little weavings

i've been struggling with my last couple of warps. i get an image in my head, not clear or precise, just go with it, and put planning aside. pretty much just warping first and thinking about the weft later. with this set of weavings it worked out well, as i was able to experiment with a variety of warp threads and techniques.

using a fine paper yarn and a strip of bunny fur created a light, tiny weave with open spaces woven in silk. i need to frame this one, but am still working on that part.

this one was a mixture of kasuri remnants from a previous piece; very speckled.

the curly weft threads all but lost the linen warp, which is cool, as it brought focus to the pile weavings. it was quite fun to try these surface embellishments, hopefully i can use them in future pieces.

linen on linen can be boring, but the pattern really comes through, and the shots of cochineal dyed cotton add interest.

this yellow thread was really fun, so chunky, and made the pattern huge compared to the first one. i played with some pile weaves and a chain stitch like weave in purple yarn.

there was a tiny bit of warp left, so i finished off with some cottolin and bamboo.

i have another linen warp now on the loom, but i'm a little lost as to what weft will be going on it. i had wanted to use a tsumugi silk yarn, but it completely overwhelms the warp, so i need to do some planning. i shall spin some wool, and think some more.


fixing what one doesn't finish

i've been entirely too fascinated with the internet lately. but sometimes i come across an answer to something i've been stuck on. i haven't been completely satisfied with the linen skirt i made awhile ago; it just didn't feel finished. so, i ripped out half of the elastic, pleated the waistband in front, and dragged my box of embellishments out. what caused this sudden activity? why, the work of christine mayer as seen in selvedge.

i loved the label prints which are so characteristic of old linen, and felt inspired to applique a vibrant chartreuse silk no. 5 to the side. the back was so plain in contrast to the front, so i also sewed some mina perhonen embroidered fabric circles and grey sequins. then, the front was missing some glam, so three rhinestones were added to the embroidered monogram, and some clear sequins scattered amongst the pleats.

i definitely feel better about it now, and love that i was able to incorporate some of my prized mina perhonen fabric. which leads me to my second fascination, acquiring the particle of mina perhonen book. ah, love. i desperately want this book. and some more scraps from kyoto.


at play

for the last several weeks i've been doing some weaving while i waited for the dyes to simmer. the joy of a linen warp is that it's a perfect way to try different things and use a variety of yarns. i used a narrow width and a fine thread on a 20 dent reed. paper yarn, rabbit fur, cotton, linen, random kasuri, pile weaves, colors, neutrals, and tapestry techniques were things that i used.


i learned something new about my camera; the shutter speed can be really really interesting. i was trying to capture the full moon with my camera and started playing with the settings in order to do it well. of all the ones i took, these three are my favorite:


cushions, pincushions, pins and...yarn!

i've added some of the yarn i've been spinning to my etsy page. there's so many gorgeous yarns throughout etsy, i think mine may become quickly lost! it would be great if there were local craft shows in savannah, i could think of a few people who would want to share a booth.

i did some logwood dyeing today, and have a bit of fiber soaking in a jar of lichen dye. when i look at the dyebath after the first batch of fiber is dyed there is still so much dyestuff left in it, but the next batch of premordanted fibers come out in such pale shades, even though i soak them overnight in the cooling water. i completely don't get it. it's like this for all of the dyes i've been using; cochineal, kamala, osage, logwood, madder, teal. i hate having to dump the remaining stuff in my compost if it's still usable, so i wish i could figure it out. i think perhaps a posted question to the natural dyes group is needed.


keeping busy

today was a classic spring day; i cleaned the studio, i gardened (well, watered my seedlings really), i dyed, i wove, i cooked (black beans and yellow rice, yummy!), and then i had some serious thoughts about visiting the chiropractor.

it's finally staying warm enough for me to put my orchids out for the summer, and i figured right by my studio would be lovely. so, yesterday i crafted some wire hangers and attached hooks into the fence, and hung them with very little difficulty. they're happier outside then in (maybe it has something to do with the sparse watering schedule they endure at my hands?).

i also cleared a patch in front of the studio for the weld and indigo seeds, so i'll be watering for a couple of days and waiting on tenterhooks until they sprout. i checked on them this morning and found a line of ants tunneling down the middle of the patch, i hope they're not carrying away my seeds!

i was able to add samples of the madder dyeing i did on monday to my dye book. i've been having fun with the wool roving bits i put aside for the dye book, as i've found it really fun and easy to spin them on my bobbin winder. i'm thinking this technique may work for paper spinning.

one of the metalsmithing tools that's been loitering in my studio is a large crockpot which i keep forgetting to bring to goodwill. but luckily, procrastination paid off and i can use it for an indigo vat! now i'm just waiting for the mail system to deliver the ground indigo. i'm very excited, as i'm missing blues in my dye experiments.

a couple of weeks ago i put a linen warp on my loom and have been playing around with different yarns, piles, and random weft kasuri. i've enough left to try one more thing, maybe something sheer.

i took some photos of the studio before i cleaned, and i don't think the desk looks all that bad. i'm really happy with the way the inspiration board is fleshing out.



well, no news in the indigo front (the experiment bombed for various reasons). but, there's still some dyeing taking place in the laboratory. i've been dyeing wool roving as an experiment to see what colors i may obtain from the different extracts i have. hopefully i will end up with a good spectrum of colors to card together and spin. so far i've created bubblegum pink, deep magenta, daffodil yellow, and a ruby purple by using madder and kamala. currently resting in the dye pot is hopefully a teal and a pale green, so their final color is awaiting verification. i know i should make orange, but it's my least favorite color, so i may settle on peach. when i have them all together i'll post photos.

i was happy to receive extra bobbins in the mail from doc for my new old spinning wheel, so i tested them out and was able to spin a fine grey alpaca two ply yarn; it's especially fuzzy, so i'm not quite sure what to do with it.

on monday during the spinning meet-up, i spun a lovely silk merino i've had forever, and plied it with a cinnamon alpaca. it took a little extra work to ply as i had to reply it on my drop spindle after the initial plying was too loose. drop spindle plying is especially nice as i feel that i have more control over the end result, at this point i prefer it over spinning singles on the drop spindle (i quite like using the spinning wheel for that part).

i'm racking up quite a collection of spun yarns, perhaps i should put some of them in my etsy storefront?


in preparation

little bundles i hope to dip into an indigo vat. shibori is something i haven't played around with very much, but i'm excited to see how these pieces come out. i'm using some of the mistletoe dyed scraps and hope the indigo covers up an unsuccessful dye result. i'm thinking the madder dyed pieces will become a deeper blue purple with one dip or so, but i'm not completely certain. that's the fun of experimenting with natural dyes, you really don't know how a fiber will come out of the pot; bright, pale, muddy, strong, mellow, uneven, uninspiring, surprising.

my big picture plan with this indigo dyeing is to create an oilcloth apron i can wear when dyeing in the future. i've wrapped screws into one piece of duck cloth, and scrunched up another. when they've been dyed and dried, i'll stretch them onto a frame and layer linseed oil until a slick surface is created. when all is cured, the pieces will be cut and joined into a long styled apron. i'll post pictures of the stages and we'll see how the final sums up.