Sunday, April 20, 2014

Color Blending for Fiber Artists

I was thrilled to have students sign up to take my color blending class at the Fiber Event this year.  My four students blended their own 12-hue color wheel, each color blended from combinations of red, blue, and yellow.  We spent some time identifying colors in photographs and discussing different ways to use those colors in a fiber project.  It was a fun class!  A big "thank you" to all my students!

Supplies ready to go for the Color Blending class at The Fiber Event.

Here are some photos from a color blending project I finished this week and took to show my class.  The little baggies in the center contain fibers.  The bag on top were the original colors.  The lower bag are the colors after I blended them.  I ordered the original colors into an approximate color wheel and then blended each color with some of the colors to each side of it.  50% of the blend is the "main color"; 25% of the blend is from the adjacent colors.  I love how blending the colors ties them together!

The scarf is a modification of the pattern "Wingspan" from Ravlery.  It was once a free pattern, but has been expanded and is no longer free.  I liked having the information on how to tweak the pattern that is included in the paid version.  The scarf is a series of shifted triangles which gives it a tendency to curve.  It didn't take much to make the scarf into a circle for this photo! -- The cast on color is the red; the cast off color is the red-purple.

Here's a closeup of the colors of the Merino fibers.  As dyed on top; as blended on the bottom.

Monday, March 03, 2014

My turn! Fixing Errors with a Warp on the Loom

See my lovely pile of extra heddles?  I took them off my Mighty Wolf recently.  I've read about how challenging it is to have to remove heddles with a warp on the loom and tried really hard to avoid this!  Unfortunately, the way I eye-balled the warp didn't work.

This warp is 32" wide on a loom with a 36" wide weaving width.  As I threaded, I tucked extra heddles throughout the warp, hoping to avoid having to remove heddles. By the time I was tying on to the breast beam, it was obvious that I'd need to do something more.  The warp threads at the left edge of the loom were being pushed in by the extra heddles at the side of the shafts.  Time to remove heddles!

Before removing the heddles I threaded the top, the eye, and the bottom  of each group with a piece of cotton thread and tied them securely.  This should make it easy to put the heddles back on the loom later.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Now to go put the heddles away in my collection of weaving tools so I can find them when I want them back on the loom!

Saturday, February 01, 2014

A Little Bit of Lots of Stuff

The above photo is of a baby blanket woven for some friends.  The warp is a burgundy color, the pattern weft is a light pink (both in 10/2 cotton) and the tabby weft is a wool/angora/nylon yarn that I recycled from a sweater dress and is dark purple.  I love the hand of the blanket!  The recycled yarn softens the hand of the crackle weave significantly!

Check out these little samples:

 They are about an inch and a half tall by one inch wide.  I'm doing a custom piece for an individual and we needed to determine color order for the stripes.  I had wound a larger piece before I realized that maybe the colors should be in a different order and started winding the tiny tests.  Well, after the fifth tiny test I had found a combo that I liked and paused for a moment to run some calculations.  With five colors the number of color combinations are 5! (five-factorial), which equals 120 possibilities!  Half of them are reflections of each other--ABCDE is the same as EDCBA, which brings the number down to 60 possibilities.  Gasp!  Still to many to manage!  My fiber enabler came to the rescue and did some programing so that I could see all sixty color combinations.  Whew!  What a challenge!

Here's another little project on my first structo loom:
 It's a plaid fabric for Conner Prairie.  They are working on recreating a piece and this is one of many plaids that will become a part of the finished project.
This is how it looked going on the loom:

And, just because I'm excited about it, check out the new little structo that has come to stay at my house!  This is not the one being used to weave the plaid, it's another one.  :)  I keep hoping that one day I will find a way to teach weaving, so I am starting a collection of these little looms. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Short Term Visitor

We had a short visit from a weeble-wobble type friend before school let out.  My 5th grader said to me at four in the afternoon, "And, Mom, my last bit of homework is a gift for the exchange at school tomorrow."


I did a few quick calculations and decided that if I worked quickly and figured driving time as "free time", then I could probably needle felt a gift within the price range of the class gift exchange.

So I got to work.  First I consulted with the 5th grader.  We talked ideas.  We made plans.  Then I set to work.  There are details--like the blue eyes and very red (cherry red, mom!) nose that were definitely beyond my liberty to change--but overall I thought he was cute.  And the felted friends in the cupboard enjoyed their visit from Santa very much!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Art in Icing

These are a couple of scoops of buttercream frosting with gel dyes in them (we were getting ready for decorating Christmas cookies! :)
Blue and red for purple:

Blue and yellow for green:

Yellow and red for orange:
I used a lot of dye this year and the colors blended beautifully!  They look streaky here, which I love, but they did mix well and made great cookie icing!  Hooray for beautiful colors in life!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Finished Christmas Quilt #1

The quilt is done!  Those are the new owner's toes at the top of the quilt.  She has used it two mornings now as we have read from our Christmas story book.  Each morning she has carefully folded it so a different block was visible.  

I love it when a gift is loved!

Here is a photo of the back.  I ended up purchasing wide flannel from  I tried to find flannel that worked at some more local places, but those that had flannel didn't have the right color or prints.  This cream flannel is nice and shows enough of the quilting to be pretty!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Christmas Quilt

Remember how I made all those quilt blocks in 2012?  The first group has been made into a quilt top and is now on the quilting frame!  Whee!  Mom came over to help with the quilting.  The quilting frame we are using is one that Mom picked up at auction years ago.  It's old, but it works great for this job!