Category Archives: weaving workshop

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.

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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.

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!

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.

Snowflakes in Summer

Each year the the Contemporary Handweavers of Houston have a Swatch Swap that any member can join for a nominal fee. At the end of the previous year members pick the subject matter with this year’s subject being “Seasons”. Participants can interpret this as they wish.

This is the weaving I needed to finish when I found myself in the boot for Achilles tendinitis. So I wove this 8 shaft, 8 treadle, twill, one footed.

The warp is a baby blue, 10/2 Mercerized cotton, sett at 30 epi. For the weft I used a double shuttle with with one shuttle white 10/2 unmercerized cotton, and the second shuttle a translucent white metallic yarn. The finished fabric has a nice sparkle from the metallic yarn and will be made into table runners. The actual fabric is a prettier blue than what I was able to photograph.

I chose winter for my season. Living in Houston I miss snow. I especially miss it after the endless days of heat and humidity. I grew up with snow in Minneasota and still find it magical. Of course I don’t miss the subzero temperatures or the dirty gray snow piled along the roadways, but fluffy snow coating tree branches, and the ground will always bring fond memories of bygone days.

I am out of the boot. The foot still is not 100%, so on trips I throw the boot into the suitcase just in case.

I will be attending the Hand Weavers Guild of America Convergence conference in Reno, Nevada later this week and hope to see some of you there.

The Iris is from my mother-in laws garden, in Superior,Wisconsin.

Obstacles

It is difficult to weave these days, that left footprint is much too large for the treadles on the loom. Achilles tendinitis is the main diagnosis. I’m not sure how long I’ll have the boot as an appendage. Weaving isn’t the only activity it has impacted, no more daily walks in the park.

This shawl was woven right before being booted. It has lots of fringe to twist. That’s a good activity to pursue. Then there’s the shawl woven on the same warp with a different color weft with fringe to twist. The weft for the shawl below is “whippel blue”. The shawl above has an “iris” weft. Twisting all that fringe should help keep me out of trouble.

Slow weaving is progressing on a secret project for my guilds annual swatch swap. I’ve found that the 8 treadles are all within reach of my good leg by turning slightly on the bench. Not the most ergonomic process. I don’t want to be labeled a “thrum bag”, so a little weaving will be done over the next days. I’ll write about what I’m weaving after the exchange.

Do your injuries prevent your pursuing your craft or do you find ways to work around them?

Oh no now what

Some days it seems one won’t ever get to the point of weaving beautiful cloth. A simple 8 shaft turned twill makes weaving fairly simple. There’s no need to even use the Tempo Treadle to help with weaving. Just treadle 1-4 two times than 5-8 two times and vala pattern repeat is done. One shuttle to throw so weaving goes quickly.

Weaving did go quickly but a few problems needed fixing first. I discovered when threading that there were not enough heddles on 2 of the shafts. Oh my! I could rethread so the heddles could then be moved around on the shafts. Instead I added string heddles which is a fairly easy fix.

A change in weft colors and varied treadling helped appease the boredom that can set in when weaving multiple towels on a longer warp.

The towels are off the loom and being hemmed. Some will find their way to the CHH gallery at the Guild House in Houston this weekend.

Now to setup the looms for the next projects.

This Amaryllis is blooming on a 24 inch stem. Normally their 10-16 inches tall. The bulbs outdoors are just beginning to send up their buds.

Autumn colors

IMG_6265Every autumn I weave a set of towels in colors of changing trees. There’s not much inspiration here, but my eye can take me back to the years spent in Minnesota.

The towels are a twelve shaft shadow weave, of 22/2 cottolin sett at 20 ends per inch. I used any where from 3 to 5 colors in their weaving. 3 colors in warp, The weft colors were changed as cones were used up to avoid adding to the stash.

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The box above is the 4 shaft extension kit for the Spring loom. Not what I expected for all that money. Anyways it arrived a few days before Hurricane Harvey so was not assembled for several weeks. A few choice words were spoken during assembly.  ( Have you ever assembled IKEA pieces?) My recommendation is if you think you want 12 harnesses invest up front and purchase a 12 shaft loom.

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This bundle of joy arrived a month ago to my Son and Daughter-in-law. We are lucky to live 5 hours away, making it easier to visit my first grandchild.

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A Baby blanket was woven and gifted.

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I’m finishing items for the CHH Annual Sale. So if your in the neighborhood visit and support the Fiber artists participating as well as the Contemporary Handweavers of Houston guild.

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Signs of the coming winter with the Blue Heron returning to the community lake.

 

 

Catching up

IMG_4290How time flies. A weaving state conference, an out of state wedding attended, and recovering from a virus, all in the last 3 weeks.

The Houston weaving guild hosted, the Contemporary Handweavers of Texas Biennial conference 2017, in Sugarland, Texas. I was an attendee and volunteer, helping with the fashion show. As one of the behind the scenes people, I helped  with the preparations, judging and models, to pull off this event. A sigh of relief when at the end of the conference all the garments were picked up by their owners and my duties were done.

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This shawl was my entry in the members exhibit, and modeled in the fashion show. You may remember it from my previous post “All that Glitters“. It was very difficult to photograph. The metallic threads play with the light. I finished the shawl with hemstiching, twisted fringe and gold beads.

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My first class was Exploring  Scandinavian Art Weave, taught by Inga Marie Carmel.  I really enjoyed this class. In my first sampler my bird has issues due to adding to many weft repeats within a block. The second sampler at the top of the post looks much better. This is slow weaving, but I believe you’ll see more in my future.

 

The second day a class by Anastasia Azure, “Woven Metal Jewelry”, filled the day.  Never having taken a jewelry class I found this a bit challenging. On the final day I filled my morning with a Kumihimo class with Rosalie Nielson. An interesting lecture followed by a small hands-on project.

The following weekend my nephew Max & Kelly were married in Madison, Wi. The morning of we explored and found the National Mustard Museum in Middleton, Wi. It was quite interesting, even if you don’t slather mustard on everything you eat.

Sunday on our way back to Milwaukee we stopped and toured an estate known as “Ten Chimneys” in Genesee Depot, WI.  It was the home of Lynn Fontanne and Alfred Lunt who were Broadway legends.

The evening was topped off with a fantastic German dinner at Mader’s Restaurant, in Milwaukee.

Borders

 

 

IMG_5488A horizontal band or accent along or near the edge used to highlight a design is one definition of border.  When I design towels adding a border creates visual interest. The shadow weave towels just off the loom have borders at the bottom edge of the towel. More details about these towels can be found in a previous post In the Shadows.

The middle towel above does not have a border added.

For these shadow weave towels, the border is simply plain weave. The alternating colors create the horizontal and vertical pattern due to the threading of the warp. This border is a simple “color and weave” pattern. The towels border that has 2 bands of pattern is a plain weave, color and weave pattern known as log cabin.

Now that your all confused which towel do you prefer, no border, a border with a single band or block of accent, or the border with 2 blocks (the log cabin design)?

These towels can be found in the Contemporary Handweavers of Houston – Guild House Gallery in  mid May.

 

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I’m transitioning to summer blooms geraniums, marigolds and zinnias. The summer heat is almost upon us.