Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wedge Weave

I mentioned the wedge weave workshop in my last post. Below is the miniature sampler I did on my handheld loom:
The dimensions are 4" x 4.5". The warp is natural colored carpet warp. The weft yarns are 2/8's shetland wool. I did tire of wedge weave as the end neared, so added plain weave and an isolated plain weave block at the top. As usual, click for bigger.

What I learned from this sample:
  • Wedge weave packs down more and draws in less than plain weave, hence the somewhat trapezoidal shape of the finished piece.
  • Carpet warp tends to flake a bit and those flakes come to the surface of the weave.
  • I like playing with free form design in tapestry techniques. There's something about having only a general plan, while thinking through the next color and the next steps.
Below is the warp that I used for the workshop. I decided to use black and white, the ultimate in contrasts, in order to see what is going on. For these three bands I've been playing around with several variables to see which effect I like best:

I varied how far the weft advanced across the web, and how densely the yarn was packed in the different bands. Next I'll finish off this section then start another sampler incorporating the black and white with a few colors. Maybe I can make a small bag from that.

True Conversation: Last week, I set about washing some handspun handknit gloves and mitts in the kitchen sink while my adult son was making a cup of tea. As the wool hit the water he sniffed in a deep breath and said, "Ahh....I love the smell of wet wool." Then he added, "I mean clean wet wool, not necessarily some of that raw fleece you bring in from time to time."

I laughed and told him that both are an acquired 'taste', like so many good things. As he walked out of the kitchen with his mug of tea, I couldn't help reflecting that I learned to spin while I was pregnant with him almost 24 years ago. He's had plenty of time to acquire that taste.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Levity of Gravity

This view from the kitchen table has me wondering which end is up:

I guess in the end, gravity has its way with all things. We'll have to straighten that up when (if?) it thaws.

These days things seem to be on a perpetual tilt around here. So the wedge weave workshop I took this past weekend fit right into the that theme.

On Saturday we hunkered down in a warm, windowless room and allowed an additional 4" of snow to blanket and blow over the cars and the roads. Mollie presented an inspiring workshop (see the link above.) However I had not woven an adequate header for the workshop sampler. And I kind of wove myself into a corner with disappointing color choices. So I ripped it out the next day.

Ripping out weaving gives a person a lot of time to think in between unknotting entanglements of yarn and such. While doing so, my twisty, tilted brain generated more questions than answers about how to bring this weave structure under control.

I spent time in Peter Collingwood's rug book which provided a start on the answers. But....there are still a lot of "what would happen if" scenarios that I want to work through.

Above is a little hand held loom I picked up at Convergence in Grand Rapids. The warp was ready to go, so I started working out my questions on that little warp. The process has answered a question or two. More importantly, it has suggested a strategy to weave the answers some of the other questions on the original workshop warp.

I've been a little under the weather most of this month. Nothing serious, just the cranky maladies that come with broad swings in temperature, weather fronts moving through, and more frigging snow than one can sanely manage.

So if postings are sparse, keep in mind that I'm sparing you the ranting and raving.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A study in negative numbers

Go here to see the array of negative numbers on the thermometers in our area this morning.

Wool is a good thing.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I don't crochet...

But some of my readers might be interested in this.

Click through the photo's. It's pretty amazing.

Otherwise...I'm busy. Very busy. And thoroughly sick of snow. All the more reason to go enjoy that coral reef.

Friday, January 09, 2009


First finished items of 2009 include:
A pair of fingerless gloves for ds:

I've been wanting a good yoga bolster for years, but refused to pay the $60 plus that most vendors wanted for them. I found the perfect sized old blanket, rolled it densely and designed a cover to produce my very own yoga bolster. It closes with an invisible zipper and has a handle integrated into the end on the right. The fabric is a print denim that I loved but knew I would never put on my back. There's a fair amount of fabric left over, so there may be more yoga accessories in the future.

And I've been reading about weaving:

A little over half of these are Christmas and birthday gifts (love those Amazon wish lists!) and the rest are from the library.

The first round of spinning S & Z for weaving experiment flopped. So I'm headed back to the spinning stash to pick out fibers that are closer in characteristics while still contrasting in color.

Also am continuing to weave on this warp.

Another storm front is moving into the area for the weekend. I have the sinus headache to confirm the forecast. Happy weekend.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Blogger Malaise

Nothing I feel like talking about...and nothing I feel like showing to the world right now.

Just click on over to here and enjoy her post, mostly because I like the blues found in nature.

However I might call the term "perfect winter day" an oxymoron when living above 42 degrees north latitude this winter. Forecast for the coming days: "snow likely....snow likely...chance of snow...cloudy...cloudy....cloudy" meh!