I should be celebrating, this is five months of hard work, and it is finally completed. But I’m already onto the next adventure, so much to cram into this quarantine that doesn’t seem to be going away. Oddly enough there are deadlines looming, pun intended, more about that later.
So we launched the last of the 12 patterns I use for my classes. At this point, you can purchase my patterns, all of them, on my website. This has been a huge deal, we have never worked so hard. It took a team, I created the content, my daughter created the layered files that actually created the patterns, and I hired a tech editor for the instructions. The instructions are, as always available for free on my website. There is a lot of great information in there about sewing with handwovens, but I’m really looking forward to creating YouTube videos on specific areas of support. Like how to actually print and create the full size patterns.
Because so many have written me and asked, and many in the handweaving community haven’t ever purchased a downloadable pattern before, I want to do a video explaining how to basically print and tape together all the sheets into a full size pattern. Yes, you have to print them yourself. Yes, you can have a place like Staples print the file for you. Yes, you have to tape all the pages together. And no, I don’t sell the printed pattern. Only the download. I’m even wanting to get away from printing and shipping the monographs which at the moment are available digitally and in print form. Printing and shipping costs are ridiculous, and with the delays in the post office, I’m wanting to get away from shipping altogether.
Anyway, huge celebration. The last of the patterns is up. This is the 1800 jacket which is like the 800 vest only with sleeves and waist darts. There is a look book available here. There aren’t a lot of images in it because the pattern is only a couple years old. But you’ll get the general idea. You can purchase the pattern here.
Meanwhile, my relationship with Silk City Fibers continues to grow. I’ve always adored their yarn, and I’m getting to really play with styles I normally wouldn’t have looked at. And really loving the possibilities. I wrote in my last post about the yarns that they sent me, new yarns to the collection for me to explore. So refer to the last post about what I actually used. The fabric came out fantastic. I called this Summer Rain, because I was weaving it during tropical storm Isaias, and lucky for me I was one of the few that never lost power. So I kept weaving. The fabric is exactly what I envisioned. It has been washed and dried, and is a gorgeous drapey but stable rayon, cotton, linen, and bamboo fabric that will make a great summer top. I’m thinking I want to combine my 1000 Swing Dress with the 200 Jacket for the armholes and sleeves and make a basic top with short sleeves. At this point, I’m having fun seeing what my patterns can produce by combining them.
Silk City has promised me more yarn. Oh, goodie!
Meanwhile, I finally cleared a loom that has had a bunch of my handdyed scarves on it for more than a year. I was able to move the loom to the new studio with the warp intact, so there it sat. I ended up netting six 2 yard scarves from a 14 yard warp. I love these soft retro looking scarves. They are mostly all handdyed rayons and cottons. The weft is tencel. Actually three of the scarves have a tencel weft, three have a bamboo weft. It is hard to tell the difference.
Normally these scarves would be donated to arts organizations for fundraisers and tricky trays, and whatever makes me feel like donating a scarf worth a couple hundred dollars. I’m really careful whom I donate to. But sadly all of the arts organizations I support have had to cancel major fundraising events this year for obvious reasons. And even my lovely guild show and sale in November has had to move online. So I’ll be populating my eShop with whatever scarves I have, and things like totebags from scraps, that’s my project for the next couple of weeks. We are setting up a lightbox and photography area in one of the guest rooms. Since I can’t have any students or guests, one of the rooms can easily become a photo area.
With that loom cleared, and more yarn from Silk City Fibers coming in the next couple of days, I’m wanting to get another warp on the loom I specifically use for these scarves. It has to have a second beam for the 14 yards of supplemental warps. So I looked through my huge binder of all the color forecasts I developed for Handwoven Magazine, back in the early 2000’s and picked one that appealed to me. Mostly it appealed to me because it was called Autumn Harvest and fall is coming. And I can’t wait. Normally fall means I live on planes and travel and I’m not doing any of that this year. I’m doing different things. I have a huge amount of bookings for guild remote lectures, and some remote workshops and I’ve had to rewrite most of my prospectuses to indicate what can be done remotely. Actually most of them so far. You can look at what I have to offer for remote learning here. I just have to figure out how to do some of my garment classes remotely, especially now that you can buy the patterns… 🙂
So anyway, here is the Autumn Harvest palette drawn from a 2004 column in Handwoven Magazine, and I pulled some yarns to see if I had the right combinations.
I just couldn’t come up with enough of the right muted dusty purple. Everything was too blue, and I needed something softer that leaned warmer. So I dug out the dyepots and for the first time used my new dye sink/area in the new weaving studio. Lots of firsts here. I did have to ask my daughter where we put stuff, but this worked remarkably well. The sink was built high enough so I didn’t have to lean in. It is stainless so I don’t have to worry about stains. And I can hang skeins to dry right over the sink. I think this color will work, if not, I’ll dye another batch. I’ve got plenty of white yarn… And you can purchase the 8 shaft draft I use for all my scarves here.
And the push is on because I’m booked to be the guest on the Shi Show, if you aren’t familiar with this, it is a half hour daily live show on Lion Brand Yarn’s Facebook page. Shira is a descendent of a long line of family that owns Lion Brand Yarns. She is young, and savvy and enthusiastic and represents the next generation of makers. I’ll be the guest host on the September 1st episode that airs 12 noon EDT, I’ll let you know when we get closer, but I need my YouTube channel up and functioning, and the page in my eShop as well, with my lovely scarves and other items that I would have sold at the guild show and sale. This year has been about reinventing myself in fast forward timing. I’m doing my best.
And speaking of my best, my daughter and I came up with a new logo for the videos I want to produce. I’m pretty proud of this. I designed the concept and my daughter turned the whole thing into a vector drawing in layers in Illustrator. Everything is falling into place.
Stay tuned for more adventures of “The Weaver Sews…”