Saturday, December 22, 2007

Back Blogging at Last!!

Oh dear, I have had so many "life" things to deal with, not least a leak from our immersion heater, that I've not had time to do much work. I am supposed to be putting a couple of portfolio's together, one for my apparel textiles and one for interior textiles.

Finally sat down today to work on the Donnington Le Heath picture I posted way back in January!
I have got a number of pictures and sketches in my sketch book and have done a few wrappings, but decided to run the picture through Colour Palette Generator and got some nice colours. The beauty of the CPG is how it narrows down the colours. When looking at colour on your own, there is a tendency to choose too many colours which can makes a weave look too busy.

Color Palette Generator

Enter the URL of an image to get a color palette that matches the image. This is useful for coming up with a website color palette that matches a key image a client wants to work with.

URL of image:

These colours are lovely, I particularly like the coral colour in the vibrant palette.

I think it would be a good idea to isolate a section of the building:

this is the section and it's interesting to see what colours the CPG has generated!

I love the dull palate again, I think it's the greys and pinks, but I also love the coral in the vibrant palette. I can't make my mind up which palette I prefer, so I will have to have a play with my yarns and do some wrappings, the actual yarn will give me a better feel.

So off to do some wrappings and have a think about what kind of weave to use!

See you later, have a lovely Christmas.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Rigid Heddle Loom Week-end

Back in October I tutored a week-end course for Skylark Holidays. The subject was an introduction to using a rigid heddle loom or Knitter Loom.

I had a great time teaching 3 lovely ladies who were really enthusiastic about learning to weave. They didn't want to learn on 4 shaft looms which they perceived to be less portable and more complicated. One had been told by members of her guild that "a rigid heddle loom wasn't a real loom". What sad narrow minded people they are! As I pointed out to her Thailand, Guatamala, Mexico, to name but a few countries, all have traditions of weaving on "back-strap" looms which are little more that rigid heddles with extra sticks and look what fabulous textiles come from them! All I can say is they are "loom" or "shaft" snobs".

Anyway, they had a thoroughly enjoyable time and produced two lovely pieces of weaving, each. Alas, I had planned to photograph them with their work, but we suddenly realised what time it was and they had to rush off to get home in a reasonable time. I have my work to show you, a scarf in Colinetter Prism and a table runner in Colinette Wigwam and Giotto.

For those of you who are new to weaving I thought I would show you how to mend weaving "skips", those annoying little mistakes which occur when one or two warp threads stick together and instead of going under one and over one you end up with a section where you go under one, over three or over one and under three as in the case on the left!

Thread a large eyed needle with your weft yarn and, starting about 8 or so warps threads away from the skips, follow the path of the weft thread with your needle, leaving a tail.

When you get to the skips, follow the correct path, over one and under one, weaving in the skipped warps. Continue past the now woven in skips following the path of the weft thread until you are 8 or so warps past where the skips were, again leave a tail.

When you have mended all the skips wash your piece of weaving and when it's dry cut the tails. Press your work and you won't know where the skips had been!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Natural dyeing in Mexico

Try this lovely slide show to see the beautiful natural dyes used in Mexico. It is truly inspiring and uplifting.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Caroline's help with Colour Palettes

Hi all,

here are the colours that were generated by the URL that Caroline recommended (see the comment after the last post). Sadly no lilac, but good never the less. It is really worth a look at and a play with! I particularly like the fact that it give you a choice as to "dull" or "vibrant". This should suit all preferences.

Color Palette Generator

Enter the URL of an image to get a color palette that matches the image. This is useful for coming up with a website color palette that matches a key image a client wants to work with.

URL of image:

It's funny that the closest to the lilac is in the "dull" palette!

I also tried the "colour hunter"
This gave similar colours, both are worth trying. Thanks Caroline.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Computer Design Again! 2

Well, I've managed to paste a layer of my chosen weave over the simulated painted warp! I am so excited about this and am going to try it with my New York Skyline exercise.

I had to play around with different tools to Linda's, as she used Photo Filter and I used Photoplus, but I got there in the end. It really has got endless possibilities which are really quite exciting.

Having looked at the design on this post, I think I need to lighten the weft, it's nice, but not quite the right colour.

Many thanks to Linda for showing me the idea.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Computer Design Again!

At the beginning of August Linda, from the Online Guild, posted an interesting post about transfering a weave to a stripe sequence design.

It has taken me quite a while to read through the details and work out how to do it, but I have managed the first part, which is creating the stripes using my Photoplus programme.

This is the picture I was given by a student in my class, which I have used as a starting point. We are using it in class to do some Creative Spinning.

Using the colour pick tool, I selected some of the colours and then using the paintbrush tool I painted the colours onto a new page.

What a surprise when I found the lilac colour in the reflected sky at the bottom of the picture!

I followed Linda's instructions on making a new page, 800 x 2400 pixels to represent the size of a scarf. In this I made rectangles which I filled with some of the chosen colours.

This is quite a pleasing task to do. What would be good is to use one of the programmes effects to put texture into the dark green areas and the pale blue areas. I will try that next.

I then repeated the exercise, but this time I made the stripes vertical. Again I would like to make the green and pale blue into texture by using one of the effects.

Finally I repeated this exercise and added a gradient fill.

All I have to do now is to add a layer to this with the weave on it. I have almost got there, but my weave pattern is to pale to be seen clearly enough.

However, I really like this gradient design and could see it in a lovely silk scarf, dip dyed or painted in sections to get the gradients.

I also want to try this exercise with the New York Skyline exercise. I have almost finished weaving the 10 metre length in wool. I have just to order more of the "Rusticana" colour, marled brown, and weave the last 2 metres!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Tapestry in Bulgaria

Here is the next instalment of my retreat in Bulgaria.

As I have said, the retreat is owned by Silvia, a tapestry weaver and acrylic artist from Pazardzhik in Bulgaria.

On the left is one of Silvia's lovely tapestries. She uses only natural yarns in her work which has a very distinctive folk art feel.

Having spent several lunchtimes and evenings spinning my tapestry weft and weaving the tapestry, I eventually finished it on the afternoon before we left. On the right you will see it finished, but still on the loom.

This close up shows the unwoven warp. I wanted to keep the yellow of the sky quite soft, as it was in the design. So rather than spin more weft, I felt the unwoven warp would look much better.

Unfortunately, I'm not so sure about the white in the free areas! I can't quite decide whether to unpick the white, which was finger crocheted with the colours, or leave it as it is!

I have now just got to sew in the end that will work to the front, the warp ends at the bottom and secure the warp ends at the top, so as to keep the free warp straight and even.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Back From Bulgaria

Well we've got back from a very relaxing 2 weeks in Bulgaria, one week on the Black Sea Coast at Balchik, one week at Silvia Haralambova's Artists Retreat near the Rhodope mountains and two days in Sofia.

I've just got to tell you how lovely Silvia's Artists Retreat is and yes I did manage to spin the weft for a small tapestry and weave it too!

The Cottage at the Retreat.

Here is the equipment and materials I took, in my suitcase, to work with . I took white, black, red, yellow and blue fleece, my carders, a 25g Michael Williams top whorl spindle and my Andean Plying tool. Oh and some yellow 3ply tapestry warp!

This is the design I work on before I left. It is taken from a lovely print by Guiliana Lazzerini. I planned to weave a much wider piece, but realised that it would be too ambitious for the week I had, so decided to make it narrower and so folded back the right hand side.

The Studio is across the garden from the cottage and barbaque area. It was lovely and cool inside the building, a real retreat from the hot sun.

It was equipped with a frame loom, artists easel, sink, workbench, chairs, radio/CD/ tape player and a whole load of tapes.

I spent the first few days, usually just before and after lunch when it was very hot or in the evenings when it was much cooller, blending the coloured fibres into the colours to match my design.

You can see a few of the yarns I blended and spun using Michael Williams 25g spindle. I am sure you must think I go on too much about the spindle, but it's a real work horse.

The frame loom was warped with the yellow 3ply tapestry warp and here is the work in progress. You can see that I had planned to make the work wider, but changed my mind when I realised I would be push for time to finish as I was spinning all my weft yarn.

I will post more about the retreat and the tapestry soon.
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