Saturday, March 2, 2019

Weaving with Unusual Wefts

 The program theme this year has been "Off the Beaten Path".  One of our members suggested a program about weaving with unusual weft materials  - which sounded pretty much like just plain fun!  People brought a variety of wefts and tried to think of the outrageous as well as novelty yarns, etc.  Choices ranged from zipper yardage, corn husks, unspun wool fiber, clipped twigs, narrow strips of cloth from antique kimono linings, stainless steel yarns,  paper yarn. plastic bags and much more.


After this program was completed, I think that most of us will have an eye out for usual things to try in our woven pieces - especially wall hangings and art pieces. 
Cheri weaving with a plastic bag strip

Beryl weaving with paper yarn

Kay weaving with a fancy yarn picked up at Tuesday Morning.  Look at the texture here!

Gloria and Diane.  Gloria is weaving with a yarn made from bias strips of cloth

Gloria and Kay discussing an unusual piece of yarn

Lorene and Nathalie  with some bobble yarn at Nathalie's table loom.

A little bit of everything (sometimes referred to as pig's breakfast).

Red branch clippings woven alternately with a narrow silk fabric strip in a three shaft twill

Samples brought by Sue from her class with Giovanna Imperia at CNCH several years ago.

Sue at the loom.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

How We Weight Our Floating Selvedges

There is more than one way to weight a floating selvedge and weavers are a creative group, so have found many solutions.  At Sage Weavers, we discussed some of our methods and decided to share them with the rest of the guild.

Most of the guild members that sent in photos like to wind their floating selvedges with the rest of the warp. They beam the threads on, but don’t thread them through a heddle. Here the similarity ends as they use a variety systems to weight the threads as the warp advances.

Gayle uses a box with a collection of stones in different sizes,  little baskets to hold the stones and a carabineer that forms a loop around the selvedges and supports the basket. More tension - bigger rocks! Her husband says the patent is pending on this system!

Rae uses a similar system with an S hook and a couple of clamps for weight. 
More tension - more clamps!

Nancy S. has elegant wood weights, turned by her husband on his lathe. Washers are added or subtracted according to how much weight she needs. Another hook on the bottom would accommodate additional weights. You can use these weights for selvedges that have been beamed with the warp (hook just goes over the selvedge thread) or if you add the floating selvedges after the warp is beamed, the yarn can be wrapped around the body of the weight and probably anchored by using a half hitch to keep the yarn from unwinding
Karen found the same type of solution as Nancy has in an Etsy Shop (Carr Park Artisans   Her solution to a free floating selvedge is in the photo below with the selvedge thread wound around the weight.

Beryl and Igor add their floating selvedges after the rest of the warp is beamed on.

Beryl uses hardware store clamps (having learned this trick at the CNCH in Sacramento several years ago). The yarn is wrapped around the two arms of the clamp in a figure 8. The clamp then pinches the yarn to keep it from unwinding. She also uses this system for supplementary warp ends that don’t take up at the same rate as the rest of the warp. The photo on the left is the system for a floating selvedge and the one on the right is for supplementary warp threads.

Igor changes his floating selvedge to match the color of his weft and so makes changes more frequently if he is weaving a series of items and using a different weft color with each item. Naturally, his selvedge threads are added after the warp is beamed.

Clamps or weights also make a good solution to mending broken warp threads. The new warp thread is threaded through the heddle, pinned into the correct warp location and then the clamp hangs off the back of the loom until you can add back in the broken thread or until the piece is completely woven.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

An "Off the Beaten Path" Christmas Party 2018


 The Reno Fiber Guild Christmas Parties often seems to be a magnet for a snow storm, and this year was no exception.  The day started with some light flurries and as the party time neared, it turned into heavy snow in Reno and surrounding communities.  As a result, we probably had fewer party goers than we usually do.  But - there were some hardy souls who didn't let a little bit of snow deter them from the wonderful potluck and the yearly tradition of the raffle basket.

This year's party was held at Lorene's home.  She also stores all the guild's looms and equipment.   Lorene took us on a tour to see everything that is available for checkout and there were a few surprises at just how many tools we have at our disposal. 

Pre-potluck discussions among like minded members.

The raffle basket theme (and we always have a theme) was "Off the Beaten Path"  (This theme was chosen because our 2018-2019 programs are all about embracing something different in our fiber journey.)  Each member brings a gift for the basket, interpreting the theme in any way they like.

Handmade raffle tickets because the ticket person got snowed in!

The big winner of the raffle basket  was Cheri B. and what  bounty she received.  Gifts covered everything from exciting novelty yarns, fiber books, pottery, an amaryllis bulb to a handknit lace shawl to die for.  Usually there is a second raffle for the gift that the winner brought and Kathy T. won Cheri's handmade face cloth.

The Reno Guild wishes everyone a fabulous
 Holiday Season and a prosperous New Year!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Betty Vera Workshop - Weaving Beautifully with Neutrals

Members of the Reno Fiber Guild have been eagerly anticipating a workshop with Betty Vera on weaving with neutral colors.  The workshop had been planned for nearly a year and the three day weaving extravaganza in November came and went all too soon. 
There were 16 students in the class, each with a loom they had warped according to Betty's instructions.  Each person used a different threading which was capable of being interpreted in 6 different ways with treadling and color variations.

Weavers started by weaving on their own warped loom, then rotated to another loom for a grand "round robin".    The goal was to weave seventeen samples for each of 6 treadling sequences on every loom.  Some looms got all the samples woven, and some looms turned out to be very labor intensive and didn't produce as many different samples.  The color surprises were everywhere and from time to time, Betty did a grand tour and talked about what was happening on each loom.

A five color gradation  in the warp sets off a variety of overshot patterns.  This warp was one of the most spectacularly successful in the workshop

Nathalie weaving a lace sample from one of Else Regensteiner's books.

 In the photo to the right, Betty discusses the progress of a sample with Kathy.  Betty encouraged weavers to interpret the weft color selections she had outlined with their own eye and  gut feelings.  Weavers were often asked to pick a weft color that they would never ordinarily use.

Betty put together this mixing of neutral yarns with an explanation about how they could change the appearance of the woven cloth.  Very good advice and ideas for future projects.

Summer and Winter samples gave amazing results with a warp using black and four different shades of gray.

 The photo to the right and the one below show more repeats of the lovely Maltese Cross overshot pattern threading with different treadling sequences and different colors.

Suzanne is engrossed weaving an 8 shaft intermittent twill from G. H. Oelsner

Four shaft crackle (with tabby) taken from Mastering Weave Structures by Alderman

Darla is deep in concentration as she weaves samples on an unfamiliar loom.

This is one of the intermittent twill samples.  The warp was a gradation of 6 cold grays.

Gloria and Kathy share the good light coming in through the window at the Wolf Run Golf Course Community room where the workshop was held. 

Cheri and Shelley cutting up samples to share

The workshop ended with the woven cloth being cut into samples which were inserted into a sample binder.  All the information for all of the  warps was included in each binder so that workshop participants had a record of what was woven on every loom.

Now, as we look at the fading landscape in late fall, our eyes are drawn to all those lovely grays and browns.  Color we used to shun are now eagerly embraced for future weaving projects.  Thank you, Betty, for changing the way we look at and use neutrals!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Made of This

Reno Fiber Guild was excited to have Sarah Lillegard as the featured speaker at our October meeting.  Sarah has just finished her MFA at Sierra Nevada College and is testing the waters in learning all she can about wool fibers.  True to her nature, she is plunging in at the source - animal husbandry, shearing animals, skirting fleeces and spinning the fibers.  
Because, as a guild,  we are traveling "off the beaten path" this year, Sarah introduced us to the Fibershed website and blog.  Farmers and individuals  with small businesses in growing fibers and processing them exist very close to us.  It makes sense that we should seek out and support these fiber sources when we plan our fiber creations.
We enjoyed the photos that went along with Sarah's talk including some of her in full swing as a sheep shearer.  She explained that women are joining the ranks of sheep shearers in great numbers and that many people who have small flocks are doing the job themselves because finding a shearer who will only do a few animals is nearly impossible.  With that in mind, Sara spent the summer traveling to some of these small flocks and shearing their sheep.  Should you need a sheep shearer - please visit her business website, High Desert Shearing.
We very much enjoyed her lecture and value her expertise and membership in the guild.


Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Artists of Nevada Studio Tours - July 9th, 2018

Three Reno Fiber Guild members are opening their studios on July 8th for a Tour put on by HGA.   Visit HGA's website for complete information

I understand the tour bus will first stop at Kate Hanlon's studio.  She is a silk painter and has a great studio where she creates her "one of a kind" scarves and shawls. This should be a fabulous stop  to look at Kate's workspace and learn about her processes.

The next stop is at Toni Lowden's studio.

Toni's tapestry works - in progress and completed will be on display.  Also, her AVL will be in use with an interesting weaving draft we dubbed feathers.  Here is a link to the wif file.  Reno Fiber Guild will be presenting  information about their current study group using drafts from the Weaver's Draft Book and Clothier's Assistant. See the blog page for links and more information.

The final stop on the tour is at Jill Altmann's gorgeous studio. 

Jill dyes, weaves and sews her own fashions and I know this will be an inspirational stop.  Click here for a preview to the tour to her studio

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Fifth Season of the Learn to Weave Program

Each spring for the past five years, the guild has put together a "Learn to Weave" class for beginning weavers - or for people who have woven before but want to refresh their knowledge and skills.

For the past several years, the guild team has been headed by Suzanne.  Each year she asks for volunteer mentors and even though there were only four students this year, there were a total of five mentors in the class.  This makes the experience so much richer for the students with an experienced person right by their side. 

We want to share some photo from this year's class, taken by Pati F. You are sure to see the joy on our students faces.  This year students were Barbara, Jennifer, Sheila and Nathalie.

We wish them continued weaving success and hope that it will be an source of joy to them for many more years.