Saturday, February 20, 2010

Having Fun with Color

Dee has a marvelous touch with color in her handwovens. This shawl was alive with color and since it didn't translate all that well in the photo, I will tell you that the colors are lilac, purple, magenta and sparks of bright spring green. The green really makes this shawl come alive.

Dee combined commercial and handspun yarns in purples and lilacs again in her warp yarns. Then, she added a bright red weft. The color interplay is marvelous.


Here is what happens to the same warp with different wefts. These two pieces of yardage are on the same warp but the left has a white weft. The white yarn suddenly becomes pink in appearance. One of the mysteries of color changes in woven fabric.


Still a couple more things to show from our meeting. The next post will be on items that weren't woven by our members, but are handwoven. Treats from around the world.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Weaving Inspired by a Painting

Gus is participating in a challenge through Foothill Fibers Guild in which members of the guild take some aspect of the painting "Large Pond" by Wayne Thiebaud and interpret it in a fiber project. Gus concentrated on the little checked red and blue triangle that depicts a cultivated field (see arrow) and wove a whole series of towels with each one edging closer and closer to what she saw in the picture.


Her structure of choice was Swedish lace. This particular draft was found in Marguerite Davison's book A Handweaver's Pattern Book on page 94.

Gus decided that the blue and red towels needed additional color to give them more interest, so she got out her knitting machine and knitted up white cotton in stockinette stitch. Then, she dyed the knitted blank in similar colors to the one shown above, unraveled the yarn and used it for weft. You can see that the addition of more color really brings depth and richness to the textiles.
There was only enough warp for one more towel, when Gus rethreaded her loom in a new Swedish lace pattern adapted from Mary Snyder's book Lace and Lacey Weaves.


One of Gus' towels will be on display at the Nevada County Fair this August along with other artisan interpretations of the painting. We wish Gus the very best of luck with the judges.

It's All About Stripes

Jackie has been promising to weave rugs for several years and she has a grand Toika countermarche loom which is well suited for the job. She has made a great beginning with this rag rug for her kitchen. Jackie used an old sheet from a thrift store and cut her strips about 1 3/4" wide because the sheet was well worn. Then, from her stash of cotton yardage, she cut strips about 1 1/2" wide for the stripes.


The perfect use for recycled fabric, don't you think?



Ingrid has been playing with stripes. She found a great little tool online called a random stripe generator and played around with it until she found a pleasing stripe design. Then, using three shades of natural color cotton from Sally Fox she wove towels using the draft which follows. The stripe design is outstanding and well worth the extra trouble in warping.

To read a bit more about Ingrid's process click here for her personal weaving blog.


Dee brought in two very different towels that were woven on the same warp. She used a two block twill which is one of her favorites. The towel on the left was woven with a dark green weft and she treadled 1-4 and 5-8 repeatedly so the blocks are pronounced. Also, by using the dark green weft the green stripes really pop. The towel on the left used a white weft and was treadled from 1-8. See the draft at a previous post. For a touch of contrast, Dee picked some heavier purple cotton for accent stripes.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Spring is almost here!

The February meeting was at Marcy's home and her show and tell was on the loom. She is weaving towels in a point twill design and using a different color weft for each towel. Marcy likes the towel with the light blue weft the best so far, but it is already on the cloth beam, so we will have to wait until a later date to photograph it.

Sue R. recently attended a knotted pile workshop and her sampler will turn into a small purse. Here it is with the knotted pile flower and a weft faced weave for the back of the purse. She is card weaving a matching strap. Can't wait to see the finished piece.


Diana brought her woven wool pieces that are destined to become a ruana. The pieces had to be exactly the same length and are hem stitched on each end with fringe. She measured each step along the way and also counted the number of motifs to get her handwoven pieces exactly right. The pattern is a two block waffle weave design from A Weaver's Book of 8-Shaft Patterns. For those of you who have the book, the draft is #519.

In this picture you can see the brighter border on the bottom of the piece. There is also a brighter stripe on the sleeve edges. Diana dyed the yarns for the ruana and is going to weave an inkle band for the front and neck edges. Stay tuned for more pictures of the finished garment.


There is lots more to show from the meeting. I'll put up a post every couple of days, so check back frequently.