Wednesday, December 21, 2016


Finding balance is one of those things that's very hard for me.  I'll work too hard, then rest too much, the play too hard, and then regret it.

My previous relationship didn't encourage balance, and I have had to focus very hard in the past couple of years to achieve balance in my life.

Art relies on balance, too.  One of the things that's important with art, though, is that too much balance can result in an effect that's boring or uninteresting.  So, the challenge of the artist is to create balance while at the same time putting in something that puts that balance just slightly off kilter.

Modern art put things way off kilter--think of Picasso.  His cubist works flatten the images to nothing but squares and lines.  Yet, we still know what the "thing" is that's in the painting--a nude woman, horses running, a woman dancing.  How does he achieve that when the image is so out of not going TOO far off balance.

I've been weaving very balanced projects these past couple of weeks. 

These pieces are gorgeous...they have a sense of balance and completeness that calms and creates a sense of beauty.  They are pretty.  And I love them...

But in the whole sense of balancing things...I'm in need of some fun! 

I've been dying to start my next project.  It's going to be a "weftover" project of towels.  After I finish each project I wind off the yarn that's left on the bobbins with other yarns of the appropriate size.  I've been dying to make this project for a couple of I'm excited that it's my next one.  No balance there.  I'm sure when I finish them I'll find some place in the middle to hang out for a while.

Pictures as soon as I have them...I promise.

Friday, December 2, 2016

The me before coffee

I've been having lots of fun with my weaving experiments lately.  It's been fun to challenge myself a little and see what cool things I can make on the loom that my previous prejudices about what makes a "good towel" or "good scarf" are going out the window.  It's been such a wonderful learning experience...and it's been fun.

I made this gorgeous set of towels with both my "jazz" method of creating the warp, but also with my desire to try something new.

The pattern is called an "undulating twill" and results in a really amazing chevron or zig zag that you don't normally get when weaving.  The undulations happen by skipping or repeating a number in the normal treadling sequence.

So for instance, I might normally treadle 1-8-1 to get a zig zag, but in an undulating twill I might treadle 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 22, 33, 44, 55, 666, 7777, 888....and so on.

I had convinced myself that this wouldn't make good towels because there would be too long of floats...that they wouldn't hold up, or that they'd be too loose.

But, boy was I wrong.  The finished fabric on these not only looks different and better than what it did on the loom, but it is SO SOFT.  I can't wait to hear reports on how it uses and how it lasts.

Alas...I was in such a frenzy this morning (and before my coffee) that I didn't get pictures of these gorgeous ladies before I shipped them off...Reminder to self: drink both cups of coffee before attempting to mail anything off.

Thursday, December 1, 2016


I love jazz music.  The improvisation, the fun, the creativity, the team work...the variations on themes.

I've been doing a lot of weaving lately.  Which is wonderful.  People have been ordering towels, which I love making.  I approach the design and weaving of them in the sense of a jazz improvisation...variation on a theme if you will.

First off, when winding the warp (theme) I like to use a deck of cards to determine how many ends to wind for that particular color.  Sometimes, like the towels featured in this post, I'll assign a "number" to the color and when I draw a card, I'll wind that many ends.  This allows for some control and balance (the key of the tune, if you will) but still provides for some random and methods of interpretation as well.

You can see in the photo that each towel is a different color.  The colors are picked from those in the warp.  Variation on theme #1.  What I love about this variation is that it allows for completely different looks.  The warp and weft threads "interact" with each other and make for really pretty stripes or plaid looks...

The second variation that I like to do is to weave a different pattern for each towel.  Right now I'm studying different weave structures as I create.  These are all different variations on either undulating twill or "cords"...

I especially loved this towel:
The way the warp and weft threads interact it looks like I wove a cross hatch but instead I just wove a cord weave.  It's cool and has some nice texture.

In the process of the variations on the main theme, I'm learning about fabric structure and what makes good towels.  One of the towels (the 2nd from the top in the first picture) is super squishy and drapy.  It's absolutely lovely and I think will make a wonderfully absorbent towel, but I'm curious to how long it will last.  In scarf or wrap form it would be divine...something I'll need to remember for the future!

Have a wonderfully jazzy and improvisational day today!  Add a little wonder and variation on themes to your day and see how it makes you feel!