Filling my Days

Like most of you I have plenty of time on my hands staying at home. Weaving, spinning, reading, counted cross stitch, e-mails, text messages, cooking and TV fill my days. Occasionally housework or yard work does too.

These 2 scarves were woven on the same painted warp yarn using different colored weft yarns. The pattern becomes lost in the multiple colored warp yarns for both scarves. The border pattern stands out better on the scarf with the royal blue weft yarn. One is not able to see the “Gone with the Wind “ pattern, a small 4 harness overshot by Bertha Hayes.

At the top of this post is a scarf being woven using the same pattern as the 2 with painted warps. Here the pattern is clearly visible. The contrast of the silver gray 10/2 bamboo warp and the black 10/2 bamboo weft with a white 16/2 bamboo tabby yarn allows this to occur. The strong contrast in colors makes the pattern stand out.

2 beaded counted cross stitch kits from Mill Hill. I’ve started a larger kit from them that won’t go as quickly, an “Autumn Basket”. To support a small business I’ve ordered 2 additional kits from Silver Needle in Tulsa, Ok.

In the last post “Revisiting Rep Weave” I showed this warp on the loom partially woven. One of the projects done on that warp was a wall hanging for a show that The Contemporary Handweavers of Houston was having that has been postponed due to Covid-19. To weave the above runner I removed some of that warp to have a proper width for a table runner.

Green beans planted behind bushes along the fence. The squirrels seem to like those tender plants. I planted another section between bushes along the back of the yard.

Like many of you I’ve been baking. The remaining Pineapple Upside Down Cake. I had not had this cake for years but had fond memories of my mother making.

Revisiting Rep Weave

Rep weave lends itself to bold graphic patterns.

In my WOW study group we have been studying profile drafts. The design chosen by my small group had 6 blocks. With a 12 shaft loom a 6 block rep weave could be produced. The weft has one thick and one thin thread.

Rep is a warp dominate weave. This means the threads per inch in the warp is large. (Double the number in a balanced plain weave for that yarn size.) The weft has one thick thread followed by one thin thread.

Spring flowers

Spring Weaving Resolutions

Lilac and deep purple towels

I’m sure many of you do New Year resolutions. As president of the Houston Contemporary Handweavers I wrote a list of 10 resolutions to fulfill for our newsletter in January. Number 2 on the list was to start a new weaving project each month. The purple towels were woven in February.

Once the loom is threaded, I find it fun to change the treadling to create different patterns within the confines of the threading and tie-up. But, if one ties a new warp onto the old, color can be played with. The towels above were the 2nd warp that had been tied onto the original warp. The cloudy day prevented getting the true colors photographed. The lilac should have been brighter.

Pink and natural 8/2 cotton

January’s weaving project was the pink towels. The above towel was the first warp that was tied on to the original warp. 2 colors simplifies the design.

Salmon, brick and yellow orange 8/2 cotton and cottolin towels

The original warp. Each towel on this warp was woven With a different treadling. These 3 towels show different repeats of pattern in the weft.

Three towels same warp and tie-up, different treadling
Side by side it is hard to believe that these towel warps had the same threading and tie up.
Contemporary Handweavers of Houston, has decided to have a Spring Sale. The past few years we’ve had Fall sales. I felt honored to have my towel image as part of the postcard.

It’s time to move on to other types of weaving. Yes, I do have a new warp on the loom for March. This month I’ll be doing Rep Weave; a wall-hanging.

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, view of Pacific Ocean Jan 2020

Happy New Year! 2020

My year end project was making this table runner for my sister and husband who were married in August. Better a little late than never. I seemed to be running behind most of this year.

I continue in my 2nd term as president of the Contemporary Handweavers of Houston. It will be nice to finish my term in June and only have to have the title and jobs of Past President.

In the WOW study group we have been studying Profile drafts. We broke into smaller groups which each chose a profile draft to be woven in a weave structure appropriate for their loom. Since I have 12 shafts, rep weave was possible using our chosen profile draft above. So that is what needs to be accomplished in the next couple of months.

I’m working on towels with a color scheme that is out of my normal realm but colors being requested. The loom has been set-up and currently being woven. Weft colors may vary for additional towels in the warp length.

On a walk on Christmas Day at Cullen Park in Sugar Land, TX we came across this magnificent tree, covered in moss. It was a beautiful sunny day to enjoy with my daughter and husband.

Family for Christmas Eve. Even the grand-dog had to get in the picture.

They are so cute, but what would one do with them? They can’t be sheared for fleece. Comfort animals?

May you have a Happy 😊 and Prosperous New Year!

Where has time gone

This summer came and went. I spent several weeks in Minnesota to attend my Sister’s wedding and several weeks later a nieces wedding.

Such happy times. It allowed me to reconnect with relatives, some which I had not seen in years. The temperatures being cooler than back home were an added bonus.

An extended family photo was even possible at Ruth’s wedding. I’m in the back row 4th from left. Of course we were missing some spouses and cousins.

I did hem a few of the above towels when I was in Minnesota to prepare for my guilds sale in a month. These were woven with cottolin in a 12 Harness, broken Twill.

My second grandchild arrived in October. A beautiful little girl. Needless to say we are thrilled.

After weaving 3 of the towels found at the top of the blog, I switched colors for the weft. And I wove this green version. The towels were easy to weave, an 8 harness satin weave. I didn’t even need the use of my temple treadle to aid with the weaving. These also used 8/2 cottolin yarn. I ran out of time to finish weaving off the 7 yd. warp and cut off the 4 towels woven so they could be finished for my guild, The Contemporary Handweavers of Houston’s Annual Sale, that took place last weekend.

We tried something new this year having an opening night, with refreshments. It was something that the guild used to do, but had gone away from. It is always amazing how beautiful the merchandised looks once set up is completed. And now to get back to weaving. I’ve already started weaving off the warp that couldn’t be completed for the sale. It should result in 2 more towels, which will be gifted.

A wild turkey outside the ” Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge” .

Busy Summer Days

This stool was started in a workshop at the Contemporary Handweavers of Texas conference in June. I don’t always finish theseprojects that are started in workshops and this one was not even half done when our class time was over. So I am so proud of myself for completing this loom stool. It is 12 inches high. Can’t forget to show the bottom side of this stool, too.

The Huck Lace scarves on the loom last post were woven off. I enjoyed weaving them so much I tied on a second warp and wove another 2 scarves this time in dark teal. All these scarves were finished with twisted fringe and beads.

Indoors, I wasn’t getting true colors when photographing so I took the above scarves outdoors on a sunny ☀️ day. By setting up in the shade of our trees to avoid shadows. I finally got a decent photo of the shawl that won 2nd place in the members exhibit at CHT. This was really a difficult piece to photograph.

One of the study groups I belong to, Westside Weavers, had an indigo dye day this week at Penny’s house in the country. Some of the pieces below are drying on the line.

Watch the indigo change as it oxidizes. When removed from the dye bath the pieces are a teal green and then change before ones eyes to blue. MAGIC!

I hurriedly wove a handwoven shibori scarf last week to dye. The scarf is plain weave with the pattern pull strings woven in a twill pattern every 6 picks. In the past I’ve always dyed my handwoven shibori scarves with procion dyes that were painted on. I’ve always wanted to try dyeing one by dipping in an indigo bath. The finished results can be seen below. yes I will finish twisting the fringe but I wanted to share.

Summer isn’t over yet so there is still time to find some inspiration.

My CHT conference 2019

For those that don’t know CHT stands for Contemporary Handweavers of Texas. They hold a Biennial conference, always held the year after HGA’s Convergence conference. My conference was highlighted by being awarded second place for Fashion accessories in the “Members Exhibit”. I’ve been weaving for years so it was nice to receive this special recognition. This piece is difficult to photograph, but this little snippet, is true to the pattern and color. Colors in the piece are dark teal, olive green, and amethyst.

I chose to have my shawl in the fashion show. Here it is walking down the runway. Between the iridescence of the piece, the lighting, and forward motion of the model it was difficult to photograph. Please excuse my photos.

A field trip to Perennials, gave an up close view of how fabric lines, are created today. Perennials creates fabrics for indoors or out, custom rugs and trimmings. It is nice to see this process and that it is occurring in the state of Texas.

I took one hands on class and two lecture classes. This will be a loom stool that is woven with smoked reed and natural reed. I’m not a basketry person so initially this was a bit of a challenge. I’ll have to finish on my own time with the bundles of reed we were given.

Conferences provide the chance to interact with other weavers, expand our horizons, and walk away with the knowledge that our Craft is strong.

On the Loom Huck Lace and more

It’s been a while since I’ve woven any Huck Lace. A new to me pattern this one is from “Weavers Best Huck Lace.” This pattern is by Dini Cameron, page 17. Huck Lace shows up best when a solid color is used in both the warp and weft. This is a scarf of 8/2 Lyocell (Tencel), sett at 20 epi. There are 3 motifs across the scarf.

Our last Guild meeting of the year was Hands on “Finishing Techniques – Tips and Tricks. There were five stations, Wet finishing, Rolled hems, Photographing work – Light box, twisted fringe, and Inkle bands.

I demonstrated twisted fringe and adding beads. When I add beads I often use a needle threader to make it easier and faster to add the beads to a warp end. A member had a good handweaving hack ” use type of dental floss used if you have a bridge or braces instead of needle threader.

This month there was a trip to Minneapolis, Minnesota to visit my mother. Since I grew up in the area we visited many of my past haunts. But alas I had to leave and came back to upper 80-90 degree days where winter coats are not required.

Minnehaha Falls

Come Park Conservatory, Mn

Learning Tapestry

This past weekend I took my 2nd tapestry class Held at the CHH Guild House.We spent a day learning different types of joins: Dovetail, slits, sewing up slits, and interlock joins. The 2nd day was learning about Eccentric weaving.

Closeup of an example of Eccentric weave by Theresa Coucher

Eccentric weave seems more spontaneous or free form since the weft can travel at a diagonal angle rather than perpendicular to the warp. I’ll be experimenting on this piece more with this technique. The above piece is what I wove in class. So tapestry is not fast weaving. There were several more experienced tapestry weavers in the class in addition to the teacher. It was wonderful that they were all so willing to share tips and tricks. We discussed pros and cons of weaving from the front vs back, setts, yarn types and sources to name a few things. So we’ll see where all my new knowledge takes me.

My 3rd tapestry and the first I designed. I worked off of a cartoon, a rough drawing placed behind the warp to guide one in weaving. After my beginning Tapestry class it was suggested that I do some Hachure and a circle. Hachure is a tapestry technique where 2 different colors alternate. Not a perfect circle but not bad for a first try. So I was prepared for my next class.

We’re in Bloom!

Off and Running

The new year has begun with new opportunities for artistic expression. My looms are warped and ready for the shuttles to be thrown, with the yarns to be beat in place, growing the new fabric.

A 12 shaft twill, fabric for more towels. Unmercerized cotton is used since it is has greater absorbency than mercerized cotton.

The colors in the second photo are truer. There was more natural light coming in the windows when it was taken.

The treadling is changed in this piece, giving us a different graphic design. There is not a true plain weave with this threading. Not having a true plain weave will create a better towel since plain weave does not shrink as much as the twill with wet finishing. This will give hems that should not flair out.

We’re getting more rain tonight as I write. it is not supposed to amount to much which is good. We do not need more flooding since some of the rivers are high from waters being released upstream.

There still are occasional blossoms on the roses to brighten the days.