Saturday, January 30, 2021

Beginning Weaving for "Is There a Thing to Which Brings Us Less Joy Yet We Devote More Time"

I started this post on 1/6/2021 and have gotten a bit further than the above photos, once I start to weave I can get on a roll and other things (like this blog post) may be overlooked or forgotten. 

It seems like it's been a long time since I've tried to add float warps to either side of my warp in order to try to get my selvedges looking better. I still pull in too much on the left side. I haven't a clue why I still struggle with selvedges, but I'm trying on each piece to get them better. I know that part of my selvege struggle lies in the fact that I make 2 passes with the weft before beating it.  I'd be fine if I only did one pass, but then that's twice as much time spent picking up the warp for the pattern. It already takes me about an hour to weave a quarter of an inch, maybe I'll do one pass on a future smaller piece.

If you want to see a LIVE DEMO of me weaving this piece on Zoom, it's coming up in February!  I have been asked to be the feature for a Fiberside Chat session hosted by Longmont Yarn Shoppe. I'm very excited to be doing my very first Zoom talk about how I use supplemental warp structures in my weavings. Don't worry, I will not get too technical. It's more about my work, what inspires me and my weaving process.  It's $20 and you can register HERE


Friday, January 8, 2021

Cheat-Warping (Tying on to old warp)

 I decided to make my next weaving the same width as the Leaf Me Alone (full sized) weaving which allows me to tie the new warp directly on to my previous one. I call this cheat-warping because I'm skipping the entire process of re-dressing my loom and pulling each warp thread through the heddles and reed. It still takes a while to put on, the above time-lapse video is about 3.5 hours of tying on each new thread to the old one on one of my 2 warps.  I'm not doing a video for the second warp, I keep setting it down to go do something else or picking at it during a Zoom meeting. Sitting for this long can be hard, there's some getting up, stretching, getting more coffee while I watch House on my tablet (which is why I keep staring at my loom's castle, my tablet is folded over it at about eye level).

Holding my cross.... 319 ends on this grey warp

30 ends of color pops per warp

I first tie on the larger bunch of warp threads and then the smaller warp bunches of spots of color.

Everything tied on and ready to pull through

Knots pulled through the reed.

Clark stalking the hanging ends of my warp.

All tied on!

This weaving (both warps) has 698 ends of warp. I used to think that's a lot, but it's mostly just the time. I've gotten really good at untangling thread over the years. I'm also using floater warps that you can see on the left and right of the main warp (2 threads). I'm hoping to get better at selvedges eventually.  :)

Sunday, January 3, 2021

2020: Quiet, Busy and Full of Good Changes

(Clark and his favorite window yesterday morning)

2020 was a dumpster fire for a lot of people, I'm grateful every day that this year allowed me to go with the flow and the flow has guided me in the direction I needed to go. I just re-read my 2019 recap and I continue to have a similar feeling of hope, gratitude and forward movement. 

I had a conference booked that I was speaking at and it's cancellation was a nice break, Convergence has been moved to 2022. Being the speaker for the Kalamazoo Guild was moved back to 2021 and on to Zoom.  I've had plenty of advanced notice for my 2 seminars with the Michigan League of Handweavers that we are doing a virtual conference this year, so 2 more Zoom seminars this summer. 

I had a job that I liked but I wasn't getting enough hours. When it closed on March 17th I applied to Home Depot that evening. Talbots was only supposed to be closed for 2 weeks but no one truly knew what would happen and I figured THD would be a good temporary job. It's difficult to get in a groove working from home (artworking for me) full time then getting sent back to work and re-adjusting so I just wanted to keep that momentum of having a day job. Instead THD hired me in full time with benefits under a specialist position. It's been fun learning all about doors, windows, moulding. Being around builders inspired me to finally fix my garage roof myself, which is almost done but 95% better than it was before I started!

I was not going to make masks when this pandemic started in March, I didn't want to get sucked in or stuck making them out of guilt. When I did finally make my first few masks, I figured out what my base cost and pattern was that I'd be willing to make masks for who knows how long. Over 350 masks later...I'm still picking away at making some and it helped pay off my last credit card debt (debt free, whoo hoo!)

I didn't know I'd ever sew this much in my life. I'm thankful to have 2 machines and know how to take care of them to keep them going almost daily for 10 months! Getting back into sewing has led me to making some things for us around the house: pillow covers, a lunch bag of my own design, gobs of masks and Nightmare Before Christmas pants.

Knitting! Knitting has always been a comfort thing to keep my hand busy. I've been knitting since elementary school and I always wanted to keep my knitting simple so I never taught myself color change outside of stripes. I decided to buck up and do checkers in a hat to see if I liked color work. With all the knitting I've been doing, color changing came much easier for me than I expected. I guess I can look forward to some more interesting designs in my future. 

I didn't know that I needed it but this year I've taken a break from jewelry-making, or being worried about making jewelry to sell and send to galleries. Since I no longer work in clothing sales, my jewelry-wearing needs have changed completely. I'm no longer wanting new pieces that match curent color trends and outfits. The Evil Eye Earring and Bangle Set (and it's fancy version) was the last big inspired beading I've done.  I like big earrings to go with masks but bangles and necklaces do not bode well moving doors around.  I just moved the beads I keep for jewelry making in the living room back to the studio and out of the way. I can now work on beading leaves for the front panel of the large Leaf Me Alone weaving. I'll make jewelry again...when I feel like it. It always comes back and I have plenty of stock pieces to move and sell.

Like at the beginning of last year I just got a new warp on my loom for 2021. Last year's weaving isn't finished for hanging just yet (and has a second panel I have to work on) but I have a need to always have something going on my loom so I am able to weave whenever I feel like it (usually at around 6 AM/first thing in the morning with my coffee).

As with last year, I am so very thankful for Bryan, he's the best person for me to hunker down for months on end. We've binge watched tons of TV, ordered in from our favorite local resteraunts and made a lot of food too. I'm so thankful that I have someone in my life that is easy to be with, understands my need for space, is kind and respectful and... just gets me (and the cats).

(Christmas Eve no-makeup couch photo)

(Bryan and Liois snuggling)

(Morgan touching the knitting)

Yes, And weaving update; Half Way

I am just about to the half way point on "Yes, And" which is in the the yellow weft, the brightest color in the middle of 9 differ...