I dug into my tiny stash and came up with the beginnings of a very simple piece. I added two bits of commercial yarn as well as some of that railroad yarn mixed with my hand-dyed silk. Still, the colors I needed were missing. I get colors stuck in my head and if I can’t find them I get very frustrated. So, I am a little frustrated with this attempt.
Here are the photos of what I’ve done thus far. That box with a triangle on top looks like a house. Not at all my intention! When this piece comes off I am going to decorate it with beads and charms and I will tone down that weird house shape. It’s amazing how our preconceived notions of the world make us see things in shapes that are not at all intended. Ever notice how you can see a face in just about anything . . . a shadow, a cloud, a tree branch. I think we are programmed to see and recognize human faces whether they exist or not.
I will continue with this piece unless it gets me really angry. But, as I said, I need more yarn. This is ridiculous working with leftovers.
This week has been a hectic one for me. Between a mini ski (snowboard) vacation, work and a house guest, my husband and I have been struggling to stay on top of things. The laundry is beginning to pile up and so is the work.
As I frantically got ready this morning, digging in the pile of clothes that has grown since Sunday, I spotted my looms that have been relegated to the back of the closet to make space in our oh-so-teeny apartment. I looked at them longingly. I have an idea for a mixed-media project that I’ve been dying to start but just haven’t had the time.
It occurred to me in that moment that perhaps I needed to make some time. We all have a finite amount of time in our days and it’s easy to take those fun things (like weaving or curling up with a novel) and push them aside to make time for everything else in our busy lives.
This weekend, between cleaning the house and working and driving around the city doing errands, I am going to make time to sit and weave and only think about that.
Have you been too busy to take your Mirrix out of the box? Are you letting it sit in the corner waiting for a less busy day? Have you been meaning to finish that beautiful weaving but just haven’t had the chance? This weekend, I challenge you to take a few minutes for yourself and let the creativity flow. I’ll be right there with you.
Photo by Jonathan Webb
Dreaded cold/flu whatever. I never get sick (or I say I never get sick but apparently I do and then refuse to remember being sick). I need to get over this soon because I don’t have the time or patience to be blowing my nose 24/7 and having my face feel like someone hit it with a baseball bat.
Now for the pictures!
|On progress with Butter helping a whole lot|
|Closeup on loom|
|Chris (the trainer) and Kiya|
|Claudia and Kiya|
|Claudia and Kiya|
|Claudia and Kiowa|
|Chris working with Kiya|
|Kiya’s beautiful face|
|Is that one beautiful face or what: Kiowa|
|Kiya wondering when she can stop training|
|Kiowa going down for her second roll|
The light is getting a little iffy here, but let me describe the colors. The one on top there is light blue, light green, yellow. Very flowery/summer-like, sort of. More the pastel range. Go clock-wise around the circle and you’ve got the red, pink, orange yarn. Love it. Continue onto this rather amazing combination of purple, green, blue, orange. It really works. And then to the rather stunning orange, yellow, red, green yellow, purple . . . their rainbow version. That is also a keeper. My buy finger is itching. I think I may have to buy some more this very minute for fear they might go away and I will have to search to the ends of the earth for more.
Now for the waverly samples. There are about a thousand colors. Some are so close (the whites in particular) that I can barely tell the difference. Most are just variations on a shade. But so many. In the perfect world we would all have access to: every color of waverly yarn and every color of Delica Bead. But since we don’t, I will have to make choices. I am going to stew over this for days and come up with some yarn kits to suit a variety of needs. I am really going to have to play with this in my head. This is my idea of fun, but I get so consumed by it that it’s hard to do anything else. Maybe climbing a mountain in between will help. I wish Layna were here right now to help me. She, by the way, is snow boarding, poor thing. Yup, whooping it up with her hubby and that amazing guy Jon who just took all our loom photos. But since she lives on the West Coast and I am in NH, she couldn’t much help anyway except on Skype.
But you can help me: do you want one complete kit that covers a bunch of ranges as well as some specific and smaller kits that cover more limited ranges? Maybe the kits should include some of this wonderful Tahki novelty yarn as well?
Your input will be very much considered. Now for the pictures. There are a lot of them. Each section has six yarn colors. I think there are close to five hundred colors, give or take a few. Haven’t counted yet.
By Erin Simonetti
My last entry was sharing a ‘new tool’ I created to help me finalize a new and different looming technique I call “Layered Looming”.
The tool is a lamp work bead, offering the heavy weight I want to hold some warp threads as if they were tied down. I am using a horizontal loom, so they can hang over the edge. Below is a picture of both warp weights, each holding five warp threads.
I started the looming with the weighted warps laying parallel to the warps attached on the loom. My first first rows are sewn with a few warps ‘doubled’. You can see in the picture below, how the white weighted warps are laying together with the light green warps. I used a different color thread so this would stand out better in these pictures.
Now that I have a few rows completed, holding down all of my warps, weighted and attached, I’ll begin sorting them out. You can see in the picture below, I have set aside the weighted warps, creating a base using the attached warps only. Because these added warps are secured to the lamp work weights, they are movable and easily adjusted, all the while staying the same distance apart, row to row.
How large or long of a base is up to you and your design ideas. I wanted to create a ‘ribbon’, meandering through the loomed base, cuff. There are other great design ideas, using the layered method, a ‘ribbon’ is just one of them.
I trimmed the outside edges of the ribbon in gold. You can see how you can gauge the size of curve you want to create, by considering where you will attach it to the looming. If you are creating a cuff, be sure to allow for the ‘bend’ of your cuff, when you take this off the loom. If you are not considering the extra length of the ribbon section, it won’t sit up and away from the loomed base, while wearing.
Below, the left ribbon is completely secured where the right ribbon is being attached, a few rows further down the cuff. This is just how my pattern will unfold, an uneven meandering of the ribbon, through the entire cuff.
Usually, my ‘prototype’ looming ideas become completed pieces of wearable art. However, in this case, I decided to loom using some gorgeous cut glass beads which are not evenly sized. I thought I could ‘cull’ my way through and loom something perfectly uniform in shape, but it just didn’t happen form me. You may take my loom, but let me keep my Delica’s!
In closing, I would like to play the Devil’s Advocate. While looming, I was thinking how this design could have also been accomplished by hand weaving a square stitch ribbon and applying to this looming. There is less work creating this idea in this manner, with less threads to hide and secure. My hand weaving skills don’t seem play up to many bead artist’s skills I have seen, but I also feel more comfortable behind a loom. It occurs to me, I think more in terms of ‘warps & wefts’ when I design, then I do from any other angle. Not only that, because my warp management techniques make warps disappear with out a problem, I’ll continue to stretch my creative goals via the loom, filled with warps and waiting for the weft!
Yesterday, Rick (my husband) and I hiked up a local mountain, Pack Monadnock (2,290 feet). It’s the highest point in our county. We hike this particular mountain in the winter because it has an access road (that one cannot drive up in the winter) that is currently packed with who knows how many feet of snow. One does not require snowshoes because it’s really packed down. And there are no cars and no people. Sometimes (we used to do this with the kids all the time) we bring a sled with us and sled down. Not one emergency room visit yet from this activity and we’ve been doing it for twelve years). Just my crazy husband and me and one other runner and two guys walking their beautiful dog on this lovely early March day. On the way up we were able to look to our East and see the Boston skyline (Boston is about an hour and a half drive from here . . . the visibility was quite good). On top we gazed out at our beautiful landscape kind of shrouded in sunlight bouncing off all the snow giving it the kind of glow only winter can bring.
And of course I had neither my camera or my cellphone. I am so used to looking out at this beauty that I forget to take pictures of it. And since my theme this week has been inspiration it’s really sad that I didn’t bother to take inspiring pictures, if you not for me than for you, of this gorgeous landscape.
A few years ago when my mother was visiting she looked out our kitchen window at a view that is so dear and close and common to me that I feel like I wear inside of me and she asked in a kind of strident voice: well I hope you appreciate this view!
I just kind of looked at her as if she had grown a third eye. I live this view! Why they heck do you think I live here?
But that does not excuse me from forgetting to record its constant changes.
It’s cold outside but I might just hang out in a sunbeam for a while before venturing out, with my camera, to capture these last days of brilliant winter. And maybe this weekend I will hike Pack again, camera in hand.
The top bracelet is finished with bead soup. The bottom bracelet is being finished (it’s not done) with size 11/0 seed beads. The second finish is a lot faster, but the top one did add a fair amount of interest. I used some large and small bugle beads to accent the top of the cuff.
Not a Bead Weaving . . . this was my little shrine weaving made from handspun and beads and charms. I am inspired to weave something like this again. It was so much fun. Have to whip out the dye pots and the fleece and the spinning wheel because my handspun stash is sad at best.
We want to take this opportunity to thank again Bonnie Clark for her blogging and videos over the past few months. If you haven’t, take the time to read her posts on this blog and visit her website: http://www.dakinidreams.com/.
Her end-of-experience survey is here: