Saturday, December 31, 2011

Taking note

I was just told by someone whom I admire and respect to take note of how far my weaving has progressed this year, and to be proud.  So I decided to take a look, and overcome my hesitancy to show off by inviting you to look with me.  The image above was a year ago, minus one week.  I had already woven a few plainweave pieces on the backstrap, but I was just beginning the Andean pebble weave journey, guided by Laverne and the community of backstrap weavers in Ravelry.
 From this basic first pattern I struggled my way uphill. Instructive and mind-blowing information from Abby Franquemont, Ed Franquemont and Christine Franquemont added to my determination to learn the patterns and technique. I remember this next one was a challenge, with many mistakes made and corrected. It is still waiting to be finished as a little bag.
 Meanwhile, I began experimenting with more textured handspun, combining handspun yarns with other materials for scarves, using handspun as warp to highlight its features.
 My warping set-up was outdoors at this point, stakes driven into the ground. (I have since acquired warping pegs and c-clamps, so I can warp in my kitchen more easily.)
 I like looking at this one because I don't own it anymore - it was bought by a friend!
 While weaving the above, I was simultaneously working on a longer pebble weave piece, in jakaku sisan pattern. This became a new backstrap when finished.
 In addition to the Andean and handspun art yarn themes, I also made a study of Bedouin styles and techniques, with the help of Joy Totah Hilden's book and a weaver I met here in Doha.
 Shajarah above, and al'ouerjan below, two typical Bedouin design elements.
 More art, a scarf made with thorhammer's handspun (to whom I owe thanks for a Versatile Blogger Award nomination - thank you Kat!), with kimono silk fabric weft.
 Attempting to use handspun for pebble weave was another big challenge, which was unsuccessful at first, but worked out better after going away for the summer and focusing my mind and energies.
 I may be most proud of this piece, since it's all handspun yarn I spun on traditional spindles from Peru and Bolivia, mostly during the Tour de Fleece in July. I learned volumes about how to spin for weaving from the good and bad aspects of this weaving.
 And more art, this time putting fine crochet cotton through a rigid heddle to get more of a regular-loom effect.
 And a lagging pebble weave strip in mayo q'enko, that took me forever to finish.
 More experiments with textured handspun, in scarf form.
 And the initial ikat attempt, which turned out like this.
 Finally, a wide Bedouin-inspired piece, which pleases me to no end. It felt like quite an accomplishment, wrangling 368 ends and having it work!
 This led to the ouerjan warping weekend, which resulted in three simultaneous warps going on.
 The large piece has been sewn together with the narrow strip below to make a bag, my final finished piece of 2011. I have taken note of this incredible path of weaving, and I am proud. And very, very grateful, as I've mentioned before.  Happy New Year to all, and thank you.

8 comments:

Lynn said...

A fantastic weaving journey! I hope the new year brings even more pleasures in weaving.

Tracy Hudson said...

Thank you, Lynn! I wish you the same, and hope we can share the adventure.

Laura Mayotte said...

What an amazing year of work, and what a stunning end-of-year piece in that bag! It is a joy to see your journey, and I am excitedly anticipating 2012!

Anonymous said...

So glad I stopped by today! I'm almost ready to get back to some weaving--backstrap, inkle, card, rigid heddle--after some decades absence and you post is wonderful inspiration!

Obscure/on Ravelry

Tracy Hudson said...

Excellent - I hope you will weave and share with us on Ravelry. The backstrap group is so lively and encouraging.

Lynn Wigell said...

What an inspiring journey! I've loved watching it unfold and can't wait to see where it takes you next.

Kat Sherwin said...

What an amazing collection of pieces! You really have made immense progress, and I for one appreciate your sharing the journey with us :) (it's also an honour to have my yarn in one of those pieces!)

Anonymous said...

thanks for share.