The Weaver's Dance

On a loom that whispers, with shuttles that fly
And bobbins that chatter as the hours go by
I'll not lay in one thread of mere chance
As I work in the motion of the weaver's dance.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Cloth for Janie

I've been busy finishing up some orders that I received from my trips in Texas and here's my last one for this go-round.  As I weave this cloth, I remember this dear lady who came into my booth in College Station and, when I didn't have enough, ordered 4 yards of it!  I am so thrilled and honored to be weaving away for Janie!

I am enjoying weaving on Jimmy so very much and this fabric, one of my newest creations called "Desert Nights" has been quite popular indeed.

Next I plan to weave some 20/2 rayon in, as it will make the fabric even more light weight and have a drape that is to live for!  I am weaving with relatively small weft threads of purple 20/2 cotton and chartreuse 10/2 cotton and there are 48 rows to a series, so it's not a fast fabric to weave, but I think the result is worth it!

When the Village Vixens visited my studio recently, there was discussion about why not choose one of the lovely colors that is IN the warp and weave with that as one of the wefts of this Shadow Weave.  My answer is that, if I did that with, say purple, the eye would go immediately TO that spot where the purple weft meets the purple warp and I don't want that.  Our eye will always go to the "difference" in something....the variable, so I would rather keep all of the colors in a state of change and contrast....I hope that makes sense.

I've also been thinking that I should mention that, yes, I have cut my hair!  There was more than one shocked look in my booth by old friends in Texas who said "What did you DO?"  Well, I cut my hair!  I gave 19 inches of it for making wigs and, because there was so much of it, my hair will help make about 1/3 of a wig.  I thought I'd better cut it soon, because I am graying pretty fast now....moonlight, I call it.... and I love it this way.  But, the wig makers cannot use gray hair and, when I found that out, I was so disappointed and little insulted!  BUT, I went on line and found out WHY no gray hair, so I feel okay now.  The reason is that the average pony tail, 8-10 inches long, make about 1/6 of a wig, so they have to combine other donations to make an entire wig and then, to make all that match, they have to dye the hairs.  Gray hair doesn't take the dye as well and won't keep it well once it's in there, so they just can't use it if it's got like 6% gray.  The ends of my hair were still pretty brown, so, just before my 61st birthday, I cut my hair and donated it.  That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

Okay, so besides weaving for Janie, I am getting ready to IWC....Intermountain Weavers Conference which takes place at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado from July 21st through July 24th.  This is such a lovely event for everyone and, as a vendor, it's heaven itself.  We don't have booth numbers, but I can still be found at the Student Union Hall, the Vallecito Room and it's FREE to the public!  The exhibits are also free and absolutely amazing.  Now, I must say here that this conference is also of interest to ALL fiber artists.  No matter what you do with fiber, you'll find the supplies, the books, the inspirations and many kindred spirits!  You can find out more on the website by putting in Intermountain Weavers Conference 2011.  I would say just put in IWC, but that brings up a lot of wine things, too, so better spell it out, okay?  Please come and say hello!  You'll be happy you did!!!

HERE'S A Trick of the Trade!!!!
P A P E R ! ! ! ! !
It would be fair to say that, with 9 looms, I use a LOT of paper.  I dress my looms front to back and don't prefer the sectional system which I used for years.  For non-weaving readers, we put paper in our warp as we are winding it on the warp beam, so the outer layers won't sink into the inner layers, making for terrible tension problems.....I've often said that we weavers are so happy because all of our tension is IN OUR WARPS!!!!...Okay, I'm corny!

First suggestion, note how I store my paper by rolling gradually tighter lengths into another roll until I have tons of paper in a really small space...see the box.

Second suggestion is that you can purrrrrrrrrrfectly lovely paper at HOME DEPOT!  Go to their paint department and ask them where the rolls of floor protecting paper is.  It's pretty tough stuff and helps me in rolling my really long warps.  Note that there are usually 2 sizes....get the 36" length.  With that length, since all of my looms are wider, I turn the paper to cut my lengths...then, every time a put on a paper, I've wound on ONE YARD!  Cool, huh?  I have a paper count as I wind, so I know how far along I am progressing!
Third suggestion is near and dear to my heart.  As I wind on my woven fabric onto the cloth beam (see photo), from the very first, I put in a paper that has been folded at least 4 times to make it reall thick (I'd use the corrugated paper here, but have none wide enough).  Years ago, I used to take off my fabric and see the ugliest distortions in my lovely cloth and (oh YUCK comes to memory) I started doing this.  I used to do it only for my lighter fabrics and stoles, but now I do it at every loom every time.  Each loom has it's own paper, pre-folded, ready to go at wind-on, stays with the loom at all times and is used again and again and again...that's for the Scottish!

Now, see how smoooooooooooth that fabric will be from it's very beginning to it's lovely end.  AAAAAAAAh, now I'm happy.  I am sending out happy thoughts of weaving and gardens growing and everyone getting just enough rain and Miles and Miles of Smiles, Cat B.

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