Sunday, April 23, 2023

Sampling for the Anger Weaving

I don't often sample before I start in on a new large piece but I've decided to try to work with a "stash" yarn from a collection that I call "Sally's Mom's Stash." I started by making sure it would dye over the "hornet blue" color that it's label says it is. I had a lot of fun playing with dyeing again and had to keep reminding myself that it was just for a sample. Not that I wouldn't possibly be using excess weft yarn for the final piece, but I needed to not be too hard on myself about re-dyeing colors until they felt right.

I posted a lot of video of this process and my weaving, teaching myself how to use Instagram reels (with some help from WeaverBee) and encouragement from other colleagues and friends. I hate posting video but I'm getting more comfortable with it. Some of these videos even make it over to my YouTube Channel:


I have to admit, after finishing this sample piece, which doesn't look like much, I was no longer excited about having this warp on my loom. This is why I prefer to put on a fresh warp for every new piece. The colors aren't right for the final project and I've gotten what I need from the sample weaving. What to do now?  I fixed a warping error in the reed and decided to try creating a smaller piece with another idea I've been trying to work out.


I let this warp sit for a few days and then did a quick draft of this idea that I've been struggling to get the imagery on. It'll end up being a finished piece rather than another sample and I'm surprised at just how much I like how it's turning out. More to come on that piece. For now, I'll be weaving on this warp while I start to break down and print out the large cartoon for the anger weaving to be taped together. I'm still working on a final title which is why it's just called the anger weaving right now. 


Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Denim Skirt, Because I can't stop starting new projects!

Over the past few years, as our concert-going has picked up, I have missed having a dark denim skirt in my collection as an option. Sometime in February, as I thought about what I wanted to wear to our next show (Anti-Flag and Flogging Molly) the stack of old jeans in my studio started calling to me.  I started in on this skirt a week before the show.

Cutting, pinning, dyeing, stitching and more pinning and stitching.  I have piles of beads all over my sewing table (a few too many projects going) and I didn't feel like relocating them to get to my sewing machine so I decided to finger-press and hand stitch this skirt. 

I caught most of it on hyper-lapse video.  The seam ripping and stitching at least. I compiled it into the following video with a rambling voice-over:

(I do not pretend to be good at video or editing, 
I figure the more I make myself do it, hopefully I'll get a little better)

I also threw it in a black dye bath with over double black dye I think that it should need and it still only came out dark blue. I'm not sure if maybe the fiber content isn't 100% cotton (as the label says) or if I just need to keep dyeing. There was no time, and, lets face it, I wanted to do some black sashiko stitching on it before it's first concert.

2 nights before the concert my brain wouldn't let me go back to sleep at 4am.  I had been looking at a lot of denim skirts and patches were on my brain.  I added a patch added at about 5:30am, I hated it, asked Bryan when he thought, then I cut the patch out around the spiral stitching that afternoon...I felt really off from not sleeping and for whatever reason, not being able to nap, so I just stitched. I'm going to continue to do various types of black stitching on this skirt so that it'll get darker from the embroidery floss even if I can't get the denim to fully dye black. Thus I have created another personal piece that will probably never quite be done, it'll morph and be a little different every time I wear it. Which is pretty fun. 

I have been getting into a different head space about hand stitching. It's not "too slow" its meditative and controlled. I no longer look at the time that it takes and, just like beads, one stitch at a time...one bead at a time...all of the work that I create is slow and builds up over time to become something wonderful. Everything good takes time and patience. I'm pretty over how fast everything is moving. The days and projects have been flying by despite my attempt to go slower.  How the heck did I finish a hand-stitched skirt in a week in the mornings and my lunch breaks?? It just...happened...and I enjoyed every stitch. 

standard concert dirty bathroom mirror selfie


What a great show!  It was worth being tired.

It turns out I had forgotten how to dye black and I needed to move my bucket dyeing to stove-top.  I need black for my next weaving so figuring out where I flubbed up became important...and I got it. Now I can put it in the closet for the next show or whenever I feel like stitching black again. 

I think it's going to go with most of my wardrobe..

Neutral Green with Fuchsia Pop Jewelry Grouping

I like to change up the colors that I'm using a few times a year.  I knew I needed a change but to break away I turned to Pinterest to g...