I’m slowly learning a new language for podcasts, videos, recordings, and one of them, that absolutely delights me is when the cameras and audio are rolling for our Friday shoot for the YouTube channel, The Weaver Sews, and my daughter says, “Clap on 1, on 2, on 3” and then I try to clap as loud as I can. We snicker when I do a pathetic clap, and cheer when I do a loud crisp clap, that is perfect for aligning the audio and video tracks. It’s the little things that we hold on to for entertainment in these trying times…
I talked about the design inspiration and how I got to decide what components to use for the vest I videoed the last couple of Fridays in my last blog post. This is my 500 vest pattern, and I used handwoven fabric I wove for this vest, called Shadow Tapestry, which I developed for Silk City Fibers since they comped me the yarn, to see what I could do with it. The draft is free and available here.
I finished up the vest this weekend, and I’m more than happy. For the closure, I ended up making a twist ply rope for a button loop, and using an industrial epoxy to glue a flat button on the back of a piece of Polyform clay that use to be a pin, purchased sometime in the 80’s or 90’s, when Fimo was a thing, and it has been sitting in my box of oddities for many many years. I like my oddities box.
This morning I woke up to an Instagram message that a podcast I recorded a few weeks ago had dropped, and we had such a good time and we talked for such a long time, they made it into a 2 part podcast. Part two airs next Sunday. The podcast was from a group called The Professional Weaver Society, and I’m episode 42. I started looking over the Professional Weavers who have recorded interviews with Tegan and Eric, the brains behind the podcasts and I was stunned. There are some amazing interviews on this podcast, and I have a lot of listening to do. Tegan took a workshop with me at Harrisville Designs a couple years ago, and she was such a delight, grilling me with questions on marketing, selling, and general questions about doing this whole weaving thing for a living. She so reminded me of myself at that age. She is an amazing powerhouse of talent and energy, and her guy Eric is a huge support.
Meanwhile, I listened to my episode today while I finished up the vest. It was a cold rainy day here in NJ, and the flowers and lettuces were loving it. Even though I know how the story turns out, obviously, it was still hilarious listening to myself talk about how I got to be who I am.
And while I mull over the topic for next week’s shoot, I started on a massive project for the loom. This is one of the more ambitious things I’ve done, and it all started with this odd pile of hand dyed wools, mohairs, and odd protein fibers, some of which I can’t completely identify, but they took an acid dye well (Cushings) and I’m including all of it.
I love giving myself really tight parameters. Toss some yarn on the table and see what I can do with it. I’ve got empty looms, and lots of yarn. I spent the better part of this past week doing careful calculations on what’s in each skein, how much, and how far it will go.
I calculated a 55/45% split, and decided, even though I love single shuttle weave structures, that I wanted to do another plaid, like this one, which will be featured in an article in the next Handwoven Magazine.
So I sat down tonight on my computer and carefully plugged in a plaid, using all the yarns from the pile on the table, and got this. When I told the software to “Weave as Drawn In” and selected the Colors and the Draft, I squealed in delight as this popped up on my screen.
Only problem is, I need to put this on my 36″ loom, because my daughter is hogging the two 45″ looms we have, and I don’t have a 6 dent reed for the 36″ loom. Which means I have to buy a new reed. Which means this project will be delayed, but I can still wind the warp and get it ready. The sett will be 12 epi, and I’ll sley two ends per dent. (If you aren’t a weaver you have no idea what I just wrote. I’m sorry…)
I know I’ll probably regret picking a project where I have to change the weft every two picks or so, but I like challenges, and it is such fun to use up stuff that is just sitting in a basket calling to me every time I go out in the studio…
I also mentioned in the last blog post that I had donated a handdyed and handwoven scarf to the Shakespeare Theater of NJ for their spring virtual auction, which is happening now. I promised to let you know when it was available for bidding. I love this theater company, and right before the pandemic hit I was volunteering in their fabulous costume shop, and loving every minute of the experience. I’m doing everything I can to support them and my other favorite arts organization Peters Valley.
I get my second vaccine on Wednesday, and hopefully that will keep me safe, especially since I have my last two in-person workshops scheduled at Peters Valley this summer. They are both weaving workshops and I believe both are filled!
The trees and bulbs are spectacular this year, I’d like to think the superior air quality and lack of pollution from last year contributed to this glorious spring, I don’t really know since I’m not a scientist, but they are spectacular for whatever reason.
Enjoy spring, wherever you live, there is light at the end of this long endless tunnel. Stay tuned…