Category Archives: Color

Experiments, first to last

This first picture is not really an experiment–yet–but it definitely has possibilities. After sitting at the table looking at some books at the library, I got up and noticed this carpet, which then led to losing my library card. Thank goodness someone found it and turned it in. Love libraries!

Library carpet

Hatching. Ignore what looks black above this image; it’s what was woven before and advanced on the beam.

Squares with hatching

Who knows?

Mostly neutral

The above experiments are mostly self-explanatory, just playing around with whatever yarns are on hand. Directly above was designed to use up the many neutrals on hand, colors that I don’t envision using very much. I ended up throwing in some red in bits all over the piece. Neutrals only can be tolerated for so long.

All cut off

The above pieces have been cut off and are ready to hem. Once they’re hemmed, we’ll see if they continue a life or become extinct.

Below is an experiment terminated. It didn’t fit what was in my head. Using the same colors, a different play on the design. The new weaving has begun, so we’ll see how it goes.

Greens gone bad

Below is the combination of mohair and wool in different shades of blues and purples, stretched on the ikat board. Ask me what I’ve learned about using a singles mohair yarn in this type of situation.

On the board

The same yarns after tying, dyeing, and partially untied.

After tying and dyeing

All the yarns have been untied and skeined. Looks nice, doesn’t it?

The tangled mess becomes a skein

During the untying and untangling process, the singles mohair broke and tangled up with the other yarns. That’s why I skeined the yarn. Now it is time to unskein it and start weaving. Why am I postponing that and continuing the small experiments? Maybe because I foresee more tangling. I don’t know, but by next week I will have a report.

Busy and grateful

It’s been pretty busy around here, and for that, I am grateful. It’s been the just-enough kind of busy.

We had a guild sale at Pottery Barn

The Fort Worth Weavers Guild had a sale, which was both fun and a long day, with the added benefit of great sales. Below is just a portion of the towels we had for sale.

Towel table

Scarves and shawls were hanging here. You can also see my work spread on a nearby couch.

Scarves in the background

Another one on the floor

Here we had baskets, small framed pieces (recognize those?). In the big center basket are bookmarks, key rings, greeting cards, and even buttons.

Baskets, bookmarks, odds and ends


The button covered with small, leftover pieces from weavings.

More towels

The other busy part

I’ve also been busy making sure all the boards for hanging and the corresponding work are together and look good. I don’t know exactly how many pieces will be in the upcoming exhibition, but I want to have more than necessary in case some curating decisions need to be made. As in what looks good together and what doesn’t.

What’s on the loom

This is what I’m working on right now. Although the same yarns as the gradation pieces I just finished are in this weaving, the colors look very different. I planned small holes in the weaving because that’s something I’ve been wanting to do, so why not now in this completely spontaneous piece.

You can see the holes marked in the second pic. They’re only about 1/2 inch long.

Work in progress

With the holes marked

The weekend

Razzle Dazzle hung at CAC

This is a crazy, busy week–storms, branches blown off trees, experimenting with my twice-dyeing ikat, guild show publicity, well, you get it. So, I’m sharing pictures of last weekend. Above is Razzle Dazzle hanging in the Texas Artists Coalition juried show.

Then there was the Denton weaving guild activity

This was really quite fun. We met in the fibers department building at the University of North Texas. I loved the huge posters of clothing they had hanging. 


Below are some stencils that were used. They are still on the fabric, but will be removed and then the fabric will be dyed. The bird on the left was on wool felt, and was not very crisp when the stencil was removed. The others seem to be crisp in the bit that was looked at.


And that brings us to this week

After first round of dyeing

First round of dyeing done

Under the red and green tape, it’s yellow/orange. Next steps are to tie the red/orange sections and remove the green tape. Then back to the dye pots for another round of dyeing.

Back on the boards

Back on the boards

Tying the red/orange with yellow tape. The red tape will be left as is. All the green tape will be removed for the next dye session. What color will replace the yellow/orange under the green tape?

August so far

I cut the piece below off the loom over the weekend. Still need to do the finish work. Instead, I cleaned up in the studio. It’s too embarrassing to post a picture, but believe me, it was a mess! I pull out lots of yarns, and once a decision is made, I don’t put them back before the weaving starts. Now the yarns are put away, the floor is swept, and I can breathe and work without distraction again.

All the trimmings

I have a white paper bag attached to my loom bench with tape. This is where I try to throw all the trimmings, although I sometimes forget, and in my haste, toss them on the floor. The bag is about 12 inches high and is full. I had thought to experiment with making a felt ball, but they may just all go in the trash.

Cut off

I still can’t get the vertical rectangles to resemble the color they are, but here it is in all its glory. ;)) The shot that show the color best is in another post.

Standing Tall

You might remember the piece I designed with color aid paper.

New ikat

And now on to the latest ikat experiment. A little translation of what you’re seeing–the sections tied in red are going to be the color of the yarn. The untied sections will be overdyed with scarlet, and will become whatever they become. The sections tied in green are not finished yet. They will be tied to their tips on the right, which will involve slipping a string into the loops around the pegs, tying that string to the pegs on the outside perimeter, removing them from their current pegs, and tying to the very tips. That whole section will be tied from top to bottom. Those ties will be removed at some point and overdyed with blue, and will become whatever it becomes. As I said, an experiment!

New ikat

Sometimes it just doesn’t work out

Black and white in progress and it’s demise

So, you may remember the black and white I was working on, you know, the one with the slits. That was just not fun weaving, and I struggled to drag myself to the loom. Plus, I didn’t like the way the black yarns had turned out. So, I woke up one morning and thought, “This is it. I’m cutting it off!” I felt a huge relief in just thinking those words. 


But then I got Kathe Todd-Hooker’s book Line in Tapestry, and got to reading and looking at pictures. You can get the book on Kathe’s website and on Amazon. Kathe’s book has lots of treatments for slits. So, before cutting off, I experimented. One of the first things I read about using slits is if they’re going to be very long, consider turning the weaving the other way. Makes sense. Maybe that works for smaller pieces, but 58 x 30, not so much. This is a vertical design, so that would mean that the visible warp finishing would be where the selvedges usually are after it was hung. I don’t like that much better than slits.

My copy of Russell’s tapestry book

I had also read about using a heavy duty sewing thread every few picks, but I couldn’t find much information about it. Then I looked through one of Carol Russell’s tapestry books and found a picture. It becomes practically invisible within the weaving, and that’s the one I think I like best.

Isolated locking weft

If there are ever any long slits again in my life, that’s the technique I’ll use.

Baby’s got a new box of crayons!

Weaving Southwest yarn bale

These came from Weaving Southwest, one of their Yarn Bales. Aren’t they beautiful? They are
2-ply tapestry yarns. I think the bales became such a huge project, that they are not planned to happen again.

For the next couple of weeks the dye pots will be working overtime. And there’s an ikat experiment in my future. Stay tuned…

A mistake, but at least I caught it early


Do you see it? The mistake. It had to come out because the dimensions of the piece would be affected.

Despite having to take out an inch and a half of the black and white piece, one of my goals for the week was to actually take scissors in hand and cut into the Color-aid paper. The design above is not what I started out to do, but I found that once I had some shapes cut out, it was fun to move them around and see what would happen if

I kind of like it; maybe I’ll weave it.

Design with Color-aid paper

Commitments, commitments

Something else that I committed to for the week was to finally overdye the rest of the greens with turquoise. (I did the overdye with blue weeks ago.) I’m not sure that these greens are going to be a great deal different from the ones overdyed with blue. Anyone need some really pretty greens?

Green samples



Because of several upcoming events, I need to get to the finish work, steaming, making hanging boards, Velcro, etc. so that they can be photographed. So this is my day: weave a few hours, do finish work a few hours. At one time I timed the finish work, just to get an idea of how much time to estimate for a job. I have since forgotten that number, but maybe I’ll do it again.

However, I think I’ve finally decided on the type of finish to do now. Everything has been tried, but I’ve settled. While on the loom, I do one round of soumak, then six picks of warp, reversing that when I’ve come to the end of the weaving. Then I do a woven edge, using five warps. This leaves the ends up towards the body of the piece. Then those ends have to be needle woven in.

Getting started. The right side has the woven edge done.

Needle woven into the piece.


Color changes and walks


Morning musings

I hate to even say this out loud, so to speak, but I’ve started doing some walking–don’t want to jinx it. Many years ago, I walked 5 miles a day, and it was wonderful. All kinds of inspiration and problem solving happened during those walks. I have used the excuse that my knee hurts not to walk, but after the trip to London, where we walked for miles and went up and down stairs in the Underground, that can’t be an excuse anymore. Now, it’s time to increase distance.

Stops for snapping pics with my phone is also happening. These street repairs always fascinate me. Surely I can figure out some way to use those. Street writing. The coreopsis above are one of my favorite wildflowers. Of course, the fact that these have yellow and red might be a factor. The balled up yarns from last week?

Street art

Back to the weaving

I’m trying to finish up the piece on the loom by the end of the month, and I’m ahead of schedule. However, I still haven’t dyed the yarn for next month’s project. That has to get done this week.

The beginning of this piece was posted last week, and here’s another part. 

Another section

With all the color changes, there are ends to weave in. I prefer to do them while on the loom.


Walking elsewhere

Purple Clover

These beauties are at the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens and Botanical Research Institute of Texas. The beds may be shared by the two organization, but I’m not sure. BRIT has a prairie planted on one side of its building, and these are native plants.

Having a great time!

On the loom

Love the colors!

The colors on the loom are really exciting to me! Even though it’s just throwing a shuttle (which has the ability to be boring), the colors are fun. Here’s a picture of some of the yarns I dyed and balled up lately.

All balled up

The reddish violet one was originally a reddish magenta, which I overdyed with violet and polar red. Not only do I like the color, it turned out as expected. The yellows are dyed with Sabraset Mustard Yellow at 1.5%.

Winding needs improvement

Now, back to that throwing the shuttle thing. For whatever reason, no matter what I do differently, the two strand of yarns are not rolling off the bobbin correctly. You can see the problem below. That’s how much slack there is between one strand versus the other.

Extra weft

Then I remembered the new shuttle that I had, the one that uses quills. Tah dah! 

When I first started to weave, many centuries ago, I used quills. However, I’ve slept since then, so winding the weft onto the quill takes a bit of practice. I’m using a 1/4 inch dowel to hold the quill, and dug this driver up from a long lost box. Wonder if I can also find the charger? 

And all is working now! I have not wound a huge amount onto the quill, although the shuttle-maker (High Desert Weaving) says that it will hold over 45 yards of a bulky yarn.

Quill in shuttle

Winding weft onto the quill

So, I’m a happy weaver again. Nevertheless, I’ll have to solve the winding problem at some point. It’s funny how sometimes there is no problem, but now there’s a huge problem.

Now, what are you working on? Do tell!

All but the steaming


This piece is finished, a long haul for me. It’s at 6 epi, and the ends were really difficult to weave in. Plus, this is such a boring task. So boring, in fact, that I did the first end watching made-for-TV movies of Perry Mason. And while doing that finish work, I was mulling over my sett and whether I wanted to continue that, or go back to my roots of wool warp at 4 epi. No matter–there’s still lots of warp left on that back beam for now.

All that’s left is the steaming and a real photo.

While deciding on that weighty issue …

This is what I’m weaving right now, totally spontaneous, with no plan. On a whim, I decided to add the red “stripe” before starting the next bit. The multicolored part is 5 inches and the red is 1/2 inches. Below, I manipulated the image with various rotations to get an idea of how this would look as a full sized piece with both the red and without the red. I still haven’t decided. Frankly, the red bit was just a way of breaking the monotony of deciding colors and making sure things were changing up. The final piece is to be about 30 x 30 inches.

Red border    


 Wanna help me decide? Let me know what you think.

Maybe I should just go outside and work and let this bounce around a bit.


Thinking about color and green chili stew

Basket made in guild program

Color! Isn’t it wonderful?

The dyeing of yarn is almost as good for me as the weaving. Almost. There’s just something magical about pulling those yarns out of the water and seeing beautiful, glorious color!

The other day I read about Tien Chiu’s experiments in what she calls cube dyeing. She has quite the project going, something that I admire, but also know that I would never have the patience to conduct. Really, go check it out.

Quilters like color too

Tien mentions Carol Soderlund, who teaches what look like great workshops on dyeing. Some of my quilter friends have gone to Nancy Crow’s Art Retreats, and that’s where I first saw anything about her workshops.

Facebook strikes again!


Ever take one of those quizzes on Facebook? I succumbed the other day, and although I really don’t agree with the analysis of my personality, I like the color shown. A weaving of some sort? I’ve actually been thinking of a series of tapestries based on color. You can see what color you get here.

And then there’s the finishing

I’ve got these itty bitty 5-inch pieces that need to be finished, several of which are in shades of blue. As I was pinning them to a press cloth thingy for steaming, I thought about stars. So, I played around with pin heads.


And now for green, as in green chili stew 

My friend Claudia True publishes a calendar each year with copies of here paintings and recipes. If you sign up for her newsletter, you receive a free mini cookbook. At some point, I received a recipe from her for Green Chili Stew. My son and daughter-in-law have developed their own recipe for same, so I adapted parts of both recipes and made my own. Now it seems to be a small compulsion. I have two quart jars in the fridge, so that’s what I have each day for lunch. Maybe I’ll be sick of it soon and move on to other recipes. What’s your winter go-to recipe?