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02/17/2014 / accfiber

To warp a plaiden wab

Beth here again.  I’m in my first semester of thesis, and I’ll be honest, I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. But that’s a blog post for another time.  In the meanwhile, I want to show you what I recently finished weaving.

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This is where it started.  Well, no, technically it started with my family’s genealogical research and tracking one line back to Scotland in the 1800s.  But even though my however-many-greats grandfather came from Scotland we apparently aren’t Scottish because we don’t have a clan affiliation.  This idea started brewing when I had to write a research paper in Weaving II and chose tartans as my subject, reading about how they were woven and how they were important to Scottish history.  I wanted to create a tartan for my family.  However, as I read more about it, I realized that it would difficult to register a surname tartan (with The Scottish Register of Tartans), so I decided to create a personal tartan instead.

ImageMan, it’s really hard to get all the colors to show up correctly in the same image because purple throws everything off.

I chose my favorite colors and then spent hours playing with the tartan designer at ScotWeb.  While someone who knew me well might think that I’d use orange as the main color, given my love for it, I picked the purple and blue instead, knowing that orange doesn’t go well with my complexion. 

Using a much smaller yarn and a much higher epi/ppi (measurements akin to thread count, if you aren’t familiar with weaving lingo) than I’m used to, as well as wrangling four colors at once, it seemed to take forever.  But I was constantly amazed that I was creating something so fine.  I often stopped just to touch it and look at the angle of the twill.

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But finish it I did, and when I showed it to one of my friends with the declaration, “look what I made,” her response was, “this looks like fabric.”  Yes.  Yes, it does.  Because that’s what it is.  She couldn’t comprehend that I’d made the fabric itself, even though she knew I was a weaver, and she herself is a knitter.  I was pleased.

But now I have about five and a half yards of my own personal tartan and plans to turn it into an Aboyne skirt, which is the skirt worn by women in Highland dance.  It’s different than a kilt in that it’s gathered instead of pleated and you can see them in this image from aboynegames.com.

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Let’s hope I do just as well with the sewing.

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12/10/2013 / accfiber

I See

Hi there, Beth again.  I’ve somewhat recovered from my, er, shall we say incident with the shadow weave, and managed to start it over and explore what it has to offer.  I used the same pattern but different yarn, and it gives a completely different look and feel, both because of the color and the fiber the yarn is made from. 

ImageIn place of the purple wool, I used a white linen, which has a very crisp texture and allows the fabric to hold its shape somewhat.    Since several of my classmates and I attended SOFA Chicago back in November, I’ve been trying to think of ways to make fabric more sculptural instead of a flat surface, and this is the first experiment to that end.  It’s not going to stand up to a harsh breeze, but it doesn’t flop over at the drop of a hat, either.  

draw me like one of your French girls

 

In addition to the more dimensional aspect, I’m enjoying playing with how the fabric looks different at different angles.  It almost seems like a different fabric if you look at the diamonds vertically vs. horizontally.  If I can just get the high contrast of black and white to stop messing with my eyes, I’ll be happy.

12/04/2013 / accfiber

Fractured Elegance

Jessica here! Hope I did not keep you waiting too long.  I have finished my project since I posted TubulARTastic and In this last blog I would like to share with you my results and plans.  Here is a photo of the piece:

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Bottom View

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With this finished piece I decided how to move forward with my final project which was to create another tube within a tube but on a larger scale.  I planned to weave it tighter and I planned to cut the bottom of the outer tube.  The wire lights proved difficult to weave into my smaller tube by hand and somewhat disturbed the weaving. I am still working on this aspect if anyone has any advice for me that would be great! I played around with one of my first tube samplers to see what it would do when I cut the bottom.  I plan to use hem lock as a way to secure the threads that I cut

1001599_10151873331518145_254428276_n  I was then introduced to the idea of lace weaving.  I began doing some research and decided to give it a shot here is a link for a PDF about lace weaving that I found helpful ( www.weavingindiana.org/PDFs/EleanorBest/LaceByHand.pdf‎ and here are the results:

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The sections of the warp I twisted together by hand and then slid a piece of my copper wire through it to secure it in place.  I did this to the back and the front layers so that the lace weaving wraps all the way around my tube.

I have done a lot of running around lately looking for inspiration to help me with this project. I have just been snapping pictures of things I think might be useful to me like the following:

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These simple lamp structures I found at Lowe’s home improvement really gave me a lot of insight and ideas of how to put my final piece together. The lighting techniques used for these lamps gave me some ideas about how I might light my pieces in the future. I plan to use the same hanging devices as I used in my first project, but the tighter weaving will help the threads to be more stable.

I tried to find a way to pull all of these ideas together but struggled until one day I was sitting in my History of Crafts I class with Dr. Carol Ventura. She was lecturing on weaving that day.  I heard her say something about how she thought that human muscles resemble a weaving.  At first I found that idea kinda disturbing, and even gross, but as I began doing my lace weaving I saw what she was talking about! The way that the threads overlap and twist really do display muscular qualities.  Then I came up with my title, Fractured Elegance. I began thinking about other aspects of the human body and the way a fractured bone looks and how that broken quality at the bottom instead of it being so rounded would mimic the strong points created in my lace weaving which will hopefully tie it all together.

I have finished weaving my Final piece and here it is!

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I am going to make a paper template before cutting the outer tube to the shape I want this will help me plan out my design easier. Then, I will begin constructing and putting final touches on the piece. Check back at this same post in a couple weeks I will add a photo of my finished piece.

Thanks for the love

 

TTU13476-21TTU13476-23The Finished Piece!

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.

 

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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:

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

 

 

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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).

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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.

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

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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.

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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

TubulARTastic!

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:

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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:

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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.

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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?

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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!