Archive for the ‘Convergence’ Tag

More of Everything

I guess I never really did a project where I wove this much fabric, and I know I never did a project where I dyed this much of anything.

Let me run down the whole project for you. Here is my original crude sketch of the windows.


The window shades are for a bank of windows and doors that run from the living room into the dining room. There are two windows 42″ wide, one large window 92″ wide, and a set of patio doors 32″ wide each. These are the measurements to the outside of the mouldings, the desired finished width of the roman shades.

I decided to weave the fabric in two different widths, 45″ and 36″. I know that will give me fabric that finishes 42″ and 32″ wide. img013

My original calculations for warp length told me I wanted the 45″ warp to be 4.5 yards and the 32″ fabric to be 13 yards. I don’t know if anyone can interpret my notes there, but I neglected to add loom waste. This was only the first of the many ways I underestimated what I would need for this project.

After we changed from a white-on-white to a six color palette, I decided to do the next samples at the full width of the fabric. That prompted me to review my warp calculations, and upon reflection, I decided to add three extra yards to the length of both warps. The 45″ warp will be 8 yards and the 36″ warp will be 16 yards.

Back in October when I abandoned the multi-yarn warp, I decided to go with all 5/2 Perle Cotton, and quickly realized I didn’t have near enough. I bought two cones from Village Spinning and Weaving at Weff in November. Two weeks ago I ordered another cone. 

Now here’s where I have ??? dancing around my head. Whatever was I thinking?

It came time to start dying the white fabric strips, so I went to dig in the box where I remembered having all these rolls of selvedges cut from the ends of rolls of white cotton broadcloth. There were five. I hauled out my McMorran yarn balance: about 100 yards per roll. I went to my woven samples, did more calculations – total needed for both warps, 8 yards & 16 yards= 2500 yards of fabric strips. I checked my math a couple more times. I needed 20 more rolls of fabric strips. 

The company I had gotten the selvedges from is in Pennsylvania, and it took weeks before I remembered to call before 2:00 in the afternoon. Then, they didn’t have any more of the end cuts. But they had some partial rolls of cotton broadcloth, and they were willing to cut them into 1″ strips for me.

This lead me two days ago recheck my calculations for the other weft yarns. . . and WTF??

Going back to my woven samples, I found that my initial estimate of the number of picks per inch was way low. By this time I have dye-painted three skeins of yarn and five rolls of the fabric strips. This involves a process of winding the yarn off the cones into large 1 1/4 lb skeins, dye-painting it, cold batching for two days, letting it dry, then winding it back into balls. I had one of the skeins of 5/2 perle cotton get hopelessly tangled on the squirrel cage swift. After hours of working on it, I abandoned about 200 yards of warp yarn. 

I figured out that I needed another two pounds of this cotton flake I had bought back when the fabric was still going to be white; and that I can’t use any of the yarns I bought last summer at Convergence. In my white samples, I was doing my free form zig-zag non pattern using several yarns and shuttles at the same time. As the fabric has gotten more complex, I have decided to simplify the weaving. Everything is going to be space-dyed. Any zigzagging design will come from the serendipity in the way the colors land in the cloth.  I decided to combine the yarns to make them fatter, and only use two yarns for a total of three shuttles. 

But this now means that each yarn must cover half the picks for both warps. I have less than 1800 yards of each of the yarns I got last year at Convergence, and more of them is not available – that’s the reason I switched to Perle cotton for the warp. I no longer want to use a little of this and a little of that; I want to use the same yarns all the way through. My new math tells me that I need almost 5000 yards of each yarn. That meant I needed two additional pounds of the cotton flake, needed to skein, dye, then wind it back into balls. Plus I would need yarn to combine with the flake.IMG_1768

This was two days ago, as I said. This was after I struggled for hours with the tangled yarn. I dyed three large skeins of yarn today, I have one more in the garage that I have already soda-soaked. I’ll have to dye-paint two more pounds of cotton flake to plus 20 rolls of fabric strips. I couldn’t face any more dying. I ordered some 3/2 Perle cotton in beige, it matches the Chamois in my palette; and some carpet warp that matches the Terracotta.

A couple of weeks ago I ordered more urea. I got two pounds and as soon as it arrived I knew I needed to get another 5 lbs.

At the same time I started moving stuff out of Michael’s room so I can get all my stuff out of Samantha’s room, and turn that into a guest room in time Michael to use it when he comes home on Monday. 

And today I ran out of Terracotta dye. . .


Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve posted an update! It’s Monday, the day after Color Connects, the Association of Southern California Handweavers (ASCH) conference in Riverside, CA. It’s the first day in a very long time that I haven’t had a major deadline, or two or three, hanging over me.

And so I can blog.


Since my last post, I had a solo exhibition in Florida in November.










This is the auditorium & exibition space at Brooker Creek Preserve Environmental Education Center, with some of the new work I did in 2008 for this show.
After coming back from Florida and a bout of kidney stones, we were into the holidays. Sammy came home for her semester break and we had our usual two holiday parties.
I turned 50 in January. But I had projects I needed to get done early in the new year.
One of them was my submission for the Surface Design Association Members show for the upcoming conference in Kansas City at the end of May.
Another was my annual project for Designing Weavers, a headpiece I was making to go with a chief’s mantle blanket that my friend, Regina Vorgang was making. By the end of January, Regina had already finished. 
In the meantime, I was still the chair of an EcoArt group, there was an RFQ for artwork for a library project I wanted to submit for, I was leading a workshop on February 14 & 15, and Regina, Trish Lange, and I were the organizing committee for Celebrate Color, the fashion show at Color Connects.


So I was working on the headpiece, but I put it aside to prepare for my workshop. I worked on it some more, then I put it aside to get the library art submission done; then I needed to get the SDA piece in the mail by March 1st. By last Monday, I was almost done. I was going to Riverside on Thursday.


On Tuesday I finished the construction of the headpiece, and began adding beads and crystals. I continued beading on Wednesday, and I lost my thimble.


Thursday I packed my car and left home at 3:15, I had wanted to leave at 2:00. I pulled into the driveway of the Riverside Marriott at 6:00 pm to find the Designing Weavers heading out for the Dream Weavers exhibition at Riverside Communittee College. After I checked in and changed, I found Brecia Kralovic-Logan walking up the driveway. We headed down to the college, and it is a great show. We were glad we made the trip. Then we came back to downtown Riverside, parked at the convention center, and walked over to the Riverside Art Museum to see the Designing Weavers exhibition. We began running into people we know, and people started congratulating me.

Brecia and I walked back to the convention center to see the Spectrum exhibition, and more people made comments about how happy I must be. And as it turns out, I was. I won first place in the basketry, non-traditional material category for my Footed Cottonelle Jar. I won first place and the Juror’s Award for my Desigining Weavers annual project from last year, Behind the Cotton Candy.


This is very thrilling. For a long time I thought of myself as the person who never won the awards. Now I guess I have to think something new. I feel very honored to be recognized this way, especially when you realize how excellent all the work in these shows is.

Brecia and I had caught up with the rest of the Designing Weavers at the convention center, and we all vacated to the bar at the Marriott. Friday was set up day for the Fashion Show. We unpacked our cars and hauled garment racks, dress forms, and mirrors into the meeting room that was to be our back stage dressing area.
I got set up for garment check-in, and everybody who said they were going to help began showing up. I parked myself at a table and took up the beading of the headpiece again, without a thimble. Trish had made fabulous corsages for all the Fashion Show entrants, and they each picked one after checking in their garments. I kept working on the headpiece until it was time to go change for the evening and the keynote speech. After the speech, they gave out doorprizes, and I recieved a $25 gift certificate from one of the vendors. Several people said I should buy a lottery ticket.
On Saturday I attended Daryl Lancaster’s workshop on photographing your own work, or as I called it, the finishing the headpiece workshop. I finally finished adding the last bead sometime after 3:00, and started sewing the crown to the hat frame. At 4:00 everyone assembled in the Raincross Ballroom for Fashion Show rehersal. It was exciting, everyone was really into their jobs, and was having fun. I took my place in the dressing room and continued sewing. I finally finished the headpiece, with some very sore fingers, sometime after 5:00. Trish let everyone go to dinner at 5:45, and we reassembled at 7:30 for makeup.
And the show was great. Two years of planning, meetings, lots and lots of work all paid off. Everyone loved it. Trish and Regina, as the co-chairs did the lion’s share of the work. I did the smaller share of the job.
I had Jackie Abrams’s basket making workshop on Sunday, leaving early for garment check-out. We broke down, repacked the cars, and got out by 5:00. It was a great conference. I look forward to 2011 when we aren’t doing the planning.
This was a great weekend. I so love hanging out with this group of people. Being part of Designing Weavers, Southern California Handweavers Guild, and this whole network of fiber artists is one of the greatest joys of my life.


Plastic in the Oceans

Since my last post, I went to Convergence in Tampa, Florida. I had two pieces in the juried basketry exhibit. And I won 3rd place for Our Layer!
I found out last week that the two pieces I submitted to the National Fiber Arts Exhibition at Escondido Municipal Art Gallery were both accepted, and Forever Yours won 2nd place.

What’s new on the loom. . .
I call this Plastic in the Oceans. It’s an adaptation of Flourishing Wave Border, a draft from the Davison Book (A Handweaver’s Pattern Book by Marguerite Porter Davison).

When I did Plastic in the Trees, I put out a call for colored plastic bags, and lots of white ones came along with what I collected.
This is a blue, green, and Violet warp with white grocery store bags in the pattern weft. The tabby weft is the same yarns as the warp.

It’s companion piece is still on the loom; I’ll probably finish it and cut it off the loom today.

I still have lots of white plastic bags, and a small number of colored ones. I’m still getting them from people, though I’m not actively seeking them.

I’ve gotten to the point where I’m not happy when someone hands me a bag of bags; because it means they are still taking them from stores. I’ll actually be very glad when I can’t get any more plastic shopping bags to weave with. I hope someday we will be able to look at these pieces and think they belonged to a specific time. I hope someday these bags won’t be so ubiquitous, everywhere in our landscapes.

I also have a coiled piece in progress. This will be a wall piece. I started it as my demonstration piece for the Designing Weavers sale on May 17 & 18. Here it is on June 24, right before Convergence:

July 7th:

and today:

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