Florence

Florence

Saturday, July 20, 2019

What have I been doing since December; everything and nothing.  I still feel "off", but I set the May trip as my turn around point.  Now that the trip is over, I'm starting the health things I should have been doing for a while.  My knees gave out during all the walking on the trip, I had a panic attack because of them, but now I am able to see it is time to make the life style changes to get me on track.  Eating better could help my low energy problem and help me get back on track.  I have a couple of doctor visits coming up and I am watching my food intake, I need to stay healthy and able to enjoy my life.

But, you know, if I wait for things to "slow down" I will never get to anything.  And I have been doing things.  January found me overwhelmed by the cold and no desire to get out of bed.  I worked on getting Christmas decorations down (I did get it all down by February).  I also wove some samples to see what sett I could use on some cones of yarn that I have had for quite a while.  I probably have several pounds of each color, so could I make lightweight scarves, or denser fabric for towels?  After washing the samples, I found that there was rayon in the yarn and I don't like rayon in towels, they get "limp" after washing.

I taught a six week overshot class and my beginning weaving class in Januay, Feburary and march and I tried a Beginning Plus class for those students who had taken the beginning, but wanted more help before they jumped into an intermediate class.  It went quite well and I will probably offer it again.  

I got a color gamp kit as a gift for Christmas and decided that it was a good one to demonstrate warping for my class and then I would have a good color example to go on the walls in the studio.
The colors are pretty good but the cool colors are quite dark.
The kit had 30 threads per color and in my haste to get it on the loom I sleyed the reed at 30 epi, it should have been 20 epi.  I re sleyed (I had warped back to front so the heddles were fine).  The color gamp worked well, I wove one in plain weave  and one in twill.  There was enough warp on that I wove a towel using a gray linen that I found in the cupboard.  I had to triple the yarn to make it fit, but I like the towel.  I hung them up in the studio, so i will try to get a picture of the finished items.


April was busy.  The local guild brought Jennifer Moore for a workshop.  I have done a lot of double weave, but the workshop was not filled and I love spending three days with my weaver friends.  She threads her double weave different than the straight draw that I learned from the Tidball book, but I think it makes designing a little easier.  She converted me and I need to change all my handouts to teach her method.  (She uses a parallel threading, check out her book to get some great information and project ideas.)
We did her color mixing blocks and I used the dark color kit from Cotton Clouds.  I had a couple friends that dyed the yarns to use and others ordered the regular rainbow or pastel rainbow colors.  There were some interesting pieces.  I was wanting some fringe between these pieces so I just wove in a few shots of weft to hold it, that is why it has the watermark look.

My mother loves butterflies, so the siblings took her to see the new exhibit at Thanksgiving Point.  We took a great picture of Mom and the five of us, but I guess that was put on facebook and I can't get to it.  


They flew all over and sometimes landed on people.
The last weekend in April, I got to take a five day Shibori Dye class with Ana Lisa Hedstrom.  I have followed here work for ages, so it was great to get to take a class from her.  I got some great results with the arashi (pole wrapping) technique.  I am thrilled and have plans to do several more.  I can't believe that I can't find pictures of my dyes.  I guess I'd better get them documented.  I'll try to remember to show you later.

May, of course, was taken up with travel.  My DH and I spent three weeks in Florence, Italy. 

 I feel so blessed to be able to have gone.  Just like every time I do a BIG trip, I feel blessed and don't expect to be able to again.  This time my knees were bad and I was not able to walk as much as I would have liked.  However, I did get to see a number of places that I had not seen before and I had a wonderful time.  Both of my children were able to come over and share some of the time with us.
I managed to get a tour in a velvet and brocade workshop and see the looms in action.
Velvet loom in the foreground and a student working on her project on the loom behind.

Velvet is the queen of woven fabrics.  If you look carefully you see a blue warp running horizontal and through the lease sticks (the ground of the fabric).  Then you see some gold and blue threads running diagonally from the lease sticks behind the shafts and down to rows of spools.  Each thread is weighted separately on the spools and this is the warp pile threads.  I loved watching the weavers and just looking at the old looms.
Jacquard head with the pattern cards.
Each loom had one or two jacquard heads on the top of them (about 6 feet up) and that is how the pattern was done.  You can see the white threads coming down from the jacquard head to lift the shafts.  One of the weaver's told me that when then get a hold of another jacquard, they have to manufacture the parts to get it going.  They had ones that controlled a one hundred thread repeat and some that controlled a four hundred thread repeat.  I didn't get enough pictures, after a while I was just walking in awe of the equipment and workmanship.

There were also several looms that were weaving silk brocade.
This month I will be going to the Intermountain Weaver's Conference and taking a class in sewing with handwovens.  I have several (boxes full) pieces of yardage that I would like to turn into clothing, wish me well.























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