Sunday, September 25, 2011

SWSG Sat - Basket Weaving

It's the September meeting of the Sacramento Weaver's and Spinning Guild (SWSG) - Saturday Group. Here is Jan giving us the news about the Annual SWSG Open House next Feb 11-12. It's the annual free exhibition for the public to see the works of the Guild. The Saturday Group has been invited to host a table and do some demos at the Open House. Especially "off loom" type of crafts like card weaving, backstrap weaving and triangle looms. There is a curious lack of spinning wheels this month but I'll tell you about it in a minute.

This is the diagram of the Open House facility. Jan is an excellent organizer and can diagram better than a lot of sports coaches I know. The little lady is a dynamo.

Here Linda is showing us a skein she just finished spinning and plying. She actually used this meeting date as a target date for finishing this yarn. I am proud to be a part of enabling her obsession.

Here is one of those off loom crafts. This is card weaving and Vonnie is hanging the work from a neck loop and a loop on her toe. Extremely portable.

Now is time for Basket Weaving! That's why there are no spinning wheels today. Above our teacher Sue has set up tubs with water out on the patio for soaking the reed to be used for weaving. She has pre-cut all the pieces so she just hands out supplies. We all start at the bottom and start weaving our way around.

Sometime we sit, sometimes we stand, but we all work on the basket. After we get the bottom sorted out, Sue shows us how to start the sides going up. We learned that keeping the reed wet and pliable is very important. And there is some fancy pattern work going on too.

There was 13 of us and we all made a basket. Here are some of them! Because of Sue's excellent preparation and presentation we were able to make these baskets in under 90 minutes.

Here is my basket. It looks"not bad" and the stripe at top is pure accidental design. I thought it would be smart to keep it simple. I like it and will definitely do some more of this.

Many thanks to Sue and her husband Ron for bringing the materials and setting it up for us. We are so lucky to have members who are generous with their time and skills.

Next month we will get down to Spinning Basics, Oct 22, 10 am to 12 pm at the Arcade Library in Sacramento.

See the website for more details.
It was a good day!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

MCOTW - Hawks and butterfly

(click pictures for larger view)
New pics from my corner of the world. Hawks in Capitol Park, Sacramento. I think they are Red Tails but correct me if I'm wrong. New camera, has 16x optical and 33X digital zoom. This was shot with 33X and picture cropped and optimized in Photoscape. This pair is often seen sitting in the bare branches of this tree just east of the Capitol building. I walk through Capitol Park most days on my daily commute to work.

This is a closeup of a little flying critter I found on my walk to work. It is a butterfly called Cloudless Sulphur which common in North America. It was dead when I found it, probably was bounced off a car windshield. But the color is still vibrant. I would not have thought to combine yellow with black but look how the combination just pops out at you. I have yellow yarn and now I have to get some black yarn to combine with it in a piece.

Lastly, here is a cinnamon raisin bagel, toasted, with butter to be eaten during a slow walk through Capitol Park.  I try to celebrate the ordinary and to be thankful that I have a job to go to.

So that's it from my corner of the world, Sacramento, California, USA

Have a good day!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Lahu Weaving

I saw this video on youtube titled Lahu Weaving, recorded in Thailand.
It's backstrap weaving. It looks like a long circular warp and the weaver is weaving on the top layer and pulling the woven cloth around the beams.
Other fascinating features are the wide battens or shed sticks that enable the weaver to throw balls of yarn instead of shuttles.
You should see this.
Have a good day!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

4 edge scarf - warping

I started the warp for the next project. I am using a hand made warping frame made from bamboo bought from the garden shop for $3.00. These are six foot long and my cross pieces are a few inches from each end so I have a five and a half foot long piece. I am using an acrylic microfiber (Oralon) with very little stretch and no fuzziness. I am hoping it will work well on a back strap piece.

In this picture you can see the lashing done on the corners. The lashing doesn't take long at all. After I lash my warp to the end beams I'll untie the corners. Next time I'll try to avoid the knots at the joints of the bamboo because the yarn hang up on it. Some sandpaper helps, but I need to look for smoother sections of bamboo next time.

That's all for tonight.
Have a good day!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Four Selvedge Backstrap

This is a project I started a couple of months ago. It's about 11 inch wide by 24 inch long. I need to get it finished so I can start the next one. I twined the edge of my warp and tied it to the beams so I could have a finished edge when I was done. The main yarn is white with pale red and blue color spots. I tried weaving some yellow/orange/white weft to make it more exciting, but it really wasn't a good combination, so I went back to usinge white/red/blue.

The piece of yardstick and two clamps is my temple to help keep the edges from pulling in. It is definitely helping. It is easy to set and to move.

Above I started from one end then turned it around and started again toward the middle. As I get closer to the middle there is less room so I start using narrow shed sticks made by cutting a paint stick lengthwise and sanding it. I am using a thin dowel as a shuttle stick. Soon it will be too narrow for those sticks.

When it gets too narrow, I pulled the sticks and I am using an afghan hook (a long crochet hook) to weave through and pull through. As you see there is some uneven weaving leaving a bigger gap on the right than on the left.

As I pull the yarn through I use a fork to beat the weft. After the last yarn is pulled through, I start shifting the weft down to spread out and fill the weft gap.

Here I am untying the beam so we can see the finished edge. You can see a little bit of the twining I used where I first started the edge. The edges are a little bit "loopy" but it should tighten up on the wet finishing (machine wash and dry).

Here is the piece off the loom. There is some loose threads to be woven in with a needlepoint needle. There is a lot of rough edges on the sides. There is some narrowing in the middle where I finished. I am not especially happy with it. The goal was to have 4 finished edges.And I did that.

Now to move onto the next one.

Have a good day!

PS: Here is a picture of the bottom side of the temple so you can see how it holds edges.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Andean Tunic at the Met - NYC

Found this link on a Weaving Today Ad:  Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is hosting an exhibit entitled “The Andean Tunic 400 BCE-1800 CE” where thirty exquisitely woven tunics (the traditional clothing worn by Andean men) will be on display. 

Great pictures of Andean woven clothing. Click here for Musuem link{EC9E0213-9C5B-4B59-B9B9-B50881E10617}

Have a good day!