Friday, June 28, 2013

I Am a Handweaver


What does that mean? Of course, it means I weave, by hand: I weave cloth.

There are many things to weave: rugs, tapestries, mats of all kinds, for tables chairs and floors. Towels, bath and kitchen, hand and body. Upholstery, for chairs and as cushions. Baskets.

But I weave cloth for clothing.

This week, at Olds, it was driven home to me once again how little we examine the cloth we use and wear, that is all around us, everyday.

Most commercial cloth for clothing is simple in structure: plain weave or twills of some kind. Most commercial cloth is all of a piece: all over patterning, yards and yards of the same weave structure, the same color, cut and sewn into garments or pillows or chair covers, or divided into mats or napkins....

But I am a handweaver. I can do things differently. And I do. When I plan a fabric for a garment, I know what garment I will be making. I can make the fabric suit the garment perfectly (pun!) and one of the ways I do so is by using color placement:

layers of silk

The fabric is not the same selvedge to selvedge. In fact, it can look decidedly off balance as woven:

silk fabric3


But the color is planned to appear in a specific way on the finished garment:

I am accustomed to weaving fabric on the loom that does not look symmetrical. It will, though, when sewn into the garment. The garment will not look like a purchased garment, if only for the fact that the plan, the colors, the weaving, is custom. Custom to that shape, that particular style, that particular piece of clothing. The color placement can be bold or subtle, clearly, I lean toward the bold end of that spectrum!

It is one of the things we can do, as handweavers. Bespoke cloth, so to speak: cloth woven specifically for a particular end use.

I love this. I hope to continue exploring color and clothing this way:


But I may have to find a bigger closet.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Not Dark Here

I'm in Alberta Canada, it's just past the solstice, and I have not seen the dark night yet. I will admit to going to bed at 10 or so, and I get up around 5 or 6, but so far, there is no dark here.

In more ways than one! People have been cheerful and welcoming, friendly and funny. I am at Olds College for Fibre Week, which this year is combined with the HWSDA conference, a brilliant way to maximize the venue and facilities, and bring the weavers and spinners together. Olds has a Master Spinner certification program, and recently added a Master Weaver certification program, and both run concurrently with some of the fibre week classes.

I have lunch and dinner each night with women I have met here on previous trips, and new friends too. Classes are full of cheerful people, and the days alternate between prodigious rain, and bright sun, blue skies, and lovely cool weather. Total heaven!

There is a vendor market:


Bird's eye maple and Purple Heart spindle by Jim Leslie Designs. I'm spinning Swaledale, a coarse rug wool and quite the change from my usual silk these days:

Yes, there has been rain, and much trauma because of it. Several people, teachers as well as students, have not been able to make it at all: roads flooded out, bridges gone, roads gone....but we are numerous enough to go on, we have adjusted and added students to classes where teachers did manage to arrive, shared materials and generally carried on with grace. Off to class again, more as and when!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Things Are Spinning

There is much packing, taping, collating, sealing, labeling and signing going on around here:
books2 003edit

If you have pre-ordered a book, it's on its way (Except those of you with special delivery instructions...)!

I'm also packing for Olds, and a Grandma visit. Keeping Which Pile Is Which straight, when some of them overlap, is proving challenging. So if those of you who ordered a book receive something odd and unexpected, blame it on the wildness that is occurring here!

But I get to take a break this morning and read my new Ply!
ply 001

If you have not already, order your subscription don't want to miss this new print phenomenon for spinners from the very first issue, it's excellent! Yay Jacey!

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Many Too Few

These last many days (yes! poor grammar!) have both flown by and bled together, they seem as one. Get up, tea, breakfast, settle in and work, make dinner, go to bed, get up and do it all over again. A brief respite for Spindle Camp IV:
spindle camp IV

Spindle Camp is less of a break, but rather more of the same, with company! Good company, a bit of wine and a lot of spinning:

spindle camp 002

Busy. Productive. Tamping down the panic that there will not be enough time.

There is always enough time. All The Things may not get done in the amount of time allotted. That just means they are not to be.

Now? I must away. Plying today, plus warping and then: spin some more.

The light at the end of the tunnel? Soon, I will get to see these two faces in person!


splash park