The BEST Thing about Summer Weaving….

Well, there are lots of good things about weaving at any time….but in the summer here, when the middle of the day is a bit steamy, and the nights are cool and breezy, we often don’t turn on the air conditioning.  That’s not necessarily my choice, but for the sake of marital harmony I conceed that it’s only a few hours in the afternoon that are too hot, so we have yet to turn on the AC.  And besides, I can go hang out in my almost-too-cold studio.

My studio is in the basement, and unlike my last house, this is a nice basement.  The whole back of my studio is above ground and even has a terrace, which Bob made last summer, for sitting outside.  The light is wonderful through the windows and the glass door.  When it’s too hot to be tempted outside I can enjoy the views of my gardens and the nature preserve while getting some productive work done.  It’s a win-win situation!

During this first hot spell of summer, I am making good progress on the huck fabric for the lunch tote.  This photo was taken a few days ago, when I reached the end of the yard of fabric for the tote.  Now I’ve woven two of the five napkins that are also on this warp.

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And I’ve finally had a space of time (without visitors!) when I could concentrate on my chopstick portrait.  This is a recent idea of Archie Brennan.  At our monthly Wednesday Group meetings we get Chinese take out after class on the first day.  Over the years this has added up to a lot of chopsticks.  He and Susan have washed and saved all the chopsticks, and Archie was wondering how they could be re-purposed.  He ended up making little chopstick looms for each member of our group, and he set an assignement to weave a portrait.

I decided to attempt a face from ancient Greek red figure pottery.  This particular face happens to be Artemis.  In the image of her on a 5th century BC, lekythos, she has drawn her bow and is focused on her target.

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The main reason I chose this portrait was to have fun with the hair! So I put in Ghiordes knots every pass and a half which allowed for the knots to be on alternating warps.  Then I braided the long strands and played around putting her hair up in various ways.  I did not want to sew her hair in place, but that may become necessary.

Tapestry Red Figure Artemis on Chopsticks

This project was so much fun I want to make another…..another Greek subject in honor of Archie…. wait and see!

Yesterday I spent the day sewing a mock up of the lunch tote so I’ll be ready to sew when I finish this fabric….the fabric is on hiatus until after Convergence where I’ll pick up one more spool of 16/2 linen for weft from Lone Star Looms.  That’s a story not worth repeating….but suffice it to say that I have made three attempts from two different sources to get enough weft for this project!

Naturally, I could not find any fabric that was a spot-on equivalent to my handwoven linen.  I opted for a heavy cotton duck fabric.  It’s considerably more tightly woven than my huck fabric, but it should be pretty similar after I fuse interfacing to the back of my fabric.  Hope so, anyway!

This is the lining, with pockets…..turned right side out for a better view.

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And here is the almost finished bag.  I’m still hunting for the purse snaps that are well hidden somewhere in my stash of notions, before I stitch the final top of bag together….

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Now that I’ve worked out how the bag will be sewn (and hopefully made all my mistakes!) I am looking forward to making the ‘real’ tote out of these fabrics.

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These days, when I’m not weaving (or sewing), I am working on the “Merle” sweater with Jared Flood’s “Brooklyn Tweed” yarn that I bought at Harrisville on our recent trip.  At this point it’s just miles of stockinette, so I haven’t taken a photo.  ….Or I am in the garden!

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1 Response to The BEST Thing about Summer Weaving….

  1. Cally says:

    What a brilliant idea for a woven portrait! I think her hair looks stunning, but it must be fun experimenting with the styles too.

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