Friday, November 20, 2015

Progress on ball covering(s)

Well, it’s finally happened. I finally understand covering a ball ornament with tatting. The ladies at the Lace Museum in Sunnyvale crank these out by the tree full and sell them as a fundraiser for the Museum. They kept asking me to try and I’d make an attempt and get nothing but a bunch o’ knots. It was embarrassing. I’d ask for help. They’d give me pointers. I found patterns online. I even tried to order a book from Handy Hands but alas, the day I set aside time and money to do that, the computer broke….literally. I think the first book I spied balls in was one I picked up while browsing at Lacis. It looks so easy! I’m good at adapting patterns. I can do this.
Just last spring, Nadine Nunelly published a book. It was recommended by Georgia Seitz so I knew I had a fighting chance to actually succeed. So, I used some gift money to order a copy. Yet again, this simple concept eluded me. It wasn’t until I was preparing for the Doubleweave workshop that the light bulb flickered in my brain. I won’t say anything made sense. Just that I was having success with the edging to the sampler piece. Something sorta clicked.

I picked up a bunch of small balls to cover for gifts for friends this Christmas. Now the fun begins!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A successful workshop

I’m back from the Doubleweave workshop. I gained so much knowledge, a bit of skill, a huge amount of understanding, and a few friends. I have so many ideas running around in my head, there won’t be time in my life to try them all. Today, I’m going to sit down with my calendar and sift through the “to-tat” pile and “to-play” pile and “to-design” pile and “to weave” pile and come up with a reasonable plan.

Now before you fall off your chair laughing, I ask you to remember that I’m no longer cooking, cleaning, and chauffeuring for kids. That’s worth about 25 hours a week. Time enough for me to make a dent and accomplish something.

I truly enjoy workshops. When organists gather, we always give each other great support. Tatters always encourage each other as techniques are explored. Weavers are right there with the support of each other. For the Doubleweave workshop, the group of weavers included 2 tatters, several spinners, and a few quilters. It was great fun just to bounce ideas off each other. Getting encouragement from friends and family is important. Nothing can replace that. Getting encouragement from people who love what you love and maybe don’t know you well enough yet is a real shot in the arm for getting ideas into thread.

One weaver brought a few pieces she had done designing a cloth to represent music. I’m not saying that well. Her pieces were quite beautiful. Rather like abstract art in one sense, but very recognizable in another. She began with analyzing the music; similar to my idea with the Saint-Saens. Then she set up the thread on the loom to weave a representation of the melody and harmony. Wonderful work!
Another weaver took breaks by picking up her shuttle and working on a house warming gift: a very nice doily. The 3rd round is motifs that are small doilies themselves. Her picots were so even and lovely. I plan to ask her to mentor/coach me on my tatting. She retires soon and will be traveling and creating up a storm.

My sampler is still on the loom. I just ran out of gas working on the last few sections. The lace section is a bit fiddly, so that will take a bit longer. Then the pick up section. I want to try some Christmas designs just to see what they look like. Maybe for next year. I realized that I’ve never woven a Log Cabin type design. And Overshot is simple in Doubleweave. More to play with!

I’d better get crackin’ on the plan. Otherwise, I’ll be spinning my wheels and nothing important will get done.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

workshop starts in _____ minutes......oh boy!

I haven’t mentioned much about who is leading the workshop: Jennifer Moore. She is a phenomenal weaver. I found out yesterday during the presentation she gave to the public that she studied organ in the same area of the country I grew up in. I’m still processing all she presented yesterday. And the workshop starts in a few hours. Better get crackin’ girl!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

finished and in use

The final step in the weaving process is “finishing” the piece. For me, it’s always gifting it or putting it to good use. But then, I usually have a use in mind when I’m creating something. In the case of the covers using leno technique, finishing was throwing in the wash and dryer. I didn’t want something fussy and wanted to see how the yarn/thread worked.

thwarting the cats and giving me enjoyment
In this case, things softened up and after a pressing, look quite nice. The holes created by the leno sections no longer are crisp, like tatted rings, but rather gentle lacy areas.

The workshop warp is almost ready. Deadline for that is looming, so I’d better get busy!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Leno (leeno or lehno?)

Lace in weaving. Lace on weaving. Weaving in lace. Mmmmmmmmm
One section of the sampler we’re to work on in the workshop next week is a technique called leno. (in all the pronunciations you know) It’s a little lacy as weaving goes. I’d never done finger manipulated warps before, so I decided I’d better at least fumble my way through a bit on this trial warp. The gist of the technique is to twist warp threads, lay a pick, and beat lightly. Sounded yummy. I think it looks quite nice. I could see curtains using this technique hanging to either side of the front door.
far left set is 3 threads twisted, the center 1 thread and the far right set 2 threads
It’s about as fiddly as a Lark’s Head Picot Join. Perhaps after the Holidays, say in February I’ll revisit this idea.
Mmmmm.  There was still a yard or so of warp. I was musing on that as I sat in my tatting chair. Now, one thing about moving with pets. The “rules” change. The cats began using the upholstered arms of the chair as a scratching post. “Out of sight, out of claws” works, so I just threw an old towel over them. Not a permanent solution, but everybody was calmer.
The next time I passed the loom, I thought, maybe I could do a diamond pattern of leno in the midst of plain weave. And an idea was hatched.
cover for arm
I also wanted to brush up on hemstitching. I like tatted edgings on hemstitched fabric. So, if I’m going to weave and tat together, I wanted to hemstitch also. Turned out quite nice.

On to the next warp.