Saturday, September 16, 2023

More from the County Fair Part 2

 Ingrid wove these two scarves that are intertwined around one another using a technique called gradients.  A couple (or several) colors are gradually changed from one being dominant to being the subdominant color.  These were techniques she learned in an online class and expanded into her own designs.

 The color changes in the scarf below (also woven by Ingrid) move from dark to lighter and the effect when tied around the neck is stunning in its complexity.   It is 10/2 Tencel, sett at 36 epi and woven with an extended point twill on 8 shafts.

This is a shawl that Ingrid entered in the fair this year.  She wove it with Malabrigo Silkpaca lace yarn for both the warp and the weft.  The structure is twill.

More from the 2023 Nevada County Fair - Part 1

 This is Ingrid K. gorgeous scarf.  Woven in double weave, this scarf won the best of show for the Handwoven category.  Truly stupendous color work and design.  Congratulations, Ingrid.

Ingrid collaborated with Jeanne when weaving this scarf.  Jeanne spun the weft yarn and Ingrid used it on a wool warp.  Enlarge photo to see the details.

 The photo to the right is a close up of a scarf woven by Jeanne D.  Her description follows in italics.

Simple Collapse Weave Pucker up Scarf
The puckers in this scarf are created by using Merino wool and Bombyx Silk. This was
a kit that I purchased from Jane Stafford Textiles. It was woven on a 4 shaft loom with
a sett of 15. The warp alternated sections of 18/2 merino wool and 30/2 Bombyx Silk in
two colorways. The weft used the same yarns creating squares. The magic happens
when the scarf is felted. The wool shrinks and the silk does not created the puckers in
the scarf.

Sue R. won a second place on this lovely place mat woven with twill blocks.  Great colors too!

These towels were also woven by Sue. R.  Great designs and a lovely little diamond pattern.  Both woven on a four shaft loom.


Sunday, August 27, 2023

A Challenge for 2023 Part 2

You don't need a challenge for a weaver to want to "shake things up".  What follows are interpretations of the same threading draft and the weaver's comments about their take on the challenge. As expected, no two experiments are the same.

I've taken some of the text posted on the display board from the fair and added a few thoughts of my own.

The Basics of Weaving
The patterns for weaving come from three components: the threading, tie-up and treadling.  Any combination of those three items will affect the outcome of the woven item.  In each example, the threading was kept the same or enlarged for the project, but the tie up and sometimes the treadling was changed.  In the five works, see if you can pick out what is the same and what is different. 

Mardi Naythons
Since this was the first time that I worked with advancing and point twill together, I decided to use the original threading as noted.  It is a smaller sample because of that.  It has only 396 threads.  The treadling is tromp-as-writ.  The one thing that I did do to make it somewhat mine was to make an ice dyed warp in sections.  I tried to make the outer areas the same and I jogged the
middle section in the dye bath so that it would be different.

Ingrid Knox
I took the original threading and extended it to the width I needed for a towel.  I created two different random stripe patterns for the two areas with different threading designs.  The tie-up is a 1-1-1-1-2-2 pattern.  This towel used a tromp-as-writ treadling – that means I used treadles that mirrored the threading.  The towel was woven using 10/2 cotton for the warp and weft.  The sett is 30 epi.

Jeanne Doty
There were so many weaving possibilities in this weaving draft.  Beryl Moody provided us with 37 different tie ups.  Since it was difficult to choose just one, I chose 5 and made a scarf instead of 5 towels.  It was fun to see these different drafts right next to each other.  The warp was maroon 8/2 tencel with a lemon green 8/2 tencel weft.  Each draft made changes to the color play, some bringing the warp color forward while another draft would bring the weft color forward.

Wendy-Marie Teichert
What was fun about this project was seeing how much variety could be achieved simply by changing the tie-up. I experimented with different weft colors – light purple, light yellow, blue and rose – to contrast with the dark purple warp. In retrospect, I think the weavings would have been more successful if I’d kept the weft color constant and varied the warp colors instead.

Beryl Moody
Weavers are always looking for a way to express their own ideas in the items they choose to weave.  This weaving draft was ripe for an adventure.  Having woven it nineteen years ago in a rather straightforward manner, I was thinking about what changes I could make this time around.  

I decided that if I were to alternate colors in certain sections of the warp and then weave that warp with alternating colors this could change the appearance of the final textile, yet have it retain some of the original design.  This method (in weaver's vernacular) is called color-and-weave. Where there are alternating color changes they tend to obscure the original design and give you something with an entirely new look.  The towel I wove is a combination of the original draft showing through, along with sections of color interplay that distort that original pattern. 

Here is a photo of one of the original towels woven 19 years ago.  It is tromp-as-writ and resembles a ripe banana - thus the addition of the fruit!


Thursday, August 24, 2023

A Challenge for 2023 Part 1

 This is both a story about a weaving challenge and a little bit of history.  I'm writing this in first person, because as you will see in this post, much of it had to do with a challenge to myself 19 years ago, the mileage I've gotten from that challenge and how it all played out at the Nevada County Fair in 2023.

In 2004, the Nevada County Fair was somewhat the same as it is today, but also different.  The Wool show was held in Sugar Pine Lodge - open on both ends so that people could walk through and look at the various exhibits.  There was noise, and dust - a lot of it, but it also encouraged a lot of people that hadn't thought about looking at our handwoven and handspun entries.  We had a ton of kids coming in to try their hand at weaving on inkle looms and hands on spinning done with a hook that created little bracelets that they themselves had spun.  

Since demonstrations were a big part of what we were doing, I wanted to have a lot of different weavers, weaving something that was a bit flashy for the public.  The problem was that these weavers needed to have a simple treadling sequence so that they could manage to keep track of what they were doing with all the surrounding chaos.  I wrote about my solution in a blog post several years later.

Fast forward to 2023.  The Not 2 Square Weavers (of which there are currently thirteen members) wanted a challenge to do something with a draft that I had designed.  Very few of the current membership were involved in the fair of 2004, so I thought it would be fun to weave the draft again and have each person who wanted to participate put their very own spin on it. The idea was that we would put up a display with some of the history and include all of the projects we created in 2023 along with a couple of the original woven towels from 2004.

Jeanne Doty agreed to do the display and asked for written descriptions from all of us who participated to give the public a sense of what we were trying to do.

Here is a photo of the display from 2023.  Wouldn't it have been fun to see a photo of the original weavers from 2004?  

And, for those of you who are weavers - here is the draft with the same threading as was on the demonstration loom.  It has been uploaded to and is #80180

Since this will be a very long post, I'll put the details about the newly woven pieces in the next blog post so stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Nevada County Inspired Part 2

 A couple more Nevada County Inspired pieces were woven by Not 2 Square weavers.

Mardi Naytons inspiration was a wonderfully designed twill towel.

I took this photo on a morning walk down my road.  The colors were a summer inspiration that led me to weave this towel.

 Eileen Lee designed and wove this lovely twill block shawl.  We don't have the inspiration for this post, but the shawl speaks for itself.  I believe the photo attached says "Nevada City in the Fall" and the colors certainly reflect that. 

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Nevada County Fair 2023 - Nevada County Inspired


Each year, the Not 2 Square Weavers bring out their very best handwoven items to display in the Wool Show at the Nevada County Fair.  After several years of COVID disruptions, it seems as though the fair and the community are making progress in returning to a more normal life and one that embraces Nevada County and its citizens.  

Quite a few years ago, the Not 2 Square Weavers established a special category in the Wool show called Nevada County Inspired. The group sponsors a monetary award each year for the best entry.    This year's big winner was Ingrid Knox's handwoven scarf. Here is what she wrote about her inspiration.

Snowmageddon II or Snow and Ice Scarf
The inspiration for this shawl is the storms Nevada County endured this past winter.  We had feet of snow and extremely cold temperatures in February and March 2023. 

Jeanne Doty also entered a handwoven piece in this category and what follows is her inspiration message and her woven shawl.

Living in Nevada City, fire is always on our minds. This shawl was woven to remember the danger of fire but also to remind us of the benefits of fire. After a fire, there is always new growth, seeds that have been dormant for years have a chance to grow.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Wrapping up the County Fair 2022

 Two more Not 2 Square members participated in the County Fair this year.  Diana was able to use one warp and create two projects - a shawl and a pillow.  For these projects, she used an inlay technique to create motifs on the cloth surface.

Diana's Shawl
Diana's Pillow

Diana also entered three towels.

Diana's Towel

Diana's Towel

Diana's Towel


Ingrid entered two towels as well.

Ingrid's Towel

Ingrid's Towel






She also entered three scarves and two shawls.

Ingrid's Scarf

Ingrid's Scarf

Ingrid's Scarf


Ingrid's Shawl

Ingrid's Shawl




Ingrid also submitted a set of pot holders - woven using a doubleweave technique and a rag rug woven using t-shirts.

Ingrid Hot Pads

Ingrid's Rug

Another year of fabulous entries from the group.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Textiles at the Fair

Eileen submitted a number of pieces this summer, including several scarves.  The award winner was a variation of overshot.  She used indigo dyed hand spun yarn for the blue and white scarf .  A third scarf was woven with tencel.

Eileen's Indigo Dyed Scarf
Eileen's Scarf

Eileen's Tencel Scarf

She entered a shawl.

Eileen's Shawl

She also submitted household items - a huck towel and overshot table runner.  

Eileen's Towel
Eileen's Table Runner

A bag and yardage round out Eileen's entries.

Eileen's Bag

Eileen's Yardage

Betsy entered two rag rugs. 

Betsy's Rag Rug

Betsy's Rag Rug

She also entered a hand towel woven with twill blocks.
Betsy's Towel

Betsy also entered a doubleweave table cover and a bag.

Betsy's Handwoven Bag
Betsy's Table Cover

There's lots of talent in the group.