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Zooming along

I’m weaving as fast as I can, so lots of other things aren’t getting done. Dust bunnies are building up around my house like mad. Seemingly simple things like setting up glam shots for my finished pieces – one piece at a time with a nice clean background – doesn’t happen. The good news is it’s working. I’m getting lots of weaving accomplished. So without further ado, here’s more that I’ve finished so far this month – up to 11 finished pieces – Woo Hoo!

First up are 3 rayon chenille scarves; I’m calling them Paint the Town Red.

Paint the town red scarves

I wove these on the Missouri which is stationed at the pop up shop. From left to right is a short cowl, a long cowl, and a long scarf. The long cowl is already spoken for. 🙂

I just finished weaving a rayon chenille warp. Here it is while beaming…you can see the ladder ribbon which I’d planned to use as supplemental warp. Had only done supplemental a little bit before, and wasn’t sure if I’d like it.

beaming Forest to Ming rayon cheniille

I still wasn’t sure as I wove. The ladder ribbon was decidedly un-lovely. But, as it was supplemental (not essential to the cloth; could be removed after weaving without any impact on the fabric), I kept going on it.

Well. I know my newest baby is often my favorite, but I am particularly fond of these pieces. The ladder ribbon ‘jumped’ out during the wet finishing stage, and looks great, IMHO. Here’s the mobi, front and back, on Dolly, who I think wears mobis slightly better than Lady Jane.

rayon chenille mobius with supplemental warp, front

rayon chenille with supplement mobius, back

And the jacket, front and back, on Lady Jane, who definitely wears the jackets better.

rayon chenille jacket with supplemental ribbon, front

rayon chenille jacket with supplemental, back

And worst of all pictures, the cowl, up and down. The first one is decidedly not color correct, but it’s the best I could do. I kept it because it does show that I used each of the warp colors in the weft, in a rather random manner.

rayon chenille large cowl, down

rayon chenille large cowl, up

This cowl may be spoken for. I’ll know for sure soon.

Gotta get back to the loom – 3 more pieces measured, ready to beam!

Meet Lady Jane

Lady Jane with O to P jacket

A woman in my Guild has made a few poseable mannequins for use at our Holiday Sale. I asked if she’d make one for me, and she was happy to do so. Although I don’t generally name my cars, looms, or other inanimate objects, occasionally I do. Dolly has a name. In my head this was the wooden lady. That quickly turned into Lady Jane. Here’s her debut in my newest jacket. A combination of cotton and rayon with a black weft, I’m happy with the odd texture of that novelty yarn.

Lady Jane can rock the mobi, too. The cranberry weft adds an appealing red tint to the whole piece.

Lady Jane with O to P mobi

She can even wear a big cowl, although it’s not perfect.

Lady Jane with big cowl

Here are the same pieces shown before Jane arrived.

O to P jacket front

O to P jacket back

O to P mobi

O to P big cowl down

O to P big cowl up

That last pic is the definition of conehead, eh?

Which photos do you like better? Which show the pieces off to their benefit?

I will bring Jane to the show later this month, although that may mean I need to lose one more table. Since I have less stock, that may be just fine. Win-win? I think so.

Kitchen Makeover

kitchen alcove beforeWhen I moved into this sweet little house 3 years ago, I knew that I didn’t like the wallpaper and paint in the kitchen. Although there’s a dark alcove, most of the room is nice and bright with a large bow window, so I could ignore it for a while, but not forever.

For several months I thought I’d strip the wallpaper myself and paint. Finally I realized I’d much rather pay someone to do that. I used the NextDoor app and got some recommendations, ultimately choosing a GREAT small, local firm, Stamp Paints. Josh and Kay were a pleasure to work with, very responsive, professional, and reliable. In addition, they are dedicated to giving back to the community and make donations of both money and time regularly.

kitchen before 2

Well. I cannot stress enough just how happy I am that I hired Josh to do the job. Under that first layer of wallpaper, which came off relatively easily, was paint over another layer of wallpaper. And paint over a third layer of wallpaper under that! Hours and hours spent by a professional would have translated to days and days and curses and frustration and anger and hatred if I’d been doing it myself.

After the wallpaper was removed and minor repairs made, Josh painted the walls. The chair rail and below are a lovely blue (Sherwin Williams Ebbtide); above is a nice green (Sherwin Williams Breaktime).

kitchen alcove after

I left the cabinets and other trim white for now, and painting the doors was not part of his bid, so I still have to paint the kitchen side of the two doors. I’ve just been too busy weaving to get to it. There will be time this winter; that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I also want to replace that light fixture by the refrigerator with something that ‘fits’ the rest of the room, but that would require going to a store and shopping. Ugh.

kitchen after 2

I really like the new look – except for my mess on the counter. After I paint the doors I plan to paint my bathroom, too. We’ll see when that happens, as I’ve committed to some painting at my daughter’s flip house and my son’s new home.

Wow – that was unexpected

I usually consider myself a quick study. I learn most things pretty easily. So I was excited back in September to take a class in triaxial weaving – weaving in 3 different directions, in this case with 1/4″ ribbon.

The first layer of weaving was simple straight lines. No problem. The second layer was weaving in a different color ribbon in a specific pattern and at an angle. Easy peasy.

The third layer was using yet another color ribbon, using the opposite angle to layer 2. I didn’t get it. I couldn’t see the patterns. I tried with paper in fatter strips, thinking maybe that would help. Nope. By the end of the class, I still didn’t get it, although others in the class did. (Clarification…I could absolutely see the pattern in a completed piece; I could not figure out how to weave that third layer to make the design.)

I came home and put it aside. “I don’t have time for this.” Then this weekend I needed to do a few hours of demonstration on Saturdsay afternoon at the Weavers’ Guild Holiday Sale. What would I demo? I wanted it to be triaxial weaving. “Come on, I can do this!” So I spent at least 3 hours on Thursday evening, looking at the teacher’s handout and a few YouTube videos and playing with ribbon.

Nope. Nada. I don’t see it.

Friday evening I probably spent another 2 hours. Same results. Nothing.

Saturday morning, suddenly I got it! I saw the pattern! I made a sample out of paper to ensure that I really had it. Yep, I did.

So that afternoon I went to the Sale and did a demo on trixial weaving. I explained to everyone who came by that I was very new at it, and therefore slow. But I am SO pleased with my results!!

triaxial weaving

Moving on, I was SHOCKED when I went back at the end of the sale to pick up my unsold pieces. There were SO FEW of them!

I sold all the socks I had dyed for the sale, and eight of my handwoven towels. But WHAT??!!

I sold that chenille jacket so beautifully modeled in the last post, as well as this cotton & bamboo jacket, which I finished Wednesday evening for Thursday morning screening.

silver to gold jacket

I sold the mobi made on the same warp, also finished Wednesday evening.

silver to gold mobi

I sold a rayon chenille mobi made in the spring, and the Brilliant Ideas mobi with the light weft. (I’d already sold the one with the dark weft to a friend.)

That’s all great news! So exciting and rewarding that people really liked my things!

That’s also the bad news, as now I have no jackets and only 1 mobi to bring to the Roycroft sale at the end of this month. I have to work REALLY HARD for the next few weeks!

So I got this warp on the loom right away. Cotton, rayon, and a novelty yarn in different weights, transitioning from burnt orange to dusty rose.

orange to rose yarns

Now I’ve got to get back to the loom!

Having fun, making progress

Although I’ve been feeling stressed about being behind in my weaving goals, months ago I’d made plans to visit another weaver, the lovely Hilary at Crazy as a Loom, and I wasn’t going to cancel it.

Hilary is talented, funny, gracious, and inspiring, eager to share some ideas about boosting sales and upping my weaving game. She and hubby, along with their sweet dog and cat, welcomed me with open arms, and cooked, too! The visit was short, but totally enjoyable.

I came home and got to it! I’d finished weaving a warp before I left, but hadn’t finished either piece yet, so did that first off. Both were going to dramatically benefit from having a human model for the photos, so I took them to the pop up shop on Saturday, in hopes that a customer would be willing to model for me. That didn’t happen, but I did sell a piece, before I even had it tagged! So I took photos on a mannequin, the best I could do.

rayon chenille cowl, down and up

It’s a large cowl, roughly 24″ wide and 32″ around. When worn around the neck, it’s soooo luxurious! There’s plenty of fabric there to pick it up and put it over your head for a loose hood.

Then on Sunday I took a class at the Weaving Center. I’m not a felter, and not interested in becoming one, but wanted to support the teacher, who is a friend, especially since it was her first time teaching at the Center. I made a felted vessel, which to me, is reminiscent of the human circulatory system.

my felted vessel

The particularly interesting thing about this class is that the whole point was to take a failed felting project, rip it apart, and turn it into something new. Very fun and creative.

After class was over I got my friend to model my latest garment, a rayon chenille jacket. I am very proud of this piece, and it definitely doesn’t show off on a hanger. Unfortunately in this first photo I caught her with her eyes closed.

rayon chenille jacket

I would have tossed this photo, but you can see that the front drapes (although I could have done better at setting her up). Then she was willing to mug for the camera to show it to advantage.

rayon chenille jacket, front, arms out

rayon chenille jacket, back

I wish this sweet young woman lived next to me and would pose for all my photos!

Almost as an aside, I finished a piece of rayon chenille I’ve had sitting for months, turning it into a neck cuff/collar with a bit of crochet and some buttons.

rayon chenille Valentine cowl

Now I’ve got another warp on the loom, planned for another jacket and a mobi.

silver to gold warp on back beam

This warp is a combination of bamboo and cotton. I really like the way the colors change from all silver at one end to all gold at the other. The interesting thing is that I used several sizes of yarn, from 10/2 to 3/2, so had to think about how I would sett it. If my loom was wider I would have sett the 10/2 at 18 or 21EPI and the 3/2 & 5/2 at 15EPI, but that wouldn’t have fit on my loom. So I sett them at 24 and 15EPI, respectively. Hoping it drapes well.

Leaving you with this song from my Girl Scout days.