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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Guild Meeting Evening and Grandtot Graduations

Ahhh last night we had a choice to make.  It was my monthly guild meeting with the Menasha Weavers.  It was also the last night of Mason's T ball course and Allegra's gymnastic's course at the YMCA up in Green Bay.  So we "split" ourselves in half and Steve went to the grandtots' events and I went to my meeting.

Here are some pics our daughterinlaw shared of the grandtots.....  

Allegra has taken a few courses now of Gymnastics 
and is getting quite confident with her tumbling, balance and jumps. 

 Little Mason took part in a Tball course, 
and he is well on his way to becoming a Little Slugger!

Grandfaddah Pfun was a proud grandparent to watch the wee ones in their classes. 

I drove through the pouring rain to Menasha to go to my weaving meeting.  It is held at the library in Menasha, about 30 miles away.  The group attendance was only 8 this time, probably due to the bad weather.  We all bring in items to share and discuss the techniques on how we made them, what fibers we used, what we learned and what we would do different next time! 

Alan is fairly new weaver who has a wonderful loom called an AVL and has been doing some fantastic projects. He was working on complete sets of towels.... doing colorful interactions of various tones to get shaded sections in each quarter.  The blue and pink ones below are called Summer and Winter, which are opposite when reversed to the other side.

Here are some places mats and napkins in tones of green that he made to match a set of dishes... how nice is that?   He has very neat hem stitched edges too.

This sampler of various colors was working out his patterns and even beating to get symetrical movement across the panel.  This is a very thick piece of cotton cloth which would make nice mats, or even a cozy blanket.

I like the way he worked the deep purples, to the turquoise and then into yellow gold... To me it looks like a sunrise!  Each section of intersecting colors is different than the one next to it, because of how it's threaded and what color is chosen to weave crossways to make the color and value density.

This is Cheryl's cotton sampler... she is working on values and color.  This is only halfway done, because now that it is woven in a bunch of non-matching colors, next she will "over dye" it with most likely a blue to make it all harmonize and blend.  It's a great way to use up crazy colors that don't match very well.

We held up our cell phone cameras in black and white mode to see the values of the colors... instead of just the color itself.  It gave us the understanding of what values went with the color wheel and made contrasts or complimentary comparisons.

The next photo is computer generated by myself, but this is what her sample MAY look like this after overdying it....  the pinks might be more purplish, we will see.  But it is a great technique to using up odd lots of yarns and not having to dye each hank individually... just weave em up and dye the whole thing for an interesting effect! 

We are all fiber-fanatics and love to see how each project unfolds, why we wove it, what we used and how would we do it again if we wanted to try something different.  Weaving is really an art, but also an exercise in brain matter!  Math skills, calculations, physical energy and creativity all come into play.  Sure beats sitting around watching tv, eh?

A very famous and wonderful weaving gentleman by the name of Peter Collingwood of Great Britain did a whole study of an ancient technique called Sprang-  it is plying threads that are stretched across a frame. http://vads.ac.uk/learning/csc/collingwood/essay.html 

One of the gals in our guild decided to learn about this technique and try a small sample.   It is a very interesting technique and she explained it quite well with her small sample she was working on.  Once stretched apart, you can see how the split plies are interwoven and make a loosely based cloth in the sample.  Thicker pieces were made as fabric that was used for clothing, hats and household textiles in ancient times. 

I have been fortunate to study weaving under Peter's son, Jason Collingwood, who travels to the United States every year to teach classes.  Peter and I had corresponded back and forth before he passed away in 2008.  He was an icon and mentor to so many, and has published multiple books of his weaving discoveries, works and techniques.  I feel so humbled with the small amount of weaving that I do compared to the things he took on to learn, explore and share with the world.  Peter called me "Sylvan Karina"  (KarenInTheWoods)  awwwwww.

Another type of weaving was shared by Deb who brought in an Inkle Loom.  She is weaving up some yarns that she dyed with Easter Egg Dye.  Once the woven strap is done, she is also going to overdye it to make it more harmonious.  The inkle loom is nice and portable and allows a person to weave up a long strap or belt in a small space without using a large loom to do so.

The excess yarn is wound back and forth on the pegs behind the working area.  As the belt or strap is woven, the whole things slides along to allow the newer section move forward to be woven.  Ingenious!

Thinking about that, I once bought an inkle loom!  A gal in the weaving guild I used to belong to sold it to me, sight unseen.  She said it was up at her cabin and she would bring it to the next meeting.  Well, she took my money... and never brought me the loom!  I think I tried to contact her about 6 months later and she begged off with a family member needing her health care, and she would get back to me.  Never did. It was excuse after excuse, and then she quit the guild and we never heard from her again.   So--- somewhere out there I own a cool inkle loom, I just can't weave on it, I guess????

Deb also brought in a lovely throw she overdyed the yarns.... they were all crazy colors and she dyed them in purples in the skeins before she knit them up.  By knitting with two strands, one purple and one black, she got some lovely depth and visual interest by using the two yarns side by side.  She left tiny flecks of the original colors peeking out too, like oranges, golds, greens and blues.
The photo doesn't do it justice under the florescent library lights.

Because I couldn't take pics of myself at the same time while I showed my item, I have to post pictures from back when I made it.   For many years I saved the brushed shedded hair from my first shetland sheepdog, Akasha.  I had bags of her fluffy fur saved in the closet.  After 14 years, she passed away.  During my mourning process, I took all that fluffy dog fur out of the closet, blended it with very soft merino wool and a bit of viscose... and spun it up into yarn.  It was my grieving process and there are a LOT of tears mixed up in that yarn.....

I plied the spun yarn with a strand of rust colored loopy mohair for strength, as dog hair is short staple pieces and could pull apart if left by itself.  Once I spun up enough skeins, I warped up my big loom and wove a complete blanket of her fur!

The blanket came out beautiful.....  and I think of her often when I touch it. 

note: it doesn't smell "doggy" because most of the brushings were right after she had a bath, 
so it was clean smelling dog fur to start with. 

But... it does "shed" just as much as the dog did!  LOL 

Well, Steve left for work this morning, and I better get out to the road and bring in the trash can and get a start on my day.  I have some weaving to do, and also work out a rug repair for a customer who has an old rug the she can't bear to part with.  Turns out its a BRAIDED rug, not a loom woven rug. Arggghhhh  But I will see what I can do to fix it for her.  


  1. I love seeing the projects at the club meeting. I'm very touched by the dog fur blanket. You're a gem!

  2. Your post and pictures of all that weaving is so interesting, and I really loved it. It's hard to believe that something made of dog hair can be so lovely, (although I think doggie hair looks fine on the dog!)


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