Friday, May 20, 2011

Dyeing and Weaving - More Playtime!

OK - so I'm still catching up on my last few months.  March 19th I met a friend of mine down in Carson for the Rubber Stamp Show sponsored by Stamp in the Hand.  I have a few places I like to gather wild daisies at for dyeing, so I left home a little early and headed down to my old stomping ground.

And things have changed in the last 3 - 4 years.  Weed Abatement.  Many of the good places were gone, some had been fenced in, but I was able to get a good gallon bag of the daisy heads.  Now, the family was leaving the following Friday evening for a trip to visit family in SE Washington and I knew I had to have a dye evening otherwise the daisies would be moldy when we got back.  My family let me take over the kitchen for the next few nights to play - because I couldn't just do the 1 plant.  I also grabbed some of the stinging nettles from the backyard (ouch) and I had some old eucalyptus leaves and did 1 pot dyeing for three nights in a row.  Lets say the house had some interesting fragrances that week.  I will have to post pictures later.

When we got home from the trip I was reminded of a weaving / spinning demo I had volunteered for on April 16th.  I didn't want to warp my loom for just 1 or 2 bags, so I put on enough warp for 5 bags (about 6 1/2 yards).  Tuesday night I measured out my warp, Wednesday night I threaded the reed, Thursday night I got half of the heddles threaded and that left panic time on Friday.  Now, like most of you others, weaving time is limited and most of the time I can't start until after 8PM (family dinner, family time, etc) so Friday night was a "I'll be in when I get in" night.  And I got my little loom warped in only about 4 hours.

When I got to the park I started weaving and I wasn't sure what color weft I wanted, so I wove about 1 inch of white, then black and then grey.  Bridget and Cat Ellen thought I should continue weaving that way.

And here is a closeup picture of the cloth.

The lav / pink is a logwood exhaust, the yellow is from the daisies and the eucalyptus (it's hard to tell there are 3 shades of yellow in there).

I think I wove about 2 yards at the demo, then finished it up the following week(s) (after I repaired the loom).  Here is the cloth after a gentle wash to do a light fulling

Here is a finished product

The band is a weft faced band I woven on the loom as I am weaving for 5 bags.  If it was just 1 bag, I would have done it on an inkle loom.

Now to start planning to next group of bags.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

So how long can jute last?

I have been working the heck out of my 4 harness counter balance loom.  It's a little thing so I tend to take it places when I'm doing demos and if I have a small project I will use it instead of the 54inch loom.  I just finished a 6 yard piece of cloth and have a 4 yard weft faced band on it now (more viking or messenger bags).  Now I've had this loom for a good twenty years and when I got it, I replaced most of the ropes with new.  And I used a jute rope.

Now, I need to have two bags done Saturday morning.  I've been out of town and had a few other set backs, or nights where I couldn't grab an hour or two for weaving, So i thought I'd push through tonight, I should have only about 2 yards of the weft faced band to do.  I got started about an hour ago.  So why am I here blogging. 

One of the ropes broke. <sigh>

And I can't find any of my cotton rope around <another sigh>

Is this the Gods way of telling me, it's time to slow down?  To accept that there is no way in hell I'm getting these bags done.  Poopies!

I had been thinking of blogging about the joy of working in the evening in the studio, with the big door open.  As the town quiets down for the night and the Chinese restaurant slows down, I start hearing the frogs in the river bed.  The occasional bird, or possiblyy an owl calling to it's mate. And the steady noise of the loom; change the shed, throw the shuttle, beat the cloth, repeat.  I'm glad my studio isn't in the house.  And maybe someday, my studio will be more out of town .