Sunday, October 25, 2015

3-Color Pickup!!!! The Tutorial is Ready!

I am really excited to finally be able to share the 3-Color Pickup with fellow weavers as a tutorial!!!
When I first discovered this technique, I thought that everyone would want to give it a try. To my knowledge no one (outside of Lithuania) has written about it. And it deserved to be written about!


It comes from an older style of pattern woven in the small province of Zanavykija, Lithuania. It is said that only 3% of the sashes were done using this technique as “only the rare weaver had the skill to weave them”. I discovered it after studying many photos in the book Lithuanian Sashes by Anastazija Tamosaitiene & Antanas Tamosaitis.
The authors examined several thousand examples of ancient sashes from Lithuania.
Approximately one thousand of them were reproduced in the book.
In looking at the dazzling array of patterns illustrated there,
several sashes stood out to me as being more exquisite and more complex in
regards to color placement in the pickup designs.

The book is awesome, however, now out of print. If you can find a copy of it for $75 or less, buy it! It's a bargain! I've seen copies listed for up to $300.

By studying photos in the book, I was able to “read” the textiles in the photos, decipher the threading and learn the technique for myself. I was very excited when I discovered it, as it
opened up a whole new world of possibilities for weaving more interesting and colorful patterns.

It is my belief that if you can weave the "speckled" pickup, then you can weave this one.
All of your favorite pattern drafts from that technique can be used in this one, only with more color variety.

Scene from the video part of the tutorial. 

Below is an experiment that I did from a few years back, trying different color placement and line spacing. It's a doodle of sorts.
3-color abstract pickup.jpg

In this one, I also experimented with color placement. See the one diamond of a different color?
The fantastic thing about doing this 3-color thing, is that you can totally move the colors around in a design! My head is just bursting with ideas!

My friend Kim, a talented weaver herself, spent some time exploring this technique with me.
See her beautiful examples on her blog here;

Friday, October 16, 2015

Inkle Pickup on a Speckled Background

So far, one type of pickup stands out as my favorite way to create fancy patterns. It is most commonly know these days as "Baltic-Style" pickup.
I learned it back in the 1970's from Helene Bress' book,  Inkle Weaving.
She refers to it as "Basketweave Background". Evelyn Neher in her book, Inkle, calls it "Speckled"
the term which I have adopted and used over the years. It is also sometimes called, supplementary warp technique, European, Latvian, Scandanavian or Sami pickup. So many names, such a great technique!

 #1 Turquoise and red pattern/ brown and tan background/ pick and drop/ pattern in border/
 tan weft shows in brown background area.

At the bottom of the page, I'll give you a threading chart for setting up your loom to weave this technique and a helpful link to a tutorial on how to chart patterns and do the picking.

The term "pickup" could be a bit misleading, since often it is necessary to pick AND drop threads out of their normal sequence. These patterns look different on the front and back sides. Some photos here show both sides. Click on photos to enlarge them and see more details.

Here are some cool variations that you can use with this technique. Examples are given on this page for most of them:
  • Pick only OR pick and drop
  • Single color background/ single color pattern
  • Single color background/ multiple color pattern [See #3, #4, #12]
  • Multiple color background/ single color pattern [See #8, #10]
  • Multiple color background/ multiple color pattern [See #1]
  • For pick and drop patterns -same color weft (will not show) OR contrasting weft (will show as spots where the weft is dropped)  [See #1, #13 for contrasting weft]
  • Plain borders to help accentuate the pickup design OR other patterns in the border areas
  • Continuous pattern along the length of the band OR individual motifs with plain weave in between [See #7 for motifs with plain weave in between]
  • Several pattern motifs can be mixed, mingled or varied along the length of the band, change it up as you go [See #14 for alternating small and large diamond motifs]
  • Pattern area can be small OR the entire width of the band
  • Pattern area can be centered OR off to one side
  • Lettering/ words can be incorporated [See link at bottom of page]

#2 Red background/ Brown pattern/ pick and drop /pattern in border/ same color weft
The pattern at each end is different from that of the central portion of the band. 

#3  White background/ three colors in pattern/ pick only/ plain borders

#4 Tan background/ three colors in pattern/ pick only/ pattern in border

#5 Two color background/ one color pattern/ pick and drop/ same color weft/ plain borders.
 Brown zig-zag line is where pattern threads were dropped, gold zig-zag line is where
 pattern threads were picked. Background has contrasting color stripe up the center. 

#6 Black background/ red pattern/ pick and drop/ same color weft/ single stripe in border

#7 Maroon background/ pink pattern/ pick and drop/ patterned border/ same color weft/
area between motifs

#8 Two color background/ single color pattern/ pickup only/ simple stripe border

#9 Black background/ red pattern/ pickup only/ small pattern area with wide patterned border
#10 Two color background/ single color pattern/ pick and drop/ asymmetrical landscape pattern

#11 Yellow background/ red pattern/ pick and drop in asymmetrical pattern/ patterned border/ same color weft
 Unusual example as the red patterned thread were picked on one half of the band and dropped on the other.
Photo shows back and front. 

#12 Dark green background/ two color pattern/ pick and drop/ same color weft

#13 Single color background/ single color pattern/ pick and drop/ contrasting color weft/ border pattern
#14 Single color pattern/ two color background/ pick only/ plain borders/
This one has diamond motifs which alternate between small and large versions.

For this technique, there is always one pattern thread between two background threads.
Here is a simple warping draft for a single color background/ single color pattern/ plain borders.
If the pattern needs to be centered and symmetrical (typical for these types of patterns), there will be an odd number of pattern threads. For example in the draft below, there are 13 pattern threads, 7 in one row and 6 in the other. This is used in the very popular Celtic Knot pattern, for which you can find the pattern here, thanks to Tracy DeGarmo.

Lady Edyth Miller of the Compleatly Dressed Anachronist Blog has done a fine job of describing how to chart the pickup pattern, how to read the chart and how to execute the technique here:

For weaving lettering  See PDF tutorial from Anita Apinis-Herman HERE.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Rainbow Hippie Guitar Strap Needs Some Love

Edit/update: Thanks for your help!  In the last 24 hours that listing has had 223 clicks and 19 favorites generated by you! In spite of that, it has moved back from page 28 in the search to page 39. It does not appear that clicking helps the search ranking any. Hmmm.... So, now I read an article which says that the clicks have to come from a search to be valid. Clicking from my link was not. Well, I learned something!

I'm doing an experiment with the search engine rankings in my Etsy shop,
Would you be willing to do me a favor and see if more clicks will increase the search ranking of this one guitar strap? 
If so, it will only take a minute for you to click the link below and see if this strap gets boosted!
Thanks so much!

While, I've never used a lot of yellow in my weaving, it seems that that fact has changed since I've been living in New Mexico, the land of sunshine and Enchantment.
This pattern uses the colors of the rainbow (minus purple) with some extra yellow thrown in and black for borders and accents. I'm diggin' it. 

And, just for fun, here is a little more New Mexico color for you!
Last weekend we attended the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which is AWESOME!
Someone did this great time-lapse photo essay of the experience. Enjoy!

Balloon Filled Sky
ABQ Balloon Fiesta Skies!
Posted by on Monday, October 5, 2015

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Key Fobs!

Long ago, I had several ideas for making key fobs using my inkle bands.

These weren't really practical for the longevity of the item. The key rings rubbed along the band, leading to extreme fraying along the edges.

Thanks to my friend, Kim of Rabbitbrush Studio, I was able to use a much better method!
These metal ends grab on to the ends of the woven band and have a loop and a key ring attached. The key ring doesn't even touch the band, so no worries of fraying!

I've also used it for the lanyards which are just a longer version of the key fob.
Remember them from this post a few weeks back?

Kim recently published a tutorial which is for sale here in her Etsy shop on how to make these with all her tips and tricks.
This is a great little gift idea! Also, I've found that they sell well at fairs and festivals.

I've purchased the key fob hardware (as well as other useful hardware) from this shop on Etsy:

If you need some inspiration for  1" wide patterns, see this blog post.