Friday, May 29, 2009

A Word About Cashmere Dollars

What are Cashmere Dollars, you might ask? Every (imperfect) cashmere sweater a person sends me gives them a $50 credit towards a custom designed scarf/shawl up to 80% of the total cost of the weaving. Most weaving purchased with Cashmere Dollars becomes a Woven Words scarf, but Fran from Calgary decided on a Color Horoscope Weaving instead.

Fran favors sunset colors, so I selected an array of 12 such hues from my cashmere stash. I matched the coral thread I used for my floating selvedge. (my spell check doesn't agree with my spelling here, but I like it)

When I weave, I triple the weft and change one of the 3 strands at regular intervals creating an interesting shading effect. I pull the knotted tails out of the shed.

And then just trim them right off. The remaining 2 strands of weft are strong enough to not compromise the cloth. I am semi-haphazard in my shading, but it is possible to be extremely precise.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Cards Ready to Send---at last

Whew! I am finally gathering my energies after getting a semblance of an Etsy Shop up an running. The experience has left me with a feeling of both satisfaction and suspense.

A huge thank you to Sandra Rude for telling me how to put type ABOVE images! It is easy. I am also having a problem with the same finger of the same hand! I guess it doesn't matter how many harnesses a person has (grin).

At least a month ago, 16 people voted for their favorite greeting cards. I said I would send each person who voted, their favorite card, if they would send me their mailing address. At last, these cards are ready to send! Alas, I can find only 4 addresses : Katherine, Fern, Charlotte, and Denyse. Your cards are pictured below and will go out in the mail tomorrow.

Here are cards below for Heidi, Deanna, Irma, Carol, Holly, Margreet, Martha, Bonnie S, Meg, Cindie, Leigh, and Valerie. I am sure that Irma sent me an address, but I can't locate it, so please resend. The rest of you, send me an address if you wish......

Now that I have completed this little project, I can begin to move forward again.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Up, Running and Published!

I have yet to figure out how to make the writing on the blog appear above the picture! There are several things I want to say before I talk about the pictures, so pretend you don't see them yet.

First and foremost, read my new article just out on WeaveZine! It is called (oddly enough) OUTSTANDING MORAL FIBER, WEAVING WITH RECYCLED CASHMERE.

And second up is my Etsy Store, Bonnie Tarses Designs! It is an ever changing work in progress, but I have cashmere and cashmere related items.

And third, I put this warp on the loom last weekend....something happened.

Most of the cloth I weave with un-knitted cashmere is warp dominated. The cashmere adds a luxurious texture, warmth, and drape but remains a subtle undertone. I wondered what would happen if I changed the sett of Bambu 7 yarn from 20 epi to 15 epi, so I did.

Here is a delightful weaving method full of surprises. First I line up as many different colored balls of yarn as I want to use. I must have collected at least 100 different shades of cashmere. In this case, I picked out light to dark neutrals. Then I pick up any light threads and wind them together on my rag shuttle. I wind to the count of 5 (It could be any number you choose). I break the lightest

of the three threads and tie on another ball of a slightly darker thread. I wind to the count of 5 and break off the now lightest thread. (Some people will do anything to not dye yarn)

Triple weft threads create subtle and rich color possibilities. There is probably a Japanese name for this method of creating yarn.

Although this technique is used in Saori Weaving, I first came upon it back in the 70’s in Peter Collingwood’s book The Techniques of Rug Weaving, p. 130, Meet and Separate Technique, B. Method Using Clasped Wefts. I am surely using the clasped wefts in a more Saori style because I am weaving without any sort of plan.

And of course I have to toss in a little variegated yarn for color.

I love the look! I haven’t cut this off the loom yet, so I can’t report on how it finishes.

Stay tuned.....

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

True Confessions

This has been a week of challenges, resistance and creative procrastination. There, I've said it!

Bonnie Tarses Designs, my Etsy Store is kinda up (not much on the shelves yet). My mastery of weaving sure doesn't carry over to setting up an on-line store. I am well out of my comfort zone and have hesitated to share my shortcomings.

I have found that if I do something fun first, then I can spend about a half hour working on the store before I have go run away from the computer. So HELP! Please stop by my store and give me some feedback---like prices too high, prices too low, typos, unclear descriptions.

It is certainly a work in progress. I decided to list the easiest things first, so more items will appear daily.

I know most of you are not "into" astrology and the term "Mercury Retrograde" doesn't mean much. Just let me say that starting a new venture during a retrograde Mercury would have astrology buffs shaking their heads in disbelief. Mercury is the planet that rules communication....need I say more.

TO KIMBERLY! I have not been able to email you. My messages to you keep bouncing back. (another example of Mercury Retrograde)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Celebrating 50 K Visitors--With Deep Appreciation

I've been wanting to post this picture for ages, but it never seemed to fit a topic (not that it does now). Since I couldn't seem to find the appropriate image to mark this milestone, I fished up an ikat image I wove in the early 80's shortly after I moved to Seattle. I visited Montana often the first couple of years I moved away though and always found great backdrops to display weaving.

Thanks to everyone! I have certainly enjoyed the blog experience far more than I thought possible. Whereas having a blog hasn't inspired me to begin writing a book or monograph....


Since people keep sending me "Inspired by Bonnie" pictures and paragraphs, I decided this is a topic that needs its own space. I will put a link on the side bar. I hope you like the change and will pop over and visit from time to time.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Cuttin' Up

I used to believe the best part of weaving was having woven. I couldn't wait for the moment my scissors would release the warp from the loom.

Don't get me wrong, I adore the thrill of seeing time stretched out in a colorful path and wallow in delight of accomplishment. But every step of the journey holds a particular joy for me.

This piece is Mary Meigs Atwater's horoscope in Bambu 7. I wove it to cut up for swatches included in my Color Horoscope Weaving Kits.

Now back to working on my Etsy Store. I am up to writing my bio.