Sunday, June 26, 2011

Yes, a second post in one day!

I am happy with what the new towels look like now that I am weaving, so happy I decided to take a photo for you to see:

I am using the lightest of the yellow to orange wefts for the first towel.  I look forward to seeing how the more intense colors look in the cloth.


The new towels

Here is a photo of the new towels:
There are eleven of them available.  No two of them are exactly alike although the resemblance between them is strong.

I have measured out and beamed the next towel warp.  The colors are cheerful and I know I will enjoy weaving these towels.  (I may even keep one!)

Everything is ready to thread and threading is one of my favorite parts of the process--there isn't ANY part that I really don't like--so I will go to do that now.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Finishing up a few things

Few feelings are as good as finishing up a project or, better still, two of them.

The towels you saw underway here are now cut from the loom, serged apart, hemmed and soaking overnight in hot water (plus Synthrapol) to prevent tracking.  I know, I know, some folks just love tracking but for these towels, I don't.  I want to see the color blends that happen when the colors are woven across each other and tracking is distracting.

Tomorrow when the water is cool--and it was in the mid-90s here today--I will machine wash them in hot water and a vigorous cycle and then iron them dry.  I will have a dozen plus a souvenir that will join my collection of woven samples.

But the bigger news is that I will have my new, vastly improved web site up and running very soon, probably tomorrow.  You can't imagine how wonderful that will be for me.  It has been embarrassing  even to mention my web site because it was so out of date.  I even took a class last fall to gain the skills to do it myself but all that came out of that was this blog.  I had hoped to learn to use Dreamweaver but that didn't really happen.

So what has changed?  When I taught at CNCH (Conference of Northern California Handweavers) in Sutter Creek, California one of the participants in my workshop was a woman who designs web sites.
Gayle Hulburt has been working with me since I finished all the work for my show and the web site is nearly ready to launch.  I am both relieved and delighted.

I hope you will visit it and let me know what you think!  (

Sunday, June 19, 2011

New cotton towels

The new towel warp is well under way.  I have begun the ninth one on this warp.  It is eleven yards twelve inches long so I ought to get a dozen from this warp.  I chose several reds because one of them is for a friend--belated birthday present--who loves red:
Two of the colorways are shown in this photo.
To the left the number of picks of red is the same as the number of ends of red.  To the right there are half as many picks as ends.  The large number of shuttle changes--no shuttle is used for as much as one inch--is large and slows progress but makes and interesting towel.

The towel to the left was cut off partway into the weaving.  I made a new-to-me error in routing the woven cloth through the loom to the cloth storage beam at the back near the floor.  There is a series of metal rollers that the cloth goes around and I had skipped one of them.  The loom works better when it is dressed properly--duh!--so I re-routed the apron and now everything is going smoothly.

I'd have thought I had over the years made all the mistakes possible but it seems I am endlessly inventive!


Friday, June 17, 2011

The show opened tonight

Tonight was the opening of the show towards which I have worked for months.  It ran from six to nine and was well attended.  I sent out invitations to people I particularly hoped to see whom I thought were probably not on the gallery list and was very happy to see some of them there. 

Three hours is a long time to stand talking to people--although when I do that for a class the time just flies.  I wonder why there is such a difference....  I met a couple who have over the years purchased six pieces; tonight they added another one to their collection.  I had never met them before so it was a particular pleasure to do so tonight.  Two other pieces were sold yesterday so by the end of the evening there were three red dots.  It's a start.

Once I delivered the last piece for framing I dived into things that had suffered in my headlong push toward this show.  The next day I did four loads of laundry, for example.  All that for just one person.

I've had two injections in my right knee with the third one due next Wednesday morning.  They are still effective for me for which I am very grateful.  I lead a physically active life and have every intention of continuing to do so!  Major gardening is overdue and I am chipping away at that mammoth job.  I like gardening and because I deferred work in favor of weaving for this show, there was/is plenty to do. 

Today I cut big bouquets of huge, white peonies, another of Peace Roses and a third of Sheer Bliss roses.  The last variety is a  very pale pink with perfect form and heavenly fragrance.  Living with fresh flowers is a great pleasure to me!

Pictures of the newest warp will follow, but not tonight.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Almost ready

I am almost ready for the show at the Phillips Gallery toward which I have been working for months!  I finished weaving the last piece yesterday late, wove in a rod and put a fabric glue around it to hold it in place and left it to dry over night.  This morning I cut off the piece I had woven and lashed the rod to the apron rod so I can continue to weave on this warp.

I took the newly woven piece to finish the raw edges, washed it vigorously and ironed it flat.  Now I have hemmed it and sewn on a label--the way I "sign" the pieces.  It is ready to take to the framer in the morning.  In the meantime I had six pieces to sew to their matts and have done that, too.  One of them, somewhere along the way looked as if it had become soiled so I re-washed it and ironed it before stitching it to the matt. 

Here are some of the pieces:
I call this one November Gold after the colors in the poplar family trees (aspens, cottonwoods, Lombardy poplars) at that time of year.  I have included the twig colors, too.

I call this one Sunlit Stones after the stones at the edge of the Colorado River down in the bottom of the Marble Canyon (just before the canyon opens into the Grand Canyon).  The false light flare is just visible in this photo above the center and a little to the right.

This is Thinking of Spring.

In the Pink, from the warp about the stones using just the pink colors in the weft.

Below: Just Peachy.  Same warp but none of the pinks used in the weft.

The darker colored one is Isn't it Rich? so named because of the rich colors and the application of 24 K gold leaf on the surface.

Considering how many hours go into each one, you have a lot of my life right here!

Yesterday I was walking and caught my toe under the slab of the sidewalk that I hadn't noticed was elevated about an inch and a half (by a tree root?) and fell hard, full length on the sidewalk.  Today both hands, wrists, my left shoulder and my knees--particularly the one that has been so painful for so long--are telling me all about it.  That should teach me not to look at the flowers when I am out walking....  But I am betting that I will continue to look!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Photos, at last

Here are the colors I am using in the newest warp.  This will be the final one for the show simply because I am running out of time.  These colors are what the group I assembled a long time ago and posted on March 16th (title "Whew!").  At that time I was thinking about the colors in a vineyard with just ripening red, red/purple grapes.  It never really came together for me as it was but I kept the box of spools and kept looking at them.  Finally I realized that it was the darkest colors that were putting me off so I starting sorting, re-sorting, arranging and re-arranging, editing, editing, and editing some more.
Finally, the colors you see above emerged.  It doesn't look so much like a vineyard now but is more the colors I see around me during spring here.  (And believe it or not, spring has finally arrived.  There was snow at the first of the week along with more rain, but today it is to be 80 degrees.) 

The lilies of the valley have finished but the phlox that was here when I bought my house over twenty years ago are in fragrant bloom.  The peonies that are usually blooming generously on Memorial Day are still in bud, ditto the Peace roses.  It's too early for any of the roses in my garden although I have seen a few in bloom around town.

I have begun to weave this new warp as you can see:
The colors look a little washed out here, but I think I like where this is going to go.  I need to get back to work on it now.

A little later I will photograph the pieces from the last series.  They are here with their matt boards so that I can sew their upper edges to it.  I use only acid-free, all rag matts for these pieces and conservation glass in their frames.  I have, in all, six pieces to stitch before Tuesday.  I learned long ago that the color of the matt board is critical and the choices I made seem to me to be just right.

Back to work!