Tag Archives: Fiberarts

Cotton Boll Wreath

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.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Pumpkin Shadow weave towels with beaded counted cross stitch (Fall Leaves designed by Mill Hill)

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.

Handwoven Shibori Snake

Handwoven Shibori snakeThis project has been a long time in process (see earlier post: Handwoven Shibori on the Loom). I just finished creating the “snake.” It is 3 1/2 yards of plain weave fabric with pattern threads in a twill weave. The pattern threads which are pink have been pulled tightly. These threads were woven in after every 8 shots of plain weave weft. It took way too long to pull up these threads. The next step is to dye the piece. The dye will not be able to penetrate into the folds of fabric created when pulling the pattern threads. I’m hoping temperatures will cool off from the 90’s with high humidity that we’ve been having so I can dye this piece outdoors. The question is what colors should be used? One color dye will be applied to the front and a second to the back. For now this remains a piece in progress.

Black and White Inspired by Picasso

Inspired by Picasso exhibit Black and White

Inspired by Picasso exhibit Black and White

The Museum Fine  Art Houston now has on exhibit Picasso Black and White. Viewing others art can be an inspiration in one’s own work. In this case I chose to design a scarf using three of the colors most seen in this exhibition, black, white, and gray. I also wanted to have a larger scale pattern. The pattern used in weaving this scarf is  a deflected double weave. It is woven using eight harnesses. When the scarf is removed from the loom and washed the yarns will relax and shift or deflect. It will be a while before this is woven off and finished. I’ll post a picture of the completed scarf then. This pattern boldly shows off the monochromatic scheme. Thank you Picasso for the inspiration.

Brazilwood Dye Bath

skeins hand dyed with Brazilwood

skeins hand dyed with Brazilwood

Today’s adventure involved natural hand dyeing by myself. Previously my dye days were with a group of other weavers led by another fiber artist. On the last dye day, I came home with a gallon jug each of Brazilwood and Logwood dye baths that were not spent. Also, a baggy for each, with the wood junks and shavings used as the dyestuff wrapped in cheesecloth. The yarn, 80% wool and 20% silk blend that was a dusty light  Yellow color, had been in my stash for too many years. This was  wound into 5 – 2 oz. skeins. The over dyed yarn will be the weft yarn for a future throw. The warp yarns will be from a previous natural dye day. ( See post Natural Dye Day, Feb. 28, 2013.) I mordanted the yarn using alum and cream of tarter. The Brazilwood dye bath is setup on my outdoor grill’s extra burner. The bath was heated to approximately the same temp as the mordanted skeins that were still quite hot. The skeins were allowed to simmer for about an hour producing this beautiful color. Since I only had one heat source my dyeing must be confined to one dye bath at a time. The logwood dye bath will be for a future adventure.

Rodeo Weaving Time

CHH  weaving & spinning demonstrations at rodeo

CHH weaving & spinning demonstrations at rodeo

It’s Houston Livestock and Rodeo time. During the rodeo Contemporary Handweavers of Houston guild members volunteer by demonstrating weaving and spinning. The rodeo created this nice little raised booth for us. School groups come by week days as well as other visitors. We have members demonstrating on weekends also. Questions range from are you knitting, what are you making, how long does it take to set up, or learn, ect.. One man wanted to discuss the mechanics behind different loom designs. For the most part we talk about the process of taking fiber (wool or cotton), spinning it into yarn, then weaving the yarn into cloth. On this day there are 2 weavers and a spinner demonstrating. So what do we do with the fabric that is woven? Make cat toys which will be sold at the guilds annual sale in the fall. If you’re visiting the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
Cotton Booth with small cotton gin, was next to our booth at the rodeo

Cotton Booth with small cotton gin, was next to our booth at rodeo

stop by our booth and talk a spell as we share our craft.

Natural Dye Day

Yarn skeins drying after being dyed in a variety of Natural Dye baths.

Yarn skeins drying after being dyed in a variety of Natural Dye baths.

Indigo, Logwood, Brazilwood, Osage Orange, Peach, Lichen, Cochineal, Achiote, Onion skins, Henna, Golden Rod and Madder were all used to make Natural Dye baths. Cheryl, a member of our WOW study group hosted a natural dye day at her home. From her days in Louisiana working at a plantation hosting Natural dyeing and weaving activities, she developed a love of dyeing that she enjoys sharing with others. Wool yarn was my fiber of choice to dye. The yarns were prepared by washing in a mild soap to remove any dirt and or spinning oil. The yarn was brought whetted out for better dye penetration. Some of the dye skeins were put into a mordant bath (Alum). Then the fun began choosing which baths to use to create a wide spectrum of color.