Sunday, October 04, 2015

A Sewing Project

I've been working on a cozy, over-sized, drop-shoulder top to wear over a turtleneck, using the mixed yarn yardage last seen here.

The garment still needs some vertical darts front and back, which will take just a few minutes to accomplish.

And yes, that's [part of] a Peter Collingwood macrogauze on the wall behind me; a birthday gift from DH a number of years ago, now proudly decorating the front entry hall.

There's still some of the yardage left, so I might see if I have enough for a sleeveless, button-front vest. That will be a future task, though, as there's no time to work on it now - places to go, things to do, people to see...

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Nocturnal Blues at Concordia University

The John and Linda Friend Art Gallery at Concordia University in Irvine, California, will be hosting an exhibition of works by members of Designing Weavers from October 7 through November 4, 2015. The exhibit includes members' artwork created in response to the 2015 annual design challenge theme, which was Nocturnal Blues.

A description of the exhibit can be found on the Concordia website here. I will have one piece in the exhibit, along with a wide variety of other fiber art created for the challenge.

 If you are in Southern California, you might like to attend the Artists' reception and lecture on Wednesday, October 21, at 6.30 p.m. in the John and Linda Friend Art Gallery in Grimm Hall on the Concordia campus. Many of the artists will be present (although not me - DH and I'll be out of town).

Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Busy Weekend

DH and I exhibited at a food/wine/craft beer event sponsored by Sunset Magazine called "Savor the Central Coast." Everything being served was from local producers, and a small Artist Village including work from local artists and arts groups was featured.

The weather was ungodly hot - a high of 100(F) on Saturday, and 98(F) on Sunday. Drinking wine in hot dry weather isn't always wise, but fortunately most attendees consumed as much (or more) beer and specialty waters and fresh juices as they did wine, and thankfully there were no "not a pretty sight" occurrences.

One booth that got a lot of attention was parked directly opposite our booth (note the signage on the side of the truck). I suspect that more selfies were snapped in front of that truck than anywhere else on the premises.

A bar was set up on the far side of the truck, where the brewmasters were pouring small tastes of
several craft brews, including a very respectable IPA (India Pale Ale).

And a good time was had by all. Yours truly came home with sunburn around the edges...

Sunday, September 20, 2015

You Might Think ...

... that there's very little going on around here. Not true - it's just not stuff that's terribly exciting.

On the dobby front, I've been designing a new warp and getting ready to dye weft yarns for it. In addition, there's still one scarf from the last warp that needs its fringe twisted.

On the jacquard front, I've finished weaving a couple of pieces that are destined for an exhibit application that's due tonight (online, no postal schedule to worry about) but I need to get going on finishing so that I can photograph them.

Before I cut off the jacquard warp, I wove a couple of small samples for a Woven Portrait. I can't decide whether to weave it in portrait orientation (which would make it awfully big) or in landscape orientation (which would make the face a bit closer to life size).

The funny thing is, both versions of the image use the same yarns in the same weave family, and the portrait format one beat in at 92 picks per inch, and the landscape one at a mere 80 picks per inch. What gives? Neither loom nor yarn should care how the image is oriented, as long as the weft floats (and therefore the packing) are consistent in length and direction between one version and the other. It's a mystery.

I think I'll end up weaving the landscape version, but with a paler blue and a choice of weaves that brings more of the blue to the surface, so the overall image is lighter. But clearly I'll have to weave another sample to determine the final aspect ratio...

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The First Three

The monthly meeting of the Central Coast Weavers guild was this morning, and instead of a speaker and formal program, most of the morning was spent in an extended Show-and-Tell session. Members brought pieces they had won ribbons for at the California Mid State Fair (held each July in Paso Robles) and pieces they had worked on over the summer months.

Before the meeting, I was only able to complete the fringing and wet finishing on three of my scarves, so I brought those, as well as my blue-ribbon Fair entry.

The scarf that has the most iridescence is on the left in the photo below, although oddly the light didn't let that show up. The scarf on the right is the winner in the "it ain't flat" category, hands down! And the blue-violet weft in the middle scarf is still my favorite because it really pops as the boldest of the weft colors.

I'll try to post some beauty shots after scarf  #4 (the one with the bright orange weft) is fringed and washed.

The blue ribbon Fair entry is Reflections, which shows the view from the dock at the cabin in Montana. It also won an Honorable Mention in a Paso Robles Art Association exhibit earlier in the year.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

From Loom to Fringing Stand

Now that the weaving for this series is done, it's on to twisting fringes. This will be my workspace for a few days:

DH built this using mostly PVC pipe, end caps, and angle fittings, plus a few miscellaneous bits of hardware (such as the handles for tightening down the felt-covered bars). The extra layer of towel in there just ensures that the silk scarf doesn't slip around while I'm tugging on fringe pairs.

And the key piece of equipment, resting on my knees in the photo below - the trusty Conair hair twister. They might still show up on eBay occasionally, and I finally bought a spare for when the plastic gears on this one wear out.

It's been a while since I had fringes to twist, so  it took a while to complete one end of one scarf.

 Now that my hands have regained their "muscle memory" of the task, the rest should go more quickly. Even so, this isn't my favorite part of the process of creating scarves! Making table runners that have sewn hems is a lot faster!

I will even up the fringe ends once the scarves are wet finished - it's surprising how much the fringe groups adjust themselves when washed.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

The Fat Lady Sang

Metaphorically, anyway. And not a moment too soon. Here's what was left of the warp when I stopped:

I couldn't have woven any farther - the problem isn't the body of the cloth, which uses shafts 1-20. The problem is the selvedges, which use 21-24. By the time I stopped weaving, those selvedge ends were *much* tighter than the rest of the cloth, and I had to tighten the tension on the shuttle to compensate, or find big lazy weft loops at the selvedges. And this is all the weft that was left:

Scarf #4 is now on its way to having its fringe twisted, along with its fellow members of the series. Then any needed mending, and of course, wet finishing and a hard press.

Here's what it looked like under the loom - love that vivid blue-violet weft!