Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Loom Upgrade

Okay, who can tell which of these table napkins was woven using a mechanical dobby, and which the electronic dobby? (Hint: I can't, and I wove them both.) These have a section of huck lace in the center of them, with plain weave in the striped borders. In the middle of a run of napkins, the CompuDobby I ordered arrived from AVL Looms. So I decided to swap it in.


I had to remove the main roller from the dobby head, and a bunch of parts from the side. Here they are along with some of the dobby chain (wooden bars with pegs) that drives the mechanical system, my box of extra pegs and pegging tool.

The replacement for all that is this black box, magnet, and pair of sensors to tell if I have the dobby bar raised or lowered as I'm weaving. Installation involved drilling one hole, so I had the BF come over and do it -- no way I trust my (lack of) woodworking skills to that! It all went surprisingly smoothly and is working great so far. I like not having to screw in all those little pegs for every project, or swap out chains just to switch from pattern to tabby areas. However it's going to take some getting used to having a loom with an "on" switch!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Art Show this Weekend - Fiber Art and More

See my work and lots more at the annual Studio Arts Festival hosted by the Irvine Fine Arts Center in Heritage Park. I'm participating as a member of South Coast Weavers and Spinners Guild.

Date: Saturday, June 3, 2017
Time: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Location: 14321 Yale Ave., Irvine (in Heritage Park)
Admission and parking: Free

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Layered Sprang on RH loom

After reading my scarf project article in Mar/Apr 2016 Handwoven magazine, rigid-heddle weaver Amanda Cluxton figured out how to do sprang on weaving on a rigid-heddle loom. Check it out in the photo:  where it is woven in, her supplementary warp is just "sistering" the ground warp in plain weave. Cool!

You can see another shot of the project off the loom and more of Amanda's projects at ravelry.com under user acd101.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Dye Day Blah Results - and a Pleasant Surprise

It was a beautiful day to spend at the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens for the annual Fiber Arts Day. I was one of the dyers again (our fourth year now!). We had our usual beautiful setting under a nice shade tree beside the herb garden. I had fun sharing about dyeing and the fiber arts with the hundreds of visitors coming through the Gardens.

My dye results were less than successful, the beauty of the day notwithstanding. Out of my four dyepots I'd planned, only one - the madder - turned out as I'd hoped. One didn't even make it as far as getting the yarn in.  The other three are pictured here. From left to right, olive leaves (alum mordant), olive leaves (copper mordant), madder (alum), madder (copper), avocado pits (alum), avocado pits (copper).

After a long day with less-than-desireable results, it was a super pleasant surprise to come home to a package on my doorstep from Colorado.  Schacht Spindle Company gifted me a beautiful shuttle, complete with a note from Barry Schacht. It made my day!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Whoo-hoo! Cover Girl


My scarf with Danish medallions is on the cover of Handwoven magazine this month; how cool is that? This issue covers all different types of finishing techniques, so it's pretty yummy if you're into handwork like me. These techniques can be applied to almost any loom including rigid-heddle looms.  Pick up your copy at Interweave, https://www.interweave.com/store/handwoven-may-june-2017-digital-edition .

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Retreat Report

I had a wonderful time teaching at CNCH! Here are a few photos from my class on layering sprang on handwoven fabric. First, the classroom, which was located about as close to the beach as they get.

Some views of the students work. They all were experimenting and seemed to have a great time doing it.  Everyone got beyond the basic 1/1 interlinking, and they were trying out some fun things I wouldn't have thought of. Innovative, creative work!

Including one who decided to work sprang on the reverse side of her fabric, so we turned the loom upside down!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Shadow Weave - A New Love?

After finding that gem called "shadow huck", I thought I was done - successfully - with trying to find a way to like shadow weave.  Moving on, I started weaving some samples from Peter Collingwood's The Techniques of Rug Weaving, starting with the 2/2 straight draw twill and all its color-and-weave combinations.  But then I started "reading ahead" and what did I find but shadow weave! This is the draft from page 291, a simple 4-shaft with the 4 blocks in a straight twill order, with a reversal.  The first sample on the left is treadled as normal for shadow weave, alternating 2 colors pick-and-pick.

Then he gives a couple ways to expand or extend the treadling so that the pattern isn't so "squashed".  I won't attempt to redraw his nice diagram; this is straight from that page. The second sample above uses (a) and the third is (b).

I needed to convince myself I understood this well enough to apply it to a pattern using more than 4 shafts, so I chose a classic draft from Carol Strickler's A Weaver's Book of 8-Shaft Patterns.  This is #301, an undulating pattern that can be treadled to look a bit like leaves. This is actually only a segment of the threading as my samples were only 32 ends wide.  Again the 3 samples are normal straight treadling and the 2 extensions.

That pattern was too large for the tiny sample, so I tried a smaller pattern, this diamond shape flanked by a zigzag, a segment from Strickler #298. I think the design shows best with the (b) extended treadling.