Monday, April 27, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Weekend of Ragweaving!

This was one of those stellar weekends. I hear that the weather was superb; I was stuck indoors at WEBS here in Northampton all day both days and didn't mind one bit. I was participating in a workshop with Johanna Erickson (author of Rag Weaving Gimmicks and Tricks) on the subject of Wearable Rags. We spent the whole weekend weaving up samples using several techniques and multiple materials. Rather than yarn for weft we used strips of materials.

This appeals to me as I have stockpiled old items of clothing for several years with the intent of doing some ragweaving. I also think that much of what I learned will apply to weaving with wool roving.

Here's a closer look at my samples:

This one included a quilted floral fabric like one would use to make a bedspread, then some pink knit fabric woven three different ways, then some shiny purple synthetic material interspersed with a weft here and there of multicolor; a large knitting needle was used to create the clusters of loops with the purple fabric.

The sample below was woven with a rather dense chenille warp. I experimented with wefts of batik-like cloth, seam binding, ribbons, rick-rack (the yellow stuff), and some brightly-striped fabric that had been pre-cut and supplied on a spool. I would have chosen a less-dense warp to allow more of the weft to show.

This piece involved weaving with strips of knit fabric such as tee shirts. It was particularly fun to weave with the blue and white-striped material, fiddling with each weft to create a checkerboard effect.

This was probably the most fun: picture weaving. A fabric with a design such as flowers is chosen, cut into strips, and the strips woven in order so that there is a squashed-down version of the images on the original fabric. The larger and simpler the images, the more the more similar the woven results will be. Here you can see I experimented with several different patterns.

I love attending workshops that involve creating samples rather than a finished item. Good food, good people, good weaving.


Thank you
Michelle Ward, Sharon Bogon, and Tammy for your recent comments.


These were two very successful and rewarding dye jobs in which I tried a new technique. In each bag there are several continuous strands of roving, each dyed a hue that is harmonious with the others. Because the colors are in separate strands the spinner can control exactly how the colors are worked up; either blended all together, spun intermittently, or even spun into separate colored skeins. The batch above includes strands ranging from a pale, polite yellow through several shades of green to aqua.

My friend Mary Alice bought a bag at the recent meeting of the Nutmeg Spinners Guild. When I saw her a few days later she told me how delighted she was when she looked closer at home and discovered that she would have so many spinning possibilities. So I've decided to call this dyeing technique my Mary Alice roving. It was nice to get good feedback from someone who appreciated my efforts to put more control into the spinner's hands.

Since Mary Alice asked me to set aside another bag of this, I only have one bag available now; it's 6.6 ounces of Finn Cross for $23.10.

More Mary Alice roving here, with shades of shrimp from pale to medium as well as a touch of pale mauve. I have four bags of this, each approximately one half pound; if you're interested I'll get you the specifics. Priced as above, at $3.50 per ounce.

I'm getting ready for my next selling event which will be the Fleece Market at the WEBS Tent Sale on Saturday, 16 May at WEBS here in Northampton MA. Although the main sale is a two-day event, the Fleece Market will be limited to Saturday. I have a new (to me) EZ-UP shelter which will hopefully function better than my shelter last year which blew down. My border collie Bud will be with me that day to welcome visitors.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Fiber for Sale

I've been quite the slacker when it comes to posting fiber for sale and am going to try to be a little better about that. This is a dye project with which I was very pleased. It's the roving that Spike showed you in my entry on 21 March.

Spinners at the Nutmeg Spinning Guild were pleased too; more than half of the dye lot sold there this past weekend. The color of this Border Leicester cross roving can best be described as smoky opal; the hue reminds me of the lichen that grows on rocks with shadowy areas within that hue. The shadowing is consistently inconsistent; if your project calls for consistency you'll need to take this into account in your spinning. I have a total of 20 ounces available, and it's listed on
Etsy so you can purchase it there.

Kreative Blogger Award

I've been nominated by Janet Austin, a tapestry weaver in Rhode Island, to receive a Kreative Blogger award. Janet's blog can be found here: Tangled Web. I am honored to be nominated, particularly to be nominated by Janet. Receiving this award includes the following duties:

1. Copy the Kreativ Blogger Award to your blog
2. Put a link to the person from whom you received the award
3. Nominate 8 other blogs and
4. Link to them
5. Leave a message on the blogs you nominated

Guess this will be the start of a list of my favorite blogs appearing over there on the right. There are plenty to choose from; I read blogs through Google Reader and subscribe to and receive updates from 147 of them! Each week I add far more than I drop. I think this might be a little problem.

Here are the blogs I selected to pass the Kreative Blogger Award on to, and why:

Craftcast: because it's the blog for show notes from Allison Lee's super podcast by the same name. I enjoy the podcast more, but it's nice to have a place to go to pick up links from the podcast. Allison's interview technique and podcast design are so enjoyable. Hers is probably among my two or three favorite podcasts.

Cre8it Art Blog: because Jessica has introduced me to so many materials and techniques, both through the blog and through her great online classes.

daisy yellow. Can't read this one too late in the day as it will keep me awake. This one is a recent discovery and is indispensable to me. I love the way she cross-references her technique-laden blog entries.

Getting Stitched on the Farm: Just about the first blog I read when I see there's a fresh entry. The author of Kristin Knits shares her farm and creative lives.

GPP Street Team: lots of technique and challenges from Michelle Ward.

Magstitch: Maggie Grey, author of several on-the-edge books represents how the UK is so far ahead of us, if there can indeed be an ahead. But how I enjoy eating the dust!

Pin Tangle: Australian embroiderer Sharon Bogon is a talented artist who is so generous with her knowledge. She has inspired me, taught me in several online classes, and regularly reviews other blogs that I might enjoy.

Textile Tales: Carol McFee loads her blog with photos of sumptuous little pieces of textile art.