Daily Check-In April 2016

March went out like a lion in many parts of the country. Let's hope April settles down a bit weatherwise. As we start the 2nd quarter of the calendar year I look back on the first three months and have to say I am impressed with the amount of work you have accomplished so far this year. The projects are many and varied and all inspirational. It makes me happy to see the friendly interaction among the group - the support, encouragement, shared laughter and tears are all wonderful. Keep up the good work and weave on!


Posted on Fri, 04/01/2016 - 11:32

on this April Fool's Day. omehow seems approriate. My weaverliness plan for this weekend is hemming - more hemming. I have quite a stack of stuff that needs to be hemmed and I just keep putting it off. Since the weather looks to be yucky, I will take advantage of being indoors and hem. Probably haw a bit too!


Posted on Fri, 04/01/2016 - 16:12

either working on my violet tapestry or weaving on one of the other looms and looking and thinking about the next move on the violet tapestry.  I am to the point on it, the center of the flower, where alot of shapes and lines are coming together.  I am finding that I really have to think through each move, so different than loom-controlled weaving.

The mailman brought me a new book this week too!  That is always fun, it is Weft-Faced Pattern Weaves by Nancy Hoskins.  I kept seeing that book referenced on different threads so I wanted it.  Looks like all kinds of fun for me!



Posted on Fri, 04/01/2016 - 16:16

I finished writing my materials for Seminars! and my paper for the Designing Fabrics Study Group! so now I can finally concentrate on threading again. At current rate it will take another 17 hours, so I'm hoping to finish mid to late next week. Threading is distinctly un-ergonomic so I can't do really long stretches at a time.

Posted on Fri, 04/01/2016 - 17:58

Whew, you all took March out with a bang!!! Great work everyone!

Tien, I'm glad you got back in the groove. The pile weave discussions are fantastic!

I have been thinking about starting a study group based on the Hoskins Weft Faced Weaves book. I think recent acquisitions say, I should go a head and do this! :)

At my day job, I am the yearbook advisor, along with teaching various other computer classes. I have to get the book out the door to the publishers before I can enjoy Spring Break, so there has been a lot of that going on these last few days and not much weaving.

But this weekend is all at home and the plan is for the whole family to hang out in the studio most of the weekend, so I can weave at least 2 meters of diamond twill!! ross your fingers!

Posted on Fri, 04/01/2016 - 20:03

Apparently if you have flight plans in the future, portable looms are no longer allowed as one of your carry-on items. The concern is not if they stay safely stowed away in an overhead bin but if you start weaving on the plane.

In an interview with CNN, TSA director John Cottolin said "The problem in the past has been with the weaver's shuttles. Usually on a portable loom the shuttle can be easily grasped when exiting the shed. But if turbulence hits, a shuttle can go zooming out and hit a passenger. Or heaven forbid, a window. We're getting tired of those itinerant shuttles cracking plane windows."

So plan ahead all you weavers! And have a wary April first!

Posted on Sat, 04/02/2016 - 00:29

A few guild mates and I went to the gallery opening at the Morris Museum (Morristown, New Jersey) last night for "Green from the Get Go: International Contemporary Basketry". The fiber work on exhibit was fantastic! 75 works from 33 artists. I plan to go back when the gallery is a bit quieter to study the work in more detail. The show was curated by browngrotta arts and Jane Milosch, and runs through June.

A detail of Polly Adams Sutton's Facing the Unexpected 2013.

Detail of Wall/Mur by Stephaine Jacques, 2013.

As you can see, the gallery was so packed, I couldn't get any shots of the art work from too far back, hence the details.

What exhibits are happening in your part of the world this spring?

Posted on Sat, 04/02/2016 - 13:47

Sally, thank you! How inspiring is that? Very shortly we will have an exhibit which includes Kitty Uetz who does incredible shibori on Velvet. She is a professor of textiles at Xavier University. 

Tien, you make good use of your time:)Glad everything is falling into place!

I worked on my cartoon yesterday, tracing on velum in pencil ,next in waterproof marker. I've been studying wind patterns in Patagonia and came across this fabulous ( 10 page) article about them.


I certainly felt like half scientist reading it and I couldn't tear myself away!

so now I know which way my wind needs to flow in my tap, to make everything make sense. But how to do it so it doesn't overwhelm ? I'm so excited, it's truly all I want to do though the designing is taking a while, it is one of my fav. Parts:)

i can't believe about the portable looms and airplanes! I'll have to get a larger suitcase for my tap. Loom, yikes!

Posted on Sun, 04/03/2016 - 21:09

Spending four days weaving at a workshop was close to weaverly bliss.  And you know what, in between, I managed to beam my new warp and get the heddles threaded.  I feel as if I am on a roll.

I am trying to be more organized about my weaving (lol), and have a list of projects I want to do (do you all do that?).  Post-workshop, my list is much longer.

I am intrigued by pile weaves, and am planning a pillow using corduroy so I can showcase the small amount of left-over rya rug yarn from my mother's 1967 rya rugs (made in Trondheim Norway when my dad was on sabbatical).  I would love to add more of this yarn to get a decent amount of pile, and I do still have some labels from the yarn.  My initial thought was to check vavstuga - do any of you have other suggestions?

Posted on Mon, 04/04/2016 - 12:23

I finished hemming one set of towels - and have another group readyy to hem, as well as a bread cloth/table topper and a receiving blanket pinned up and ready to go. I forgot how relaxing I find hand hemming to be.


Posted on Mon, 04/04/2016 - 13:52

Queezle, try googling the label brand and see if a yarn store Shows up. You might also try talking to Glimakra, and seeing if they have it, or can guide you.  If worst comes to worst, try to get their address and write them! You never know :) in fact you might try the last suggestion first.

i have the wind pattern in and everything is drawn in with India ink , Super Yay! BUT! Now that everything is drawn in and I hang it up , and look, something is missing in the left hand lower middle part of the design. I know, picky, picky ! Plus I really am doing this designing *~x backwards!

i will post the cartoon in a few minutes, after my morning elixir, ( coffee!).Did I say this is the fun part? I take it back :)



Posted on Mon, 04/04/2016 - 14:55

The rya yarn currently being made is called Asborya.  Glimakra USA orders it and it takes two weeks to two months to get it in.  They can add it to their regular orders, so timing varies.  There are a lot of colors and they can email a color chart to you.


Posted on Mon, 04/04/2016 - 15:39

cartoon of Patagonia. To resolve the design problem on the left, I'm thinking of these possiblilities. making the water crest white abit, not just an aqua movement. Or, making the wind pattern come down a little so it blows a straight westerly pattern across the ground. Then putting more rocks in on the right hand side, probably 5. that would equal 9 rocks, good number:) Any thoughts? Oh, the wind pattern will be done in very pale grey single strand silk which I'll dye, hopefully will look like silver. The long lines in the water represent the movement in the the water. So, the wind pattern will be crossing the water movement at several points. Both done in soumac.

cartoon tapestry patagonia

Posted on Mon, 04/04/2016 - 15:49

O.K., just staring at it here, I've revised my plan, lol!! What if I make the water crest white on the left, bring the wind pattern up across the mountains in a westerly path or so, and put in 3 smaller rocks closer to the forefront on the right. Thoughts? Where would I be without you all !

Posted on Tue, 04/05/2016 - 03:36

a photo gives me another prospective when considering project planning. This looks pretty cool as it stands.

Posted on Tue, 04/05/2016 - 03:42

I can feel the cool breeze when I look at your drawing, and I really like it.  Especially, I like how you have shared your creative process. 

I think I like the idea of an additional 3 small rocks in the lower right corner.  Are you thinking that they would be about the size of the smallest rock of the group of 4?

Posted on Tue, 04/05/2016 - 12:51

Queezle, yeah, the third ( 2) and fourth ( 1) smallest. thanks, Sally. you're right about the photo which I hadn't thought about. but it's when I saw it on this format in the " box" , i started to have more ideas.

so. today, it's a matter of finishing the cartoon, easy, and sewing it on.....and weaving:)

my Guildmate comes over today to work on the AVL. it's goingto be a super fun today!

oh, oh, I didn't tell you! i scored a John Shannock tapestry beatry on e bay for $ 100.00. ok this may not mean anything to you but, they aren't made anymore, solid brass, worth about 4 - 5 hundred dollars! it was on ebay 7 mins. before I grabbed it. i'ved been trying to find one for 6 years! 

Posted on Tue, 04/05/2016 - 15:01

fascinating!  I can actually see how you will be able to weave from it, way cool!  It really shows the time and effort that you put into it - and yay you for the new hand beater!  Just watch your wrists with all that brass!

I am still plodding away on my tapestry, it is almost woven then I am back to the planning stage again.

Posted on Wed, 04/06/2016 - 16:04

the first African Violet yesterday morning.  Today was acupuncture, so no weaving.  Now I need to draw up the cartoon for the next violet.  Since I have three African Violets, I am going to try to weave each of them.  They are different in color and flower type so it will be challenging for me.  I created a new project for the violets here.

Posted on Wed, 04/06/2016 - 18:33

I collected african violets as a child, and read a huge book on their breeding and genetics (maybe in 7th grade). I think it was the basis for me to eventually gravitate toward plant molecular genetics (my career).  So - I love your African Violets - keep 'em coming!

Posted on Wed, 04/06/2016 - 19:36

Briefest update ever!!! Way to go everyone!! You all are truly inspirational and some of the most awesome people I know.

I cut 4 meters of wool cloth of the loom today. It's gone through the wash on delicate cycle, nad it is in the dryer now! I'm still not sure what I'm using for my project piece for my certificate submission, so I don't know when I'll be sharing this with you. I've got a rug warp going on the loom, so if that goes well, I'll use it and you can see the tunic soon!

Posted on Thu, 04/07/2016 - 14:13

Thereasc, challenging is good, just think how boring it would be if they were all the same :) I agree with Queezle, keep em coming!

Erica, I just can't wait to see all your hard work! 

And Laura, Congrats on ANWG! I think I will go with Dad and my brother in Victoria. It will be fun , and of course, any excuse to get out their!

this p.m. Tapestry , am I a happy camper?

oh, yes, the Shannock beater. I use it with my right hand which is good. But all you need is tap, tap, across the fell, not thomp, thomp ( which one shouldn't do anyways, but.....) so I should be good with my wrist. But thanks for the reminder, that's what weaving friends are for:)

Posted on Thu, 04/07/2016 - 14:42

sometimes challenging is just challenging!  LOL  Oh well, it does keep us coming back for more.  I just love the great variety of the weaving that everyone on this site does.  I have always been amazed at the different fabrics that people create on their looms.  We all have pretty similar equipment, I mean it all starts with yarn going over and under but it is all so different.  I think that is one of the things that keeps me coming back for more.

Posted on Thu, 04/07/2016 - 17:07

Rumor has it that the Shuttle Race will be returning - thanks to Barry at Schacht, who has begun building the track. I don't know any details, but just a heads up if you have a few extra shuttles and/or a lathe laying around, and want to get your creative juices flowing!

So when was the last time the shuttle race was held? I remember hearing about it in past years, but I can't say I ever caught the event live, in person.




Posted on Thu, 04/07/2016 - 19:25

I am playing with a turned Ms and Os - using a yellow warp because it was the color that was most abundant, and for me personally, most annoying.  Its been fun trying different wefts; I am surprised at how much I like the light colors (orange!), I guess because the yellow recedes.  But others I show this to love the dark colors, and their little spots of yellow.  What do you all think? Oh and with this turned draft, you might need to turn your head if you want the warp going up & down...turned Ms and Os

Posted on Thu, 04/07/2016 - 20:25

The effect that colors have on each other starts from color theory with reality test of tone doing the work for which color claims the credit.  I see colors in the photograph that may not even be colors of the thread, whether due to photography, computer monitor, or the basic effect from adjacent colors. The orange section has lower tonal variation with interesting pop effect between purple/neutral gray that calls to the orange as though split complementary even though the orange and yellow are analogous. 

In addition to greater tonal contrast, some of the other combinations create more difference in the reading of the colored bars --in that category I like the one to the right of the orange in the picture.  

Color is more fun in spring.  Our trees are mostly still bare but pops of color awaken the palette. 

Posted on Thu, 04/07/2016 - 21:48

I have been 'stalking' the Olds registration page and there is just *one* seat left in the Level one master weaving class in June.  :)  Time to order the student yarns in!

Posted on Thu, 04/07/2016 - 23:58

Hi Queezle, it is an interesting color study ! I like the orange and yellow combination too. I usually like combinations where there is one color used with another color that has the first color in it's mix. In this case orange has yellow in it's mix. If I cover up the orange, I like the red and yellow, this yellow in a small dose because it has such power, this red because it's not a tremendously dark value as the other colors, and they are both primary colors which I tend to like as well together. The last one really surprises me. That is the last one on the right end. Is it a red violet in their? it's almost a complementary contrast, but not quite. But either of the violets( blue or red) would have the three primaries just in different proportions , so that might be why I like it too.

i'm just thinking out loud, don't mind me:) nicely done Queezle!

Posted on Fri, 04/08/2016 - 03:24

Thank you Cathy and Fjacobson for your thoughtful color analyses. The weft colors, left to right, are a chocolate brown (8/2), orange mercerized 5/2, amythyst purple 5/2 bamboo, a deep red merc. 5/2 cotton, black 5/2 bamboo, and finally more of that yellow.

I actually designed the warp using my color wheel for a split personality complementary color scheme - yellow, blue-purple, and red-purple, though the values of the purple were not that well matched.  Cathy, I'm so impressed that you saw that red-purple!  Somehow, in my joy at using color theory to design my warp, I totally forgot about the weft!  And I'm still a bit undecided.

One thing I will change before I move on (there is another 6-7 feet on the loom) is that I will rethread my selvedges.  I don't think I need that much plain weave, and to make the edge medalions able to become rounded, I think I will put in a partial pattern block. 

The yellow weft at the far right was a surprise to me, too.  I don't know how I ended up buying a 2 lb cone of yellow yarn, as its really not a "me" color.  I was just using it there to get the warp spread out, test for errors, etc.  But wow - it did have a surprising visual impact. 

Webs has their 5/2 bamboo on sale, and I purchased a couple more colors, arriving tomorrow.  I enjoyed working with it, though I wish it were finer.  But it means more colors to play with!  Oh - and I can now play into the evening, finally got some electric lighting into the studio.

Posted on Fri, 04/08/2016 - 13:10

What fun! You did a great job! I'm sure you'll like the electric lighting in your studio:)

besides the standard color theorists writings( Itten ,Albers, Munsell) I really like to read Color and Fiber by Patricia Lambert( there is a second author) but fav. Right now is Color Works by Deb Menz , it 's very good . In case you want more reading material :)

Posted on Fri, 04/08/2016 - 13:28

It might be more helpful to think about the effect each color combination has rather than which you like best. There is really no such thing as a "wrong" color combination - just one that doesn't give the effect you want. I'm not a fan of beige and other neutral color combinations, because I generally want an energetic feel to my pieces. Bright colors and lots of contrast add energy to a piece. But you wouldn't want them in a piece that is quietly meditative.

I've found that a lot of color theory can be summed up in three "rules":

  1. Colors that contrast (in hue, saturation, or value) tend to intensify each others' contrasting characteristics. So putting a bright (saturated) color next to a dull one will make the bright color look brighter and the dull one look duller. Putting a dark color next to a light color will make the dark darker and the light lighter. Putting a blue next to a green will cant the blue towards purple and the green towards yellow at the border, and putting yellow next to purple (its complement) will intensify both colors. So if you really want a bright orange to pop, surround it with a dark dull blue.
  2. Saturated colors and "warm" colors (red-orange, orange, yellow, yellow-green) advance, meaning they catch your eye and also seem closer, than cool colors (purple, blue, blue-green). Red and green can cant either way depending on whether they're yellow-leaning or blue-leaning. I saw a quilted piece with a blue gorilla head against a bright fuchsia background once; unfortunately, my eye kept being drawn to the fuchsia background because it was so much brighter/warmer, and so it took me almost a minute to realize it was a gorilla head!
  3. Contrast, particularly value (dark/light) contrast, draws the eye and also adds energy to a piece. One way to help establish the focal point is to make it contrast strongly with the background. A bright pink dot against a dull blue background will draw the eye naturally. Conversely, a royal blue dot against a light pink background will draw the eye. The more contrasts, the "busier" the piece. Good or bad? Depends on the visual effect you're trying to create. If you're after a quiet, meditative piece, use mostly low-contrast colors (preferably also dull colors) with maybe a tiny splash of a higher-contrast color to prevent it from being totally dull. If you want energy (think Fiestaware), use bright, contrasting colors.

There is of course a lot more to color theory than that (optical mixing is really important in weaving), but those are the three "rules" that I find most useful.

What I see in your sample: the yellow and orange are low contrast hue-wise, and value-wise, but very saturated. So you get a harmonious but bright look, and the two colors mix visually into a nice yellow-orange. The purple and yellow are high-contrast in both hue and value, so they intensify each other, so the combination is really energetic (it practically vibrates!), but because you've got lots of small dots of yellow in the purple, optical mixing happens and kind of browns out the purple.

The red and yellow are relatively harmonious hue-wise, but the red looks like it's blue-leaning and also not as saturated as the yellow, so the yellow pops forward. It has more contrast and thus more of a feel of busy-ness than the yellow/orange, but less than the yellow/purple.

The yellow/black is interesting because black is as dark and as desaturated as it gets. So put next to a light and saturated yellow...the yellow really pops. But if you mix black with yellow, you get olive green...so the optical mixing makes the yellow look a little greenish. (Compare the yellow with the yellow in the red/yellow combination next door...you will see that it looks a bit warmer than in the one with the black weft.)

Sorry for the long post, but I hope it was helpful!

For my weaverliness, I'm off to CNCH (the Conference of Northern California Handweavers) today! Curiously, though, I'm not taking a weaving class. I'm taking Gwen Powell's spinning class, on how to use a blending board. Mike gave me one for my birthday awhile back and I thought I'd like to see how a blending board is used. But I do plan to spend a lot of time in the exhibits and the vendor hall!

Posted on Fri, 04/08/2016 - 14:16

All these thoughts about color are amazing!  And it makes me glad that I decided to share my little sample.  Tien, those three principles hold so much information.  This is great.

And Cathie -  a color study group would be fun.

Posted on Fri, 04/08/2016 - 15:30

I love the idea of a color study group.  I've been reading and watching webinars about color theory, but would love to learn more!  And thank you Tien for sharing the three principles.  I think (if it's ok) I'm going to "steal" them and save them in a more permanent place.

Posted on Fri, 04/08/2016 - 23:17

YES!  Count me in.  Tien's outstanding post is better than many of books on the subject.  It would be a great handle for exploring weaving software--something I need to do to move beyond the demo versions.  Issues of color reproduction can be even more challenging than taming color interactions.


Posted on Fri, 04/08/2016 - 23:38

Weather moved in this afternoon and I've been fighting a sinus headache for much of the afternoon.  I did managed to slog my way through several pages of edits but that was about it.  Oh, and unpacking that 70+ pound order of cotton that arrived today...wish I felt like weaving - I really need to get some things done.  :-/  Maybe tomorrow?

Posted on Sat, 04/09/2016 - 03:49

Oh, please do! And feel free to share them with others if you like. Knowledge should be shared freely. :-)

Color study group: I don't think I'll be able to weave samples, but I'd be happy to join and to provide whatever insight I can to those of you who are working through color theory. If you're OK with having a "non-weaving" member, that is.

Posted on Sat, 04/09/2016 - 15:18

Well, I did finish weaving off the diamond twill and I think Oli J and I have decided that we will probably use it for a Hedeby coat rather than a tunic. I realized that now that I have woven him a set of leg wraps that are long enough, there are really only a few other pieces of clothing that I would need to weave cloth for in order for him to have a complete outfit of handwoven cloth. So I think we're going to start all the way on the "outside" and work out way in.

I lvoe color and would be happy to start a color study group, but would gladly also follow along if someone else has a burning desire to be the group leader. If you're interested in being the leader let me know. Everyone, please let me know when you would want this study group to start!

Have a great day everyone!

Posted on Sun, 04/10/2016 - 13:50

Erica, if you're willing to do the admin for a weaving color study group, I think the interest is here. I would be interested. Plus I would love to take up Tien's very generous offer of becoming a member and giving us insight.should we start another thread to discuss this?

today, I have my guildmate coming over to work AVL. I should be able to get some tapestry done. Pics when I get about an inch done.

sad event, my studio companion of 12 years, Anya, our German Sheperd, passed Friday. So Sweet. No , she wasn't a weaver, but did know a lot of ^*~€ words:)

Posted on Sun, 04/10/2016 - 14:30

Oh Cathie - this is tragic.  I too have a canine companion (Juno - lab-poodle mix) and she even accompanies me to work.  She is the first dog I've ever had, and though I have had many beloved pets, I now realize that the dog-human bond is something entirely different.  My Juno is solidly in middle age (7.5 years), and I cannot imagine life without her.  My heart goes out to you.

Posted on Sun, 04/10/2016 - 14:50

My heart goes out to you Cathie. It has been over a month since we let Vespa go, I still expect to see her when I go out to the studio and to see her on the porch when I'm weaving on my Ideal. In many ways she'll always be there.

Posted on Sun, 04/10/2016 - 14:53

I started the Color Study Group, feel free to join in!

I also bookmarked Tien's comment re: color, you can do that by clicking the button labeled bookmark this comment under her comment.

Happy coloring!

As for my weaverliness, I have wove about an inch on my new kitchen rug today, this may well be my project piece for the CoA, so no photos yet. It pulls in the colors from the walls and the floor tiles in my kitchen and is a 2 block weft faced threading. It is not supremely exciting, but should really pull the room together. :)

Posted on Sun, 04/10/2016 - 16:33

about your dog, Cathie.  It is hard to lose a treasured pet.

Yesterday I took a bit of a drive to north-central Illinois to a small fiber fair. Sara von Tresckow had her booth there and her book on double harness weaving jumped in my bag (author-signed of course).  Now I have images of the robot from "Lost in Space" waving his arms around yelling "Danger, danger, new loom"!   I have really tried hard to stay away from any loom over 8 shafts, now I am reading about 50 pattern shafts - yikes!  The longer I have been weaving the more I get drawn towards a drawloom.  It is pretty scary when I start looking around the loft and thinking about which loom should be sold to make room.  I really need to get a grip!

Posted on Sun, 04/10/2016 - 19:21

So sorry, Cathie! I'm sure you'll miss the company while you work on your lovely tapestry.

Thanks everyone for sharing their lovely work! Amazing. And the art!! I finally have woven a full (proper) repeat of the lotus/water lillies with my daughter's chosen weft after getting back from Arlington National Cemetary. Such a bitter sweet occasion. Such emotion.

Posted on Mon, 04/11/2016 - 00:44

Thank you all.

i have started weaving on the rocks on the right hand side of the tapestry; I'm pleased! 

Theresac, boy are we on the same page, I have thought about a drawloom forever! But wait, give up the beast or beauty To make room? I'd rather give up the couch and coffee table :)

ShawnC, the lotus/water lilies are so beautiful and I really like the contrast of the flower and background!