray couch. This time of year gray is just gray.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Second project of 2013

This year, I am focusing on using yarn from my closet, aka stash, as inspiration for projects.
You might not be surprised to learn that I have quite a bit of yarn, in amounts large and small. Weaving is a great technique for using up smaller amounts of yarn, in combinations that can be surprising.
Pictured on this page is an untrue plaid scarf, inspired by yarn left over from a previous project. It is a rayon and silk blend, hand dyed by someone I met at the Third Coast fiber festival last September. I paired that with tsumugi silk from habu and, silk stainless steel, also from habu. I have been wanting to try weaving with the stainless for sometime now. A young lady name Audrey Chamberlain showed me a scarf that she used it in a few weeks ago. Intriguing!

I measured the warp in an asymmetrical, but balanced pattern, using the three types of yarn in the warp. The same yarns were used in the weft, attempting to weave different sections to "square" before changing yarn. That caused the little see through windows where the stainless crosses the stainless.
The drape and texture of the finished object was a pleasant surprise. Very soft, and it has a flow to it.

Another intention for this year is to have all of my looms warped most of the time. This week is warping week. The 8 harness Jane loom has just been warped for collapse scarves in Madeline Tosh Praire. The weft will be a hand spun over twisted silk.

Rigid heddle has just been warped with stash from my closet (mountain goat from mountain colors) for a brooks bouquet scarf.

Today I measured off a warp for an afghan for my my living room in chrome by yarn hollow, with brocade for the weft. You might not ever see me again once I finish this one, the yarns are soooo lux. Pictures to follow. Thanks for reading.



Monday, January 21, 2013

First project of 2013

Woven Shibori

The loom is warped at 20 threads per inch, for 15 inches wide, using Lino from Handmaiden. This yarn is 65% silk, 35% linen. A teeny bit hairy. It come in hanks of 800m/100g.

The weft is a tussah silk, probably around 2500 yards per pound, two ply.

I used Honeysuckle Twill from Davidson's, page 132, for the threading. For this piece I treadled for pattern IX for a few inches, switching to XIII for the majority of the middle. I put four shots of plain weave in between pattern shots for the beginning and end 6 inches or so - and 6 shots of plain weave in the middle section. The woven length of the piece on the loom totaled about 80 inches. Finished dimensions after hemming are 13.5 inches wide by 77.5 inches long.

I used 3/2 cotton for the pull/pattern threads throughout. They left tiny holes, that I find pleasing. When I did the pulling, I pulled from one side, compressing the fabric all in one direction. I believe that may have slightly stretched the finished fabric along one edge, as it doesn't lay completely flat.

After cinching, I soaked the fabric in soda ash for 45 minutes, and then painted both sides with procion dyes. I had envisioned a blue and gray coloring - in very muted and subtle tones. However, when I looked at my dye collection I was dismayed to find no black. Only red, yellow, blue. Yes, I know how to mix these primaries to get a wide variety of colors - but my heart was set on shades of gray. Switching to a different vision, I worked with more of a Spring theme for the colors, painting both sides with a variety of blues, reds, and greens.

The hand of the fabric is crisp. It could be worn as a scarf with attitude, but I think it really wants to be a table runner. Or, could become some lovely pillows.

I have more warp left. The next one will be woven with a very fine silk thread. I have added in a border of overshot for the ends in A1 silk from Habu. Nothing to see yet - so no pictures.