Did you know?

A "Pandula" is a flower which blooms only in one's imagination.


Monday, January 31, 2011

What's on the Loom????

I am so proud of my friend/student's accomplishments with her weaving.  Last week she completed the never ending tapestry.  She is still deciding what she wants to make it into.  She also warped up again for a sampler that we found in an old Handwoven magazine, AND she warped up her rigid heddle, she is still thinking on that one also.  

She has been a busy beaver!

Funny how opposite we are, and yet we are both still managing to learn from one another.  She needs a game plan, although she is always open to adjusting that plan.  Me?  I pretty much always wing it.  I like to just see what the loom has to say to me.  

Having her for a student has me rethinking some of that though.  I have recently even predetermined a project or 2.  Like her bag that we did together with the bands I wove, and she assembled!  It turned out lovely, and although we didn't write the plan down in blood, we did indeed discuss it and come up with something of a plan.  

We are both proud of the outcome.  I posted the pic once before, but I will give you another glance here.

Now for the tapestry!

The multi color (think verigated) is a very fine chenille and really shimmers.  When she stared this she had in mind a 'but pillow'...you know to sit your but on when you weave.  Since then I think she had decided she might like to sit her loom up on a table.  I can't wait to see what she comes up with for a set up.

I love the weaving itself.  I think it would be beautiful as a table topper.  We were working on hatching and she find it tedious...so we adjusted the plan accordingly.   

As for my weaving...I am thirsting for something with a little more freedom than the warpface weaving.  I want flowing lines and maybe something that comes a little easier for me.  

I feel a tapestry weave coming on.  Maybe...I do love the warpface though and you just never know which mood will strike me.

Friday, January 28, 2011

What's on the Loom????

I was absolutely thrilled with my new warp and it's colors.  WAS.  LOL

I decided to warp up with a stripe background because this would allow me to try a speckled background, and I did try it.    It also allowed for the fact that if I could not figure it out, or hated it, I could still revert to my usual simple warp floats.  Had I known that this warp would be soooooo wide (which is a serendipitous good thing), I would have made the stripe area less wide.  Maybe just down the middle, or even on each edge and the center????  Anyway, I have a 96 thread wide pattern area.  I haven't been able to just happen onto a pattern that this works for.   But I digress, back to the speckles...Below you will see a picture.  

First I did just stripes to establish my width, 5 3/4 in.  Then I got out my Helen Bress Inkle book and did some speckles...didn't seem to be working...went and got roommate (2 heads are better than one you know, especially when one used to be a full time weaver)...decided I was indeed doing it correctly and started again.  I didn't like the up 1 down 1, too busy.  So I tried up 2 down 2, hummmm it was o.k...then I tried up one and down two.  Aha!  I love that one.  So I unwove the sample below and started with the up one down two...then I decided to check the backside...;o(...bummer, this system allowed for every so many threads NEVER to be tied down, somehow this way there were threads that would float the entire length of the fabric, that would be 7 feet.  More un-weaving.  I am just glad I looked at the backside when I did.  

Also, I was very mistaken.  This technique is definitely NOT like Laverne's warp float galore tutorial.  ;o(

I have learned alot with this warp already.  Use slightly smaller pattern area, double threading each heddle makes for a wider as well as thicker piece, I love the speckled background and I have indeed figured out how to do it.  Now, of course, I would still have to figure out how to do the speckled background with a pattern.  Didn't get that far.  I learned that to graph a 96 thread count design area you need to tape graphs together and the chart is HUGE!  Good thing I have in abundance lots of that tenacity Laverne talks about.  LOL

In the end I am just doing simple warp floats.  Diamonds so far as I don't know how big a motif will be, or it if will get elongated etc. etc. and etc.

Now for pictures.

Bottom up it goes, stripe, 2x2, 1x1, 1x2....

All of this but the stripes got unwoven...keep watching though the pattern is indeed happening for the next posts' pics.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What's on the Loom????

Here we goooooooooooooo...

All warped up.  Started out on the Mini loom and discovered my warp was HUGE!  Much wider than I had thought, must be the # 3 mercerized cotton crochet thread combined with double stranding the entire piece.
Believe me it was a pain.  Thank goodness I made the decision to move over to the larger loom.  The Mini only has 100 heddles.  I would have been in deep poop!  It was tough enough even though I caught it early.

The watermelon and the pomegranate I think are smaller than #10, but as they were not marked I cannot be sure.  This is my widest warp yet.  I haven't started the actual weaving yet ( my back was killing me when I finished warping) but right now it measures 5 3/4 in. wide, 116 heddles.  The yarns snagged and snarled all through winding it onto the warp board, as a result I lost my count repeatedly.  So I could only give an educated guess as to my count.

The watermelon and pomegranate make a lovely combination.  I took pics of course so here they are.

Here I am starting out on the Mini Wave.

                                                    Here it is wound onto the Large Wave.

                                                  Just about done with threading the heddles.

                                                         Starting to tie onto the front beam.

                                               Here you see it with the spacer slats in place.

Now all I have to do is decide what technique and patterns to use.  Such a bit space is just a leeeeeeetle bit

Monday, January 24, 2011

What's on the Loom????

So I decided to do a new piece.  I chose to do another piece similar to Crystal's Christmas scarf.  

I warped double stranded 2 shades of yellow, and double stranded watermelon, and persimmon.  I am going to try to go for 'speckled background'.  Think this is the same technique that Laverne calls 'warp floats galore'.  This means that there are floats on each row of stripes in the background and as a result the stripes are hidden and specks show in the background instead.  I just want to know that I have the option of eliminating the stripes when I choose to.  Even though I have actually produced some very nice pieces with the stripes and have learned not to mind them at all.  

I also believe the more I know the more likely I can teach it to others.  This also let me produce nice gifts for my friends and family.

So far I only have pictures of my warp, but it will give you a taste.

Here are the yarns!

                                                                Here is the warp!

Kind of reminds me of Valentine's Day!  No hearts though, did enough of those of Crystal pistal!

Stay tuned, more pics coming soon.

Friday, January 21, 2011

What I've been up to!

I guess the one thing I haven't been up to is posting on my blog, and for that my friends I do apologize.  

I went into something of an uninspired state of mine after all of the weaving before the holidays.  This is not the first time this has happened to me either.  I often start next years holiday presents in January.  This past year I did not.  So as a result I had alot left to do before Christmas.  Plus, as you know, I was learning new techniques on my little Mini Wave loom.  I made spectacular leaps and bounds with it even if I do say so myself.  But after Christmas I fizzled out.

I did recently start some new projects though and so I thought I needed to give yo an update of sorts.  I really wanted to have the choice of whether or not I had to have horizontal stripes in the background of my weaving's.  This lead me to alot of research, the result of which would be to learn to do double weave pick up.  Definitely not a beginner technique.  I don't consider myself a beginner at this point, but certainly not an expert.  But I dove right in.

You have seen pictures of the first couple small pieces, and then came the black/red and white piece.  After the 4 practices in plain double weave I decided to try for a design element.  No problem right...wrong.  I chose my colors, if you have been following along you know I went with the brown/gold/copper mist and silver.  I figured I would figure out the design as I usually do, make it up as I go along.  Wrong again.

I made an 11 foot warp and the thing was beautimous!  However, it was also done with those tiny little #10 threads.  What a disaster, these old lady eyes just couldn't cut it.  The warp was sixty threads or so wide.  That means that since there were 2 colors in each heddle one side of one shed had 120 threads.  This soon became beyond tedious.  I ended up with twisted threads and I don't even want to think about how many times I tried to do a design and had to un weave.  

This technique is kind of like basket weave the way the rows line up.  Every other row they move to one side.  When you do simple warp floats they go from being picked up in row one, floated over row two and then back into the weave on row three.  As a result these line up perfectly one above the other.  But that is because it is every other row.  On Double weave this is not so.  I had an extremely hard time wrapping my head around this.  Eventually I gave in and decided to use one of Laverne Waddington's charts from her blog.  It worked!  YEAH!  wrong...It was so tiny that on an 11 ft. warp I would have been weaving for the next year.  

So I rolled past that part and started again.  Self, I said, Just do plain double weave and let this beautiful thread speak for it self.  I need a new belt anyway.  Wrong yet AGAIN!  As Laverne warns you have to be very careful of spiraling of the threads one around the other.  So when I rolled up the woven part I flipped it over to see the back side and make sure I was on the right track. I discovered THREE dark brown flecks on the copper mist side.  They were all  spaced through out the piece.  Basically to fix them I would have to un-weave the entire piece...AGAIN!  NOOOOOOOO....I cut that sucker off and threw all 9 feet that were left in the garbage.

Then I did the happy dance.  

You have to understand that since I have no full time job, wasting yarn is not something I take lightly.  I despise waste.  Especially when I had to send to FL to get the yarn in the first place.  This little town has nothing to offer in the way of art supplies of any kind.

But still, I DID THE HAPPY DANCE.  LOL  I felt like I was let out of jail and I don't care even today about the waste.  

On to bigger and better things.  

Wait till you see what I did today! 

Friday, January 14, 2011

2nd Attempt at one weft double weave.

#10 Mercerized cotton ‘Espresso’
#10 Copper mist
#3 Gold metallic
#3 Silver metallic
This is another attempt at one weft double weave. There will be a design, but as of now I am not sure what it will be. Wish me luck.

First we wind the warp!

Then we wind it onto the loom!

Getting ready to thread the heddles.

Getting started with the actual weaving.  Notice how we have copper with silver on one layer and Espresso with gold on the other layer.

Had some trouble with the warp, so I had to cut off the beginning, re-establish the cross, re-thread the heddles, re-tie onto the front beam and start over.  I thought you might like to see the little samples.


As for this weave along, I am stepping away from my current project. It is on the largest wave loom (borrowed from my friend in Jacksonville, who’s parents own Gilmore Looms), and I am not sure that my living situation, as in where I weave, is conducive to this larger one. I just can’t get comfortable with it.

However, that is just the tip of the iceberg.  What is really happening is that this #10 I am using is simply too hard to see for doing a design. At the moment I can’t seem to find a reason to torture myself with continuing. After, what? 5 days or more, I have woven and unwoven so many times that I am still in the 1st 2 inches of the weave. ;-( Also, I can’t for the life of me imagine what I would do with another long thin band, as this warp is 11 foot long.

So I am going to sit this one aside, my frustration level is just toooooooo much. I will think of another project and put it on my mini, using number 3 like I did with the black, white and red piece I completed earlier in this WAL.

So for now I will be lurking for a while, thinking, thinking, thinking. I might try warp floats galore from Laverne's blog/tutorials!  Maybe I will draw for a while.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Completed one weft double weave practice piece.

Remember, this one is made entirely of left over yarn, I actually hate the colors and of course I am using my Gilmore Mini Wave loom.  I had no idea how much 'take-up' would occur, except that it would be alot with the two layers.  It is 27 warps wide, which came to 1 6/8 in. wide.  I started with a 5 ft. warp and ended up with a 27 in. long piece (without the fringe), maybe a foot or so of waste.  It isn't meant to be made into anything, at best I thought maybe a belt.  Unfortunately it is too short.  I found one little weird spot in the black side.  I am thinking it may end up being a small cell phone pouch for my tiny phone?  Maybe.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Dana's Cell Phone pouch!

Not only is the cell phone pouch completely assembled, but lined as well.  I can't believe that she just happened to have batik fabric that matched it so well.  I feel like I learn as much or more from her as she does from me in the tapestry workshop...I think it is very cute!

This is the front side.

This is the back side.

Here I just thought that you might like to see how great the fabric matched!

I guess I am going to have to start inverting some of my design work.  That way when folded it will not be upside down like the backs of my pieces are at this point.

Gotta say though, that is the only thing I don't like about them.  Yep, I am just a leeeeeetle bit proud!

Nice work Dana, we make a good team! ;-}

Keep watching I am almost done with my double weave piece.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

New warp face technique!

Unfortunately, my Artfire site doesn't seem to be selling anything, so I have decided now that the 'have to' weaving are completed I can go on to do some just for the 'fun' of learning something new.

As you know, I belong to a couple of weaving groups.  I have been particularly active in the Ravelry backstrap and inkle groups  (the backstrap info translates well to my Gilmore Mini Wave Loom).  In the backstrap group we are doing a WAL, Weave-a-long.  I have been wanting to try something called 'One weft double weave'.  I did indeed complete two small pieces in the past, but quickly had to move on to something that went a little faster so that I could finish Christmas presents.  

This 'pick-up' technique allows me to eliminate the horizontal lines in the background of my work.  I want to try for solid backgrounds.  This also allows me to have a weaving with one color on one side and another on the other side.  If you do pick-up designs they show in reverse from one side to the other.  It also produces a heavier woven structure.  A little less drape in the finished product.  Perfect for things like belts and dog collars!

For now, I am simply concentrating on a 1 1/2 inch band with no design.  This is a much slower, and laborious technique that requires all of my concentration.  It makes it easier to produce lettering and my own design work as well...once I get the hang of it anyway.  In two days I have only produced about 12 in.  Remember I don't have a day job and can devote more time that most people to my weaving.  Still taking me alot of time for this technique.  But once I get it together...watch out!

So, as usual, especially since I am participating in the WAL, I am taking alot of pictures.  Here is the start of my project.

First warping.  This is the 4 1/2 yard warp board made by Gilmore Looms.

Here I am ready to start threading the heddles.

Here I have threaded the heddles and then tied onto the front beam!

Here we have the backside of the loom all warped up and ready to go!

Here we have a side view.  As you can see I not only have to use the two existing sheds, but I have to develope two more for each 'row' of weaving.  Two for the front side and two for the bottom side.

Here you see the very beginning.  Notice how much wider the piece looks before you actually start weaving.  Since you only use 1/2 of the warps with each pass it becomes much narrow as you weave.  This makes getting the very beginning of the weave very difficult to keep the same width as the rest of the weaving.  I think I did O.K. though!

I will definitely post pics of my progress.  I just don't want to mess up my tension on the loom by unrolling the finished weaving for now!  So stay tuned folks.

Friday, January 7, 2011


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

This one is for Dana's cell phone pouch!

As my table for my sewing machine is tied up with the Christmas tree so she will also be assembling this one herself.

Just a picture of the weaving for now!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Dana's One skein project bag!

The panels that I posted a week or so ago has been turned into a complete tote. She calls it her ‘one skein project bag’! I am sooo excited. She lined it, put pockets on the inside and even used a zipper for the closure. She is a seamstress, she even works as a supervisor in a sewing (uniform factory) facility. She is my tapestry workshop student and it seems I will be learning to sew more often! She even bought me a sewing book for Christmas.
 Wow!  I just love it!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2012

Boy I hope this year goes better than the last one.

Just a couple of pictures of my hard won weaving's after the car accident.

The purple and blue one was done on the backstrap...too much pain. The yellow and brown one was done on the PVC pipe loom.

 Unfortunately I don't have many good pics of the loom.  The pic above gives you an idea though.  If you look closely you can see threaded rods in the frame, these are great for tensioning!  (this is the bell pull piece.)  It works but is a bit labor intensive for rotating the warp and the actual warping process is a pain.  I warp a backstrap and then wrap it around the frame, you can seem the backstrap loom bars lashed to one another at the top.  Seems to make more sense to me if I am going to make a backstrap to just use it as a backstrap.  Go figure.  But it was alot less painful on the shoulder using the pvc loom.



I also warped up a thin red white and blue piece.  I am determined to make a belt in the 'Captain America' colors for my friend Max's son.  I wanted to with the skulls, but double weave was over kill and it wasn't quite long enough.  I was pleased just to get skulls at all since it was a failed balance double weave warp, saved by converting over to the warp face double weave.  But I digress.