Second Weaving

Second Piece

Finished another scarf. Do like them narrow when made with the nubby yarn; another hand dyed, hand spun. Actually, in this climate, narrow done with any weight yarn is really preferable. No matter how cold it can get, if you can wrap a scarf around your neck several times, you can stay warm.

Now to start a scarf with a finer, even textured yarn. Want to test my my new found selvedge skills.

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First Weaving

I have belonged to the Contemporary Handweavers of Houston for a number of years. My interests were (and still are) kumihomo and dyeing. But, unfortunately, I was not a weaver.

In years past, I tried felting (didn’t feel right to me), tapestry (that I’m still trying to work on) and I took a rigid heddle loom workshop. The workshop was interesting but I never really felt the ‘flow’ and never did finish my project. This never stopped me from buying the wonderful yarns I would come across; especially handspun.

This past spring the guild again participated in the annual Fiber Fest; winding, into balls, the skeins of yarn purchased by the attendees. I wandered through all the booths looking at all the wonderful offerings. One of the vendors has a shop not very far from our community and is well know by members of the guild. This was the first time I stopped to see her and the beautiful pieces she was making on one of her rigid heddle looms. She also happened to have some stunning yarn. She and I chatted and, of course, I was ready to dust off my loom. Bought some of the beautiful yarn and decided I had to make a sample with some scrap yarn of equal weight. The sample turned out not badly but I realized I needed more practice.

I pulled out some of the hand-dyed, handspun yarn I had. Warped the loom with a coordinating color (orange is pretty yummy)and started weaving. Pictured in my result. Not bad for my first ‘real’ weaving.

I have just warped and started weaving my second piece. After this one is done I think I’m going to be ready for my wonderful new yarn.

Great Fun

When placing an order with my suppliers, I like to browse through the available items rather than doing a ‘quick order’ by just entering the item numbers I need. This can sometimes be very dangerous or lead me to new and wonderful things.

As I was placing my C-Lon order, I came across the new neon colors. Well of course I had to get some. I have visions for using them in kumihimo, embroidery, crochet, macrame, etc., etc. (I’m thinking about a project or two I might do).

From Miscellaneous

Don’t you just love the colors? Clockwise, from top left, Neon Yellow, Neon Orange, Neon Green and Neon Pink. As the other colors, they are just $3.75 for an 83 yard spool. All the colors I have in stock (over 65) can be found on my website – http://www.patpowelldesigns.com.

Fabric Painting Experiments

Finally, the holidays are over but, even though I need to focus on some home maintenance, I am still squeezing in a few moments to do some experimentation in fabric painting.

Have found there are different approaches that need to be taken depending on the type of fabric being painted. To date, most of my work has been done on either silk chiffon or habotai silk. The results between those two fabrics clearly illustrate how different they really are.

From Surface Design
From Surface Design

Above are examples of habotai silk. Being a dense weave, the paints can retain their own identity even when multiple applications of paint are applied. There is good color definition.

From Surface Design
From Surface Design
From Surface Design

Above are examples of silk chiffon. Painting with mutiple colors during the same pass results in pretty much a solid color due to the wicking that occurs when this fabric is damp. As a result, I have started painting this fabric with a single color and then overpainting when the base is dry. What does occur is when the overpaint is a darker color than the base, the darker paint retains its color. When the overpaint has the same value as the base, however, a new color emerges (the red base has a turquoise overpaint!). The colors on chiffon are much softer than on habotai.

An acquaintance has directed me to yet another fabric, a silk and cotton blend. I am anxious to try that.

Between Shows

From Miscellaneous

(see what a little rain will do. haven’t seen this in bloom since spring)

Taking a few minutes to relax now that I’m between shows. Delivered my wares and helped with check-in for the Contemporary Handweaver’s of Houston sale. The sale started today and will continue on through Saturday. Check for details at http://www.weavehouston.org. The items available are fabulous, as usual. The members go all out supplying the sale with their wonderful woven, spun and dyed pieces.

From Miscellaneous

(it’s fall and the shrimp plant has gone wild, as usual.)

Load in is tomorrow for the Bayou City Bead Works, which begins on Friday. This event is hosted by Houston Bead Society. Schedule and venue details can be found at http://www.houstonbeadsociety.org (along with a discount coupon). There will be lots of goodies there also. The show will continue through Sunday.

From Miscellaneous

(if you look very closely at the inflorescence in the top center, you’ll see a very large bumble bee hanging off the bottom flower.)

As soon as all these are over, the International Quilt Festival will begin. Although I am no longer an exhibitor, I seem to have found myself scheduled for at least three days of activities. Looking forward to it.

Hopefully, I’ll run into some of you during the next 10 days.

More Loom Beading

From Beadwork

Finally had a little time to take a photo of more loom work. This is very addictive! Just need a design to pop into your head (usually based on the beads you have at hand), warp up the loom and start weaving. It’s really great to do while you’re watching TV. I really need to take a break from this and do more geometric beading but we’ll see what wins out in the next day or so.

Last Saturday I had a great time leading the activity (braided tassels) at the Center for Contemporary Craft. All our guests seemed to enjoy it also. Next month there will be lots of fiber related activities there. It should be fun. This week I’ll be one of four doing a short presentation for the Houston Area Fiber Artists. My bit will be on kumihimo, how its done and how I use it to create my neckpieces. Looking forward to it.

Braided Tassels

From Miscellaneous

Hope to see you in a couple of weeks at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. Stay cool and have a great time.
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HANDS-ON HOUSTON
Fill-the-Gap: Braided Tassel Accessories
Time
Saturday, August 3, 2013 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Location
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
4848 Main Street. Houston, Texas 77002
Contact
Drop in between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM
Free/No Registration Required
Please join HCCC for HANDS-ON HOUSTON on Saturday, August 3rd. This month, local fiber artist, Pat Powell, will be guiding participants in braiding seven lengths of colored yarn on an octagonal braiding disk to create a decorative braided tassel accessory. This technique is ideal for making unique zipper pulls, backpack charms, jewelry, key fobs – the possibilities are endless! After the activity, participants can take a “Fill-the-Gap” activity sheet with instructions and ideas for other patterns to carry on crafting at home.
Pat Powell specializes in creating unique components for beading and embellishment. To learn more about Pat’s hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind jewelry and accessories, visit http://www.patpowelldesigns.com.
HANDS-ON HOUSTON is a free craft-activity open house on the first Saturday of every month. Each month, a teaching artist demonstrates a craft related to the current exhibitions. We provide the materials, and you provide the creativity! Families and children of all ages are welcome, and materials are provided. This program supports HCCC’s mission to advance education about the process, product and history of craft.