All Wrapped Up

I’m getting ready to wind my warp for a workshop I am taking at the Weavers Guild of Greater Cincinnati.  Nationally renown weaver Rosalie Neilson (of rep weave fame) is conducting a workshop on block design and color with huck lace at the Guild house and it starts next week.  First I had to get my vintage but new-to-me 4 shaft, 4 treadle,  22″ Harrisville Designs loom ready for the workshop.  I wanted to use it rather than my Dorothy loom table loom since it has treadles.  The HD loom was a freebie from a neighbor of a friend who was cleaning out her basement. I was so excited to get it because I really like my bigger HD loom.  The “new” loom needed shaft cables and tie up cords replaced along with a good cleaning.  I also rearranged the direct tie up from 1, 2, 3, 4 on the treadles to 1, 3, 4, 2 so that I can “walk” the treadles while weaving.

I finished up the restoration yesterday and started to prepare my warp today.  I had to choose 4 colors, one is for a border to separate the blocks and the other three are the colors for the blocks.  We were instructed to make a wrap of our warp colors to see how they all went together. Making a wrap is a common part of design in weaving. I dithered a lot and finally settled on the colors I had originally been drawn to and wrapped them up. They are a bit bold aren’t they?  Now to wind the warp!

Value Contrasted

I have a beginning rigid heddle weaving class upcoming class at the Weavers Guild of Greater Cincinnati .  Learn to Weave a Hounstooth Scarf.  There is only one space left in the class.  This post is to help the new weavers pick their yarn for the class.  It will also help anyone who wants to make a color and weave effect in a project too.

The yarns chosen for class should be a worsted (medium or size 4) weight yarn to use in an 8 dent heddle or a bulky (size 5) weight yarn if you want to use a 5 dent heddle for faster weaving.  A wool or wool blend (or nice acrylic) is ideal.  For a nice size scarf you need one 100 gram ball of each color. Yarn should not be mohair or anything fuzzy or lumpy.  Avoid singles and get a plied yarn.  For a houndstooth you need 2 different colors that contrast in value.  One should be a dark color and one should be a light color to produce the best effect.  Colors that are close in value can look nice too, only the color and weave effect will be more subtle.

I like to take a digital photo and change it to monochrome (black and white) That will show you the difference in value of your yarn.

The photo above show some different yarns that are close in value.  When you change the color of the one on the left to black and white on the right, they are obviously almost the same in value and look like the same color in monochrome.

This photo above shows yarns that have a discernible difference in value. You can see in monochrome how much they differ.

Happy Weaving!

Roc the House

Roc Day

Wow, long time no post. I enjoyed the Weavers Guild sale and fall retreat in November, traveled to Savannah to visit my cousin in early December and then I have been teaching, creating, selling, helping my mom who broke her hip and have just plain been busy, especially over Christmas, with two of my kids being able to come home for the holidays (two still live at home too).  Now everyone is back to school and work and my mom is on the mend so its back to work for me.

The Weavers Guild held their annual Roc Day event last weekend.  Its a great benefit of membership.  The mini-classes are all free to members and you can take 2 in the day.  I learned how to weave on the bias on a pin loom and created a proddy flower using rug hooking techniques.  Both were fund and taught by creative fiber artists who are fellow guild members.

 

 

Silk, Shibori and Indigo

shibori silk scarves
Registration is now closed.  If you wish to plan a shibori silk scarf party for you and a group of 5-10, please contact me at this email and we can set it up!

I will be hosting a 4 hour beginner’s workshop in my yard in Silverton, Ohio Sunday September 18 at 1:00 pm on the art form of Shibori and indigo dyeing. Shibori is an ancient Japanese art in which cloth is bound, stitched, folded, twisted and/or compressed to create patterns in cloth before dyeing.

You will receive a blank silk scarf that is dye ready. We will learn Kumo, Kanko, and Itajime Shibori techniques to create patterns of resist for a beautiful and unique scarf. You will choose 1 or 2 techniques for your scarf, prepare it, dye it in the indigo pot, rinse it, iron it dry and take it home. No previous experience necessary!

Workshop is $35 and includes the scarf and materials needed for the resists, the use of the dye pot and a handout.

Indigo dyeing is wet and messy. Please bring a good pair of rubber gloves that has a long cuff (not stopping at the wrist) to keep the dye from leaking into the gloves. The indigo dye is a slightly alkaline solution and not harmful to most people but stains and can take up to a week to wear off. The more worried you are about blue hands, the better and longer your gloves should be. Wear old clothes and shoes that can get dye on them.

The address and directions to my home will be sent to you after registration.

Limit 10 participants. To register and pay, click “Add To Bag” below. (Registration is now closed and link to register has been removed.)

Cancellation policy 100% refund before September 14, no refund after September 14 unless your space can be filled.
Click here to email Nancy with questions or comments. MeasuredThreads

Mixed Warp Workshop Day 1

I’m taking a workshop on creating a mixed warp at the Weavers Guild of Greater Cincinnati. Today in the first 4 hours of the workshop, we learned a little about color theory and value. Colors may be different but have the same value on the grayscale. In our first group exercise we sorted yarns by value. Here is how they sorted out.

Sorted yarns in color

Here is the sorted yarn viewed as a grayscale image.

IMG_0302 (Edited)

Sometimes they can really fool you. Yellows and yarns that have some variegation or sparkle can be very difficult to sort. One of the theories of choosing the yarns is they can be any different colors but will look good together as long as they are about the same value.

Then you have to consider your fiber types, and textures of yarn and decide what will fibers will do taking into consideration how they will stretch in the warp and shrink in the finishing. We learned about the properties of different fibers such as wool, acrylic, silk, cotton and flax and how to decide how well they will mix together.

Then you choose something that will add a little “pop” of color or sparkle in the warp or to be used as a supplementary warp.

In my first go through in selecting 5 to 7 yarns from what I had to choose from, this is what I came up with and here is how they came out on the grayscale.my yarn gray

And here is what they look like in color.

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Its hard to see in a picture, but one of my yarns (the grayish one) had a little bit of silver sparkle to it.

After choosing some possibilities, we learned how to figure out the sett (how close together they should be) of yarns of different thicknesses, taking into consideration the percentage of each we will be using, the structure we will weave and the weft we are going to use. That part can be very tricky.

Tomorrow in an all day session we will lean different approaches to winding the warp and dressing the loom with a mixed warp. It should be a great day!

 

House Call

2015-07-08 10.43.04I have been going to Suzanne’s house on Wednesdays to teach her to weave on a floor loom.  She had been weaving on a rigid heddle loom on her own, and decided to buy a floor loom.  She found a used 4-shaft Macomber loom in okay shape, but it needed some TLC. I went over one day and gave her a written evaluation of what she had bought, what she still needed to do to get the loom in working order, and what she still needed to buy or make in the way of tools and accessories.

I showed her how to put the rachet brake back on the loom and sent her instructions to make lease sticks and a special raddle to work with her sectional beam.  She cleaned up the wood with Old English; de-rusted and painted the shaft; de-rusted and polished the heddle bars; sorted heddles on a jig so that the tops and bottoms were aligned, alternated in an A and B pattern and then replaced them on the heddle bars; replaced the dirty old old apron and dry rotted apron cords with some Texsolv then was ready to weave a couple of weeks later.  2015-07-08 11.04.19

beaming the warpThe second time I went to her home, I taught her how to wind a warp on a warping board and warp back to front onto the sectional beam without any special sectional warping equipment. The warp went on easily and before she knew it, she had the heddles threaded and the reed sleyed in the pattern from my Dishcloth Cotton Point Twill Towels project that I use when teaching people on their own equipment.  I call it a “get to know your loom” project.

The third time I was there, we troubleshooted for crossed threads and added the floating selvedges. She learned about the tie-up and treadling portions of the draft and how to change the tie-up to “walk” the treadles. We began with a plain weave hem and then she started weaving the first treadling pattern.  She is now weaving away on the towels and will treadle some different patterns. The next time I go back, we will cut them off and she will learn about wet finishing and hemming the towels.


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Color and Weave Sampler

winding color and weaveOn Monday and Thursday evenings, Halie comes to my studio for weaving lessons. She is a student of Interior Design at DAAP at the University of Cincinnati. She is thinking about a Master’s Degree in Textiles and wanted to learn to weave. We started working on a rigid heddle loom since it is small and quick to learn about plain weave. It is also a loom she can afford, can easily transport and can easily keep in different student housing situations.  We will move on to a 4 shaft loom in the fall when she returns to school from a month of study abroad beginning in August.

She made two scarves that she direct warped to learn the basics, one with a multicolored yarn that gradually changed colors and one in a houndstooth check. Then we moved on to a color and weave sampler. We worked on the design together, basing it on some ideas in the books I have, and customizing it to work with one of my Cricket loom with a 10 inch weaving width, a 12 dent heddle and 8/4 cotton carpet warp.  Halie used a warping board for the first time to wind the two colors separately.

Loom is warped

She sleyed the rigid heddle holding the cross in her hand, first with the light color while leaving spaces for the dark color based on the warping plan we made. Then she filled in the dark color. You can see how the color sequence changes across the warp. The threading started out with a little bit of log cabin; alternating single ends of dark and light for about an inch, then alternating light and dark for a half inch, then back to alternating dark and light. After that, the sequences of dark and light changed to some other classic color and weave combinations.

Beginning to WeaveIt was a short warp and the color sequence to weave the weft was the same as the warp. Multiple iterations of color and weave effects can be observed in one small cloth and the sample is to be used as a reference tool for fabric design.

 

The sample was hemstitched on the loom, and now she needs to determine the edge treatment before the cloth is wet finished and pressed.  I sent the classic Virginia West book, Finishing Touches for the Handweaver, with her for the weekend to select one. I am excited to see what she comes up with!

Finished Sampler

Summer School

I have 2 private lesson students starting this week. I love teaching new weavers. One has prior experience on a rigid heddle loom which is a great way to get started.  She has since purchased a used 4 shaft Macomber Loom that needed some TLC and has since restored it to nice condition.  I met with her a few weeks ago to evaluate what she had, give her some advice on continuing the restoration, helped her put the brake pieces on properly and give her a list of things to buy or make that she needed before getting started.  We met again this morning to start winding the warp for her first project which I call a get to know your loom project.  They can be hand towels or placemats.

point twill towels

Tomorrow evening I am meeting with an art student at DAAP who wants to learn about weaving.  I will start her on a rigid heddle loom and a beginner scarf. After one or two projects, I will rent her my 4 shaft Dorothy table loom and a few items to begin 4 shaft weaving.  She doesn’t own any equipment yet.  We plan on meeting twice a week through the month of July.

I am really excited about it.  If things continue this well, I may have to get another small table loom or floor loom for students.

Camnesia

Once again, I forgot to to take pictures at the end of one of my classes.  Today my “Tuesday Knitters” finished their felted clogs.  One was a woman’s size and the other a child’s size.  The child size pair was completely adorable.  I may have to knit a pair just because they are cute, but sorry, no photo.

Last weekend, I did remember to take a picture at the conclusion of my Rigid Heddle Weaving class.  It was a more advanced class and they wove my “Stripes and Floats” pattern.  Click on the pics for a closer look.

AF StripeFloats MP stripe float

The Imitation Game

There is a great debate in the knitting/crochet pattern designer community over selling finished objects made from patterns. Some designers even go so far as to try to put a “license” on their pattern to restrict the sale of finished objects made from the pattern or to charge more for a pattern that people intend to make for sale in a craft show or on Etsy.

This NPR story reaffirms a lot of what I have read; useful objects such as clothing are not copyrightable.  The actual words and drawings in a pattern are what the copyright covers.  No one should make copies of a written pattern and distribute the pattern without the author’s (designers’) permission whether the pattern is free or has a cost.  What a knitter makes from a pattern (the finished object) is theirs to do with what they will.  They can give it away or sell it.  They can make 10 of them and sell those items too.  The actual finished objects are useful objects  and they have every right to sell them just like any property they own.   Whether a design is patentable is a different story, but if you have not sought a design patent, the point is moot.  What about patterns for knitted toys?  If the toy is an original design and you want to license sales you  need to get a trademark. (Mickey Mouse anyone?)  If you make a pattern for a “Mickey Mouse” toy, maybe you’re the one in the wrong…

People who write knitting patterns make their money from the sale of patterns.  (Or they wanted to draw traffic to their website or sale of other patterns by offering free patterns). They are hurt if you make copies of their pattern and give them to your friends who want to make it too.  I have created a couple of free patterns over the years and recently made one for sale.  I have never tried to ‘limit’ the use of the pattern.  If you want to make items from my patterns and sell them, feel free!  (Just don’t copy my patterns or class handouts and give them away please!)

Class Dismissed!

class with scarves

Today the weaving students returned with their woven scarves.  I showed them how to finish the scarves and make the big cut to take them off the looms.  Then the fringe was tied and evenly trimmed.  Check out the great scarves and the variety of colors!  Thanks Shirley, Nicole, Susan and Jean!  I had a great time teaching you!

Weavers School

warped class looms

I had a class of 4 beginning weavers today at Silk Road Textiles learning to warp and weave on Cricket Rigid Heddle Looms. I like to keep my classes small so that I can keep up with everyone and try to catch any big mistake shortly after it is made when it is usually easier to fix.  We use the simple method of direct warping, and within an hour and a half, all were sitting down with their warped looms, ready to weave.  They wove for a bit with my guidance, learned to measure picks for a balanced weave, then I sent them all home with my looms and instructions on what to do when they need to wind more weft yarn on the shuttle.  Since the yarn we are using is a long color changing yarn, care must be taken when winding shuttles to maintain the color sequence of the yarn.  They will return on Friday ready to cut the scarves off the looms and learn to tie the fringe.  I think they all enjoyed learning to weave as much I enjoyed teaching them.  Have a group of friends who want to learn?  Contact me and we can set up a session!

Students’ Scarves

I have been having quite a busy month teaching classes at Silk Road Textiles and at the WGGC.  This post is to show is the work of some of my students in progress.

This is from my houndstooth scarf class at Silk Road Textiles.  I forgot to take other pictures, but there were four in the class.  Some of the other color combinations were light and dark brown and blue and black.
students feb 15

One of my favorite combinations is a purple green,

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or red and black

wpid-IMAG0169.jpg


Next is a set of photos from my class on faux ikat.  In this class we use handpainted yarns that are dyed in a particular way.  These yarns have to be dyed across the skein or “palindrome dyed” where the dyer paints the yarn across the oval of the skein.

Pooling Yarn

I show them how to make the colors “pool” for a faux ikat effect in their scarves.  You have to be willing to work with the yarn and let it determine the length of the scarf.

students feb 15 students feb 15 students feb 15students feb 15 students feb 15

H3

Halvorsen 3

I love this treadling variation.  (4,3,2,1,4,1,2,3) I may do the 4th towel with it rather than the 4th variation included in the book. (4,3,4,2,1,2)  I want to finish by tomorrow morning for my guild study group meeting.  I have caused myself a time crunch because I spent some unweaving time  yesterday. I had made 2 treadling errors in towel #2 and contemplated keeping that towel for myself and leaving the mistakes in. But, I decided to heed my own advice, I would rather keep a towel that didn’t have a mistake, so bit the bullet and unwove.  I wasted time over the weekend not weaving most of Saturday and all of Sunday because I couldn’t make myself go on with the mistake in, and I didn’t want to unweave.  It only took me about 20 minutes to unweave the 4 or 5 inches yesterday and much less than that to reweave.  I should have done it right away.  The towels would be finished by now if I had.

I need to leave to teach a rigid heddle class soon at the LYS and that will cut into my weaving time tonight.  Its a good thing I get up early with my son in the morning.  Hopefully I can push through and finish then before I need to leave at 9:30.  I used fusible thread in my hems, so a quick iron on the ends and I can take the cloth along to study group with out fear.  Washing,  cutting apart and hemming of the towels can wait until after the meeting.

I was there this morning teaching a knitting class.  I love my knitting classes.  It is so gratifying to see how successful people feel the first time they use increases and decreases to make something shaped like a hat in the round, rather than a rectangle or square.  Many people knit for years without going beyond the rectangle.  In my hat class not only do they use shaping, but they learn to knit on a circular needle and a set of 4 double pointed needles.  Such a simple project that creates skill and confidence when they complete it.

Everyone in the class wants to make a sweater now, so that will start in two weeks!

 

 

 

V-weave it!

V Scarf Cowl

 A newly developed class is now scheduled for March at Silk Road Textiles.  This new shape is a circular (sort of) scarf that has a V-shaped edge created by weaving the fringe from the beginning of the scarf into the end.  There are a few tricky bits, but I have some great tips to make it easier.  You must have had prior rigid heddle weaving experience or a class before taking this one.  Fortunately, we have just added new beginning classes to the schedule at Silk Road Textiles in addition to the one I am teaching at the Art Barn in Mariemont. If you are interested in learning how to weave, check them out!

New Year, New You

Or new me actually!  Since I have branched out from just teaching knitting into other fiber arts, I have taken the leap on branding my small business as a fiber arts studio and taken the name Measured Threads.  This process has taken a few days to make the switch and I still have more to do, but am up and running.  I had a deadline of today so that I could hopefully make the submission date for the next  Mariemont Town Crier.  I will be teaching my Scarf in a Day Class at “The Barn” as its known in Mariemont on Monday, February 23 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and needed to be ready to accept registrations and payments for the class on this website.

The migration of the content from theknttingteacher.com to measuredthreads.com was pretty simple thanks to the folks at my web host, but when I updated the template I was using to the new version last night, it broke the website and I was up very late sorting it out.  So, I chose a different template with a new look and am working on all the formatting issues and checking content for broken links, so if something doesn’t work, please let me know!

So I am still working on new a new logo and getting business cards, but for now, this is the NEW ME!

This entry was posted in classes.

V is for Victory!

v cowl

I have woven a new style of scarf/cowl that I saw recently other places on the internet.  I cobbled together some hints and tips and was very successful weaving it.  You leave some unwoven warp at the beginning of the warp, weave for the desired length minus the width, then unwind and untie the beginning and weave the fringe in as the weft at the end.  I hemstitched up the side as I wove in the fringe and across the end when I was finished.  I can wrap it twice around my neck and I like to wear it with the fringe off the v cowl2shoulder.

In my opinion, a nice aran or light bulky weight variegated yarn makes a lovely cowl.  I think a plain solid, heather or semisolid would look great too.  I don’t care for the plaid you get if you use a striped warp.  The rigid heddle loom is the ideal tool for this.  I think it would be trickier on a table or floor loom.  I call it a V-cowl and I plan on teaching a class on how to make it at the Weavers Guild after the first of the year. Check back in a couple weeks to see the detail.

 

Class is Now in Session!

Stripes and FloatsThe fringe is twisted and the sample scarf is washed and dried.  The class to weave a Stripes and Floats Scarf is scheduled for Saturday,  May 31 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. AND Sunday June 8 from noon to 1 p.m.  This class will expand your rigid heddle weaving skills by introducing a more complicated threading to direct warp using an uneven number of ends in the stripes and creating texture in the fabric by using pick-up to create warp floats on one side and weft floats on the other. You will also learn how to hemstitch at the beginning and end of the project.  Still don’t have your own rigid heddle loom?  No problem there, the class fee includes the use of one of my Cricket Looms for the week.  Contact Silk Road Textiles to register.

Floats and Stripes

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scarf warp

I’m direct warping my Cricket rigid heddle loom for a new scarf class at Silk Road Textiles with shimmery, summery yarns of Bee Sweet Bamboo (the pink) and a cotton/viscose blend called Tandem by Tahki Yarns (the variegated). I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

The warp is a little tricky to make since we are doubling some ends and have some odd numbers.  We’ll also I be weaving it up with the Tandem as weft and using a pick up stick for some warp floats along the way to accent the pink bamboo.   Look for it in May or early June!  I’ll let you know when the date is finalized.

Wool = Love

clog slippersI have found the best way to my let my kids know how much I love them, is to let them know I thought about them in some way.  For my daughter it usually involves chocolate. I buy my daughter a really dark chocolate bar when I am at Trader Joe’s or the frozen chocolate croissants that we defrost and let raise overnight and bake for breakfast together.  My oldest son likes when I can get  a nice dress shirt or tie on clearance.  Their favorite supper or dessert  is always a hit. The second oldest son likes leftovers from Sunday supper that I package into lunches for him for a couple of days after he goes back to his college apartment.  My eleven year old is especially easy, spaghetti with meat sauce is his favorite meal and you would have though I hung the moon when I found a box of white chocolate covered caramels.  One thing they have in common is that they ALL love warm feet, and they know that I think about them when I make them something.  I can’t knit fast enough to keep up with their craving of wool socks in the winter, so I supplement with some store bought ones and those are their favorite stocking stuffers.  A couple of years ago I made them each a pair of felted wool slippers and they all wear them (husband included), all the time.  So far they are holding up pretty well for the third season.  My youngest has just started to get big holes in the first layer of the sole as you can see in the picture, but since he has outgrown them, I have to knit a new pair anyway.  His requested colors this time are silver and gold.  I have gotten the first one knit and will make the other one this week.  Then I need to shrink them down (no his feet haven’t grown that much) in hot water in my washing machine .  They fit just right when I am finished.

If you need a quick Christmas gift, they are the perfect thing. They knit up fast and everyone I know who has made them swears how much they are loved.  Even though the pattern is very well written it can be a bit tricky the first time you knit it, especially if you are unfamiliar with reading a multi-sized pattern, decreases, short rows and picking up stitches.  I have a class coming up at Silk Road Textiles beginning November 17.  If you can cast on, knit, purl and bind off comfortably, you can lean to make these and have them be the big hit under the Christmas tree too.