Yesterday was the Autumn Equinox, and the beautiful northwoods of WI now has beautiful color.
Meanwhile, I continue with woven shibori scarves since all but one were sold during the art tour.
It’s always good to see the number of warping sticks go down!
I was hoping for three scarves and another long piece that would, after dyeing, be cut up and used for smaller items. Unfortunately one of the scarves had a one row treadling error which I did not notice until after dyeing. Happily, my daughter wants it and does not mind.
The next part of the process is to gather and tie, as tightly as possible, the “pattern threads” which are removed after dyeing.
The pieces were left to dry outdoors for a few hours, then brought inside. They are not opened until dry, or nearly dry if I cannot wait to see the results.
Due to the tight gathers, when first opened the scarves are quite crinkly, reminding me of collapse weave. However, the scarves must be washed and well rinsed to remove any dye not attached.
Scarves are hand-washed in a mild soap, then repeatedly rinsed until the water is clear. After air-drying they are pressed and fringe is hand-twisted. The results are,…
The goal is for each scarf to be unique. One more warp and it will be time to explore new ideas.
Above is a woven shibori scarf, 4 shaft Monk’s Belt. I enjoy creating one-of-a-kind scarves by varying the treadling on each one.
I am hemstitching these scarves on the loom. Normally I would break up the threading to avoid reed marks, but leaving it has been useful when hemstitching 3 threads in each group.
Both of these scarves are from the same warp, same threading, and were treadled differently for different results.
I’m back at work, getting the Glimakra Regina rug/tapestry loom ready to be warped. Heddles and cords were given the “spa” treatment, heddles were clipped apart, and put on two shafts. The shafts were then fastened to the loom. All that is left is to add the treadles, remove remnants of the old warp, make a new warp, and beam/thread/sley it. And then WEAVE!
It was time to declutter and clean the studio for the summer Northwoods Art Tour.
Studio, with Glimakra Standard.
The studio was decluttered, books shelved, cones of yarn put in order, weaving displayed. The Glimakra Standard had woven shibori in progress, along with a scarf that had been indigo dyed and still gathered and tyed, with only a few knots removed to show the resulting fabric as a demo.
The Glimakra single unit drawloom had demo weaving in progress. It was rather frustrating to weave on as the humidity was so high warp threads were sticking together, making it difficult to get a clear shed. Visitors found the loom fascinating.
The north end of the room was set up for more demos – band loom, spinning, and the 1908 Gearhart sock machine. Many wanted to see everything in action.
Despite the threads sticking due to high humidity, I was very pleased with the “landscape” effect of the variegated yarn I decided to try that first morning, and I’ll be working with that more.
Chatting with art tour visitors, sharing my love of weaving and fiber arts, and answering questions is always a pleasure.
And now it is time to start preparing for our guild demo/sale event, October 4th, during CranberryFest weekend; the Fall Northwoods Art Tour, Oct. 10-12, and our first annual Northwoods Artisan Women Open Studio/Holiday Art Show, on November 15th. There is a lot of weaving to be done and socks to be made, wonderful hours in Shuttle Works Studio.
Earlier in the month I had few more pieces ready for the indigo dyepots, and the results are in. I finally took photos today and was quite pleased with this trio of scarves. There is another still needing its fringe done.
I had rinsed, washed and rinsed again, and pressed the pieces, and finally sat down to hand-twist the fringe. Today, while looking for something in the studio, I found a gallon bag with another one or two samples and some silk thread I need to dye. I’m about to finally wind a new warp so I can get back to weaving. It’s been a busy month.
While finishing up the last warp I sat wondering if it would be possible to have a bit of control over the indigo dyed areas by which sheds were used and by the number of plain weave rows in-between. My idea was to use treadles that had long floats at the beginning and end sections, and work in from both ends toward a lighter mid-section. It worked, somewhat, but I’m not entirely happy with it as I was looking for a bit more gradual transition. I’ll be trying this again.
Years ago I suddenly decided to try tapestry weaving, even though I had no knowledge of tapestry or how to even begin. I made sketches, simplified to basic cartoons, and the results were the two tapestries above. Woven on a Schacht table tapestry loom, using Navajo wool warp, and my handspun yarns for weft. I was pleased with them at the time.
On Facebook, I follow several tapestry weavers. Tapestry weaving is something I have wanted to try for many years, and the new large tapestry loom is glaring at me from the corner, asking why I’m not using it yet. I’d been reading about several weavers who work on a tapestry diary throughout the year, and I thought that would be an interesting project and it would get me to sit down and weave on it each day. I checked to see what warp they were using, sett, and try to get an idea of the weft to use.
Several years ago I purchased the “Sara” loom and I thought it would work for this daily tapestry diary project. This loom can be warped at 6 epi or 10 epi, so I chose 10 epi. I warped it with seine twine, and had 13 colors of Bockens 2 ply tapestry yarn. It was warped in two sections, six months vertically on each half. I sat down to weave, and found the yarn, used double, was too much and would not cover the warp, but single yarn would. The problem was, I wanted to be able to blend colors, use two colors at once, and short of un-plying the yarn, it would not work. What to do? Re-warp to 6 epi? Order all new weft yarn? Or, change the project? I chose the latter.
Plan B became weaving tapestry samplers, which meant more sketching, and now I must make a cartoon. I have a number of tapestry books, and it is time to begin learning tapestry techniques, use of color, and so much more. A new adventure!
On one of the two nice days we had during the month of April, we went out to clean up and rearrange the lakeside porch. I took that opportunity to set up an area for washing fleece. Now, if the weather would just cooperate!
At last, I was nearing the end of this warp, threaded as an advancing twill on 8 shafts and using 8/4 teal rug warp for the pattern threads, and 16/2 Bockens cotton for the plain weave. On these pieces, I was treadling in random order, and varying the number of plain weave rows.
The last of this warp consisted of two scarves, one sample, and a length that would be cut into four pieces and will be made into smaller items.
Later the next afternoon, I set up in the garage for indigo dyeing, setting the now gathered and tied pieces to soak in water while mixing up a new indigo vat. I then measured indigo out into two more smaller buckets for “diluted” dyebaths for achieve a medium and bit lighter shades of indigo.
The new indigo vat worked well, forming the “flower” on the surface, and after skimming it off (and setting it aside, to return to that vat when finished), the dyebath was the greenish color it needed to be.
It is still magical, watching the wovens change from a green/blue to the beautiful shades of indigo blue.
After the wovens have been exposed to air and turned indigo, I give them a good rinse in a bucket of water, squeeze the water out, and hang them on a wood rack to begin drying. When they are dripping, I move the rack into the house and turn a box fan on to encourage them to dry a bit faster. Why? Because I am a bit impatient to snip the knots along one selvedge, begin easing the gathers out, and pull the pattern threads out the other side so I can see the designs achieved from that particular threading and treadling. Keep notes!
I then take and wash them, by hand, one-at-a-time, in Seventh Generation soap, and then rinse repeatedly until the water is clear. They are placed in a lingerie bag and run through a spin only cycle to remove excess water, and again, hung on a wood rack to dry. Before they are totally dry, I press them with a steam iron, hang to dry, then press again, and again, hang to dry.
I have two scarves left to finish, both needing twisted fringe. Though it is early April, we have a snowstorm due tomorrow evening and overnight, a good time for that project.
Now, it’s time to decide on the length of the next warp, do my calculations, move the warping mill out, and get it made. I’m thinking this time it will have the “pattern threads” run warp-wise.
Indigo dyer extraordinaire, Glennis Dolce (Shibori Girl) had shared a sample of warp-wise indigo dyed fabric with me, perhaps a year ago when I first started this learning adventure, and asked when I would warp up my loom for it. I believe the time has come! I will be using 16/2 cotton again, not as fine as the sample she sent me, which was likely machine woven, but should be another good learning warp, and if it turns out I must send a sample to Glennis.
It’s been a long and very cold winter, and I will spare you photos of the last blizzard. It’s also been a period when I wasn’t feeling 100%, and more than anything wanted to hibernate, and often did.
Perhaps spring is on the way? I want to weave, and am back working on a somewhat narrow warp for woven shibori scarves (above). This scarf is being treadled randomly and the number of plain weave rows between each “pattern” row also varies. 16/2 Bockens cotton, sett 30 epi, and I’m using a neutral color of rug warp for the pattern rows which are removed after dyeing with indigo. Stay tuned to see the finished scarves!
If I remember correctly this is a 20/2 cotton warp, sett 64 epi for 5 shaft (ground) satin. The warp is spread and I’m ready to begin weaving. Time to locate a chart I’d like to weave, to begin, then dig out designs I was working on, simplified from photos I took in China years ago. I still need to transfer (and possibly enlarge a bit) to graph paper.
The Glimakra “Sara” upright tapestry loom is a simple frame-type loom, tall, on legs, adjustable weaving length, and has hard plastic “teeth” top and bottom to wrap yarn on. This loom can be warped at 5 epi or 10 epi. I may regret it, but I warped it at 10 epi with bleached 12/6 seine twine after finding the linen I was going to use was a bit too wide/coarse for that sett. It is warped in two sections for a tapestry daily calendar. I had decided to try this in February, then promptly came down with a head cold. Now, I can either make up the weaving, or start March 1st.
The idea of a tapestry diary or daily calendar is to weave a small bit each day which is appealing and doesn’t feel overwhelming. I’ve been debating with myself over how to approach this weaving,… vertical or horizontal? A particular shape (square, rectangle, trapezoid)? Freeform? Color approach? I do know this will also be a good way to learn and experiment with tapestry techniques, and color. It’s time to sit down at the loom and take the first step, then I’ll be asking myself what took so long.
Behind the “Sara” loom in the photo above is the new-to-me “Regina” tapestry loom. Part of the studio was rearranged to make a nice home for it, lights will be installed shortly, and I’m waiting for a new 8 dent stainless steel reed to arrive, again, from Gowdey Reed Company in Rhode Island.
The pace of life is about to pick up. My younger daughter’s wedding is in two weeks. We’re hoping the weather will begin to warm up a bit in early April so we can begin refinishing floors, then treating the log walls. Our first seed order arrived and very soon we’ll be setting up and “fencing” a table in the basement where we can start seeds (and keep the cats out!). After the snow has melted and frost is out of the ground, we’ll set up raised beds, put up fencing, and plant vegetable and flower gardens. We’re planning to add bees next year.
And while all those projects are going on, the weaving must continue, and we’re finally going to add the opphamta attachment to my Standard loom, something I’ve been waiting years for.
In addition to the Northwoods Art Tour, and one or two open studio days of our own, I’ll again participate in a show with the Art Gypsies. A busy and exciting year coming up!
I’ve moved! I had been considering moving Shuttle Works Studio from Blogger to Word Press for a year or more and was encouraged to do so by a few weavers already on W.P. There never seemed to be a good time to change the domain name and move the blog over.
Back in mid-October, I had applied to be on the 2014 Northwoods Art Tour, and was accepted. They will begin work on the brochure (50,000 copies printed) and the web site on Dec. 1st, and I needed to provide them with text, photos, and information by the end of November. Suddenly, it seemed clear that NOW was the time to make the change, so the new domain name and blog site would be in the brochures and web site for 2014.
I had registered a couple domain names at a hosting web site, and DIL Char, being more computer literate than I am, transferred the content from the old site to the new. Thank you, Char! It has been quite the learning curve the past few days, setting up a splash page, other pages including where the blog is found, experimenting with themes, colors, fonts, and many other decisions needed. I also had to find out how to get the new domain name to work with Word Press. That has been successful, and it is up and running.
From now on the content of this blog will be focused on weaving and fiber arts. A separate blog will be set up for other parts of my northwoods life, family, and of course, my volunteer work with Wild Instincts.
Now I am back working on woven shibori (photo at top) for a little project I have in mind, then likely more scarves. I am looking forward to working on a bit wider warp in the near future. My notes of ideas to experiment with are sitting on a nearby table. I should have a couple pieces indigo dyed in a couple days, then a bit of sewing. Cutting up handwoven cloth, even this narrow piece, will be a new experience. It’s time I learn. After days at the computer, it feels good to be weaving again!