Thursday, December 24, 2009

Photoshop Elements 8 for the Holidays

Breanne, my PSE mentor, did this while I told her what I wanted to happen.

Then she went home, (Breanne is also a knitter. She borrowed my Cricket RH loom--- he, he, he) and then I did this. Layers has totally eluded me for years.

At the Northwest Designer Craftmen holiday party, I took pictures of the hands of craftspeople with this idea in mind.
It seems my holiday is taking an unusual turn.

Monday, December 21, 2009

On Holiday

It would seem that I am on vacation, but I will be back.

Here is a detail of a piece I call "The Results of Having Fallen into a Pit of Chenille", a 60" square throw made from the ends of chenille scarves I wove over a period of 5 years.

Here is my holiday card to you all---A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH

I would love to tell you I made this with my photoshop program, but I watched my teacher manipulate layers, but this is what I will learn how to do.

I'll be back soon---Happy Holidays to all.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Virtual Holiday Party from St. Louis

A handful of class participants wore their shawls to the party. Fiber right-to-left: Carrie in wool (done on a rigid heddle loom in three pieces then stitched together); Karen using Cotton Clouds Bambu 7 kit with a Bambu 12 red weft; Marggy used yarns from a Lunatic Fringe gamp kit she had in her stash; Dale also used a Lunatic Fringe gamp kit but her fabric will be cut into for something else; and Dee used a 5/2 pearl cotton from her stash (she will also be cutting into hers to create some kind of wearable, hence the use of a thicker yarn). Lots of members were amazed at the difference in each shawl. It was great to see them all together!

Karen Kelley Schultz


Life has been hectic. I can sum it up in 3 words (actually 2 words and 1 number) PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS 8. That is all I have to say right now.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

She's Up, She's Down, She's Up Again

Every time I would focus on one part of my list, I would get immediately distracted. When I started having flu symptoms again, I knew it was time to postpone Thanksgiving. Now that I am feeling myself again, I got a crown put in my front tooth today. Things went well, but I am just not wanting to post, so consider this a non-post and I will catch you up very soon.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Mental Blogging


My silence is due to a slight flu relapse, but while I have not been "doing" very much in the way of writing or weaving, my mind has been very active.

As you know, I am rather fond of lists. Here a the list of blog posts I have been writing in my mind: (not necessarily in order), so stay tuned. Feel free to request any title.

1. Gratitude list (in keeping with the season)
2. Is it "handwoven" or "hand loomed"? Is there a difference?
3. Woven Images on Display
4. Cashmere Bits and Scraps for Sale
5. Sachet Holiday Special
6. On the Table
7. Visioning for the New Year
8. Celebrating 50 years of weaving
9. Getting re-started, recharged, re-inspired
10. Check out my updates (hopefully this will happen by the time I get to #10)
11. Almost 3 years old---looking back on my blogging journey

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

How Many Golden Orb-Weaving Spiders Does it Take to Weave and 11 by 4 Foot Tapestry?

Answer: One Million!
How long did it take? 4 years
How many people worked on it? 80 (I think those were just the number of people it took to collect the spider silk!)

Back in October, I got a real weaving treat. I went to the Natural History Museum in NYC to see the ultimate labor intensive weaving extravaganza. I was surprised to find there were no signs advertising the weaving. I asked a guard how to find the spider weaving. He said, "Go down this hall until you come to the giant mosquito, turn right and go until you get to the big canoe." And there is was tucked into a corner of a giant room with no hoopla or flashing lights or anything.
Click here to see my first reaction.

What I didn't realize is that is was woven in strips like Kente Cloth. So I imagine many different weavers contributed a strip. Wouldn't you have loved to tried your hand at weaving with this stuff? The main threads consist of 96 twisted silk lines. The brocaded patterns in the tapestry — stylized birds and flowers — are woven with threads made up of 960 spider silk lines.

The band at each edge was woven separately and attached. It looks like the fringe was also attached after the fact. I loved the braided fringe. The braided part of the fringe is about 18" long, and then there is at least 20" of chaos.

I would have give a lot to have been able to touch it. They say it feels like cashmere, but you would think it would be sticky.

Monday, November 16, 2009

How I Spent My...Swine Flu

As my symptoms very slowly recede in the West, I say a fond farewell to the pile of cashmere sweaters patiently awaiting deconstruction.

It takes me between 2-4 hours to prepare a sweater to send to the un-knitting factory (really my 91 year old mother). Each of the rolled pieces is all ready to un-knit with a small ball already started. From the 8 sweaters I started with, I have 3 1/4 lbs of future yarn to send to my mother. The bag of assorted small balls of yarn weighs 4.5 oz. The pile in the upper right corner of the picture is a full pound of sweater scrap that I will not use. I haven't decided exactly how I will dispose of it. I also have 4.55 oz of ribbing that I will not use, not to mention the 2.25 oz bag of short ends.

I haven't done a complete inventory of all my scrap, but I have taken apart well over 100 sweaters. (if the flu lasts much longer I am sure to tackle it)

I still have 50 sweaters yet to be processed! I have to admit I am very reluctant to take apart a perfect sweater. And although it is difficult to felt a cashmere sweater---it is possible. Once a sweater is felted, you can forget about un-knitting it. Maybe I will have to update my languishing Etsy Store.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Upside of Swine Flu

Well, I slipped WAY under the weather. Since I have had my seasonal flu shot, I know this must be the other. So instead of flying to Memphis to teach a workshop, I am tucked up in my cozy nest awaiting the delivery of some health restoring food from Healeo. The Memphis Guild has rescheduled for the end of January pleased that I will not be bringing disease to share along with weaving inspiration. I was at first determined to go no matter what, as I have never canceled a teaching gig before. But once I realized that I really was sick and I could reschedule the workshop, I settled into the "what is".

The first (and most glorious) thing is I got to finally read the wonderful issue of Handwoven. Of course I would say it is wonderful because there is an article by me in there, BUT I am in such good company! Madelyn certainly outdid herself with a whole array of "stars". If you haven't picked up this issue, it is certainly a must have for your weaving library.

AND Sara Lamb's long awaited book--Woven Treasures

I'm sure you all have your copy and have read it from cover to cover, but if you haven't--you are in for a real treat. I have set aside December as the month I will get to play on a rigid heddle loom. I am thrilled to have Woven Treasures as a companion for my new journey. It is the next best thing to having Sara come visit. Who am I kidding? There is no substitute for spending time with Sara Lamb (grin) but her fabulous funny self shines through every page!

It's time for more liquids and back to bed.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Under the Weather

Although I am feeling somewhat under the weather, I am not too sick to weave. I canceled everything else, however.

Unable to decide what color to make the weft, I decided to weave 3" of each of the 12 colors in the warp. The cloth will make a good color exercise to show the Memphis guild.

Or perhaps I am sicker than I think. I did spend most of the day in bed, drank lots of liquids, and vitamin C.

My plan: be in tip top shape by Friday, so back to bed.

Monday, November 9, 2009

So Do I Ever Get to Weave

I thought this was a very nice picture. I had laid out the Mary Meigs Atwater weaving on my table (to cut strips to include in my Color Horoscope Weaving Instructions Packets). I got carried away and started playing with my wrapped birthday blessing words.

Then I started playing around with draping some of my cloths. I finally finished weaving the turned weft ikat scarf in 18/2 Jaggerspun and un-knitted cashmere.

And then I decided to take inventory of my yet to be un-knitted cashmere. There are 43 sweaters on the table, but tonight a fellow brought me 20 more! I am cashmere rich!

I like to weave a piece before I head out to teach although I am not always able to do so. I thought I would weave my horoscope using the Lunatic Fringe yarn. I have never actually woven with it before. Many of my students have used it, so I thought I would give it a try.

I am using a sett of 30 epi.

It remains to be seen if I will actually be able to get it woven off before Friday.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Forth and Back

I had a grand whirlwind trip to Bellingham to spend a day with some of the Whatcom Weavers.
Turned Weft Ikat is a 3-day workshop--that is if one wants to do any actual dyeing, but I did it one day. I opted for "virtual dyeing"

I brought 25 lbs of already dyed yarn, some commercially space-dyed but much of it was ikat dyed skeins I have dyed over the years. I had 2 different weights of bamboo, merino wool, rayon chenille, 8/2 cotton, 20/2 cotton, and 3/2 cotton. Students selected the yarn they wanted to work with, and each person got enough yarn to wind a scarf warp.

Each student also wound a 1 oz skein of undyed Habu bamboo and wrapped it for dyeing (to be actually dyed at home after the workshop).

I got so caught up in trying to get everything done that I didn't really get many pictures. I was trying to give everyone a taste of ikat. It will remain to be seen how successful I was in inspiring the group. I will know if they weave their scarves (grin).

All of this happened in the middle of our first big storm of the Northwest--all very exciting. And now I am home getting ready for yet another trip out into the world. Friday---to Memphis.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Exploring Not So Plain Weave with Jockey Hollow Weavers

I am an hour away from leaving to teach a Turned Weft Ikat Workshop in Bellingham WA, but I couldn't leave without posting about the delightful workshop I taught to a more than delightful guild in New Jersey, the Jockey Hollow Weavers. I'm still not exactly sure where exactly I was in New Jersey, but I am sure this is a great bunch of weavers.

What a fabulous wall hanging, a work of art!

Usually I plan this workshop to last 3 days, but this one (a round robin) was a mere 2 days. I was certain the group would be unable to complete all the samples, but miraculously they did! The 13th warp didn't make it into the picture, but it got done. The main thing I learned is that I need to wind all of the warps myself and send them ready to go on the loom. It would have saved me and each student lots of time and effort although it would have increased the supply fee. In talking to the students afterward, they all agreed it would have been worth the extra money. I learned how to do leno in an efficient way, thanks to Barbara Herbster (grin). I learned that I should have brushed up on inlay, so I might appear to know what I am doing (another grin). I learned that students can get a lot more done than I think they can.

But mostly I am awed by the inventiveness of my fellow weavers and grateful for the opportunity of time well spent together. What a great bunch of ladies!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Sometimes it take longer to complete a project, and sometimes it is worth the wait! And it always is a surprise. You can't even imagine the feel and drape of this blanket. It measured 44" x 104" before I put it in the washer and dryer, and 39" x 96" after. Bamboo and cashmere are such a surprisingly wonderful combination. I have to tell you that the dad kind of commandeered the blanket shortly after I took this picture. I didn't realize I had woven a Blessing Man Blanket rather than a Blessing Baby Blanket. (grin)

I thought I had posted a picture or two of the blanket on the loom, but I don't seem to see it. I won't dig anymore now, but I will instead direct you to my other blog: Inspired By Bonnie. I have 4 new posts there, they are quite interesting--especially the one using supplemental warp combined with Woven Words. Oh yes, the Color Horoscope Weaving done in 3 panels on a rigid heddle loom is rather inspiring as well.

Tomorrow I begin in earnest gathering supplies and packing for my 1-Day Ikat workshop in Bellingham, WA. I leave Wednesday. I am doing things a little differently. I'll tell you about it tomorrow.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hello Blogisphere from the Seattle Weavers Guild Sale

Especially Sue Bye! We miss you too.

For those of you who have never been to this sale, let me tell you it is the most amazing and totally fun weaving event I have ever attended (or been a part of). If there is a recession, you certainly couldn't tell by the people lined up outside waiting for the doors to open. You couldn't tell by the bank of cash registers that never stopped working.
One of the things that distinguishes our sale is that all of the creations are co-mingled in departments. There is everything from clothing

To jewlery
To towels

And everything in between. I was told we had 600 scarves in the scarf department this year.

I haven't seen the sales totals, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn we broke all records. I sold 1/3 of my sachets, but I will talk more about that in a later post.

Below is a picture of my purchases. I always buy one towel. I started doing that 15 years ago because I KNEW I would never weave a towel myself. Even though I have since discovered the joys of weaving towels, I continue to select one favorite from the hundreds that are offered each year.

This year we had lots of wonderful dyed yarn. I couldn't resist getting a skein of Bambu 7 to combine with my solids. And best of all I got the brand new publication by Robyn Spady. I don't see a link for purchasing a copy on her website, but if you contact her I am sure you can get your own signed copy--a must have for your weaving library! Be sure to mention where you saw the link.

Now to but my apartment back in order and begin getting ready for my next workshop---Turned Weft Ikat in Bellingham Washington on November 5.

Oh yes, stay tuned for all the posts I didn't make when I returned from the East.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

All Tagged and Ready to Go

Well, there they are! The final count is 92 lavender sachets. I don't know if it is because I was working with lavender (which is so calming), but this has been a wonderful project from beginning to end.

These little pillows have been created with love and gratitude. I wish you could see them and touch them.

Since each tag is almost as large as the sachet, it is impossible to make the presentation look as sharp as one would like. I do have a concern that the display will look a real mess as soon as people paw through them.

I will report.

Now to the guild and check in......

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hang Tags and Inventory

Thursday is the sale, but preparing items to bring to the sale can be quite an involved task.

Since each little sachet is unique and has a "story", I realized I needed to create a hang tag to explain about the recycled cashmere and woven words and a little about me. This decision came to me too late to hire a graphic designer, and I don't have (or if I do I don't know how to use) a graphics program on my computer-----so I resorted to cut and paste.

Above is the outside, and below is the inside. I decided to have the tag fold vertically. I will let you know how that works out.

I also knew that I could go to Kinkos and have them print it out on card stock, but for some reason I felt compelled to print it at home.
Because I have used somewhat thinner paper than card stock, the results are not as spiffy as they could be---rather homey. I have to say it took some effort to get the back and front to match. Here they are folded and ready for the next step.

The Seattle Weavers Guild Sale is not set up in booths but rather departments. (rugs, clothing, scarves etc) Because of this, each person must fill out an inventory tag and 2 copies of an inventory sheet.

Ninty hang tags ready to go. The next step is to attach each tag to the sachet, so off I go to do that.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oh Did I Mention My Article in Handwoven?

The article features directions for weaving Mary Meigs Atwater's horoscope (pictured above on the loom). To purchase a copy of the magazine, click here.

For those of you who have ordered a draft of your own horoscope, I am currently awaiting the return of Mary's horoscope weaving from Interweave Press. Each order will include a 2" strip of this weaving.

For those of you who have yet to order your own horoscope weaving, you will also receive a 2" strip of the Mary Meigs Atwater weaving while the supply lasts.

For those of you who just want the 2" strip, the price is $15 and a stamped self addressed envelope.

Ninty Lavender Sachets

Ready to be inventoried and tagged---which is no small job.

I want to design and create a splendid hang tag that will explain about the recycled cashmere and Woven Words. I do not have a graphics program on my computer, so I going to do the layout by hand.


You can see the (trying to be invisible) hand stitching I used to close the stuffing space. It took me about 12 minutes to sew each one.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A True Picean Dilemma

What to do? what to do first?
Tell about the absolutely wonderful workshop with the Jockey Hollow Weavers! Can you believe they finished in two days what usually is a 3-day workshop?! I learned so much I hardly know where to begin.


Do I tell about the mind-blowing experience of viewing the spider silk weaving at the Museum of Natural History in NYC?


Do I begin with my making 90 lavender sachets and getting them finished for the sale coming up in 4 DAYS?

Unable to decide, I just didn't post anything. I am so full of weaverly things to share, but the sachets with a deadline have won out. I will post something each day to chart my progress in the run-up to the sale. I really am much further along than the picture above, but that is where I left off in my documentation.

Juicy reports of my trip East to follow after the sale.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pre-Packing Plather

Here are just a few of the supplies I'm bringing for my upcoming workshop EXPLORING NOT SO PLAIN WEAVE at Jockey Hollow Weavers in New Jersey. This will be a "round robin" style workshop if you know what that is. There will be 13 students, 13 looms, and 13 different plain weave variations. Each student gets to weave a sample on each of the looms and ends up with a sample notebook. Tons of fun for the students. Tons of work for the teacher.

The white skeins are bamboo from Habu. The bag of little balls is a lb of assorted un-knitted cashmere. The tubes are Bambu 7 from Cotton Clouds.

I leave first thing tomorrow morning.

I still don't have a lap top computer, so I won't be blogging until I return.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Another Mother and a Bunch of Babies

Lunatic Fringe Yarns

proudly presents…

The Tubular Spectrum

12 Color Kit


Designed especially for Bonnie Tarses’ horoscope workshop!

The kit contains 1 ½ ounces (400 yards) of each of these colors;

5 Purple

5 Red Purple

5 Red

10 Red

5 Yellow Red

10 Yellow Red

5 Yellow

5 Yellow Green

10 Green

10 Blue Green

10 Blue

10 Purple Blue

All of these brilliantly dyed mercerized 100% cotton yarns are from the Tubular Spectrum, our signature cotton yarn collection.

We also have weft yarns available in 20/2 mercerized cotton .

Black: 1# cones (8400 yards) for $24 and ½# cones (4200 yards) for $13.

Check our website for more information about these and other great yarns.

And speaking of Lavender Sachets--- I have sewn them all and am now in process of turning them

Trimming and turning has to be the very best step in a very long process. As I turn each one, I get to see them for the very first time as a single entity. (no 2 are alike, I love that!) You remember they are all from the same warp.


I leave Friday and will be gone until the 14th. I will save the stuffing and hand stitching for my return. After all, that will give me a whole week before the Guild Sale.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mothers of Invention

Meanwhile back in St. Louis I show students how I warp from back to front. One of my goals for this year is to get some YouTube footage of me winding a warp and dressing the loom from back to front. I may have to move that to my goal for 2010, but it is coming. Let me mention Peggy Osterkamp. Years ago she gave me a copy of her first book. Since then she has written much more. I thought her information was excellent and always meant to tell her so. Peggy you are a MOI

For those who arrive at the workshop without their loom warped and ready to go, there is always an inventive soul ready to jump in.

Again let me say hoe thrilled I was to see a Rigid Heddle loom show up at the workshop. This student decided to weave her horoscope in 3 panels. She actually got 2 panels woven during the workshop. By the evening of the lecture, she had all 3 woven and pinned together. Pretty cool!

Here I am at the lecture---Exploring Not So Plain Weave. I like to wear this huipil showing what to do with little scraps of leftover handwovens. I don't have a picture of the back, but it has different scraps. When I am teaching a 2-day workshop, I just turn it around for a new top.