Monday, August 29, 2011

Marbling on Fabric

Diane and I got together with our fiber group to try our hand at marbling. 

Here’re the trays of size with the marbling paints floating on the top. Quite a messy business! 

The object is to float the paints and make a monoprint with fabric or paper pretreated with alum. The fabric is then rinsed and hung to dry.

Here are some of the results – 

These two are of some test pieces we did. The second one was marbled twice.  

This photo shows just a portion of a scarf.

They haven't been washed and ironed yet, so the jury is still out. I feel some have potential and others need to be over printed. Not sure how/if the colors will change after washing.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Business as Usual... Well, Almost

I write this sitting on my back porch escaping the permeating aroma of polyurethane. Wood floors run through our entire upstairs and they're being refinished. Just a few more days and they'll be done thankfully.

The dyeing and drying of the latest batch of Aziza was finished just before this all began. I was planning on reskeining while the floors dried, but I think that will have to wait until next week. You should be able to see some of the new colors at Stitches Midwest.

Sunday, July 31, 2011


Again, a thank you to the organizers. They worked long and hard trying to please all of us. We had a great show; much less to pack out and much more room for our shopping.

The Bateman books and Weaving Designs by Bertha Gray Hayes sold out quickly. But don’t despair, I’ve poked around the studio and found more copies of both and have reordered. So, if you missed them at the show just email us to order a copy (

Diane and I have always had a soft spot for fine threads, and it seems we’re not alone! We introduced Czarina (210/2 silk) and Ranee (140/2 silk) at Midwest Weavers and they flew out the door. Just a handful of Czarina left and only a bit more than that of Ranee. With no samples!

Now we're home for a bit and are looking to weave! I want to use the Ranee as the tabby weft in a Bateman design and the Czarina for a kumihimo braid.  Tell us what you're planning to do with your new purchases! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Midwest Weavers Conference

Had a wonderful time in Michigan! The organizers of Midwest Weavers worked long and hard, and hopefully are now enjoying a long, deserved bit of R&R. The next conference will be in Kansas and we’re looking forward to it (plotting what’s interesting to stop and see between here and there…)
We’ll be posting pictures from the Exhibit on the website, but here’s a sneak preview and more are on Flickr.

Best of Show
Best of Show

First Place 4 shafts or less
Joy of Weaving Exhibit

First Place 5-8 Shafts
Woodland Joy

First Place More Than 8

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Yarn Bombing

My husband showed me an article on yarn bombing in the newspaper this morning.  He then commented that he lives in a house constantly under attack from yarn bombs!  It says right there in the article that, “yarn-bombing temporarily beautifies ordinary objects of everyday life”, so I pointed out how fortunate he is to be able to experience a constantly changing gallery of art.  I'm not sure how this applies to those wisps of yarn making their way up the stairs, but... performance art? perhaps. 

The next exhibit in our little gallery is entitled "Performance on removing yarn tangled in the vacuum cleaner".......

Monday, June 20, 2011

Bateman continues

Diane and I continued exploring Bateman weaves at the Mannings - this time focusing on Multi Tabby weaves.

I’m hoping to label our samples this week and have them ready before the next show.

Monday, June 13, 2011

MidWest Weavers Conference

Still a few weeks off but we’ve started skeining yarn and getting together the boxes. A bit more dyeing yet too. We’re hoping to get more silks dyed. Keep an eye out for some very, very fine silk! We haven’t tried dyeing this yet, but have high expectation of these yarns…

Monday, June 6, 2011

Maryland Sheep and Wool Recap

This is the most relaxing of all our shows. Yes, I know it can be a madhouse… but it’s close to home. Diane even sleeps in her own bed every night! I stay with a college friend up by the fairgrounds. In the old days that meant staying up talking and going to bed in the wee hours of the morning. Neither of us can do that anymore!
All set-up and ready to go –

Looks like lots of room to move around the booth….until

We each drive a car – so more space for yarn! No worries if we forget something and if we guessed wrong what this year’s big seller is, we can restock for Sunday. This year there were many more weavers. Great to see!

My daughter came up Friday after work to help out. She’s been working a booth with me at Maryland since she was a teenager… so I guess that qualifies as a tradition!

We enjoyed seeing old friends. Lots of weavers came by. It was great to see everyone who makes this show so great! 

Monday, May 30, 2011

JOY of Weaving Exhibit

Thank you! Thank you! We now have 20 beautiful pieces for our exhibit from all over the US and England.

This has certainly been a learning experience for us, and on the whole a very pleasant one. We were happy to see that entries are pretty evenly spread over the 3 categories, with a wide range of structures and techniques. You are all so talented. Again, thanks.

All the beautiful pieces will be available for viewing at the Midwest Weavers’Conference.  If you won’t see us there, once we are home the pictures will go up on the website.  Can’t wait to share what you’ve shared with us!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

JOY of Weaving Exhibit

Registrations are starting to come in, but we don’t yet have enough to make the show a go. If you’ve been debating on entering, please do! Some wonderful pieces have already been entered and we want to be able to share them with you. I know we all wait until the last minute but Diane and I are on pins and needles!

Lots of Packing and a Little Play

The boxes for Maryland Sheep and Wool are packed and ready to load in the car Thursday. Hooray!

Stacks of boxes in the garage-in the livingroom, in my son’s room…more details in the next post.

Time to weave! 

It’s a little eerie, but everything went very smoothly – already today I have the loom warped, samples woven and finished and am halfway though weaving the actual scarf.

The weave structure came from an old article in the Weaver’s magazine on diversified huck by Sue Beevers, reprinted in The Best of Weaver’s: Huck Lace. The starting warp was Atiya (30/2 Tencel) and Almaza (10/2 Tencel). I can’t deny it; I’m no fan of sampling and more often than not just plow ahead. This time I did sample. I did wash and iron the sample. I did not, however, decide to use those yarns for the actual scarf. The scarf weft (left) is Empress (60/2 silk) and LE13 (a rayon seed). I’m getting closer. Maybe next time I’ll weave an actual product in what I sample in. Or… maybe not.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


So I had a great New Year’s resolution to keep up with my blog posts!  It is clearly going well, as you can see.  However, I’ve rationalized my tardiness by believing that you all will appreciate that I have concentrated more on dyeing yarns,  building pattern support for those yarns and having even more samples to touch.  Perhaps next year I should resolve to dye more, or eat more cookies.  Those are New Year’s resolutions I am confident I could keep up with. 

In other news, we’re making plans with guilds to offer workshops exploring how the choice of weave structure combined with handpainted yarn can create simple yet beautiful results:
-          Introduction to Weaving with Handpainted Yarns will be offered by the Fredericksburg Spinners, Weavers and Fiber Arts Guild in Fredericksburg, VA, November 12-13, 2011. This is a 2-day round robin workshop; looms are warped with a handpainted yarn; and students experiment with different handpainted yarns in the weft, studying the effect of hue, value, structure and thread size and fiber content.
-          Weaving with Handpainted Yarns II is to be offered in 2012 through the Blue Ridge Spinners and Weavers Guild, who have graciously agreed to be the guinea pig for our new workshop. In this workshop we’ll start to play with more than 1 variegated yarn in the warp and/or weft.  

Stop by the booth to see our overshot and Bateman samples and, if you are in the area, register for a workshop to create your own.  (Your samples will make great gifts – just ask my children and their growing collections of sample weave kitchen towels!)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Weekend of Weaving!

Just back from a weekend of weaving at the Mannings! The fiber group I belong to went up for a class with Tom Knisely on lesser known weaves. Here are some of the things we worked on:

Dimity -
From the class:

…and some of you may remember a scarf we did in JOY yarns in a similar weave.

Pique –
Also from class…

Bergman –
It’s hard to see the details in this very small photo, but the pattern area has small diamonds and the structure uses 3 tie downs in rosepath order.

Quigley –
This structure has 4 tie downs per block.

Bateman Multi-Tabby –
The bottom part of the sample is treadled as written and the other two mix-up the treadle order. Very subtle but effective.

We have a scarf sample of a Bateman Multi-Tabby at our shows. I can’t put my hands on the photo, so stop by the booth!

Diane and I had a great weekend and really enjoyed having so much time blocked out just to weave. The Bateman Multi-Tabby is one of Diane’s favorites. Now that I’m home, I want to revisit some of the weaves we worked on and get a little more creative. Many of these structures were used for traditional coverlets, but we all know that I’m not very traditional. We only used 8 harnesses in class, but I have 32 to play with! I’d like to experiment with more blocks and some abstract arrangements. And , of course, with JOY 60/2 silk or 30/2 Tencel.

Diane and I will be doing another workshop with Tom in May focusing just on the Bateman Multi-Tabby structure, so look out for more samples!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Ratty Tatty Papers

This is my first experience with an online class. I’m making appointments with myself to ensure I set aside time to do my “homework”. There are 6 lessons total and I’m only 3 behind – blame it on the holidays! (And be glad I’m not in college anymore.)
Here’s my first effort playing around with paper napkins and my sewing machine. It’s very relaxing to just doodle…

With relatives gone and everyone else back to work, I’ve the next two days blocked out to play!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I celebrated the end of our show season with a quick trip to London.  Thanks to everyone who suggested places to go!  My husband and I had a wonderful time. 
First stop: the Barbican Art Gallery to see “Future of Beauty: 30 years of Japanese Fashion”.  Check out the website for a YouTube video, photos of the clothing or the companion book.

The exhibit gave me all sorts of ideas for art to wear and led me to these books on Japanese fashion and patternmaking.
Pattern Magic 1 and Pattern Magic 2 have been translated into English (Volume 3 is in Japanese only right now).  And then I saw Folding Techniques for Designers… Weaving with polyester? Pin design? More ideas than time!

Of course, you can’t go to London without a stop by the V & A Museum. Three special exhibits were going on –

-  The Imperial Chinese Robes exhibit opened just as I arrived in town;
- The Ballets Russes’ costumes and sets by Picasso and Matisse were fascinating;
-  The Camera-less photography exhibit was interesting - think about sunprinting and taking it another step or three.
The London Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyes graciously welcomed me to their December meeting. There I met many wonderful weavers and had a chance to see the Annual Competitions entries.  Always interesting to see what people are weaving and it reminded me I want to try bead leno.

No trip would be complete without a visit to a fiber store (or 2) of some sort! I was off to the Handweavers Studio and Gallery.  My husband took a (loooooooong) walk around the neighborhood while I fondled yarns and perused their books.

Then we were (both of us this time!) off to the used book stores.  You can never have too many books! Remember A.A. Milne’s Now We are Six? Well, here’s Christopher Mathew’s Now We are Sixty.
Lest you think we spent all our time indoors, we did walk Hampstead Heath, wander the canals and Holland Park. Those pictures, though, are on my husband’s Blackberry (something I have no idea how to use, despite my daughter’s insistence of its ease).
We left London just before the second snow hit and made it home in time for holiday festivities stateside.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

JOY of Weaving Exhibit

The prospectus is out and Diane and I are anxiously awaiting your pieces! If you haven’t seen it yet, there’s a copy on the first page of our website and on the Midwest Weavers Conference page. Tom Knisley, of the Mannings in East Berlin, PA, will be our judge. Remember it’s open to all weavers! (Members of Midwest Weavers Guild or no; conference attendee or no.)

New Year’s Resolutions

I watch my daughter effortlessly type out text messages, Facebook entries, add photos and upload YouTube videos. They’re bright and chatty with nary a typo or misspeak. Me… I was schooled in the art of the carefully crafted letter. Letters require thought; after all, they can be kept on into the ages. My mother emphasized not only thinking before you speak, but thinking even harder before you write. And so it’s often a long time between my blog posts.

This year I resolve to do better. I may not be able to break the habit of thinking, writing and rewriting (and rewriting), but I’ll try to do it more often.