Friday, June 12, 2015

Not 2 Square's Tribute to Dee Jones



The Not 2 Square Weavers lost one of their founding members this past week.  The slide show tells a little of Dee Jones'  story.  The tributes from our members (below) tell more about the woman.  The ending photo in the slide show is of Dee when she worked as a fire lookout on Pegleg lookout in Lassen National Forest with her husband, Pat.  He spotted the fires - she called in the coordinates!
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Every time I was with Dee i thought of what an extraordinary person she was. She never spoke ill of people, even when they hurt her. Dee was very giving with her time, knowledge, and expertise - whether that be with individuals new to the craft (weaving, spinning, knitting, sewing) or experienced; always time for a quick question or to provide specific help. She was fun, serious, and easy going. Dee enjoyed life, appreciated those that became her friend, always had a compliment for whatever project in progress or finished. I will miss her at my table and among my circle of friends, remember her with love, and drink a bubbly toast to a very gracious lady. - Marjorie McConnell

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Her kindness, humor and interest in others captivated me from when I first met her at one of the Virginia City retreats, and I was lucky to spend a couple of retreats with her. One morning a group of us were all knitting Falling Leaf samples for Sara Lamb's SpinOff article and chatting like monkeys. Sara noted that her sample seemed to be growing and held it up for us to see, to which Dee asked with that famous twinkle in her eye, "Might this be a good time to count your stitches?" I marveled at how kindly she corrected the teacher.

I know she read my blog and periodically she'd email me. I visited her several weeks before her death, and she wanted to know all about what I was doing, how I was going and was so happy to see me. She was so excited about my upcoming Handwoven article and wanted to see the pictures on my cell phone. When we arrived she was reading the latest Handwoven issue. I hope I can pay it forward what Dee paid to me. - Sharon Campbell

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We are so going to miss Dee. She was an adventurous and inspiring weaver and I want to share the last thing she said to me, when I visited her 6 weeks ago.

"Yes, [weaving] is an adventure. But it’s a bit like learning computer. Just try it, push a button. The computer is not going to break; although you may not be able to retrace your steps with the computer. One thing is different with weaving, there is always a string to hold on to to find your way back."

I hope there are some angels with big strings pulling Dee into her new adventure.
-Wendy-Marie Teichert

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We share the loss of Dee with her family and many friends. We will miss her extensive weaving and fiber knowledge; her willingness to share and help anyone with a question as well as her sense of humor and kindness. She had a grace and graciousness that are so rare. Dee was also just really fun to be with. I hope that I will carry just a little of her goodness with me to share with others.
- Ingrid Knox

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In my 36 years of knowing Dee, she never failed to be upbeat, helpful, appreciative, and kind. However, she did not suffer fools and her insight was sharp as a tack.

Her vast knowledge not only covered many areas of fiber arts but also the world. Her appreciation of humor, both bawdy and not, was a delight. She had many wonderful stories to tell of her life : as a child living in a caravan pulled by horses while her father worked on building roads in Wyoming and her mother was the cook for the road crew, to living on the French Riviera, to being a fire lookout near Susanville, to living full time in Nevada City. She was a great conversationalist. I treasure the car rides to events when just the two of us were together and would talk of many things. She personified the way life should be led, including how to die gracefully. I loved her and will miss her always. I hope to live my life in such a positive way. - Lindsey Cleveland

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The last few days it has been very hard to accept the fact that we now live in a world without Dee Jones. I first saw Dee at a CNCH Liaison meeting - maybe 1997? She was decked out in a big straw hat, wearing bright colored clothing (probably handwoven) and enthusiastically talking to all of us about the reasons we should get our guild members to come to the conference in Grass Valley. A couple of years later, when Igor and I moved to Nevada City, we met her officially and started a friendship that lasted until she moved on to her next big adventure this past week.

Dee was everything that has been posted here - a talented, fascinating woman who put a positive spin on almost everything. She had the rare talent of making you feel good about yourself. She was a critic, but always a very gentle one who could  find something good to say about your weaving or knitting disaster or at least get you to laugh about it. Dee was also a talented story teller who loved to talk about her rich life experiences and ended most stories with a great punch line.

I will never possess the rare qualities that made Dee so special. But the time I spent with Dee, taught me what it is to live life to the fullest and then accept death with grace and courage.  I will miss you Dee.
- Beryl Moody

Dee's daughter, Jill, has written a wonderful remembrance of her mother that appears in the Union Newspaper.
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Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Blue Scarf

Igor is the next weaver to finish his scarf for the challenge.  Being the last to pick a bag of yarns, Igor found he was left with his own. 
 
The yarns used in the warp were one thread of variegated rayon, another thread of thick and thin rayon and one thread of turquoise bamboo.  They were sleyed at 20 epi.
 


 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Igor wound two threads (used as one) for the pattern weft.  These were slightly different grists and shades of blue.  The tie down thread was another rayon in lighter blue.

Below is the draft of this project.  Igor got the structure idea from Beryl who found a basketweave draft that had a plain weave tie down in finer threads (both warp and weft).  He then added two stripes of 2/2 twill  to the draft and threaded them on shafts 5-8.  There are six picks in a complete repeat.  Tie down, pattern pattern, tie down, pattern pattern - using four treadles.  It was hard to keep hands and feet coordinated - four treadles against three shots.
 
 
Here is his scarf on the loom.
 
 
 
The scarf turned out beautifully, with a nice hand.
 
 
 
 
The edge finish was brought up at a previous meeting by Mardi who used it on a rep weave sample.  It is called Cavandoli knotting.  The beaded fringe was more extensive than Igor normally does.  He used one small copper bead at the base of each twisted pair and one blue bead midway between the scarf and the end knot.
 
 
Finished Scarf Detail

Another beautiful scarf that is probably destined for a foster child this coming holiday season.  There is also another scarf on Igor's loom with this warp.  It will be interesting to compare it to this one.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Nevada County in Spring Scarf

In spite of the December deadline for the scarf challenge, weavers are already working on their projects. 
 
Diana wove her scarf for the challenge from yarn she got from Dee.  The warp yarns were 8/2 green rayon, 4 ply variegated rayon, 5/2 light green cotton and ribbon also in greens.  The warp was sett as follows:  8/2 rayon – 18 epi; 4 ply rayon – 12 epi; 5/2 cotton & ribbon – 12 epi.  The warp was threaded in a straight draw on 4 shafts.
 
The weft yarns were the 8/2 green rayon alternating with a 10/2 pale green cotton for the majority of the scarf, woven in plain weave.  Diana used orange, white, fuchsia, blue and purple similar weight yarns for the accent areas of the weft. The accent weft patterns were mostly twills found in Anne Dixon’s book:  The Handweaver's Pattern Directory.
 
Diana used a weighted “false temple” for the first time when weaving this scarf.  This involves using clamps at either side of the woven fabric, near the fell line.  String or twine is attached to each clamp and these are weighted.  The idea is to help keep the project from pulling in too much while not having to use a traditional temple, which tends to stab the weaver.




Diana plans to enter this lovely scarf in the Nevada County Inspired category at the Nevada County Fair this summer. 

 




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For Dee, with all our love.

 When our group learned that our cherished friend and fellow weaver Dee was seriously ill, we pondered just how we could let her know, within a short time frame, how much we loved and cared about her.  At our Tuesday meeting, we came up with a plan to make a lap robe with squares of handwoven cloth from as many of our members as possible.  The handwoven pieces were all delivered to Marjorie (our quilter) by Friday noon.  On Sunday, this lap robe was complete and today (Monday) was delivered to Dee.  Marjorie tells us that Dee was delighted and was in fine spirits with many an anecdote to tell her visitors.   Later in the day, she plans to knit socks on No. 2 needles!
 
Weavers names top row starting at the left side.  Marcy, Sue H., Beryl, Betsy.  Middle row Wendy-Marie, Igor, Mardi, Jackie Bottom row Ingrid, Diana, Marjorie, Eileen.

 
Many of the pieces came from tea towel warps.  Here are a few comments about the squares  and quilting process from the various weavers.
 
 
Ingrid The sample is the end of the warp of the set of towels that were woven as the last of the original calendar inspired towels. The picture was of yellow lady slippers against a bright green leafy background.     It was woven with 10/2 perle cotton sett at 24 epi.  The threading was an 8 point twill and woven with a 3-2-1-1-1 8-shaft twill pattern
 
Wendy-Marie  a twill made of cotton (5/2, I think), when I was studying at Ruthie’s in Portland, OR. At the time, I was just experimenting with stripes. For Dee, I picked the zippiest part of the cloth, the part that was most lively and interesting — like Dee.

Beryl  This was the end piece from a towel warp where I do my experimenting.  I have always liked the colors in this piece  but there was not enough to make anything  until now, when it  has found its perfect home.

Igor  I wove this some time ago when I was experimenting with ikat dyeing in the warp and weft.  The cloth is rayon/silk and the ikat dye was local Black Walnut.

Marjorie    inside each square is same design - hearts and squiggly circles (better seen from back). the inside sashing is a combination of leaves, squiggly circles, and hearts; the outer border is leaves. there is a label on the back that simply says: Dee, April 2015, Not 2 Square Weavers.  

now, if you find that you want to do another in the future . . . i cut the squares 10" x 10". the sashing and the outer border were both 3". the finished lap throw is 36.5" x 48.5". washed and dryed it is not as pliable as i expected so i am really glad i used flannel on the back to give it the softness we wanted. at the same time, i like "weight" when i grab a quilt or a blanket (often use several to get desired effect) so i think we are good all the way around.
 

 
Detail of the quilting on the back of the lap robe



Detail of the quilting on the borders


Monday, March 23, 2015

Scarf Challenge 2015

In February, seven of the Not 2 Squares took on this year's challenge.  The participants brought some yarn that could be used for a scarf in a paper bag.  Then bags were chosen.  The object is to use the "gifted" yarn in a scarf.  It can be as much or as little as the weaver wants. 



Beryl was the first one to complete the assignment. 




Her yarn, from Marcy, was hand painted wool in shades of dark green to almost black.  Since the skeins were different, Beryl used one strand of each skein for her warp.  She paired this with a fine mercerized cotton that she got at a weaver's estate sale.  Beryl says that actual cone looked as though it might have been 20 or 30 years old when she bought it - and she's aged it another 20 years.  She painted some of the yarn in blues and greens quite a while ago, and when looking for a fine yarn to use, this seemed a good fit. 
 
The fine yarns had to be tensioned separately from the wool.   To do this Beryl used an empty paper towel roll to separate them and weighted it with fishing weights.


 
 
Beryl used Fiberworks PCW to create this 4-shaft Basketweave drawdown since she liked the feature of thick and thin threads.  She felt it gives a better idea about what the fabric is going to look like.
 
 
 
The scarf looks great, the thick and thin yarns giving this fairly simple draft some interest.




This and the other scarves to be woven for this challenge are slated to go to the local foster children's holiday gift program. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Handwoven cloths to dry your salad greens!


What does a weaver do when she runs out of drying cloths for her salad greens?  Warp up her loom with 16/2 cotton (from a couple of over-sized 2.5 # cones)  and experiment with lace weaves.

Jackie has a lot of skill in designing lace, so in the planning stages for designs for salad green cloths, she devised several variations that could be woven on the same warp.  She was undecided about the sett, but finally settled on 26 epi for these regal additions to her kitchen!  Some of the cloths are a bit crisp and we wondered if one of her cones had some linen in it.  Might make the cloth just a bit more thirsty.




Jackie isn't the only crazy weaver in our group.  Recently Dee's granddaughter told her that she never uses paper towels to mop up messes - always rags which she washes and reuses.  Dee's gift to her granddaughter was a collection of handwoven rags.  Overcast edges rather than hems, but still! 




Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Kimono top and a special baby blanket

 Wendy-Marie has been yearning to weave and sew a kimono top.  She found a plan for the design in an older Handwoven (Nov. Dec 1991 page 42).    Wendy-Marie decided on brown and purple plain weave for the body of the kimono and then added stripes to her warp for the band decoration around neckline, down the front opening and along the bottom of the jacket.  By weaving the trim along with her garment fabric it matched the weight of her kimono -  ingenious!  She also used color stripes along the selvedge edges to guide her when she was sewing the kimono together.  The finished garment is pretty special and looks great on Wendy-Marie's small frame.

 
 
Margie made baby blankets that were about 5 years overdue.  (Baby has grown considerably).They are woven with a white cotton warp in plain weave.  The special touch was Henry's Attic Pigtail yarn, which when washed blooms into soft splendor.  Unfortunately, Henry's Attic tells us that this yarn is no longer available.  Margie has her stash, though and will be making more for future great grandchildren.  Henry's Attic suggests bonded cotton chenille for a similar effect.
 
blanket before washing
blanket after washing


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Towel Exchange

We had a tea towel exchange at the December meeting.  Members that wanted to participate brought a selection of their handwoven towels and  came home with the same number from friend's looms.  It's a wonderful way to remember good weaving friends when you use their towels, year after year.

This year it seemed that lots of people had twill blocks in mind but you can see that there was a great variety in the twill block interpretation.    Hard to choose when it came time for picking!


Dee's twill blocks in shades of green purple and coral


Ingrid's color and texture towels on the left  - and Beryl's twill blocks on the right


Jackie's twill block towels

Betsy sold most of her towels at craft sales, but brought  this violet/blue and coral towel
Mardi had a variety - waffle weave, color gamps
and a sweet baby blue towel
Margie did borders on most of her towels.  The wefts were a variety of cottons and cotton/linen.

Marcy's plaids and stripes

Wendy-Marie's elaborate twill block towels

Handwoven towels.  What a wonderful way to start the holidays.