Monday, January 24, 2011

This is More Like It

This used to be my most favorite part of weaving. In fact it used to be the whole reason for weaving---the moment when I cut it off the loom.

I must admit that this step still has a great deal of appeal, but now it is accompanied by a hint of something else...the mystery of what's next.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Towel Exchange: Maybe I Should Have Taken Notes

It was hard to decide what to call this blog post.
I debated on: DUH!
Win Some Lose Some
Or: There's No Mistake You Can't Fix
Or: I'd Like to Share a Learning Experience With You

Ah, the list is endless....

So as I was weaving away on Gary, I kept glancing over at the towel warp on Grace. Something just didn't seem right.

I was using Syne's recent towel as a basic design inspiration for the towel warp (in addition to using Syne's towel to dry my dishes, note slightly used look)

And I was using the yarn I had left over from my last towel warp.

I was feeling very clever. The only thing I forgot was-----to count the number of ends I would need to create an 18" wide towel sett at 24 epi ( small detail). So now the loom is threaded and I am 80 ends shy of the required number of ends----what to do?

The problem: I do not have any more of the right color ikat. I am thinking I will just wind 80 ends of a solid and put 40 ends on each outer edge.

Actually, I will probably think on it for a while and finish the shawl.

Part of me wonders if I did this on purpose to create some tasty blog fodder. (grin)

Oh yes, 3 people have told me they were sending me towels (plus the one I already have from Syne) so the warp must go on.......

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Big Loom Country and More Weaving

I had the great pleasure of visiting and having lunch with Barbara Hand (and I believe introducing her to the blogasphere and visa versa). It seems that Barbara has been so busy weaving on this 13 ft. Glimakra that she hasn't gotten around to blogging about it. I am sure this isn't the biggest loom in the world. In fact, I think I saw one at least as big in New Mexico, but it may well be the biggest loom in Montana. Oh, please correct me if I am wrong.

I will be happy to to tell you more about Barbara, who has been weaving in Missoula for decades. In fact, she actually lived across the street from me the last time I lived in Missoula. (30+ years ago) I snapped this picture with my phone, so you will have excuse the lack of detail.

Now back to my weaving. I have been totally entranced by the accidental patterns

I decided to use them as random accents.

Each time I weave an accent, it is slightly different.

I know you can hear the last paper dropping off the warp beam. I will complete the weaving tomorrow for sure.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Surprise and Delight

Here is the next installment as promised. What you see below is where I am at this moment.

I am somewhat stymied as to weft selection.

So when in doubt, try them all!

I am particularly delighted with the patterns created by the variegated yarn. (especially when I think of the hours I spent carefully placing each warp end to create a design) (wry grin)

Last night I sent these pictures to the client to see if she had any preference. I had thought the blue would be her choice, but she selected the greenest shade (not pictured in close-up) with occasional variegated stripes.

I need to complete this fairly rapidly (must ship by the end of the week) although my inclination is to linger and enjoy the ever changing shades and nuances.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Commission Inspires A New Palette

There is nothing like a new set a parameters to spark new ideas.

My client wants a shawl she take traveling with her---
1. light weight
2. neutral colors
3. with almost ikat
4. dimensions similar to this but the almost ikat shouldn't be as blocky

She likes the look and feel of the bamboo yarn, so I suggest we try a Color Horoscope Weaving but in a neutral palette. I sent her a Bambu 12 sample card, and together we created this palette

I learned from experience that it is best to wind all the planets first. I spent many (far too many) hours shifting the stripes at 4-end intervals to soften the effect.

If I was going to do this again, I would dye the yarn (or have someone dye the yarn) and do "turned weft ikat". I could achieve a much more interesting effect.

I was very nervous about this piece. Although I had been thinking about a Color Horoscope Weaving in a neutral palette, I really didn't know what it was going to look like. (But it is true that I usually don't know how a warp is going to turn out until I wind it back) I wrote to my client and said "Now, if you don't like this, I will weave you something else." I actually say that to ALL of my clients, and so far I have only had 1 person take me up on it.

Once I got the 10 planets wound, it didn't take very long to wind the rest of the horoscope. I believe I ended up with 16 warp chains. (biting my nails)

And then the moment of truth! I couldn't believe what I many rich subtle variations....

Since I still have not figured out how to load more than 5 pictures (and thank you all for your past advice and suggestions, but I am just not able to) stay tuned for the next installment.

I will say that it gets better (grin)

Also, I have had 2 people take me up on the towel exchange. How exciting!

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Towel Exchange to Start the New Year

I don't know how many remember my ongoing Towel Exchange---it goes like this: You send me a towel of your own creation, and I will send you a towel of mine. Imagine my surprise and delight on the Solstice to receive a package from Syne Mitchell! Among the delightful goodies was a towel (and what a splendid towel it is!) (details of Syne's towel will be featured when I finish my towel for her) All of this has made me remember just how long I have been blogging and how long it has been since I've written anything above and beyond the blog. Here is the last time I did ikat dyeing and taught a turned weft ikat workshop

So pulling the remaining threads together (so to speak), and using Syne's towel as an inspiration

I begin a new year of weaving.

Grace is chosen for the project.

The loom gets dressed.

But wait! I have a rush commission! So towels will have to wait (half-dressed) while Gary steps forward to receive an interesting new warp----

Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Years Picnic Anyone?

I snapped this picture on New Years Day (out my back window) on my way to bed with a winter cold. I am well over it now, but I couldn't resist showing this picture.

My looms are almost dressed and ready to roll. Pictures and story to follow.