Archive for the ‘style’ 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.

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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. . .

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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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