Monday, March 30, 2009

Medieval Image of the Day: The Noble Pastorale / The Work of Wool

It is over, but since I missed posting during the week, here is the Medieval Image of the Weekend in Honor of the Angora Goats that cannot come live at my house.

This image is attributed to both Flanders or Northern France (depending on one's source) around 1500 ce.

Note the box loom the woman on the left is using with a rigid heddle for narrow ware work. (Ck out the Spanish Peacock for a reproduction of this loom and a stunning wooden rigid heddle). Note the little reel the sheperd is using and all the cool tools on the figure's belts. This is a great resource image.

Don't you want to take these home?!

I found these in 'Grandpa's Barn' on the Spinning and Weaving Housecleaning pages.
Aren't they fabulous?! I'd love to have them, but like chickens ... we aren't zoned for them. Angora Goats... and such lovely color and lucious fiber, but I would love them just for themselves not only for their color.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Much of it Weft something to be desired...

So the sample did make it off the table loom and I'm contemplating which part will make it to fabric. Strangely it seems that the last bit I did using a black for the weft is probably going to be my preference. It was not my plan initially to even use the black, but it was the last little bit of warp left to squeeze something in so I thought, why not for fun. The thing is that the warp is made up of a lovely set of yarns of various colors and the other wefts sort of swallowed it and the subtlety of the yarns were lost.

I did three different warp colorways, two different threadings, and 7 1/2 weft colors. Sometimes I have trouble narrowing things down.

The stark contrast of the black really worked for me, plus I love black. Black being a conglomeration of all colors and color being works.

I did try white(which was ok, but not my aesthetic) and the green solid weft worked well so the choices are really the green solid or the black for weft. er... maybe the blue???

As to the two differently threaded drafts... I think the larger because depending on which way one looks at it, there are two patterns... somewhat Escher-like.

At any rate, the more I look at it ... I might have to stop looking for awhile.

Looming on the horizon...

I think I have to back up a little while.... I have been looking for some time for an 8 harness loom. I was undecided about an 8 harness floor or a table loom, but everyone I talked to said... floor loom, that even with a custom table or the ability to tie up to treadles that the floor loom was THE way to go. Even so no loom appeared on my horizon and I was leaning towards a Jane Louet (yes, but an oh so lovely table loom). What I really really had been looking for was a well priced used 8 harness... My cup overfloweth and I found, adopted, and brought home a lovely 16 harness Macomber loom, (about 45 inch weaving width).

This is MORE loom than I ever thought would come into my life. It might be too much! A loom with 16 harnesses is intimidating! However, it is lovely and I do love it. It is amazing and came with lots and lots of extra heddles,(although good people are telling me to go with texsolve), 5 reeds, lease sticks, a bench, a lovely double boat shuttle. I am the third owner since it was made (a long time ago by the looks of it - it was made in Mass and Macomber is now in Maine). I'll be calling them this week, one nice person told me he called and they gave him the entire sales history. Everyone seems to love their Mac's. I have been extrodinarily lucky and came by a copy of Bonnie Inouye's book, Multishaft design (now out of print), which will help me immensely. I know that undulating twill is in my future...

I have to name her. She has never been named. I have to also get her at least temporarily situated so we can have some bonding time.

Back from the Wilds of Palm Springs..

My blog is crying, because it feels ignored. I've had many adventures this past week. REALLY! Loom adventures, shopping, and yes wilds in Palm Springs... surprisingly almost within city limits some amazing hiking on the Cahuilla Indian Reservation. Very good people maintaining and preserving some pristine wilderness as well as their cultural traditions. More on this later. I've sent the son off to build and program robots (really) and now I'm off to visit a soccer field as a maternal representative of an involved party, yep soccer mom, back from vacation...
film at eleven --- or more for the blog later. ;)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Medieval Image of the Day

This image is from the Eadwine Psalter in Christchurch England. It features what may be an interpretation of the 3 fates... Those ladies with scissors scare me... too close to just spun yarn and a woven work! However, It may just be a scene with implements of fiber production by an artist who was not a fiber person. Whatever it is... we like it! (Loom picture in honor of my sample coming off the loom). :)

Have a great weekend folks!

Off the loom!

The sample is off the loom and for the last little bit I did an unplanned black weft and a second little bit of a lovely deep not royal blue... ;p
It needs to be washed and pressed before photographing and doing my little window for draft and color selection. That will be around Monday, because this weekend I am so busy running in a million directions that I'll be lucky to be standing at the end of the day.

I might be getting a new (used) loom. ;) TBD... details later so I don't jinx it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Medieval Image of the Day: A Spin-In

I have always been primarily a spinner, but I also completely love textile history, history of sheep, ethnic textiles, textile methods and traditions, and the like. I have been collecting textile images for years for a variety of purposes. I thought I would share one every once in a while. I'll stick to the older images since I know Marcy has been sharing postcard images for years on her website, Habetrot. I love visiting that site.

This image is an illumination from 1475, The City of God. Imagine, it was a medieval Spin-in

Project Sample... Almost done

(my favorite part is really cutting off the warp, but I also love seeing the end coming on that turn towards the end).

I'm about to put a movie all by myself and take a half hour and finish up my sample warp. 3 different threadings, 4 different colorways, and 4 different wefts. Then I get to decide and finish the pattern for the garment. But it feels fantastic to be at the finishing point of one step!

Pix aren't the best, because I am using my husbands pocket waterproof camping camera, which works great with scouts, but has not judgement about exposure for indoors things. I wanted to get a picture before it is off the loom.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A special Treeeeeet for lovers of sheep!

Irons in the pot

When I get a bit of time to download I will be able to catch up with photos at least. Here's to say that I have just a few irons in the pot.

I've got two mini-tapestry studies going with some fair to middlin' sketches for the future.

I have a purely white piece off the loom that is small and was a giant warp end not used and forgotton... it will have a new life as a shibori dye experiment probably for the Fiber Retreat in May unless I do it at home first (I can be sooo impatient).

I took a great class with Sharon Alderman at ASCH at the beginning of March and I am almost done with the samples for the cloth I designed. I am very excited to get it off the little loom.

I have done a fair amount of spinning from the truly fun Louet pencil rovings. I have two bobbins left to ply of one. I bought about 3 or 4 colorways of the stuff... color seduces, what can I say.

I have to get some spinning done for the dyepots at the Griffin Dyeworks fiber retreat in May. I'm teaching there, but I get some time for my own dye samples (yea!). It will be a wonderful time. I can't wait.

I have a class at an elementary school coming up in April to prep for. I'll be teaching their Gifted and Talented kids -- natural dyes, spinning, and some basic weaving.

I have also really worked very hard at my tablet weaving, which I can now say is respectable (at long last). I have two inkle looms with work ongoing, one twinkle loom (fun little loom), and one box loom on order from the Spanish Peacock. I can't wait for that one. I did see that Glimakra has a GREAT band loom for sale now - and it comes incredibly close to re-creating the early middle ages band looms. Very very cool!

Oh, and there is knitting.... yes well, it travels pretty well. I expanded my horizons and am trying some more complicated socks. Mitts-are-me this year. Sadly, the dog got to one of my daughter's mitts -- she was so sad, but if I cut it down to just under half, I should be able to rescue it. (I really will have to tell the tale of this dog and hand knit items!) Makes me cry almost.

I am committed to doing better at the blog work. It is truly worthwhile.

It's been a while...

It's been some time since I visited here, but I did some re-modeling and I have some serious catching up to do. The year or so I spent on live-journal really helped me remain focused on project continuation and completion. This year I'd like to re-focus on the completion aspect as well as the contemplation of new work... not just this or that, but work that better expresses me. Work that is harder, but will be more worthwhile and will feed my soul.

So I have been exploring a bit and remodeling the blog to be a primary blog (did you know I have about three incomplete blogs)... too much. And I have been visiting many many places online and elsewhere (see my list of favorite blogs). There is a lot of creativity out there and it strengthens the heart to know it.

I visited the Oregon College of Art and Craft. They have an interesting manifesto.

"Craft. It's who we are, it's who we've always been. When others are turning their back on craft, it is our time to embrace it. To own it. To lead. Without Craft there is no art.

Craft is making. Making is fundamental. Fundamentals are essential to give context and provide a framework. Rules must be learned before they can be broken. (And we are certain to break them)."

"Craft is making. Making is fundamental. Fundamentals are essential. Craft is essential. Through Craft we make things no one's ever seen: Make waves, Make a statement, Make things better, Make them different. Make. Make Art."

I think this is a good place to start. And then there is Sarah Swett's idea of Palouse to consider as well.