Saturday, August 15, 2020

Echo and Jin Workshop Part II

Here are more photos to share from the Echo and Jin workshop with Denise Kovnat.  Instead of adding them on to the previous post, I'm making room for them and any others to follow in a new post.  Enjoy!


Would like to say this was a great workshop for both structure and color.  Denise did a great job presenting it on Zoom—so much so that I’m ready to do another!   Diane S.


 Samples from Suzanne W.

 I’m Dharma 16 shaft.  The first one is my sampler washed and ironed for a complete view of the difference patterns woven with various wefts.


This Dharma Echo as a Double Weave, resleyed at 48 epi using two wefts.   I used turquoise and a rusty copper 10/2 yarn which were 2 of the colors in the 4-colored warp. 



Everything I thought I knew about weaving with colours, went right out the window with this structure.  This is different.  I tried several colour combinations before I found the right one.  Once you found the right colour, it is absolutely beautiful.  The class was excellent.  Denise did an excellent job. Eileen L.


After the workshop, I finished hemming and washing this towel from my second set of samples of Dharma 16S 4 Color.   So many of the changes due to both weft colors and treadling we tried were not always what one would expect so it'll be fun to have this available to view as future inspiration, and to show off, in my kitchen.

Great workshop.  Besides learning how Echo works, this workshop is inspiring me to delve deeper into network drafting and tie-up changes.  So much more to explore!  Next on this warp, some place mats, each different but coordinated.

Many thanks to Denise and all involved in providing this workshop,
Barbara C.


 16 shafts. Next project is Dharma for over the fireplace and if there’s warp left perhaps some clothing fabric in one of my own Jin patterns.  Anni B.



Wednesday, August 12, 2020

"Echo and Jin": A Zoom workshop with Denise Kovnat

 In March, COVID closed the door. Not just for Reno Fiber Guild, but for most guilds in this country.  The unthinkable became a reality.  We would no longer be able to meet in person.  We couldn’t hold our monthly meetings with guest speakers.  Our pending workshops had to be cancelled. Our regional conference and Convergence were both cancelled.  But, we are a resilient group and soon Zoom meetings started popping up and discussions about virtual workshops gave us hope that we could continue meeting, sharing and learning in new ways.

In late July and early August, Denise Kovnat held a “virtual” workshop for our guild.  Several other guilds had members who also wanted to join in and so two separate sessions were held over a period of a few weeks.  This coming together with members of other guilds is something that usually only happens at conferences, so we were excited to be meeting old and new friends online.

What follows is the remarkable collection of samples woven using the technique of “echo” threadings and treadlings and also jin (aka turned taqueté) in our workshop with Denise.  In many ways, this was a challenging workshop. Participants chose patterns based on the loom they wanted to use and patterns ranged between 4 and 16 shafts.  Some chose a four color warp and some a two color warp.  The threadings were difficult and without a dobby loom, treadling sequences hundreds of picks long were hard to follow. But, the woven results are fantastic and I think the comments that accompany the samples will give you a good idea about the success of this workshop.

 Here is our show and tell.  Each participant took their own photo. ___________________________________________________________________________________

I had a great time! Learned a lot, have so many resources from the class to continue my learning! This is the Fun House, two color (purple and gold-Lunatic Fringe 10/2); 8 shaft, 2nd treadling with a dusty red (Lily 20/2) weft. I am weaving this as a scarf, hoping I have enough weft! I do have some other red that is very, very close so I think I will be fine. Excited to try the Double weave in Echo.
So glad I did this class!
Shelley N.


 I absolutely loved this workshop.  I have been reading Denise's blog for some time now and was thrilled to discover I could take a class from her.  Due to the pandemic and the stay at home order, I am very grateful for the opportunity to partake in distance learning via Zoom.  Thanks to
the Reno folks who made this possible!  Sue V.


This was my sample of 6 patterns(2 colors on each) of 4 shaft blooming leaf.  I have enough warp left for 2 scarves Still deciding on color for weft.  Thanks Denise.   Sue M. 
This is Fish Tank Double Weave.  I sent front and back pictures.  It had large pockets and with one of the wefts cotton 20/2 and the other Jaggerspun Superfine Merino I got some lovely texture!  It was a fabulous workshop!
Mollie F.

Eight shaft samples from Kathy R. after wet finishing.
 I had a terrific time weaving these samples and trying out all sorts of different color wefts.  Being able to weave at home, made it possible for me to weave with 16 shaft patterns.  I learned lots and have lots more ideas for the future.  Thanks for the workshop, Denise.  Beryl M.
Thanks to the Reno guild for the opportunity to attend the Echo and Jin weaving workshop. Denise Kovnat is a knowledgeable and patient instructor. Her ability to pivot and teach via Zoom is outstanding. I am thrilled that I was able to complete and document all the samples for the class. As a slow weaver, that rarely happens. I am inspired to deepen my understanding and have started planning a project based on my new skills.  Mary P.


Saturday, November 9, 2019

Controlling Creative Chaos Workshop with Kathrin Weber

Reno Fiber Guild members have long been awaiting this exciting workshop on how to warp several painted warps at once.  The workshop has come and gone and what follows  is eye candy for weavers in the form of a myriad of painted warps on the loom and being woven.

Cheri B. said this about the workshop. "The Controlling Creative Chaos workshop was excellent. Kathrin’s enthusiasm as a weaving instructor was contagious. It was helpful to learn her design techniques using a dummy warp and tying on color groups at the loom.  I summoned up some courage and used color as I never had before. This is a rep weave and I will use as a table runner."
Kathy R. wove a bit of repp weave in the class and had the rest of this warp left to weave at home.  She says "I can't wait to change it to my other loom and get going"




Monday, October 7, 2019

Angora Goat Shearing Demonstration in Sierra Valley

Reno Fiber Guild members are always interested in fiber.  Where it comes from, how it is processed and how to obtain local products.  Each year an event is held in the Sierra Valley in Northern California  called the Sierra Valley Art and Ag Trail.  Visitors travel from farm to farm, enjoying the produce and, in this case, the animal demonstrations. 

Several RFG members attended the event this year.  Nancy took the following photos and the shearer is RFG member, Sarah Lillegard.

"Each fall the Sierra County Arts Council hosts the Sierra Valley Art + Ag Trail.  Participants stop at one of the “trailheads” to pick up a map of the participating ranches. At each stop they visit a barn that has a display of the history and work of the ranch along with a variety of artisans and crafts people offering their wares for purchase.  My favorite stop is the Harvey Ranch. They raise sheep and alpacas and always have interesting demonstrations showing the process of turning the fleece to cloth.  Imagine my delight this year when there was a shearing demonstration featuring our very own Sarah Lillegard. Darla Garey-Sage and her daughter Sara were there as well. It is always a popular event. This year’s attendees were especially intrepid given the rain and snow we experienced! The weather is usually beautiful.  I was introduced to the Trail by Pati Falk and highly recommend it. For members who would like more information: "- Nancy Sanger

"I was shearing Anna Harvey’s angora goats as a demonstration for the annual Sierra Valley Art and Ag Trail. Anna Harvey and her family run Harvey Farms and Forestry in Calpine, CA when they have been raising and producing local wool for five generations. This was my first time offering a public shearing demonstration and I was delighted to see friends and Fiber Guild members stop by." - Sarah Lillegard

Sarah is also involved with Fibershed and writes articles about plant and animal fibers that are harvested locally.  Click here for links to articles she has written.

If you are interested in learning more about the Harvey Farm, there is a nice little video to watch here.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Guatemalan Textiles Lecture by Virginia Glenn

Virginia Glenn and her husband Norm are intrepid travelers.  Virginia loves ethnic textiles and shared her recent travels to Guatemala where she and her husband bought many pieces that she shared with the guild at the September meeting. 

Many of the textiles she brought back with her are handwoven huipil with various types of embroideries.  Some were hand embroidered, some had machine embroidery and some had decorations that were hard to tell how they had been attached.

One of the outstanding pieces in Virginia's collection was this cloth shown below.  It is a warp and weft ikat called Jaspe.  Here is a little article about this marvelous type of textile and how it is made.   Virginia intends to have this yardage sewn into a garment for her own use. 

 The photo below is of a huipil that is entirely covered with embroidery.  It  was the most expensive thing Virginia purchased in her Guatemalan travels and is exquisite.  Virginia explains that she does not barter with the indigenous people as she travels.  She feels that the amount of expertise and time that goes into the making of their textiles , is worth whatever they ask.

In the photo below, Virginia stands between two sisters showing off their handwoven huipil. Many huipil have neck openings that are too small for most American sized women.  The Guatemalan women tend to be shorter and smaller in stature.
Below is one of the sashes Virginia has in her collection. This textile is very similar to one shown on the cover of Peter Collingwood's book, The Maker's Hand.
The lecture and accompanying textiles were a delight and the guild was very happy to have had this opportunity to hear the lecture.  Thank you Virginia and Norm for making it possible.

There are a couple of books that Virginia recommended and are readily available in the U.S. from Thrums Books.  A Textile Traveler's Guild to Guatemala and  Traditional Weavers of Guatemala  Both books are by Deborah Chandler who wrote a book well known to weavers - Learning to Weave with Debbie Redding. (Debbie Redding and Deborah Chandler are one in the same person).

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Sage Weavers Highlights

Sage Weavers meetings continue throughout the summer months when the guild has a bit of a break in June, July and August.  Vacations leave our meetings a bit sparse sometimes, but it is still fun to connect when and where we can.

In July and August we had members back from CNCH and MAFA.  And, some had just been busy at their looms, so we had lots to talk about and lots of projects to enjoy.  Because many of you did have vacation plans and weren't able to join us this summer, here are a few highlights.

Diane S. brought in a luxurious scarf woven with 60/2 silk in two different painted skeins.  She said that the colors were of a very similar value, therefore worked well with each other.  Diane's draft used a parallel threading with a nonrepeating treadling sequence.  Sett is 60 epi, and beat at about 56 epi.  The design is striking, the hand is wonderful and Diane showed off her  trademark double weave selvedge.  She thought you might want to try a double weave selvedge on your next piece?  Here is a link.   (Note that you will need four shafts dedicated to the selvedge treatment).
 Rae brought in a couple of towels woven using three shafts (see our previous posts from our last year's 3 shaft study group).  This towel was woven with the light  side up - but Rae found that she like the side with the bright stripes better.  What do you think?  This towel was woven with 5/2 cotton and sett at 16 epi.

 Sue M. had been to a Rosalie Neilsen class on Rep Weave.  She wasn't pleased with her first attempts, so she put on another warp and wove  this stunning table runner.  She said it wasn't an easy weave because the warp was so dense that all the shafts tended to rise every time she tried to open a shed.  Slow weaving - but a stunning piece.  The warp was 3/2 cottons sett at 48 epi.

Lorene S. has been experimenting with thick and thin structure.  She did a couple of infinity scarves, but brought in the ends of the warps to show us what she has been weaving.  They both feature chenille as the thick thread in both warp and weft.  The circle  pattern was featured in Handwoven Nov/Dec 2016.  This same magazine has a lot of information about thick and thin and Diversified Plain Weave which is the guild's structure study for this next year.  Circles are rare in woven design and these are really special.

Anni B. needed to beef up her stash of baby blankets - just in case!  She found Tom Knisely's article in the May/June 2019 issue of Handwoven and wove several blankets on the same warp.  Anni says she rarely follows the pattern or directions without changing something, but this time  she did.  Both of the pieces shown here were woven on a straight draw threading.  The amazing part of the undulating design is  that the floats are tied down with a tabby pick between each pattern pick.  The other design is a waffle weave and can be used as a nice thirsty towel for baby.

Kathy R. has been following along with weaving lessons from the Jane Stafford's Online Guild.  She was intrigued with a recent project that used linen in the warp and silk in the weft.  Kathy used some 40/2  linen that had belonged to her grandmother who was also a weaver.  The linen gives some body to the scarf, but the silk really changes the character of the piece.  The scarf is very supple and its drape is amazing.   In order to get the shear sections next to the firmly woven sections, you need to cram some  threads closely in the reed and spread others out in a loose sett.  The weaving is done pretty much in the same way by lightly beating several picks and then carefully beating wefts  with greater force for the closely woven sections.  A great technique that is well worth learning.

Kathy also belongs to the thick and thin study group.  At a previous Sage Weavers' meeting we discussed the fact that Summer and Winter can be woven with thinner tabby picks and a heavier pattern weft.  Kathy wove two textured silk scarves in Summer and Winter using this technique. Another way to get an undulating pattern without the floats!
Every Sage Weavers has handwoven pieces that amaze.  If you are interested in weaving and live in the Reno area, please check our blog calendar and join us when we meet.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Learn to Weave - 2019

Jann's joy is evident as she tensions her first warp going over the back beam of her loom.
It is always great fun to look at the photos from the annual Learn to Weave program put on by Reno Fiber Guild .  This year's program had four students; three learning how to weave on floor looms and one student learning to weave on her rigid heddle loom.

Of course, before you can beam on a warp, you must wind one. 

Sarah L.

Sara G.
These photos are from a two day session in which everyone learned how to wind a warp, get it beamed on, thread it through the heddles and finally lash it on to the front apron rod.  It's a big chunk to learn, but the Learn to Weave classes come complete with a mentor for each student.  The goal is for everyone to have a warp at the end of those two days so that they can take their loom home and practice weaving.


Virginia M. was the first rigid heddle student in the Learn to Weave program.  She had two mentors to help her put together her loom and then learn how to get a warp on it.

This is Jann's loom with that beautiful sea foam green warp lashed on and ready to weave.

The photo above is Suzanne W. who has been organizing the Learn to Weave program for several years.  From the smile on her face, I think she is enjoying the process every bit as much as the students were. 
Stay tuned for the next post which will show you everyone's sampler.  There will be two more days of classes in August to cement what has been learned.  The goal is for everyone to feel confident enough to do this again on their own.  And, of course, they are always welcome to more mentor help if they run into problems.
Thanks to Karen and Suzanne who took these great photos.