Friday, December 2, 2011

Cotton Clouds Kits Again!

It's been great to have the support and encouragement of Irene Schmoller, owner of Cotton Clouds.  She now has kits available for the pillows I designed for the most recent issue of Handwoven.  Great for weavers to be able to buy just the amount of yarn they need instead of full cones of eleven different colors!

From Cotton Clouds  website:

Aurora Earth Turned Twill Pillows

Weave 3 coordinating pillows in 8/2 Aurora Earth cotton.

Pillow 1: Yellow-Orange
Pillow 2: Orange-Red
Pillow 3: Red-Brown

Designed so that no two pillows are exactly alike. You start with a three color warp changing the weft colors for each pillow making your weaving project more interesting with a burst of color for each pillow.

This project is featured in the Handwoven Nov/Dec 2011 magazine which you will need for all the warping, weaving and finishing instructions. Be sure to order this Handwoven magazine if you don't already have this issue.
Weave on any 8-shaft loom, 25" weaving width; 12 dent reed; 2 shuttles, 3 bobbins.

Kit makes 3 pillows 20" x 20" each.

Designer: Sarah H. Jackson

As Irene says, "Have fun weaving pillows"!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Huck Lace in Bambu 7

A major challenge of designing is decision making; placing limits on endless, and sometimes, overwhelming options.  In weaving, that means making choices regarding weave structure, color, and fiber as well as deciding exactly what it is I want to make.

The weaving guild study groups I belong to are a great source of inspiration and are sometimes the place I start to make design choices.  In the Weave Structures study group we are focusing on lace this year, beginning with huck. In the Clothing group we're working on garments made with strips of cloth.  I decided to combine these two studies in designing a vest.  So...two decisions made:  strips of cloth combined with huck.  

In my sample I used Bambu 7 in four soft, lustrous colors combined with Luna ribbon to accent the division between the huck lace and the areas of plain weave.  The light colors are well suited for lace, highlighting the shadows and open structure.  Below is a photo on the loom:
I wove the sample using one color for the warp (smallest cone below) and the other three colors as weft.
While the yarns look very similar on the cones, they took on very distinctive and different hues when woven. 

The finished sample (now a scarf) is below.  On the left is the section woven with the darkest color; combined with the warp, it took on a quite pinkish, putty-like tone.  In the middle is the section woven with a color that revealed itself to have a lot of green in it.  And the piece on the right was woven with creamy white.
While I originally thought I would use all four colors, I decided after sampling to use only two; the creamy white and the greenish white.  Both are especially lovely with the colors in the ribbon. And... I've also decided not to make a vest.  The fabric is too light for a vest but has a wonderful, soft drape that seems perfect for a short-sleeved top. 

Now I need to determine how much yarn I need and place my order with Cotton Clouds!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Handwoven magazine November/December 2011

The latest issue of Handwoven magazine arrived last week, and I'm very pleased that the pillows I designed for the Profile Draft Weave-Along are in it!  I am truly appreciative of the opportunity to have my work in Handwoven again.  Editor Madelyn van der Hoogt and her staff do an outstanding job of presenting the work of a variety of artists/designers, and the magazine is always a pleasure to see and read. 
All images by Handwoven magazine.
The third page shows the opposite sides of the three pillows.  Difficult to see here, but in fact, my favorite sides as they are darker, richer colors.
One thing you might notice is the use (again!) of those reds and golds and rusts I love.  Am I in a color rut?  Nah...I just love the colors of Fall!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Taos Inspired...continued

I made this quilt a couple years ago, but want to share it with you as it seems to fit right in with my previous post.  Lots of those colors I love; orange, red, purple, and gold plus black and brown.  The photo was taken outside during my recent get-together with my dad and sisters in Taos.  Nancy, being the tallest of the bunch, is behind the quilt, totally hidden, and Susan, off to the side, made me promise I would crop her out of the picture... because she was still in her pj's. 
I made the quilt for the master bedroom... the pillow on the bed is the third of the double weave pillows I made last summer.
I wish I could take credit for this fun pattern, but it comes from a book titled, "Use it up, wear it out, make it do... or do without!" by Country Threads, 1996.  The quilt pattern is "Hot Buttered Rum" and suggests using dark fabrics in black, red, burgundy, rust, and brown with gold in the center squares.  I added purples and oranges and vibrant reds to the mix to "kick it up a notch."  

When the snow starts to fall in Taos this winter, I'll be toasty and warm under my layer of "Hot Buttered Rum!"

Thursday, October 13, 2011

New Mexico Inspired...Pumpkins, Chili, and Golden Aspens

New Mexico is truly the Land of Enchantment, and whenever I'm there the natural beauty and artistic "vibe" is always inspiring.  At this time of year roadside stands and farmers markets are filled with chili ristras, pumpkins, bouquets of fall flowers, and the fruits and vegetables of the season.  After a trip to Ghost Ranch, just outside of Abiquiu, my sisters and dad and I stopped at a stand in Velarde on our way back to Taos.
  Wow!  How could one not be inspired by the luscious, rich colors here?
The double weave pillows I finished in California are now where they were designed to be...on my red sofa in Taos, and I'm struck by how much the colors remind me of the dried red chili and orange pumpkins in the top photo. 

After two of my sisters left Taos, Susan and I drove up to the Taos Ski Valley in search of changing Aspens.  We were rewarded when we discovered a small tree lying beside the road that had been knocked over in a wind stormIt was "just waiting" for us to pick up the pieces and take them home where we would arrange the branches to fit various places in and outside the house. 
Susan, happy with her aspen leaves!
Picnic spot beside the river in Taos Ski Valley.
Aspen bounty!

 And while we're on the subject of color... Here's a photo of Russian sage and Agastache (Hummingbird Mint) blooming in front of the house:
 And a gorgeous sunset making the snow on Taos mountain glow:
Hmm... there seem to be some colors calling to me in these two shots!  Wonder what they might inspire?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Shadow Weave Pillows... finished!

The pillows I've been working on have been a much greater challenge than I anticipated.  The 100% wool yarn is very loosely spun and prone to "fuzz" with minimal friction.  Fortunately, because I wove samples, I was aware of what would happen.  The solution was to weave the pillows face down and roll the fabric onto the fabric beam with paper in between the layers.  

I chose a different treadling for each side of the two pillows; two small scale and two larger. Here are the two smaller patterns:

And the two larger:

Sewing the pieces together presented another challenge.  Because the fabric is so thick, it would barely fit under the presser foot of my sewing machine.  It also wanted to shift, and I was concerned about the look of the seams if they weren't aligned correctly.  So... I sewed all the seams by hand using 8/2 cotton and a large eye tapestry needle.  It took awhile, but I'm glad I took the time to do it.  I was able to follow one thread along each edge for a precise seam.

The fabric is far too heavy to use for covered welting; instead, I made a ropey twisted cord and stitched it carefully over the seams. 
I'm pleased with the way these pillows turned out and sent photos this morning to Madelyn van der Hoogt, editor of Handwoven magazine, who initiated the idea of using an especially heavy yarn.   She likes them!  And they will be published in the January/February 2012 issue of Handwoven.  Yea!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Big, Bulky, Burly Spun Shadow Weave Sample

I've been working on samples for shadow weave pillows for Handwoven magazine.  Editor Madelyn van der Hoogt asked if I would try using a heavier-than-usual yarn, so I'm sampling with this very bulky yarn from Brown Sheep called Burly Spun.  The warp and weft setts are only six ends per inch!  I chose a draft with more than ten treadling variations, some of which you see here:
It's so interesting to see how the pattern can change; from a Bargello-like zigzag to diamonds and circles.  I'm planning two pillows so now I have to decide which are my favorites! 
 I've included this photo of some of the yarn (I also sampled this heather grey and charcoal) so you can get an idea of how bulky it is.  One half pound has only 135 yards.  Compare that to 8/2 cotton (which I often use) with over 3300 yards per pound!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

One Scarf, Three Ways!

I'm working on a series of embellished scarves for a couple of shows in October and November.  The scarf is the first design I had published in Handwoven magazine (September/October 2010).
Page from Handwoven magazine article
The scarves are easy to weave, and I usually warp my loom for three at a time.  Once the scarves are removed from the loom, I twist the fringe, then wash, dry, and press.  The ribbon embellishment is then added, and that's when things get more interesting!  There are a lot of wonderful knitting ribbons available and I use them to give each scarf a unique look.

Here are three scarves woven exactly alike, embellished with three different ribbons:

The next three that I wove presented a different challenge.  I had yarn I wanted to use for the scarves but only one ribbon with colors that worked well with it.  In this case I needed to change the woven part of the scarf to make each one unique.

If you look closely in the photograph, you can see that one scarf was woven with green weft, and the other was woven with a rusty orange. 
The effect is subtle, but definitely creates a difference since I'm using the same ribbon for embellishing.

The third scarf (unfinished), was woven with a greyed lavender which you can see here in the spaces left for attaching the ribbon:
I'll finish this one later today.  Meanwhile, two shades of red are on the warping board and ready to go on my loom.  Can't wait to see how they'll look with the ribbons I have!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cotton Clouds Kits My Weaving!

Cotton Clouds is a mail-order source of quality yarns (primarily cotton) that has been in business for over 30 years.  Owner Irene Schmoller, well known and highly regarded by weavers, spinners, and knitters, is passionate about the beautiful yarns she sells.  I'm delighted that she has chosen to kit three of my designs that have been published in Handwoven magazine.  

I love that the kits are available in a variety of colors, and I hope some of Irene's customers will share their finished projects... I would love to see my designs in all the possible colors!  Many thanks, Irene, for your support and encouragement!

Swedish Lace Tunic

Easy to weave, easy to construct, you'll love the comfort of this Swedish Lace Tunic!

In this variation of Swedish lace, the floats add a patterned texture instead of creating lacy holes.

Our special order Ric Rac rayon yarn gives the fabric a luscious drape, and the easy-sew tunic pattern produces a flattering garment with set in sleeves.

You'll need a 4-shaft loom, 29" weaving width and a 15-dent reed along with a few sewing notions and tools.

This kit has enough yarn to weave a finished fabric 25" x 105". We've added 25% more yarn in our extra large version.

Shown in natural. However, natural not available at this time. Order our White-on-Natural for a similar color or choose from eight great colors below.

This project is featured in the Handwoven May/June 2011 magazine which you will need for all the warping, weaving and finishing instructions. Be sure to order this Handwoven magazine if you don't already have this issue.

Order your kit today! This is a special order yarn so quantities are limited.

Designed by Sarah Jackson for Handwoven magazine. 
Aurora Earth Summer & Winter Pillows

Weave these stunning pillows using our popular 8/2 Aurora Earth, 100% mercerized cotton yarn.

Aurora Earth is perfect for this color study because there are so many color gradations to choose from.

Designed using summer and winter block weave structure. The secret of success to weaving a harmonious color gradation is to introduce a new color as the tabby weft in one block and then using it for the pattern weft in the next block. The resulting fabric looks complicated while in truth it is not and any beginning weaver can master this technique.

Weave these pillows on any 4-shaft, 27" loom with a 12 dent reed. Choose from two or four pillows in three different colorways.

This project is featured in the Handwoven March/April 2011 magazine which you will need for all the warping, weaving and finishing instructions. Be sure to order this Handwoven magazine if you don't already have this issue.

You'll save by ordering this kit, because we've wound just the right amount (plus some) of the 8 color shades you'll need to complete this project; without having to purchase full cones of each color!

Designed for Handwoven by Sarah H. Jackson 

Southwest Style Woven Vest

This stylish vest is mixed with Southwest appeal and the inspiration of India design.

Bambu 7 harmonizing with Gypsy Chenille Variegated makes a fabric that will sure to award you success!

The Bali-style cone beads used in the fringe add a simple yet sparkling touch. (purchased separately)

This vest can be done on any 4-shaft loom in plain weave, using an 8-dent reed and 9" of weaving width.

Finished size of fabric after washing: 7 1/4" x 135"

If larger size is needed, extra yardage of Chenille and Bambu can be purchased with kit.

This project is featured in the Handwoven Jan/Feb 2011 magazine which you will need for all the warping, weaving and finishing instructions. Be sure to order this Handwoven magazine if you don't already have this issue. Designed by Sarah H. Jackson