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Archive for June, 2010

For the weaver on-the-go . . . Create a weaving ‘etui’

I frequently hear claims that weaving is not portable.  It certainly is difficult to cart around a floor loom and weave when you’re in one place for a short period of time.  Many tables looms aren’t much better.  I think portability is one of the reasons knitting and crochet is so popular.  

I have provided a PDF here that outlines the steps for creating a weaving ‘etui’.  An etui is a small case containing items, such as sewing needles and thread, that is portable and can be easily carried around.  It’s a fun and easy way to weave on-the-go and create fun items.

Click this link to open up the Make a Weaving Etui PDF.  Enjoy!

A Grand Time at The Fine Line!

There’s a line in the movie Broadcast News that crosses my mind with a great deal of frequency . . . What do you do when your life exceeds your expectations?  The character in the movie that utters that phrase is told Keep it to yourself.  Since my life often exceeds my expectations, I think of that phrase . . . but, I just can’t seem to  keep it to myself .

Recently, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to teach at The Fine Line Creative Arts Center in St. Charles, IL (about an hour away from Chicago).  This facility is exceptional and must be seen to be appreciated.  I was inspired just walking in through the front door.  The weaving studio is stunning with a variety of beautiful looms.  I doubt I will ever get over the feeling when I look at a room of gleaming looms in maple, cherry, etc.  I’m like a kid on Christmas morning looking at the presents Santa left under the tree.  The rest of the facility is not to missed too!  There are numerous craft skills taught there . . . from painting and pottery to blacksmithing and jewelry making.  I’ve included pictures below of the workshop . . . and for more information about The Fine Line Creative Arts Center, go to their website at http://www.fineline.org/.  I also included a picture of a crocheted wall hangning that was displayed there.  It’s a bout 3 1/2 feet wide and 5 feet long.

King me! – Spending a day with Kenneth D. King

I’m inspired by many things and many people . . . but, one person that inspires me beyond my expectations is Kenneth D. King.  He’s a well-known fashion designer (Elton John owns 80 of his hats . . . some appear in his videos).  He’s authored a few books that I own, but his most recent Cool Couture is one of my favorite sewing-related books.  From his unique bondage-influenced cover to the marvelous instructional content, I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to improve their sewing skills.

Yesterday, I got to spend the day with Kenneth when he was in town teaching a class based on the above book.  I have corresponded with him several times over the past  couple of years . . . and I have one of his sterling silver-handled seam rippers by my AVL for removing weaving errors when cutting out wefts is more efficient than unweaving (By the way, I use it more often than I wish, but it’s fabulous when I need it!). 

I’ve known how talented and gracious Kenneth is . . . but, what I didn’t know was how hysterically funny he can be.  Frankly, I didn’t care if he was here to read a phone book or cereal boxes . . . I’ve been excited about a class with him since I first learned he was coming.  He showed several of the techniques from his book, such as attaching a lined patched pocket using a blind hem stitch, inserting a lapped zipper, sleeve caps, and much more!  Throughout the day, the lessons were peppered with stories and anecdotes that lefted us laughing and motivated.  I can honestly tell you his insight into the fashion industry is as entertaining as it is insightful and it makes me grateful to know that there are people that appreciate unique, handcrafted garments. 

Below are a few pictures from the class.  They don’t do justice, but I was too enthralled with how I was spending my day to take many.  For anyone interested in learning more about techniques in creating exceptional garments or just want sewing-related fun, he’s a definite must-see!  You can see more of his work (and link to a King Cole rap video with Kenneth portraying a pimp) at  http://kennethdking.com/

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