Saturday, January 28, 2012

Meanwhile on the Other Side of Town

I took a little break from getting ready to teach a workshop in California to co-teach a little kumihimo braiding workshop to my guild, Missoula Weavers Guild.

Imagine being able to re-create amazingly complex braids with a little square of Masonite.

Although we looked at many wonderful reference books, the main source of inspiration comes from Roderick Owen's book, Braids, 250 Patterns from Japan, Peru and Beyond.

The process was just complex enough to keep everyone engaged and easy enough to be lots of fun.

No time to thread the loom today or to pack, but tomorrow is another day.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Going on the Loom

I like to divide the process of setting up the loom into several small steps. (especially since I am teaching a Kumihimo workshop tomorrow for the Missoula Weavers Guild.)

I do love the step below. It is the first time I get to see what the warp looks like.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chenille, My Old Friend

Here I am having taught 2 workshop already this year, about to teach one this weekend (all 3 local), and preparing to head down to San Luis Obispo to teach a new (in name and focus) workshop called INTENTIONAL DESIGN. I will talk more about this in another post, but one of the things I like to do before a workshop is to wind a warp and set up my loom while I focus on the upcoming workshop.

There are 18 students in SLO winding warps and setting up their looms as I write. They will arrive at the workshop ready to weave.

I thought the least I could do was to share their experience.

In the spirit of "multitasking, I decided to get started on a commission---a Color Horoscope Weaving in Rayon Chenille. For some reason, I started wearing my own Chenille Horoscope Weaving around town. I wove this piece about 15 years ago. It is sooo 20th century (grin). But to my amazement, folks in Missoula are crazy for chenille.

Another surprising fact about chenille is that my 15 year old shawl (which I have treated rather badly to see how it would hold up) looks brand new! In fact, I have it draped over my shoulders as I write.

Because of the thickness of the chenille, I have to wind the warp in 4 sections (pictured above). So to Patty (whose shawl this will become) and the Weavers Guild of San Luis Obispo (who are winding and threading), I dedicate my latest weaving efforts.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Stash Reduction/Stash Expansion: ZYG in 2012

How to achieve ZYG--Zero Yarn Growth:

I don't have a huge yarn stash, but I certainly do have one. Over the years, one acquires yarn to precious to use up or trade away. Because I have moved 3 times in as many years, I have de-stashed quite a bit, but still... The natural dyed silk (much of it 50/2) was custom dyed for me by Cheryl Kolander in the mid-80's. I have been carrying it around knowing that I would weave something with it some year. This will be the year!

There are at least 2 basic ways of approaching "what to make next".
1. I want to make a set of towels to match my kitchen. I decide what fiber, colors and amounts I need and then I shop for that yarn.
2. What can I make with the yarn that I have on hand.

Of course, there are variations, but basically that's it.

One of the techniques I use in managing "the yarn I have on hand" is to lay it out on the floor and start moving it around like a puzzle. I like to say that the yarn discusses what it wants to weave.

Sometimes these discussions can last for weeks. Both below and above show the beginning of a discussion.

Every time I weave something that reduces my stash, I will then weave something with new yarn. That way I will continue to support my yarn suppliers.

Onward to a Peaceful and Abundant new year!