Archive for the ‘fiber art’ Tag

Fun A Day Reseda

As I mentioned at the end of my last post, I’m doing Fun-a-Day, Reseda as a new project for the new year. Fun-a-Day is a project that started on the East Coast a few years ago as a fun, creative, exercise for the coldest, dreariest month of the year. Chloe Cumbow, a recent refugee from there, brought Fun-a-Day to Reseda this year.

The idea is to pick a creative project – it can be visual art, writing words or music, cooking, dance, collecting something special, anything – and do it everyday in January. Then there will be a show/exhibition/presentation at the end of February. IMG_2938

there were some meetings in November and December. I’m not sure, but I think someone could still join in if they wanted to. FAD has gotten an agreement to use a space for the exhibition, and the next meeting will be this coming Thursday, the 16th at 6:15 pm; at 7143 Baird Street in Reseda. They advise to bring a chair if you don’t want to sit on the floor.

I decided to do something fiberous, of course. And crochet, because all I want to do lately is to crochet. In December I went out to Riverside to see my son and his girlfriend, Jessica. Jessica has recently learned to crochet, and she wanted a pattern for a flower. I took my copy of 100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet. IMG_2950We picked out this lovely coiled rose, and it became my motif for Fun-a-Day.

I decided to use up a bunch of old clothes i have had sitting around with the intentions of cutting them up someday. Knowing Irv and I were going to be gone the first 8 days of January, I started early. I had 8 flowers done by the time we left for our cruise on Dec. 29.

We got home this last Wednesday, I went to the doctor Thursday. I came home from the Caribbean with a sinus infection. On Friday I realized I was already 2 flowers behind. I cut up a bunch of jeans and t-shirts. I made two flowers Friday evening and another five yesterday, including two from blue jeans.

The first 11 flowers.

The first 11 flowers.

Today I needed to rest my hand and I decided to document the process.

In the wee hours of the morning I had the thought, “what if I kept going after January; what if I made a flower a day for a year?”

no. 12

no. 12

Here are some process pictures.

A denim pant leg

A denim pant leg

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t-shirt sleeve

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Sweet Zoe sleeps in my studio

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Romans & Grannies & Dogs – Oh My!

Whoa, it’s been almost two months since I checked in here. From where I left off last time:

I got the 45″ wide warp for the window shade fabric on the loom – not without some glitches (of which I’m just going to stop reporting all the details; since I’m afraid I’m beginning to sound incompetent). I wove a  62″ sample and cut it off the loom to show the clients. Why 62,” you might ask? Why not weave a 12″ sample and not risk wasting that much of my materials? 62″ is long enough to be a shade if it wants to be, and it gives the clients a fuller picture of what the fabric will look like. It can be difficult for non-weavers & non-fiber-people to visualize something that doesn’t exist. I threaded the loom with a 3 yard leader warp. My warp is 8 yards, of which there will be very little waste at the back end. The project requires about 4 yards, finished, for the two 42″ wide shades. If I don’t use the first 62″ sample, I’ll still have plenty of warp; and the finished fabric should have plenty of extra for wiggle room. 

first sample

Anyway, the clients put the sample up in their living room and they love it. Now all I need to do is to dye another two pounds of the cotton flake weft yarn, and 2000 more yards of fabric strips.

Oh, and weave the remaining 6+ yards of 45″ wide fabric, then tie on the 36″ wide warp and weave 16 yards of fabric.

Piece of cake.

At the same time, I have been participating in Yarn Bombing Los Angeles’ Grannies Squared project to cover the Craft and Folk Art Museum with granny squares.

Definitely check it out on YBLA’s Facebook page.

At some point a couple of months ago, I was at one of the Stitch & Bitch session at the museum. Someone mentioned that they were looking for some kind of crochet-related pin to give to their 100 Club, the people who had crocheted 100 or more squares. The solution was obvious to me instantly, and the wire grannies were born. They only needed 50 of them.

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Wire grannies for the 100 Club.

I have made pins, necklaces, and I’m in the process of making earrings for the CAFAM gift shop.  My wire granny jewelry will be there late next week, along with other granny square themed merchandise, in time for the opening on Saturday, May 25th, at 7 pm. YBLA will be having a Photo Op across the street in the park at 5 pm. I will be there with the wire grannies for the 100+ granny contributors. 

AND. . . somewhere in between my last post and this one, I did something really stupid. I must have had a stroke or other mental defect, because we got a

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stinky dog.

I’ve got to go crochet wire granny squares. Hopefully I’ll see you on Wilshire Boulevard, next Saturday.

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.

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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. . .

Last Post of 2012

Wrapping up 2012. It was a good year. I had my work in some wonderful exhibitions; I was invited to apply to California Fibers, and joined that group; I curated an exhibition at Los Angeles International Airport; and I was selected to produce a coiled piece for the Wells Fargo Green Team Trophy.

Since my last blog post, I finished the second token for the Green Team Trophy. It will be going to the Los Angeles Virtual Team.

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I have woven some samples for the window shade fabric. I will soon be meeting with C & A to look at them.

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Just yesterday I shared a triangle loom weaving adventure with some friends from my local guild, the Southern  California Handweavers Guild. A little group of weavers came together at Michelle Gannes’ house to learn how to weave on triangle looms. I had been curious about triangle weaving, so I borrowed a loom and joined in. I came home with my triangle about half woven and finished it in the evening. And the result was, well . . .

triangle 2. . . slightly appalling.

I figure I’ll probably add some embellishment to cover that mess in the center, then crochet an edge which will help compensate for the failure at the bottom point. As I’m thinking about it, If I use a nice bright complimentary color for the edging, it will pull attention away from the technical difficulties. Then I’ll wear it in my studio when I need a little something to keep my shoulders warm, and never take it out of the house. It will be fine.

Looking forward to 2013: along with the window shade fabric, and never weaving on a triangle loom ever again, I’ll be doing at least two more tokens for the Green Team Trophy. I’m going to attend Stitches West in February in Santa Clara, CA.  I’ll need to step up work on my Designing Weavers annual project in order to get it done by March, April, or May. I also have workshops and classes scheduled on my teaching roster thru May.  Then there is the SDA conference in San Antonio in June.

What else? I’m sure I’ll find some other things to get into – I’ll let you know.

Art and Fashion

This past week I attended two fun, but very different, arts events . Wednesday was Drink & Draw, a networking social gathering organized by 11:11 A Creative Collective, the same group who has brought us the Canoga Park Artwalk the last two summers.

11:11 ACC Drink & Draw

11:11 ACC Drink & Draw

The Maui Sugar Mill Saloon is an old-time, low-key, neighborhood watering hole with Fat Tire on tap, a decent juke box, and a low enough noise level that a group of artists can sit in a corner with a drink and talk while drawing (or whatever). I met some Valley artists I’ve never met before, and caught up with others I haven’t seen in a while.

All artists in the San Fernando Valley should drop by so we can all meet each other and build our community connections. Follow the 11:11 ACC links to sign up for their email announcements.

I took my DW “opposites” piece to work on. Here is another peek at it. I’m not ready to reveal it by a long way. I was thinking of calling it Attraction. But then Jan Lamb, a Valley Artist I was talking to, said something that made me think of Fire and Water as a title.

Designing Weavers 2013 Annual Project

Designing Weavers 2013 Annual Project

I caught up with Preston Craig, who I met about seven years ago on the Valley Artist Studio Tour. Preston told me about a crowd funding project he started through Go Fund Me to raise money for some new computer equipment. I got his email about it the next day and I made a donation. And that’s what networking is all about.

Thursday night was the fashion show at Studio Channel Islands Art Center. I entered my plastic bag dress that I made for  the Mannequin Collective in Santa Monica two years ago. The funny thing about this dress is: although I have shown it several times in exhibitions, no one had ever worn it as a dress until last Thursday night.

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I’m happy to say the dress was a hit. The audience, many of whom are friends of mine, let out a collective whoop when the model came out. I have to say it was a happy moment.

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Out in the Valley

A couple weeks ago I mentioned three things I had underway: my Designing Weavers piece addressing opposites, preparations for my Exploring Twills workshop, and the samples for the window shades.
November 17 & 18 was the twill workshop out in the Central Valley of California, and it was a great time. First, I had good weather for the drive out to Exeter, CA. Second, the Handweavers of the Valley are a lively and fun group of weavers.

I stayed with Judy Trimble at her beautiful home in Porterville. Her children are grown and she lives alone. Judy’s house has a room with two looms in it, just as every house should have, don’t you think?

There were 15 in the workshop, all at different levels of experience, and I had a great time spending two days with them.

I haven’t been able to work on the window shade samples. The week after the workshop was Thanksgiving week, which included Irv’s and my 25th wedding anniversary.

I have made a little progress on my DW piece, but not much.  The truth is I have more than three projects going at any one time. The Wells Fargo Green Team Trophy is an ongoing project that I needed to get a coiled piece completed for. This project came about during my long hiatus from blogging. Here is my Green Team Trophy,

Stash of Trash

and here is the second token, which I’ll be shipping soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It seems there are always side projects. This is one of the eight harness twills from my workshop. It will be a scarf, and it will be a gift for our Chanukah party on December 8th. 

This loom is sitting on a folding table in my dining room, and there’s another one on the dining table. So I not only need to finish the scarf as a gift for the party, but I’ll also need to get the looms out of the dining room so people can sit down to eat. And there’s a Baby Wolf in the living room I’ll be wheeling into my daughter’s bedroom. One of these years I should just leave all of the looms out and have everyone take turns weaving on them during the party. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Without a Paddle

So, progress. I have gotten the warp for my window shade fabric samples on the loom, and have started weaving. The warp is made up of about 10 different white yarns in different combinations. The fabric will be white with accents of neutral tans, grey, and a touch of blue.

But before I got this far, I had an adventure winding the warp – well, not quite. I averted an adventure. I saw that I was headed down a dark and mysterious path, and I retreated to the safety of What-I’ve-Always-Done. Here’s what happened:

You see, years ago – many years ago I acquired a warping paddle. . .

There it is. it’s just lovely. I think it’s maple, it has a nice finish, beautifully beveled holes, it feels good in my hand. There is just one teeny, tiny thing wrong with this warping paddle.

I don’t know how to use it.

I thought I knew: put the different yarns through the holes, run the paddle back and forth around the pegs of the warping board, wind 12 ends at a time instead of one end at a time. Alrighty then. I wound small balls of my combined yarns. I found 12 different bowls, cans, and boxes for my different yarns (or multiple balls of the same yarn I was using more than once over the 12 end “repeat”). I stuck the 12 yarns through the 12 holes, I knotted them together, I looped them over the top peg.

Then I brought the 12 yarns, neatly separated in two rows of six, past the first peg of the cross – and I stopped. How to make the cross? How do I get the bottom yarns to go over the second cross peg, and the top ones to go under it, With only two hands?

I was using one hand to hold the knotted ends on the beginning peg, and the other one holding the paddle. The 12 yarns were hanging slackly, feeding from 12 boxes, bowls and cans on the floor at my feet. I seemed to be missing a hand I would need to also hold the yarns with the minimal tension needed to keep them from falling off of the warping board. And then where was I to put the paddle when I needed my hands to untangle the yarns when they tried to wrap around each other on the floor?

It was ridunculous (a more extreme form of ridiculous). Clearly I am missing some crucial piece of information.

My sample warp is only 96 ends. I just ran it one end at a time, the old-fashioned way, and got it on the loom.

It has been a while since I’ve woven on my floor loom, and I felt I needed a warm up, so I started weaving with only the white yarns and fabric strips.

This piece is based on the window shade fabric I wove for mine and my hubby’s bedroom, but it is stiffer and tighter.

Our fabric has some fuzzy yarn with mohair, and some thick and lofty wools.

But Candy and Adam don’t want the same design as our window shades.

They don’t want the heavier wool yarns that zig-zag across my shades. Good thing, because I don’t have any more of those. The fuzzy mohair yarn doesn’t exist any more either – which is also alright because it’s not right for Candy & Adam’s living room.

I thought the sett at 8 EPI was too tight, so I resleyed it at 6 EPI. I want this fabric to be a little weft faced. I also decided I’ll just use one yarn in the warp. All the different yarns I used don’t show up. So the hassle of running a bunch of different yarns in the warp has no pay-off in the design. I have a lovely thin perle cotton that I got from Newton’s Yarn Country at Convergence this summer, and I’ll need more of it. Fortunately, Newton’s Yarn Country will be at WeFF on Sunday.

This, my weaving friends, is why we make samples.

beginnings for the first sample on the loom.

What’s Next?

Again, it’s been a while since my last post. I did clean my studio. It took much less time than I imagined it was going to. Then I launched right into my next set of projects; and those are:

Woven fabric for window shades – for cousins Candyce and Adam; 18 yards, two warps, two different widths.

A new workshopExploring Twills

Designing Weavers 2013 annual project on the theme of Opposites.

I will be leading the Exploring Twills workshop for the Handweavers of the Valley in Exeter, California on November 17 & 18; and for the Southern California Handweavers in (the San Fernando Valley) Los Angeles, on March 9 & 10, 2013. I have compiled a notebook of twill drafts that range from beginner/easy: 4H Straight Draw to intermediate/more complex: 8H Elaborate Twill.

I will be demonstrating one of the twill patterns at the SCHG Weaving and Fiber Festival (WeFF) at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center, 3350 Civic Center Drive, Torrance CA. The hours are 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. This is a fantastic Fiber-centered event. If you’ve been there, you know what I’m talking about. If you’ve never been, and you’re interested in anything that can be done with fiber, you need to check it out.

There will be a wonderful variety of demonstrations throughout the day. My demonstration times are 10-11 am; 12-1 pm; and 2-3 pm.

The window shade fabric is in the very beginning stages of design. The warp is going to be a variety of white yarns with white fabric strips, and white, tan, & light blue yarn in the weft. I’m going to make some samples first with some different treatments for the weft.

I have about 10 different white yarns. I’m currently working out the arrangement of yarns for the warp.

 

 

 

 

 

I also have a coiling project underway. This is the 2nd token to go with the Wells Fargo Green Team trophy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a piece started for the Designing Weavers Annual Project. Here’s a sneak peek, but I’m not going to show too much of it.

Productive Avoidance

Ah, hello again so soon. I have managed over two days to not even enter my studio, much less get it cleaned. But I’ve still been productive, doing this:

This is my new website/blog for the show at LAX, and I built it in two days – on WordPress. I’ve had my ups and downs with WordPress over the last few years. Either I’ve improved my knowledge since a year ago when I declared it impossible, or they have improved their support and tutorials – or some combination of both.

I set up the website for Connecting Threads so people in the airport can look up information on the artists. The Home page has statements, bios, and website links on all of the artists in the show. The Blog/Virtual Opening page will have running posts. This is where I’ll post the pictures people send me from the Virtual Opening. What is the Virtual Opening? Follow the link and find out. You can sign on to follow  connectingthreadsatlax.com. 

If you’re going to be traveling through Terminal 1 from August 23 through February next year, please stop and look at the fiber art. And join the Virtual Opening, send me a picture, and I’ll post it.

What about cleaning the studio? Yeah, yeah, i’ll get to it. . .

Computer Day

I’ve spent the day at the computer. My brain is numb. I think I accomplished some of the things I wanted to. I worked on this blog, as my merry band of loyal readers will notice. I have changed the name, theme, categories, and I’ve added tags.  Ever since I started a blog, I’ve ignored tags altogether; but gradually, search has become more important to me. I spent the afternoon going through all my old posts changing categories and adding tags. Its stultifying. I need a nap, I just had coffee and it didn’t help.

I went into my website and cleaned up some things. A few weeks ago I started to build some new pages there, but had left it incomplete, slightly messy, but it’s cleaner now. I updated the dates for the Designing Weavers sale in November, so you see I’m on top of things.

The day started with me answering an email – Nicki’s email about the DW meeting agenda for next week. Then I started to work on a submission for a group show, and I’m actually pleased with what I got done today on that project.

This is all complicated by a little vision problem I’m having. I went to the eye doc last week to get it checked and he said it should resolve itself soon. It hasn’t started to resolve yet. And in the last few days I find I can’t view the computer out of the middle range of my glasses as I’m supposed to. I have to focus from the lower lenses, which is supposed to be for close-up work. I’ve been scooting my chair real close to the desk and tilting my head up so I can look at the screen out of the bottom of my glasses. My neck and shoulders are a bit tired. I’m gonna go rest, then when Irv gets home we’ll watch the Jeopardy champions play against the Watson computer.

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