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.

Weaving a Merry Christmas! 🎄

Hard to believe Christmas is almost here. I’ve been caught up in decorating, the buying of the perfect gifts, wrapping, baking and holiday gatherings.

I haven’t found much time to weave. This was woven on my new 8 harness, Jane table loom, with Tempo Treadle.

I had fun playing with different weft yarns. And found the metallic really set off the pattern. yet one of the textured yarns just hid the pattern.

In our house Christmas isn’t Christmas without those special cookies. Peanut butter blossoms, Russian tea cakes, Chocolate Crinkles, Spritz, Sandbakkel cookies and maybe something else if inspiration hits me.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

How time Flies

It’s hard to believe the holidays are right around the corner. Yes I’m still weaving whenever possible. This year I took on another role for the Houston Handweavers as President. Some say being president is an easy role. Yet trying to keep everyone engaged, while trying to help improve the health of the guild can be difficult task. But I decided that the guild was important to me so when no one else stepped up I said yes.

The above weaving uses 8 harnesses and 10 treadles. This advancing twill is an 8/2 twill, sett at 24 epi for a towel. I realized that one weft repeat had been left out throughout the piece. It will still be functional, but looks even better when treadled like this:

The transitions between boxes is much smoother with this one pick added to each repeat. Can you see the difference.

This could be interesting with different colors used in the warp for each box but a solid weft.

The temperature didn’t get low enough to do in these cannas. The Palm tree canopy may have helped to protect them.

Scrap Happy Towels

The idea for these twill block towels came from blogs written by other weavers earlier this year. It seemed there was a trend to see what one could do with the leftover yarns and/or fabrics used in ones craft.

It always seems a shame to throw away good yarn that remains on a bobbin when a project is finished. Also there are those cones with just a wee bit of yarn left. Some these have been lingering in a basket and small box for quite a few years.

So I decided to create a warp using these ends of 8/2 unmercerized cotton. There may also be some cottolin yarns, since for a time I never identified the leftover yarns. A bit of a yarn hoarder I am, since you never know what one might need the leftover yarns for. I measured a 5 yard warp randomly placing colors. With all the different yarns, winding was a bit tedious. The weft I used was a 8/2 Stone color, from a new spool of Brassards cotton yarn.

8 shaft, 12 treadle twill blocks were used to create the pattern. I changed up the block pattern in some of the towels as you can see above. So Towels were made from those left overs. Waste not want not.

My Convergence 2018

View from Peppermill Hotel room of mountains, just try to ignore the aircondioning units on roof. This was as close as I got to these mountains.

Of the 3 seminars I took my favorite was by Inge Dam; “Borders and Selvages Inspired by Ancient Techniques”. This was not a hands on class, but tables were set-up so she could demonstrate how tablet weaving can be done on edges and within a woven piece. She was very sharing of the knowledge she has attained.

Fashion show garment. Second place in Fashion show.
By Inge Dam

Close-up of tablet weaving done within the fabric.

Collapse Deflected Double weave was another seminar I took. Denise Kovnat shared a wealth of DDW samples and drafts. The collapse occurs by using an active and non-active yarn or a yarn that shrinks and one that doesn’t.

A fun activity was the Fabulous MGM Costumes. A historical look at MGM shows and costumes.

We were able to see many different costumes, including shoes and headgear. Some costumes were more revealing than others. All the crystals were Swarovski, making them heavy as well as expensive. In today’s world these costumes would have been to costly to make.

Convergence was a whirlwind of classes, art exhibits, and special events. The keynote speaker: Jason Collingwood gave a humorous look at his weaving life story. Attendees were very open and sharing. After viewing all that creativity during the conference the question is how will it be applied to my own work.