Saturday, January 30, 2016

And The Winner Is.....

Thanks to all who left comments on the last post.
The "Annual Birthday Giveaway" winner is Cheryl Taylor!
I'll be sending her the video next week.
Cheryl is a member of the Foothills Fiber Guild in Grass Valley, California.
In her comment she said "If I won the DVD, I'd love to share it with my Guild."
Wonderful! I am happy to know that!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Annual Birthday Giveaway - A Matter of Color

I've been exploring the use of color more in depth than ever now as I am trying to break it down and understand why certain combinations work so well and others don't. Color relationship is fascinating!
This is all part of my ebook which is in the works.
(There will be another giveaway later when that happens.)

For now, though, I thought that this video by Laura Bryant was so good that I wanted to share it.
It's called "A Fiber Artists Guide to Color". The trailer for it is below. It is definitely worth watching the full-length version. So, I bought an extra copy which I'm going to share with one of you who post your comments below. Watch the 2-minute version below and then read on to see what to do.

In this video, Laura shares her axiom in regards to color.
"You don't get WOW by doing the expected."
Good advice, Laura!

There must be other bits of wisdom that people think of as they are working with color.
Do you have any such saying in regards to color? A tidbit of scientific information? A tip?
A rule that you live by in regards to color? A truth? A discovery?

If so, please add it to the comments on this post and I'll pick at random, one of the commenters to receive a copy of the full-length DVD.

IMPORTANT: Check back on January 30th to see who the lucky winner is. If you are the winner, I'll need to get your mailing address from you. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Weaving Letters on an Inkle Band

There are several ways to weave letters in a warp-faced band. The method described here is
relatively easy to understand, simple to set up, and it produces pretty crisp letters. 
It is my favorite so far. It is woven on the horizontal bar threading. 
After reading the information below, you can follow the link at the bottom of the post to see a demonstration video on my YouTube channel. 

The letter chart illustrates how each letter is made up of blocks. Each block represents 3 warp threads. Each letter is 5 blocks (or fifteen threads) tall.
Most letters are 3 blocks (shed rows) wide, although letters with diagonal lines and a few others will take 4-5 blocks (sheds) to complete.

The letters will run horizontally along the woven band as in the photos below.
All comments to follow will refer to this brown and turquoise band.
The 15 turquoise threads which form the letters were warped through the heddles and the 15 brown ones which form the background were open.

Here is the diagram for warping the band pictured: 

 A big advantage of the horizontal bar threading is that many of the letters have a straight upright which is naturally formed in the shed row where the turquoise threads are on the top layer.
When not needed as part of the letter, you must drop the turquoise out of the way (to the bottom layer) and pick up the brown from below. Think of the threads in pairs; consider a brown thread and a turquoise thread which are next to each other as a pair. So, whenever you drop a turquoise thread, you must pick up its corresponding brown thread (the one just to its right) from below. Conversely, when you need to pick up a turquoise from the bottom layer, you must drop its corresponding brown thread.

The letter chart above shows the letters standing upright, however, as you weave the letters, they will be formed on their sides. You may want to print out the letter chart, so that you can turn it on its side and use it as a guide while weaving.  I have turned the graph of the word "COULD" below on its side so that you can read it the way you would be weaving it.

The letter C is formed in 3 sheds by the following steps:
Row 1: Start the letter by weaving a plain row in the shed with turquoise on top. This will form the first upright of the letter C. Pass weft. Change sheds. Beat.  
Row 2: All brown will be on top. Using your fingers or a pickup stick from left to right, keep the border threads on top. Next you will pick a turquoise and drop a brown. Repeat two more times so that you now have 3 turquoise on your top layer. Keep the next 9 brown on your top layer. Next pick up turquoise and drop brown for the next three. Keep the border threads. Hold all of  these up as you pass the weft. Change sheds. Beat.
Row 3: All turquoise will be on top. From left to right: Keep the border threads. Keep the first 6 turquoise. Drop turquoise and pick up brown. Repeat two more times so that you have 3 brown on top. Keep the last 6 turquoise on top. Keep the border threads.  Pass the weft. Change sheds. Beat.

Watch the video here:

If you would like to purchase a copy of this blog post, formatted in a document so that you can easily print it out, you will find it here in my Etsy shop:

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Weaving a Pattern Inspired by Minecraft

Maybe I should start playing video games! This one sounds like fun!
The whole idea got started when a customer asked me to weave a strap based on the artwork from the game, Minecraft. So, I looked it up and here is what the Official Minecraft Wiki had to tell me:

"Minecraft is a sandbox construction game created by Mojang AB founder Markus Persson, and inspired by the Infiniminer, Dwarf Fortress and Dungeon Keeper games. Gameplay involves players interacting with the game world by placing and breaking various types of blocks in a three-dimensional environment. In this environment, players can build creative structures, creations, and artwork on multiplayer servers and singleplayer worlds across multiple game modes."  

AND Check this out!
Skills and activities in the game include dyeing!


Dyeing wool and mobs

A guide to natural and crafting dye.
Players can dye wool by placing white wool and a dye on a crafting table.
IngredientsCrafting recipe

Dyes can be used on sheep to change the color of the wool. After shearing a colored sheep, they will drop the corresponding color of the wool, as well keep the color of their wool when it regenerates. Breeding colored sheep will result the baby sheep's color to be one of the parental sheep's color, or a resulting color of the combination of both parental sheep's color. Note that the color combining follows the same rules that dyes use - red and yellow sheep can produce an orange lamb. However, blue and yellow sheep cannot create a green lamb.[Verify] The unlimited reproduction of colored sheep make dyeing and shearing sheep a far more efficient method to obtain dyed wool than just dyeing a wool directly.
Dye can also be used on tamed wolvesUsing a dye on a tamed wolf will change the color of the wolf's collar (orange by default) to the color of the dye.

The artwork of the game uses blocks of color in a random pattern. (This is the brown version, but there is also a green one.)  Is this something that I could represent in inkle weaving? 
I decided that it would be a fun challenge. Read on for results. 

First, I looked through my yarn stash and pulled out an assortment of browns and one gray.
Here is the pile which I selected.

Then I warped the loom with pairs of threads in a random order as shown in the diagram below.
(The Inkle Weaving Pattern Generator which I used to represent the pattern didn't have enough variations of brown, but you get the idea, right?) 

Then, as I wove, I dropped pairs at random to further vary the pattern. Here's the result.
(You can click the following photos to enlarge them.) 

A closer look at the front. 

 And a closer look at the back.

I then did a green version. Both turned out well! My customer and I are both happy!