August already?!

Honestly, I have no idea how I can seem (to myself at least) so busy and have so little to show for it. How does an hour, a day, a week just fly by?

Within two days of posting about my handwoven hugs in my BuyNothing group, I got 10 requests! The three July hugs were picked up by their new owners or family members by the end of two more days. And I have people waiting for my August & September hugs, plus the first person in line for October. I’m SOOOO glad I posted there!

I’d already decided that I needed to weave some colorful towels for my Etsy store – I haven’t been able to update that with new items in months. 🙁 So I decided on returning to the polka dots designed by the talented Susan Pogue.

How fun does this twist of thrums looks? All I can think of is Fruit Stripe gum. Although I liked their commercials, and could still sing their jingle for you, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the actual gum flavors.

fruit stripe gum thrums

Anyway, it didn’t take me long to weave those towels, but it took forever for me to hem them and photograph them. I was too busy! (Don’t ask what I was doing.)

I did get them listed in my Etsy shop today.

Lime Sherbet Dots towel

Oh, yeah, and I spent 3-4 days learning about loom-controlled shibori. First was a full day in class at the Weaving & Fiber Arts Center with a great teacher. Then there was the time at home: measure the warp, beam & thread the loom, and weave. I used three different threadings, so that meant threading the loom three times. And the pickup I did was MUCH slower than lifting shafts, even though this was all done on my little table loom.

After the weaving, the pattern/pull threads all had to be pulled, really tightly, and tied. I was amazed at how long that process took. Here’s what my 9 samples looked like when that piece of work was done.

9 shibori samples tied

Then back to the Weaving Center for the second day of class to do the dyeing. Then, of course, opening them up, rinsing, drying, pressing, and photographing. Ok, maybe it was more like 4-5 days all told. Anyway, here are my results. In each triptych you’ll see what the fabric looked like after it was taken off the loom, and then both the ‘front’ and the ‘back’ of the cloth. My warp and most plain weave weft was an undyed 5/2 bamboo. The pattern wefts were mostly embroidery floss. I’ve noted differences from that in the appropriate photos.

1st shibori sample

2nd shibori sample

3rd shibori sample

The blue pattern weft in the samples immediately above and below is rep weave filler.

4th shibori sample

5th shibori sample

The dark plain weave weft in the next photo is navy mercerized cotton. Then there’s some ribbon yarn for the pattern weft.

6th shibori sample

7th shibori sample

8th shibori sample

The darker weft below is a variegated cotton flake in tan-to-brown.

9th shibori sample

This was quite a learning experience. Will I do more shibori at some point in the future? I don’t know. But I think can assure you it won’t be in a piece I intend to sell – there’s way too much of a time commitment involved, and I don’t know that I could charge enough to make it worth it.

I also get the warp wound, beamed, and threaded for the August hugs. I’m loving it!

Beaming the warp for my August hugs

6 comments to August already?!

  • Judy Tutuska

    Love your towels and your weaving samples. Even though I don’t know or understand your weaving magic, I love to have the chance to peek at your samples. And of course I love your big heart!

    • Peg Cherre

      Thank you, Judy. Of course, you could say lots of things about your art that I wouldn’t understand, either. Pictures remain important, even to people who understand the terminology.

  • Cindie K

    Love seeing your woven shibori samples. I also experimented with it and loved the results but put it aside for the same reason – too time consuming for items to be sold. Now that I’m not selling I’ll have to add it back on my very long to-do list to weave for myself.

    Love those circle towels, colors are very fun – I’ve woven them once, been thinking about another warp in the near future.

    You are so generous with your ‘hugs’ – what a wonderful gift for those receiving them.

    • Peg Cherre

      Thank you, Cindie. Your posts about the organizations you give your handmade work to is part of the inspiration for my hugs, you know!

  • Jennifer Petschke

    Thanks for sharing your Shibori process. The pieces are beautiful and you’ve got the knack for tying knots! So much time involved.

    Happy to hear about the success of your Hugs project. I look forward to sharing a Hug with someone I know that’s caring for a family member with dementia. She really needs lots of hugs from humans and your Hugs project will help fill the gap when there arent humans around. Such a generous gift to the community.

    I wish I needed more of your marvelous handwoven towels. For anyone wondering these towels are not only beautiful but sturdy. They’re made to be used.

    Thanks for sharing your art.

    • Peg Cherre

      Thank you Jennifer. Your friend is definitely on the list for a hug. I’ll keep you posted on the timing.

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