No, not the holiday season.
It’s Pantone’s color of the year announcement-time-of-year. This year’s choice is not my favorite color. How ’bout you?
Of course, I wasn’t crazy about last year’s (a baby blue and pink, which of course, had a much better name than mine) choice either. I don’t object to green, nor do I object to this particular color–in small doses.
Maria Killam has a recent blog post about the new color of the year. I like the pictures she posted using this green. You’ll notice that in each picture there’s usually just a bit of this color, except for the wall of grass. That’s just an interesting wall and makes me wonder how they did that.
I do understand the sentiment expressed on this color image. Do you think greenery will solve all the unrest in the United States? Calm the seas, so to speak?
Squares Cubed, hand-dyed wool yarn, tapestry, 25 x 75 inches total, ©Sherri Coffey, private collection
Squares Triptych, commissioned
So, it’s your turn. I want to hear from you. I’m really curious…what do you think of these “color pairings?” You can see the color of the year and all the various “color pairings” here.
Fall on the loom
Fall color abounds
I decided to weave using mostly fall colors, but now I’m wondering, “What was I thinking?” Notice all those little pieces of yarn hanging around? Normally, I would needle-weave these in while it’s on the loom. There are millions of these little guys. It would take longer to weave them in than it took to weave this. Also, normally, I weave right side up, but I’m going to make an exception here. I had also thought to hang this vertically, thus using my usual method of hanging with a board and Velcro. That can’t happen with all those bits of yarn hanging around on the back. So, I guess I’ll have to build a frame, wrap canvas around it, and stitch this to the canvas with invisible stitches. Drat! says the lazy me.
Fall at the store
And then there are lines
I was captured by this display as I left the grocery store. Love the colors of all these squashes, and others that are not in the image. Some of the colors are beautiful, even if they’re warty–lots of different shades of green and orange.
Ceiling/roof at my bank
Had to visit my credit union last week, and I just had to get a pic of the clouds through this structural ceiling. I’ve always loved it, ever since they rebuilt after a tornado many years ago. My phone doesn’t do the whole roof/ceiling justice. Don’t you love the black lines against the blue of the sky and the soft white of the clouds?
September by Kathy Spoering
Since there seems to be a theme of fall here, I’ll move on to calendars. Have you seen Kathy Spoering’s calendar tapestries? She has put these tapestries into a calendar, which can be purchased from her Etsy store. She started this series with her Four Seasons tapestries in 2003 and continued on to weave a tapestry for each month. I got mine last week! Isn’t it great! There are so many things that I have no desire to do weaving-wise–multi-shaft pattern weaving, pictorial tapestries–but I so admire the skill of the artist and the beauty of the finished work. Just like there are paintings that I would never choose to hang, but I admire the skill of the artist and the creativity in the work.
I seem to be giving myself birthday presents this year. Of course, the best one of all is that I get to wait at the auto shop to get lots of high-mileage preventative things done to my car–NOT! Would rather have scheduled this for a time other than my birthday, but other days were full. Oh, well….
A few rabbit holes have led me astray this week. A Facebook post by Jan Austin made me check out knotted tapestry, specifically by Anne Jackson. Then I had to look up knots, because I know nothing about knots, except the kind you use to tie the hook and/or lure to a fishing line. So half-hitch and two half-hitches will need to be practiced–someday. I can barely keep up with soumak, much less all the kinds of soumak, and so far, I can’t tell the difference between that and the half-hitches. That’s where the practice comes in, as diagrams just don’t do it for me.
And then there’s the sacred geometry and fractals in photographic form. Take a look at the photos. They’re much better than mine!
Finally, we come to islands of color, which is a feast for the eyes. Last, but not least, I received a Google Alert email about this posting. Even the name is spelled correctly, but the middle initial is wrong. I better not travel to Oklahoma!
This is what I’m doing in my dithering stage. Using up some of the many greens that I now have. The current weaving is simply throwing a shuttle, using greens in a kind-of-pseudo gradations piece. I have also pulled out many greens that I don’t like to overdye. I think some of them will be dyed by dipping one end of the skein in the dye, seeing what turns out and then dipping the other end to coordinate with it. Others may end up with a loose ikat-tied dyeing. I had an epiphany of sorts about doing some ikat pieces in a very simple way, just to be doing some weaving until the big inspiration sets in.
Below is the ikat board set up and ready to go. You can see the cartoon drawn on vellum, rough though it is. I was too lazy to really color in all those sections, but some squiggles will remind me of the way. This is only one section of many of this piece.
new cartoon, ikat board
By the way, if you’re interested in color, you may be interested in this website and a new color wheel. Have you ever pulled out a color wheel, but not been really satisfied with the options? I have done that, but ended up sticking with my gut many times. So check it out and tell me what you think.
Cartoon with color ID
Why oh why don’t I listen to myself? I started a new green combination and thought it just didn’t look right, but of course, it had to be. After all, hadn’t I written down all the colors on the cartoon as I did the first piece? So, how could it be wrong? After weaving three inches, it suddenly hit me…these are the wrong colors!!!! I found the right group and took out three inches. Do you know how long it takes to weave three inches in tapestry? And how long it takes to undo three inches of tapestry? A long time–and then you’ve got to go back and redo that three inches with the correct colors. Fiddlesticks! But it’s done. The loom part by the end of the month! Yes, I know the end of the month is creeping ever closer, like tomorrow.
Since I’ve been working with greens, I went back and looked at the green part of The Color Thesaurus. Ingrid, the creator, has decided to make a poster. I definitely want this poster! If you want to know more about the project, you can sign up here. In fact, you might just want to sign up just to get the “thanks” message. Anyway, I think I’ve used all the greens in her thesaurus, except for pistachio, sage, and seafoam.
If you haven’t seen this video, it’s been tagged by some as everything you’ll ever need to know about color theory. It’s supposed to be embedded, but if it doesn’t come up, click on the first link.
The latest project is now halfway complete on piece one. Since that’s pretty much all I have been doing, there’s really nothing to write about, unless you count the itty bitty bluebonnet plant I discovered while weeding. A couple of years ago, I threw out some wildflower seed balls that the boys and I made. Nothing happened the first year. Nothing happened the second year. But this year there is a bluebonnet plant, a lonely solitary plant. Making seed balls info can be found here and here.
Besides listening to books, the idiosyncrasies in the color of the hand-dyed yarn keeps my attention while weaving. I noticed yesterday how different the colors looked between the singles and the plied yarns. These photos don’t really show the differences as distinct as they really are, but here they are anyway. The plied yarns are very tightly twisted and have a great sheen to them, so the differences might be because of light reflection, but I think it’s based on how they take up the color. Even if you cant tell from the yarns hanging out before being needle woven in, you can see in the woven portion that there are varying shades.
Singles vs plied
Singles vs plied
About the book—I am listening to I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes. At first I thought this book is not going to do. It’s slow to really get started, but as I listened, the action got faster and faster, and I wove faster and faster. Funny how that works. It’s a spy thriller, and it’s very long. The audio is divided into three parts. Most of the books I listen to are divided into two parts.
What I’m listening to
By the way, I’m trying very hard to update the blog at least once per week, most likely on Wednesdays. That doesn’t mean I won’t have a brainstorm or just be brimming with all kinds of weaverly or personal stuff on other days. Some days/weeks there’s lots to say, but when I am at the loom all day for days, well, there’s only so much to say about that.
27 skeins of balled up green
Have you ever spent a day balling up skeins of yarn? Except for the tangles in the new yarn I’m trying, a pretty boring experience. I tried doing it while listening to a book. Works most of the time, but then the squirrel cage gets to going so fast that it rattles noisily and I can’t hear the audio. And about those tangles…all that glorious kinkle that I wrote about earlier, just doesn’t seem to want to disappear, no matter how many times I pop those skeins. I start winding and all of a sudden, my winding yarn is under another strand and just won’t release. So, I cut and tie and move on. Until the next time, which means that balling up 27 skeins of yarn took a looooong time. Now, those skeins that I wound myself? Perfect. Even though they are with a singles wool, perfect. Love my skein winder.
More yarns, more kinkiness
Here’s the weaving so far. Sorry about the head shadow, but at least I caught that I took a picture of my thumb! You can barely see the new color I just started on the right. Now my fear is that all these greens, although they look so distinct in balls, won’t look that way in the final weaving. Gotta have something to worry about, right?
I’m curious — How many of you belong to a guild of artists/artisans? Weavers, potters, painters, quilters, etc? Do you belong to a group that meets and has programs? Do you have a guild sale? My guild, Fort Worth Weavers Guild, has finally obtained non-profit status and we are now allowed to have a sale again. We used to have a sale along with our biennial show, but the lack of non-profit status and the state sales process caused us to stop. We’re back! We will have our first-sale-in-a-long time April 27. But for now, I’d like to know about public events your guild/group has. Shows? Sales? How do you plan it? Carry it out? Share and maybe inspire and/or help all of us.
The yarn I mentioned before, the Mobelatta, kinks, even though it’s a 2-ply yarn. I have this very interesting happening in the dye process. Below are just a few of the greens I’m trying out. There will be more to fill in holes in the colors I want to use. And some of the below will be deleted from the plan.
Some of the greens I’ve dyed
Here are some more. Yes, extremes in color, but I wanted to show how kinky after rinsing and still wet. From here, I have to find the center of the skein, and give it a few good pops to kind of stretch all the kinks out.
More yarns, more kinkiness
Here are two skeins side by side, one after the pops and the other in its natural kinked self. What I have found interesting is the way the dyes take in the yarn. The color seems slightly wavy as the yarn is. Most be because it kinks up in the dye pot. I like the way it looks, and so far in my sampling, it weaves up beautifully.
Kinked and un-kinked
Proseco, pineapple juice, splash of Campari
After having a houseful of people for ten days, it’s taken me a while to get back to normal, whatever that is. Plus, before that I was sorting and cleaning. And I don’t whatever came over me, but I bought a jigsaw puzzle. Working these things is not one of my better skill-sets, so I think I’m going to pack it up and put it in the closet. Enough already!
Movie poster puzzle
Besides making the “art” books from the last post, we all made itty bitty lanterns, using handmade paper and battery-operated tea lights. I didn’t even know there was such a thing! Each lantern is different and pretty. I got the directions from Helen Hiebert and her 25 Days of Paper 2015. Her whole website is worth a look, beautiful papers from all kinds of places.
Yarn samples from Pro Chemical
Now, I’m beginning to worry a bit about getting back into the studio. Maybe it’s because it’s time to warp that darn loom again. No matter, it’s got to happen soon. I have a commission to do, which requires a warped loom and some dyed yarns. The commission project is going to be lots of different shades of green, so I’ve been going through all my dyed samples and skeins on hand, trying to figure out what combination might work best. That’s when I decided to buy yarn samples that show all the possible colors available in both PRO Washfast and Sabraset dyes, while also buying a couple of green dyes to try out. And I actually labeled them the kind of dyes shown and the year. Maybe they’ll still make sense to me a couple of years from now.
Next up–the frustrating saga of trying to get a cartoon enlarged.
What’s on the loom? What are you stitching? What are you doing?
Becoming obsessed with projects seems to be my modus operandi; I’ve worked for years to just accept it and produce whatever it might be. As we all know, those projects are either successful, moderately successful, or just downright ugly. Right now, my obsession is working small, especially as Shop Small Saturday is coming up. As ridiculous as it may sound, an “aha” moment hit me. I can work small with the same kinds of designs that I already like. Working small does not always mean a whole new set of designs, although it could. I like color, so I’m going to use color–lots of it! Plus, new techniques (to me) and ideas can be tried out. A kind of sampling, if you will.
Part of this experimentation is with embroidery floss. Think of all the colors possible there. They’re almost infinite by using a few strands of one color with strands of another (or two) color. At 14 epi, they work pretty well. I also have silks around that I have
begged asked for from my silk-weaving friends. These are bobbin ends and amounts that are really not useful to them. Plus, I made a trip to the local needlepoint shop, The French Knot. Boy, this is not your mother’s (or grandmother’s) needlepoint shop! The interior is full of very organized kinds of small skeins of yarn, from cotton, silks, alpaca, and more. I concentrated on the silks, and even those were available in variety, but the shiny stuff got my attention. They’re all gorgeous! And, I don’t even want to think about how much these yarns might be per pound! A record of each yarn is being kept, with an opinion as to its performance: appearance, weave-ability, and whatever else comes to mind. Once I know what works best for me, I can perhaps dye my own small skeins in Mason jars. We’ll see. Or this current obsession may pass and be supplanted by a new one.
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