Short update…and an interesting video

I’ve been busy making a new video series on how to add Christmas trees to weaving (on a rigid heddle loom) using overshot. You can view the videos here.

Check out the ladies in the video below! Quite talented! Unfortunately, their skills are not being passed down to the younger generation as they had been in the past (see the statistics near the end of the video).

Those of you who have done some Shibori dyeing…. can you imagine tying all those knots on the warp ikat like the woman in the video??? YIKES!! And I just KNOW that when I removed the knots after dying that I would accidentally snip some of the wrong threads!!

Spinning with PattyAnne DVDs and current weaving projects

MANY people have asked, soooooo I have added new DVD’s to my ETSY shop.

Lately I’ve been so crazy busy learning new weaving ’stuff’ that I haven’t taken the time to blog here. Lame, huh?? (Speaking of learning new fibery stuff, next week I’m going to “Learn to Spin Cotton Like Gandhi” on a Charka. Can’t wait!!)

Ok, so what have I been learning?? I’ve learned about weaving with color from Daryl Lancaster. I’ve learned how to make permanently pleated fabric using a Shibori technique from Dianne Totten in an Asheville workshop. Get a load of this …… we used (and MUST use) polyester yarn as the weft in our pleated fabric in order for the crimping to work. The finished fabric is absolutely stunning. Below is a picture of Dianne wearing a vest she wove out of cotton and POLYESTER.

In the meantime, here are some of the other things I’ve woven. These items are woven using my own painted warps. I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out!

Handweaving question and I’m quite happy with these towels!

I wove 16 towels using the directions in Handwoven magazine – Nov/Dec 2009 issue. The instructions in the magazine are for 3 variations: ‘huck’ towels, ‘huck lace’ towels and ‘huck boxes’ towels. I had the easiest time weaving both the ‘huck lace’ and the ‘huck boxes’. For some reason I had more errors in the ‘huck’ towel variation.

To weave the 16 towels, I purchased three 1# cones of Natural 3/2 Valley Cotton from Webs. Each cone was 12.59 (plus shipping)
My warp length was 11.5 yards (for the 4 sets of 4 towels).
The towels were set at 12 epi (1/dent in a 12dent reed) in my 4 shaft loom

Any weavers out there??
I have a question. Here goes:

I was quite pleased with the yarn that I purchased, but, there were several “hunks” of yarn that I had to cut out and discard because it was over spun and coiled. Have you ever had this show up in the middle of a cone of yarn? Is it to be expected? Below is a photo showing what I’m talking about. Also below are pictures of the towels in progress and my ‘helpers’ (Libby and Abby) who appear to be dog tired!!

NOTE: The folks at Webs just contacted me saying that the yarn was not ‘normal’ and they offered to send replacement cones!! Since I was able to ‘work around’ the ‘funny yarn’ I didn’t feel they needed to send me replacement cones BUT, wasn’t that fantastic of them to offer!! LOVE. Webs. www.yarn.com

I’m taking a fantastic weaving class in Pendleton, SC

If you live anywhere near Pendleton, SC, I recommend a beginning weaving class held at End of the Warp Studio @ Hunter’s Warehouse where I’m currently taking a class. We are working on 4 harness looms. Jacque (our teacher) also teaches inkle weaving and tri-loom weaving.

Last week Jacque taught us about drafts. She had us using ‘manipulatives’ to help us understand draft draw-ins, treadling, tie-ups and draw-downs. We also learned the parts of a loom and various other weaving terms.

This week we learned how to calculate the yardage of yarn needed for both the warp and weft of our projects. Jacque suggested we choose to actually weave something we can USE or WEAR rather than weaving a sampler. I’m going to weave Summer and Winter towels from a Best of Handwoven e-book. Another student is going to weave some pretty placemats from a recent Handwoven magazine.

(I’m also gonna take my new PupLT to the studio to weave on a separate night (not class night). I plan to work on a chenille shawl from a Best of Handwoven series. I am sooooo loving having Jacque in the ‘hood’.

Let’s see… tonight we ALSO learned about:
Various yarns – wool, silk, cotton, linen…. and sizing of the yarns
How to figure epi (ends per inch)
How to use a McMorran Balance
How to figure out how much yarn we need to make 4 placemats that are 20″ long not including fringe. We were reminded about loom waste, shrinkage, and allowance for fringe.
We learned to DRAW the draw-down.. rather than using the colored strips of paper that we had used last week
We were introduced to a computer program called, “Fiberworks”. There are many cool things that I like about this program including using the Davison Pattern Book (data in .dtx format) which can be imported directly into the program. So cool. I mean I can test colors etc. etc. etc… right on my computer. I also like the note area of the program. I can keep track of sooo much here! Hmmmm…maybe this will help me to organize my samples!!!

Well, I can hardly wait until Monday. I have my yarns picked out and I’m ready to Rumba! ???

Sharing Clasp Weft YouTube Video

In case you haven’t seen this video and would like to try Clasp Weft Weaving…

The Saori Story — one of my favorite ways to weave!

I would LOVE to have looms to use for this… Hey, I do… My Cricket looms and Flips (assuming the folks are able to hold the shuttles)!!
Hmm… I wonder how I could get started offering FREE classes for mentally and/or physically handicapped kids and adults?? Anyone know???

Here’s what I’m talking about:
In Japan in the late 1960s, a woman named Misao Jo, then in her mid 50s, decided she wanted to weave a sash (obi) for her kimono by hand. Her husband and sons built her a handloom, and her 84-year-old mother taught her how to weave! However, Ms. Jo soon felt that her weaving in the conventional style was imitating the regularity and predictability of a machine. She said, “I have a brain and emotion. I’m a human being. I will weave an obi that is full of humanity.” She allowed herself to skip threads in an unforced, rhythmic way, introducing unusual stripes and fringes that resulted in original work of striking expressiveness. She kept experimenting, enjoying herself to a degree that she hadn’t believed possible, but wondering whether others would perceive her work as “really good.” Finally, she brought her work to the owner of a fashionable kimono shop. To her surprise and delight, he bought all the work she showed him, sold it quickly, and asked for more. When she tried to fill his orders for a specific pattern she had made previously, however, she found that her joy in weaving was gone. Realizing that spontaneity was the secret of her success, she determined to teach this wonderful way to others. At age 92, she is still active in this movement today. (From http://www.saoriworcester.com/what.htm )

[The following text is excerpted by permission from the SAORI Japan Headquarters' invitation to a SAORI workshop following the 2004 Very Special Arts International Conference in Washington, DC. The focus below is on people with physical and developmental disabilities. However, SAORI's goals of self-discovery, healing, self-reliance, and simplicity have value for ALL people, and can indeed build common ground between people with and without disabilities of various kinds:]

SAORI is a contemporary hand-weaving program founded in Japan through which everyone can express herself or himself freely regardless of age, gender, disability or intellectual aptitude. It was first introduced overseas in 1986 at the first International VSA arts Festival in Washington D.C. It has since been welcomed in more than 40 countries. In Japan alone, there are more than 30,000 SAORI weavers, including many people with disabilities enjoying SAORI at more than 2,000 facilities. SAORI contributes to disabled people as a rehabilitation method and also as an art form.

1. Self-discovery for people with disabilities.

The ultimate goal of SAORI is to release people with or without disabilities from all the restrictions of conventional hand weaving, and to help them find their true selves through weaving. In SAORI, we do put more importance on the free expression and creativity rather than the technical skills or the regularity of the width, pattern or colours of threads. We emphasize that we do not have to imitate machine-made products. The irregular selvage, loose thread and accidental skip of thread add to the beauty of SAORI cloth.

2. Rehabilitation for people with disabilities.

Through SAORI weaving, disabled people become interested in creative activities, and find joy in artistic expression. In SAORI, we do not teach what to weave. Rather, we help develop individual creativity by praising the brilliant works woven with pure inspiration. Weavers with and without disabilities become self-confident by finding that they can do something creative without any restrictions.We have seen many cases in Japan of people with physical and intellectual disabilities such as hemi-paresis, body impairment and communicative disorder undergoing dramatic improvement after starting SAORI.

3. Independence for people with disabilities

SAORI is not only effective as rehabilitation, but also creates opportunities for independence. In Japan , SAORI clothes woven by people with intellectual and other disabilities are highly valued and popular at department stores. For example, small scarves sell about US$30–80 . Teachers and volunteers at each facility sew the SAORI fabric woven by people with disabilities into bags and clothes. 500–800 such items are sold each year. Though we cannot yet assess the sales figures of every facility in Japan, we estimate that SAORI products produced at those facilities in Japan amount to total annual sales of at least US$300,000.

DRATS!!! HUGE Threading error!!! WAH!

These towels WERE gonna be sooo purty!!

Weaving buddies out there…. can you spot my threading error????

Please humor me and tell me you’ve done something like this!!

Finished bag – minus strap

Here is the finished bag. I LOVE it. I am going to make the strap this weekend….MAYBE….
I have to decide if I want to weave the bag’s strap on my Cricket loom (using 10 dent reed), my Inkle loom (unfortunately I will have to weave another strap off of it first) , card weave or cardboard disk. Hmmmm… I think I want a flat strap rather than a rounded one so I think I’ll use the Cricket. Now…. do ya think my non fibery friends will mind if I bring it on our camping/ kayaking trip???? LOL

Well, here’s the bag. Gotta go get my gear ready for our kayak adventure!! Have a grand weekend!

Double Weave bag woven on Schacht Wolf Pup

Why yes, you can do clasp weft weaving on your double weave bag!

I really wish you could see this bag-to-be in person. I just absolutely love the colors and textures!!

The yarns used are 8/2 pearle cotton, (not sure the color…if I get a chance I’ll look it up), 2 unknown wool yarns (don’t ya hate it when the ball bands go missing?), Lamb’s Pride (Orange Creamsicle), and Moda-Dea Flip (Claret). Oh, I did add a row of sequins (Toledo Wine) and a row or so of metallic braid (Aztec Gold). Again, I just seem to gravitate towards “The bling”.

So anyway, my main intent here was to make another double weave bag. These things are M-A-G-I-C (the way they weave up!). Midway through I also decided to try to add in some clasp weft weaving. I wasn’t sure if it would be difficult since I had to follow a specific treadling pattern (and I’m a newbie at this 4 shaft stuff). Well, the answer is…… doing the clasp weft did NOT present a problem whatsoever!!

Ok, back to my loom…….

Clasp Weft Double Weave Bag

I'm gonna really LOVE this bag! I wish you could see the REAL colors and textures!!

Double Weave Bag is off the Loom!

Here is the latest on the bag. I still have to make the handle and add the closure.

It’s lookin’ pretty GROOVY…. Yes, I’m from THAT era. :)