Spinning cotton for weaving

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I’m spinning cotton on my Bosworth Charkha spinning wheel for the first time since I moved to Santa Fe almost a year ago. I plan to weave with the singles yarn for my next floor loom project. The yarn has a grist roughly similar to 20/2 cotton.

Pablo loves hanging out with me when I spin yarn. He especially loves charkha spinning, probably because I am sitting on the ground, but maybe also because the high drive ratio of the spinning wheel (80:1) is interesting to him.

Watch a video of me spinning on the charkha on my Facebook page.

The huck lace poncho is finished

I spent much of this week weaving the remainder of LynnAnnRose’s huck lace poncho and working on the finishing details like knotting the fringe and lacing the two sides together. LynnAnnRose wove about one-quarter of the two shawl halves, excellent work for a brand new weaver! As always, Pablo and Tiger helped out and Sasha kept me company. I love how the poncho turned out, and so does LynnAnnRose. It’s lacy and drapes well, with a subtle hint of pink. I like how the wet finishing created a seersucker effect on the plain weave areas between the huck lace diamond rows. I embroidered the two halves together with antique stitch, also known as baseball stitch. The poncho has a boat neck opening that I strengthened in the back with grosgrain ribbon across the inside of the poncho; I also turned down the front of the neck opening for comfort.

I kept the threading on the loom. I have plans to tie on another warp to make an tropical seaside-themed shawl using a complex treadling sequence.

My 24-shaft loom arrives early

I wasn’t expecting my new 24-shaft AVL Workshop Dobby Loom to be finished until June. However, it arrived last week. This week, we are assembling it. I can’t wait to start weaving on it. It has an AVL Compu-Dobby computer interface that makes long, artistic pieces really easy to weave. We still have to figure out the computer hookup. I will be selling pieces woven on this loom in my Etsy store.

A Saturday on the High Road to Taos

For the New Mexico Fiber Crawl, which included sites in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Española, Los Alamos, Taos, and small villages like Chimayó and Dixon in between, we chose to spend our time traveling to Taos. Pictured are our favorite sites on the crawl.

The first set of photos are from Centinela Traditional Fiber Arts in Chimayó. LynnAnnRose is standing with master weaver Irving Trujillo. Lisa Trujillo, also a well-known northern New Mexico weaver, is weaving a fine wool tapestry on an antique family rug loom. Irving is also a master dyer and dyes wool with natural dyes like indigo, madder and cochineal. Some of the tapestries, like the “Spirit of the Rio Grande” tapestry of the woman’s face with moon and stars, were woven by other weavers.

I also loved Metier Hand-weaving studio and gallery in Dixon. We drove home from Taos through Dixon (again) so I could buy this colorful wet felted art piece. I do wet felting, but nothing this skilled.

My Mermaid Scarf was included in a juried exhibit this past weekend

We attended the first ever New Mexico Fiber Crawl kick off party and exhibition opening in Santa Fe hosted by Las Tejedoras Fiber Arts Guild at El Museo de Cultural. I am one of 29 artists whose works are included in the juried exhibition. New Mexico is known for tapestry and rug weaving due to the strong Navajo (Diné) and Hispanic influence, so a lot of the other pieces are tapestries. My personal favorite from another artists is the double weave moon calendar; I like mixing art and science.

An email from my fiber guild about the fiber crawl:

“The New Mexico Fiber Crawl will take place on Saturday and Sunday, May 13 and 14 at local fiber artists’ studios, galleries, cultural centers, stores, farms, and museums in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Española, and Taos. It’s a great way to share our knowledge, talents and enthusiasm, and to celebrate and showcase the wide variety of fiber arts in New Mexico.

“There are 21 sites in the Santa Fe and Eldorado area. We hope you do the Fiber Crawl and visit all or some of the participating sites. Las Tejedoras Fiber Arts Guild will be at El Museo Cultural in the Railyard District.

“To kick off the event, Las Tejedoras will host an Opening Party from 5:30-7:30pm on Friday, May 12 at El Museo Cultural. The opening will feature the Invitational and Juried Exhibit with works by distinguished fiber artists across New Mexico.”

I finished knitting a pair of hand dyed socks

I finished knitting a pair of socks. I kettle dyed the sock yarn with Dharma magenta acid dye before I moved to Santa Fe. LynnAnnRose is knitting the pastel rainbow Mini Mochi scarf. I already have another sock knitting project ready to go: a neon violet sock yarn.

A new spinning project

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This is the first yarn I’ve spun since I moved to Santa Fe last year. I’m spinning a custom two-ply merino and silk yarn for LynnAnnRose. Of course Pablo is helping.

I decided to start with the solid-colored merino top in pale aqua for the first singles. I’m aiming for a fingering weight yarn; LynnAnnRose doesn’t know yet whether she will use the yarn for weaving something to wear or knitting a lace shawl. Two-ply yarn is ideal for both weaving and lace knitting: When woven, two-ply yarn lies flat, whereas three-ply yarn tends to slip around more because of the rounded shape of the yarn in cross section. Lace knitters also prefer two-ply yarn because when knitted, the yarn opens up the holes in the lace, whereas yarn with multiple plies tends to fill in holes.

The gradient-dyed braid is an 80% merino/20% silk top from Spindipity in the colorway “Aqua.”

Weaving embroidered, brocaded huipil fabric

This warp for a fuchsia huipil-style blouse has been on my eight shaft table loom for too long. I started weaving it months before I moved last year. I’m finally focused on finishing it. I am embroidering 3/2 mercerized cotton through huck lace weft floats on the loom. The fabric itself is 20/2 mercerized cotton. I wove a brocade and soumak border at the beginning. I will weave an identical brocade strip at the end. The fabric will become the two sides of the blouse, with the brocade along the bottom of the front of the blouse. I’ll weave tablet-woven inkle trim to decorate the neckline with a compatible diamond pattern. Pablo likes to keep me company when I weave on the table loom, which is actually on casters. I sit on a mat on the floor to weave.

Another finished fiber arts project

I finished twisting the fringe on my handwoven hand-dyed, wool-combed, handspun fuchsia rainbow shawl. It has a beautiful drape to it.The fabric is also soft and has a nice stretch. LynnAnnRose and I are sharing it. A lot of work spread out over more than two years went into this shawl, even though the rigid heddle plain weave structure is simple.

A fun & fibery weekend

Friday, LynnAnnRose and I attended the Albuquerque, New Mexico Las Arañas Spinners & Weavers Guild‘s annual Spider’s Market; I bought a cute tie-dyed tank top. I really need to get my dyeing studio re-established in Santa Fe!!!

LynnAnnRose finished her first inkle loom project, the flowery inkle strap for a Log Cabin-patterned tote bag. I helped her out by finishing the last bit of weaving to squeeze out a few more inches in length from the warp, and then I sewed the ends, cut the band off the loom, wet finished it in a hot soap and washing soda solution, and hung it up to dry.

I finished twisting the fringe on my rigid heddle-woven handspun merino wool rainbow shawl. Then I washed it, ironed it, and let it dry. I just need to trim the ends. Photos of the finished shawl coming soon.

LynnAnnRose also spent some time weaving her white huck lace poncho on the eight shaft floor loom.She’s doing a great job for a beginning weaver.

My Mermaid Scarf is back from a Las Tejedoras Fiber Arts Guild public library exhibit during the month of February.