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.
After a trip to Aruba I finished setting up the Spring loom to begin weaving. It required learning new skills to get this far. Yes, I’ve been weaving for over 30 years but there are always new things one can learn about ways to use equipment.
Back to front, Front to back, how do you put on your warp. I had been warping from the front for over 30 years. It started when I was using mixed warps. Then I just got comfortable with doing it that way. So with the Spring I forced myself to learn once again how to warp from the “Back”. The raddle with all the small divisions on the Spring seemed tedious, but that warp sure wound on nice. Threading texsolve heddles is quite different than metal heddles. After threading almost 500 Heddles I seemed to find a way to hold them to make threading more efficient.
Monday I sat down to weave. Of course 3 threading errors had to be fixed before continuing. My first 3 weft throws were good. Then I depressed the 4th treadle, or so I tried. I could not get a shed. I was perplexed. Everything appeared fine. What had I done. The loom is tied up like a countermarche loom. Every heddle gets tied to a treadle whether used or not. Here in lay the problem. That particular harness had been tied to both a rising and sinking Lamm. A harness should only be tied to one or the other. Problem found and solved.
My first warp on the loom is for these cheerful towels. The warp and weft are both 8/2 cotton threaded 24 ends per inch. An 8 harness overshot. By the time the warp is woven off I should be much more familiar with my new friend.
The view from our room in Aruba. The hotels were all along the beaches on this side of the island.
On the other side of the island the beaches are covered with dead coral. The water here is much rougher. The second picture is a large volcanic rock.
The sunset made for a beautiful evening dinner. The next two nights were cloudy, so this was our best sunset.
If your tired of shawls falling off your shoulders an alternative is to make a Möbius Shawl. The trick is to twist the shawl once than stitch one end to the side of the other end. This really is just a fancy poncho, with softer draping of fabric in the front. The technique works well for lighter weight shawls also.
Mobius Shawl Front
Mobius Shawl Back
These and many of my other weavings will be available at the Contemporary Handweavers of Houston Sale. The sale is in a new location this year. I’ll be working several of the days so drop by I’d love to see you.
Just finished dyeing one of the 2 Shibori- handwoven scarves woven earlier this year. Actually the dyeing took place last Tuesday as the temps were dropping, but no warmer days to do this in the near future. So the dyes were prepared In the garage. The scarves with the pattern warps pulled have Procion MX dyes painted onto each side. The scarf was then rolled up in plastic wrap. The temps outdoors had dropped below 70 degrees, so no curing to be done outside in the sun. The scarves were microwaved to steam the dye and left to sit inside until the following day to rinse out. Procion MX dyes need temps above 70 degrees to set.
The completed Boysenberry Handwoven Shibori scarf. It reminds me of the petunias in my garden this summer.
The second scarf was dyed with a Royal Blue and Green. The patterning has a wood grain effect.
In need of wash and press
Unfinished projects. I hate to say how many I have. The trouble is that a woven project is not done until it’s washed and ironed,
the fringe is twisted,
Fringe to twist
Mistakes need repairing.
The Dyeing process is completed.
Projects are sewn.
Labels sewn on and final ironing.
Labels to sew on
Some projects are as time-consuming off the loom as on.
Finishing is where I get bogged down. How about you?
This fella was outside my door, drying his wings.
Hand painted natural dyes with added fabric paintstik highlights
This silk scarf was one of two done in a natural dye extract class at HGA Convergence 2014, taught by Linda Hartshorn. In a earlier post I showed this scarf before I had washed the residual dye out. Waiting the 2 weeks to wash was painful. Very little of the dye washed out, so it was worth the wait. After washing I was unhappy with the indigo squiggles.
Before adding paintstik outlines
The added paintstik highlights added some bling and refined the indigo edges.
Stamped natural dye extract scarf
The above scarf was also done in this workshop. It is much simpler in appearance. Thicken natural dyes were painted on a stamp then applied to the scarf. The leaves were indigo and the bees were logwood. For the bees I would choose a different natural dye to use if I was doing this again. The class was a great way to explore a new technique. An added benefit is walking away with 2 finished scarves to wear myself or give as a gift.
Aegean Norwegian by Lisa Anne Bauch
Weave structure Krokbragd of Linen and Wool.
On a very cold day this week, -15 degrees, I visited the Textile Center of Minnesota, located in Minnneapolis, MN. In the gallery was the Annual Members exhibition January 16-February 26, 2014, ” A Common Thread 2014″. The photo above and those below are a few of the works that caught my eye.
Took a Walk, 2012. by Chiaki O’Brien
This SAORI weaving used cotton,wool roving and white birch bark.
Straw Cocktail Hat, 2013. by Karen Morris
This hat is made from parisisal straw, wire, and dyed straw. The materials used in the weaving allowed the unique shape.
The “Log Cabin Restaurant” in Forest Lake, MN. provided a rustic atmosphere with a delicious warm meal on a cold day. Back in Texas now the cold weather and snow is just a memory.
Crocheted Wool Möbius
Recent weather across the US has been extremely cold. Living in Missouri City, TX a southern suburb of Houston we may not reach freezing temps in the winter. If my house was built for cold temperatures it wouldn’t be such a problem. To help cope I went into the trunk and pulled out wool yarn purchased when I lived in Kansas. The yarn has bits of colored cotton spun into the wool. After moving to Texas I found few people weave with wool, thus why the yarn was in the trunk. Next I searched for those crotchet hooks in the studio that hadn’t been used in years. Once one learns how to crochet it is easily picked up again after a hiatus. This Möbius has helped to keep me warm the last two days with freezing temperatures at night and cold days. This project I whipped out over the weekend as football played on the TV. Simple chain stitch and double crotchet. I’m itching to make
a different designed one using a smaller rayon multi-color yarn. Stay tuned.
Christmas shopping always includes looking at the new decorations available in the local stores. Dillard’s always has some classy decorations. On the edge of the display I found these cotton boll wreaths whose picture needed to be shared with my fiber friends.
Pumpkin Shadow weave towels with beaded counted cross stitch (Fall Leaves designed by Mill Hill)
Hope you have a gastronomic holiday full of wonderful food, friendship and love this Thanksgiving weekend. I am thankful for my loving family, friends and health. Thank you for taking the time to read and interact with me on my blog.