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I’ve been writing this blog now for more than four years. I do it for two reasons, one because I love the instant gratification of writing. I am involved in a very labor intensive field, the fiber arts, and to be able to put something down on paper so to speak, quickly and without drama, is sort of like those quick sketches we use to do back in art school as a warm up. I get pretty great feedback from my readers and I think all week long about what I want to say and what is important to me.
The other reason I write this blog, is purely financial. No, I still don’t take obnoxious ads, you’re welcome, and I really don’t want to go that route. I write this blog for free, hoping to attract students because that’s where my income comes from. I don’t sell my work, well maybe some scarves now and then, mostly they get donated to art fundraisers, but I do sell monographs from many of my lectures and workshops. That flashing slide show over on the right column of this blog shows all the different monographs I offer.
So over the last couple of days I’ve glued myself to my computer and reworked and edited, and eliminated, and updated my monographs and my teaching schedule on my website. The 2013 schedule is up, in detail, and many of the places where I will be teaching are already accepting sign-ups. I understand my class at the ANWG conference is almost full. The complete California in February itinerary is also posted. If you live on the west coast, I’ll probably be coming past you at some point in February, I’m covering a lot of the state. I know some of the classes/workshops are full, but there are spots still available in others.
As for the monographs, I’ve eliminated a few, and added a couple. I added a monograph called “Weave a Memory” based on the class I offer, using a technique I’ve covered a lot in this blog. It provides a great tutorial for editing images in Photoshop Elements, printing them on silk, and then cutting them apart and weaving them back together.
The other news is I’ve reworked my popular inkle loom monographs. The book was becoming too large and expensive, and I decided to break it into two parts. So now I am offering a “How to Weave on the Inkle Loom” which covers all the basics, just enough to get you going, and weave a competent band. There is an idea gallery in the back with a few drafts. All of the advance techniques, including what I taught at the Complex Weavers Conference, are now in one monograph, called appropriately, “Inkle Weaving Advanced Techniques”. This monograph covers supplemental warps and wefts, 2:1 pick up, 1:1 pickup for name drafts, pair pebbles, turned krokbragd, and pattern floats on plain weave. There is a discount if you buy both monographs. If you’ve purchased my old inkle weaving monograph in the past year, you have most of the information, I added a few additional slides and some additional techniques, but don’t fret, you still have lots to keep you busy.
And now back to our regularly scheduled programming…
It has been a whirlwind in the studio since the rearrangement, I love the efficiency of the new layout, and I can’t wait to get into the studio each morning, and see how much I can accomplish. I finished the knit top I was struggling with, in the end, I just switched out my sergers, I have two, and all was well. I have preshrunk the fabric for another top from the same pattern, I’m going to cut this one a size down, the knit isn’t as stretchy as the one I just finished, but I think I can use it a little smaller anyway. The pattern is Vogue 8323. The knits I’ve had in my stash for an embarrassingly long amount of time.
I finished weaving the five scarves on my small floor loom, and wound another 12 yard warp to replace them. I spent the last two days warping my loom. Because this is slippery rayon, tencel and other fibers that have a mind of their own, and because I’m beaming onto a sectional beam, the warp needs to be wound under really even, strong, and consistent tension. I bought these tensioning devices from Harrisville Designs when I was there a year ago, and never got around to trying them out. They clamp onto the back beam, and rods are inserted through the warp in plain weave fashion, and they are nested inside the clamps. They work really well. I used all four rods. These are makeshift rods, I may call and order real ones from Harrisville, but I like the two Lucite rods I used, they are really smooth and I’d like to get more of those.
I felt like I needed additional drag though, and came up with a fantastic solution!
Only kidding, dogs aren’t the best weaving partners. I did however, toss the blanket I use for a dog bed in my studio on the warp for additional drag as it came across the floor, and that did work very well. Of course you never know until you actually start weaving how well the tension will hold through the 12 yards of warp. This is such a small loom for this kind of task, and it struggles valiantly to hold up.
And so, here are the next run of scarves, I’m loving the color combination, almost all of the yarns here are hand dyed with MX fiber reactive dyes from Pro Chemical in MA.
Stay tuned, and sign up!