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On a rather frequent basis, I am surprised to learn how few people know about some of the resources available for weavers.  That’s why I have dedicated by blog for the past four years to sharing the ones I like.  I committed to sharing 50 of my favorite things . . . and here is #50.

Of all of the favorite things I’ve shared, Handweaving.net is probably one of the most well-known resources for weavers.  Unfortunately, not everyone knows about . . . and if they do, they may not realize how much is offered by this exceptional resource.

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First, a little bit about Handweaving.net.  Click here to go immediately to Handweaving.net

The “father” of Handweaving.net is Kris Bruland.  Kris is a software architect living on Whidbey Island (not far from Seattle, WA) and the author of this site.  He became interested in weaving around 2003 and became intrigued by the drafts.  Kris then wrote a custom software package  that used WIF (Weaving Information Format) files.  And, he didn’t stop there.

Kris began Handweaving.net as a way of storing weaving drafts with a vision that drafts could be contributed by site visitors to share with each other.  The majority of drafts are due to the effort and commitment of Kris; however, there have been some drafts contributed by others.  At the moment of writing this blog post, there are currently 61,741 drafts.  Yes, you read that correctly.  61,741 drafts! Mind boggling, isn’t it?

Now, that I have your attention, if you want to learn more about Kris and the history of Handweaving.net, click on the following link About Handweaving.net and Kris Bruland

When one first arrives at Handweaving.net, there is a greeting.

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By clicking on the button Browse Weaving Drafts, the adventure begins.  (Note:  You may want to make sure you have some time that will remain uninterrupted for your first visit.).  The first thing you will see is the Featured Draft, which may look like the draft below.

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The Featured Draft gives a lot of information.  It will show the threading, the tie-up, the treadling, and the drawdown.  Plus, it will also show the minimum number of shafts and treadles that are required.  A nice feature is the information about float length.  To copy the draft, click on draft.  Next, you will see a screen that looks like the one below.

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This is where you can learn more about the draft.  The one above is from the collection A Dictionary of Weaves Part I by Emmanuel Anthony Posset and was published in 1914.  In order to get a copy of the draft, you do need to create an account.  It’s safe and secure and Kris will not send you annoying advertisements or reminders like so many do.

When download the wif file, you have a choice between a draft with a tie-up and treadles or a lift plan (handy for weavers with table looms or lobby looms).  You don’t have to own weaving software to utilize this information, but it is very helpful.  The advantage of wif files is that just about any weaving software program will be able to open it.

There is also a wealth of drafts available from many collections – both historical and contemporary.  Many of us that have been weaving for a while had to pay big money and go through significant effort to obtain access to these drafts that are now merely a click away.

A very helpful feature on Handweaving.net is the ability to search drafts in different collections or categories by the minimum or maximum number of shafts and/or treadles.  This is great if you have a limited number of shafts or treadles and don’t want to wade through a lot of drafts.

Below is an example of searching for draft in the collection An Album of Textile Designs (sometimes referred to as “The Ashenhurst”) with an eight-shaft minimum/maximum and a maximum of 10 treadles.   Out of the nearly 7,000 drafts in the collection, 171 may be woven on eight shafts.  Also, in this particular case, all 171 may be woven on the same threading.

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By searching through the collections, you will come across a multitude of drafts.  The difficult thing will be deciding which one to weave next.  Personally, I’m intrigued by the one below since it’s only eight shafts and would have a subtle pattern with a lot of structural integrity.  Perfect for dish towels!

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Besides looking at and downloading drafts, Handweaving.net is a great way to access the Griswold Digital Archive of Documents on Hand Weaving, Lace, and Related Topics.  Another mind-blowing resource for weavers!  Griswold Digital Archive

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If you would prefer not to download thousands and thousands of drafts, you can also purchase them from Kris through his on-line store.  Handweaving.net Store

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There’s so much on Handweaving.net that it’s difficult to do it justice in a single blog post.  The best thing is to set aside a little and take a look at it.

In the meantime, I hope you’ve enjoyed my 50 favorite things.  Stay tuned.  Something new is coming just around the corner.

Enjoy!

 

 

People are often surprised when they learn I know how to spin.  Why?  Well, it’s a sighting nearly as uncommon as spotting a unicorn.  Now, to say I know how to spin doesn’t mean I know a lot about spinning or that I even spin well.

Basically, I know some fundamentals about spinning.  This has been important to me as a weaver since I believe it’s critical to know about the materials one is weaving with to make the most appropriate choices in order to achieve the best results.  Too often I’ve seen what could have been amazing projects impacted because the appropriate yarns were not selected.

If you’re going to make something, it’s invaluable to understand your ingredients . . . and that is what yarn is . . . an ingredient in weaving.  After all, don’t you want a contractor to choose the correct wood to build your house?  How about a pastry chef that isn’t aware of the impact of combining salt directly with yeast?  Ingredients make a big difference.

Make the incorrect decision about ingredients and one could be looking at wasted time and materials and thinking “Whoa, baby!  What did I just make?”  For example, want to know why your silk warp may be breaking?  Guess what?  It may have nothing to do with the quality of the silk.  It could very well be how you’re weaving with it.  Why did the fringe on your chenille scarf turn into feeble threads over time?  Well, do you know how a chenille yarn is made?  Did your alpaca shawl look stunning on the loom, but transformed itself into something quite different later on?  Understanding the fiber is critical to knowing how to properly finish your fabric.

This brings me to my latest (and next to last) favorite thing – resources to help you better understanding your yarn and fibers.  Fortunately, there are a multitude of free resources to help you at the Spin-Off website which may be found at Spinning Daily.  Below is a preview of what you will find there.

First, where to start . . .

A Guide to Handspun Yarn:  Types of Yarn and How to Spin Them – http://www.spinningdaily.com/types-of-yarn

Did you know that spinners draft?  Well, it certainly is different from how weavers draft?  They also draw.  I like this as a resource for becoming acquainted with spinning terms and lexicon.

Guide to Handspun Yarn

How to Make Yarn for Beginners:  Spinning Yarn for Beginners – http://www.spinningdaily.com/beginner-spinning-wheel-tips

Do you know the difference between a rolag and a batt?  It has to do with how they’re made.  How about the difference between a high-whorl and a low-whorl drop spindle?  Interested in knowing how to choose your first spinning wheel?  Check out this free ebook for answers to those questions . . . plus, much more!

How to Make Yarn

An Introduction to Spinning Wheels: How to Use and How to Choose a Spinning Wheel – http://www.spinningdaily.com/Spinning-Wheels/

This free ebook duplicates a bit of information found in the previous ebook; however, it provides some terrific insight into troubleshooting and a detailed list Great Spinning Wheel Roundup that lists spinning wheel manufacturers and information on some of their wheels and other products.

Intro to Spinning Wheels

Drop Spindle Spinning:  Learn How to Spin with Drop Spindles – http://www.spinningdaily.com/drop-spindle-spinning

Spinning wheels can be expensive; however, one doesn’t have to spend a lot of money to get started on spinning.  Try a drop spindle instead.  After all, they’re extremely portable.  I’ve never mastered a drop spindle, but I do remember my first experience trying to spin on a spindle made from a stick skewered through a potato.  Needless to say, it wasn’t pretty.  Maybe improving my drop spindle spinning is something to tackle in the New Year.

Drop Spindle

DIY Spinning Equipment (How to Make a DIY Yarn Swift, Drop Spindle & Yarn Balance) – http://www.spinningdaily.com/diy-yarn-spinning-equipment

As with many activities, there may be a need for additional equipment once you get started.  A yarn swift is invaluable for working with skeins of yarn.  A yarn balance is helpful in taking the mystery out of yarns.  Making your own may be a cost-effective and fun way yo better equip yourself. Plus, the drop spindle they show you how to make is much better than a stick skewered through a potato.

DIY Spinning Equipment

How to Ply Yarn:  From Plying on a Drop Spindle to Creating Plied Yarns on a Wheel – http://www.spinningdaily.com/plying

Why ply a yarn?  Well, for many reasons.  Plied yarns are often stronger that singles.  And, plying yarns can introduce a whole host of design opportunities for creating truly unique yarns.

Ply Yarn

To better understand your yarns, you may need to focus on the type of fiber you’re working with.

Wool – There’s not just one, but two excellent resources to help you better understand wool.  It’s the first fiber I spun over 40 years ago.

A Guide to Processing Wool to Make Wool Roving:  Washing Wool, Carding Wool, and Combing Wool – http://www.spinningdaily.com/processing-wool/

Processing Wool

A Guide to Spinning Wool:  Learn How to Spin Wool from Rare Sheep Breeds and Other Wool Fibers – http://www.spinningdaily.com/spinning-wool

Wool

All About Spinning Cotton:  A Guide to Cotton Spinning + Free Naturally Colored Cotton Yarn Patterns – http://www.spinningdaily.com/spinning-cotton

I undervalued cotton for many years.  I just thought cotton was cotton.  Then I discovered the wide range of cotton and the beautiful colors.

Cotton

A Guide to Spinning Flax:  Linen Spun from Flax Fibershttp://www.spinningdaily.com/spinning-flax-linen

Flax

A Guide for Spinning Alpaca:  Fiber from Huacaya Alpaca to Suri Alpaca (and beyond)  – http://www.spinningdaily.com/spinning-alpaca-fiber

Alpaca

A Guide to Spinning Silk Fibers + Free Knitting, Weaving, Crochet, and Embroidery Projects Using Silk Fiber –http://www.spinningdaily.com/spinning-silk/

Silk Fibers

And, a little something from Handwoven magazine . . .

Tricks of the the Trade:  One weaver’s approach to spinning   http://www.weavingtoday.com/media/p/3667.aspx

It’s a one-page article about spinning, but written with weavers in mind.

Basically, from what I’ve shared with you today, I think it’s easy to say that Spin-Off and its website  Spinning Daily provide the beginning of a substantial library to get you started on learning more about spinning and fibers.

Before I end this blog post, I would like to add a few more things about spinning.

First, I want to give a big shout-out to Ply magazine, Jacey Boggs Faulkner (Publisher/Director/Editor in Chief), and everyone else that makes Ply happen.   It’s a beautiful magazine and designed for those that are serious about spinning and having serious fun at the same time.  http://plymagazine.com

Second, I have really enjoyed Sara Lamb’s book Spin to Weave:  The Weaver’s Guide to Making Yarn.  It’s not free; however, the print version of the book is currently on sale today for $4.99 through Interweave’s on-line store.  At that price, I’m sure supplies are limited for the print version

http://www.interweavestore.com/review/product/list/id/103160/

Last, but certainly not least . . . the spinning world recently lost one of it’s icons, Alden Amos.  I have heard many fiber artists rave about his spinning wheels.  I’ve haven’t had the opportunity to spin on one – yet.  Perhaps it’s just a matter of time.  The link below will take you to his obituary in The New York Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/19/us/alden-amos-whose-spinning-wheels-gave-craft-a-better-fate-dies-at-77.html?_r=0

As 2015 wraps up and we prepare for 2016, maybe learning more about spinning and fibers will help take you to the next level as a fiber artist.

Enjoy!

 

Anyone who knows me very well . . . well, at least as a weaver . . . knows I love the four-shaft weaves.  For the first 30 years I wove, I didn’t weave anything except four-shaft weaves.  With Marguerite Davison’s book, A Handweaver’s Pattern Book, in one hand and a shuttle in the other, I never ran out of ideas . . . However, Robin and Russ Handweavers had a periodical that tempted me with weaves for more-than-four for a long time.

As I mentioned in my favorite thing #44 (Robin and Russ Handweavers and Warp and Weft), I was fortunate to grow up and learn to weave in Portland, OR.  Not only did my high school, Woodrow Wilson High School, have an art room with 15 floor looms . . . I was also a little more than an hour away from Robin & Russ Handweavers in McMinnville, OR.

Even though I was more than happy and fulfilled weaving on four shafts, it was the Robin and Russ periodical Drafts and Designs – A Guide 5 and 12 Harness Weaves that got me thinking about weaving on more than four shafts.

What impresses me is how contemporary many of the woven swatches look!   I hope everyone can take a look at some of my favorites swatches below from the periodical and get inspired.

The following link will take you to the entire collection available on-line.  https://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/dad.html

Deflected Doubleweave – Vol 2., No 6 – April 1960

https://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/dad_2.pdfVol 2, No 8 April 1960

Red and Black Shadow Weave with Huck lace – Vol 4, No 3 – November 1961

https://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/dad_4.pdf

4 3 1961

Black and white – Vol 6., No 1 – September 1963

https://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/dad_6.pdf

8S - Vol #6, No 1 - Sept 1963

Blue ocean waves – Vol 7., No 1 – September 1964

https://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/dad_7.pdf7 1 Sept 1964

Six-shaft single two-tie (aka Summer & Winter) – Vol 9, No 2 – October 1966

https://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/dad_9.pdf

9 2 Oct 1966

Eight-shaft huck lace variation – Volume 11, No 8 – April 1969

https://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/dad_11.pdf

11 8 April 1969

Eight-shaft supplementary warp weave – Vol 21, No 1 – September 1978

https://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/dad_21.pdf

21 1 Sept 78

The above samples prove what’s old is new again.  I hope some of these will inspire weavers to check out Drafts and Designs – A Guide for 5 to 12 Harness Weaves.  If you don’t have a loom with more than four shafts, perhaps this becomes the tipping point to encourage  you to consider a loom with more than four.

Enjoy!

 

When it comes to color proportion, did you know there is similarity between men’s suits, interior design, and web design? No? Then you may find the color design rule 60/30/10 of interest. Plus, it may aid you in planning your next weaving project.

First, what is the 60/30/10 color design rule? It’s an approach to using color in order to create harmony and balance. The fundamentals for developing a color scheme are as follows:

  • 60% is a dominant color
  • 30% is a secondary color
  • 10% is an accent color

Pretty easy, huh? Maybe I just have your attention. How about some examples? Okay, here we go . . .

In interior design, the 60/30/10 rule

  • 60% as the dominant color may include the color for the walls . . . or at least the majority of the walls. For large rooms, it might include major furniture, flooring, and even the dominant fabric.
  • 30% as the secondary color may include the smaller furniture, ceiling color, cabinets, and area rugs.
  • 10% as an accent color may include pillows, lap throws, trim and molding, and other accessories.

original_Maria-Killam-living-room_s4x3_lg

For men’s suits, the application of the 60/30/10 rule may be observed

  • 60% of the color is in the jacket and slacks
  • 30% of the color is in the shirt
  • 10% of the color is in the tie
Chris-Hemsworth-in-Suit-Dark-Grey

Thor actor, Chris Hemsworth, looking fine in a dark suit (dominant color), white shirt (secondary color) and a red tie (accent color). YUMMY!

In web design, the 60/30/10 rule has been used in the following manner:

  • 60% is the primary color of the overall space. This may be the background color
  • 30% of the color is a secondary color and used to create contrast with the primary color
  • 10% is an accent color that should work with both the primary color and secondary color and used to highlight items to draw a reader’s attention.

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So, what does this all mean? Well, how about applying the 60/30/10 color rule when planning your next weaving project? Perhaps as warp stripes, weft stripes, or both.

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Consider the color schemes below that were developed using the 60/30/10 color rule.

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If you’re interested in learning more about the 60/30/10 color rule, check out one or more of the websites below.

http://www.colorwheelharmony.com/design-rules.html

http://www.tigercolor.com/color-lab/tips/tip-01.html

http://color.about.com/od/Decorating-With-Color/fl/60-30-10-Rule-how-to-use-it-and-how-to-break-it.htm

http://www.24hrheatingcooling.com/the-60-30-10-rule-of-decorating-with-your-color-palette/

https://alexrister1.wordpress.com/2011/12/11/interior-design-the-60-30-10-rule/

http://www.craftydeas.com/2013/08/color-rules-in-home-decoration-60-30-10-rule.html

Enjoy!

Wow! It’s been way too long since I shared a ‘Favorite Thing’. It’s been a busy year so far; however, I felt I had to carve out a bit of time to share a new one. When I started sharing my favorite things, I committed to 50 . . . So, here’s #46 . . . the Shuttle Craft Guild BULLETIN.

We’re very fortunate to have access to weaving resources published in color. The visual impact is inspiring . . . almost intoxicating. Unfortunately, the appeal of weaving publications in color makes earlier black-and-white publications initially appear flat. But, if a weaver is really serious about learning to weave, these publications are chock full of wonderful patterns, lessons, and more! Plus, they provide us a glimpse into the history and legacy of those that came before us. The Shuttle Craft Guild BULLETIN is a cornerstone in the recent history of handweaving.  (Recent means in the past 100 years)

First, a little history about the publication. Mary Meigs Atwater founded the Shuttle Craft Guild in 1922 (which makes me think we need a centennial celebration in 2022!). The purpose of the Shuttle Craft Guild was to create an instructional resource for handweavers. In 1924, the monthly BULLETIN was started. An annual subscription was $5.00/year. This predates Mary Meigs Atwater’s iconic weaving book, The Shuttle-Craft Book of American Handweavers.

Original cover

Original cover

Later cover

Later cover

When Mary Meigs Atwater retired in 1946, Harriet Tidball took over the Shuttle Craft Guild. In 1952 the BULLETIN was augmented . . . the price increased to $7.50/year. In addition to the BULLETIN, the first Shuttle Craft Guild workshop was held in 1948. Harriett Tidball organized it. Mary Meigs Atwater taught it.

In 1957, the BULLETIN was taken over by Mary Black and Joyce Chown. Mary Black is the author of Key to Weaving (1945). (A little weaving trivia – Black’s Key to Weaving was not published for two years after being submitted to Bruce Publishing Company because of a lack of paper due to the war). Mary Black went on to publish New Key to Weaving in 1957, another iconic weaving books (and one of my all-time favorites)

Key to Weaving

The New Key to Weaving

In 1960, Harriett Tidball returned to the Shuttle Craft Guild BULLETIN.  Shortly thereafter, in 1961, Harriett Tidball published The Weaver’s Book.

The Weaver's Book

In addition to the BULLETIN, the Shuttle Craft Guild began to publish monographs. The monographs were each 24-48 pages long and provided an in-depth exploration of a single subject. In addition to the monographs was the Portfolio, a supplement to the monographs that included samples. As a result of the monographs, the BULLETIN was reduced to three times a year.

While looking through past issues, I was surprised to see many things that are of interest today.

First, in looking at a picture of a young Peter Collingwood, it’s incredible how much his son Jason looks like him.

Peter Collingwood

Peter Collingwood

Jason Collingwood

Jason Collingwood

Below are a few pages I thought may be of interest and encourage weavers to spend some time with my latest ‘favorite thing’

Birdseye Twill, Summer & Winter, and Bronson lace in the May 1931 issue – http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/scb_31.pdf

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 11.05.49 AMWarp-faced rug weave and Crackle in the August 1931 issue – http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/scb_31.pdf

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 11.07.25 AMFour and Eight-shaft twills patterns in the February 1936 issue – http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/scb_36.pdf

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 11.01.12 AMIntegrated Twills in the May 1943 issue – http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/scb_43.pdf

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 11.10.38 AMOvershot and Shadow weave in the June 1943 issue – http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/scb_43.pdf

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 11.12.19 AMHistory of brothers, J and R Bronson, in the April 1950 issue – http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/scb_50.pdf

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 11.18.37 AMEight-shaft Ms and Os in the June-July 1957 issue http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/sc_57_06.pdf

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 10.52.53 AMBateman samples in the October 1958 issue –http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/scb_58_10.pdf

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 10.49.19 AMScreen Shot 2015-04-09 at 10.50.39 AMWhat’s ‘old’ can be ‘new’ again!  These are just a few of the wonderful things that may be found in the pages of the Shuttle Craft Guild’s BULLETIN. Some of the links take you to multiple issues. Some are for individual issues. It’s a resource definitely worth knowing about!

The following link will take you to the list of available copies. http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/scbulletin.html

Enjoy!

 

 

I love stripes!  Stripes allow us to incorporate multiple colors, create effects, and in some cases even make our bodies appear slimmer.  As weavers we can incorporate stripes in our warp, our weft, and even some twill diagonal create angled stripes.  If you think about it, plaids are merely stripes in the warp intersecting with stripes in the weft.  Weaving stripes can also be a way to use up small amounts of yarn and thread.

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In this installment of my favorite things, I want to share some on-line stripe generators.  A few minutes creating stripes can stimulate new ideas for color combinations, proportion, and much more.

Stripe Maniahttp://www.stripemania.com

With only a couple of simple controls, a multitude of stripe patterns.  I often find myself working with vertical stripes as a way of designing warp stripes; however, horizontal and diagonal stripes may be generated.

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What I also enjoy about using Stripe Mania and the ability to look at other stripes created by other users.  These can inspire ideas too!

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Biscuits and Jam – http://www.biscuitsandjam.com/stripe_maker.php

What’s interesting about the Random Stripe Generator at Biscuits and Jam (other than it’s name) is the step-by-step process.  Below is the screen where you begin.

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The first thing you do is select your colors.  Below, it shows I chose five different colors.

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The second thing you do is select the stripe widths that will be allowed.  I was inspired to select the first five numbers of a Fibonacci sequence – 1, 2, 3, 5, 8

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Then you set the value for the total number of rows that will be generated.  I used 100.

 

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 9.06.44 AM

 

The click on the button Generate my Stripes and see what happens.  Remember, this is a random stripe generator so you may be very surprised by the results.  Below was the first set of stripes generated from my five colors and five different widths.

 

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By refreshing the screen, a new set of stripes is generated

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 9.07.53 AM

And refresh again . . . (I think I like this one best) . . . Although, if I don’t like what I get, I can go back and change my selections.
Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 9.08.22 AM

 

Patternizerhttp://patternizer.com/q12i.  Patternizer has something intriguing for weavers . . . there’s an opacity value than can be adjusted.  I find this is  a way of simulating what happens when colors interlace in plain weave.

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Stripe Generatorhttp://www.stripegenerator.com/index.php?page=index.  The fourth on-line stripe generating resource has one feature the others don’t . . . if you look in the bottom right hand corner of the page, you can take the colors and generate a tartan pattern.

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 9.11.38 AM

 

Stripe Generator is also another resource where you can look at stripe combinations other users have generating.

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 9.13.22 AM

 

I hope you find these resources helpful if you are planning a new project and looking for inspiration.  Stripes can be very powerful in adding visual impact.

Enjoy!

I grew up in Portland, OR.  I always thought Portland was a pretty fabulous place to grow up.  It’s just big enough that everything you need is available and no one I knew of while I was growing up ever thought they needed to break out and see the world.  At the same time, Portland wasn’t so large that it was overwhelming.  It has an active arts community, Powell’s City of Books store, Washington Park, and really good food to name just a few of the attractions.

I find myself frequently returning to my home town; however, there is one thing missing . . . Robin and Russ Handweavers.  No, Robin and Russ Handweavers was not in Portland.  It was an iconic weaving store that relocated from California to McMinnville, OR in 1962 . . . about an hour away from where I grew up.  Close enough to constantly be on your mind.  And, as a young weaver before I was old enough to get my driver’s license, too far away to persuade parents to drive you more than once a year.

I went to Wilson High School . . . a high school that had a robust fiber arts program.  There was always excitement about the first one of us to turn 16, get a driver’s license, and receive permission to borrow one of our parent’s cars to drive to Robin and Russ Handweavers for an unchaperoned trip that we could take at a leisurely pace.

McMinnville, OR is located in Yamhill County . . . one of the best areas for wine in Oregon.  About 15 years ago, I organized a Women’s Weekend of Weaving and Wine.  We took over Wine Country Farm, one of the  bed and breakfast places in Yamhill County.  On Saturday morning, we rendezvoused at Woodland Woolworks . . . another wonderful fiber arts establishment (also, no longer there) . . . and our caravan of cars wound its way through Yamhill County stopping at different places, mostly wineries . . . before reaching our final destination of Robin and Russ Handweavers.

I’ve been in larger weaving stores, but going to Robin and Russ Handweavers was always a tremendous adventure.  You never knew before you got there what was going to make you blow your budget.  But, what the heck, it was in Oregon and no sales tax.  Over the years, I made some of my most memorable purchases, including one purchase of 88 skeins of a fire engine red cashmere-blend wool for $1.00/skein.  The funny thing was that wasn’t all he had of the red cashmere blend and I’ve never figured out why I didn’t purchase an even 100 since I have a propensity for symmetry.

Robin and Russ Handweavers owner, Russ Groff, had a unique knack for having some of the most wonderful mill ends yarns available and I still have some of it patiently waiting on my shelf waiting to be woven.  Russ also always had a recent adventure to share with others.  The Robin and Russ Handweavers booth was one of the most popular stops in a vendor hall at any weaving conference.  It’s an era gone by, but many of us still reminisce about the place and the finds we made.  Syne Mitchell wrote a touching story about Russ when he passed away nearly five years ago.  You can read In Memorium:  Russ Groff at the following link http://www.weavezine.com/weavegeek/memoriam-russell-e-groff

In February 1955, Robin and Russ Handweavers took over the publishing of Warp and Weft and continued the periodical’s tradition for approximately 30 years.  Warp and Weft was originally published in November 1947.  It was a wonderful insight into what was going on in the weaving community, featured weavers, and included a woven sample along with the instructions.  It was modest in size . . . 8 pages . . . but, there were 10 issues a year.  Early issues were clearly put together using a typewriter.  The format evolved over the years, but no matter what there was always something to intrigue and entertain . . . Which brings me to my latest favorite thing . . . access to 307 issues of Warp and Weft  http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/warpweft.html

Below are a couple of covers and some of my favorite samples from Warp and Weft.

Cover - March 1985Cover - November 1980

 

Hostess Delight from the December 1950 issue – http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/ww_04_02.pdf

December 1950

 

Opalescence in the February 1955 issue  –

February 1955

How to Make Chenille in the June 1957 issue – http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/ww_10_6.pdf

June 1957

 

Twills and M’s & O’s for Table Linens from the June 1962 issue – http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/ww_15_06.pdf

June 1962

 

Yak, Yak, Yak in the November 1979 issue – http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/ww_32_09.pdf

November 1979Superhighway from the November 1980 issue – http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/ww_33_09.pdf

November 1980

Carrickmacross from the Cecember 1982 issue – http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/ww_35_10.pdf

 

December 1982

Flaming Twills from the September 1985 – http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/ww_38_07.pdf

September 1985

 

Hopefully, some of the above samples will entice you to take a closer look at Warp and Weft.  If you’re dissuaded from these samples because they only require four shafts (something I think is pretty darn cool), Robin and Russ Handweavers did publish other resources.  Two that may be of interest are accessible with a little effort.

First, 200 Patterns for Multiple Harness Looms – 5 to 12 Harness Patterns for Handweavers.  You can find this used.  Check out www.addall.com to see if there’s a copy you just have to have.

200 Patterns for Multiple Harness Looms

 

Second, if you’re fortunate enough to have a loom with 16 or more shafts, you may be interested in 16 Harness Patterns – The Fanciest Twills of All.  This book became difficult to find; however, you can access all of the variations at http://handweaving.net/PatternBook.aspx?BOOKID=27   There are 205 patterns . . . which are basically tie-ups for a 16-shaft point threading.  This is great especially if you have a loom with a computer interface.  (By the way, www.handweaving.net is a pretty fabulous resource if you don’t already know about it!.  Nearly 60,000 drafts!)

16 Harness Patterns

 

This is likely my last blog post for 2014.  But, I’m still working my way to providing 50 of my favorite things . . . six more to go.  In the meantime, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year’s!  Or if you have a Seinfeld bent, you may be celebrating Festivus and are preparing for the airing of grievances.  Either way . . . enjoy!

Onward to 2015!

 

 

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