Friday, January 20, 2012


For the last year, or maybe more, I've been a member of TAFA (Textile and Fibre Art List) which was the brain child of Rachel Biel of Rayela Art.  It's been a really great resource for finding the very best textile artists from across the world.
Earlier in 2011 Rachel realised that the site (a very nice Blogger site) was getting rather too big, because there were over 400 artists listed.  So she set about talking to lots of people, and the members, to decide what to do about it.  The upshot is that she organised "Cloud" Funding and raised enough money to pay for a beautiful new site which is truly impressive.
As part of the site, Rachel has asked for a Members Forum so that we can talk to each other which should be a real asset to the group and I for one am looking forward to this development.
Please take a look at the list and have a good exploration of the profiles and products that this world wide community produce.  You'll not only be rewarded by seeing some of the very best textile artists in the world, but you will be amazed at the depth of skill there is in the group.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Colour & Weave

Colour & Weave, a set on Flickr.
Four scarves in Colour & Weave hand woven on a rigid heddle loom (Knitters Loom) in JC Rennie 2/11.3nm wool and cashmere.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Tip of the Month - January

There are some times when the quick warping method just doesn't cut the mustard - when you want a long warp or when you have some complex colour changes, for example.

First make a warp using the normal method on a warping board or warping mill and secure the cross as you usually would, then chain.
As well as your threading/fish hook and rigid heddle, you will need and extra stick.
You will also need to mark the width of your warp on the rigid heddle with a couple of bits of spare thread tied at the bottom of the appropriate slits.
All the loops will be dented in the rigid heddle on a table to prevent the spare stick from falling out of the loops.
Instead of using cross sticks, insert a loop of thread either side of the cross.

Place your index finger through the loom at the end of the warp.
 Ensure you can see the cross by spreading the warp within the loop.
 You should be able to see the the first thread, which may or may not be a single thread with a loop at the end.
Whether it's a singe thread or a double thread, pull it through the first slit and place on the spare stick.
As you get used to this method you will see the colour changes emerge in the correct order ready for denting in the rigid heddle.
You will usually have loops to put over the spare stick.
 But sometimes there will be knotted threads, where the colours were changed, you just have to be careful pulling these through the slits.
Keep going sliding the spare stick through all the loops as you go.
Once all the loops are through the slits they need to be secured to the spare stick.
 Sorry this is a rather blurred image, but hopefully you can see that I've cut a long length of thread and doubled it.
Pass the two ends through the loop at the other end and put the spare stick through it, pulling tight.

Take the two ends and tie them at the opposite end of the stick.  If you've a stick with a hole at either end you can tie this string through the holes to secure the loops on the stick.
 If you don't have holes, ensure that the string is very secure by tying a number of times round the end of the spare stick.
Place the rigid heddle into the loom and the spare stick will need to be tied to the back warp stick.
You will need to loop several small pieces of string evenly across the the back warp stick.

Tie each one to the spare stick, either side of the loops and evenly across the warp.

All you need to do now is wind onto the back beam as usual.
Now you've wound onto the back beam, use your threading hook to transfer one the threads in the slit into it's adjacent hole, ensuring you keep the correct colour sequence.
In this picture the first colour sequence, on the right is one light, one dark, followed by two threads of a completely different colour.  The next sequence is three dark and one light.
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