Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Overly Enthused?

The New Hampshire Weavers Guild meets in the spring and fall months - leaving summer to play and winter to hunker down and weave.

Today was the first guild meeting of the fall season.

We have 2 hour workshops in the morning, lunch break, a business meeting and an afternoon speaker. (Plus there's a library, and the yarn table...two more highlights!)

Color and Weave

My morning workshop today was on Color and Weave by Beth Guertin, a weaver and teacher from Waltham, MA.

Blooming Leaf Shadow Weave Scarf in Chenille
from Handwoven: Design Collection 19, Scarves & Shawls for All Seasons

Shadow weave, log cabin, stars, pinwheels and houndstooth are some of the most well-known color and weave effects.

Log Cabin

Color and weave can make a simple structure (like plain weave) look much more complicated.

Color and Weave Gamp

Beth has experimented extensively with different color and weave effects. Ever since I made those star dishtowels from Handwoven, I've loved color and weave.

I feel inspired to experiment with it more!

Yarn Shopping

Huge Amount of Yarn

Last night I promised myself I'd only buy fancy fibers today....say no to cotton or wool.

And yet, I still managed to bring home a lot of good stuff from the yarn table today. Silk, linen, cottolin.

There was some Peace Fleece - one of my favorite wool knitting yarns - and a wool that matches the blue in my living room. So a little wool did creep into the mix.

The alert photo sleuth can also see part of a pool cover for use with felting. I have a big nuno felt this is my small test piece of pool cover for my felting experiments.

I am so excited by this yarn.....I moved it up to my studio and I keep going up there to take a peek at it again. Project ideas are whirling through my brain. At least some of it will be used for knitting. So much fun!! (Have I mentioned that the design phase of projects is my favorite?!)

I'm promising myself that by mid-October I'll get into a better routine with more weaving time! (And I guess, by saying that here, I'm promising you too!)

Mixed Warps (AKA Garbage Warps)

Mixed warp including cotton, chenille, possibly bamboo and ribbon yarn

The afternoon lecture, on "Garbage Warps" was also by Beth Guertin. She covered lots of ideas for projects you can make using small bits of many yarns.

Striped wool scarf from leftovers

This topic is extremely apropos for me for several reasons:
  1. I just bought a huge amount of mixed yarns - and tend to do that whenever the guild yarn table has good stuff on it!
  2. I am a frugal Yankee, some might even call me a yarn miser, so I like the idea of using every last bit of my favorite yarns.
  3. I want to weave some blankets this winter, and I don't want it to cost me a fortune.

Blue and White Blanket

I'm interested whenever I see weavers combining different yarns, as opposed to purchasing all of the same yarn for a project. Today's lecture had many beautiful examples....including many blankets.

I am totally motivated to head up to my studio and design away. See you later!!!


Theresa said...

Oh, that sounds like a workshop after my own heart!
Love love love the blue and white blanket and all the garbage warps. I really enjoy mixing warp materials. Doesn't always work but I have blast anyway.
Impressive haul on the yarn. Great colors and Peace Fleece is wonderful stuff. I have a sweaters worth somewhere....
Hope you are up there weaving and not reading this until Thursday morning...when you're scanning around looking at Budweiser commercials! HAR!!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh my, you are right about the table full of yarn! Love the colors. Have fun designing.

frand said...

Can you elaborate a bit on mixing warp fibres???? Are there tricks ?? I've had horrible results with stretching(or not).
Enjoy your blog. Fran

sheilabythebeach said...

Oh, my, I nearly off my chair when I saw your photo. You know how misery loves company, well, overly enthused loves overly enthused too! Having too yarn much can be so liberating!
Thank you for the photos of all the weaving projects too; I need to join a guild if they'll have me!!

Delighted Hands said...

Fired up and ready to weave! Did you organize the new yarn purchases or are they still in bags!!! :'P Loved the examples of weaves-i want to do them all!

Life Looms Large said...

Theresa - you have a sweater's worth of peace fleece in hiding?? (Stashed?) Get knitting or weaving!! I love Peace Fleece!!

Fran, Thanks for visiting and commenting! Nice to "meet" you!! Beth, our workshop teacher yesterday, usually avoids combining wool (or other animal fiber) with plant fibers in the same warp. To avoid making seersucker or having uneven tension while weaving, combining yarns with the same elasticity and same shrink rate approximately, is important. What kind of horrible results have you had? I've definitely seen people make blankets with say two different handspun wools that shrunk at very different rates. If that is put together in a wide plaid, the resulting blanket can be bumpy and uneven.

Sheila, I definitely recommend joining a guild if there's one near you. Mine's an hour away, and I find it really, really helpful and useful. Our guild - and most guilds I think - just require membership dues (ours are $25) to join. The jurying process is only for different shows and awards. You can join our guild before you even start to weave....and I definitely recommend it. It's a great, and cost effect way to learn. Plus having weaving friends and colleagues in real life is great!! And don't get me started on the shopping!

I definitely haven't put the yarn away yet! I'm still mulling it over and deciding on ideas.

Thanks for being yarn enablers!!


Sharon said...

I'm a frugal Yankke moved West - I want access to your rich fiber kingdom. If green were a font color, this text would be in it.

desiree said...

Oh, it sounds just wonderful.

Jane said...

The blooming leaf chenille scarf, I have attempted and botched and is from handwoven design collection 19 - Scarves and Shawls for all seasons.
Your guild sounds fantastically inspiring.
Jane in Sheffield UK

Life Looms Large said...

Days later I'm still very enthused about my purchases....We are lucky to have a big guild with a lot of interesting yarn for sale!

Jane, thanks so much for the info on where to find that scarf! The teacher said it was from Handwoven, so I figured I could find it in the index....but when I couldn't I was puzzled. I hadn't thought of looking in the design collections!!

Hope you're all enjoying your weekends!


Leigh said...

Wow,what an inspiring day! Great photos and great techniques.

I'm curious about the mixed warps too. I've seen others do them with great success, mine have been an adventure!

India said...

You must have so much fun on your meetings! So much fun to do.

Life Looms Large said...

Our guild meetings are definitely worthwhile!! Lots of weaving resources packed into a single day.

Leigh, I am planning to email the teacher from this workshop to ask a few more questions. I remember your ripply "Catzee" cloth - and a fellow guild member made a beautiful blanket out of handspun yarn that shrunk unevenly. I want to weave some blankets this winter and I really don't want to face that type of frustration. I'm not good at frustration!


bspinner said...

Great yarns, fun and interesting workshops, lunch and good friends. Couldn't ask for anything more. What a great day you must have had.

My mixed yarns don't ever get as nice as the ones you pictures.