Daily check-in February 2016

Weaving this morning so I thought I would start the thread. 

Started on color gradations in the Tapestry Study Group.  Yesterday I also used my digital camera to take a black & white photo of some tapestry yarns to find value, great tool to use.


Posted on Mon, 02/01/2016 - 17:07

for starting February's thread. I have been tied up in traingin and did not have a chance to get one started. I am excited to start following along the various study groups. I am working on a study group that will start later this spring. It is  forcing me to get into some serious study and getting me back to my poor neglected looms. I have been weaving, just not on the bigger looms.

Thank you Erica for facilitating the setting up of the various study groups.


Posted on Mon, 02/01/2016 - 18:42

Thanks to you all! You motivate me more than I say!

I twined the bottom of my knotted pile sample today, not much, but it is the first step!

Posted on Mon, 02/01/2016 - 21:54

Just got 24 pounds of silk from the UK! I bought some silk chenille, some black 60/2 silk, and some 20/2 silk from Eurestex, and the mailman delivered it today. I'm super excited, especially about the chenille, which is just luscious.

Of course, the cruel yarn database tells me that I now have 263 lbs of yarn...yikes!

"Hi, I'm Tien, and I have a yarn problem..."

Posted on Tue, 02/02/2016 - 00:01

I know how you feel tien. LOL I may not have that much yarn, but I did order 50 lbs of cotton recently in various grists. I've been weaving or setting up to weave almost every day since December came upon us. :) By the looks of the drafts here for projects and samples I'll be busy for awhile. ;)

I have another lace weave that will be a project coming up next after the pinwheels are finished.

Posted on Tue, 02/02/2016 - 15:36

Sometimes that is a wonderful thing to have and other times it is nothing but frustration.  I have been mostly weaving from my stash for the last couple of years and I am finding with doing the color studies on the tapestry study thread that I really stink at color choice.  Dratted impulse yarn buying is really starting to catch up with me. 

I did finish up a color gradation excersise with stash yarns, and it came out well.  It seems tapestry is the current thing for me and my other floor looms are laughing at me as I struggle to find yarns to use for the next study.  Those looms have nice colors on them all ready:-)

Posted on Tue, 02/02/2016 - 18:36

Doesn't seem to matter how much yarn I have, I never seem to have the 'right' yarn in my stash.  So my never ending stash seems to...never end!

Speaking of which, before I start a production run of place mats I need...more yarn...  :^)

Posted on Wed, 02/03/2016 - 03:34

I like having a variety of yarn, but am a cautious, yet frequently remorseful, shopper.  However, I recently got an itch to weave a wool blanket (but not an itchy one), and nearly all my weaving has been cotton.  To join all of you in boosting the economy of the yarn producers, do you have any blanket-worthy wool yarn suggestions?  I recently discovered knitpicks, and am considering just ordering a ball or two of their different wool yarns.  But I don't know anything about them, and its my tendency to support shops I know - like GYC, the woolery, etc. 

Posted on Wed, 02/03/2016 - 04:50

I've heard some negative things about Knitpicks' yarns, but I think it really depends on the specific yarn. Unfortunately I haven't ordered from Knitpicks for ages, so I'm not up on what they currently carry.

I will confess that I'm a sucker for mill ends, mostly because they're so much cheaper than regular retail yarns. Colourmart is one of my favorites; they specialize in remainders from luxury mills like Loro Piana and Johnstons. Their prices include postage from the UK, and delivery is pretty fast. Run by a very friendly pair of people. Webs also has some great wool mill ends at the moment. You might call them up and see what they think would suit, and/or ask for a sample.

My weaverliness for the past two days has been trying to get the #*&! cat placemat draft working. By itself it's a fairly simple design, just three weave structures in double weave, two shuttles. Piece of cake. However, I decided to conserve warp by weaving two placemats simultaneously, side by side, and to weave four picks on the right placemat before weaving four picks on the left placemat. That turns out to be an incredibly convoluted design problem, and it took me a full 10-12 hours of banging my head against the wall to figure it out. I didn't even eat lunch yesterday because I was too preoccupied! But I think I figured it all out, yay, and have woven some samples to test shrinkage and aspect ratio.

Tomorrow I plan to finish embroidering the phoenix, and then try weaving a placemat or two. If I manage to finish a pair of them before the photo shoot on Thursday, I might enter one or more of them into Convergence or Complexity. But that seems pretty unlikely, given the timeframe.

Posted on Wed, 02/03/2016 - 22:41

Some tap. Today, chiné ( weaving colors that opposite in value and or different in hue) in the same weft bundle, plus hachures. Again for Tapestry Study Group.

chasing after Dad and Marvie in Florida:)

Posted on Thu, 02/04/2016 - 16:41

I have a new warp on the loom this morning for more lacey explorations. This time a lavender 20/2 cotton warp.

Posted on Fri, 02/05/2016 - 07:46

I realized my knotted pile sample I was working will be a prelimknary sample for my portfolio, but it was good practice and I learned a lot. I have 4 more samples to go for my certificate studies, then I can start sharing all my weaving publically again!

This weekend I am hosting 10 fibre enthusiats for a weekend workshop. I am not planning much formal instruction. It is mostly to bring together like minded artists and let them try out different tools and techniuqes. I am really excited to see them all and to see what they try out!

Posted on Fri, 02/05/2016 - 13:07

It must be the season for yarn buying! Just bought a bunch of fine cotton to use when the drawloom arrives. I'm so excited! In the meantime, playing with the skillbragd sampler and will put a wider warp on in the same structure when I'm finished. That should keep me busy until April and the drawloom homecoming.

Posted on Fri, 02/05/2016 - 15:40

Engrossed in tapestry study.  It is an interesting little journey for me.  I am weaving without a finished product at the end, so this time it really is the journey and exploration, not the end. Hmm - strange but really enjoyable. 

Posted on Fri, 02/05/2016 - 23:12

I'll be teaching a beginning (and beyond) workshop at Artspace in Raleigh, NC, this Sat-Mon.  The American Tapestry Alliance Small Format exhibit is now up in Gallery 1 at Artspace so it's quite exciting to be able to take a "field trip" downstairs from our workshop area to see these amazing tapestries!


Posted on Sat, 02/06/2016 - 16:43

HGA has extended the deadline for grant applications to March 1, 2016. There are three grants available:


Silvio and Eugenia Petrini Grant
 The fund grants up to $300 per individual and is available for study in non-accredited programs for any skill level.


Mearl K. Gable II Memorial Grant
 The Mearl K. Gable II Memorial Grant Fund provides grants for $100 (or more) per individual for study in non-accredited programs for any skill level.


HGA Teach-It-Forward Grant
 This $500 grant is available to assist teachers who focus on beginning weavers or spinners. 

One must be a member of HGA to qualify. For more information:



With so many workshop and conference opportunities coming up this summer, I hope fellow weavers take advantage of these grants!

Posted on Sat, 02/06/2016 - 22:22

Lavender lace with progressing twill and spot weave technique. This became a sample when I noticed a run in the cloth, from a missing end on shaft 5. You probably can't see it too easily, but it runs in the fifth column of snowflakes from the left. If you look at the fifth from the right you can notice the discrepancy. Hard to see as any lace while tensioned on the loom. Once washed it blooms. There's also some fancy border around the edges not seen here.  We'll just call it a teaser photo for now. LOL


Posted on Sun, 02/07/2016 - 06:42

I had to resleigh my rug warp to a closer sett. I accomplished this, and got 6 rows of knots done.

3 of my fuests got looms warped. We had some dyeing, spinning, embroidery, naalbinding, lucet cord making, and knitting too! I am really glad we invited folks around for the weekend!

Posted on Sun, 02/07/2016 - 15:32

I'm about halfway through the first pair of cat placemats! Hoping to finish today so I can enter them into Convergence's Mixed Bag exhibit and Complex Weavers' Complexity shows (entry deadline tomorrow). I don't expect they'll make it into either exhibit but you never know.

Meanwhile, hard at work on design for the next piece(s). Here are the two I most like at the moment, both about my struggles with bipolar disorder before I got properly diagnosed and treated:

bipolar brain sketch

(If you can't read the text on that one, here's the bigger version plus more explanatory text.)

And here's number two, "Bipolar prison":

Bipolar prison sketch

The idea in that piece is a face melting into a chaos of colors (representing mania and depression), behind two bars of bipolar colors.

I still need to do considerable development work on both pieces - I'm trying to figure out whether I can get them out of the same warp or need to put on two different warps. Putting on new jacquard warps is kind of a pain, so I'm hoping to be able to do them on the same warp!

Posted on Sun, 02/07/2016 - 17:08

in my tapestry explorations.  More color gradation work.  I have project notes here.  This time I sewed up the slit between the two studies.  I have read how some weavers sew the slits on the loom, others off the loom.  I think I like the idea of sewing them on the loom, then it is a done deal.

Posted on Sun, 02/07/2016 - 17:17


Hope you get the cats finished in time! I love the design with your face! How wonderful to share your experience so that other folks might benefit!



Posted on Sun, 02/07/2016 - 18:00

Thanks, Shawn! I am cruising along on the cat placemats and am pretty sure I'll finish them today. I wove 2000 picks this morning and will do the final 1000 in an hour or so. Then it's into the washer/dryer with them. Looking forward to entering them in Convergence/Complexity!

Here's a pic of the yin-yang kitties, about 3/4 done:

yin-yang cat placemats

Looking good!

Posted on Sun, 02/07/2016 - 19:50

Between 4 of us I don't think we got 2,000 picks woven all weekend. I did get 2" of knotted pile wove, one friend finished his rigid heddle band, his wife got her loom wapred and started weaving all with her own handspun singles, finally another friend got her tapestry warped and nearly 5" woven by the time they left this morning. Here is our group taking a well earned break Saturday night.

Posted on Sun, 02/07/2016 - 21:16

Your cat design looks wonderful tien, thanks for giving us a glimpse. As far as an exhibit, never know until you enter it. ;)

Your other project idea sounds quite interesting and complex. :)

Posted on Mon, 02/08/2016 - 04:40

I love checking in here - always in awe.  Tien - your cats are amazing, and your designs for bipolar disorder are inspiring.  Reedguy, lovely lace - and Laura - your youtube was great.  As a new owner of a warping valet who has never seen one in use, I learned a great deal.  Now I need to plan something with a long warp!  My weaving has been playing with supplementary warp - which did not go that well with the sari yarn. 

Posted on Tue, 02/09/2016 - 02:12

I wove on Saturday, finishing the blue towels, and then went to the Michener Museum in Doylestown, PA on Sunday, for the Kaffe Fassett "Blanket Statements" exhibition.


Wow! If you know Fassett's work, you know what he does with color. But the big surprise was the historic quilts on display that inspired his contemporary work. Some of the quilts from York, UK included fabric from the late 1700's. Since America has such a "recent" commercial textile history, it was a treat to see quilts made before the 1860's.



Adjacent to the Fassett exhibit was "Pattern Pieces", an exhibit of contemporary art that explored pattern, shape, and color as they related to quilts. I happened to catch the artist, Alan Goldstein, discussing his installation "A Forest of Glass". Visitors could walk through these "trees" while giving each tree a spin, and the glass reflected the light in fascinating ways. #inspiration!!!


FYI, for those of you on the west coast "Kaffe Fassett: Blanket Statements" is coming to the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, opening March 12th.

Posted on Wed, 02/10/2016 - 14:37

Thanks for sharing, Sally! I am planning to go see the exhibit at the SJ Museum of Quilts and Textiles. He's even giving a talk there (squee!). I'm hoping to meet him, if only to thank him in person for letting me interview him for my book.

I finished my cat placemats in time for the Convergence entry deadline - here they are. They're fully reversible, and, like the Force, they have a light and dark sie. :-)

cat placemat, black side

cat placemat, white side

Posted on Sat, 02/13/2016 - 14:10

Thought I'd stop by and as usual what activity!

 Tien, thank you for doing the bipolar pieces.

I've been working on the tapestry samples for the Tapestry Study Group. I've finished 2 and working on my third, pick and pick. It's so much fun to be back in the game:)

Still trucking around Florida with Dad and Marvie, Ed ( thank goodness!) and my small tapestry loom. We're having fun:)

Posted on Sun, 02/14/2016 - 20:39

been weaving tapesty.  Last weekend I re-warped my Tissart, and then I spent all this week on trying to weave some shapes with a transparency thrown in.  I finally had success today.  I keep looking at my floor looms and thinking that I should throw a shuttle or two, but I keep going back to the tapestry loom - I guess I am in a grove right now and should just ride it out.

Posted on Sun, 02/14/2016 - 21:25

Although I was fighting the thought of weaving white in the depths of winter, (and we are breaking records this weekend for bitter cold) that is what I am doing today. Sigh. Thankfully it seems to be going okay. I even have one other structure I want to sample after this yardage is completed.

Can you see the subtle undulations of pattern near the fell line? In addition to the glisten, I wanted a hint of blowing snow on the surface. This texture should be more pronounced with wet-finishing.

P.S. It took 4 different materials to produce the glisten & texture: cashmere, tencel, lurex and iridescent yarn. I am using 3 bobbins, 2 shuttles to keep the treadling straight.

Posted on Sun, 02/14/2016 - 21:40

Sally, your piece looks positively stunning.  So it looks like you're experimenting with combining different fibers in a pattern that will glisten.  This makes me think of crystalline snow when the sun has just peeked over the mountain, like diamonds scattered!  Beautiful!

Posted on Mon, 02/15/2016 - 06:08

Gorgeous Sally!

I haven't been weavingna great deal this week, but plan to make up,for it today. I am going to weave as much as I can on my knotted pile sample, for my CoA portfolio. I hope to be done weaving for that in the next month, so I can get back to weaving things I can share!

Posted on Mon, 02/15/2016 - 06:23

Wow! Sally your Glistening Snow work is absolutely gorgeous!!! Looks just like overnight snowfall with the early morning sun casting a warm glow.

Posted on Mon, 02/15/2016 - 14:21

Sally, you've got it right ! the hint of snow blowing on the surface of snow !beautiful ! Can't wait to see it wet finished too !


Posted on Mon, 02/15/2016 - 15:17

By the end of today I hope to have 26 rows of knots woven! There are only 23 knots in a row, so it's not too bad!

Well, Sally your glistening snow has reached all the way to Cambridgeshire, well just a bit. There wasn't enough to even measure in cm, but it was fun to see it fall out of the sky! :)

Posted on Tue, 02/16/2016 - 03:06

So happy to hear everyone is "getting" the idea of glistening snow from the photo. It's a bear to weave - I can't see mistakes as readily as if it were woven in actual dark & light threads. This morning I walked in and saw an error about 6 inches back. Stuck a pin in there and made a note that after work, it will be time to unweave...


And I agree Queezle – much better on the loom than taking up real estate on my driveway.


I hope to have enough material left to make a scarf, and if that is the case, I will try and bring it to Convergence/Milwaukee. Erica & everyone else who is coming, I hope you have room in your suitcase(s) to bring some of the Weavo projects you have posted to share in person!


Posted on Mon, 02/15/2016 - 20:48

Absolutely Selly! By then I will be able to share my certificate samples too, assessment is in June.

I did get to some non-certificate weaving today!!!

This is not quite a full repeat. But I wanted to share some of today's weaving, my own variation on this extant textile. http://thepurplelotus.org/node/2332 block taquete in dark and light purple


Posted on Thu, 02/18/2016 - 13:59

Can anyone recommend a good book to help me understand how to make changes to a pattern. Specifically, I stare at Davidson's patterns longing to make a bordered table runner, place mat, etc. but I'm unable to take a leap.  Is there a book devoted to just pattern adapting to design things?  

Posted on Thu, 02/18/2016 - 14:31

I am sure there is, and likely sitting on my bookshelf! In retrospect, I can think of titles about designing, but I can't think of one specifically about "adapting" patterns. Maybe because the adaptation is so unique to each weaver and the pattern they select?


If the pattern is overshot, you can pick a twill to make the border, and play with your software to see if you like the effect.


As Davison is all 4 shaft patterns, if you have an 8-shaft loom and want a border of something completely different, why can't you design a border for 3-4 additional shafts, and then merge the two tie ups and treadlings?


Why not try it? Show us the Davison pattern. Then design a 4-shaft border. And we'll see if we can combine them...

Posted on Thu, 02/18/2016 - 15:02

If it is an overshot pattern Donna Sullivan's book "Weaving Overshot: Redesigning the Tradition", shows how to change the scale of the motifs, add honeycomb, add twill adaptations for borders, double weave, sleeves, warp and weft patterning on the same cloth surface, blending two 4 shaft threadings of equal length, different tie-up of a single threading to change background, pattern and half toning, add effects/variations to give feather stitching, MO's, Atwater Bronson Lace, huck lace. I can't imagine what isn't covered. It's actually a design book more than a book of drafts, but it certainly shows all these ideas in draft form. :)

Posted on Thu, 02/18/2016 - 22:14

THank you Sally and Reed Guy....you have got my brain spinning (happily). So much of what you said is new territory, but I know that just a few years ago, I couldn't imagine how I was going to decode all this reading a draft stuff, and now I can manage most drafts I read.  Yes Sally, I think if I just take a leap without expectations of perfection, like samples, I may make progress in stepping away from step by step directions.  And I'm going to research the Overshot book to see if it is a good fit for me now that I have a lot of basics down.  Laura Fry is so right....you will always be learning when you're a weaver!

Posted on Thu, 02/18/2016 - 22:42

Looked up Donna Sullivan's book.....wow, why so expensive, and used, and paperback!  I have recycled weaving books on ebay for half the "new" cost, and felt lucky!  So I looked up "guilds or groups to join that allow library lending by mail" and am considering joining.  For $35 dues per year, I can access out of print books for month long loans just for the cost of mailing both ways.  Has anyone done this?  This is another drawback of not having a guild within a reasonable distance (2 1/2 hours)!

Posted on Thu, 02/18/2016 - 22:59

Hi Sue,

PM me. I have a spare copy that I was getting ready to sell. If you're interested, I'll sell it to you for much less than the Amazon price. I'd like to get it to someone who needs and will use it!

But if the group you're thinking of joining is Complex Weavers, join!! It's a fantastic group and full of other rich resources, not just the lending library.

My weaverliness for the last several days has been trying to figure out what kind of warp I want to put onto the loom next. I think I'm going to do two warps, one 16/2 mercerized cotton and one 2/24 wool/alpaca. That should let me make the three projects I think I'll want to weave.

Posted on Thu, 02/18/2016 - 23:01

Look at yarn shop listings to, out of print books on Amazon are priced beyond the stars. I got mine off Camilla Valley Farms, I see they are out of stock.