Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Stole for my friend, the Deacon

When a deacon friend,  saw the “Brooklyn” design, she asked me if I would do a stole for her with a “tree of life” on it. Deacons wear the same stoles as priests, but draped over to the side. I did one based on the tree in the “Brooklyn” design, then I saw this one, a Shaker design.It just seemed so lovely, so I drafted it out. I was up until about 3 A.M. in a fog of delight. So far, so good, but, as ever, the “proof is in the pudding” so I won’t know until I get the samples woven how it really is going to work. I am thinking about some other motifs to add to it. I am going to design a little cross for the part that goes behind the neck that is in the same style as the tree.I wonder if I will EVER exhaust the design possibilities of this technique? I guess the next step for me is to try FIVE colours and also blending. DEEP BREATH. AND I need to get the elift working on my 40-shaft loom!

Saturday, August 30, 2014


A couple of "art camp" summers. Highlights!!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Wyverns!!!in Taquete

Taken from Nancy Spies’ lovely needlework designs, “Here Be Wyverns” - an old, old term for dragons and fantastical beasts.
Fun to draft.
For 32 shafts.
I think I overdid the “blur” filter.
These might be worked up as bookmarks

Cahaba Lilies

Working on a taqueté of our beloved "Cahaba Lilies" It involves getting the colours as basic as possible. On the bottom is the original photo, on the top is the first try at getting it into a "taqueté-friendly" form. I will "lose" the leafy background...maybe.
It's times like these that I wish I had a Jacquard loom. Well, perhaps someday.
In the meantime, with 40 shafts, I can do quite a lot. the trick is drafting it correctly.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Which one next?

Well, shall it be the birds or the shells?

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Thank you, little worms.
I LOVE silk. I've been weaving up some bookmarks to sell and to give as gifts and just enjoying the look of the silk woven up. I've been using 20/2's yarn and I like the way the sheen on it catches the light and looks so pearlescent. the finest I've used is 60/2's and, it has its' own pleasures, but the slightly thicker yarn seems to have a nicer response to light. Right now, I am doing some "gifties" since I am using one of Lillian Whipple's drafts. No time to dream up an original, test it etc, since this was kind of a last-minute idea. One thing I'd like to do during "downtime" in London is draft up some more 8-shaft designs since I can pop one of those on and weave while I am watching tv in the house. I have one set up with a double-weave "fiddle-around" warp on it.
Also have to say what a pleasure the "Northwest" Looms are. Tony Klissus builds these to order and even builds the crate for shipping. They are so well made, work so smoothly...they're just a delight to use. I am always amazed that he also sells them for so much less than the "biggies" like Leclerc and Schacht, etc. Definitely a "find."

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Peacemakers sampling

Sampling is under weigh for the "Peacemakers" design. I love sampling. Even though sometimes the actual weaving turns out to have only a nodding relationship with the original draft, it's fun to work through the "fixes."
This has a way to go, but I am very happy with the initial sampling, in that the lettering "works." I love the alphabet, which I found in one of the cross-stitch collections I ordered. It's one book just of alphabets! I need to do something about the borders and selvedges.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Back in the studio!

Well, it's still not ready for some magazine doing a layout on people's workspaces, but, it's beginning to look a lot less like a bomb-site.
Took a VERY deep breath and turned on the "Little Weaver" and heard the welcome clicking sounds.  Next is to put the shafts back in and connect up to the laptop, to make absolutely certain it's still working.
Turned on the heater, loaded in some wash in the "laundry corner," put some cookies in the little toaster-oven, made some coffee, mopped the floor and even got some weaving done on the Macomber warp.  Home, sweet home!
I need to get all the trash piling up outside the studio out for the trash pick-up and things will REALLY be back on-track.
I also need to start getting a "care package" ready for somebody who can use some of my surplus cotton for a new effort she's developing.  So glad somebody can use them!  I am seriously thinking "de-clutter" these days!!!!
Thanks to so many folks for their expressions of concern and sympathy over what shall henceforth be known as "The Great Flood of 2014.

Monday, March 17, 2014

the taquete variation

I decided to change the peg plan to "true taquete" and like this better. The Dukagang interpretation is nice, too, so, what the heck.
Fun to play with the variations!
click to enlarge.

Monday, March 3, 2014

some of the Xmas scarves from last year

some of these are still "hanging around"

Angels among us

Working on drafts for taqueté angels. I used to use Lillian Whipple's lovely cards of a little woven angel, framed, as special gifts to mark a milestone or help somebody thru a rough time, but, it seems I got the last five. Decided it was time to "roll my own" I'm really happy with the first design, a blue-robed angel holding a candle, for 16 shafts. Working on a 24-shaft design with some colour-mixing.
Picture to come.  I had worked on the first "export fabric" in "Preview" and find that it saves changes whether you want it to or not, so, the angel has a "cartoon bubble" sitting there that I "added" just to see what that tool does.  SO, have to go back to scratch. 
And..a few mouse-clicks later, here is her tiny self.  Might do some bookmarks.  This is the 16-shaft version. 
It will be fun to do the sampling for this on the 16-shaft Structo!  It's the time I get to use some of those many spools I own of the cotton!  I have about 60 of the things..(no, they're not for sale.  I sold a few a while back because I felt kind of like the "dog in the manger," but, that's it for now!  If you're desperate, we can talk.)
I am been doing my taqueté drafting in Weavemaker, which I find terrific for free-hand designing as you can get a real-time version as "fabric view," that is more true to the appearance of the finished fabric than the other programmes (I have them all...except the really pricey "Arahweave") The cool thing about the WM "view" is that you can export the fabric as a tiff. I open it in PS (or "PS Elements," which is all you really need for this). First, change the mode to RGB, then use the "blur" filtre two or three times and you get a richer colour. You can also use the other editing tools for the colours, but I find the "blur" does it for me. The advantage of this is that you see the image as a graphic-design and immediately see what's wrong or right about it and you can go back into the draft and change it. I keep a folder called "scratch" to save these so I can see how the changes are happening.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

In and out of the studio


Pix related to my work, including a shot of the Weavers' Cottages in Canterbury, England. Once the homes and workplaces of Huguenot weavers, now a pub. Shots of the Jacquard class at AVL, and, of course, my own workshop,

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Structo to the rescue

While working on this learning project, I hauled out my one-of-a-kind, 16-shaft Structo and threaded it up in an 8-shaft threading.  This thing is so versatile, and the ready-wound spools save one the trouble of running out to the weaving shed to make a new warp, not to mention that there are some 20 yards on each spool, so, no worries about running out of warp!  I can mess up all I like.
I seem to have cornered the market on these things, having lucked into a large box-full of them a couple of years ago, all in new condition.  Not too lame.  Part of me says I ought to put them on ebay, and relieve some other Structo junkie of spool-envy, but, the dog-in-the-manger part of me keeps muttering "mine, mine, all MINE!  So, the guilt-trip part of this is that I really feel compelled to put them to good use.
The loom is such a treasure.  I think I want it buried with me.
Nahhh.  Better it should go to somebody who will appreciate it as much as I do.  Perhaps I shall outlast it, but, I doubt it.  These Structo looms seem to be survivors.
Anyway, it's such a pleasure to use.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

letters done for stoles

crawling into bed at 2:25 am! I haven't propped my eyelids up and tanked up on coffee to finish a project in ages. Making drafts of the alphabet I am using for the martyr stoles. This way, I can just copy and paste the individual letters into the drafts. I've done the "blessed are the peacemakers" draft. More to come.  Long, tedious project, but will be worth it.  I can get the stole drafts done faster and concentrate on designing.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Subscriptions and memberships!

Well, scratched a long-standing "itch" and took out Costume Society memberships for both US and UK, as well as subscribed to the "Textiles" journal from Maney Publishing.  Great can DL articles of interes.  The American "Costume" I had to accept print versions, but, hey, I get a scholarly-looking mag to leave lying around the house  LOL
Looking forward to expanding my horizons!
They also offer a Conservation journal.
HMMMM, best that I don't load myself up with too much reading...
But, fun...assuming somebody else shares my definitions of "fun."