Monday, December 29, 2014

First gallery exhibit

Hello, friends. I hope that you have had a pleasant week. We were busy here with bell-ringing, singing, and cello playing around the Christmas holiday. It is a lovely time of year, but it is also nice when things settle down and become a little quieter.

I've been working on a special piece that will be on display at the League of NH Craftsmen gallery in Concord for a special exhibit, "Blue : The Sky's The Limit." The multi-media exhibition will take place in Concord, NH from January 9 - March 20, 2015. I'm weaving a woman's tartan shawl. The tartan is not historically accurate in terms of color selection (don't give me away!). I adapted the Clan Keith tartan to suit the direction of the exhibit guidelines. Here is a look at the shawl on the loom:

Clan Keith variation fabric

"Keith" is supposed to have green, black, and blue yarns, as found in this scarf that I wove earlier in the year:

Clan Keith tartan using traditional colors

but my wrap has ivory, "whipple blue" and navy alpaca/silk yarns. I really like the way it is coming together. I aim to weave about six feet of fabric and will twist the fringe on either end.

And now on to a new discussion...

I've been working hard to incorporate yoga practice into my weekly routine. I've been working on various poses that are particularly good for the back, core, arms and shoulders. I am hoping that continuing with the exercises will help counter some of the hunching that inevitably happens while working at the loom. No classes for me (there isn't really a good source for these locally), but there are lots of podcasts and DVDs out there that are helpful. I studied with various teachers many years ago and learned the basics. Do you, weaving friends, do any sort of activities/exercises to help allay the physical demands of weaving? Do share!

Have a safe and happy New Year.
Be well,

Monday, December 15, 2014

A new bookmark pattern draft!

Hello, friends. The holidays are upon us and in case any of my weaving friends are interested in a smashing project that (I PROMISE) won't take up too much time or precious yarn, I have a nice gift idea for you. Here is a peek at what awaits your friends and family!

Nice, right? The draft is loaded up here on this blog post as a picture file. But before you go and dash off to your yarn stash here is some general information:

1) This is an 8 shaft, 10 treadle design. If you have a 4 shaft loom, you can weave a very fine looking point twill similar to this but it won't be quite as intricate.

2) I used 10/2 mercerized cotton for warp and weft. You will need fewer than 80 ends to weave this project. I used black in the warp; ivory or white would also look nice.

3) I sett the threads at 24 epi (2 per dent in a 12 dent reed).

4) The weaving draft is coded for a jack-style loom.

5) You can adjust the sett to suit your prerences; if you use a sett of 24 ends per inch like I did, I found that a firm but light beat will help your pattern picks to stand out.

6) A 3 1/2 yard warp yielded 8 book marks; you might get more or less, depending on the amount of loom waste that is specific to your loom.

Here is the draft:

If you have any questions about the pattern, please drop me a note in the comments field right here. This pattern hasn't been "tech tested" by other weavers, but if I've omitted something, I'm sure that between the two of us we can hammer out the necessary details.

Happy weaving, friends!
Be well,
Kate K.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Why I will keep blogging

Hello, friends. I just cut off my final piece of weaving for gift-giving this morning and met with a lovely customer this morning who had requested a bespoke item. My next project will be a tartan ladie's shawl. I'm weaving this item for an exhibition at the League of NH Craftsmen gallery in Concord. It is a big project (for me) but the yarns are here and after a day or two off from the loom, I'm going to get going on the warp. The exhibit is in January.

Do you, dear readers, maintain a blog? Obviously I do, but one wonders sometimes if it is "worth" the time and energy involved. There are pictures to take and edit/resize and comments that sometimes need moderation and then there is the whole "what do I write about today" thing.

Well, I received a handwritten letter this week from a person who is not known to me. "Ann" wrote me a charming letter in which she shared her weaving story. Ann explained that she had been diagnosed with an illness and decided that she could a) feel sorry for herself or b) try something new. She decided to try handweaving and gathered up books and searched for blogs authored by weavers. Ann found my wee blog! And she shared with me that she wove a lace bookmark, which is a draft found here on my blog.

I was stunned by Ann's kindness in taking the time to pen a letter to me. I showed the letter to my husband and kids. It was so gratifying to know that I have been able to pass along a bit of what I have learned along the way - even via computer screen!

Ann's letter provided me with the resolve to do two things:

1) keep blogging about weaving
2) write more handwritten letters

Letter-writing is becoming a lost art, don't you think? While I love the convenience of email and text messaging, there is something really lovely about getting a letter in the mailbox and holding it in your hand to read it.

So long for now, friends, and happy blogging and weaving and letter-writing.
Be well,
Kate K.