Category Archives: Fiber

Weaving Inlay: Painting with Yarn

I’m almost finished with a banner inspired by the teals, oranges, and sage greens of the Huntington Library cactus garden. The warp (10/2) and weft (20/2) are hand dyed cotton and the inlay is 8/2 tencel. This creates some funky selvedges, but I’m very pleased with the look of the tencel inlay against the cotton.  There are clearly some issues with the set since the warp has self-divided into groups of two according to how it was dented.  Probably should have set it closer to overcome that.

Hand-dyed cotton woven with a tencel inlay

I also recently finished a huck lace wall hanging inspired by Taliesin West. The yarns are Berroco Modern Cotton that was ice dyed and some wool that I spun myself.  As a very novice spinner, I thought the irregularities in the spun yarn worked well with the commercial yarn to mimic the chaotic rock shapes of the walls at Taliesin.

Taliesin West (Scottsdale, AZ) in the Rain



Project completion! Woo-hoo!

On Monday, I finished a scarf (8″ x approx 90″) in deflected double weave.  I haven’t washed it yet, but, since it’s 8/2 tencel, I’m not expecting a lot of deflecting to go on.

Both images are while it’s still on the loom.  On the right side, you can see that I’m working with a double selvedge–there was one selvedge for the shale and another, separate selvedge for the silver.  The second selvedge slowed me down a lot, but it was very satisfying to work on.

Weaving Actually

I’ve been studying weaving since 2005.  I often think that I spend more time talking about weaving, collecting yarn, and buying weaving tools than weaving. (Just love all that beautiful wooden esoteric stuff that goes with weaving!)

For the last 3-4 months, I’ve actually been weaving! It’s a miracle. I have a full-time job so weaving time is limited, but I’ve still managed to get some things off the loom.

Inlay practice.
Playing with inlays and inserted threads. Crude, but I hope to develop something more fully realized from this bit of inspiration. Doing this was like painting with thread–“in-the-zone” engaging, but very time consuming.


Some images from a course I took on doing deflected double weave.  Mouse over each image for a caption. Notice that the pre-washing image has much more rigid lines and that the other 3 post-washing images have softer and more rounded lines.


Also, recently completed a shawl using some tencel I dyed last year.  Someone said the browns and greens look like a forest floor so I’ve title this piece “Forest Floor”.  I wanted the leaf-shaped twill to evoke that idea.  Unfortunately, I chose “taupe” for the weft– washing out the greens and browns of the dyed tencel.  My original choice had been “avocado”, but when I put that next to the dyed warp, it seemed way too green.



So, yeah, me!  Finally weaving more than talking about weaving. A very exciting way to start 2017.

A Good Start to a New Project

Saturday morning I went into the weaving studio at Southwest School of Art and got 5-6″ done on my new project, a ruana in hand-dyed and shale 8/2 tercel. I’m doing this in double weave so it will open out the the full width.  All going as planned.  Hopefully.


And I learned a new trick–rather than tying on to the front beam, I used lashings.  Much easier to tension!


I was originally concerned that using shale as the weft would obscure the beauty of the hand-dyed yarn.  I planned to audition lemon grass, gold, and silver grey as possible wefts, but started with the shale.  Wow!  It pops out the color on the hand-dyed yarn.  Didn’t need to try anything else, because shale works so well for this.  I love these little victories.


A Little Bit of Progress

So far this year–on my Baby Wolf at homecoming–I’ve been working on a crammed and spaced scarf and it’s coming along fairly well. I’m in love with the warp colors. I’m using something (huge cone I found or was given) of some thin nubby innocuous brown stuff for the weft. 

And on the loom I’m using at SW School of Art, I’m still threading over 1100 ends for a double-weave ruana project. Will it never end? Sigh. This tencel is from our dye project last semester. We used a confetti/dribble technique to get the mottled look.


How tedious the weaving life can be!

Yesterday, I had to add 800 heddles to the four harnesses I’m working with for my new project—a ruana.  I’m doing the ruana out of 8/2 tencel  dyed in a confetti pattern of tangerine, olive, and turquoise with outer and inner bands of shale.  When I started to thread the loom, I found I was missing 800 of the 1100+ heddles I would need.  (48 epi because it’s doubleweave.)  I then had to learn how to put the heddles on the harnesses.  Very simple, but I did it 1 x 1 to make sure none of them got crossed.  What a lesson in patience!

I’m now ready to start threading for this project—another exercise in tedium: plain weave, 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4, for all 1120 ends.  Woo-hoo.  What does tedium have to teach us?  Is it good for the soul?  I will escape a little by listening to an audiobook (The Twelth Enchantment by David Liss).  Would it be better for me to live with the tedium rather than escape it?  Patience is certainly a good virtue.

With all the tedium, why do I keep weaving?  And why have I been doing it for 10 years?  There must be something enjoyable about endlessly fiddling with yarn in repetitious tasks.  I’m just not sure what it is.