Volunteers in the Garden

You know how it is… when you’ve had a garden for a while, some times you get things coming up that you didn’t plant.

In the side garden this year, we planted green and jalapeno peppers, canteloupes, and green beans. But this afternoon, we discovered some surprising volunteers.

Everything’s coming up kittens!

Anybody read Chinese?

A friend of mine in California was given this baggie full of fiber. The purchaser’s husband thought he was getting a package of rubber gloves, and was quite surprised to find the wad of fluff inside. She says it looks like cotton, not like silk. It is short-stapled, not shiny, with bits of what appear to be vegetable matter. I’m wondering if the labeling on the package would clarify. I’m thinking it may be silk noil. I’m curious what it’s bagged up like this for – it doesn’t look like it would be for spinning, in an amount like this – maybe it’s for some household use? Is silk fluff used like cotton balls, for wiping off makeup, etc.?

The two characters on the left-hand side of the second line mean “silk,” and the same characters are in the middle of the green band at the bottom. But, that’s as far as my Chinese-character-recognizing skills go. Can any of y’all give me a hand?


Copper Tablet Weaving Loom

I was intrigued with Sara Lamb’s cute little copper band loom, and so I looked up Archie Brennan’s design page and looked at it, and consulted with Sara (thanks, Sara!) about its salient qualities and how I might adapt it for tablet weaving. Archie’s original version is designed for tapestry; Sara uses them for cut pile, and has also made adaptations for narrow-band weaving.

This is the loom all assembled, with a band in progress.
design info and more, behind the cut

the BIG tablet weaving sampler

I’m working on materials for a class I’m going to be teaching in Fort Worth next weekend, and also eventually for the classes I’ll be teaching in Santa Monica this August.

I teach beginning and advanced tablet weaving by starting with a simple sampler that teaches a variety of techniques, from simple checks and stripes to Egyptian diagonals and doubleface, moving on into brocade. I have several of these little samplers, but they’re small… usually I do them with something like 10/2 cotton, so the ribbon is about half an inch wide.

I decided to give it a try, weaving the sampler with macrame cord – so that I can hold it up and point to it, and an entire room full of people can see what I’m talking about. It was….. an experience. Weaving with macrame cord is tough; I definitely can’t recommend it as a delightful experience. But, it had the desired effect – the sampler is at this uber-magnified scale.

more photos

Moth to Cloth

Saturday, June 16th (TOMORROW!) I’m going to be working a demo at the Texas Discovery Gardens, called Moth to Cloth. I’m going to be there with all my silk-reeling stuff, and there will also be members of the Dallas Handweavers and Spinners Guild demonstrating spinning and weaving, and some of my friends from Fruits and Fibers (a gay knitting group) knitting. It’s 11 AM to 2 PM. There’s a link to a map and directions, here.

Broken Bow

Over Memorial Day Weekend, Chris and I and the dogs joined my folks at Broken Bow, OK, for a short and very relaxing vacation.

There are mostly flower photos, some river pix, and a couple of bees behind the cut.

Out on the river….

Name tag sections

This still has quite a ways to go, but I’m happy with how it’s progressing. I’ve sewn together the strips; now, I need to dye it (Aztec Gold), and then line and assemble the pouch.

I really, really like the knots and birds.

The name part is a little… intense. You can certainly read it from across the room. I may do some beadwork around the edges or something, to lighten this up a little. It should be better once it’s gold, too.

It’ll have a strap, eventually – I’m considering a strapwork design, or maybe an Egyptian Diagonals design. I’ve been having some serious fun with that stuff.

Dallas Asian Festival

Dallas Asian Festival

Photo from: http://www.gdaacc.com

I’m going to be demonstrating silk reeling all day Saturday at the Dallas Asian Festival. If you’re in Dallas this weekend and want to come by and see, it’s free (although I’m not certain about whether they’ve arranged for free visitor parking – there may be a parking fee) at the City Hall Plaza downtown. The Festival is open 11 AM – 5 PM. I’ll be near the Children’s Activities and the Crow Collection booth.

I’m very happy with how this pattern is working out.

This is more tablets than I’ve ever had on the loom at one time – it’s causing some tension problems, but I think I’m getting them mostly sorted. This will eventually be the back of a fancy woven name tag / pouch – it will have my name on the front, and this on the back, and then a woven neck strap. Kind of like those little pouches you get at conventions that hold your convention badge and your meal ticket – but for the hardcore handweaver set.
click for more photos and details about the weaving