Monday, August 24, 2009

Seattle Sachet Summer

This weaving is really going to be difficult to cut up! These will not be the only pictures of this cloth---just the first.

I can't begin to describe what the cloth feels like! Well, yes I can. It feels just like a cashmere sweater--actually like lots of cashmere sweaters.

Each color change represents a different sweater.

Oh, by the way, pictures were taken outside the Asian Art Museum in Seattle, WA. It is closed on Mondays so I didn't have to fight with any kids for a seat on the camel. When I first moved to Seattle, the camels (there are two of them) were marble. They were moved indoors and replaced by these concrete ones.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Favorite Part

Of course it helps to have an elegant pair of scissors (grin).

Confession: I am semi-ambidextrous. I cut with my left hand which makes it extremely easy to snap a picture with my right hand.

This warp will yield 104 lavender sachets--more pictures to follow.

Now I have to turn my attention to all the OTHER things I have to do before the end of the month.

I thought August was supposed to be slow month!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

When in Doubt....Blog

As my TO DO list grows by leaps and bounds, I seek refuge at the loom. Who knew weaving would become a form of procrastination?! But now I have to take a little break from the loom and procrastinate just a little more. When I view blogging as a form of procrastination, how much more fun!

Before I continue, please check out this lovely review of the Golden Gate Fiber Institute and see a lovely horoscope warp.

Although the Seattle Weavers Guild Sale is at the end of October, I must get some weaving done for this event since a picture of my lavender sachets is featured on the postcard.

My goal with this warp (besides cutting it up into 6" squares and sew into sachets) is to make each 6" square different. This is a very exciting design as you go (wefty) weaving.

My goal in the previous sachet warp was to design the whole cloth. Even though plan plan was to cut it up, I wanted it to hold together as a single design.

I'm sure this piece will be much more fun to cut up. In answer to Valerie, check out the shuttle below. This is my new shuttle I was lucky enough to win at Golden Gate. Winding weft by hand may seem insane (and maybe it is), but I have at least 2 valid reasons for using a rag shuttle.

1. Winding small amounts of yarn and frequent intervals forces me to take lots of weaving breaks. Next year I will celebrate 50 years of weaving. I owe my weaving longevity to this "slow" method.
2. Since I don't spin, I winding weft by hand give me an opportunity to handle every inch of yarn.
3. I am able to blend and design multiple strands of yarn (virtual spinning)

Now that I am finished procrastinating on my procrastination, I will go back and weave off this warp.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

SLOW CLOTHES at the Golden Gate Fiber Institute

I sat down at the loom and as I began weaving my new lavender sachet warp, my mind drifted back to the profound and amazing experience I had in California. It has taken me almost two weeks to digest my time at The Golden Gate Fiber Institute and certainly longer than that to "get" the theme of conference---SLOW CLOTHES. I realize now it was probably just as well that my camera was lost as it has gotten me to re-create images in my mind that I never would have been able to capture in a picture.

The slow movement says, essentially: slow down and live better.

(I believe my approach to weaving is in line with SLOW. I don't even own a bobbin winder and never have)

But I digress---Although the setting for GGFI was rustic, angels brought me warm bedding, a foam pad for between me and the scout camp plastic covered mattress, and a handwoven rug for beside my bed (just to name a few urban amenities). I slept very well! There was indoor plumbing and lots of hot water AND fantastic food. What else could a gal want?! Point Bonita is not far from the big city, but seems very remote. I delighted in the cool misty weather as it felt just like Seattle in the spring. Meanwhile Seattle was having recordbreaking heat! In addition, the cool weather gave me an opportunity to wear a different woven shawl every day.

Because the conference was small, there was a level of intimacy I had never experienced at a Fiber event before. I sat with different folks at every meal enjoying a wide range of engaging topics (more on that at a later date).

The teachers were a lively bunch, and every evening teachers and students gathered for delicious show and tell AND some of the best and copious door prizes I have ever seen. (every night for six nights!)

One of the best parts of the week for me was that I got to actually TAKE A CLASS with
Jeane deCoster

knitter, weaver, spinner, designer, owner of Elemental Affects

Jeane deCoster is a life-long fiber junky who chose her undergraduate degree because sewing was the only thing she could stand doing for 8 hours at a time. Making clothes to fit was (and is) an endlessly fascinating puzzle.

Who knew I would spend several mornings running around with my top off in class?! (Here is where the imagination is better than the camera) . Students brought garments to alter and/or to make patterns from.

The garment I had with me (I didn't realize I was actually going to take a class, so I didn't plan what clothes to bring for the class), is the Huipil I wove and made in 1994 when I was president of the Seattle Weavers Guild. The panel to the left is Bette Midler's horoscope, Lily Tomlin on the right, and Mae West in the middle. I always like to wear this when I teach. It gives me lots of good energy.

The thing that was fascinating about this garment is that EVERYONE tried it on, and EVERYONE looked great in it, much to the amazement of all. Jeane had pointed out after we all took our measurements that most of us regardless of our size and shape have roughly a similar shoulder width, and the huipil has a strong shoulder emphasis.

I made a drawing of the pattern and gave it to everyone (and is here for you as well)

I consider myself semi-sewing challenged, and I actually sewed the huipil. In addition, I was 60 lbs. heavier when I first made and wore it.
If you are looking for an unique fiber experience, I highly recommend you give the Golden Gate Fiber Institute a try.

Tomorrow I will tell you about the things I learned (always a good sign when one goes off to teach).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Camera Arrives

I didn't realize just how much I love and missed my trusty Nikon Coolpix P5100! Although they no longer make this model (isn't it always the way), I found one on-line for less than I paid for it a year ago. My new camera arrived yesterday! I am a happy camper.

While I was waiting for the camera's arrival, I finished dressing the loom for the blessing baby blanket.

And finished winding the warp for another series of lavender sachets I will be selling at the upcoming Seattle Weavers Guild Sale in October.

I finally figured out why I like setting up the loom so much. It is always a complete surprise to see what the warp is going to look like. I don't have to wait until I begin weaving. I don't even have to wait until I thread it through the reed. Just a few minutes into the raddle, a quick lashing onto the bar and voila!

If I weren't planning to cut this warp into lots of 5" squares, I might have paid more attention to the overall look of the piece, but I am rather charmed by the carefree look of it.

More to follow

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


If you live long enough, straight lines have a way of bending to make a circle.

Back in the 70's when I lived in Montana, I had some weaving students. Since I was not affiliated with any weaving guild at the time, I decided to call ourselves The Renegade Weavers Association.

There was no membership fee and only one qualification to become a member.

QUALIFICATION: To have never woven a place mat!

In the years that followed, (in moving from hubris to humility) I finally wove a place mat and forgot all about the Renegade Weavers.

Phillipsburg, Montana 1975
from l to r: Carol, Bonnie, Karrie, Carole

Recently, I fished out these pictures and sent them to the ladies, much to their delight. We have scattered to the winds, but now we are planning a reunion.

The Renegade Weavers Ride Again!

If you wish to become a member of the RWA, send me an email.
The one and only qualification is that you believe you are a Renegade Weaver. You know who you are (grin)!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I'm Back---Sort Of...

I had a wonderful trip, workshop, adventure and visit with friends-relatives. I learned a lot, ate a lot and met lots of wonderful people. Sadly my camera was lost, so you will just have to imagine the fantastic scenery and amazing spinning and weaving. My new camera has been ordered. Now I just have to wait patiently for its arrival.

Although the Nikon Coolpix P5100 is no longer being produced, I managed to find some online. I really love this camera.

Meanwhile I will be dipping into my photo archives and will discuss a most interesting subject that came up during the workshop.