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.
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.
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.
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.
December has been a month of preparation for the coming holidays, so little time was spent on crafts. Family, food and holiday events filled the month. The Mill Hill beaded cross stitch continues to be worked on in the evenings. At least the overall design can now be seen.
I’m setting up my loom to weave some companion fabric for a handwoven Shibori yardage completed earlier this year. Even an experienced weaver makes silly errors. I swear I checked more than once to be sure the cross was properly placed on the lea sticks. I corrected my mistake the best I could . The real test will be when the warp is wound on the back beam.(I setup front to back) so now to begin the threading.
January brings a workshop with Diane Totten. The loom is yet to be setup. All the yarns have been purchased so next weeks agenda will be choosing a weave structure and setting up my Baby Mac.
HAPPY NEW YEAR! May this coming year let you explore your craft to its fullest.
Began weaving another color way using the same turned twill setup for the previous coral towels. These are probably my favorite colors to weave with. I just love a bright blue (royal blue). These will be made with 22/2 cottolin, from my stash. Alas, there is very little of the purple and turquoise remaining after warping.
Doerte Weber I Belong, 2014 Mixed media, structural weaving
Attended “Craft Texas 2014” at the Houston Center For Contemporary Craft, on Saturday. This piece saddened but delighted me that an artistic use was found for some thing I use regularly to create art. The artist used two shafts or harnesses from a loom and numerous heddles which would normally hold the individual warp ends on a shaft to create this work of art.
It’s getting harder and harder to walk at night with the sun beginning to set at 7:15pm central time here in Texas. I’ll have to come up with a different time / place to walk soon.
On this past Friday I took a class on Tablet Weaving taught by Michael Cook. Michael has done some incredible Tablet Woven pieces. On his website you can see examples of his work. Http://wormspit.com
Michael Cook demonstrating Tablet Weaving
Our looms were warped with black and white 10/2 mercerized cotton, using 15 tablets. This gives one a narrow band when woven. More cards are used to increase the width of the band. I used a Schacht inkle loom to weave on. The tablets are turned forward and backward to weave the pattern. Tablet Weaving seemed counter intuitive to me at first. Michael was very patient and encouraging as we learned the technique. The handout provided is also very helpful.
The next day at home I continued to practice Tablet weaving. My sampler was looking better. So in this case practice makes perfect or at least better.
Though I haven’t done any quilting in a long time, the international Quilt Festival in Houston, TX is not to be missed. Between the Vendor Hall and the Quilt exhibits, it is difficult to see it all in one day. My legs are still tired 24 hours later while my brain is imaging all those delicious pattern and color combinations. This year I didn’t buy any fabric, but did buy a jacket pattern to use with some of my handwoven fabric in the future. Other purchases included: novelty threads to weave not sew with, Zippers for handbags, beads for weaving accents, and Dye and synthrapol from PRO Chemical and Dye. After tackling the Vendor Hall I spent time wandering the quilt displays.These are a few of my favorites.
The Peacock by Amira Wishinsky Technique: Bobbin Lace
In my Weaving Studio there is a cork bulletin board that is filled with images of past projects, postcards of famous art work, and images from magazines, and brochures from the guild I belong to. There is a photo taken in a state park in Kansas of an antique industrial weaving loom. Small woven items created by myself or friends also adorn the board. These are all items I enjoy looking at and using for inspiration for future projects.
CHT Fashion Show. My “Spring Views” scarf is being modeled.
I”m a little late with posting about the Contemporary Handweavers of Texas 2013 Conference which took place May 30- June 2. The conference is something I always look forward to. The opportunity to learn new weaving techniques, the fellowship of being around other weavers, and the chance to shop for new yarns in the vendor hall all make attending a conference special. Alas, this year my health got in the way so I was unable to attend. Two of my scarves were in the Members Exhibit, though. Both scarves are handwoven shibori. “Spring Views” is dyed with two colors of Procion dyes. “Rustic” was woven with all black threads and then bleached to create the pattern. The next conference will be in 2015 in Austin, Texas.
“Spring Views” Handwoven Shibori scarf reminds me of the fields of Bluebonnets in the springtime
This is Handwoven Shibori being woven on a floor loom. The weaving is fairly easy, plain weave with a pattern thread every 6 ends. The pattern threads form a fancy twill pattern. I don’t use nylon fish line for my pattern threads which will later be pulled gathering the fabric. I use a 3/2 mercerized cotton yarn that is quite strong. Nylon fish line will not break when pulled. The 3/2 could still break while pulling if pulled too hard. If a thread breaks while pulling it will cause a horizontal band to be dyed in the fabric. This happens since the fabric will not be gathered equally in this area. The tighter the pattern thread is pulled the crisper the dyed design will be. The 3/2 yarn
Handwoven Shibori on the Loom
is much easier to handle and knot after gathering the fabric for dyeing. When I weave this fabric I try to think about what colors I will choose to dye with. The fabric will be used for a garment when completed.
My larger loom sits in my livingroom where visitors and everyone in the house pass by it often. I have had a Summer and Winter piece designed for a study group project on it for nearly 2 years. The design was inspired by the backsplash tiles in our remodeled kitchen. After weaving off samples and 2 towels, I tweeked my lower back. Alas, I could not get myself to go back to the loom to complete the last towel which was half done. The piece wasn’t a dog but a nice art piece on the loom. I needed the loom for a larger piece that could not be woven on my Baby Mac loom. I’m proud to say the towel was completed and a new work is in the process of being threaded.
Close-up of a Handwoven Shibori Scarf, using bleach technique.
Bleached Shibori Sample with pattern threads removed.
Pattern threads pulled creating resist for bleaching process.
I love to experiment, probably has something to do with working in chemical labs early in my career. My newest adventure uses black rayon in both the warp and weft of a Handwoven Shibori piece. Instead of applying dyes to the piece after pulling the pattern threads, I bleached the fabric. It’s important to dilute the bleach so as not to damage the fibers. Also after rinsing the bleached fabric needs to be soaked in a dechlorinator such as hydrogen peroxide found in your local drugstore. A finished scarf called “Rustic” can be seen in the “Handwoven Shibori Gallery”
Weaver, Dyer, Fiber artist. Creating one of a kind Handwoven fashion accessories and items for the home on one of my 2 floor looms. I have been weaving for 40 some years, having learned while in college. The University of Wisconsin Stout offered weaving classes in their Home Economics department started my journey.The beauty of nature provides inspiration for much of my work.