Saturday, March 24, 2012

Elemental Huck-Lace Top

The latest issue of Handwoven magazine finally arrived in my mailbox yesterday. The March/April issue is the first solo effort for Handwoven's new editor-in-chief, Anita Osterhaug, and she did a fabulous job! I'm excited for this issue for three additional reasons: First, it includes one of my designs...
Photo by  Handwoven

First page showing the back of the top
Second, an article I wrote after sampling some new yarn from Habu Textiles...

Page 1 of  2
And, third, it is the first issue I worked on as a technical editor!
I learned a lot, thoroughly enjoyed working with the editorial team, and have a new-found, huge appreciation for what goes on behind the scenes to pull an issue together successfully. We're finishing up the initial tech edits this week for the May/June's going to be another good one!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Diversified Plain Weave, To Be or Not to Be

The black and natural tote bag I wove last month inspired an idea for using multiple colors in the same weave structure. I ordered several colors of rayon chenille from Cotton Clouds, and when the box of yarn arrived, I swear, it looked good enough to eat! These colors make my mouth water!
The biggest challenge in planning the warp was deciding how to arrange so many colors in a random, but balanced order. To get an idea how they would look on the loom, I wrapped two or three plastic embroidery floss bobbins with each color and experimented with various arrangements. Here you see some of the bobbins and a partial drawdown I'm using for threading and treadling.
As soon as I began winding the warp on the back beam I noticed a tension differential between the chenille and the 20/2 cotton I'm using for the tie-down ends. In haste (rarely good for making decisions!), I pulled everything toward the front of the loom, and in no time had created a giant, tangled, gnarled mess. Aaagh!
To make a long story short, I've spent hours (won't tell you how many days!) untangling and retensioning. It would have been faster and easier to throw the whole mess in the trash and start from scratch, but... I don't have enough yarn, and I was determined to make it work. I did end up cutting out the fine warp --all 500 ends--since I had enough to redo that. And, finally, order has been restored. Whew!
Well, almost whew. I'm just about finished threading, so by this time tomorrow will have a better idea whether or not I've actually solved my problem. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Weaving Divas

Opening my email this morning, I was delighted to find a message from Ann Maxvill of Springfield, Missouri. I first heard from her a couple months ago when she and a friend had a question about the summer and winter pillows I designed for Handwoven magazine. This morning's email included a link to Ann's blog where there is a photo of her friend, Kathy, and the fabric she wove using my design. Kathy's program, "Color Rotation in Summer and Winter", was presented at a meeting of the Weaving Divas. What a great name! Below is a photo of Kathy...  
And Handwoven's photo of my pillows from the March/April 2011 issue.
 What a treat for me to know my work is interesting to other weavers and that they are studying it and learning from it. Thank you so much, Ann, for sharing!