I've been taking shots of these lovely weeds at the Park on my walks. Some of the images I might weave and others work into some mixed media stitched and painted works. I think these will become a series. I love these soft Winter hues.
I'm still here. I'm so busy I haven't even taken the time to post. Since my last post I've woven several small tapestries which I'm not showing because they are slated for a show so I don't want to post them yet. Also I built my large black plumbers pipe loom. And the painting and stitching are in in high gear. I'm building a new website for my art which is in progress too. The studio is overflowing with work and I'm out growing my space so no more loom building for me. I'll post some pics as soon as I get this place cleaned up enough to get a good photo. In the meantime I'm back to my needle and threads of silk today.
I'm giving wool warp another chance. Many Moons ago I tried it and I didn't like the warp. It had too much stretch. Well, not all wool warps are the same I'm finding out. In Spin Off magazine Fall 2004 I read an article by Sarah Swett about Lincoln wool for tapestry warp. She listed a source of Mill spun Lincoln via Kim Miller. I ordered a cone and some how it got tucked away and I forgot about it. I found it finally when doing some studio clean up. I thought I need to sample this now before I forget again. I pulled out my sample frame and around and around I went. At first I thought it was too thick for my weft yarn that I wanted to try out. Nope, I was wrong. I'm finding I can sett it closer than I thought. This is 8 epi and the coverage is wonderful and very forgiving and nothing moves. Wool on wool stays put and I remember another article where Sarah spoke about that. Well, let me say I love this warp, only there is bad news. Kim Miller isn't in business any longer so I can't get it again. This means looking for something similar or spinning my own. I really don't want to spin warp yarns right now. I have too much to do. So I've got a few options that I'm looking at. But I can say for sure I'm going to use some wool in the future. And while I was sampling I pulled out some new linen to try as well. I'll post about that when I sample it. Linen had always felt too hard on my hands before but this linen seems so much nicer that I think I might love it too. Let's face it warp yarns for tapestry weavers have come along way, there is so much more to choose from these days.
Here are a few pics for you. The warp, my new little batten, and a very loved tapestry bobbin that was given to me by a dear friend in Montana years ago. She has since passed away and whenever I use this special little jewel I always think of her. The only thing I know about the maker is he was Swedish and he made them for her in her homeland of Sweden. He also designed the frame loom and I had a Montana woodworker make it for me based on her design. I love that simple frame for sampling.
I've been wanting to do this for some time. So a trip to the hardware store and now I'm extended. I wanted to do circular warping on this loom because I prefer it on small looms. I wanted to do several small works on the same warp then I thought two is better than one so double the pleasure. Now for the shedding device some simple mods were made to get it to fit on the threaded rod instead of the copper so I can reach it. Simple....wrap blue tape around the bar until it is the same thickness as the copper pipe and put wing nuts under for strength and to prevent slipping. I actually think the handle works better on the threaded area. I'm not getting any slippage or popping off. It's solid as a rock. I then moved the long connecting screw so the handle fits right on top of it. Perfection! And my shed is bigger than it has ever been on this loom. The taller warp really helps with that. I don't think I'm ever going back to short unless traveling with the loom. FYI you can purchase everything you need at the hardware store for about $16 instead of $40 plus a hefty shipping charge via Mirrix. This would work great for people that are doing the tapestry diaries. Here are some pics for you.
Shed postion 1
Shed positon 2
Her she is extended and on my easel. I have to put the loom to the left so I can use the handle for shedding. She is sooooo tall now. I love it!
Beginnings of the small tapestries...
Hand dyed wool/silk/bamboo on both pieces. A pleasure to weave with.
Notice the circular warping.... no bar. I really don't care for the bar warping method I prefer circular and that's also one reason why I extended the loom. I like to get my tension good and leave it alone without having to move the tapestry under the loom on the bar method. When weaving on my big looms that have beams and worm gears that isn't an issue but for small works I prefer circular warping over any other method that I've tried. My tension is great, my shed is big, and I have more warp to work with. What more could a tapestry weaver ask for.
Starting a new tapestry on the Fireside Loom. Here I'm adding a row of twining to help space warps before I weave the hem. This piece will be about 35.5" wide, almost the full width of my loom which is 36". Again I'm weaving the design sideways as it gives me the best lines for weaving. More pics as soon as I make some progress. It feels great to have this loom warped up with 6 yards of warp so I can do several tapestries without having to re-warp for a while. There are only 2 looms in the studio without warps on them but I'll be fixing that soon. My goal this year is to try and keep them all warped. So far so good.
Make a cup of tea and then dye some silk organza in the kitchen. Might as well make good use of those tea bags. A two for one job. I've been doing this all week when I make tea. I've got a nice stack of lovely tea dyed silk out of the endeavor.
New Aubusson forks/beaters arrived. Terri of Magicalmoons made these for me. She does custom orders. She is fabulous to work with. She also put in a little tin of wonderful wood wax as a gift. So cool. I got a large one made and a smaller one. She made them out of Birds-eye Maple which is so lovely. I also got one of her small weaving swords that is really nice. I sent her a couple of photos of Aubusson Forks and then we just went from there. It's wonderful to find great wood workers that can make special tapestry weaving tools that are so hard to find in the US. No affiliation just a happy customer.
You may not know that I'm really into Vintage Sewing Machines, I adore them not only for their beauty but for their stunning performance. One of my all time favorites is my little Singer Featherweight. I wanted one for years but I was not going to pay Ebay prices so I always kept an eye at Thrift Shops and yard sales etc. I had no luck so I recruited my hubby to help. He loves yard sales so I showed him pictures over and over until he was like, "OK! I know a Featherweight when I see one now! Stop!" Well, nothing happened for years and years. Not a single Featherweight anywhere. Then one day Ron comes running in the house, "Quick give me $10" and out the door he flew. He comes back in with that little black box that the machine comes in and I knew as soon as I saw it what it was. A scream of joy was heard thru the land. OMG! He was my hero. A yard sale around the corner and he had landed the most elusive sewing machine and I was shocked at the price tag. That was a very lucky day indeed. She cleaned up beautifully, decals intact and she was the anniversary model too. The little blue and gold medallion stating 1851-1951 cleaned up beautifully, a bonus because that adds value. Will I ever sell her? Never. She sews like a dream and I can carry her around with such ease. Today she is in the studio with me and some new linen thread that just showed up. Londonberry Linen which is so wonderful. So here we go... some glam shots of my little sweet Singer Featherweight.
The dye pots are cooking again. Much to do in this new year. I think 2014 is going to be a great year. The Dungeon Dye Studio is getting a paint job and a little TLC. Bright white walls are in order. My print table is getting a new cover and so are the dye tables. We are also setting up an area for some Encaustic work by the window with a vent. My shibori and block printing supplies have been pulled out of storage too. The sewing studio is finally set up and my weaving studio is in good working order with three looms dressed and more slated. It's time to get busy.
I've been waiting to finish up some other tapestries before finishing this warping. Got 6 yards on the Fireside back beam tonight. Raddle is moved up and the cross is moved up on the lease sticks. Now I just have to thread the heddles and reed and tie on and I'm ready to go. I used water bottles to hold tension on the warp for beaming. So far so good. Now the threading will go nicely because you can drop the harnesses down for a comfortable threading eye level on this loom. After the heddles are threaded the harnesses move back up and the reed will then be in a flat postion for threading. I love this feature on this loom. I'm excited to get started on my next tapestry on such a wonderful loom.
There is nothing prettier to me than a freshly warped loom. Ahhh the possibilities.