Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Finally Felt

lace felt

I saw Sharon Costello's lace felt scarves when I took her Cottage Garden Vest needlefelting class at Creative Strands in 2004. Finally, three years later, the stars were in alignment and I had the solar pool cover so I could get started. I used a total of 50 grams of Wensleydale roving, mostly blues and greens. The photo above is about half way through the process. You can see the steps I took here. I'm pleased with it, although I think it needs some embellishment. Next time I'll use different colors and textures, adding some silk or mohair or maybe some threads.

Meanwhile, the warp sits on my loom unbeamed and I'm thinking about trying nuno felt tomorrow. Have you seen Gika Rector's instructions for making a nuno felt purse. Hey, if I'm going down I'm taking you with me!

Revisting a Favorite

I decided to go back to one of the first projects I made after buying my loom - false damask towels. The first time around I used off white for the warp and a bright white for the weft. This time I'm using a variegated 8/2 cotton warp.

For the weft I'm deciding between purple, turquoise or burgundy.

I've changed the threading to even blocks,

which will still allow me some variations.

I didn't forget about the baby blankets - I just forgot to order the yarn!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Bead Fest

Bead Fest Philadelphia is going to be a hop, skip, and a jump away so I'm treating myself to two classes. I feel pretty good about my bead weaving work but I need help working with wire. I'm hoping the Zig-Zag Bracelet class will do just that.

Zig-Zag Bracelet
Instructor: Joy Cichewicz
Technique: Wire and Beads

Make a bracelet with wire zigzags and wire wrapped clasp that will beautifully accent lampwork beads. Students will leave with both a copper/bone practice bracelet and a sterling silver/lampwork bracelet.

The beginner PMC class needs no tools. The supply everything so you can see how you like working with metal clay.

Just The Facts. Ma'am: Beginner PMC

Instructor: Ed and Martha Biggar
Technique: Metal Clay

For the beginner: learn about PMC while making at least two pairs of earrings and a pendant. Find out if you love this material while using instructor's tools and techniques in a limited-cost class; pick up finished work the next day.

The PMC class is from 9-12 and the wire class from 5-8. How will I ever fill the time? Oh, there's a market, she says slyly? I guess I can be persuaded to spend some time there!

Friday, July 27, 2007

A Record?

I don't know if there is a Guinness World Record for the longest time a short, narrow sample warp has stayed on a loom, but I know this is definitely a record for me! I decided to finish the second boundweave sample before cutting off the warp. My original plan was to make little bags for my nieces so the designs were upside down, then after a plain area for the bottom they are right side up. Here are the after-washing shots. The project details can be found here.

This tie up gave the fabric a wonderful hand. It was heavy but still had some drape. The motifs came out clearer with this tie up also. This would be perfect for placemats.

While I liked this colorway better, I didn't like the ridges that this tie up created. The fabric is heavy, heavy, heavy. It would take an incredible amount of foot traffic without showing signs of wear. If I ever (and, by the way, feel free to shot me if I do) decide to weave a boundweave rug this is the tie up I'd use.

When I switched to this tie up I had more draw in. It takes four shots for one row and you can see that the weft was not packing in well. Notice the horizontal line through the flowers where you can see the underlying red thread. I changed the way I placed the weft after that.

Here I made sure to position the weft at a 45° angle before beating and you can see the difference. Not only does the weft pack in completely but the fabric is not drawing in.

I probably won't be weaving any boundweave in the near future but I'm glad a tried it out. Maybe when life is not so hectic I'll try a small wool rug.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Baby Blankets

Whoa, is June over? The last few weeks have been a blur of activity. The most important of which was Jackson, of course, but lots of other things too. The end of school and beginning of my new job (second job, not replacement!) Thinking ahead I realized that when I leave my high school students I still need something to bring in the dollars. None of those 30-and-out deals for me unless I'm willing to wait until I'm 71. Um, no!

So, I'll be teaching for the same masters program I went through a couple of years ago. I'll teach one or two classes this summer and then probably two each semester. These are intensive, week long classes during the summer and span two weekends during the school year. I was scheduled to teach in August but they aren't sure if that will fill so when an opening came up for the week of July 16th I took it. To add to the chaos, I'm also heading up to Clark University again for the APA/Clark workshop on Sunday. Maybe this time I'll get my picture taken with Freud!

Now, what's on my loom? The same freakin' boundweave that's been there since January! I was going to try a couple of other motifs but let's face it - it's a sample and I've sampled several motifs so it's time to move on.

Baby blankets seem appropriate. Besides Jackson there are several new babies arriving this summer and fall that are going to need covering. I have several ideas in mind.

Choice 1:
Choice one is a log cabin in 5/2 perle. I got this draft from Handweaving.net. It's a little different than my usual log cabin because it uses both colors in adjacent heddles.

I want to make at least two with each warp. I was thinking that my only choice was to make two identical blankets - I didn't want to use a solid weft and have stripes, but then I decided to play around with two different colors for the weft. I like it! Instead of the more pastel blue and yellow I could use a brighter primary yellow and blue for the first blanket and use red or purple and green for the weft with the second blanket. It reminds me of a circus.

I could always go with my basic log cabin draft

or step it up to a three color ABC sequence:

Choice 2:

This is also a good choice because I can use one color for the warp and then change up the weft for several different blankets.

Choice 3:

Ditto for this one - one warp, different wefts:

Guess it's time to get off the pot and get something new on the loom!