Sunday, May 28, 2017

A Good Trick from My Upcoming Book

When my friend, Karma, asked me if I used this trick, I was blown away by it's cleverness and wondered why I hadn't thought of it myself. I thought everyone should know, so I'm sharing. It's one of the tips which will be included in the inkle design book I'm working on. 
I hope to have it finished late this summer.

By using a comb with long, straight teeth, you can preview a design without even having to set up a loom. Simply weave under and over the teeth in the comb. Even numbered teeth will represent one shed, and odd numbered teeth, the other. 

After weaving the preview on the comb at left, I decided to omit the motif in the center. 
The actual woven strap is shown at right. 

In this photo, with the woven comb laid on top of the woven strap, you can see how well the woven comb mimics the woven strap design.

The spacing on this comb is a bit wider, so the pattern is stretched out a bit from what the actual woven design is. 

I searched for the perfect comb with long and strong teeth. The comb used here is actually a vintage angelfood cake cutter. It's a little bit bigger than needed. 

My search finally led me to this hair pick, or Afro pick. I bought a large quantity to get a good price.
So, now they are for sale here in my Etsy shop: 

Monday, May 8, 2017

New Mexico Fiber Crawl

New Mexico offers a wealthy textile tradition that is steeped in its diverse culture and enriched by its extensive history. To honor, promote and showcase the creative work produced by fiber artists across New Mexico the EspaƱola Fiber Arts Center (EVFAC) is launching its first annual
New Mexico Fiber Crawl, taking place May 13-14, over Mother’s Day weekend,
and beginning with Friday night Kick-off Parties on May 12.

This free event takes you on a tour of cultural centers, stores, museums, farms and the studios of local Fiber Artists from Albuquerque and the East Mountains in the south to Taos in the north.

I'm very excited that my home studio will be one of the stops on the tour!!!  I'll be open on Saturday and Sunday from 10AM to 5PM.   Mine will be one of two studios in our small town of Edgewood. Robin Pascal will also be on the tour. 

During the two-day event participants will be given a free Fiber Crawl Passport and a map with a list of artists and sites along the trail. There are four regions that cluster activities within geographical areas, allowing participants to “tour the Crawl and join in the community events while sight-see our beautiful Northern New Mexico along the way” April Jouse, EVFAC Director of Operations suggests.

I've invited some of my friends to share in the fun at my place.
Guest artists will include the following:

Judy Chapman will provide demonstrations on the art of Needle Felting. Judy has been felting for about 12 years and is an award winning Needle Felt Artist.( Saturday Only)

Liz Clow produces individually designed articles of clothing. There are up-cycled sweaters felted into vests, bags, and hand warmers. Hoodies, underwear, and Art T-shirts are stamped and painted with landscapes and fun words. There will be some newer styles and seconds at wholesale prices for this show only.                                                    LIz will be here both days. 

Becky Arnold spins yarn and sun dyes wool and silk fibers. Becky will be here (Saturday only) with her spinning wheel demonstration. 

Polly Freyman became inspired through her work at a historic farm where she volunteered.                       Fascinated by different qualities and textures of wool, she quickly acquired a used loom and sheep                           of seven different breeds. She has experimented with weaving, wet felting and creating wool collages.                    She enjoys sharing the versatility of this natural fiber.  Polly will be here both days. 

For more information visit the NM Fiber Crawl website at:

Friday, March 24, 2017

Should You Wet Finish Your Woven Band?

At first, when I started weaving, it never occurred to me that I should do anything to finish my bands once they were off the loom. They looked finished to me. Back then, I had no experienced weaver to tell me what to do and it was not mentioned in the books. Now, I almost always wet finish them.
This term may mean different things to different weavers. For me, it means putting them in a small bucket of water overnight. 

             On the loom                                                             After wet finishing

A term long-used in the weaving business is fulling, most often used when referring to woolen cloth. By wet finishing, the fibers are encouraged to shrink up and close the gaps between individual threads, making the fabric fuller.  If you look closely at the two photos above  you will see that the band has shrunken up a bit in the water, and the pickup pattern looks nicer because of it. The individual threads are not so much seen as individuals now, but are closer together, giving a more graceful line to the pattern.  Edit: the above band is woven from Omega Sinfonia cotton yarn. 

Another thing that soaking or washing does is allows the colors to bleed if they are going to. I have often been surprised by how much color comes out of the yarn into the water. To keep this color from being absorbed back into the band, I use the miraculous Shout ColorCatcher sheets. I buy them in the laundry section of the local supermarket and they do exactly as their name implies. Most of the time I find that half of a sheet works fine for one woven band. If a lot of color is bleeding out, I change the water a few times but leave the sheet in. I've often wondered how I could use these interesting dyed sheets in some way. Please let me know if you have ideas!!

Monday, March 13, 2017

A New Project- Santa Fe Style

Once upon a time I decided that I was going to start trading in my clothes one piece at a time for handmade. Well, that will probably never happen. I'm not really a fashionista, but I do sort of have a style. I love handmade clothes, ethnic designs, colorful embroidery, lace, Southwest style vests and tiered skirts, cowboy boots, Native American jewelry and woven shoes. And remember a few posts back when I was sporting all of those "tribal" patterns?

Thrift store shopping has been my thing for decades, but it's even more fun than ever here. The local thrift shops have incredibly great deals and I have found myself drawn more and more into hunting for those unique clothes. It's hard to resist a good deal even if it doesn't exactly fit me.

Guatemalan Huipil with exquisite embroidered design featuring birds

So, a couple of weeks ago, I discovered the world of online clothing sales for the everyday folks who just happen to love clothes. While there are a few sites, I chose to open shop on Poshmark and called it Santa Fe Style. (Click here to see it.) That sort of encompasses the handmade, ethnic and Southwestern fashion that is "my style".  It's been kinda fun learning a new social/shopping site and how it works.

 I'm a sucker for a good Southwest Vest! This one by Rebecca Stark has fantastic silver concho buttons!

Sedona Clothing Company vest made in Sedona, AZ is an interesting tapestry weave with some chenille. 

Within the first couple of days, I had over 200 followers. Where did they come from? Why did they follow me? Well, that's apparently what you do on Poshmark. Follow and share each others' stuff. The more the merrier. Established sellers have tens of thousands of followers!

Within the first hour I had listed 3 items and got my first sale. Whoa! So now it's a couple of weeks down the road and I've made 8 sales. This could work, I'm thinking. In my spare time.

I love this wool coat with handwoven panels from ChimayĆ³, NM. It's just a bit snug on me. From the 1970's, I think.

Although I'd love to model all of the stuff and have someone else take photos, this isn't always  practical. (And remember that it didn't all fit anyway.) So, I'm trying to master the art of "the flat lay" (Or putting stuff on the floor, photographing it and having it look cool). I've been taking photos of my weaving to sell online for years, but clothing is different.

This handwoven jacket has really excellent details like hand-braided trim and hand-knotted buttons. 

I also like the pretty and feminine. Give me flowers, lace and embroidery any day!

It also allows me to sell things that I have had in my closet for a while and just haven't worn.

A cotton knit sleeveless sweater from Peru. 

It seems funny to me, a fiber person, that others actually list clothing for sale without telling you what the fiber content is! Imagine!

I'm even cutting loose some of my sweet jewelry that I just don't wear anymore.

If you should decide to check out Poshmark for yourself, please use the code GMYSW when you sign up and you and I will both get savings. It's a $5 off your first order deal for you!
Or drop me an email at: