Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Guild Gifts

One of the fun things about the holidays is all the parties that the guilds have. Food, exchanges, gifts, friendship... the list goes on and on.....

Here are a few 'small' things I have received over the years. I have plans for the two buttons, but haven't found the right time to use them yet. The bigger on is felted, the smaller is a bit of hand woven fabric.

If you have time, you might weave a bookmark or just crochet around a card from last year. Sometimes it is the small gifts we receive that stay in our hearts the longest. The tiny bear was knitted with handspun yarn. And how fun is the sheep? The paper weight is a wonderful way to display a bit of hand woven fabric.

Thanks to all my guild friends for such lovely memories!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Shibori Resist Thread

You did know that just because you are 'weaving' a resist thread into your cloth you do not have to go from side to side. Think of your resist thread doing some things that a needle might do.

I think of the places that will not be 'squished up' as blank spaces. These spaces will take on a solid color space. I am thinking I might dye this with just Indigo. But then again, I don't plan on dying this for a few more months. I am just getting things ready for a summer dye session. 

A lot of 'just thinking' going on here!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Woven Shibori Spot Bronson Resist Pattern

Still working on weaving some woven shibori. Going to be a scarf!

The base cloth is plain weave and the resist pattern is Spot Bronson. 
I am using 5/2 as my resist thread on this 10/2 Tencel. 

It will be a while before I can dye it, so I might bring this back in a month or two. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Book Report

I have a new -to me - book. April 2016 Kelly Marshall is going to come to my neck of the woods for a Rep Weave Workshop. When I saw she had published a book, I had her send it to me. You can find it at: http://kellymarshall.com/ 

I have just started reading her book and let me tell you, if nothing else the photo's are excellent. I hope I have some idea what she will be teaching us. It helps if you know the questions to ask when the experts are in the house.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Over-dye Shibori Fabric

I wasn't to excited about how the woven shibori fabric turned out. My friend, Marty, said "Are you going to over dye it?" Hummmmm. So this is what I did!
I took needle and thread and did some shibori stitching

Went with some turquoise

I think it helped

Monday, November 16, 2015

Shibori Towel

You know when you do this Shibori weaving you have to let your fabric dry before you can pull out the resist threads, don't you? So that is what I had to make myself do.... I was really anxious to see what was there.

So here is the end result for the cotton towel fabric.


the rest is just magic!

Remember I told you that this was a 'sample'. See if you can see where the base fabric is twill. And notice the heavily patterned strip. That is why your base fabric needs to be either plain weave or a smile twill. IMHO.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Shibori Dye

I finished one towel, but it's really more of an example towel. Anyway... here it is drying on the back porch. I have turquoise on one side and lemon yellow on the other. And guess what? I will have green is places.

 Now this...mess... I had a piece of cloth I wasn't real excited with, so I took a needle and thread and did some stitching shibori. So that is this.....  we will see if it is something when dried and ironed.

Friday, November 13, 2015


We, just in the past few days, lost our two Dogwood trees. One was a white Dogwood the other a pink Dogwood. They were very old. So when I found this bit of weaving and this frame, I knew I could 'replace' my old trees.

This was my exploration of summer and winter and the different background you can achieve by just changing the order of your tie-down threads.

I will remember the pink and white blooms in the spring and the green leaves in the summer. And I will remember the white snow on the bare limbs on those quite winter mornings.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Shibori towel warp

Weaving white-on-white woven shibori isn't very exciting to watch. But I keep thinking about the final cloth.

These will be kitchen towels. I am using 8/2 cotton warp and weft for the plain weave towel. My resist thread is 5/2 cotton.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

More of This

Working on more Woven Shibori.

This has the twill as the base cloth, instead of plain weave. The resist is also twill! Wonder how it will come out in he dye pot?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Weaving Diva November 2015

Another really great guild meeting. I shared a little yesterday of the program on DPW given by Marty. Now I will share the show and tell. We learn how mistakes were made and corrected. We learn how mistakes turn into great things not expected. And we all learn!

Tomi and her great color work in plain weave.

Missy just kept tying on and weaving on this Deflected Double Weave towel warp. 

We loved the different effects on Missy's samples. just by changing the weft color. 

Marty had fun in the dye pot. 

More from Marty. A Indigo pot was used too!

Janice was at the same dye party as Marty. These small cloths are just awesome.

Janice took her cotton yarn to the dye party and has more colors for her tapestries. 

Marilynn shared three twill block towels. Great use of color and pattern. Are we sure we don't want to do a towel exchange?????

Monday, November 9, 2015

Weaving Diva November 2015 Meeting

Giving the program this month, Marty pulled out an interesting subject to discuss. "Diversified Plain Weave. She made this look like a fun weave to try.

Diversified plain weave (DPW) is a weave that has two different sizes of threads in both the warp and the weft. The find threads weave the foundation and the thick threads create the design. Marty was interested in using her hand spun yarns and this weave structure allowed those hand spun yarns to shine while the thinner, less noticeable yarn could be a commercial yarn.

DPW is a balanced block weave. It can be woven on a 4 shaft loom, but with 4 or more shafts the versatility in creating patterns truly shines. The floats in the warp and weft are never more than two ends long! Marty says a great resource for this is A Weaver's Book of 8 Shaft Patterns by Carol Strickler.

Saturday, November 7, 2015



I have come to the end of 'this' dictionary. Perhaps you would want to create your own. Or maybe you might add to mine.

To me, weaving is an on-going learning experience. Having a dictionary at my fingertips helps me understand the words used. If I know what twill means, I am better able to weave and create twill. If I know the meaning of half-Rya, I can do that. What does overshot on opposites mean? What are thrums? What is the difference between set and sett?

Knowing the meaning of words in the context of weaving helps the learning process.So the next time someone says, "this rug has a nice texture", know they are taking about the nubby or rough surface of that rug. You wouldn't say an Oriental rug had texture as its surface is smooth. But it does have texture. So knowing the way the weaver speaks and thinks is assisted by weaving dictionaries.

One of the very first things I learned was weaving had its own language. And the next thing I learned was that weaving words were used as a way to explain the ways of the world.

Friday, November 6, 2015

"Z" is for Z-Twist

"Z" is for Z-Twist

When the single thread was spun in a clock-wise direction a "z" twist thread was made.

In India, cotton is always spun with a "z" twist which causes greater shrinkage in the setting process. According to tradition this makes the resulting thread stronger. (Swatch Page, Spinning Helps & Hints, no date given).

Two z-twist threads plied together in the s-twist will give a very stable yarn.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

"Y" is for Yarn

"Y" is for YARN

"The structure of a fabric or its weave - that is, the fastening of its elements of threads to each other - is as much a determining factor in its function as is the choice of the raw material." This great quote is from the book On Weaving by Anni Albers.  

Yarn is the weavers raw material! You can cut up a pair of blue jeans and bring it to the loom and it is now thought of as 'yarn'. You can grow your own cotton, spin it and it becomes yarn. Shear the sheep and make a roving and weave with that, it becomes your yarn. Spin gold into thread. Place nettles in the tapestry. Sweet grass not only looks exciting woven into a mat, it smells good too.

Yarn is made out of most things under the sun. And some yarns are even made in a lab. 

Look around for your yarn. Look around your pasture. Look on the street corner. Look when you are at the creek. Look when you take a walk. Look for a vendor. (my favorite way!)

If it can go through a shed, it just might be yarn. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

"X" is for David Xenakis

"X" is for David Xenakis

Back in the 80's there was this really great weaving magazine called "The Prairie Wool Companion." The editor was David Xenakis. A wonderful resource. He favored rigid heddle looms, but the magazine also showcased 4-8-12 and more shaft looms.

So if you wanted to weave, didn't have a lot of money or room for a large loom, you could still create great things. Then when that magazine left the scene, the magazine "Weaver's" came to be and he was the contributing editor for it. He even put out a monograph on rigid heddle weaving. Neither one of the magazines companies are still around, but if you can find them in your local guilds, through Complex Weavers, or even HGA you need to check them out.

They didn't just do one page of info and one page of photos, they explained and helped you understand what you were doing. They wanted you as a weaver to explore and maybe even learn something.

Prairie Wool Companion.3 early issues. Pre-cursor to Weaver's magazine.  Great reference for fiber, spinning, weaving and dyeing techniques

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

"W" is for Weaving Conferences

"W" is for Weaving Conferences

There are several conferences out there for weavers. Some are big affairs and others are small gatherings. Here are few I think you might consider going to. The learning and networking with others weavers cannot be understated. This is just a sample of 2016 and 2017 conferences. Check out a location near you!!

Convergence 2016 in Milwaukee, WI, July 30-Aug 6. This is put on by Hand Weavers Guild of America.

Handweavers Guild of America

Midwest Weavers is one of my favorites. It is small and personal and most times is close to me. June 12-17, 2017 in Indianapolis.

MWA Logo

Complex Weavers is an online guild that holds conferences too! You can find them in St. Charles, IL June 17-19, 2016.

This is by the Missouri Fiber Artists in St.Louis, Missouri April 13-14 for pre-workshop with Judy Dominic, Conference April 15-17, 2016.

Missouri Fiber Artists

Monday, November 2, 2015

"V" is for VAV

"V" is for VAV magazine

This Scandinavian weaving magazine is a great resource for weavers. They put out 4 issues a year. And they even put out books. It is always interesting to read about weavers who are 'across the pond.' But several American and Canadian weavers have great articles too. I love looking at the advertisements. So if you get a chance, pick up a copy and check them out!

In my personal library I have these two copies, 4/11 and 4/12. And also I have the book "HAPPY WEAVING from VAVMAGASINET"."  This book is just full of inspirations as are the magazines.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

"U" is for Umbrella Swift

"U" is for Umbrella Swift

It is hard to take a skein of yarn and wind that on the warping  board, but this little beauty will help you get into a ball which is easier to work with. Works with most sizes of skeins. A great time saver!