Sunday, April 22, 2012

Woven Shibori

I can't believe how little a mention I made in my last post about the table runner I wove last semester. It really looked like fabric! And came out as I planned and envisioned it. Winding the warp, threading the heddles, and sleying the reed takes a long time, especially for a beginner. It was really enjoyable to finally watch the fabric emerge and grow as I wove. It was a simple twill pattern, so the treadling was rhythmic.

The first project we did in Weaving 2 at City College this Spring was a woven shibori scarf.  Shibori is a Japanese word that describes a way to manipulate fabric so that is is dyed with a pattern. Tie-dye is one example. For this project fabric is woven, gathered, painted, and then over-dyed.

First I dressed the loom with a white Tencel warp. The weft is white Tencel woven plain weave, plus  nylon in a twill pattern. I varied the number of plain weave rows between the nylon so that the pattern got longer, and then shorter. That pattern determined the final painted design. The weaving was as rhythmic or enjoyable. The fishing line was kind of unwieldy and I had to count the number of nylon repeats as well as an expanding and contracting number of plain weave repeats.

Next the nylon threads were gathered and knotted on each side. The idea is that the fabric showing would be dyed, while the fabric on the inside would stay white. It became about a fourth of the original width. I painted one side a bright green, and the other purple. I wrapped it up in plastic wrap, let it sit overnight and then washed it out.

After it dried I cut and pulled out all the nylon threads. Wow! My colors were bright. I had a plan to end up with earthy colors and picked these colors knowing they would get over-dyed.

We spent the first month of class dyeing cotton in color wheels, and then over-dyeing and doing gradations. But my faith in my plan was a bit shaken at this point.

That's a whole lot of lime green!

Next I immersion dyed the whole piece in a medium yellow. It started getting too dark, so I shortened the process. It all looked like mud, and my color patterns appeared not to keep a trace of their purple and green-ness. But after it dried it was a perfect golden color and the purple and green somewhat as I imagined them.

I made fringe and went for a photo shoot. A very successful project, my classmates had a lot of nice things to say. I just finished a fulled shibori project last week. That will be my next post.

Edited to add a photo of it on me:

Thursday, March 08, 2012


This guy lost his first tooth and that reminded me I have a blog.

Things have been super busy since I started taking art & weaving classes last fall. Mostly I'm trying to balance getting stuff done with spending these last preschool months with Kenneth. Field trips, work days at school, doing things after school. Next year the school days will be long and we won't be able to take days off for road trips.

I guess I will take a little trip back in time. You can click on the fascinating photos for a bigger view.

My birthday passed uneventfully, I didn't go to Stitches this year because classes conflicted with school. I did attend a kid's pirate party and took the opportunity to make pirate hats. They let me do the final smash of the pinata since it was my actual birthday.

Valentine's Day was crazy around here. Flowers, cake, heart-shaped cupcake cake, candy.

Around New Year's Kenneth and I went up to Oregon with the folks. Stopped at safari park.

The trip culminated in Portland, where we spent a freezing afternoon at the zoo in order to be the first ones on the holiday light train. This was deemed the best non-operable tractor ever.

Spent that night, New Year's Eve, in a funky motel with sister A, asleep by 11:00. Kenneth and I took the train home, we rushed to Twisted on the way to the station. K. had to have rainbow Zauberball so I knit him a sock monkey. He made all the color decisions.

I joined 12 pounds of spinning in 2012. Got 16 oz done in January and none in February. I had brought some local alpaca back from Oregon and the husband asked what it was going to become, perhaps a warm hat? So I spun it and knit him a hat for his birthday. He will not wear it because it is "too nice".

Here is the table runner I wove for my Fall final project. Scandinavian inspired.

I also did a lot of pieces for Color Theory, mostly in acrylics. Here's my final project, quilted.

Christmas was pleasant, but busy. I ended up sending New Year's cards.

Mid-December the guys went out of town for 48 hours. It was heavenly. I went to church. I ate hors d'oeuvres for dinner two nights in a row.

I did great at our annual stash exchange and gave up much more than I brought home.

We had a bit of a redneck Thanksgiving in Lakeport. A bunch of in-laws came, it was fun. I wish I could show the video of Kenneth riding his bike in his underwear on the deck. Instead here is a sunrise.

At Harvest time I knit a bunch of candy corn hats.

We made an R2D2 costume for Halloween. Kenneth had the great idea of taking the talking part of his R2D2 Trouble game, attaching it to his costume, and using it as his "voice". I knit and felted an awesome witch's hat. I was trying for friendly witch but a little girl out trick-or-treating was scared of me and had to cross the street.

Kenneth was obsessed with pom-pom yarn so I finally let him get some. He designed hats for his baby doll and himself.

In September we went to the California Wool & Fiber show. I bought a California Variegated Mutant fleece. For your pleasure here is an attempt at using the timer to get a family photo.

We actually had a great time camping out. Sadly Hendy Woods is on the State Parks closure list so I don't know if we will get to go this year.

If you have read this far you really love me, and are probably the kind of person who would visit a:

There is so much more going on. Knitting, weaving, amazing kid feats.