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12/03/2013 / accfiber

Weaving the River

The long hot summer days are behind us now, but I still find myself reminiscing about the Cumberland River.  So for my final project, I’ve decided to take the river to my loom!  This is Jinni, back from the crackle weave blogs!  To make a rolling wave effect, I decided to go with a double weave and dove into this book:  “Loom Controlled Double Weave”  by Paul O’Connor.  In his book I found these mobiles, that inspired me to pursue this idea further.




To make this effect, I will be weaving a differential double weave, which will allow me to advance one layer faster than the other.  Differential double weaves make pockets like this:


During my sample, I pushed it further and tucked the back layer through the front, to get these fun button-like shapes.




weavingsample2As I kept going, I started thinking that stuffing them would give them more body, and that way they won’t be slumpy sad buttons like this.

download-1I’ve decided my final piece will have both the pockets and the buttons working together throughout the piece.

downloadSo now that I’ve sampled and researched, I’ve tied on and started my final!  Here goes the testing for colors!  Keeping with my inspiration for the double weave, I’ve decided on blue and green like the Cumberland River.

Here’s my finished weaving! download-4

Thanks for visiting!







10/30/2013 / accfiber

Breaking Point

At what point do you lose your patience?  We’ve all been there: you try and try and try, and everything that can go wrong just keeps going wrong no matter what you do.  That’s where I am right now.  Oh, hi readers, this is Beth.

I’ve tried shadow, or illusion, knitting, but this was my first foray into its woven cousin.  I researched the method, figured out my threading, treadling, and drawdown from a pattern I found in 1000 (+) Patterns In 4, 6, and 8 Harness Shadow Weaves, found a pair of yarns that I really liked, and even ordered some stainless steel yarn from Habu Textiles, which I intended to incorporate into the weft of the piece.  Look how shiny it makes the cotton (black) and even the wool blend (purple).


I was so excited.  I dressed the loom and started weaving.  From directly above it doesn’t really look like much.  Slightly interesting, but nothing great.


But when you look at it from an angle, like the side, the pattern pops out at you.  Fantastic!


This will obviously be a lot of fun, right?  Ha ha ha ha ha, no.

I had to fix a lot of careless errors (and “a lot” for me is more than one, so who knows how many it actually was, probably about 4 or 5) in my threading.  Not a big deal, everyone has an off day.  That was okay.

After about a foot of weaving, though, one of my threads broke.  I fixed it.

Another thread broke.  I repaired that one.

It broke again, in a different place.  I tied it back together.

A different thread broke.  I fixed that.

The first thread broke again.  I fixed it, and in the process of repairing that break, it broke in a different place.

I think this is an excellent visual summary of my emotions at the moment:

tableflipcredit: Alexandra Douglass

My return on investment is so far from where it should be right now that I’m highly considering scrapping the entire project and moving on to the next one I have planned.  It’s not worth the effort if I’m going to spend more time fixing things than actually weaving, no matter how much I wanted it to turn out well.  And I think that is the lesson I will take away from this project.

10/30/2013 / accfiber

Crackle Weave Off the Loom

My original idea for this project was to make a self portrait.  Since weaving is a medium I’ve connected with, I decided I wanted to weave my self portrait.

I wanted my weaving to be dark, like a shadow.  However, I wanted my weaving to contain many different colors and also a pattern.

Here is a close up of my pattern.  I decided to do an overshot crackle weave pattern.    I like the way the overshot fades in and out of my colored warp.

My weaving has turned out to be a little brighter than I originally planned, but the color suits my expression.

I wanted my project to be both utilitarian, so making a rug was my second part of my project.

The rug’s outline will be cut from my shape instead of my shadow, so that it will be more recognizable.


I am posing for my cut-out!

I decided more on a Zen shape because it will be at the front of my house in my doorway.  I wanted my shape to be welcoming,

relaxed, and express what I like.

Fleece will be used as the backing for my rug so it will make my rug sturdy.  I chose a dark navy for my fleece color.

Here is a close up of my pattern.  You can see the overshot crackle weave a little more clearly here.  Love the color!

I will be adding my finished piece on here once I’m done so check back!  Thanks for looking!

10/29/2013 / accfiber


Hello Readers! Remember me? I’m Jessica and I am here to share with you the progress I have made on my double weave project.  I am creating a tube within a tube. I plan to hang it and insert 16 gauge wire light into it. I am so excited to see how it is all going to come together.  I have already woven the outer tube:


My first tube is exactly a yard long. I plan to hem it and sew a ring in the top so that it can be hung. The copper wire goes all throughout the tube, but it is woven tighter and at a higher quantity where my pattern yarn is located.  This allows me to manipulate those sections more than the rest of the tube to create interesting line qualities within a 3 dimensional piece which is what I have been striving to accomplish.

During the process of working on this project I have been greatly inspired by the works of Cedric Le Borgne. He has created a truly amazing body of work some of which he uses chicken wire and lighting plays a huge role in his art.  I have been inspired by the way he is able to transform spaces seen in everyday life to represent freedom from the constraints of life. Here are some of the pieces I love:

oiseaux-38 Les-Voyageurs-Genève-2


I am so excited to let you know that I have begun to work on my second tube that will go inside the first tube that I wove.  I have dyed all of my yarns by painting the dye straight on to my warp.  Here is the result:



The second tube is going to be smaller than the first. Then, it will hang inside of it.  I am currently preparing to weave the wire lights by hand into my smaller tube.  I acquired these lights from a store called Restoration Hardware.



This wire is going to be so much fun to play with! When turned on the small LED light gives off a yellow amber light, which I hope will work nicely with the copper wire. I have also been preparing to hang my piece and I think I have just about everything I need. What do you think?


Hope you check back soon to see how my project turns out. I plan to spend the semester on this weaving process, so far I have learned A LOT. Thanks for looking, OH! And if anyone knows of a good website to find information on double weave structures let me know. I have had a difficult time finding much online . Thanks!












10/17/2013 / accfiber

Today is a good day to dye (your woven shibori).

Hello again!  Beth here with an update on the woven shibori I’ve been working on.  You remember that it’s a woven fabric with supplemental weft threads which are pulled in order to gather the fabric and resist the dye in areas.  You can see in the image below what it looks like while it’s being woven.  The long strands of yarn that are floating across the surface of the fabric are those supplemental weft threads.  Can you picture what the final product will look like after dyeing?

shibori on loom

After the fabric is completely woven and removed from the loom, the supplementary threads are pulled to gather the cloth, which turns it into what I like to think of as a fabric snake.  The fabric was originally about 24 inches wide, but gathered like this, it was less than five.

shibori with strings pulled

After I had my “snake” created, I dyed part of it, and then cut the strings gathering that section.  Here it is after that first session in the dye pot.

shibori - dyed

I cut the sections open after I dyed them because I wanted the next color of dye to saturate the area that had been resisted.  The photo below shows what it looked like after I dyed two sections.  You can see that the darker area in the second (or top) section is the same color as the lighter area in the first (bottom) section.

shibori overdyed

I kept dyeing, cutting the threads used for gathering, and dyeing again until I had four sections done in a gradation of reds and red-blacks.  Since I used different yarns for the warp and the weft (the warp is rayon and the weft is silk noil), the fibers accepted the dyes differently.  If you look closely, you’ll see that the weft appears more red and the warp appears more tan or black.  I think it gives the cloth a little more visual depth or personality than if both yarns were the exact same color.

shibori dye differential

Another thing I like about the woven shibori process is the actual depth the cloth is left with.  You may be able to see in the image below how the fabric undulates, showing where the highs and lows were when gathered.  Some people may prefer to press the cloth in order to leave it completely flat, but I really enjoy seeing proof of the process.

shibori texture

So, after all that, what does the final piece look like?  Well, here it is.

completed woven shibori

What do you think?

09/25/2013 / accfiber

Crackle Weave

Hello Readers!


My name is Jinni and I am currently taking the weaving class at the Appalachian Center for Craft.  I will be blogging this semester in correlation with my weaving so keep checking these blogs for updates!  A little about myself…I started weaving a few years back and just couldn’t stay away from it.  I decided to keep going and invested in some alpacas.  They’re lots of fun!

downloadFor my first project, I am doing an overshot called blooming leaf in crackle weave, which I got out of the Handweaver’s Pattern Book written by Marguerite Porter Davison.  Above is the pattern I will be weaving.

Putting my yarns on the loom

Putting my yarns on the loom

My project idea is to make a self portrait.  I wanted to play with the conventional idea of a self portrait so I’ve decided to do my shadow.

All 37 inches of warp!

All 37 inches of warp!

From this weaving, I will cut out my shadows’ outline and zig-zag stitch the around the edges to hold it in place.  My project will also function as a rug for my home.

Sleying the heddles for my project

Sleying the heddles for my project

Here you can see that I added in some color to make it more enjoyable.

Thanks for checking my blog!  I’ll see you again soon.

09/24/2013 / accfiber

Double Weave Madness!

Hello all you Fiber Art lovers out there! My name is Jessica Hagar and I am currently a Fibers student taking the weaving 2 class at the Craft Center. I would like to share with everyone just how excited I am about this semester and what I have been working on.  I hope that you will follow along with me throughout the semester as I plan to continue blogging about all of my discoveries and accomplishments.


It has begun! My first sampler of the semester. I am exploring a few of the many possibilities with Double weave.


Currently, I am working on a tubular structure through the double weave process in which two layers of fabric are woven at the same time. I have also discovered how to incorporate an overshot pattern that is continuous around the tube.  Overshot is a way of incorporating different sizes of yarn. The smaller yarn creates the structure of the weave while the larger is used as a pattern yarn so that the design stands out. This is the first time I have attempted this and am very excited to see my pattern being created on both sides of the fabric.


A really great source of how the double weave tube is created can be found in this double weave book by Ursina Arn-Grischott.  The tube is formed by connecting the selvedges of the top and bottom layers using one continuous shot of weft.

Tubular textiles were made by weavers long ago for things such as bags, fire hoses, and hats. It is great if you are wanting to avoid sewing lengths of fabric together for things such as tablecloths and curtains. Industrial weaving has used tubular techniques for years to produce many of their products (Grischott). Here are some great examples of woven tubular structures:




Here is also a great draft to show how the tube is formed. This can be a very useful visual in understanding a tubular structure.



I am also attempting to incorporate 26 gauge copper wire into my sample’s weft. I plan to use this for my next project.



I am hard at work putting together my first project and my board of inspiration is quickly filling up.


I am interested in creating a sculptural piece focusing on how a 3-dimensional structure can mimic the qualities of line and how I can use that to make a visually intriguing piece of art through the use of color, form, and light.

Thanks for visiting! Check back soon to see my progress.

09/19/2013 / accfiber

Cotton pickin’

The first bolls are starting to open! I have green and white cotton planted.
These first open bolls are from one of the green cotton plants.


The first boll picked of the season.

The first boll picked of the season

When you pull the boll apart, the green tint becomes apparent.

When you pull the boll apart, the green tint becomes apparent.

09/16/2013 / accfiber

Do Shibori or Don’t She?

Greetings, craft enthusiasts!  I’m Beth and I’m a Fibers major here at the Craft Center.  I’m slowly creeping my way toward my senior thesis work, and this semester I’ll occasionally be bringing you blog posts about what I’m doing.

Right now, what I’m doing is dressing a loom in preparation for woven shibori.


Hi!  Don’t adjust your monitor; my hair really is blue.

Shibori is a traditional Japanese method of resist dyeing, which means that you use gathered stitches, wrapping and knotting, or even wooden blocks and clamps to keep dye from being applied to areas of the fabric.  Yes, this even includes tie-dye, though that’s not one of the methods we learn and use here.  A good resource to learn more is Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada’s Memory On Cloth, as well as her Shibori: The Inventive Art of Japanese Shaped Resist Dyeing.

Woven shibori takes this one step further and incorporates the actual weaving of the fabric into the process. Instead of sewing threads into the fabric afterward, the fabric is woven as it normally would be, with the addition of a supplementary weft which will be gathered after the weaving is completed.  Between the pattern choices for threading the loom and treadling, there are thousands of designs for any curious weaver.  Add in the different methods and colors you could use to dye your weaving, and the possibilities are countless.

Catherine Ellis is the developer of this method as well as the author of the book Woven Shibori, and it’s from her book that I’ve taken a couple of images to share with you.

ImageWoven Shibori, p. 5: 16-shaft twill variation

I love the way this undulates, and was hoping to reproduce it.  Unfortunately, the Craft Center doesn’t have a loom capable of accommodating this specific pattern, so I’ll be adapting a different pattern to experiment with.  You can see, though, that the dark parts are where the indigo dye has touched the fabric, and the light sections are where the supplementary weft has been gathered and therefore created a resist against the dye.

ImageWoven Shibori, p. 24: Purple Amber Petal Jacket by Candiss Cole. Photograph by John Cooper.

Here we have a finished garment, not just a sample of flat fabric.  This piece I find amazing in its ability to look like fire, even though it’s a woven piece of cloth.  The flames appear to lick up the model’s back, and I find it utterly compelling.

I’m eager to explore the possibilities, and I shall bring you the results of my endeavors.

08/25/2013 / accfiber

The Garden grows on

I think my thumb is starting to turn green at last! Or maybe blue. My indigo is growing well, and I’ll be cutting a second harvest soon. I don’t know if I’ll actually get to make a vat with any of this indigo I’ve been growing anytime soon, but it’s been fun to grow it!

Kojyoko indigo growing in front of the weaving building

Kojyoko indigo growing in front of the weaving building

Kojyoko and Senbon in front of the community garden

Kojyoko and Senbon in front of the community garden

And as for that flowering bush next to the indigo, it lives up to its title of Butterfly Bush

The butterfly bush in the garden covered in butterflies

I grew two varieties this year: Kojyoko, a pink flower variety from seeds I collected from my plants last year, and Senbon, a white flower variety from seeds I purchased this year.
The leaves are a little different, but you can’t tell in this picture.

Kojyoko and Senbon growing side-by-side
Kojyoko and Senbon growing side-by-side

And then, there’s the cotton. I grew all cotton from seeds I collected from my plants last year. I have both green and white cotton growing in front of the weaving building and in the garden.
Considering I only had about 6 or 7 plants last year, this year I might actually have enough cotton to do something with it! Or at least think about doing something with it.  And they’re getting so tall! A few in front of the fibers building are getting to be taller than me. I guess they have to reach out in front of that awning above the building.

Green and white cotton plants growing in front of the weaving building

Green and white cotton plants growing in front of the weaving building

Cotton in the garden

Cotton flower

A cotton flower in bloom. Sometimes they are pink, sometimes they are white. I don’t know why, especially since it will happen on the same plant sometimes.

Cotton boll

A cotton boll that hasn’t opened yet.