fringeless

Weaving the rainbow in silk: tapestry diary fun

Weaving the rainbow in silk: tapestry diary fun

I’ve been playing around with some silk yarn I got from weaversbazaar over the last week. I first grabbed it as I sat down to watch the semi-final of the World Cup and made the second one during the final a few days later. First it must be noted that it is an exceptional event when I actually plan to watch a sporting event of any kind, especially one that doesn’t involve someone’s children at a nearby park. I know almost nothing about soccer but something about that women’s national team grabbed my imagination and they did not disappoint.

So now I call these two pieces my soccer tapestries. I’m kind of fascinated by the hole-y effect especially in the white one. I could pretend that idea came from watching the ball fly through the holes between the players, but really I was just experimenting with making curved lines, using eccentric outlines, and figuring out how best to minimize the number of ends I was creating.

Decisions. Yarn shouldn't be the hardest one.

Decisions. Yarn shouldn't be the hardest one.

With some encouragement from the smart people in my life, I have almost everything ready for my tapestry tour in France next week. That actually feels like a minor miracle. Not only are all the paperwork, insurance, credit card notifications, bills at home, and travel arrangements made, but my suitcase is also packed. This is going to be the new normal for me because it feels great not to be rushing around worrying about what I forgot at the very last minute.

But there is one last thing. Does anyone else have a problem deciding what fiber projects to bring on a trip that will be two weeks long? There is some weird little voice in my head that thinks it is the end of the world if I run out of fiber. Even though I know they have yarn in France!

Bootsy: a yarn-y love story

Bootsy: a yarn-y love story

Bootsy is a penguin. She has a friend who is aptly named Penguin. They are the heroines of a (slightly modified) book distributed by Chick-fil-A called Penguin in Love, written by Salina Yoon.*

This little board book was given to Emily and I for our anniversary last summer by good friends. Surprisingly, there were only two pronouns that had to be changed in the whole book to make all characters female. The story features two penguins, Bootsy and Penguin who were both missing their yarn. They set off to find their it, knitting for warmth until inclement weather separates them. The story does not address the apparent paradox that they set off on a journey to find their missing yarn but had enough yarn to knit and keep warm. They both keep knitting while floating on ice floes and climbing snowy mountains and eventually they knit themselves back together.

As part of my tapestry diary, I wove a sketch inspired by Bootsy.** I think there may be two more little tapestries in the Penguin series.

The fun of chatting with Sarah Swett

The fun of chatting with Sarah Swett

Yesterday I hosted a webinar with Sarah Swett. This was the first time I’ve done such a thing. After a lot of work learning the new tech, I was ready for it. I knew where the share buttons were and how to turn on the recordings and how to answer questions and do a poll. I knew how to turn microphones and video on and off, how to send registration reminder emails and follow-up emails. I thought I had it nailed.

But I didn’t know what I didn’t know. And what I didn’t know was that the package I purchased through the webinar platform Zoom only included 100 participants. So immediately after starting the broadcast, 100 people were on and no more were allowed in. I realized this a few minutes into the broadcast thanks to someone mentioning it in the Q&A (which I totally knew how to use!), but there was nothing I could do about it once the webinar had started.

The webinar itself went really well. If you were one of the hundreds of people who registered but couldn’t get into the live event, please accept my sincere apologies.

Please do take the time to watch the video below.

For the love of yarn. Playing with Nightshades.

For the love of yarn. Playing with Nightshades.

I do love yarn. Funny how a material can shape an art practice so strongly. I can imagine someone else loving paint or graphite or stone or wood, but for me it is yarn.

I can scarcely resist a yarn shop even though most of them don’t have any weaving yarn (Shuttles in Boulder is a notable exception and maybe if you’re lucky your town happens to have a weaving shop also). I’ve written before about what makes a good tapestry yarn and my opinions about that haven’t changed. However, sometimes I see a yarn that I desperately want to work for tapestry weaving. And even though I know in my heart that it will not make a good tapestry yarn, my eternal optimism puts some in my shopping basket.

Such a yarn presented itself to me last May during a visit to Harrisville Designs in Harrisville, New Hampshire. I stopped to say hello to the people who make the tapestry yarn I use (Harrisville Koehler Singles) and to see the woodshop where my favorite loom in the world was made: the Harrisville Rug Loom.

Weaving the sky: a studio visit

Weaving the sky: a studio visit

I’ve been squeezing in more time for weaving this month. One thing I played with was a yarn from Mountain Meadow Wool, a small mill in Wyoming who uses domestic sheep and does their own dyeing. Gist Yarn & Fiber carries this yarn and I got a couple skeins to play with. I did not actually choose the colors, so when this purple-blue arrived, I was thrilled as it is in my favorite color family. The yarn is dyed unevenly on purpose. This is something I accomplish regularly in the dye studio accidentally, but somehow this yarn which is blotchy on purpose is full of charm.

I enjoyed this tiny four selvedge tapestry which wove up in a flash. The blue and brown is Mountain Meadow and the light blue “S” is two strands of Weaver’s Bazaar. I was playing with how skinny I could make the “S” by using the doubled warp of the four selvedge warping and it was quite effective for the verticals. I did not split the warps in the curves and I think next time I will try that also. The thin Weavers Bazaar 18/2 yarn used next to this worsted wool makes a nice contrast in texture and reflectance.

Here is a little video I made as I put in the last picks and took it off the loom. Welcome to my super messy studio!