Horizons

Horizons

I love the desert. I'm not all that fond of the heat, but you do get used to it. I grew up in the high desert of western New Mexico and I'm used to horizons. Having a day in the desert of southern California was a lot of fun even if I didn't have time for a big hike (or the mojo to battle the 100 degree heat). 

. . .

Emily came out and said, "Did you find the carcass?"

Weaver's Barn

Weaver's Barn

There is something very interesting about spending time at the ocean. Not that I was at the ocean last week. I wasn't. But I was in Los Angeles and San Diego teaching tapestry. I only had time for a few brief glimpses of the Pacific, but knowing it was right over there was somehow very interesting... being at the edge of the continent and all.

My second workshop was in Vista, CA at the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum. I'm not sure what I expected of the place, but it certainly wasn't what I found. I was so confused when I pulled into the property that I just pulled over in disbelief. There were big hunks of metal all over the place. Many buildings with more hunks of metal (engines, trains, tractors, trucks...) peeking out of them. But it just didn't look like a place I would find any weavers.

A nice guild member rescued me and ...

California

California

Western California. There is something about being right on the edge of the continent that is appealing and even a little thrilling. West from here is just water. 

I am currently just north of San Diego teaching my second of three workshops this week. The first was in Los Angeles and it went quite well. Smart and innovative people. Great questions. Fun times.

Weaving in your home pants... all in the video

Weaving in your home pants... all in the video

I really love teaching my online classes. When I started the project to create online tapestry classes about four years ago now, I thought I'd like it, but I didn't really know. There was so much to learn! Technology is a constant struggle and I feel like I learn a new piece of software every day. But it is so worth it. Because tech is getting easier for me and the students alike and so we can have online classes.

I have really enjoyed seeing what the Color Gradation Techniques class has come up with over the last few months. I put together this video with some of their work. 

Not good at knots?

Not good at knots?

 

I do often hear students say they're not good with knots. Fortunately in tapestry weaving, you really only need to know a couple. One is a plain old square knot, sometimes done with an extra twist (surgeon's throw), and the other is the double half-hitch. Unless you are weaving on a floor loom and tying on a new warp, you can probably get way with only using these two knots for your whole tapestry weaving career.

I have had several online students tell me they are struggling with saggy edge warps this week, so I made this little video showing how to do a double half-hitch knot to end your warp. This knot is one that slides and you can tighten your warp up really nicely and it will stay.

Magpie Woodworks' Maggie forks

Magpie Woodworks' Maggie forks

I love special weaving tools. Weaving is centered around use of the hands and having tools that are highly functional and also beautiful is such a joy.

I have used a lot of different tapestry forks over the years, but one of my very favorites is made by John Jenkins of Magpie Woodworks. I've been using his forks since my friend and tapestry colleague Lyn Hart told me about them perhaps a decade ago. I pulled out my collection just to see how many I have now. I believe the answer is six which seems rather a treasure trove of these tapestry forks considering you will probably have to wait to get yours. John can only make so many of them at a time!