Sunday, June 26, 2016

There is no bowl....

Saturday, Tapestry Weavers South met at the Yadkin Valley Fiber Room.  This is a wonderful venue for all things fiber.

Leslie Fesperman has created something really special here, with looms, fiber, yarn and more.  We did some Kool-Aid dyeing in the backroom.

The Yadkin Valley Art Center hosted the TWS exhibit.  It was such a pleasure to see the exhibit again with many of the weavers available to talk about their work.

Laurie O'Neill
Labyrinth at Healing Grounds

Linda Weghorst
Ghana Mama

April Price
Detail of Maniessier's Port de Nord

Leslie Fesperman
Barbara Gilmore
My Blue Bowl
I asked Barbara about this piece which was one of my favorites.  Specifically I asked about the bowl that inspired the tapestry and what it looked like.  She laughed and explained there was no bowl.

A group shot of the weavers of Tapestry Weavers South behind Holly's wonderful three dimensional tapestry blocks.

We also had show and tell.

It was a great meeting and I left inspired to get to work.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Taking My Craft Inventory

Last year at a guild meeting one of our members described herself as a "dabbler".  This was immediately met with groans and urging not to use that word.  I am not sure why that is a term of derision but it has been an apt description of me as a crafter.

I started early and have tried a little bit of everything.  I don't know why it is surprising that my crafting habits and tastes change.  My taste in clothes and my hairstyles have certainly evolved.  It is a saving grace that there are no pictures of the disastrous perm of 1981.

I want to direct my focus and pare down my craft stuff.  It isn't productive for me to hang on to all the someday ideas and someday supplies.

Here is what I love..

Cleaning and processing fiber and interacting with fiber animals
Tapestry weaving
Knitting socks
Reading about knitting, spinning and weaving
Spending time with fiber friends

Here is what I enjoy....
Seamless, raglan sweaters knit in the round
Dyeing, especially with natural materials
Rug hooking
Knitting "easy" lace
Making batts

Here is what I want to love but don't...
Floor loom weaving
Knitalongs or any competitive or deadline crafting

Monday, June 6, 2016

Have Wheel will Travel

The downside of traveling for work is not having my evenings to indulge in my favorite fiber pastimes.  This time I brought my wheel along to Raleigh and I am so glad I did!  Today was a not so fun Monday, travel, all day meetings, rain etc...

After spinning for one hour, I feel so much better.

Sunday I flicked open some more Romney locks, weighed and measured out some nylon and alpaca.

I carded a small batt that is 72% Romney, 20 % alpaca and 8% nylon.  I am hoping this will spin into a perfect three ply sock yarn.

So far it is spinning beautifully!  Happy dance, I might be a drum carding blending genius! I am pretty sure I am the only guest spinning at the Comfort Suites.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Apple Hill Farm Shearing Day

Our guild was invited to demonstrate fiber arts at Apple Hill Farm during their annual shearing.  So Gail, Vivian, Nora and I headed up to Banner Elk.  A gorgeous day and such a beautiful place.

This is the view from the second floor of the barn.  We set up with spindles, spinning wheels and a loom.  We also demonstrated using hand cards as well as a drum carder.

Of course we showed off our knitting prowess.

Gail is smiling but could be dangerous with these giant knitting needles.

I fell in love with Basil, we had a long heart to heart. 

Baby Goats wanted head scratches.

Another shot of Basil, so handsome.

This fellow ruled the roost.

This is Mr. Pickles, I asked him about the skateboard but he didn't feel like talking.

Preparing to shear this alpaca.

Frosty the alpaca after his haircut.

Nora and Vivian spinning away.

It was a super day, the farm is beautiful and Lee and staff are so warm and friendly.  I can't wait to go back!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Little Booboos and Big Lessons

I am working on a small tapestry sampler, loosely following the Joanne Mattera's book Navajo Techniques for Today's Weaver.  This was published in 1975 and has really good diagrams and explanations.  I have actually attempted this twice before.

There were some issues with the color.  I bought some single ply naturally dyed churro. I  thought it would be perfect but the colors were too muted.  Blah.

I tried again with some random yarns from an estate sale of a talented tapestry weaver.  Maybe a little of Martha's magic would be present.

Much better contrast as evidenced by the black and white photo below.  This is a tip learned from Tommye Scanlon.  During the class in Raleigh she had us use our phones to take pictures of yarn we were choosing for tapestry.

Very basic design concepts like value, contrast and hue are not easily understood by me.  This visual helps.

I played with meet and separate, slits, shading, wedge weave and lazy lines.  But wait...

Do you see it?  As I built the areas up separately for eccentric weft I lost track of my "overs and unders".  The two adjacent warp threads in the aqua and purple are going through the same shed.
No worries this is a play learning warp and I am going to keep playing and learning.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Tapestry Weavers South

Dear hubs and I travelled to the Yadkin Arts Council to see the Tapestry Weavers South show.
This is a three dimensional piece titled On the Trail by Nancy Garretson.
These beauties capture your eye as soon as you enter the gallery.
The Kite
A wonderful work by April Price.
This piece is by Tommye Scanlon, I love the way she captures the beauty of the flowers and leaves.

I thoroughly enjoyed the show.  I carefully looked at each piece and wished the artists were there to talk about their inspiration, design process and techniques.  My apologies to the artists and works I could not identify.  I carefully took pictures of all the information cards but they were unreadable.  It was an inspiring show and I went home and planned my next sampler.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Ode to Romney

The Romney lamb's fleece purchased at MDSW on Sunday.  I couldn't resist processing a sample.

I  grabbed a couple of handfuls of the fleece.

Soaked it in hot, hot water.  I set a timer for twenty minutes and didn't touch it.

I soaked it in a second tub of hot, hot water with some blue Dawn dishwashing liquid.  Again I set the timer for twenty minutes and left it alone.  I repeated this step another time.

The clean locks were placed on a rack to dry in the sun.

Then I flicked the locks to open them up.

You can see the difference here.  The bottom lock has been washed and flicked.

Augie is guarding the 11grams of flicked Romney locks and black nylon.

After two passes through the drum carder this is a 13 gram batt of 75% Romney and 25% nylon.

This spun up beautifully.  The three ply sample after washing is 16 wraps per inch with a 30 degree angle of twist.  It was spun worsted on the Little Gem II at a ratio of 8.6:1.  The singles will rest over night and be plied tomorrow.