Quillin Weaving

A blog about spinning, dyeing and fiber related things.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Absent Friends, Memory Still Bright. All Hallows Eve is traditionally a time when the veil between the world of the living and the dead thins. We are visited by memory and spirit of times past. It is a time to look back on the accomplishments and trials of the year, time to look behind the veil for hidden messages. Weaving is my metaphor for life: disparate things collect, come together to form a new whole. This was a year of distractions as both husband and father were ill for long stretches of time. Though the weaving was slow to finish, the act of throwing the shuttle, threading the loom brought sanity to an otherwise barren place. And the absent friends? Their counsel was much missed. As the dark of the year comes upon us may you find still water in that deep well within you that reflects the face of the great goddess. Blessed Be.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The red shawl that is on the TriLoom in the previous post came out of the wash and looks great. Here is a picture on my new/old dressform. The dressform is new to me but fairly old. A good friend knew I was looking for another one and found this in the attic of a friend of hers, it became mine for $10! The body form is made of paper mache and goes from the neck to the ankles and is covered with a dark brown strechy cover. The white lines are from when the friend used it to make clothes. On the base were the words "Fashion Savings Clinic, Los Angeles, CA" I just love it and have named her Viola for the friend who found her.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

It has been a glorious October here in New Mexico and out helping me photograph shawls and other items is my studio helper George. He is in charge of testing yarn for softness (Is it good to sleep on?) durability (Can I play with it and not get yelled at?) and sometimes color (Can I sit on it and not be noticed - i.e. Is it black and white?) He is actually a wonderful helper and a lot of company who is more than a bit put out this morning because I washed the red shawl in the photo below (the one on the triangle loom) and put it out to dry on the picnic table in the herb garden so it would be in the sun. This happens to be one of his favorite places also and he is not impressed with the big damp rag.

This red vest is made from hand dyed perle cotton warp (red and purple) with a red tencel weft. It is just like the rust and blue one posted earlier. The rust and blue won a first place ribbon in our local show and made me quite happy! But this week with the holidays coming on there was a need for Red on the looms. The Christmas Gallery starts just after Thanksgiving and in addition to my regular weaving on the floor looms I hope to make a triangle shawl a week until Christmas. Next year it would be wise to start stockpiling them in July. Even the ugly black one in the previous post has sold. Oops! I know we are never supposed to say something we made is ugly, but that one was awful! The wool was scratchy and the silk noils looked like dryer lint. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it is gone!
Don't forget Halloween this week -- stock up on chocolate and then forget where you hid it until all the kids are gone!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What fun would it be to go somewhere neat like the Taos Wool Festival and not come home with something new and different (if not necessarily needed). This is a picture of my new TriLoom. It is 7 feet across the top and is used to weave triangle shawls. When I was at the festival there were quite a few people selling the triangle shawls, but of course why buy a shawl when you can buy the loom? I found a nice older man who was working on a loom outside and asked him about it. He told me he made it and offered to sell me one. You can see from the picture that I took him up on it. He was very cute when I asked for the directions to put it together, he said "Oh
Honey, It only goes together one way!" And those were the only instructions it came with! He was right, it does only go together one way and I could not wait to get home and try it out. So here on the loom is the first shawl. The black yarn is wool and the white threads are silk - kind of a rough natural silk. I learned a lot just making this first shawl. For example: You had better like the color you are using because you will REALLY get tired of it otherwise. I think this got black yarn out of my system for a while. When it first comes off the loom the holes between the threads are pretty big (by my standards, I usually think in terms of 12epi).
But when it washed up the wool fulled (like magic I always think) and it came together nicely. This picture makes it look much smaller than it actually is, it still is a large shawl. I'm working on a brown one now and will post pictures of it soon.

There is a great group of people out there working on these TriLooms and they have formed a Yahoo group. Go to Yahoo Groups and put in TriLoom if you are interested in joining and knowing more. I was amazed at how inventive these people are with something that comes out basically the same size and shape every time. They make blankets, bags and even a beautiful jacket using this very loom. Their imaginations put me to shame!

Monday, October 08, 2007

You can never have too much yarn, or roving or wool in general! This past weekend was the Wool Festival in Taos, NM. There were about 60 tents with all kinds of tempting fiber treats, as you can see from the picture, I brought home as much as possible. The fiber critters were pretty interesting also and included goats, alpaca and churro sheep. The great part about going to a festival (in whatever your field is) is the chance to see what other people are doing. We are such a creative species and it does my heart good to see that we create beautiful things. I like that there are so many shades of purple in the world, it gives me hope!

I also visited the Taos Sunflower shop that is located in Arroyo Seco, NM just a few miles out of town from Taos. The town is set among a grove of Cottonwood trees that are vibrant yellow this time of year. The air was full of leaves and it was cool and inviting. This shop is worth the drive to Taos even when there is no Wool Festival going on.

It is filled with yarns and rovings and enticing magical bits of string that seem to whisper how wonderful all your weavings would be if only you had these sublime fibers at your fingertips. The ladies at Taos Sunflower http://www.taossunflower.com also hosted a workshop with Lexi Boeger, who wrote Handspun Revolution. http://www.pluckyfluff.com Their workshop space is huge and filled with light and someday I'm going back there to learn something fun with those delightful gals.