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A video of me weaving freeform overshot pick up

My eBook “The Mermaid Scarf & The Freeform Overshot Technique “ explains this flexible weave structure and how to design your own patterns and weave patterns designed by others in detail.

Wet finishing different yarns

I washed my rainbow chenille wrap in lukewarm water because hand dyed rayon chenille needs delicate treatment. I’m washing the mercerized cotton fringe yarn in very hot water to preshrink it, remove cotton waxes, and to make the yarn bloom. Mixing different kinds of yarns requires planning for the yarns’ different characteristics.

I finished weaving my rainbow chenille wrap

I finished hemstitching my rainbow chenille wrap and I took it off the loom. Yay!!! Because I couldn’t make the wrap longer than the original hand dyed skein, I plan to add twisted mercerized cotton fringe in the colors shown: royal purple on the violet end, and magenta on the red end.

It took me so long to finish a simple plain weave project because I’ve been having problems with a knee issue with which I was born that has flared up lately. I have osteoarthritis and bone edema in my knee joints. I haven been able to sit on a stool or chair and bend at my waist to work on *any* loom. A cortisone shot in both knees and physical therapy is helping. It’s been frustrating not to be able to weave. I’ve been in a lot of physical pain.

To finish the hemstitching, I have turned the loom vertical, like a tapestry loom. I’m sitting on the low cement step onto my patio to hemstitch while sitting upright.

Chenille weaving tips

Two tips on weaving chenille on a rigid heddle loom, especially warp-emphasis projects:

1. Don’t use the heddle to beat the cloth. The Blazing Shuttles bulky chenille barely fits through the holes on a 12-dent heddle (I’m weaving a warp-emphasis wrap to show off the hand dyed warp). I’ve had two warp ends threaded in holes start shredding. The first time, I cut the fraying warp end and wove in a new warp end (pictured). The second time I decided not to cut the warp yarn. I decided to greatly lessen the abrasion caused by the heddle by using a horse comb to beat the weft into place like tapestry, but gently. I wove in a short piece of yellow *after* I wove past the shredded point to conceal the bare warp spot.

2. Moving the heddle up and down causes some stress on the warp, too, so I’m also advancing the warp frequently to avoid too much stress on warp sections.

Chenille threaded in slots is not abraded or subjected to too much tension.

I can’t pass up hand dyed yarn in my colors!

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Beautifully hand dyed chenille from Mary Gavan Yarns in hues of purple, fuchsia and coral. Very few commercial dyers are hand dyeing chenille because it’s so drapey and slinky to handle during the dyeing process. It’s similar in grist to WEBS chenille, much much finer than Blazing Shuttles bulky chenille. I went to weaver and knitting designer Miriam’s Well yarn store here in Santa Fe and Mary Gavan was out front with a trunk show!

The ironic thing is, as we talked, we discovered that we both left northern Arizona three years ago, me to Santa Fe from Flagstaff and Mary Gavan from Sedona to Tucson, because of the not-so-liberal politics. I’ve always loved Mary Gavan’s yarns. I used to buy her skeins in Sedona.

Warp emphasis chenille

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Warp-emphasis plain weave Rainbow Wrap Blazing Shuttles rainbow bulky chenille sett at 12 epi, a sett usually used for twill. The weft is WEBS chenille, which is a much finer yarn. I’m not done with rainbows yet ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

Weaving is fun

I’m known for complex designs, especially freeform overshot. Sometimes, though, I just want to enjoy the process of weaving. This is especially the case when I’m working with very colorful hand painted warps. The 12 epi is working out well with my thinner weft for this chenille wrap. I’m considering adding in some random brocade diamond twill designs. I also have ideas for cool added fringe, since the chenille warp is too short to make fringe.

This is why I live in Santa Fe

LynnAnnRose and I went to the International Folk Art Market yesterday. The cute basket is from the booth pictured, maker Thembi Dlamini, Swaziland, Tintsaba Master Sisal Weavers. The glass seed bead bracelets are from the other pictured booth, Sanaipei Lolkinyiei, Kenya, Maji Moto Maasai Women’s Project. LynnAnnRose bought an adorable hot pink handwoven hat from Madagascar with a very large brim; I need to make a chin tie for it.

Look up the market using my search box to see many more photographs from prior markets and the artists in the international parade in downtown Santa Fe that precedes each market.

It’s time to start threading heddles

I finished threading the reed for my first 16-shaft pattern. It’s time for me turn the loom around to thread the heddles. I recently purchased the Laurel Burch hummingbird fabric. My colors, obviously. I plan to sew a long tunic.

I’m back!

I’m back! I’m warping my 16-shaft project, transferring the cross to the lease sticks behind the reed. I’m dividing the 400-end warp into three equal sections and the 200-end warp into two sections in between. The warp yarn is 5/2 and the sett is 24 epi, which is the denser end for a 5/2 twill design (two ends per slot in a 12-dent reed). I will experiment with both 5/2 and 10/2 weft yarns before making a weft yarn decision.

I will return to the freeform overshot diamond twill pattern. I promise.

TW: transphobia, homophobia, racism, disability issues

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It’s been a difficult couple of months for me. I live with complex PTSD. Experiencing the federal civil rights rollbacks for LGBTI people, especially the anti-trans actions, has been bad for my and my wife’s mental health. I’ve cut way back on social media involvement and reading the news.

Plus, June was Pride Month. Because our lives have been so hard, we take Pride celebrations very seriously. We are survivors in multiple ways. We have to enjoy life when we can. We decided to make our participation in Santa Fe Pride political this year. We’ve also been standing with our signs at a key intersection in the city to increase transgender visibility. It’s a little scary.

There was a Trump supporter walking around the Pride festival after the march carrying a visible gun (a conservative white man, naturally). Santa Fe Pride is very multi-ethnic due to the long history of Native American cultures and Hispanic and white colonization in New Mexico, in addition to more recent immigration and the horrific concentration camps at the New Mexico, Arizona and Texas borders with Mexico. He was there, clearly, to try to intimidate and provoke Pride goers. People ignored him, but we were all aware of his presence at all times. Luckily, he had his own undercover detective following him around at a distance dressed in Pride attire, so we felt *fairly* safe.

Anyway, back to weaving! Life is for living.

My first 16-shaft project is underway

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I finished assembling my 16-shaft table loom. I’m ready to start warping it for my flowing curves advancing twill pattern. Because I’m mixing a 200-end warp and a 400-end warp, I will make stripes to mix the patterns evenly. Rainbow Bright 5/2 cotton hand painted warp from Carr Park Artisans. I’m weaving fabric for clothing, as usual. I don’t know what I will make with the fabric from this 5-yard warp yet.